Yesterday I decided to do work in town as opposed to the cozy cave that is my room. For me, there is nothing like work with the scent of coffee lingering in the air so I really enjoy doing work in coffee shops. There are so many to choose from in town. My choice of location just depends on my mood. My ‘mood’ called for a small, personal coffee place called Virgil’s House. Never over crowded or noisy, Virgil’s is the perfect location for studying. Every table is equipped with a board game or a puzzle set making it a great space for some casual alone time or a friendly game amongst two friends.
As I sat and pulled out my text book I glanced out the window; coffee cup hot at the palms of my hand, my eyes caught sight of fallen leaves; beautiful oranges and reds. At this moment, rather than catching up on the theories of Richard Dawkins and the “Selfish Gene”, I thought about how much I love Saratoga Springs. I truly am in love with this town. Many have asked me how I managed to make such a transition from the busy concrete jungle to the relaxed town of “healing springs”. I think the town speaks for itself.
I find everything about the town charming. The size is perfect, with a population size of 30,000 the town is just the right size to make enough friends but not too small that it depends on the campus for life. If Skidmore were to magically disappear Saratoga would do just fine. There are countless eateries. Everything from Asian to Italian cuisine, sweet locations to catch a quick bite or fancy settings for any special occasion. Coffee shops, boutiques, bars, restaurants, you name it it’s here. And the best part is they are all small and personal.
During the summer, the town picks up. The famous Saratoga Race Track attracts families from all over. The summer population size triples. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center features performances varying from the Philadelphia Orchestra to Lil’ Wayne. The weather is just right. Taking a bus or drive to point B from point A will come at the expense of enjoying the great sights of the college campus and town. Flowers are spread out thoughtfully making every walk a romantic one. And no day is ever dull with so much to do including free events on campus and in town. I could go on for quite a bit but I think you get the point.
I guess what I am saying is there is a reason why I have spent pretty much all of my academic vacations in Saratoga Springs. Some say I have turned my back to NYC, I say I have found a new home, a new love.
I have never been good at the whole “about me” thing. I guess I never know how much information is enough. I will try to make this short and sweet.
My name is Altagracia Montilla but many people call me Alta (ALL- TUH).
I am a senior at Skidmore College already experiencing early symptoms of separation anxiety. I am a Psychology major and a Religious Studies minor with post- college plans to attend graduate school for clinical psychology and focus my work on at- risk and troubled youth but not before I spend a year living in Australia, of course.
I was born in Pennsylvania but spent the majority of my life in Bronx, New York. I love NYC, but in many ways I love Saratoga Springs more. I attended the High School of American Studies at Lehman College, a small and very competitive specialized school located at the edge of the Bronx.
I am a realist, yet a daydreamer; an outside the box thinker who envies others who fall farther outside the box. I am extremely social and talkative, the epitome of an extrovert, but also extremely independent. I am an over achiever who enjoys being busy. Aside form the obvious; I love running, reading, potlucks, “feel-good” music, and Australia. I have a younger sister and an older brother, yet I am the oldest. I can sing all the lyrics to every Adele song. I can’t play an instrument and I do not sing well, but I have moves.
At Skidmore I have been the vice president of Raices and president of R.A.C. I was a drummer in Skidieko, a Resident Assistant for my dorm Junior year, and I have directed a fashion show for Ujima. I have worked for dining services, catering services, and now the annual find, and admissions. Outside of the campus I have done work at two separate youth shelters not too far out of Saratoga.
And I think the best part is I still have one more year at Skidmore.