My Glens Falls: Steph Rollo

This week, we’re chatting with Steph Rollo! As a registered nurse at Glens Falls Hospital for over 20 years, she’s seen quite the transformation in Glens Falls through that time! We were excited to find out what she loves about her job, how she hits reset after work, and the downtown shops she wishes would re-open.

 
Steph Rollo outside Glens Falls Hospital

Steph Rollo outside Glens Falls Hospital

 

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Steph Rollo and I have worked as a registered nurse at Glens Falls Hospital (GFH) for almost 21 years. I am a certified gastroenterology nurse (CGRN) and I am very active in our shared leadership structure at GFH. I love what I do. I go into work each day with a smile.

Being a nurse allows me to care for and interact with our community members. They are our neighbors, friends and families. I want to help take the best possible care of them. That can be in preventative medicine such as educating people about colon cancer prevention, for example. It can be helping to care for those who need treatment for existing health issues, actively participating in their procedures and recovery, as well as providing follow-up care.

Our mission statement at GFH is to improve the health of people in our region by providing access to exceptional, affordable, and patient-centered care every day and in every setting. As a nurse, I have had the pleasure of seeing firsthand the teamwork, pride, and genuine care that goes into what we do. I know the level of commitment that our nurses have for the care that we provide to our community and I am happy to be a part of that team.

It's pretty awesome when your work is also your passion. I’m very blessed to be able to do what I love.  

On Life in Glens Falls

I don’t live in Glens Falls, but I have lived in the area my whole life. I went to school in Lake George but Glens Falls is definitely my second home. More specifically, I guess the hospital is like my second home. Most of my family lives in the area as well.

I stay in this area because I genuinely love it and the sense of community that we have here. People go above and beyond to help each other. One of my close friends was new to the area and after running into several friends and people that I knew she asked me if there was anyone that I didn’t know. I don’t think that I have ever met a stranger and I can thank my parents for that. I love getting to know people and their “stories.” I’m fascinated by people. I love books and the stories within their pages, but nothing compares to real-life narrations and the richness of hearing people tell their stories. Thankfully, my profession provides me with countless opportunities to meet people.

I’ve seen such a positive transformation in Glens Falls over the last 15 years or so. There has been so much growth and new businesses seem to open up all of the time. Realtors and developers are recognizing the potential of Glens Falls.

I love the four seasons and the countless community activities that happen throughout the entire year here. The Wood Theater and The Park Theater are two great places to catch some live entertainment. Our area has been on the sports map for a long time with major teams considering our area as conducive to the development of their young players. Our family used to have season tickets to the Detroit Red Wings AHL affiliate, The Adirondack Red Wings. Many hockey players that were on their way up passed through our arena. As a result, many of the prominent athletes who spent time in our area, made it their home. When people come here, they stay here.

For me, this area will always read as home on my GPS.

While I do not own a home in Glens Falls, I have always admired and appreciated the vintage architecture, character and true hometown feeling that it has to offer. The buildings and homes each tell a story and add to the richness of our community. I love seeing people invest in older homes and renovate them to make them new again, while maintaining their character, heritage and history.

Glens Falls has a way of making you feel welcome and feel as if you are a part of things. I love that it is family-friendly and safe. I see our officers and rescue workers out and about daily making sure of it.

If you drive through town, you’ll see families spending time together, walkers and joggers, cyclists, and people with their dogs. We live in a very active area with plenty of fitness opportunities. We have area parks & recreation, The Adirondack Balloon Festival, concerts, Take a Bite, Taste of the North Country, the LARAC arts festival, the Glens Falls Symphony, vintage car shows, and so much more to enjoy. These are just some of the community events and activities that foster community connections. There is just always something to do.

Some Glens Falls Favorites

Glens Falls and our surrounding areas have such a uniquely strong sense of community. We rally around each other and support each other like no other place that I have seen. That’s my favorite thing about our area. When there is a time of need, people just lock arms and support each other. When we have local school activities and sporting events you will see family members, townspeople and local businesses all take part in the festivities.

Glens Falls is a town of traditions. One of my favorite annual events is the South High Marathon Dance. If you want to feel a palpable community pulse you cannot miss the way everyone pulls together to help local people, families and charities. Millions of dollars are raised by school kids, our community and the awesome businesses who contribute as well. That money stays in our community helping area people in need.

One hidden gem might be the Warren County Bikeway which offers over 18 miles of fun between Lake George and Glens Falls. It’s just another area activity that gets you outside and doesn’t cost you a penny to enjoy. That said though, I always tell people that mental health and physical health go hand in hand. So, go ahead and treat yourself to a little ice cream at one of shops while you’re at it.

A Perfect Glens Falls Day

My perfect day is usually one where I can hit the reset button, so to speak. I just like to take time to recharge and maybe do a little people watching while enjoying a hot tea or a latte.  My husband and I might take a wander through the Shirt Factory to check out local crafts, baked goods, food trucks and activities. Then, I would probably stop at a garden center (who am I kidding? …   probably a few) and grab-up some plants, trees and gardening supplies. I love spending time in my yard.

I always enjoy being home, sitting by a fire in my back yard, soaking up the sounds of nature. I like to watch my dogs play and spend time with family. My time is spent enjoying the natural attributes of the area. The beauty is that you don’t have to spend money to enjoy yourself here.

On the Past

Some of my favorite memories of Glens Falls center around the Adirondack Red Wings games and time with my family. Nights at the Civic Center brought people out no matter what the winter weather was.

As for favorite stores that I would like to see brought back, I really miss Downtown Charm and Muddy Boots Decor. They had some really cool vintage finds, chalk paint supplies and Pinterest classes with chocolate, wine and paint. I used to go there after work, with friends. The girls at the shops were always so much fun, too. If they announced that they were reopening, I could guarantee that I’d be right there to see it happen… and to get first dibs!

…And On the Future

I really think that our area is the package deal. The beauty of our region speaks for itself and there is so much to do. We have so many great restaurants, parks, bike paths, strong school systems, great local sports, and a fantastic library. I’m all for anything that promotes family time and strengthens our community.

I suppose if I could wave a magic wand the only thing that I’d ask for would be more time to enjoy what we already have.

 
Glens Falls Living

Thanks so much, Steph! We could go for more time to enjoy what this area has to offer, too.

P.S. Check out our other recent My Glens Falls features here.

 

My Glens Falls: Ray Fisher

This week, we’re excited to chat with Ray Fisher! We first connected with Ray after discovering his Instagram account, where he shares his beautiful photos of Downtown Glens Falls. We were thrilled to learn a bit more about him, including his favorite spot for ice cream, and the one place he’d love to photograph a sunrise from.

 
Photo courtesy of    Ray Fisher   .

Photo courtesy of Ray Fisher.

 

Tell us about yourself!

I’m Ray Fisher, a photographer and dad to 3 amazing little girls and a baby boy.

On Life in Glens Falls

I've lived here most of my life, except when I was very young and a 2 year hiatus in Florida.

I came back to Glens Falls because I've lived here so long that a lot of my friends still live up here, not that I didn't make great friends in Florida (miss you guys). but friends are one of the most important things to me and I've been lucky to have some great ones. 

I stayed in Glens Falls because I fell for my wife (I knew her a long time before that, but we both grew up) and we had our first munchkin. My family is my entire world and everything I do now is to hopefully create things they can be proud of.

We rent a house in the city, just makes more financial sense right now. And honestly, I just love that my neighborhood has a park within walking distance - it really helps keep the kids busy in the summer.

Some Glens Falls Favorites

My favorite thing about Glens Falls has to be the aesthetic. I'm a visual person and just the fact that I can walk down the street and see an old Gothic church, walk a few blocks and see some old buildings with old iron fire escapes, old houses with their own personality, go walk around an old cemetery, and then walk around the woods (I know Cole's Woods is technically Queensbury but eh I still walk them).

A Perfect Glens Falls Day

Honestly, my perfect day in Glens Falls would probably be waking up super early, going out and getting some nice sunrise shots hopefully from someplace elevated (I've been wanting to get on top of the Traveler's Building forever). Then come home, wake up my kids, go outside and let them play for a while. Then we all go get ice cream at Cooper’s Cave because I am a sucker for mixing all those soft serve flavors. Then take ‘em all to the movies assuming something we want to see is playing. Then after we tuck them in, leave the kids with grandma and go take some night portraits of my wife out and around town. Yeah, that sounds like a pretty good day.

 
Photo courtesy of    Ray Fishe   r.

Photo courtesy of Ray Fisher.

 

On The Past

I have a loooooot of memories of Glens Falls, but one of the best has to be when I was around 11, my mother used to work at East Field when the Lumberjacks still played here. She would bring me to work, so I got to watch the teams warm up, plus I would always walk around under the bleachers looking for foul balls (I found like 30). Then one day just to put the icing on the cake, I won a raffle they had to win a ball autographed by the entire team! I know it wasn't any big team or anything, but it was great. 

As for a favorite store I miss two things - the first is Jolly John’s, my mom used to take me down there to get fried clams like once or twice a month. I walk by the building everyday, and it still brings back memories. The second is the original spot for Dirty John's (New Way Lunch) - not that the new spot isn't great, I still eat there like all the time, it's just nostalgia.

…And on The Future

As for the future, honestly if I could bring one thing to Glens Falls, it would be one giant creative space for every creative mind we have in this area to get together, talk, collaborate, create, and just be around other creatives. All for free (or at least affordable enough for everyone) with spaces and equipment for photographers, videographers, artists, musicians, and any creative project to just be able to come together and work on creating. We are lucky to live in an area with as much artistic support that we have, but there are still some barriers that are difficult for some people to overcome - musicians have a hard time finding a space to practice, high school students can't afford studio space, that kind of thing. I just want to take the starving out of starving artist.

Honestly, this area is just a great place to raise a family - no hurricanes, no tornadoes, lots of snow, beautiful lakes and mountains within driving distance. As a photographer, I am very lucky that I live here, but as a father I feel pretty good about sticking around.

 
Glens Falls Living
 

Thanks so much, Ray, and congratulations to you and your family on your new baby boy!

See more of Ray’s work here.

P.S. Check out last week’s My Glens Falls with Sarah Mosher here.

My Glens Falls: Sarah Mosher

This week, we’re chatting with Sarah Mosher! If you’ve ever been to Morgan and Company, you’re sure to recognize her smiling face. We were so happy to have the opportunity to get to know her a bit better, including where she grew up, what brought her here, and all of the sweet reasons why she’s so happy to call Glens Falls home now. Fair warning, her answers might just make you fall in love with our city even more…

Sarah Mosher outside  Morgan and Company  in Glens Falls

Sarah Mosher outside Morgan and Company in Glens Falls

Tell us about yourself!

I’m Sarah Mosher, a server at Morgan and Company Restaurant. My husband is Michael, he's a manager at the Queensbury 99 Restaurant. We have three dogs that I'm mildly obsessed with: two pomeranians (JoJo and Nora) and a corgi mix (Sawyer).

I grew up in Hilton, a village outside of Rochester, New York. My sister, Emily lives close in Albany (she also attended SUNY Albany), the rest of my family still resides in western NY.  My father and sisters visit here in the summer, it's always nice showing them what's new and exploring the area with them.

One of my favorite things about my job is chatting with people who are passing through or visiting. I love hearing newcomers rave about how much they enjoy our little city. I also love the familiar faces of the regulars who brighten a shift when they come in. Working outside in the warmer months is wonderful, the view of City Park and the gazebo are a treat. I work with a good crew, that are more friends than just coworkers. Ever since I started working there I felt more connected to the community of Glens Falls, it's a nice feeling.

On Life in Glens Falls

I am a transplant to the city.  After finishing college at SUNY Albany, my roommate and I moved here because we got summer jobs in Lake George. Apartments were hard to come by in LG, so we decided to look in Glens Falls. We thought it would be fun to work the summer then move on to a new adventure. After the summer had ended, I had fallen in love with the area, its hometown feel, and I decided to stay. It was the perfect balance of urban and rural to me - I can walk to shops and restaurants, yet a hike in the mountains surrounded by wilderness is a quick drive away. That was back in 2005 and since then this has been my home.

Admittedly, I had never heard of Glens Falls until moving here, but my mother had. She was a labor and delivery nurse and the first hospital she had worked at, Genessee Hospital in Rochester, had modeled its birthing unit after the Glens Falls Hospital's. I wouldn't be surprised if I were to learn she had snuck away to the hospital during one of my family's visits to ask for a tour of their snuggery and chat with fellow nurses.

Michael and I bought a house on Vanderheyden Street about two years ago. It's around the corner from the house on William Street where he grew up and his mother still resides at. I have a great mother in law, it's nice to live so close to her since most of my family lives hours away. Some of our neighbors have lived here since Michael was a kid, so he already knew them. He even has a memory of trick or treating as a kid at the house we now own, at the time 3 elderly woman lived there and handed out homemade cookies for Halloween treats.   

I am in love with our home. We've been doing projects to put our own stamp on it. It's fun realizing we're both more handy than we thought we were. Michael was delighted to learn he's good at fixing a leaking toilet. We just put in a new window in our upstairs hall so now we're painting a new color. Of course that has now led to new carpet for the stairs. There's always a new project lurking, we really enjoy making our house our home.

I love to garden and our yard was a blank canvas. My favorite thing in summer is tending to my vegetable garden, mowing the lawn, adding new perennials to the landscape.

In the warmer weather I take the dogs for long morning walks through our neighborhood. I know most people by their dogs - there is a Newfoundland named Oliver on Hunter Street that always has a lot to bark about. His owner and I usually exchange pleasantries while shouting over the canine conversation between our pups.

Some Glens Falls Favorites

There's a lot I love about the city of Glens Falls. Early summer Saturday mornings at the farmers market or spending a snowy day stocking up on books to read at Crandall Library. Picking up a Chronicle to read during morning coffee is a weekly habit of mine. I enjoy the festivals - LARAC, Taste of the North Country, and the car show downtown during the Balloon Festival. It's nice when downtown is bustling with a good vibe.  

I appreciate the location of Glens Falls. There's all sorts of opportunities for a good day trip.  Recently we went to MASS MoCA, a fantastically fun art museum in Massachusetts. This past fall, we ventured to the Grafton Peace Pagoda - a beautiful serene structure in the middle of the woods. Both trips took us through country roads with gorgeous views, covered bridges, passing through villages and rolling farmland on the way.

The community garden by Rite Aid always has gorgeous sunflowers that bloom near the end of summer. I drive by it on my way to work and love when the sunflowers have matured to their towering size and glory. It is awesome that the empty lawn was turned into a space with purpose and beauty.

Last summer a drum circle was popping up here and there in City Park. One afternoon they were playing and I had just finished a brunch shift, so I wandered across the street, sat on a bench enjoying the balmy, sunny, summer day, and listening to their music. It's so neat that a bunch of people can gather with no set song and produce such pretty music.

Sarah Mosher

Sarah Mosher

A Perfect GF Day

A perfect Glens Falls day for me would start at Rock Hill Bakehouse (now The Exchange Cafe) for breakfast. They have a great vegan menu. Maybe pop into Rude Betty or Laura's Vintage, two favorite shops of mine. Rude Betty has a lot of quirky things, and Laura's Vintage has a beautiful collection of clothes and jewelry from the past.  

Then I'd probably take the dogs for a stroll through the trails in Crandall Park. If they mind their manners, I'd probably take them for a doggy ice cream at Coopers Cave.

I would wind down the day with inviting my sister and brother in law, Emily and Casey, up from Albany for hibachi at Mikado. Maybe grab a nightcap at Fenimore's Pub at the Queensbury Hotel, it's super cozy (and in good proximity to work and home).

On the Past

I miss the store Poor Richards Antiques. It was always fun to browse and buy. There was an electroshock therapy machine in there that was creepy and intriguing. Someone actually bought it and I wonder why.

The window displays of Downtown Charm, it was a cute shop.

A nice memory was one snowy night when my husband and I went to Fenimore's and ran into the night manager, Frank. My husband knew him from he had worked at The Queensbury years before. Frank ended up giving us a late night tour of the hotel, mostly for me since Michael had worked there. But we walked through the quiet hotel with our wine while Frank told little anecdotes about various spots in the hotel and took us through "behind the scene" spots. I thought the old mail slot that goes through each floor of the hotel ending in the lobby was super cool.  This was years ago, before they had begun to restore the hotel.

…And on the Future

A bookstore would be a nice addition. Maybe a mixture of new and used books. There was Red Fox Books years ago...

My dream would be to have a Wegmans grocery store open up here. Being from western New York, we have a cult like appreciation for Wegmans. Although thinking of grocery stores, I was sorry to see the Cooper Street Price Chopper close - it was super convenient to pop into. A Trader Joes would be a neat replacement in that empty space

 
Glens Falls Living
 

Thanks so much, Sarah! We’ll keep our fingers crossed for that book store :)

P.S. Catch last week’s My Glens Falls with Maura Forcier here.

My Glens Falls: Maura Forcier

We’re excited to introduce My Glens Falls, a weekly feature in which we’ll chat with neighbors who live or work in Glens Falls, learn a bit more about them, and hear their city favorites - past, present, and future. This week, we’re kicking things off with one of our go-to gals for fashion, Maura Forcier of MinkyMink! Read on to find out why she’s stayed local, a favorite store from her childhood (anyone else remember going there?!), and her favorite spot for date night.

Maura Forcier

Maura Forcier

Tell us about yourself!

My name is Maura Eilene Forcier and I own MinkyMink in Downtown Glens Falls. Before I owned my own business, I worked in healthcare marketing. When I'm not at the shop, you'll find me trail running with my dogs (Phoebe + Cody) or adventuring around the Adirondacks with my husband, Mike.

On Life in Glens Falls

I'm a Lake George native, so I grew up in the area. I went to college in Vermont and then lived in Saratoga as well. So, I've managed to stay local. I moved back to Glens Falls from Saratoga in 2015 when my husband and I bought a home. Glens Falls was so much more economical than other places that we looked at and our jobs are both in Glens Falls, so it was a no-brainer for us. You can get so much more bang for your buck when you buy a home in this city. 

My husband and I own a two family home very close to Downtown. It's a white brick house built in 1920 that we absolutely adore. We are slowly renovating it and making it our own. What I love about our neighborhood is that it's close to everything, so I can walk to MinkyMink in literally 5 minutes! Yet somehow, it's still so hard for me to be on time! 

Some Glens Falls Favorites

Where do I begin? I love our little city! I spend a lot of time in Cole's Woods where I run a few times a week. It's great for running, walking or mountain biking. In the winter, they light up the trails at night for cross country skiing, which is very cool. If you haven't been there, take advantage of it! 

MinkyMink, Downtown Glens Falls, NY

MinkyMink, Downtown Glens Falls, NY

A Perfect GF Day

I love this question! My perfect day in Glens Falls would have to start with some sort of exercise. Either running in Cole's Woods, a class at Yoga Kayla, Hot Yoga Queensbury or at the YMCA. After breaking a sweat, I would head over to Spektor with some girlfriends and order a cafe au lait and a "Fresh." After breakfast, I'd drive to Crandall Park with husband and let my dogs run around. If I'm at MinkyMink, I usually order a salad from Gourmet Cafe (they know my order by heart) and they will run it down to me if they aren't super busy. I also frequent the Juicin' Jar, where I get a beet juice or a smoothie. If I get some free time, I always like to check out Fountain Square Outfitters to see what new gear they have in store. Love their Darn Tough socks! If it's a treat myself kind of day, I would get a manicure at Nails by Bari. She always does an amazing job! For dinner, my husband and I frequent Raul's...their taro chips are my favorite. For drinks, we would stop by Mean Max for a beer and then head over to Downtown Social so I can get a prosecco. Voila, a perfect Glens Falls Day! 

On the Past

My cousin Mary Kate grew up in Glens Falls, so I would spend a lot of time at her house. We would always ride our bikes to "The Big Party," which used to be in the Quaker Plaza. We would get candy, games, and what ever else we could buy with the little money we had. I remember riding our bikes all around Glens Falls and visiting with family, friends and spending time outside. I'm feeling nostalgic already! 

…and On the Future

It would be so awesome if there was a dog park in Glens Falls. I take my pups to Crandall Park a lot, but it would be so fun if there was a designated space for dogs so they could run around and socialize with each other. 

A lot of my customers comment that there isn't enough parking downtown. If we could build a multi level parking garage, I know it would increase business in Glens Falls. 

The Glens Falls community has been so supportive of MinkyMink and I'm grateful that I am able to live, work and play in this city. I'm excited for all of the new businesses opening up and look forward to the continued growth of Glens Falls.

 
Glens Falls NY
 

Thanks, Maura!