Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Riggis Suck

To describe the Spa City’s Riggi family as a group of arrogant ego-maniacal gasbags is to use far too endearing terms for them. About a six years ago, Ron and Michelle Riggi used their millions to turn the corner of North Broadway and Greenfield Avenue into a gigantic toilet. Now he’s using his seemly endless pile of cash to lay a giant log-sized stinker in it for the entire city to smell.

There were times when the city’s most ostentatious family seemed like that weren’t all that bad. They tossed money at the YMCA to build the new palatial facility off Ballston Avenue, and they’ve been diligent socialites at the city’s circuit of black-tie fundraisers. But with the stunt they are pulling on Greenfield Avenue, there’s simply no way around it any more: The Riggis flat-out suck.

This gang of wealthy plutocrats feels they’re special enough –ordained enough even –to flout city law by arbitrarily demolishing a home that has stood since the dying days of the America Civil War. They purposely hid their intent with the one-third acre property so that they could get a jump on demolishing its perfectly livable home before preservationists by the droves started lobbing grenades over their North Broadway fence and burning Riggi effigies outside city hall. Well, the gig is up.

The Saratogian reports the Riggis as the proud new owner of a historic home that will either be reduced to rubble or left to rot as they sue the living hell out of the city. This news comes roughly a month after a number of preservation-minded residents raised suspicion about the bizarre deconstruction of the two-story brick house; including the removal of its windows and adjoining porches.

Media inquiries into the matter determined Jim Taylor, the CEO of the Gloversville-based Taylor Made Products, had sold the property to an undisclosed buyer. Natural speculation drifted toward the Riggis next door. For years, there was speculation that the queen Riggi wanted more land to let her two dozen mongrels run free and unfettered. Unfortunately, her betrothed built a palatial compound on their more than ample acre of land, which happens to be one of the largest lots on North Broadway. And we all know small dogs don’t like running around on imported stone walkways.

So buying Taylor’s house and knocking it down seemed like a logical expansion for the Riggis. And they’re really one of the only families crazy enough to spend at least $1.1 million for a beautiful historic home, only to bulldoze it into the ground to expand their lot.

Now some more libertarian-minded residents might argue it’s their god-given right to do whatever they please with the property, provided they follow the letter of the law. Despite its age, the building is not located on any historical registry and is only considered a ‘contributing structure’ to a nearby historic district. But this argument simply doesn’t hold water in the case of the Riggis, who basically used surreptitious means to force the future demolition of the building.

They denied having any hand in the alleged asbestos abatement –a farce used to hide the fact they were having a clearinghouse of the home’s historic fixtures –being conducted on the property. Then when then media started sniffing around, the hastily slung together a limited liability corporation to hide the fact that they had bought the property. And they likely would have carried on with the unpermitted demolition –or at least as much as they could –if it weren’t for the stop-work order the city issued last month.

Now the home is exposed to the elements, leaving the city with precious few options. In its present condition, the building will sustain enough damage in a few years that it will become nearly impossible for even the most preservation-minded developer to rescue it from ruin. This is exactly the situation the Riggis will unfold for the city amid what is sure to be a nice long drag through the legal system.

This is what is known in Saratoga Springs as the Levinsky Method of demolition: Allow something to rot for long enough and the city’s bound to capitulate. Granted, it’s not the most expedient method of demolition. It took pompous developer Bruce Levinsky more than seven years to convince the city the wing of the Rip Van Dam built in 1832 was dilapidated enough to demolish. During that time, the city council hemmed and hawed until there was literally no option other than to allow Levinsky to have his way.

The same sort demolition-by-deterioration is occurring on Franklin Street, where a once-grand Victorian isn’t likely to weather another season without sustaining serious structural damage. Absentee owner Joseph Boff was also lobbying to wreck the building before the city’s Preservation Foundation intervened with an appeal to the media. Boff has since withdrawn his demolition application, but has not said whether he’ll try to restore the prominent home built in 1871. And with each day that passes, the notion that he will endeavor a restoration seems more and more unlikely.

In the case of both Levinsky and Boff, the property owners have somewhat legitimate claims, because fixing up dilapidated historic structures can be a real financial strain. However, the Riggis have no such argument for their project; or at least not yet. The home they purchased was listed in “excellent” condition, according to Saratoga County’s Office of Real Property. In fact, the building and garage themselves were assessed at roughly $844,000, a sum the Riggis don’t mind throwing to the wind.

So what can the city do? In short, nothing at all. The city council can approve a so-called demolition moratorium this week and hope to work something out with the Riggis. But their attorney is already threatening litigation if the demolition permit is not granted. Even if there is a moratorium installed, it won’t prevent the home from sustaining untold damage from the elements.

In truth, the only people who can do anything about this debacle are the residents of the city themselves. Anyone who has had the displeasure of meeting the Riggis understands they have a flavor for the limelight. Michelle loves to have her mug plastered in the Lifestyles section of the Saratogian, and her hubby hasn’t been one to shy away from cameras. So why not declare a moratorium on everything Riggi? Tell these bastards the Spa City views them as an icon of modern consumption and wastefulness. No pictures, no names, no nothing; effectively turn the Riggis into the name that nobody mentions. Not even if their snot-nosed silver-spoon sucking son appears on Gossip Girl.

Some of our more intrepid, less-law abiding residents could take things a bit farther. Rotten eggs lobbed from afar could easily lend a nice hue –and fitting smell –for the Riggi Mansion. Midnight dog walks could also lend a nice touch for the home’s exterior. Just tell Fido to aim between the bars of the wrought-iron fence. And lastly, there’s always the shouting of obscenities at them while they dine out or walk downtown; or do anything. In the end, they should feel a sense of the outrage they have caused with this stund. So here’s a nice and formal ‘fuck you’ going out to the Riggis from their friends over here at iSaratoga. Maybe one of these days they’ll grow a semblance of a soul. But that's about as doubtful as the city’s ability to protect its stock of historical structures from the whims of the rich and powerful.


Blogger muldoonmedia said...

Great post Horatio, but you are correct in saying that a fond "fuck you" farewell to the Riggi's isn't going to happen thanks to Hollywood and television glorifying these types, they are hailed as heroes instead of spiritually bankrupt creatures they have become. We have allowed this behavior on some level.

As the city continues on its downward spiral, I can only imagine when the people of saratoga get a clue as to what is happening to them (the ghetto-ization of saratoga is just beginning,) they will be reduced to standing outside of the gates of the Riggi castle while Mrs.Riggi exclaims "Let them eat Cake"


10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, that's a cock-n-bull waitress for you. New Money.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw them eating breakfast at Beverly's last Saturday morning. If I see them again, I will give them some "You Suck" with their morning coffee.

Do they realize people laugh at that overdone crap hole on North Broadway?

11:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Money alone has never been enough to impress us Natives. Marylou would never pull a stunt like this. We love rich scoundrels in this town but only if they love Saratoga.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Carusone, the Riggi's lawyer, is a Saratoga Native and should be ashamed of himself. He comes from a fine Saratoga family and I am shocked he would do such a thing out of greed.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, but f#%k you. If you want to save it you should have bought it. It's very easy to complain about how others spend THEIR money. Maybe it would have been better for the property to fall into the disrepair that the beautiful old sandstone mansion was in before the big brick shithouse was built at the corner of Broadway and rte 50. Let a few rats populate the neighborhood and then talk to the neighbors!

12:46 PM  
Blogger Randy said...

im not sure if its jealousy, but i just cant stand to look at these two fools. their house is one of the uglier additions to north broadway, that is a fact.

some other interesting info on mr. riggi is that he built his empire by stealing confidential information from General Electric. crime pays my friends. and now look at him, a wealthy crook with a wife whos about one more facelift away from looking like joan rivers.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Apt comparison of Mrs. Riggi to Marie Antoinette, muldoon!

As Mrs. Slocombe on "Are You Being Served?" said, "All the WRONG people have the money!" So true.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The epitome of Guido Trash

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Botox Depot said...

Hey watch out. She is my bread & butter - my Customer Numero Uno.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous oh well said...

I will admit to being a bit envious of the Riggi's. It would be nice not to have to worry much about payments and such (or following the rules or the laws). But there seems to be a bit too much "fear" associated with them. A few years ago when a friend of mine was opening a business in town someone mentioned to beware of Ms. Riggi. If she felt that she did not get "serviced to her liking" she would do her best to close you down. I could not believe that. Business owners were afraid that if they didn't kiss her feet (or other said parts) that they would be bad mouthed out of town?

I don't believe Ms. Riggi frequents much of anything in town that doesn't directly benefit her family, so I don't know how much truth there was to that rumor.

In fact, other than putting their name to balls and galas so they can rub elbows with the rest of their kind, I don't really believe they do much at all for the town. The YMCA would have happened with or without them. And as for the other so called "Saratoga Socialites"? To quote one of the socialites attending a function, when asked how she felt about the Shelters of Saratoga - she answered "it's all about the animals." YEAH - nuff said.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you softened your remarks against Bruce Levinsky. He has done such nice improvements with all of the restorations in our community.

Let's not forget that Mr Riggi got where he is by screwing over his employer, GE. It was a court battle and he won, but was it ethical?

The evidence surely makes the Riggis look bad. Let's see how they handle the pressure ......

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Cheese and dog pizza said...

Just call Skippy and Ron’s catering the Riggi’s have enough fresh meat to cater a wedding.

That way you can settle the 27 dog’s problem in one day.

7:17 PM  
Blogger BlueDog said...

Health, History, Horses.

A big part of what makes Saratoga Springs so great is our history best exlemplified through our beautiful homes and historic buildings downtown (those that remain, thanks Bruce).

The Riggis seem determined to destroy any good feelings the citizens of Saratoga might have for them; let them be. I think the City Council could stop this if they banded together for the good of the community to add this historic property to a protected district. C'mon guys I know you read this blog, do something to protect our history!!

7:38 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


I wish I could say there was something they could do. But aside from them buying the place, I can't think of what it could be. Even the moratorium wouldn't stop them, I'm afraid. Chances are pretty good they'd answer that or a rejected demo permit with an article 78 proceeding. Then you have big money against taxpayer money. And even if they win, there is still the problem that there's a historic house with no windows that's exposed to the elements. I think, unfortunately, this is a lose-lose situation for everyone but the Riggis.


The only people that can save that brick structure are those with $1.1 million or more. That significantly lowers the pool of candidates to grab the place.

Look, I could somewhat understand toppling a historic structure that's falling into the ground. But one that is a perfectly intact residence with historical significance? I draw the line there. This is reprehensible enough of an act that even the libertarian in me can't condone it.

8:00 PM  
Anonymous Ula said...

"The overdone crap hole on North Broadway!" Too funny! I wonder if they really know - they have to - how much we revile their house. It's a blight, an eyesore, is too big for its property boundaries, and is just plain tacky. Perhaps I could advise them as to good taste...hey, Riggis! I work cheap!

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done H. I can't believe she lied to the Saratogian about the house. That goes along with the 10-foot wall they wanted to build. It's all about becoming the next Mary Lou. Of course, nobody is talking about avoiding/lowering taxes.

8:20 PM  
Anonymous PlanetAlbany said...

Good post, Horatio, m'boy. I too was inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt before this, and even defended the Broadway house against my wife's denunciations. But this is outrageous.
I don't agree that there's nothing the city could do. There's always the bully pulpit. Johnson and Kim could campaign with dueling denunciations of and demands on the Riggis. Nil desperandum.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 12:44 said -
"John Carusone, the Riggi's lawyer, ....I am shocked he would do such a thing out of greed."

As a friend was states, "Everything is grist to the lawyer's mill."

In the 1980's didn't John and Mimi buy a radio station (or two) in Vermont and claimed Vermont as their legal residence...something to do with taxes ?

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Riggis had any sense at all they would move into 23 Greenfield Avenue and tear down the monstrosity they built--or perhaps IT would be suitable for the dogs.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Gerard Hawthorne said...

I think you are giving the Riggi's a raw deal here. I have fond memories of their family. When I coached little league I started a fall baseball league for little leaguers that combined both sides of town. I had the privelege to coach Ron and Michelle's son's Vince and Chris. These were good well mannered children and their parents were down to earth caring people. I still remember the gesture that Ron made that saved our league for not only that season but many seasons to come. When having an issue of not enough insurance coverage Ron came forward and donated the funds needed to make the league a success. This fall league is still running today and we can thank the Riggi's for that!

4:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't blame their lawyer, he's just doing his job for his client. Don't forget we have two lawyers on the Council and two City attorneys that work for the rest of us.

The venerable and beloved Saratoga Socialite MLW will never be replaced by a cheesy performance hound that doesn’t understand that just because she can, she shouldn’t. Marie Antoinette is a good analogy – but we’re not ready to settle for cake.

5:01 AM  
Blogger Faulkner said...


I think it's time to change your handle to Thomas Paine.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see that jealousy and envy are still alive here in SS.

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some to agree with some not so much. The Riggi's have been generous to Saratoga Springs in mostly annonymous ways. Yes, they have handled this incident poorly, but they own the house. If people don't like what they plan to do wtih their own property those folks should open their own wallets and buy it.

6:34 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...


I won't deny that the Riggis contribute more than their fair share philanthropically. And for that reason, I think many Saratogians, including myself, overlooked both the way they acquired their money and then the gaudy way they spent a good quotient of it on North Broadway. Had they stopped there, I would have no problem with them, outside my usual issues with the extremely wasteful uber-rich.

But the fact that they thought for a minute they could avoid this scathing criticism by playing dumb suggests a whole new arrogance that can't be covered up with spur-of-the-moment donations to the little league or YMCA. They crossed a line here in a major way. And now it's their choice whether they want to make nice with the community or spit in its collective face. Judging by the enormous wall that surrounds their compound, I have a feeling they'll do the latter.


Why is it when someone criticizes the opulence and arrogance of the wealthy, there is always someone who immediately boils their qualms down to jealousy? Do you honestly think I'm jealous of the Riggis' lifestyle? Can you make that assessment by simply reading my blog? Or the anonymous posts by others castigating a rich family and its wanton disregard for the heritage that comes with owning property in this city?

Allow me to turn this around: I think jealousy is at the root of the Riggis' construction of their compound on North Broadway; jealousy that they're not and never will be old money. They are the proverbial Gatsbys of Saratoga. They built that mansion to show themselves every bit as wealthy as the city's old money. Why do you think the mansion was built directly across the street from the Quadracci estate and not on a more fitting plot somewhere on the outskirts? Because they wanted to show off their opulence to the rest of us; namely the wealthy among us. It's a bold statement, made even bolder by the fact that they don't care what kind of history they're treading over. They care about the statement they're making. Now I'm here to lift my middle finger upward toward their mansion so they know their money is bunk; so they understand no amount of charity will launder their tawdry image; I'm here to tell them to fuck off. There are some things money can't buy, and one of them is our free speech.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous the wretched said...


8:44 AM  
Blogger Ben Arnold said...


The Riggis are operating an ILLEGAL dog kennel. If they're going to sue to get their expanded dog run, I suggest the city move to shut down the kennel. With leverage, the city might come to a compromise where the puppies can have their expanded yard as long as the structure stays.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Just Wondering Why? said...

Great points!
Tawdry is the best description I have heard about The Riggis. Seeing such a large group of people turn out last night to voice their opinion was terrifc.
The ball is in their (Riggi) court now. If they proceed they break the local law.
Even worse they will never be able to "buy back" a good reputation. Their reputation is what is at stake here.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HO, when I make a decision to do something - it's my decision and my motives are just that, MINE. Others can think what they wish, but I am allowed to live my life as I choose. The house that I decide to live in is my decision. Others who criticize me are free to do so, but their motives are usually guided by envy or jealousy. Envy that they can't do what I do or jealousy because they can't control my behavior - to them I don't live up to their standards, and of course to them they are the righteous and I am the villain. Take a look at the criticism that successful developers in town endure. If it weren't for them "the gut" and railroad ave would still look like crap.

In the end, the house was for sale, someone bought it, and they are doing what they planned to do. It is certainly what I would do but I am not arrogant enough to force my opinion on them.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Gerard Hawthorne said...

The jury is still not out on what they can do with the house. I would wait a few weeks and see if a opportunity arises to help all involved. The Riggi's are good people and I will give them the benefit of the doubt.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate that monstrosity of a house that they built. It's so refreshing to read the posts today. Almost everyone agrees for once.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You asked Leah of the TU to add some history about 23 Greenfield Ave....the Preservation Foundation's report is available at their office and at the history room at the Saratoga library.

Drew (at the Post Star) has lited some history,"...According to the Preservation Foundation, the home was built in 1858 — James Buchanan was serving as president at the time — and first belonged to Mary S. Burr Wayland. Wayland was the daughter of Col. Samuel Young, who once served as Secretary of State in New York. The artist who designed the city seal later lived there, as did Lillian Bockes, one of the original trustees of what eventually became Skidmore College, the Preservation Foundation says."

Lots more in the report - like Mrs. Frank Leslie was also an owner.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Ula said...

Exactly, Horatio! Philanthropic they may have been and are, but that doesn't excuse bad taste.

4:48 PM  
Blogger shanghai dandy said...

New money is new money....

What do you expect?

When the food riots start, there's will be the first place to be looted. The Queen's dogs will go nicely with some BBQ sauce on an open flame. Anyone for bringing back the guillotine yet? No? Give it some time.

9:34 PM  
Blogger A small "r" republican for fairness said...


This was a pretty ballsy post. I'm not saying right or wrong...but definitely ballsy. Something you would NEVER read in our local paper...

I pray you don't end up in the bottom of the Hudson though with uncomfortable footwear...

Best to you,

Small 'r'

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let the dogshit fly! It is just another sad day in America when the rich trod roughshod over everyone and everything with no recourse. Why do people move here if they don't like the way it is? If those fuckers wanted a bigger yard they should have moved to the country! To spend almost a million dollars for a tear down is just so damn wasteful. All those fixtures and doors and moldings that are irreplaceable, no one can get the wood or craftsmanship that went into that house anymore. You can spend all the money you want and you will only end up with the bloated toy castle that looms on North Broadway now. Why is it that they are one of the only houses that is walled off? Surely the only one with a sentry outside their door? Are they scared of us Saratogians? We are such lowly scum, please hide from us in your gilded tower. Even if it is their "right" to knock down a perfectly lovely home, it sure doesn't make it "RIGHT"! I'm glad to see some evidence of people making a fuss at the city council meeting, for too long people suck at the tit of the rich, afraid to offend them for fear of losing their handouts. A friend of mine, involved in charity and fundraising in town, told me these people were quite late to the charity game, and is it really altruistic to throw a party that ultimately only puts them in the spotlight? As far as this town being better now? This town was always beautiful, maybe it needed a new coat of paint, but real beauty isn't just skin deep. You can't buy real class or soul, and the Riggi's prove it. This town was fine without them. I would posit that it was better. Go home. You who would tear down our town, go home. Pax, PhilthyRex

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What exactly is it that makes a house "Historic"?. If it is because it is old then that simply makes it old. Not necessarily "Historic".

2:42 AM  
Anonymous Ula said...

In my case, it is neither envy nor jealousy;l it is disdain. Distain for their oodles of money, yet lack of taste. They could at least pay for someone to help them in that area (hey, Riggis! I'm still available...).

5:15 AM  
Anonymous Dan Weaver said...

i am restoring a 1760s post and beam structure in Montgomery County with my own money. I agree that this house should not be demolished, but it is too late. People who believe in historic preservation have to put there money where their mouth is. Once a house is purchased, the owner has the right to do what he or she wants within the framework of current laws and restrictions on the deed. I get upset everytime an old building is torn down, but old buildings can only be saved if people are willing to pay the price.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

be very afraid. Remember Ms. White and Bill Dake gave Ms. Riggi the Dance Museum when they took over SPAC for a fat contribution of course. She controls one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. Dance Museum/Washington Baths, watch it.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:32

I hate the house that you live in. So what! It's your house and you can live as you want. Don't pay attention to my, or anyone's crap.

5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do we know if the house was actually "on the market" when Mr. Taylor sold it to the Riggis? I don't remember seeing a realtor's sign out front, nor a local listing for it. I may have missed it; I'm asking just to keep the facts straight. Thanks.

7:17 AM  
Blogger muldoonmedia said...

"I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position."
Mark Twain

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was sold. Unless a gun was held to Taylor's head it was on the market

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Historic is historic. Old is old. What differentiates one from the other?

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know how much Beverly's Restaurant charges the Riggis for the two parking spaces that she rents in the side lot ?

9:48 PM  
Anonymous Gerard Hawthorne said...

I.ve talked to their attorney and presented an opportunity to resolve this issue. It's just a suggestion that may or may not work but whatever the Riggi's decide they certainly don't deserve all this crap. Good People make good decisions so anyway they go they will do right by this house.

4:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

7:43 - Historic is a surviving 40 year old red Chevy Camaro with all its original parts maintained and stored for decades in a hermetically sealed barn on blocks sporting its original Indy pace car tires. Old is a forty year old lime green AMC pacer with all its glass removed (including that one of a kind rear window) parked outside the barn underneath the eave line, sitting on its brake drums half buried in the clay, it's interior completely scratched out permeating a sweet mousie smell and one of it’s bumper car front fenders replaced with one from an orange Gremlin.

The 1858 house is historic and is in a National Register District neighborhood certified by the City. Old is the argument that there’s “nothing we can do”.

4:40 AM  
Anonymous I buy fertilizer from Riggi's dog pound said...

Umm, Gerard:

Is it possible that good people can also make not-so-good decisions?


I'm just curious: what is your educational attainment level?

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GH 4:16 - Let me see, the attorney who professionally cannot discuss this case publicly other than to provide some very concise comments, has turned to a “Bloggosphere big mouth” who has little idea of zoning and neighborhoods, to help broker a deal between the Public, the City and his client. Hmmm. Sounds interesting ... but stupid.

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Building codes, city ordinances; it's all about who you know and who you blow.
Anything can get done.
Pull up to the relatively new CVS building off Congress Street. See all of those beautiful windows that are all covered in black with walls built directly behind them.
Sure there's a city building code that requires buildings to have a minimum amount of square footage of glass. But who gives a rat's ass about sunlight, aesthetics, or safety?
When it comes to selling legalized drugs our public officials all know what the right thing to do is.

Look the other way.

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just the facts:
The house at 23 Greenfield was listed for sale in May 1997 at $525,000.

It sold in Sept. 1997 for $482,000. Roohan Realty sold it.

The description said "1865 classic, the finest condition of any No. Broadway homes, crown moldings, authentic details."

That sounds pretty classic to me.

Just the facts.

It has not been publicly offered since 1997.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Gerard Hawthorne said...

Anon 8:02 There were no confidentiality issues here. This was a representative of a particular organization approaching an attorney on his own with a idea. It is enough of an idea that the parties involved have been conversing for the last couple of days and have another appointment for monday. If the Riggi's were as bad as you make them out to be then they certainly wouldn't be giving someone like me the time of day now would they. I guess it's the Rutgers Training for Government Housing that I have started that's opened up ideas that I once would not have realized. Besides it really doesn't take a high educational attainment level to talk to people, regardless of their status in the community. Stay Tuned!

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Ula said...

Dog poop cannot be used as fertilizer. Only poop from herbivores, such as cows and horses, can be used.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for the clarification, 10:28.
One has to wonder if Mr. Taylor had any idea of what would happen to the house after he sold it.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Gerard Hawthorne said...

You can take all your tidbits of information and spread it wherever you wish. Add in all the useless facts about the house but none of it matters. This is still America, The Riggi's own the house and can do whatever they wish. Maybe a trip to The real Big House(The Church of God) will give you some perspective on your own life!

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Fertilizer Salesman said...


R'uh R'oh!

I'd better find me a good 'Damage Control' public relations firm, hadn't I?

Anyone know of cheap housing in South America?

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MLW came to NYC from the Midwest and ended up marrying into a prominent American family. She had the benefit of traveling in circles Michelle Riggi and her family will not encounter for the next 5 generations. Broadalbin to Saratoga, with a stop in Galway NY, is approximately 25 miles. The comparison between MLW and Mrs. Riggi is ridiculous. Leave them alone they haven't a clue as to what they are doing.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Papa love said...

What we need is to bring back the old and beloved American tradition of tarring and feathering miscreants like the Riggis, misfits like Gerard, and unpopular politicians such as Kim and carrying them out of town on a splintery fence rail, to general jeering.

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We see that the Chief and his crew were out patrolling all those "critical criminal actions" on Sunday, on Caroline St.

Overtime of course, so we are back to normal.........it didn't take long, did it?

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is America and it is about property rights -- the property rights of the nationally registered neighborhood and the voting rights of the public.

Gerard - go the North Korea and broker a deal - take Kim with you.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous mamie said...

Don't know any of these three personally but add McTygue to the list. There are still many down here who feel he created many of these problems we are stuck with. His brother and a few others are still lingering. They would be fun to see tarred!

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Sarcasm said...

Should we fight over rights of americans when we all here sound like capitalism is a terrible thing? Rich people should be tar and feathered? Are you serious? Papa Love isn't showing any love for real americans. He anonymous commenter 6:38 should be doing the North Korea thing.

4:30 AM  
Anonymous Ula said...

Look! This has nothing to do w/capitalism/freedom of speech, etc., etc., etc. It has to do with the pull these people, who have no taste whatsoever, have to destroy part of our heritage.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Mr.Sarcasm said...

Did you even know that house existed brfore this hit the front page? Your heritage! PULLLLEASE!

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ula, I'm glad that you think you can judge taste better than anyone else - but perhaps that's a bit subjective on your behalf. In my case, I have no respect for the designers of : Pink Place, SPAC ver.1, Wise building, Chianti II ver.1, Weathervane, Adirondack Trust So. Broadway, Old and new YMCA, Holiday Inn. They are a blight on the city that I love.

5:15 AM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

I love this post.

Point of info: the riggi's paid 47 phila, Inc. - the not 4 profit org that owns the bldg. & runs. Caffe Lena for the spaces near beverly's. Michelle showed up w. Her Platinum amex after her bud ms. DiPaula scored a pair for her hummers. No intrique there; they were offered 4 public rental at fair rates & michael @ bev's just clues in his good customers.

That was way too factual: now comes the snark...
Love the concept of "the next marylou" and wonder if we can close our city's deficit by producing a home grown version of a reality show like "America's next top model" with elimination rounds/celeb judges etc.

I am sure that MLW would gladly wear a powdered wig and robe.

Nominations are now open for a modest 500,000 entry fee; paid to our city finance dept. With the egos in this town, we'll be back in surplus city in no time.

and of course, public wagering on the event will be encouraged; HO will set the pari-mutual line with take out to benefit our favorite vices.

And this is born a new Saratoga tradition.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Ula said...

I fully agree that these sites you've mentioned are a blight upon the Saratoga landscape. Did you know that the Weathervane was originally built in the '60's by the owners of Mother's, a long-defunct, diner-type restaurant on Phila St.? (On hot days, it was known as the coldest place in town). It was called The Country Gentleman, and for a long time, was considered the swankiest restaurant in Saratoga.

I apologize for nothing regarding my taste; I know I have good taste, and if you don't agree w/me, guess what? I don't care!!! And I did say OUR heritage.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Sarcasm said...

That would be Mother's as in Mother Goldsmith who owned the Country Gentleman. No one cares! You are just a pimple on the ass of Michelle Riggi. I grew up here in the late 40's and 50's and really don't get affended by what these rich people do. I suppose you think it is great when MLW parades thru town with their horse and buggy holding up traffic.

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, HO, isn't about time you shut the I hate the Riggis rants. There has to be other oxen to gore.

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ula, it was Mother Goldsmith's and they had the best sandwiches in town. Most were named after regional colleges. I still remember the "Union" fondly. Nate was a great Saratogian I had good times and good meals at his restaurants. But the Country Gentelman/Weathervane is still ugly.

4:28 AM  
Anonymous Ula said...

Yes, Mother Goldsmith's; locals did actually call it "Mother's."

Listen: the Country G/Weathervane was built in the late '60's, and that's the type of architecture they designed in those days. Unfortunately, it was ugly then and it's still ugly.

No! It's is definitely NOT time to give up ragging on the Riggis; they deserve much MORE ragging!!!

5:42 AM  
Anonymous Ula said...

Yes, actually I do think it's great when MLW parades up and down Broadway or has her do's at the Casino. MLW has class, taste and actually CARES about this town. She brings us POSITIVE publicity, and doesn't clutter it up with ugly buildings.

That monstrosity of a house on North Broadway is the pimple; on the backside of our town and all of us.

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When commenting on the "blight" some buildings are on our City, you should keep in mind the era in which they were built and the impact they had on the City. The Holiday Inn was built by a community effort after the convention center burned. Shares were sold to Saratogians to show national hotel chains that the City was serious about attracting visitors. This community effort was the first step to revitalizing a down in the dumps Saratoga Springs that so many on this blog have either forgotten or never knew about.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Sarcasm, right on! Folks should be able to live as they wish, and if others don't like it, "SHUT UP"

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earth to everyone on this blog: The Riggis did NOTHING illegal. If you all want to be pissed off at someone then try aiming those rants at those who are responsible for creating appropriate protective legislation in the city. This structure should have been protected and now it will be destroyed. Hopefully, we will all learn from this lack of inclusion of historically significant structures in our city and CHANGE THE LEGISLATION!

Would I have done what they did? No. But taste is indeed subjective and shouldn't be legislated; protecting historic structures, however, can and should be written into law.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ho, there are too many other softballs out there... David Slipedonmyassinthe shower, NYS Senate, dumbassbikerider into the car downtown...

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Gerard Hawthorne said...

A new post would be good! How about politics! Is it me or have the campaigns started late this year? I remember 2007 starting before now. Maybe no primaries is the reason. We only have two incumbant races this year I guess. Mayor Johnson against Ron Kim and Ken Ivins against Peter Martin. The rest are unopposed or new to the game. Seems boring.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 4:28 AM

YOu said,"....Most were named after regional colleges. I still remember the "Union" fondly."

Wasn't it the Exective Restaurant (next door to Mother's) that had the triple decker sandwiches named for local colleges ?

Or maybe I was too wasted to remember which door I walked through....

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Ula said...

Absolutely, people should be allowed to live as they wish; but nobody should be allowed to build an extremely tacky and ugly house on North Broadway. It's just totally ridiculous.

We should definitely have better laws regarding preservation of standing historical structures. If we'd had such legislation, we'd still have the wonderful Grand Union Hotel, which was torn down in the '50's; and countless other structures.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Faulkner said...

No, we need to keep discussing this for at least another 2 weeks. Really delve into all aspects, utilize outside consultants and squeeze every bit of juice we can from this topic. Hell, keep it going until until Travers.

Or Horatio... are you just trying to get to 100 comments to break some kind of isaratoga record?

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Gerard Hawthorne said...

Ula DeVille! Who says you have good taste? People like that house the Riggi's built. Some don't. Personally I think it would look better on a bigger piece of land with a long driveway leading up to it but who am I to judge. Maybe that's why they want more room ridding themselves of that other house.

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:28 - You're right. The Executive was the college sandwich place with the little dance area and jukebox in the back. Goldsmith's had the best Sunday brunch that had everything including an occasional cockroach scurrying across the table. No one minded back then.
Yes, this thread has run its course, but the story ain’t over till … the Irish tenors sing, “The Ol brick house – a place I can still call me home” while the chihuahuas bark to la cucaracha. bringing this cock and bull waitress story a full circle.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous agphoto said...

always glad to help-- here's comment # 84.

thanks for reading.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ula, I couldn't agree more, I'll be in charge because I know I have better taste than anyone else.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Kyle York said...

ANON 1:51-

"dumbassbikerider into the car downtown..."

The only "dumbass" in the car was the idiot behind the wheel. The vigilant space-seeker was Southbound by Putnam's and decided he/she had found Paradise By The Dashboard Lights in Lillian's No-Penny Paved Parkers' Patch.

And so, foot-on-the-gas and eyes fixed on HIS/HER prize, the flaming moron turns LEFT across a double-yellow line... directly into the path a bicyclist watching for drivers' flinging their doors open, watching for auto*idiots peeling OUT of the Lillian's Lot...

...and your Heroic Highwayman cuts the guy off. The cyclist's FACE smashes through the right rear passenger window. Even if he'd had a helmet- Glass Beats Flesh.

So what have we got? Illegal turn across a double-yellow. Failure to Yield. And still, no reports of a ticket from the honorable hard-picketing PS department.

The cyclist worked in a local restaurant... hey 1:51, there's gotta' be a "ground beef" gag in there!

Or get yourself a "Crash-o-Meter" for the season destined to be our worst on record. Angry, Hot, cell-phone wielding head-on-a-swivel drivers aren't about to forgive pedestrians for the Council's failure to consider Managed (Paid) parking or to restore the 377 prime downtown parking spaces lost since 2007.

Wait a minute--
Do any of these traffic violations produce REVENUE???? Me thinks not enough. Let's ask our neighbor in the hospital... that dumbass.

-Kyle York
Walking Target

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Ula said...

I think it would be ugly anywhere it was built, but if it had a long driveway leading up to it and it was obscured from us by thick vegetation, then at least our senses wouldn't be assaulted every time we walked or rode up North Broadway to see the lovely houses there.

Anon, you indeed may be in charge taste-wise, but I would like some say in the matter as well.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous DEE DEE said...

This is sad... a historic house is going to be knocked down.. because of some spoiled biotch. I personally know her brother Mike, and he doesn't like her either. I guess Her Hubby gave her a 90K allowance every month... AND ITS NOT ENOUGH!! People like this make me laugh.. more people are upset about DBS.. they should make more of a stink about this!

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ula, na, no one's taste is better than mine. I said so. How does it feel?

9:59 AM  
Anonymous I hear Ron Kim just ordered a 'Val Keehn City Hall' sign to be unveiled at his inauguration! said...

Gerard the 'tard said:

"People like that house the Riggi's built.."

Really, Gerard?

Name 'em.

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What determines an "Historic House"? The fact that it's old, because we hate the neighbors, or someone of historic note lived there?

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's stick a fork in this .....it's cooked.

The house will be leveled, and life goes on

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Ula said...

I'm actually fine with leaving you in charge of "taste," Anon; I just hope yours is as good as mine. *wink*

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing better would be is AH Kim was their lawyer.

6:41 AM  
Anonymous 1 + 1 = 2 said...


If I only could go back in time.

I would rather be eating a chicken salad on rye and drinking a cold pabst at 2am on Phila Street at Filthy Phil's rather that sitting at the Riggi mansion on North Broadway being served some tofu delicacy.

Of course, in retrospect it has absolutely nothing to do with where you are at or what you are eating; but it does have everything to do with who you are with.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Ula said...

A lovely sentiment, 1+1=2. I'd like to be having fried chicken at The Red Barn!

5:39 PM  
Blogger muldoonmedia said...

Enough Already with the Riggi's!

This is just beating a dead horse.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on HO, isn't it getting a bit tired to continue bashing the Riggis?

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you could start railing about Obama and Bieden coming from "big oil" and that they are running up the price just to help their friends.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Sorry folks, swim suit season is coming and my pursuit of physical fitness has taken its toll on my free time. Bear with me for a moment. Things should get back to normal in short order...

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:37
You are a couple years too late with that rant. Bush was in the pockets of big oil and ran up the price - just like Ombama is doing now. I wonder who he is pimping for?

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to (dis)utopia of Saratoga Springs ???


3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the results of your workouts....but forget the swimsuit, you will freeze your mc nuggets with this cold weather.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the new DBS dram from last week?

6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:01 EM and JP have been unmasked.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLEASE HO!!!! I promise that I'll hate the Riggis as much as anyone, But how about a new post. Maybe Kim will keep whining about being a lawyer and getting left out of negotiations. Maybe it's because he is a crappy lawyer. Better than that, maybe he can handle the city's bankruptcy when he gets his cop shop.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

disutopia (ben arnold) got unveiled and is now all quiet.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember that MLW was a two bit actress and a "show girl" in Vegas when ole Sonney set his eyes on her and made her his own. It's not where you come from but what kind of person you are that sets you apart.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kyle York is still ranting about his view while the Riggi’s plan to demolish their view is in a hold pattern. To somene who pays less in taxes and to the others who want to remove their buildings to pay less tax – the neighbors are not going to subsidze your disappointment – a big toga cheer PPFFFFFF!

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Janitor at the Jersey Mall said...

The Riggi's house on North B'way is so tacky I don't think Tony Soprano would live in it. Maybe one of his under bosses, but not Tony.

Guido Architecture. Northern New Jersey style takes over the Spa City.

"Giant toilet" is too kind. How about "giant outhouse"?

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Ula said...

That's right!

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Gerard Hawthorne said...

Sounds like jealousy has taken over the blog! Saratoga is just another town. Just like every town has it's good and it's bad. How soon people forget how generous the Riggi Family has been to this town. You are very hypocritical if you bad mouth them but go to the new YMCA that they help build.

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say it isn't so.......

We saw the demise of the DisUtopia, can this blog be next?

There are many topics just waiting for you. Grab one.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Faulkner said...


I'm festering over here, you shiftless bastard. A new post post-haste!

5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Talk of Saratoga
By IT Blogon June 25, 2009 3:00 PM | Comments (0)
Contributing Editor Andrew Nelson gathers the gossip from his recent trip to Saratoga Springs, New York.

Longtime patrons will warn you, traversing the Saratoga Springs Farmers' Market is not for the fainthearted. At 8:30 a.m., a half hour before opening, parking is already scarce along High Rock Ave. where the market is held every Wednesday and Saturday. Beneath the pavilions, local farmers set out bunches of emerald-green broccoli, scarlet radishes and strawberries the color of rubies. By 9 a.m., shortly before a bell signals that the selling can begin, the produce-hungry are already lined up in front of their favorite stalls, elbows out and holding prize heads of lettuce still dewy from that morning's harvest while gossiping about life in this historic upstate spa town.

This summer the talk is of Saratoga's ongoing revitalization - the town of graceful Greek Revival houses and brick Victorian shopping arcades is filling with new downtown condos, restaurants and travelers lured here by its charm, its famed racetrack, a summer of music, and its proximity to New York, Boston and the Adirondacks.

The change isn't always welcome: come summer there can be epic traffic on the main thoroughfare Broadway (Saratogans circumnavigate the gridlock via Circular Avenue, a pretty street of old houses that skirts downtown). Meanwhile historic preservationists are organizing protests against an extremely rich pair of newcomers whose recently-completed stone palace features grounds populated with life-sized bronze wood nymphs and Thoroughbreds.

The mega-mansion may fit in as well as Caesar's Palace would at Colonial Williamsburg, but the controversy is about a 150-year-old neighbor, a historic brick house that the mega-mansion owners purchased for $1.1 million, which they want leveled to enlarge their lawn. The Old Guard speak darkly of arrivistes and philistines. Now the city council's being dragged into the affair which promises to be Saratoga's hot topic this summer - at least until the horse crowd shows up on July 29th to inaugurate the racing season with a merry-go-round of society benefits and parties.

Nouveau riche or old, everyone is protective towards the farmers market. The 31-year-old institution has become popular, not just for its cornucopia of Upper Hudson Valley produce, but also for its other merchants. Flower stalls abound, and there are fresh, chewy bagels and hot Ethiopian coffee from Uncommon Grounds (+1 518 581 0656), the town's favorite coffeehouse. Cheese lovers make a beeline to Jeff Bowers' Sweet Spring Farm and his array of four-ounce packages of goat cheese. For 100 varieties of jam from Anna Mae of Ballston Spa (+1 518 885 7356) and soap makers like Mary-Jane Rau Pelzer, whose Saratoga Suds scented soaps are made from recipes her 19th century ancestors used, though as she admits, not with fragrances such as lemon and lavender.

By 10 a.m. the crowd is jostling one another to scoop up fresh rhubarb, crisp asparagus spears and organic greens. A guitar player is entertaining children and the parking has indeed become hopeless. Nobody cares. "Troy's farmers market may be bigger, but for some reason," says Bowers the cheese monger, "There's something about the Saratoga Springs market that's much more fun."

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just because HO is working out, it doesn't mean he is necessarily at the new YMCA......does it?

A lot of people helped build the Y, and they don't have privilege because of it.

10:54 AM  
Blogger NOW. HERE. THIS. said...


If you are crafting the Ultimate Eulogy to the Thing of Pop, I am going to egg your house.

-Kyle York
"It's Michael's world.
We're just living in it."

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Ula said...

I don't go to the new YMCA the Riggis built, so this means I may bad-mouth them all I want!

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

roohan tore down the old casino known as "rileys lake house" before anyone got on the historic band wagon out. face it money talks and shit walks and influence can be bought. so they just took the normal road to get what they want. i don't need a mansion and they do...at least they are spending money here...oh wait the masons working on their home were imported from italy weren't they...maybe jeff borneman used his influence again too...still on the payroll?

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Ula said...

Importing stone masons from Italy is not what I would call supporting the local economy.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Riggilicious the new style on north broadway.. just wait they will get what they want because our design review people are their "kind of people" wink wink nod nod....beside our city govt is paralysed when it comes to inforcing any rules except when it is the little guy who can't afford to defend himself...and the city attorney just keeps everything "under advisement", you know sit back and do nothing as usual. don't make work that you don't want to do...right?

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Riggis = Silipignos said...

I love the racquetball courts at the new YMCA... oh wait there aren't any. I love being able to walk downtown to the Y.. oh wait they sold out to some shit ugly condo developers... The Y is a sellout and so are the Riggi's... F.U.C.K. them both.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is unfair to state that the Riggis Suck.
However, I think that Ron has a video security tape that shows that someone in the household does. Eh?

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about the entire Riggi family, but their son Chris, who I know, is not a snot-nosed money grubbing individual. He is a really nice guy, so I think it is unfair to throw him under the bus because of your dislike for the family.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It isnt in a historic district? So why can't they do what they want with their property? Saratoga Sucks and I was born and raised there.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do not underestimate the power of the Riggis money in Saratoga. They can indeed help or hurt businesses with the snap of their fingers. There is evidence abound of losing service contracts for prominent entites in town due to Ms Riggis preference to "use her people" exclusively. Who are "her" people anyway?

Its interesting that a family who came from nothing and rose to what they consider "the top" so quickly (if unjustly) does not understand the concept of small businesses working hard and struggling to get by. Didn't they only recently acquire the money they hold so fiercely to? Didnt they at one point have to work for their meals? Do they not understand what it is like to have to actually put forth an effort to become a known business man/company? Do they know what work ethic is?

Oh right, they don't. How did they get their small town power again? Was it legal?

The power of philanthrophy no matter how evil the source yields a powerful sword, even in a small town such as Saratoga Springs

6:46 AM  
Anonymous demelzabunny said...

What they do w/their money is technically their business. What I object to is their lack of taste. Some may argue that that's their business, too, but it isn't if it's foisted upon the public every time we have the misfortune to pass their ugly and tacky mansion on No. Broadway.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with much of what has been said here. I have friends who are as wealthy as the Riggis but do not flaunt it or use it for ridiculous purposes. You don't have to be annoying and obnoxious when you have money. Plus when you have gotten it in an unethical way you tend to put people off.
But then again, really, how would we expect them to act given who they are and where they came from?
Another example of how they like to "pull their weight", one of the sons was allegedly driving under the influence when he drove off the road and t-boned a car with a young woman in it. She suffereed a broken collar bone and has permanant damage and on going pain for the rest of her life.
The cop on duty was heard saying," I can't give him a breathalizer, he's a Riggi."
She got a measely $30k for being the way of his vehicle while he veered off the road, drove across the lawn of a local restaurant and plowed into her, sending her car into the woods while she was in the parking lot!
It makes me sick to even lay eyes on them, but people like that get whats coming to them in the end.
I just hope I am there to see it.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These people are trashy, disgusting, pure evil. They should be ashamed of themselves but clearly do not have enough intelligence or class to know it.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Succinct, yet spot on!!!

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am assuming that the tayor's sold to get away from the stench,and i am not referring to the dogs......

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a wretched, low class article. If we are going to pass judgement on how people spend their money, let's talk about how people spend their time. These negative mud slinging articles are a waste of time for the good of Saratoga. It makes it seem like a one horse town, where a person walks into a saloon and the doors swing shut and the locals look the person up and down with cold eyes and pursed lips. The natives vs. the carpetbaggers. Personally I think it's great to see such a gorgeous well kept house on north broadway again. I took my kids trick or treating on north broadway in October and I cannot believe what dissrepair most of the houses have become. Unbelievable neglect and many now cut up into multiple family dwellings and looking pretty shabby as a result. The Riggis may be flashy but they invested in Saratoga as their home and are keeping north broadway alive is how I feel. There are residents here who have historic plaques on their homes, who are falling behind severely in their committment to preserving Saratoga, while writing this blog. Sound familiar horatio?

7:53 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Flashy? FLASHY???!!! How about downright ugly and tasteless?! Big old Victorian houses in disrepair, which are what the majority of the edifices you refer to on No. Broadway, are terrible money pits, affordable basically only to the likes of people like the Riggis, who can afford to keep them up (not to mention heat them). I personally would rather have lovely, old houses in disrepair - that look like the REAL Saratoga Springs - than monstrosities like the oversized, gaudy "castle" the Riggis have blighted No. Broadway with. If only they'd bought one of those old houses and restored it to its former glory (hell, they could probably afford to buy ALL the houses on No. Broadway and fix them up).

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Bridget said...

Horatio...great article...wondering if you've ever researched just WHERE the Riggi's got their money....interesting story! I grew up and live in the same hometown Michelle has lived and I'm VERY close to her parents. It's a shame she grew up to be such a detriment to the community, her parents are the finest, dearest people alive.

12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, too, know Michelle and her parents. Her parents are very nice people, as long as you don't cross them. Unfortunately, the money has gone to Michelle's head because she wasn't like this growing up. It's a shame. The sad thing is her nose is stuck too far in the air to even realize how hated she really is. Her money was obtained illegally, not like she actually worked for it. The money could be put to much better use than philanthropic events at the Museum of Dance. I understand that's hers and her mother's background, but maybe it would do more good putting it toward something like education. Well, as Michelle once said, she planned on marrying into money... gotta give her credit for reaching her goal.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, but f#%k you. If you want to save it you should have bought it. It's very easy to complain about how others spend THEIR money. Maybe it would have been better for the property to fall into the disrepair that the beautiful old sandstone mansion was in before the big brick shithouse was built at the corner of Broadway and rte 50. Let a few rats populate the neighborhood and then talk to the neighbors!

You were spot on except for the "Great post" part. It was a shitty, opinionated post with a sense of entitlement. Yes, I'm sure people are just so distraught, that a private home they never had access to, visited, or went in is being purchased by someone else and they're doing what they want with it. Actually, the sad thing is, I actually am sure people are that distraught. Why? Because people are selfish morons who love to feel like they're being wronged or oppressed by something that has literally zero impact upon themselves. You think it was such an amazing house that needs preserving? Then you should have bought it. Or started a fundraiser to raise money to buy it, if you don't have the means yourself. Surely if the community is so egregiously offended by what's happening to such a house, they would've been willing to pool together funds to save it... oh wait but you didn't, and neither did they. So get the fuck over yourself. You wanna bitch and whine, then do something actually meaningful about the situation. But no, that would cost you your money, your time and effort to go out there and organize a campaign or fundraiser to salvage something you supposedly care so much about. Instead you throw together a half assed article, feigning intellectuality. Yes, enticing individuals to throw eggs at their property, their dog to shit on their lawn, or to scream "Fuck You!" at them in public is going to get you what you want. How brutish are you? You know what that accomplishes? Pissing them off, making them feel justified in their actions, and even good about pissing you off by doing what they're doing. You're giving them increased incentive to do something you're supposedly so staunchly opposed to. But see, you're not. If you were actually deeply hurt by the destruction of such a home, you'd do something about it, not resort to childish, immature tactics to give yourself a sense of satisfaction, a feeling of upholding morals, or whatever other bullshit you've deluded yourself into believing you're doing. Get the fuck off your high horse and talk about something that actually fucking matters, or better yet, do something that actually fucking matter. Grow up, plain and simple brother.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to school with Vince... Class of '04 and know him to portray this "nice guy" attitude but he always has a hidden motive!!! His ego and devilish charm kind of go hand-in-hand.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are people always so jealous of wealth.

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are people always so angry and jealous of people of wealth?

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also, the home they built is gorgeous, we all know it, just admit we all wish we could have it!

Grant it some of there wealth was obtained illegally, but none the less they have it. How many of us would be tempted for that kind of money if it was available illegally? HMMMmmmm come on people admit it !!! your JEALOUS!!!!

Stop bashing them. They have a life style all of us crave!!!!!!

8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a. There home is NOT gorgeous; it's disgusting and completely lacking in taste.

b. I have absolutely NO desire to go inside it. Every time I pass it, I become nauseous.

c. I do NOT crave their so-called lifestyle. If that's what it means to be rich beyond one's wildest dreams, they can have it.

It's too bad Mrs. Riggi did not use her money to educate herself. Perhaps she would have built a more tasteful house. She sure is rich, but she's still a stupid moron. No amount of money will fix that. Imagine standing by and watching a summer SARATOGA institution like the NYCB wither away when one has the money to turn it all around. It's immoral and it makes me sick.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Waah Waah Waah! The author of this stupid, unreadable article is a huge crybaby pussy!

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true she got caught banging builder JOHN WITT causing his divorce to the beautiful Jo Anne Tarantino?

10:24 AM  
Blogger Horatio Alger said...

Here's the deal with the Riggis: They bring ostentatious to a new, ludicrous level. They spend their money wastefully and, despite their clear record of philanthropy, flaunt it in ways that are very unbecoming. To be clear, however, this is not a good reason to speak out against them. They have money and can use it in anyway they see fit, provided it doesn't negatively impact the rest of the community they live in.

They've erred in building an eyesore castle out of character with a historic neighborhood and then spreaded it across the city block like a plague. They grabbed a beautiful historic property and dismantled it for what is now a walk for Michelle Riggi's never-ending stable of dogs. They did all of this despite community outrage; despite pleas from their neighbors; and despite the city giving its very stern disapproval.

The Riggis ego and arrogance knows no bounds. They take what they want, no matter what objections anyone around them offer. No amount of dog rescuing and philanthropy will ever change that, so you Riggi defenders out there -even though you are few and far in between -need to do a reality check. This story was written more than four years ago, and the Riggis have done positively nothing to show they've changed. In fact. Michelle Riggi's face seems a bit more plasticine now than it did when the accompanying photo was taken. And that's a very symbolic of the type of person she is.

Now some individual responses:


Please send me your address, because this blog is being re-purposed for fundraising. The inaugural campaign of iSaratoga's philanthropic efforts will be toward raising the funds needed to buy the property next to your home, and then have it cleared of whatever is there now so that a gigantic 30-foot-high pink dildo-shaped doghouse can be erected in your honor.


Herein lies the common error of the Riggi's thinking; that people are actually 'jealous' of their wealth and the caricatures they've made of themselves. While some of their critics may, in fact, covet their riches, the vast majority wish for something far more simple, which is for them to simple stop flaunting it at every opportunity they get. There are plenty of people in Saratoga Springs with wealth beyond the scope of what most middle class residents will make in a lifetime. Yet most of them silently donate it toward causes; most buy homes in neighborhoods or areas where they want to live, not drastically transform.

Jealousy? No. More like revulsion.


Yes indeed. The sad part that the scattering of Riggi apologists tend to forget is that Michelle' 'philanthropy' -if you could even call it that -is a recent pursuit. One that started when the Riggis started taking heat for their mansion and continued as she vies to become the next Mary Lou Whitney. Their philanthropic efforts are more or less driven by their own selfish need for acceptance.


Come on now Michelle. Let's not drag this conversation into petty name calling. I tell you what. If your generosity allows you to pay for the aforementioned giant pink dildo, I'll gladly remove this hurtful post so that you can pretend everyone loves you in Saratoga Springs without having to see the truth every time you put your name into a google search.

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Ula said...

I really wish people would stop saying we, who object to the Riggi eyesore on No. Broadway, are jealous of their wealth. There is no jealousy involved here, esp. when you consider how that wealth was garnered. It's just a shame that they don't use their $$ in ways that would help those less fortunate, or in ways that would preserve much loved Saratoga traditions, like a 4-week season (or any season!) of the NYCB.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Don S said...

All I read on this blog is tales of jealousy and sour grapes over the fact that the Riggi family can buy and sell every one of you. I've known these people since their kids were babies and they are generous to a fault, fun to be around and genuine people. It sounds to me that most of you would have a problem with anyone who lived there that could afford what the Riggis' can. If I were Ron I'd tell all of you two bit busy bodies to get a life and go screw yourselves!

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing I'm jealous of regarding the Riggis their political pull. Imagine the wonderful things that could be done in this town if an ethical person had that pull.

9:44 AM  

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