“Living in Upstate New York involves wasting one’s time in a pickup truck driving 20 miles to buy a gingham dress or a Sears and Roebuck suit. I’m telling you, it’s a joke.” – Ed Koch
That quote, given by the late former mayor of New York City to Playboy magazine during an infamous interview, is widely blamed for helping lose Koch the upstate vote in the 1982 Democratic gubernatorial primary, in which he was defeated by one Mario Cuomo, who was then serving as lieutenant governor.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
As politically inexpedient – OK, downright bone-headed – as Koch’s comments were, let’s admit it, there was probably a whiff of truth there, which is why they stung all the more for upstaters. But upstate has come a long way since then in the culture department.
I’m here to tell you that while the Capital District has been maligned for decades, perhaps even centuries, for being a wasteland filled with unsophisticated bumpkins, this place knows how to have throw a fancy party that is on par with events found in much more supposedly upscale and metropolitan areas.
That’s particularly true in the summer, that all-too-fleeting season when we feel pressed to squeeze in every ounce of fun in anticipation of winter’s return. We need these moments, and these memories, to get us through months of dreary cloudy days and freezing temperatures that do not lend themselves to flimsy dresses and ice-filled drinks.
Also, summer brings track season, and with it a whole crop of people who are in the area specifically to have a good time.
But glitz and glitter aside, there’s an altruistic side to all this hedonism. Swanky parties are often one of the largest fundraisers of the year for local nonprofits. So, when you attend, not only are you going to potentially have a good time, but you’ll be helping various organizations to do their important work.
Check out these upcoming events, and consider adding one or two – heck, maybe even all of them – to your social calendar.
The Albany Institute of History & Art Museum Gala, Friday, June 7th.
The Junior League of Troy 90th Anniversary Gala, Saturday, June 8th.
2019 GLSEN NYCR Gala, Clue Themed, Thursday, June 13th.
Saratoga Automobile Museum’s Annual Gala, Friday, June 21st.
The Black & White Scholarship Ball, Saturday, June 22nd.
The Annual Double H Ranch Gala, Saturday, June 22nd.
The Siro’s Cup, Wednesday, July 10.
Light up the Night, Friday, July 12.
Saratoga Bridges Annual Gala: “The White Party,” Saturday, July 13th.
SPAC’s New York City Ballet Gala,” Saturday, July 20th.
Saratoga Hospital Foundation’s 37th Annual Summer Gala, Wednesday, July 31st.