Upstate of Mind

upstate NY


This past week we made our annual summer pilgrimage to upstate NY to visit my husband’s family. At the close of the 18th century his ancestors settled right on the border of the Adirondack Park in Gloversville. It truly is God’s country. Our days there are spent fishing, playing cards and eating way too much.

jumbo cookies

We’re talking huge roasts of pork and beef, tuna macaroni salad and of course, the requisite end to every meal, chocolate molasses cookies with icing aptly named “Jumbos.” Yes, I always return from these summer days feeling a little jumbo myself.


Down the road in Johnstown is home to our favorite breakfast spot — it’s probably also the smallest! Just six stools at the counter, three little booths and all the orders are made by Mike one at a time.


It’s called “Pete’s” but everyone I know calls it “Mike’s.”

Next time, I’ll get a photo of the inside, I promise! Charming, clean, family owned (by our Uncle Gus’ family, no less), great ingredients and the girls’ favorite pancakes. Our breakfast for four was $19.95! What more can you ask for?

pete's snack bar

That’s my cheesy fried egg and bacon breakfast sandwich on rye. Not a crumb was left on that plate!

Gloversville is the former glove manufacturing capitol of the world. True story —it took one of my dearest, smartest friends about three years to make the connection with gloves and Gloversville — and she’s a brunette!


Once a bustling metropolis, after the EPA’s stricter regulations came into play in the 1970’s the mills went belly up. The town never was the same; you can practically bowl down Main Street.


Still, some artisans honor the town’s heritage like my friend  Daniel Storto. Daniel has created a pinky size, gem of a shop right next to the old Glover theatre.  He makes the most incredible, beautiful custom gloves. If you don’t believe me, ask Hamish Bowles.



Glove tools.

gorgeous gloves

This town is also made famous by Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo’s his books are loosely based on this area. Bridge of SighsEmpire Falls and Nobody’s Fool show the highs and lows of old tannery towns. They are all amazing reads if you’re looking for a summer page turner. We also enjoyed his latest book, Elsewhere  a memoir about growing up in Gloversville. You can find them all at Amazon.

Richard Russo

You’ve heard of Adirondack chairs?  Well, this is our version of an Adirondack table.

upstate NY

Wine and worms.

luna moth

Luna moth.


Until next time…

Back in Santa Barbara we are doing our best to pick-up the pace again — with our calendar and on the elliptical. However, a plate of Jumbos on the counter wouldn’t be an entirely bad idea.