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Old 03-09-2007, 08:40 AM
5 posts, read 45,969 times
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In advance, thanks for your help. I have moved around a lot but have stayed either in or in close proximity to a major city all of my life. I am now considering a job offer in saratog Springs area. I know the African-American population is small - ~3% - that does not bother me. I'd like to know if I will be isolated being black in an area 2 hours north of NYC. Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:29 AM
Location: NY
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Well, first off, Saratoga is more than 2 hours from NYC- closer to four. The area is pretty 'white,' but Saratoga gets a lot of tourist volume, has a noteable school (Skidmore), is somewhat affluent and has a lot of cultural/performance events throughout the year so is fairly liberal and open minded. If by isolated you mean feeling unwelcome, I doubt that would be the case- but on the other hand if you are wondering if there is a strongly 'african-american' culturally identified community in Saratoga, I don't think there is. But Saratoga is not far at all from Albany, which has a sizeable Af-Am population/community, etc. It is a beautiful town and area, though far, far from being 'urban.' If you can, spend a week there and get a feel for things before you decide.
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:42 AM
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Honeychrome - thanks for your reply. You are correct, by "isolated" I do mean feeling unwelcome. I do not expect a huge AA pop. focus but I do want a community that will not shun me. I am not oncerned as much about the "urban" focus as I am finding a place to live that offers some mix of diversity in terms of people, culture, activities - sports to the arts! Good idea to spend a week there first, I may be able to do that to explore a bit. Incidentaly, I guess I drive pretty fast - it takes me about 2-2 1/2 hours to get there from where I am.

Thanks a lot - any other opinions?
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:48 AM
Location: NY
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Ah- I was 'calculating' from lower Manhattan, where just a mile or two can add an hour or more to any trip!
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:09 AM
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I think the locals are more concerned with the "Skiddies" than anything else, at least that is what I found when I was there (a long time ago )

Skidmore provides great opportunity for events an contributes greatly to the economy and in general the school is respected, the Skiddies pouring onto the streets at 4:00 am not so much. Also, the population at Skidmore IS very diverse (believe it or not) so different races really are not an issue (again I was there quite some time ago-but I can only imagine it has become better, not worse). So, as usual I agree with Honey, go for a visit, I believe the Ramada (I think that was it) on the Skidmore side of town is still there and it was reasonably priced in my time-for all the parents and such. Also, go to Albany while you there-30 minutes is correct-and you will see all that the "city" has to offer while you may live in the more bucolic Saratoga Springs.

One last peice of advice as far as where to live. Don't live right in town if you can help it-too many bars and with Skidmore being a dry campus, I can assure you Wed-Mon the bars are always crowded. Tuesday night is the only night OFF, though it used to be "all-you-can-eat-wing" night, so it was busy on Tuesday night too! I also would avoid the housing on the Skidmore side of town as a lot of it is rented by students. The students are not bad at all, actually pretty good relative to most, BUT lots of partys-again with no frats and dry campus, all partying is done off-campus!

Good luck, I loved Saratoga and I am sure you will too!
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:33 AM
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I am BlackAmerican and lived in SaratogaSprings for a few years before moving back to Europe. I found Saratoga lovely! Cultural and the people are very friendly. It is like they don't see what color you are. I was surprised at how open they were. Also from my living in Europe I like the outdoor cafes and Saratoga has this flair. Clean and relativly safe too. When I was there, there was only 1 black hairdresser and to find black hair products or cosmetics you will have to go to the mall. The town of Saratoga is sweet and in summer you will find many different cultures. I think you would need a car to really experience it. Saratoga Lake is lovely and many other places to go. It has its own Chicness. When I move back to the USA, Saratoga Springs is the place I am thinking of moving to especially with my child who now is bilingual. Hope this helps....
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:56 PM
Location: Rockland county NY
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Saratoga aint for you! You wont like it!
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:29 AM
Location: Raleigh, NC
494 posts, read 1,551,431 times
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Saratoga, and the Capital District in general, should be a welcoming place for you. I am not black, and I'm not female, so I guess I don't know exactly your situation, but I find that people here are not very race concious. I grew up in the south and there was a natural and voluntary segregation that occurred in spite of the planners' best efforts to stop it. Up here, the "poor" are not predominantly one race over the other, so there is no stigma are bias that I've seen like you might seen in communities where the "poor" are predominantly black. I think you'd find Saratoga welcoming place to go.

Keep in mind too that Saratoga is taken over by the horse racing scene from mid-July through August. Many residents move out and rent their houses for 6 weeks to make enough to pay their annual mortgages. The main Saratoga Springs city center is a very quaint spot and popular destination for going out to dinner and such.

It is also the summer of of the NY Ballet and Saratoga Performing Arts Center which has a lot of great open air concerts. Saratoga is a great and unique place.

And for the distance to NY City, I would put it more at 3 hours than 4, but it all depends on where in NY City you are going. You can take the train down to Penn Station from Albany in about 2 hours and 20 minutes I think. It is a beautiful train ride that goes along the Hudson River much of the way.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:38 PM
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Default but......

Saratoga Springs has always had a visible Black community for a long time. They still have Dyer Phelps AME Zion church on the southern end of the city and I believe the Lake Ave. area was and might be now the center of the Black community there. They had info. on it from the Saratoga Springs city website, but I think they took the history off of the site. So, it's not like they haven't had a Black community there and it's been one that had been there a long time too.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:27 AM
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I would say that while Saratoga isn't that well diversified, I would consider it to be a tolerant place. For example, in our church we have people of many different ethnic backgrounds meshed together. I have never heard of any racially motivated violence and very very little violence overall. There was one murder that I remember hearing about a few years ago. One. As others have said, the college and track are big parts of the community. There is also a small military facility as well. Those three factors create an influx of people from different places. The black population in Saratoga is not that huge, but there are neighboring areas, such as Schnectedy and Albany where it is. However, Saratoga is a much nicer place to live, so I would choose here over either of those places. If there is anything you need that you can't find here in town, you can always drive down to Albany to find it because it's only about 30 minutes away. Good luck to you. I can't say enough good things about this town. We have lived in several states all over the country, but my facorite place by far is right here.
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