Nearly every Sunday of my teenage years was spend feeding the ducks in the park, or whistling show tunes as I window shopped among the main drag, or soaked in the excitement of the races.

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I lost count of the number of times I stopped in front of the majestic Palazzo Riggi estate and getting lost in dreams of what it would be like to walk through its halls. I would sometimes pop in to eat a sandwich for lunch with my dad who worked at the local college and sometimes he’d even take me for a leisurely drive through town to inspect the incredible Victorian architecture.

The place that was the playground of my youth, a vibrant and bustling small town, has recently become one of the fastest growing towns in all of Upstate New York.

According to Cornell University, the pandemic led to a mass exodus of New York City residents. The population of New York City during the first year of the pandemic declined by about 4 percent, or by more than 336,000 people and as a result, several Upstate New York counties saw big increases in population.

One of the towns that has seen an increase in new residents is where I spent so much of my time making memories as a youth- Saratoga.

According to United States census data, Saratoga County has seen an estimated population increase of 0.67 percent in the last year and since 2010, the county has grown by 8.69 percent.

People are discovering the charm of Saratoga and scooping up property there. People like scrap metal mogul Adam Weitsman who purchased the magnificent Palazzo Riggi (that I used to spend forever staring up at and dreaming about) for a cool $18 million dollars.

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