Tonight we’re chatting with our friend and neighbor, Dale Mattison. We were psyched to hear what brought Dale and his wife back to Glens Falls after having lived elsewhere around the country, the sweet connection they have to the street they live on, and the one restaurant they miss the most downtown (and I’m sure many of you would agree!) - read it all below!
Tell us about yourself!
I’m Dale Mattison, founder and principal at 32 Mile Media, a video production company based in Saratoga. I’m married to Molly, a Glens Falls native, and we have two boys, Rex and Rocco.
On Life in Glens Falls
I grew up in Lake George, but Glens Falls always seemed like the quintessential Hometown USA. I loved the beautiful old homes that seemed well-lived in. We have lived in a number of different places around the country, and when we thought about starting a family, we wanted our children to have an experience similar to ours. After five years in Chicago, we moved back to the area in 2013 and bought our home in Glens Falls in 2015. Our kids truly have a village here, between our families and friends that are like family. Our son, who just turned 2 last week, greets all our neighbors by name.
We have a home built in 1911 on Lincoln Avenue, a beautiful, tree-lined street with fantastic neighbors. It’s also the street my wife grew up on. We love the sense of community here, including block, alley and holiday parties. One of our favorite days is Halloween – we typically have more than 500 trick-or-treaters. We also love having friends over for breakfast on the porch on Memorial Day, before walking down to Glen and watching the parade together.
Some Glens Falls Favorites
Saratoga and Lake George are both really accessible, but we avoid the high cost of living and tourism crowds. And with that, the people who choose to live here are generally just good, down-to-earth people who value community. Tonight, we went to the Food Truck Corral at the Shirt Factory, and sat down at a picnic table with our dinner across from another couple. The woman offered to hold our baby so we could eat, and so she did. We later learned she knew our family, and by the end of the meal she gave my wife a hug and kissed our baby. That doesn’t happen just anywhere.
A Perfect Glens Falls Day
My ideal day would be to take my son and grab coffee and a “Bev” sandwich at Cool Beans, or head to Lox of Bagels and Moor for a bagel. We’d take a walk around the neighborhood or down to the Farmer’s Market, and hit the swings at Crandall Park. With two kids under 2, we don’t get out for dinner much right now but we love to have dinner on the porch, and invite friends over for a drink or play date. When we do get take-out, Mikado, the Bullpen and Downtown City Tavern often make the list. We love to spend holiday dinners and brunches at the Queensbury Hotel and we look forward to their new offerings.
On the Past
Growing up in Lake George, most of my memories were slightly north of Glens Falls. But I do remember my dad and I going downtown to the newsstand where farmacy now is. He’d get a newspaper and magazines, and I would get penny candy and Topps baseball cards, complete with a stick of stale, unwrapped gum.
Though it’s more recent, the place we miss the most is without question Bistro Tallulah. My wife and I spent every special occasion for nearly 10 years there. Even when we lived in Chicago, we would come home and celebrate with friends and family – always at Tallulah. A house salad with balsamic, deviled eggs (that Sean was excited to unveil and brought out to us the first night he offered them) and a medium-rare hangar steak with pomme frites will FOREVER be our favorite meal.
On the Future
We really like Glens Falls the way it is. It’s not Lake George or Saratoga, and it doesn’t need to be. It is what it is… Hometown USA. If I had to choose, I’d love to have a Trader Joe’s and a few more dining options. We’re looking forward to Craft on 9 moving downtown. And I’d love to see downtown continue to grow more vibrant – my in-laws bought me a book of pictures of Glens Falls in the ‘40s and ‘50s and it was so alive. But overall, we like it as is. I love the fact that we’re starting traditions here that have been in my wife’s family for decades – like going to Massie’s for my son’s 2nd birthday. His grandfather is on the 68th year of the same tradition.
I grew up in Lake George and had a wonderful childhood – I wouldn’t change it for the world. But there was always something about Glens Falls that drew me in. Having lived here now, I feel there’s a magic quality to Glens Falls that’s rooted in tradition and pride. These are the qualities that I want in a place where I bring up my boys.
P.S. Check out more of our My Glens Falls series here.