We’re following you. More than 700 of you via @The570 on Twitter and a couple hundred more on our married but living seperately Facebook pages, to be precise. And every once in a while the ec and dc staff keeper unlocks the chains from around our ankles so we can roam the open community and talk to you in person. We don’t have as much to hang over your head as Santa Claus and we’re not nearly as scary as the legendary “Big Brother,” but we know what your’re streaming on Netflix, who you can’t wait to see on stage, and where Ryan Gosling isn’t.
Because of this cultural omniscience, we know that you’re really watching The Walking Dead and counting down the weeks until new episodes of Mad Men and Breaking Bad. James Spader aside, it’s flattery that keeps you voting for The Office – for as awesome as AMC’s original series are they’re not likely to start dropping Scranton references any time soon. We love nothing more than the local celebrities that make us proud of our Rust Belt roots, i.e. Agnes Cummings, Damian the Magician, etc. There’s no shortage of local writers and photographers blogging about their thoughts and experiences in NEPA but there’s something about the way co-authors Mike Stevens and Tom Flannery get it right at Riding Both Rails (stevensandflannery.wordpress.com) that reminds you why you still live here despite the rumors of greener grass elsewhere. Among the latest developments in poetry, you can’t help but be impressed with Brian Fanelli’s verse as published in Front Man in late 2010 and frequently recited by the author himself at public forums throughout the region. (Speaking of blogs, you can find his at brianfanelli.wordpress.com.)
NEPA audiences are a tough crowd, but we’re got a soft spot for tradition. Among this year’s perennial winners are The Afa Gallery, the Everhart Museum, First Friday Scranton, and La Festa Italiana. Understandably, you’re still mourning the loss of downtown Scranton’s Electric Theatre Company. You fondly recalled its Zuppa del Giorno swan song The Puppeeters: A Wonderful Weirdness of Oz as this year’s best production even though it made you laugh way back in January/February. Alternately, the pain of sitting through the latest installment in Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn, is still so fresh in your eyes, you’re wishin you never had Lasik surgery. Enough already. Some people don’t know when to quit. You know, like Guns N’ Roses … Thankfully, others are just getting started. Painter Alison Schmidt’s resume isn’t long but the amount of energy and effort she put forth in 2011 alone is astonishing. Producer Joe Van Wie did you proud with his award-winning film Forged and we know you’re chomping at the bit to see what’s next.
You gave the honor of this year’s best movie to Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and company in Bridesmaids. See, women can be funny. Even in The 570. This year’s best comedian Teri Granahan lives in New York City these days but she hasn’t forgotten her local roots and performs in area frequently enough to earn your praise. Someone must have received a death threat in years past because the undeniably awesome category “Best Worst Band Name” has mysteriously vanished from the poll. Of course, you love the name Kids on Bikes. It’s a no-brainer, but we can’t help but wonder who you’d make fun of this year if you only had the chance. Our bet’s on Cranky Bitch, especially hard on the ears when appended by “and the Sandy Clams.” You’ve got no fault with A Fire with Friends, especially in the wake of the release of Like Giants Sleeping in Basements. Also on your original music nice list is the very busy Graces Downfall.
- alicia grega