Sunday, December 17, 2017

Bethlehem is Christmas


The official and only Christmas City for the entire United States of America. 

Having lived here for 34 years I should be bored by Christmas in Bethlehem but I am not.  Every year I get excited.  Granted I have off street parking.  But, it is so much more than that.

It is Christmas in Bethlehem!

Main Street is full and when it snows it is almost magical. 

The police horses are meeting & greeting tourists and keeping the peace.

The horse drawn carriage rides are running non stop and you can ride around Bethlehem pulled by a Princess's coachman - with the Princess herself.

And, what would Christmas in Bethlehem be without the Hotel Bethlehem.  There is not a hotel that does Christmas better!

Today, as we were walking north on Main St. we heard someone say "Walk to the corner and turn around"  the women's parents did and then we heard "Oh my God it's the star of Bethlehem"  her parents, with tears in their eyes hugged each other and stood there holding hands looking down Main Street.

Speaking of holding hands - since I am spending a lot of time on Main St. these days I have witnessed a lot of  same sex couples holding hands or walking arm in arm.  How great is that?

Christmas is a week away you still have time to experience the joy that is my fair city at Christmas!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Stop The Hallelujah Nonsense

We all know Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.  It is song that has been sung by some of the greatest voices of our time.  We all know and love the "Hallelujah Chorus" portion of the song - sometimes it sounds hopeful, sometimes it sounds mournful and sometimes it sounds spiritual or religious.

I have never understood why this amazing and brilliant song is used on Christmas soundtracks and I never understood it is used at times of national mourning or as a song meant to bring us all together and lift us up.

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is about........  Wait for it.......... are you ready? ...........

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is about - what almost every Leonard Cohen song is about......

The hardship of love.  How painful love is.  How difficult love is. Unrequited love.  The ability to feel the same love another person has for you.  The inability accept love.  Wanting love but knowing you will never feel it.  The inability to give your love fully, truly and completely.  To Leonard Cohen love is a bleak and brutal landscape that must be walked across but every step is painful and in the end you will be left alone.   And, you know that it is going to all happen again.

So, I am begging you do not use this song during your religious program, do not use this during a community gather of hope and recovery.

The only thing this stunningly beautiful song unites us in is that we have all been hurt by love and we have all hurt others in love.

Leonard Cohen in performance

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Hey Hey Ho Ho Sal Panto Wants The Days Inn to go

My old friend and current excellent Mayor of Easton Sal Panto has made no secret he wants this hotel to not only be closed but torn down and ripped from the memories of Easton's citizens.

The Days Inn sits on what could be argued one the most important intersections in the city.  At the bottom of the South Side and the Eastern beginning of Downtown.  It does need to go. This shabby place has not been a place for tourists, business travelers or local events for quite a long time.  Back in its early days (I don't remember what chain it represented then) it was a really modern, well run and a place where you were happy to recommend to out of town guests.

Back in the day I attended many weddings, anniversary parties, campaign and charity fundraisers at the hotel.  Cocktails by the indoor pool (sometimes it was a little steamy) and then dinner in the main ballroom. The bar was dark & woody and good place for political deal making and quiet conversations before, during and certainly after the event.

Candidates used it for kick off events and election night parties.  State wide and national candidates used to visit it for fund raisers. It attracted crowds unwilling to drive "all the way to Bethlehem" for events at the far more elegant Historic Hotel Bethlehem.  Plus, Easton is the capital of Northampton County so it was a logical site for politicians of both parties.

The final use of the land has yet to be decided but regardless it appears Mayor Panto is going to take the first ceremonial sledge hammer to this shabby eyesore in early January. Sal does look pretty dapper in a hard hat.

Easton does need a hotel somewhere in it's downtown area.  It needs it for Lafayette parents & alumni, business travelers and tourists.  Easton does have some very good event spaces but somehow attending / hosting an event at The Hilton Downtown Easton has a certain panache to it.

What do you think?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

I Have Given Up!

Because I am so politically aware, and because I take the long view of American progress and I have thought about this nation's political history I am usually the one my non-political friends come to for advise and comfort after a big election does not go as they (we) hoped.

On this blog I think my most used expression is "This great republic"  and by that I usually mean - we are better than our current political leadership, we have survived a crisis in the past or just a general our country will be fine.

After Trump won enough electoral college votes to become President of this great republic I could not be the comforter to my friends. I could not promise them that this great republic would be safe or even survive under his leadership.

For the first time in my life I began to doubt that this nation's future was going to be better than it's past.

A racist was elected President
A failed businessman was elected President
A TV reality game show host was elected President
A man married 3 times was elected President
A man who bragged about grabbing women by the pussy was elected President
A man who did not understand why we did not use nuclear weapons more often was elected President

I tried to bring comfort to my friends, I tried to say this great republic would survive but I just could not.

But, then I saw congress was incapable of fulfilling his mission and I gained a little hope.  Maybe if we just do nothing over the next 4 years this great republic will hang in there.

And, then Charlottesville happened this weekend.

Today during a summery of events on CBS Sunday Morning I started to cry.

It is 2017.

Racism is thriving in this country.
Bigotry is thriving in this country.

Often after overtly racist events occur politician and pundits say "We are better than this"

Clearly we are not "We are better than this".

If we were Charlottesville would not have happened.

I no longer have hope for our future.

I have given up.

We will no longer a great republic.

We will no longer be the indispensable nation.

We will no longer be Ronald Reagan's Shining City Upon a Hill.

Donald Trump and his racist supporters will destroy this nation and I can think of no way to stop them.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Another Letter to Trump

Friday, August 11, 2017


Wow!  Are you 12 years old?  "Locked and Loaded"  I am sure even the most radical member of the NRA is laughing at you for that.  When was the last time a weapon was "Locked and Loaded"?   It is so funny you trying to sound all tough and shit.  You are a joke.  You seem hell bent on taking this nation to war. 

Why is that?  When your nation called on you to serve you ran and hid behind your illegal immigrant mother and claimed to have problems with your feet, yet you played tennis and golf.  You are such a weak coward.  You claimed the military academy your parents sent you to (to get you out of their home) was better training than actual service in the Army.  You are just pathetic.

"Locked and Loaded"  every time I think about your fat little fingers on your orange little hands tweeting those words I convulse into laughter & tears and then I stop to think about the harm you and your grifter family is doing to this country, I get angry and feel compelled to write you again.

How much money has your filthy family made off your trips to your "Exclusive and Private" golf courses in the last 200+ days?  The fact that you are making the taxpayers of this country pay for all of this just shows how little you really care about us.

Just writing this short of a letter is painful - the fact that someone as vulgar, crude, rude, disrespectful and childish as you is President of this great republic is even more painful.

You are weak.
You are a failure