Revitalize This!

Revitalize This!

Team of visionary volunteers introduces TEDx Talks in Scranton

TED Curator Chris Anderson is passionate about the power of knowledge to solve the problems of the world. He’s theorized that it’s an as-yet-unknown 12-year-old girl from a slum in Mumbai who will help us shape the future. Given access to the world’s greatest teachers, she will be empowered to do this and that’s what he feels is the mission of TED — to make the wisdom that could change everything available to everyone.
“The meme about culture being dumbed down by the internet is overplayed,” he said in a Reddit Q&A in February.
Ironically, TED talks have developed a reputation for exclusion and elitism ($8500 conference tickets available to TED members only) on one hand and been accused of becoming too mainstream on the other, with approximately seven TEDx events being held around the world every day.
Scranton hosted one such conference at The University of Scranton last Saturday with 100 tickets ($30) made available at the 250 seat Moskovitz Theater.
Until then I had one of those ‘first world’ assumptions that everyone had heard of TED and the nonprofit’s talks seemingly ubiquitous video talks. At four to 18 minutes in length these presentations of “ideas worth spreading” on spirituality, neuroscience, creativity, compassion, social media are on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and mobile apps. Those from TEDxScranton will be online by the end of August, organizer Jessica Meoni said on Saturday.
In the past week two different people — both educated and intelligent active adults — admitted to me that they had not heard of TED talks until I mentioned TEDx Scranton. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. The “x” indicates the TED conference in question has been independently organized by volunteers in the spirit of TED and is not a product of TED proper. In a talk Anderson gave himself at TEDGlobal in July 2010 he referred to “Crowd Accelerated Innovation.” The size of the crowd is a crucial factor to this technology-driven 21st century phenomenon — the bigger the crowd the more potential innovators there are. By offering licenses to independent volunteers like Scranton grad student Jessica Meoni to stage events like TEDx Scranton, the size of the crowd increases.
There’s a chance that one of the five people reading these words right now is learning about TED for the first time and may even go on to expose him/herself to at least one talk and at least one new thought because of it all.
Titled “Revitalize This!” the TEDx Scranton event featured eight speakers focused around the ideas of “urban revitalization,” “community design,” and “architectural perspectives.”
Can architectural concepts be applied to lift Scranton from its chronic depression? It’s a question The Electric City doesn’t seem to have the money to implement in order to answer, but we may as well talk about where we want to while we sit like hitchhikers no one wants to pick up on this pothole infested road. One of these days a shiny big rig and a bored trucker just might be going our way.
That was the point of Michele Dempsey’s “What If?” which closed the event. The campaign which has created designs no one has asked for are based on a lesson she learned from Japanese architect Tadao Ando. When the videos are published, look for presenter Joseph Cabrera who spoke about taking the pre-existing architecture of the city, neighborhoods built around pedestrian interaction and making that infrastructure work again for the reparation of “social capital.” Also look for Craig Welsh’s talk about Kindergarten Cities that brought donated pianos and Air Guitar platforms to the streets of Lancaster, Scranton architect Richard Leonori on how we have “squandered” Pennsylvania’s legacy, and Lara Rubin Alexiou of Steamtown Yoga on the Architecture of the Body, Mind and Soul.

TED Talk Primer

You may already have a favorite TED talk. There are 180,000 results for the phrase “favorite TED talk” and most of us haven’t blogged about it. Yet. As of April 2014, more than 1,700 talks had been made available free online. There are so many talks it’s hard to know where to begin. One page at is entirely devoted to playlists — most viewed talks, key talks by topic, lists of celebrity favorites, etc.
Among TED curator Chris Anderson’s favorites are Bill and Melinda Gates on the Satisfaction of Philanthropy, a telepresence robot interview with Edward Snowden on how to take back the internet, and scientist David Deutsch on “Chemical scum that dream of distant quasars” from TEDGlobal 2005.
Brene Brown’s 2010 TEDx Houston presentation on vulnerability went viral and turned into launching a successful book career and TED 2012 presentation on shame. You’ll find Arthur Benjamin on Fibonacci numbers, Susan Cain on the power of introverts, Pamela Meyer author of Liespotting, and Jamie Oliver on our ignorance of food.
In addition to the eight live presentations at TEDxScranton, the convention audience was treated to recorded presentations of two official TED Talks – The poet Rives wry “The 4 a.m. mystery” and Sherry Turkle’s chilling “Connected, but alone?,” in which the analyst asks us to think about how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication and about what kind of connections we really want to have.
In that aforementioned February 2014 Reddit Q&A one skeptic challenged Anderson if any of the talks have resulted in actual change.
“I actually think TED’s most significant impact happens at individual viewer level,” he said. “People who watch TED Talks for a while end up shifting their view of the future. Instead of thinking of it as an unstoppable force they are potential victims of, they think of themselves as perhaps able to play a part in shaping it,” he said.

Twitter @the570

Twitter @the570

We look back at some of our favorite  tweets from the twitter feed


july 2014

Rocky Rhodes @rocky985
Getting nauseous listening to audio from last nite’s Bachelorette finale. #TheBachelorette #airsicknessbag

The Prospector @AngryProspector
I missed the Bachelorette Finale (quite on purpose) but I love the drama about it today, really she banged him, YAWN! #sowhat

Navin @navinator24
Can I start paying people in blueberries or something? #overdose

colleen @zombiecolleen
Ain’t no freak-out like a Hoarder freak-out.

Jeff Boam @jeffboam
If Family Dollar stages a coup against the Dollar Tree takeover, does Dollar General step in?

Will Krisanda @WillKrisanda
Everyone looks better in front of exposed brick

Patrick Bayer @patrickk1220
I’m about to just pack up and move somewhere random.

Gatsby @gatsbystyle
Fairly sure, but not yet certain the lack of a “personal brand” is holding me back from self-actualization.

timdibb @tomdobb
my politics is just the lyrics to “Summertime Blues”

timdibb @tomdobb
if you’re still saying “stay classy” in response to news stories, congrats on officially being the most useless person

Kevin O’Shea @Minooka2Archbld
50 shades of grey? Why not be 50 shades nicer to your husband?

Heather M. Davis @HDCinema
I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, but the trailer looks hilarious. Cannot wait. He’s got a ROOM!

Dawn M. D. Zera @dawnmdzera
If I have to watch the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, I’d prefer to do so blindfolded.

Erica Nealon @nealon35
And all the senior citizens in Malcolm’s know each other right now. It’s like book club

Kristen Peterman @CallMeKP
My favorite thing about girls who idolize Audrey Hepburn is that they think they’re the only girls who idolize Audrey Hepburn.

markondrums @markondrums
Is today National Mental Lapse Day?

Leslie Hunsinger @darlingstewie
I don’t joke around with my wasabi

erin marie @EKynett
Just got yelled at for shaking the vending machine. #whoops #IWantCandy #SomebodyHasACaseOfTheMondays

hey Bosh @TheBosha
Ninja Turtles wear masks so they can blend in with all the regular giant talking talking turtles when off duty.

markondrums @markondrums
There is an octopus shaped cloud over the East Mountain.

Heather M. Davis @HDCinema
Nothing makes you rethink your choices quite like biting down into a piece of taffy.

The Prospector @AngryProspector
For the longest time I thought Peter Dinklage was something you were diagnosed with on WebMD.

Kristen Peterman @CallMeKP
I’ve never seen Jack Antonoff and Rick Moranis in the same room. Think about it.

erin marie @EKynett
I hate it when the healthy food I bring to work has something wrong with it cause all that’s here is donuts & crap.

hey Bosh @TheBosha
Whatever it is, someone on LinkedIn has endorsed you for it.

Bunny Bedford @bunnybedford
When I die I hope heaven is a gargantuan dollar store

Sherman Theater @Sherman_Theater
“We take the music very seriously; we just don’t take ourselves too seriously.” Something we have in common, Straight No Chaser.

Alyssa @damselandgretel
Nearly 21 and still can’t sleep with the closet doors open.

jamesbarrett @thiscouldBlove7
My girlfriend rules

Emcee Hype @emceehype
all the courtney love sons of anarchy jumping the motorcycle over the shark jokes have already been made. i hate you twitter. #anarchy #joke

erin marie @EKynett
I personally believe “Belated Happy Birthday” is correct because the wishes are belated, not the birthday itself.

Alicia Lynn @AliciaLynnMusic
I hate having sad dreams

Earth Day in The 570

Earth Day in The 570

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful volunteers have removed 105,568,375 pounds of trash from the commonwealth’s landscape. Approximately 150,000 volunteers participate annually, most in association with the Great American Cleanup, with events scheduled this year from March 1 through May 31. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful offers cleanup resources including educational literature, safety videos, illegal dump surveys and technical assistance to those who want to help. Illegally dumped trash can cost up to $1,000 per ton to clean up.

Call (877) 772-3673 or visit for more information on the following cleanup events already scheduled in the region or to register your own.

Upcoming cleanups include the Coal Street Playground in Glen Lyon on April 19, multiple events in Carbondale from April 23 to 24 and Nay Aug Park on April 25. Events are scheduled on Saturday, April 26 in Old Forge, the City of Wilkes-Barre, Shickshinny, the Avondale Mine Disaster Site and Moon Lake in Hunlock Township, Nicholson Borough, Starucca, Tobyhanna State Park and the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. South Scranton’s Elm Street district and the Lower Green Ridge neighborhood of Scranton, Jefferson Township, Clifford Township, D & H Rail Trail in Forest City and Lee Park in Hanover Township will all see efforts on May 3.

The Lackawanna River Corridor Association holds its annual pre-RiverFest clean up on May 15. The “River Clearing Run” needs volunteers with canoes/kayaks to paddle the Lackawanna River from points upstream down to Olive Street in Scranton to remove debris, take note of downed trees (chain saw), navigation problems, or other hindrances for future paddlers. The River Cleanup entails prepping Sweeney’s Beach, clearing both river banks and river of litter and debris, prepping the Canoe-A-Thon landing area and removing litter from the RiverFest site.

American Masters: A Fierce Green Fire explores 50 years of environmental grassroots and global activism and premieres nationwide on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22 on PBS at 9 p.m. “Connecting all the major aspects of environmentalism, the documentary chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century, and one of the keys to the 21st. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to battling 20,000 tons of toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace saving the whales to Chico Mendes and the rubber tappers saving the Amazon; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization, the film tells vivid stories about people fighting and succeeding — against enormous odds.” It is narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep, and is written and directed by Academy Award-nominee Mark Kitchell (pictured).

American Masters: A Fierce Green Fire explores 50 years of environmental grassroots and global activism and premieres nationwide on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22 on PBS at 9 p.m.
“Connecting all the major aspects of environmentalism, the documentary chronicles the largest movement of the 20th century, and one of the keys to the 21st. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to battling 20,000 tons of toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace saving the whales to Chico Mendes and the rubber tappers saving the Amazon; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization, the film tells vivid stories about people fighting and succeeding — against enormous odds.” It is narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep, and is written and directed by Academy Award-nominee Mark Kitchell (pictured).

Additional Earth Day Events
Revived, April 22- May 5, Thursdays-Saturdays, noon-6 p.m. Group exhibition of artworks created from recycled and repurposed materials. The Vintage Theater, Scranton.

River Road Cleanup, April 26, 9-11:30 a.m. Visit the website to download a volunteer release prior to arriving for this 11th annual litter pick-up along River Road. The first 50 to register receive a T-shirt. All will receive safety gloves and vests. Also enjoy a continental breakfast at registration and a complimentary appreciation lunch at The Gem and Keystone brewpub. Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, Shawnee-On-Delaware. (570) 424-4050.

Hiking the Endless Mountains, April 22, 7 p.m. A multimedia presentation by Jeff Mitchell will be offered in celebration of Earth Day. Mitchell is the author of books including “Hiking the Endless Mountains,” “Backpacking Pennsylvania,” “Hiking the Allegheny National Forest” and “Paddling Pennsylvania.” Hibbard Student Center, LaPlume. (570) 945-8000.

Earth Day Fair, April 22, 11 a.m. Find interactive games, presentations and information related to the environment and sustainable practices on the patio. Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center, Scranton. (570) 941-7520 or

Play Again: Earth Day movie screening, April 22, 6:30 p.m. The Moose Exchange and Bloomsburg University’s Green Campus Initiative invite the community to play outside at 6:30 before watching Play Again at 7 p.m. “One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature; new media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways; information now appears with a click; overseas friends are part of our daily lives; and even grandma loves Wii. But what are we missing when we are behind screens?” the event poses. St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bloomsburg. (570) 314-2596 or

Water Our Most Precious Resource, April 22, 7:30 p.m. Lecture and panel discussion offered as part of The University of Scranton’s Earth Week 2014 and in conjunction with the Spring Sustainability Symposium. In the McIlhenny Ballroom on the fourth floor. Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center, Scranton. Free. (570) 941-7400 or

Reptile & Amphibian Survey Program, April 23, 6-8:30 p.m. With Biologist John Jose of the PARS Project. Learn about local animals, how to find and identify them and how to make a contribution to their conservation. Registration recommended. Lackawanna College Environmental Institute, Covington Township. $5. (570) 842-1506.

Everybody into the Vernal Pool, April 24, 6-9 p.m. John Jose from Ottercreek Environmental Education Services leads an evening search for frogs and salamanders. Learn how to safely handle the animals, tips on how to identify them and take photographs. Registration requested. Lackawanna State Park, Dalton. (570) 945-3239 or

Spring Into Action Park Cleanup, April 26, 9 a.m.-noon. Registration required. Nescopeck State Park, Drums. Free. (570) 403-2006.

Earth Day Clean Up, April 26, 10 a.m.-noon. Volunteers are needed for shrub, flower and tree planting and for general park clean up. Meet at the park office. Gloves and bags will be provided. Frances Slocum State Park, Wyoming. (570) 696-9105 or

Earth Week Geocache CITO (Cache In Trash Out), April 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. This park clean up is organized in honor of Earth Week and in conjunction with The Great American Clean Up of PA. Registration requested. Bags, gloves and safety vests will be provided. Lackawanna State Park, Dalton. (570) 945-3239 or

Earth Day Open House, April 26, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Bring your old and unwanted electronics for eco-friendly recycling. Also enjoy samples of organic, green and fair trade foods and listen to live music by Doreen Coleman from 1 to 3 p.m. Everything Natural, Clarks Summit. (570) 586-9684.

Guided Bird Walk, April 19, 8 a.m. Conservation volunteer Dave Kruel will lead a guided bird walk. Wear comfortable shoes and bring binoculars. Registration required. Nescopeck State Park, Drums. Free. (570) 403-2006.

Environmental Awareness 5 K Fun Run / Walk, April 26, 11 a.m. Registration begins at 10 a.m. The University of Scranton presents this race along the Lackawanna River as part of its Earth Week 2014 series of events. Lackawanna Heritage Trail, Scranton. Free.

Jim Thorpe Earth Day Festival, April 26, 10 a.m. Enjoy music and art in Josiah White Park, the Dimmick Memorial Library and the Mauch Chunk Opera House, a Lehigh River Cleanup, handmade and recycled crafts, hooping workshop, games, food and more at this event providing green information and promoting environmental awareness. Historic Jim Thorpe, Jim Thorpe. (570) 325-5810 or

House & Garden Show, April 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 27, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Featuring professional home and garden vendors, gift items, children’s gardening workshop, fly fishing demonstrations and lessons, and a gourmet luncheon by Camelot serving soup, quiche, sandwiches, and salad. Waverly Community House, Waverly. (570) 586-8191.
Pike-Wayne Earth Day Festival 2014, April 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. This free, family-event focuses on celebrating natural resources and the people working to preserve, conserve and protect them. PPL Wallenpaupack Environmental Learning Center, Hawley.

Hawley Earth Fest, April 25-27. Three days of events in the Lake Region featuring discounts and music at participating restaurants in addition to cultural and educational programs.

Friday, April 25
2 to 5 p.m. – Hawley Farmer’s Market Opens outside the Hawley Library. Vendors include a petting zoo, prepared foods, wild edibles instruction and a bow and arrow demonstration, Northern Lights Natural Foods prepackaged herbal tea blends for wellness and more.
6 to 9:30 p.m. – Not All Who Wander Are Lost: Photographs by Geoffrey Partridge at Roots Yoga Studio
Saturday, April 26
10 to 11 a.m. – Species Parade in Bingham Park. Register at the Senior Center at 9 a.m.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Pike-Wayne Earth Day Festival at PPL
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Book readings, lectures, games and more at the Hawley Library.
1 to 5 p.m. – Yoga for Kids at Roots Yoga Studio. Kids will learn to connect to the natural world through their own bodies and breathe. Feel what it is like to be a tree while in tree pose, feel the power of a lions roar, blossom like a flower. Stop by with the kids for 5 minutes or 1 hour. Free. Parents are welcome to stay and participate.
2 to 6 p.m. – Block Party at The Belevedere Hotel
Sunday, April 27
8 to 9 a.m. – Nature Walk with Nathaniel Whitmore. Nathaniel teaches about botany, mycology, medical herbalism, plant and mushroom identification, foraging, and preparation of medicinal herbs. Meet by skateboard park in Bingham Park. Arrive 10 minutes early.
10 am – Tour De Towpath Bike Tour
10 am – Yoga in the Park with Roots Yoga with instructor Maggie Lehrian. Meet at the gazebo in Bingham Park. This class serves as an alternative to the usual 10 a.m. class held at Roots Yoga studio, weather permitting.
1 to 3 p.m. – Kids Yoga (ages 3-6) Earth Day Open House
3 to 5 p.m. – Kids Yoga (ages 7-10) Earth Day Open House. Kids will learn to connect to the natural world through their own bodies and breathe. Feel what it is like to be a tree while in tree pose, feel the power of a lions roar, blossom like a flower. Stop by with the kids for 5 minutes or 1 hour – these are free, open events! Parents are welcome to stay and participate.
3 to 4 p.m. – Green Cleaning: Northern Light Natural Foods (2591 Route 6 )presents a beginner’s guide to making your own non-toxic household cleaners with a handful of basic ingredients. Class will include information on some of the most common toxins found in conventional cleaning products, as well as a dozen or so ‘recipes’ for all areas of the house. (570) 226-5858.


The Presbypop Sextet features Al Hamme on saxophones, Michael Carbone on saxophones, Jeff Stockham on trumpet and French horn, Ron Vincent on drums, Joe Cole on bass, and pianist Bill Carter.

The Presbypop Sextet features Al Hamme on saxophones, Michael Carbone on saxophones, Jeff Stockham on trumpet and French horn, Ron Vincent on drums, Joe Cole on bass, and pianist Bill Carter.

Eco Jazz Concert, April 27, 4 p.m. The Presbybob Jazz Sextet will perform a program of music in honor of Earth Day and the return of spring. A brand-new suite inspired by the Canadian Rockies titled “Beyond Banff” will be featured. First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, Clarks Summit. (570) 586-6306 or

Scented Valentines

Scented Valentines

Scented Valentines

Create a custom love NOTE in downtown Scranton

If you’ve ever buried your face in the pillow he used or wore the T-shirt he left behind, you know how profoundly the smell of love can tug on our heartstrings. Nothing can whisk us away to another place and time like the scents lodged in our memory — Nana’s chicken paprikash on the stove, lilacs in the spring time, Independence Day sparklers, mentholated vapor rub, movie theater popcorn, even cleaning products grounded in pine and lemon. Certain fragrances have been scientifically proven to alter our moods, relax us, reduce blood pressure, relieve headache pain and increase alertness, as well as attract mates and act as an aphrodisiac.
“Scent is the only sense that connects directly to the limbic system of the brain. The limbic system is responsible for memory and emotion. So it’s a direct connect,” Danielle Fleming, founder and CEO of NOTE Fragrance told electric city.
It was the fascinating psychology of aromatherapy that attracted Danielle Fleming to start her own soap and candle making business out of her basement 12 years ago and we couldn’t turn down the offer to visit her latest venture and design our own custom perfume. NOTE Fragrance opened at Spruce Street and Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton on Black Friday.
It was about two years ago that Fleming looked back at her origins and asked, “What is it I really, really love?”
“After some serious reflection I knew it was really the scent of things that I love and how it makes you feel and how it defines who you are and is such a part of your personality. It’s really an accessory to everything that you do,” she said.
“Scent in its purest form is in perfumes and colognes. Perfume doesn’t clean you like a bar of soap or moisturize you like a lotion. It just provides a scent that makes you feel something. And that’s why I decided to do NOTE Fragrances.”
Among familiar Danielle and Company products on the shelves at NOTE are the proprietor’s own fragrance designs.
The “intriguing” Midnight Leather was created in her attempt to capture a transcendent experience she had one night alone on the streets of Florence, Italy. Many of her fragrances are unisex. Fleming avoids identifying them with one or another gender. One of NOTE’s best sellers is a “very fresh and clean” White Pepper Mandarin. It was initially created for her husband. He wore Acqua de Giò when they started dating, she said, and the cologne had to go when she realize it was the same one her brother used. He gave it up for her, but missed it and asked her to design something unique for him.
The best way to ensure your partner approves of your scent is to involve him or her in its design. Danielle’s custom perfume studio booths stocked with 50 scent samples (diluted in coconut oil) in what’s called “a perfumer’s organ.” (There are 250 different oils in Fleming’s own organ.) Small dishes of coffee beans are provided at each station to “cleanse the palate.”
“It can get overwhelming. Your nose can actually handle about three strong scents at a time and then when the fourth one comes along there is a fatigue. It will push out the weakest scent and let the next one come in,” Fleming explained.
She pointed to a trip to the movie theater as an example.
“When you walk in you smell that buttered popcorn smell everywhere. But then eventually you don’t smell it anymore. It’s not like that scent left. The scent is still there, it is just replaced by other stuff.”
The custom perfume booths provide a unique sensual experience for couples to open their minds to familiar and new fragrances together and compare notes. The perfumer’s organ is organized according by top, middle, and base notes in scent families with citruses in yellow labeled bottles, herbals in greens, fruity in orange, fresh and clean in blue, florals in pink, gourmand (edible) notes in tan and earthy/woody in brown.
“There are different debates as to what the olfactory families are — some people will break out spicy or orientals — there isn’t actually one (system.) Some people say there are twelve olfactory families, some say six, some say eight. Some people call the “fresh and cleans” aromatics or aquatics. But everyone does follow this idea of scent families.”
The most romantic approach might be to choose to create a gender neutral scent that both partners can share and both wear. Some couples design their own scents or create fragrances for each other. A few who have already created scents for a partner, she said, have been careful to include a few things they know will be liked. Of course, we don’t necessarily know what we like as well as we think we do. Reactions are unique. Scents have personalities. People who like anise in a cookie might not like it in a perfume oil. NOTE has scents you’ve never experienced before that you may find you like better than your old standbys, Fleming explained. Frangipani, she pointed out, is a Hawaiian floral many people haven’t experienced. People who come in with preconceived notions of what they like and don’t like and are often surprised, she said.
“They’ll come in and say, ‘I know I don’t like rose.’ And then they’ll smell rose and say, ‘Oh, I really don’t mind it that much.’”
Most customers go through the samples casually before suddenly having an “ah-ha moment” in response to some trigger, said Fleming. “Their face lights up and they are like, ‘This is it. I found it.’ And it resonates so deeply within them … It’s a huge behavioral experiment. There’s a definite art and science, and I bring them through the process showing them how to blend, how to put everything together.”
Fleming has developed a proprietary blending formula that she uses to combine the levels of essential and fragrance oils you select into an organic perfumers alcohol.
“In traditional perfumery there are top, middle, and base notes, which is why (the boutique) is called NOTE Fragrances. When you start building a fragrance, it starts at the note level. Traditionally, you want to have a mixture of all three. It’s all based on the viscosity of the molecules of the scent. Top notes are the lightest — those are your citruses, your fruit and some of your herbals. They are very light and they flash off the skin within the first half hour or so. They are very bright. Next are your middle notes, those are mostly florals and they ground the perfume.”
Modern perfumery throws this convention of balance out the window and invites scents of all top notes if so desired. Anything goes at NOTE, just don’t ask Fleming to recreate a name brand. She’ll give you some hints on what it is about a particular fragrance that you like and you might accomplish something similar on your own but duplicates do not interest her. Each custom oil is given its own ID number and record in her database. When your bottle is exhausted, she’ll make you another exactly like it or tweak it to any new specifications the customer might have.

Alicia’s NOTE: eau de electric city?

I began my journey with bergamot, which I knew I liked based on my experience of Earl Grey tea. I know a lot of words, but I struggled to describe what I smelled on the strip of paper, called a fragrance blotter, we had dipped into the sample oil. It was reminiscent of the tea but had a much fuller presence than I had anticipated. It was more piercing than I would have guessed, and more feminine but in an elegant way, not girlish in the least.
I was pretty sure I wanted to use bergamot in my final blend, so I wrote the name on the blotter and set it aside. The fragrance blotters would be placed into a metal clip, fanned like fingers and wafted in front of the nose to get a sense of how individual scents will work together when blended. Curious about “clary sage,” I sniffed that next. It had a medicinal quality that had no place in my “vision.”
“Some people absolutely love it,” she said. “It depends on what you are trying to blend. Are you looking for something that is relaxing and comforting or are you looking for something that is sexy and sensual and you’re going out and this going to make you feel awesome?”
The latter was more what I had in mind, I confessed. Determining what was it I wanted this scent to do was more of a challenge than deciding what smells I liked or didn’t like. What was it that I wanted to say about myself to the world on this subliminal level before language?
I am a huge fan of sandalwood and regularly burn sandalwood incense and fragrance oils in my home, but I wanted something different for this custom perfume. The tuberose sample appealed to me, but it didn’t fit my vision either. I love Ylang-Ylang, but found it too commanding of my attention and sensed it would distract from what I was trying to achieve. I wanted to create something unique, unlike any scent I already knew. The final result would offer a fresh, awakened quality, somewhat mysterious and spiritual, with a subtle, but still vibrant sexuality.
I found the frangipani very pretty, but too sweetly floral to suit my style. Neroli was another matter. It is steam-distilled from the blossoms of the orange tree that grow before the fruit grows, Fleming said. It smelled to me like spring and I was captivated. This would be part of the final blend. I briefly considered blackberry, but it was just too overwhelming. I love to eat fruit but I don’t necessarily want to smell like it.
My ah-ha moment would come with sweet bay, also known as bay laurel. I had no expectations of it, but after a few sniffs, was ready to build my entire scent around it. After not getting anything from an “airy, watery” blue musk, I selected a frankincense base note. We added some lime for a touch of the unexpected, basmati rice for another tingle of freshness, and one drop of cinnamon for a spicy edge. Danielle blended the perfume and let me sample it. It needed a touch more sweet bay and maybe a little more lime, I told her. The altered formula was right on.
“It feels alive to me. It makes me feel like I am here in this world and ready to go. It’s stimulating,” I told her. “It’s like making a new friend. I feel like I need to get to know it a little better.”
“It is very distinctive and it has an edge to it,” Fleming concluded. “It’s not too floral or soft and sweet. I would say it’s more on the sultry side.”
NOTE Fragrance is offering a Valentine’s Day special called the Love Note Project. Customers are invited to write a “Love NOTE” to their valentine and display it in the store. When your valentine visits the store and finds the NOTE they will receive a free bottle of Eau de Parfum as a gift. NOTE Fragrances is located at 401 Spruce St. at Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton. No appointment is needed. Call (570) 343-2100 for more information or find the boutique on Facebook.

Survey Says…

Survey Says…

Located at the key intersection of River and Market streets in Wilkes-Barre the Hotel Sterling was designed by local architect J.W. Hawkins and opened in 1898. It operated in various forms until 1998 when it closed and was subsequently abandoned. A small fire and lack of maintenance led to disrepair requiring expensive renovations. Unable to finance the estimated $100 million to complete this work, owner CitiVest was given permission by Wilkes-Barre City Council to demolish what was left of the historic building in July. Both electric city and dc readers would rather remember the good ‘ol days.

DC Survey Says

WTF moment of 2013 Government Shutdown
Our area really needs… A Bigger Arts Scene
Pandora Spotify or iTtunes? Pandora
Sunsets Or Selfies? Sunsets
Best Old Thing Majestic Lunch, Pittston
An Alien Lands in NEPA, what do you hand it? A copy of Heynabonics
Worst Local Trend Job Loss
Best Historic Building Hotel Sterling
Best T Shirt Slogan Get Your Mind Right
To Twerk or not to Twerk NOT
Best Use Of Social Media Stalking


Below, The Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton was one of the hundreds of national parks across the country forced to close during the government shutdown of 2013. PHOTO BY BUTCH COMEGYS


EC Survey Says

WTF moment of 2013 US Government Shutdown
Our area really needs… Money
Pandora Spotify or tunes? Pandora
Sunsets or Selfies? Sunsets
Best Old Thing In Our Area that Should Never Change People
Best Place Google Maps Can’t Find You Home
An Alien Lands in NEPA, what do you hand him? A beer or Old Forge pizza
Worst Local Trend Unemployment
Best Historic Building Sterling Hotel
Best T-shirt Slogan Keep Calm Chive On
To Twerk or Not to Twerk? Not
Best Use Of Social Media Networking
Best Local Trend Food Trucks
We can all breathe easy. Miley Cyrus was not named Time magaizne’s Person of the Year. That honor, most sensibly, went to Pope Francis a.k.a. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has people talking about 21st century issues like poverty, fracking, globalization, and technology as opposed to twerking and slut shaming.
The shame, of course, isn’t that Miley chose to shake her barely mature sexuality in our already desensitized faces, but rather that she’s chosen to use her enormous power to demand the right to “do what we want to” while other young women … let’s take 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai for example, who has no power, is risking her life to demand the right to an education. It’s not shameful, it’s just a shame. Party on, Hannah.
It just wasn’t a good year for twerking. The Oxford English Dictionary opted to include “selfie” rather than “twerk” in its latest edition.
Selfies are everywhere — even world leaders are getting caught shooting selfies at the funerals of world leaders. Even our grandmas are getting in on the action. You’re so sick of them you’re yearning for good old fashioned sunset photography.
Do we need a bigger arts scene? Maybe we should be thinking better, rather than bigger? Improved quality rather than increased quantity? Get people who aren’t currently attending arts events to participate the arts scene we already have? It’s your call.

Claiming it’s “Probably the Best Site in the World,” hit marketing gold in 2013 as Keep Calm and Chive On shirts could be seen on a wide demographic of folks across the land. EC voters found the slogan to be their favorite.

The Artists’ Studio

The Artists’ Studio

Bug Out

Washington D.C. based artist Joan Danziger was known for her “phantasmagorical object-stories composed of eccentric combinations of human and animal species” before she immersed herself in Coleoptera, writer Aneta Georgievska-Shine wrote in Sculpture magazine this summer when Danziger opened a show of 70 beetles at American University’s Katzen Arts Center. Thanks to Marywood University, you don’t have to drive six hours to get a closer look at these mysterious wire mesh, mosaic six-legged masterpieces. “Joan Danziger: Spectacular Beetles, Exploring the Order of Coleoptera” opened in the Mahady Gallery on Monday. A reception for the artist will be held Saturday, Dec. 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. with a gallery talk to follow on Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. A special “Meet the Artist” Community Gallery Talk will be held prior to Saturday’s reception at 5:15 p.m.

“The installation of bejeweled crawling and climbing creatures taps into our human tendency to revere and disdain beetles, to see them as both beautiful and repulsive — creating a tension between the real and the imaginary,” a promotion for the exhibit proposes.
““They are real beetles, adapted … The whole idea, in my mind, is to elongate and exaggerate them and make them beautiful,” the artist said of the one-to six-foot long works in Smithsonian’s Art/Science Blog in 2012.
“Spectacular Beetles” will remain on display through Jan. 19. The galleries are open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday through Dec. 23, when they close through the New Year. January hours are on weekends Jan. 11-12 and Jan 18-19 from 1 to 4 p.m. Call (570) 348-6278 x2428 or visit for more information.

Wrap It Up

If you ever fantasized about making your own trademark design holiday gift wrapping, 2013 is a good year to get started. At least three different workshops in the next few weeks will offer instruction and inspiration in the arts of pretty packaging.
Furoshki is an ecologically-friendly Japanese style of wrapping gifts or other items in decorated cloth bundles. A workshop at the Everhart Museum (registration was requested by Dec. 4) on Wednesday will demonstrate the twists and turns of this traditional practice seeing a resurgence in the 21st century. The museum will also offer a Hand-Printed Wrapping Papper workshop on Dec. 18. Students will learn a stamping technique to create one-of-a-kind papers. A fee of $40 applies (only $35 museum members.) Call (570) 346-7186 for more information.
Valerie Kiser Design will host “Design Your Gift Wrap: Handprinting for the Holidays” at ArtWorks Gallery & Studio on Lackawanna Avenue in Scranton on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon. A $50 fee includes all the supplies needed to carve your own design into a stamp and ink your own patterned wrapping papers. Registration is required. Call (570) 207-1815 or visit for more information.
Valerie Kiser is one of five artisans displaying fine crafts for sale at the gallery this month in Art x 5. The exhibit opens in conjunction with First Friday Scranton with a reception Dec. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. Complimentary gift wrapping is included with all purchases. Other participating artists include Jean Adams, Siri Beckman, Jenn Bell, and Zoe Poster.

“Winter Countryscape” by Brian Keeler, depicting a pastoral scene outside Towanda, is one of the many vividly colored works of art that will stimulate retinas this First Friday in Scranton. The artist will exhibit recent works along with Thomas Wise in a new exhibit at Laura Craig Gallery on Linden Street. A reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Call (570) 963-7995 or visit for more information.
Also promising this First Friday are the annual Members’ Show at AfA Gallery and Andrzej Szynal’s “Contemplation and Expression” at Marquis Art & Frame, both on the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue. Ike Design Group returns to The Bog on Adams Avenue with its rustic lighting and home decor fixtures crafted from reclaimed barn wood and scrap metals. If you haven’t visited Lindsay Barrasse’s new artrepreneural studio storefront collective at Arts on Adams yet, this month’s First Friday open house will likewise offer “Gifts for the Holidays” as well as live music by Natalie Gelman.
Eli Marsh will return to Northern Light Espresso Bar on Spruce Street with his unique assemblages of magical items crafted from surprising scrap pieces. Now in its 4th year, The Vintage Theater’s Moth Project is a synergistic installation benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sarah Yzkanin will provide live music at this Friday’s opening reception for the multi-artist show. Visit for more.

Shopping Small is Big

Shopping Small is Big

Shopping Small is Big

Shop local movement continues to grow

Black Friday may be suffering an awkward drawn out death but the Shop Local movement is gaining ground. If you didn’t see Christmas decorations on store shelves before Halloween was over with your own eyes, your ears surely heard someone complaining about the rush. Online retailers have turned Black Friday into a week and “we can’t wait until Black Friday to offer you these great deals” advance sales. Yet while retailers are panicking and pushing doorbusters up the calendar, economists aren’t preemptively blaming consumers this year, predicting holiday sales will rise. Without those one-day only special savings, its hard for more and more shoppers to justify spending a precious extra day off from work sitting in traffic and standing in long lines getting jostled and poked by crowds.
It’s not far fetched to guess that the more shoppers have heeded the call to buy from local sellers, the more they have remembered what a rewarding experience it can be to interact with people instead of corporate systems. In best cast scenarios, these sellers are also manufacturers, having crafted the goods they are selling with their own two hands, often taking custom orders.

Grain sack utility apron by Bachestinks, a Holiday on the Square participating vendor

After the dishes are done Thursday, you’ll still see that group of anxious shoppers pour over glossy big box store newspaper circulars while the rest of the family watches football, dozes off or plays games. And for as many people who conscientiously boycott shopping on Thanksgiving day, there will be bargain hunters defying family traditions for better deals. But slowly growing is a small army of smart and savvy community-minded adventurers who will hold their money a little closer and hold out in hopes of finding one-of-a-kind and handmade works of art and craft at one or all of this season’s holiday markets or independently owned boutiques and gift shops.
Holding its grand opening on Black Friday at 10 a.m., NOTE Fragrances is the latest brain child of scent-inspired entrepreneur Danielle Fleming of Danielle and Company. It’s located at the corner of Wyoming and Spruce (where Fanny Farmer Chocolates used to be and more recently Caferazzi and Jersey Subs) and is described as a “custom perfume studio and fragrance bar.”
“I realized that there really isn’t a place where you can go to explore scents on deeper level. A place where you can take your time, learn the world of perfumery and experience the wonders of scents and aromas,” Fleming writes in an announcement for NOTE. The shop will also stock the full line of Danielle and Company products. Call (570) 343-2100 for more information.
The Pocono Chapter of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen will open its third annual Holiday Store in Stroudsburg’s ArtSpace Gallery on Friday, Nov. 29. A special reception will be held Thursday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and the show will run through Dec. 24. Exhibitors this year include Groundhog Blues (pottery), Louise Mehaffey (jewelry), Claire Marcus (jewelry), Linda Schwartz (multi media), John Saunders (pottery), Vicki Byrd (bronze jewelry and art), Larry Buss (pottery). Visit or for more information.
Small Business Saturday statistics estimate that “52 percent of what you spend stays in the community when you shop at locally owned independent businesses.” The national, increasingly-recognized day founded by American Express in 2012 follows Black Friday will be touted by mom and pops across The 570 and in downtown Scranton at The Vintage Theater, in particular.
The venue will hold its second annual Small Business Saturday “Cheap Art” showcase on Nov. 30. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A variety of vendors local vendors will showcase original and/or handmade works including mixed media art, refurbished accessories and vintage jewelry, photography, candles, books published by local authors, baked goods, crocheted pieces, and tie dye. All items will be affordably priced at less than fifty dollars. Call (570) 507 9671 or visit for more information.
Also on Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Wyoming Valley chapter of the American Red Cross hosts its 20th annual Holiday Craft Show at the Kingston Armory in Wilkes-Barre. More than 100 crafters will offer unique handcrafted items such as jewelry, fine art, holiday and country crafts, glassware, handmade soaps and lotions, clothing, pet accessories and more at this benefit for Red Cross programs. This year the event will also feature wine tastings by Pennsylvania wineries including O’Donnell Winery, Ferrone Family Winery, Capra Collina Winery, and Maiolatesi Winery. Catering is provided by Maer’s BBQ. It’s estimated that more than 2,000 shoppers attended last year’s show. Admission is $5 or free to children age 18 and younger. Sunday special admission is $3 after 2 p.m.

Chainmaille earrings by Jill LaPierre

The Scranton Cultural Center’s Buy Local Holiday Marketplace is back for its second year on Sunday, Dec. 1. Local businesses, artists, and crafters will sell on four floors of the historic Masonic Temple from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Among those vendors chainmaille artist Jill LaPierre, based in Elmhurst. Her bold, statement jewelry designs are inspired in part by an appreciation that developed for indigenous artwork while living in Lima, Peru for 10 years.
“My jewelry came about with the desire to mesh the design motifs I was exposed to in Peru with traditional chainmaille weave structures, thereby offering an unexpected twist on hand-woven, contemporary jewelry,” she explains on the Jewelry by LaPierre Facebook page. Pieces include necklaces, bracelets and earrings in sterling silver, bronze, and 14K gold filled metal. Works are made upon request, and can be customized according to buyer preference of length and materials. Visit Admission and gift wrapping at the Buy Local Holiday Marketplace are free and the first 100 patrons will receive a free reusable shopping bag. Food will be available for purchase. Call (570) 344-1111 or visit for more information and a list of vendors.

Alchemy Home Company

Returning to the event for the second year is Alchemy Home Company, which plans to reveal a new Winter Atmosphere Spray in balsam, cedar, citrus, and myrrh on Dec. 1. Alchemy is likewise one of the vendors shoppers will find at Holiday on the Square in downtown Scranton Friday Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7. A joint initiative sponsored by ScrantonMade, Lackawanna County, and Scranton Tomorrow, Holiday on the Square is inspired by this summer’s notably successful Arts on the Square. While the main draw is Scranton Made-curated vendors braving unpredictable weather to sell outdoors under tents headed by forced air propane heaters, the outdoor marketplace imagines “downtown as a whole moveable space,” explained Deputy Director of Arts and Culture for Lackawanna County Maureen McGuigan. More than 30 businesses are cooperating with the fair through a Shop Scranton initiative that extends Holiday on the Square through Scranton’s entire downtown Friday and Saturday. Details of the special attractions these shops have planned will be made available online as the event draws nearer.
“The Commissioners have always wanted to make Lackawanna County’s annual tree lighting a larger Courthouse Square event and so it make sense to merge ScrantonMade’s plans for a holiday fair into a winter version of Arts on the Square,” McGuigan said. The tree lighting will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, shortly after the event opens at 5 p.m. Hot chocolate will be served and carriage rides will be available, McGuigan said. Vendors will sell under heated tents until 9 p.m. that night in conjunction with First Friday Scranton.
Several shops are donating to goody bags that the first 150 HOTS attendees will receive. In addition to the expected coupons the bangs contain some real prizes such as fingerless gloves donated by Modish. Lackawanna County Library System and the Everhart Museum are cosponsoring an activity tent on Linden Street and The Lackawanna County Vistors Bureau hosting an ugly holiday sweater contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. (register at the ScrantonMade Booth by 1:30) for a chance to win gift cards to downtown Scranton businesses including LAVISH Body+Home, Freedlove, Pierre’s Scranton, Northern Light Espresso Bar, The Fanciful Fox, Carl Von Luger Steak & Seafood, Modish LLC, Backyard Ale House, Burlap and Bourbon and more. Categories include ugliest, most festive, most creative, weirdest, and judge’s choice. The full entertainment schedule was not yet announced at press time but is expect to include live music by Sweatheart and Coal Town Rounders.

The Artists’ Studio: Aug. 15, 2013

The Artists’ Studio: Aug. 15, 2013

Painting by Patricia Pelehach

Ties that bind

The Wayne County Arts Alliance will draw attention to the “common thread that ties us all together” at a unique auction party titled Celebrating the Line on Saturday. A literal, visual line runs through each of the 50 canvases to be displayed in the former Sullum’s storefront at 564 Main Street in Honesdale. The event is free but only those who purchased one of 50 advance tickets will be eligible to vie for artwork. Prices range from $25 to $250 with those holding the highest-priced tickets first to choose. Participating artists include David Hamill, Alli Kubu, Cynthia Hanson, Lindsay Barrett George, Katelyn Pellegrino, Yanni Glykokakolos, Evan West, Ellen Silberlicht, Patricia Pelehach, Nancy Wells, Jill Carletti, Laura McManus, Roger Hill, Joe Kluck and dozens more. The benefit also features live music, food and a donation bar. A raffle will be held for a handmade quilt donated by Linda Cobb and several “Parade of Pigs” piggy banks. Visit for more information.

Erica Hart- “Rooted” – mixed media. (Current Hues of the Hudson, Bethel Woods Center.)

A New Hudson River Vision

A recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Lindsey Jarine has curated the first fine art exhibit to be displayed at The Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Titled Current Hues of the Hudson, the show opened on Aug. 10 and features works in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, video, photography and more by a diverse group of contemporary artists living and working in the Hudson Valley region of New York.
“The Hudson Valley has been a place of intense artistic interest since the mid-19th century when the Hudson River School of landscape artists became the focus of an art movement. Today, the Hudson Valley is home to hundreds of artists and more than 100 art galleries and museums,” a release for the show explains. It is part of the museum’s mission of active involvement in the community and advocacy for issues “that make Sullivan County, and the world at large, a better place.”
The more than 10 artists invited to exhibit their works hail from Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties. Their work will remain on display through Friday, Aug. 23. The historic site of the Woodstock music festival, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts also serves meals and snacks at its Muse Cafe. A menu is available online.
The museum’s permanent interactive exhibition combines film and interactive displays, text panels and artifacts to tell the story of the Sixties and Woodstock. On Assignment: Woodstock Photographs by Rolling Stone Photographer Baron Wolman closes on Aug. 18. Opening in its place on Thursday Aug. 29 is the special exhibition Keeping Time: The Photography of Don Hunstein The Unseen Archive of Columbia Records which highlights the 30-year career Columbia Records in-house photographer Don Hunstein. The collection focuses on performers including Duke Ellington, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Simon and Garfunkel, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. This is the first time the exhibition will be seen anywhere.
Shohola Bells: The Sound of Peace is a sculptural and aural art installation by renowned potter David Greenbaum. “Embodying the magic of meditative sound and a graceful, restrained aesthetic, Shohola Bells have a profound transformative presence,” according to the museum. Consisting of four handmade ceramic bells mounted in wooden stands, Shohola Bells: The Sound of Peace is installed along the entrance plaza through Oct. 14.
Regular museum hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week during the summer. All-inclusive admission is $15 or $13 for senior citizens; $11 for children ages 8 to 17; or $6 for children ages 3 to 7 (those age two and younger are admitted free.) New this year, guests may choose to view only the special exhibit gallery for a fee of $5. A 45-minute docent-led tour of the museum’s main exhibition is offered every Saturday at 1 p.m. Visit for more information.

Was it real, that scent of the surprised maiden? John Bert.

How Many Colors Are in All Questions?

In conjunction with this month’s Third Friday Wilkes-Barre art walk, The Wyoming Valley Art League will present a members’ exhibit from 5 to 8 p.m. in the second floor gallery at 130 South Franklin Street. Featured in the first floor gallery will be works in pastel, watercolor, and colored pencil by John Bert from his collection of 166 drawings about Pablo Neruda’s “The Book of Questions” titled How Many Colors are in all Questions? The artist and poets Mischelle Anthony and Brian Fanelli will read poems by Pablo Neruda as part of the evening’s reception.

Curtain Call: Hear Them Roar

Laurie McCants in Industrial Angels

Hear them Roar

BTE introduces women’s solo performance fest

The increasing costs of theatrical production over the years coupled with decreased arts funding have led playwrights to create works with smaller and smaller casts. Many theatrical artists have cut to the chase, creating their own custom one-person performances. For Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble member and co-founder Laurie McCants, that solo show is an Emily Dickinson-inspired piece titled Industrial Angels. The work was created with support from a Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship administered by Theatre Communications Group and spurred this weekend’s inaugural Women’s Solo Performance Festival at the Alvina Krause Theatre.
It was while attending a TCG conference in Boston that a few BTE ensemble members noted their own mainstage season was unintentionally dominated by the voices of male playwrights. Inviting other women to share solo works like that, McCants had created a solution to this homogeneity and a way for the company to introduce a unique new program to central Pennsylvania.
Industrial Angels will open the festival Friday at 7:30 p.m. It’s been described as a “spinning-shadow-puppet-memory-play-with-music evoking the secret creative lives of women, mother/daughter bloodlines, and the ghost of Emily Dickinson.”
Set in a cluttered attic, the story finds an “elusive poet” searching for the threads connecting her and her mother. It was conceived by Laurie McCants on a visit to Emily Dickinson’s home, where almost 1800 poems wrote in secret were discovered posthumously. The artist uses puppetry, paper-cutting, music, movement, light and shadow as well as poetry to speak to “women’s handiwork: mending, preserving, ordering, adorning, writing, hiding.”
The festival also opened the door to former ensemble member and fellow co-founder Martha Kemper to return to BTE’s stage. A native of Houston, she will expose the actors’ craft, revealing the work one might put into playing Joan of Arc in Me, Miss Krause, & Joan on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Miss Krause in question is Alvina Krause, the influential acting teacher who gives BTE’s theater its name. Moments of working with Krause are layered with scenes from the life of the sainted young martyr in Kemper’s piece described as a “complex interplay of light and, significantly, darkness: in the re-living of a rape that took place as the actress walked home from a performance, woven into the trial of Joan of Arc.” It has previously been performed at the 2008 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, the Mid-Atlantic American Association of Women Studies Conference and at a number of Quaker gatherings. Kemper currently teaches theatre and directs plays at Penn State Abington near Philadelphia where she has worked with companies such as the Wilma, InterAct and Hedgerow, and is a Penn PAT roster artist.
New to Bloomsburg are Leigh Hendrix ( of Connecticut and New York City’s Kali Quinn. Hendrix will embody the character of motivational speaker Butchy McDyke in the comedy How To Be A Lesbian in 10 Days or Less on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“One part instructional seminar, one part personal story, and one part wacky performance art,” the story is “an exploration of self-discovery and first love, coming out, lesbian sex, queer politics, and a really important Reba McEntire song,” press materials for the show states.
It was previously staged in The New Orleans Fringe Festival and the United Solo Festival in New York as well as theaters in Massachusetts. Hendrix is also known for her two-woman show about creating a two-woman version of Hamlet called Leigh and Melissa Present: Hamlette! and is the creator of a live talk show People I Like with Leigh Hendrix.
A graduate of the University of Rochester with an MFA from The Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre, Kali Quinn ( teaches Clown, Mask, and Devising for the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Program and has toured with Clowns Without Boarders in Guatemala. She will present her second solo work, Overture to a Thursday Morning, in Bloomsburg on Sunday at 3 p.m.
The piece “takes on the buried struggles of three generations of women through a surprising clash of 1950s nostalgia, visual poetry, real-time musical composition, physical tragic comedy, and common household objects” and is told Lila who “smokes, listens to Talking Heads and wants to be a violin rock star, until unwanted discoveries shove her toward the truth about her own birth.”
Tickets are $15 per performance or festival passes can be purchased for $50. Visit for more information or call the box office at 784-8181.

ec & dc FASHION: New Boho

ec & dc FASHION: New Boho


Christine Brown models some great New Boho styles at Freedlove, including this lacy mini lined with a peachy orange.


ec & dc FASHION

New Boho

With ec&dc fashion consultant Carla Zero. Photos by Alicia Grega.
Best described as hippie chic, these romantic, free-spirited styles are among the hottest trends this summer. Look for free-flowing, lacy dresses, embroidery, and earthy and edgy accessories in your favorite boutique.

Expert advice

Summer fashion tips from Nadine Bryant, owner of Freedlove in Scranton
What do you see as the strongest trends this season?
Tons of white, florals, stripes, and mixing prints.

What’s one statement piece that will amp up your wardrobe?
I suggest a basic moto faux (animal friendly) leather jacket because you can wear it daily. You can stick to the classic black or brown, or go with an unusual color like mint or silver. Either way, it’s a sure fire way to amp up your wardrobe. Every girl should own one.

How are pants and skirts and shorts updated for summer?
Pants are printed, skirts are long and flowing, and shorts are high-waisted.

What’s fresh in tops shirts and blouses?
We are seeing similar styles in tops with just some more embellishments. Like a colorful blouse with cutouts or spikes and a basic tee with fringe

What’s the secret to mixing prints?
Don’t be afraid to be bold! Try mixing prints in the same hues or maybe a floral with a stripe, but really anything goes. That’s the best part of this trend. You can’t really go wrong. So don’t be shy.

This coral statement necklace is the perfect summer accent. We found it at Freedlove.

For more fashion trends, see our other tips for Summer 2013:
Black & White
Color Crush

Sizzlin’ Summer: Yum

Sizzlin’ Summer: Yum

Grilled Spring Vegetable Tacos with Cauliflower Tortillas by Caitlin Van Horn at Roostblog feature a mix of asparagus, portabello, lentils, and cilantro with a plum vinegar and sesame oil and lime dressing.

Enlightened Eating

Take a Load Off Your Plate

It’s all about outdoors in the summertime across The 570 — we already are where our New York and New Jersey neighbors go to get away for the weekend and that’s one of the best things about living in this neck of the woods. Moving outside for the seasons means most of our meals are dictated by what can be packed in picnic baskets and brought to a barbecue hue on the grill. Fortunately our concept of grill friendly foods has expanded immensely in recent years and fancy fruit and vegetable-based dishes and seafood choices are often found sizzling next to more traditional sauce-drenched meats and burgers dripping with cheese.
Even with healthy choices on the buffet table it can be hard not to load your plate with potluck goodies. In anticipation of all the tasty treats the season is sure to tempt us with in these coming months, we scanned the trends for new tips on keeping it light between barbecues.

papaya nieves

Don’t do dairy? That’s less of a problem these days than ever thanks to almond and coconut milk and soy milk ice cream recipes and greek yogurt based blends designed for success in homemade ice cream machines. You don’t even need a milk substitute with a Yonanas or Fro-Frutti machine which transforms 100 percent fruit ingredients into a silky Italian ice like treat. Tasting is believing. We got hooked on the papaya, cactus, tamarind, and cantaloupe “nieves” served at La Casona de Mama (Jackson Street, West Scranton) for only $1 a dish and decided we needed to do this ourselves if we ever hoped to eat at home again. Recipes are everywhere online and include spices as well as other ingredients worth testing.

It seems like anything and everything is being frozen these days. Remember those Tupperware home ice pop makers that got you through the summer when you were a kid? They’re back in a big way with more “groovy” variations for sale than you can shake a popsicle stick at. And when all else fails, pour your fruit and veggie juices into regular old ice cube trays and pop the frozen results into a glass of regular water for a simple but effective refresher. Our research turned up gorgeous photos of beautiful striped cubes layered with strawberry beet juice, kiwi, cucumber, and mint with coconut milk we can’t wait to duplicate.

nectarine agua fresca

Fruit-based aqua frescas are also a sure thing for summer. This recipe mixes three pureed and strained nectarines with two teaspoons of lemon juice and agave to taste in two cups of water.
The days of chemically-flavored water seem to be over as well. It seems almost too obvious but putting a little punch in your water with your own blend of natural ingredients is the smartest way to go this summer and always. The Family Bites blog has an inspirational list of 68 ways to naturally flavor your water that, in addition to obvious options like lemon, lime and mint, also includes fruits such as blackberry, lavender, ginger, peaches, rhubarb, blueberries, kiwi, watermelon, pineapple, and halved grapes and herbs like basil, thyme and rosemary, lemongrass, and sage, as well as cucumber. If you haven’t tried this at home yet, do yourself a favor and don’t waste any more time. One pitcher will change your life.

Those looking for a more spirited beverage that won’t weigh them down on these hot summer days to come might want to try Clique vodka’s En-Lighten-Mint cocktail made with cucumber-infused vodka, lemon wheels, sparkling water, and a mint sprig.
Cauliflower seems to be the new secret ingredient as more and more people attempt to cut down on gluten and grains. Culinary wizards are ricing it and dicing it into the form of pizza crust and tortillas. The Lucky Penny blog swears her cauliflower pizza crust is “picky husband taste-tested and approved.” ( Mind you we have not tested all of these recipes, but we just might go there before the summer is over. We even found a recipe for “Alfredo” sauce made from cauliflower at

lemon meringue s’mores

So maybe lemon curd isn’t that much healthier than chocolate but the lemon meringue s’mores we glimpsed at Cooking Classy look so refreshing we’re more than happy to pretend. You can make your own lemon curd or buy a jar from the store to save time and just place it on a graham cracker with that fire-toasted vanilla marshmallow for a surprising twist on the summer staple.
Keep it simple with a few bold ingredients that will make you feel like you’re eating more simply because there’s so much flavor going on. This blackberry and mint “refrigerator salad” from Doctor’s Daughter is arugala-based and dressed with a honey lime dressing, blue cheese crumbles and almonds. Your taste buds will not feel cheated but your waistline will thank you.

blackberry and mint refrigerator salad

Contain Those Chicks!

Contain Those Chicks!

Monday is April Fool’s Day. With that in mind, we offer you the following satirical prose to make you chuckle. Please note: the characters outlined in these stories are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Contain Those Chicks!

Giant Peeps swarm college campus, scare the life out of local co-eds

More yellow than Big Bird and more sticky than a pile of molasses on a hot summer day, giant Peeps invaded the campus of Valley College this week, sending terrified co-eds out of their dorms and classrooms and into the streets of the Electric City.
The giant marshmallow candy chicks were a science experiment gone wrong. Thinking he was offering his class an educational, yet fun, laboratory assignment before Easter break, Professor Stan Lee VonDelmond said two of his chemistry students “zigged when they should have zagged” as they added an unauthorized ingredient to their sugary concoction.
When asked what ingredient caused the chicks to grow from their usual 2 inches in diameter to monstrous proportions, the professor opted to take the Fifth. “All I can say is that we’re terribly sorry to have caused a ruckus,” he told reporters at a press conference in the gym. “Sometimes science just gets weird.”

It is estimated that more than a dozen out-of-control giant Peeps swarmed through the campus on Tuesday afternoon. Students were running for their lives and screaming in terror. “It was surreal – like a bad horror movie,” said Mollee Lacy. “I thought we were going to die!”
Her roommate agreed. A wing from one of the yellow monsters burst through the window of her dorm room while she was taking a nap. “It was like a bad dream,” said Allie Manntovicha. “This is it now. I’m off sugar.”
National Guardsmen were called in to assist local police as they blasted the giant Peeps with the only substance known to kill them – hot water.
Valley College will be closed for the rest of week as crews clean up the yellow goo left behind from the Peeps attack. As for the chemistry students who caused all this destruction in the first place, they could be facing charges for their weird science. Be sure to check our Facebook page for updates on this disturbing developing story.
— julie imel

In other bizarre news …


Gross Out comes to The 570

Hey, hey, hey germaphobes: listen up. The producers of Gross Out are coming to a community center near you. Gross Out is a reality show that takes germaphobes on a disgusting journey as they compete for a year’s supply of Z-Packs and antibacterial wipes — plus fame and fortune as the one of the top germ busters in the land.
Auditions will be held at the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Community Recreational Center on Saturday, March 30, at 6 p.m. those who make the cut will compete in neighborhoods throughout the greater Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area, facing the following disgusting, but very entertaining, tasks:

• All-American Germ Bowl. Contestants will go bowling without wearing socks. They’ll be required to rent bowling shoes and will not be permitted to bring their own shoes as they go foot-to-foot in this “pedi” trial.
• Toilet Terminators. Contestants will use 10 public toilets in one day at various venues without washing their hands. And, no cheating: competitors must touch the toilet handles to flush and touch all doorknobs without the use of paper towels.
• Garbage Dump Treasure Hunt. Armed with a map and a keen sense of smell, contestants will forage through local landfills hunting rotten treasure.
• Name That Stink! Contestants will be blindfolded and driven to five different locations throughout Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties. Upon their arrival, they’ll have 10 minutes to determine where they are and, you guessed it, name that stink!
Oh, and just to put the “ick” in icky, the masterminds behind Gross Out will forbid the use of antibacterial spray and/or wipes in all challenges.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to be the next Gross Out champion, register for your audition by visiting Gross Out on Myfacepage.
— ji

Show Your Support, You Idiot!

You strolled into work and were a half a cup of coffee into your morning when it finally dawned on you; everyone’s wearing blue and you are decked out in charcoal and hunter green. How embarrassing! The creators of a new smartphone app launching April 2 hope and pray you will never be in this situation again. “Embrace The Day” offers users a week-by-week wardrobe sketch of what important causes and observations one should be currently color supporting.
A quick glance at the interface showed a staple red and white combo required for the 25th of every month, in order to celebrate Christmas in July, August, etc. January 11th marks a white out as it is National Milk Day (also World Laughter Day, which does not require a color, but hopefully doesn’t induce an onslaught of dairy propelling out of nasal passages).
Important dates with colors include: Jan. 16, National Religious Freedom Day (almond toast); Feb. 13, 14 or 15, Singles Awareness Day (downy maroon); February 17, Random Acts of Kindness Day (applesauce); March 10, Middle Name Pride Day (papaya whip); Someone’s Birthday Weekend (trust us, they’ll let you know); March 14, Pi Day, (Havana cream); April 26, Hug A Friend Day, (mauvelous); June 28 CAPS LOCK DAY, (tan); and Sept. 28, Ask a Stupid Question Day, (Yankee Doodle Dandelion).
— tom graham


She’s NEPAlicious

It may be a pants-free spring for ladies in NEPA this year.
Local fashion blogger Neena Pinchy ( announced the hottest new trend in women’s fashion is wearing a shirt as a dress. It’s a bold look you may have seen sporadically last season, but this year, Pinchy says NEPA fashionistas everywhere will be belting those shirts and leaving their drawers in the drawer, if you will.

We caught up with Pinchy in a local coffee shop where she was sipping on a mocha-free, milk-free, coffee-free latte, to talk about the trend that has spurred more than just a little controversy in the fashion world. Some critics have hailed the new look as “trashy” and “shabby” with the Yes, We Are Better Than You fashion house in London calling it “just plain icky.”
That’s nonsense to Pinchy. “I’ve been like wearing shirts as a dress for a while now, and I just want women to know that’s OK,” she said. “Just belt it.”
Pinchy said anyone who doesn’t like the shirt-as-a-dress look must be “old and ready to die — like 30.” She noted that these are the same people who grossly misunderstand high heels. “Flats are disgusting,” she said. “If you can like walk in your shoes, then they’re ugly.”
Pinchy does indeed practice what she preaches. Wearing a shirt as a dress paired with platforms, she gained more than a little attention from fellow customers in the shop. We noticed she politely declined to take a seat when we arrived, and we had to ask if it was because sitting would create a “Britney moment” for her. “Ew, like don’t ever sit,” she warned.
To read Pinchy’s “EW” and “Yay” lists for spring, check out
— ji

Day Designated for ‘Preaching to the Choir’

Data was presented at the IAMS International Social Media Conference in Frankfurt this week which confirms what you already expected. Your Facebook and Twitter friends think the same way you do on 90 percent of the political issues most likely to inspire online campaigns.
“Sure I think marijuana should be legalized (in the U.S.), but that doesn’t mean I want my timeline flooded with pro-pot propaganda every time a new proposition comes up for vote,” Facebook’s Mork Zorkenblurg told press as day one of the conference came to a close. “We’re afraid this sort of “preaching to the choir” activism is driving people away from our platforms.”
Earlier that day, social media expert Jack Nwos shared the results of his team’s six months of research demonstrating user departure from social media programs on days when cause-related posts flare-up.
Social media heavyweights in attendance have already agreed to designate one day every month for users to share their social concerns.
“People want to support their pet issues but within an accepted structure that’s not going to alienate anyone,” Nwos said. Tomorrow, conference attendees will discuss another timeline clean-up initiative, a sort of “swear jar” in which all posts deemed utter nonsense will require a small donation to a “saving our cities” fund.
— alicia grega

Church Introduces Innovative ‘Mealraiser’

The United Trinity Anglican Church of Vandling will host a “leftover drive” for its non-denominational soup kitchen on Cypress Street next Thursday.
“Our cupboards are bare and the homeless don’t want to eat creamed corn and puffed rice any more than you do,” The Rev. Flowers Pressley said.
The church held a very successful leftover potluck fundraiser last year that raised more than $900 for the kitchen. Everyone had a great time but the irony that clients couldn’t afford the $50 gala ticket was not lost on organizers.
This year the church decided to forgo the hassle of hosting a benefit. Those who can help are asked to donate their leftovers directly to the Cypress Street Soup Kitchen where they will be forked over directly to clients as long as they last. If the drive is successful, Rev. Pressley said, the church will hold more in the future.
“You weren’t going to eat it anyway,” she said, “These days it seems kids want food prepared fresh every night. Why make the down and out pick through your garbage?”
Donors are asked to drop off your leftovers with re-heating instructions between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Containers will not be returned.
— ag

Jack Gilford

Musical Taps Zombie Fad

Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy are among the big stars resurrected from the grave to appear in the new national tour of Cocoon The Musical. The ghost of Jack Gilford will direct the show inspired by the 1985 movie with assistance from Elaine Strich as musical director. The show also boasts choreography by Gwen Verdon.
“They’ll never grow old and they’ll never die,” producer Derreck Desperadot alluded in regards to the film’s zombie stars.
“Ticket sales are down from coast to coast. This seemed like the next logical step to appeal to youth obsessed baby boomers,” he told Variety. The show skipped Broadway and went straight to tour because it was felt New York audiences; even the tourists, were sophisticated to bite.
“People are so bored in middle America they’d buy a ticket to watch David Copperfield take a crap if we stamped “Broadway” on it,” Desperadot said.
In addition to the deceased stars brought back to life, the musical will star child star Chandler Riggs of The Walking Dead and Courtney Cox, who will reprise her role from Coccoon 2: The Return. Adam Levine, of Maroon 5 fame, will play the Steve Guttenburg character.
“After we saw Levine on SNL we just had to have him,” said Desperadot. Guttenberg recently told E! he had to decline Cocoon The Musical because he is still busy touring in support of his February release The Guttenberg Bible.
— ag

An Open Call to Exploit Artists

Local city officials recently announced they will be accepting submissions and reviewing work samples from local artists interested in repainting the cities rapidly-deteriorating crosswalks scattered throughout the downtown area. The vocal committee, comprised mostly of white males with business degrees, decided it would be beneficial to all interested parties if they turned toward the local struggling artists and gave them the opportunity to showcase their skills, without having to worry about any form of financial compensation.
“My granddaughter just lights up with pride when we use her artwork to decorate our refrigerator,” said spokesman Monty Morgansonian. “She’s just happy to get the exposure. The committee got together after some brandies and we decided to let the city’s artists have their way with the crosswalks. We want to let them really get creative on how they execute the painting, but they must adhere to a pre-approved template and trace accordingly. But we want them to trace really creatively.”
Artists must supply proof of insurance, their own paint and painting supplies and must be able to execute the painting in the time frame allotted by red and green lights, distracted drivers and aggressive taxis.
Interested artists can email for more information. A drug screening will occur, but will have no consequence. “We want the artists to think outside the box, but stay inside the provided template.”
— tg

What’s in a name?

Archbald band Distracted by the Amish is asking its fans to come up with a new name.
Tired of being misunderstood, the death metal quartet insists it’s never even been to the Lancaster area.

Slick Rawk of the band that no longer wants to be known as ‘Distracted by the Amish’

“We rock really hard. People keep showing up at our gigs expecting acoustic lullabies and German hymns,” front man Slick Rawk told ec.
The band will take suggestions on its MySpace, Facebook, and ReverbNation profile pages through the end of the month. One lucky winner will get to sing the song of his or her choice on stage with the band at The Waste Space next month.
“Every time someone makes fun of our name on Facebook, we ask them if they have a suggestion for a better one,” Rawk said. “We’re not being sarcastic. Sincerely, help us come up with something better. We’re obviously not very good at this.”
— ag

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Everyone’s a Storyteller

Everyone’s a Storyteller

Everyone’s a Storyteller

Share a love for Irish folklore this St. Patty’s Day

Whether specked with sunlight and rainbows or overcast with clouds, the air over Northeastern Pennsylvania will twang with an Irish vibe and glow with Emerald Isle green this week, promising corned beef and cabbage prepared with somebody’s mother’s love just around the corner. It’s such customs that make a culture. Key among these, after the parades and parties wind down, are the stories we tell each other. Whether written down for public record or scandalously whispered across town from one ear to the next, the words we trade and remember reveal who we are.

Even before the Christians swooped in to strip the power from Celtic Paganism and nature-centered worship, the Romans campaigned to knock the Druids down a few notches. While sympathetic to polytheism, it seems the mysterious practices of the Druid priests, and barbaric rituals including human sacrifice offended them (Celtic Myth and Legend, Charles Squire 1905.) Much of what survives of Celtic mythology is contained in manuscripts created by Christian monks and colored by the lens of their classical Greek and Latin-based education. No offense to (the British-born) Saint Patrick, but it is inspiring that so many old folk tales survived the subsequent church-washing of native Celtic culture. It’s a testament to the will of the people and their love for the land that sustained generations of families.
The Ulster and Fenian patriarchal story cycles, for example, are Mahabarata in scope, with family trees branching into forests as gods devolved into human warriors engaged in a Celtic knot of battle sequences. Composing a good half of Irish lore, these were remembered through the dark ages by poets of the court appointed to keep history of king’s lineage and can contend with any modern soap opera. Of greater interest to contemporary audience perhaps are the more fantastic adventure stories of folk tales involving magical characters, other worlds and ocean voyages.

Faerie Folk
Usually portrayed as small, ghostly creatures, fairies are powerful enough en masse to entrance a man or woman away from deep family roots or the most passionate romance. Openings to their kingdoms lurk within reach, but just beyond common sight at the bottom of wells, the edge of a lake or river and just beyond the entrance of a cave or forest edge.
The banshee as we’ve come to know her in popular culture is a terrorizing shrew of a ghost screeching and potentially harmful, but the traditional Bean Sidhe, although associated with death and mourning specifically, did little more than keen. In some stories, the sight of her was perhaps an omen of death to come but the figure herself was harmless. Although considered a fairy, she generally operates alone.
“When more than one banshee is present, and they wail and sing in chorus, it is for the death of some holy or great one. An omen that sometimes accompanies the banshee is the (cóiste-bodhar) ­— an immense black coach, mounted by a coffin, and drawn by headless horses driven by a Dullahan. It will go rumbling to your door, and if you open it, … a basin of blood will be thrown in your face.” W.B. Yeats writes in Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888). Hint: The book is available as a free kindle download at Amazon or at

Also available at the Internet archive of Sacred Texts is Edward Sullivan’s 1920 summary of The Book of Kells. Treasured for its elaborate calligraphy and colorful illustrations of symbols associated with Christ including peacock, vine and grapes, cross, fish, lion, olive tree, snake and the chalice, woven with Celtic knots, this historic unfinished manuscript on calf vellum created by monks in approximately 800 AD survived Viking pillaging of the Abbey of Kells in the 10th century and is now housed at Trinity College in Dublin. The Book of Kells can also be downloaded in an iPad app ($12.99) released from Trinity in January that allows viewers to see all 680 pages at six times their original size.
Curious Creatures
The most curious chapter in the story of famed warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill a.k.a. Finn MacCool may be the legend of the salmon of knowledge in which a fish supposedly ate nine hazelnuts that fell from trees growing around the well of wisdom and gained access to all the information known to the world. Young Fionn’s master, the wise poet Finegas, finally caught the magic fish after years of searching and gave it to his charge to prepare with order not to sample even the smallest bite. But when Fionn burned his thumb cooking the fish, he instinctively put it in his mouth and through the one drop of oil he tasted, he gained all of the knowledge in the world. From that day forth all he had to do was put his thumb in his mouth to access it. He grew up to become a talented poet and skilled warrior who led men to triumph.
Legend attributes the first recorded unicorn sighting in Europe to Julius Caesar who dryly described a distinctly horned stag in The Gallic War (book six, chapter 26) upon return from a Celtic campaign.
*Tristan of Lyonese slew a dragon in the region then known as Hibernia in the 11th century according to predominating legend, despite a claim in 1188 by clergyman and historian Giraldus Cambrensis or Gerald of Wales crediting Saint Patrick with ridding the isle of all dragons as early as the 5th century.

*The infamously evasive gold-hording leprechaun is technically a variety of dwarf of which there others. The cluricaune, for example, was known to spend most of his time drinking in one wine cellar or another where he would scare off household servants inclined to do the same. Although intoxicated more often than not, legend has it he was a dapper dresser.
*The mermaid-like Selkie was a mythological maiden that could shed her seal skin to assume human form. In the legend of Ondine, she is a water nymph who becomes human by marrying a man and bearing his child. When mortal, she begins to age and as her beauty fades, her husband cheats on her with another woman. Ondine catches them laying together and curses the him to lose his breath and die if he every sleeps again. Male selkies were said to lure dissatisfied married women away from their husbands.
The Claddagh Ring
One version of a fede ring that was quite common across Europe, the ubiquitous Claddagh ring has traditionally been used to pledge vows of engagement or marriage, and often passed from mother to daughter. It has also been interpreted as another representation of the holy trinity with hands joined in love under divine blessing. Silversmith Richard Joyce is generally credited with the design as we know it today.

Working on a fishing boat out of the village of Claddagh in Galway on the west coast of Ireland, Joyce was by accounts sold into the service of a goldsmith when the ship’s crew was captured by Algerian pirates in the late 1700s. Engaged to be married that very week he was heartsick he could not be with his love and after learning his master’s trade, created the ring in devotion to her. When he was finally able to return to Claddagh years later, he found his love still waiting for him. Story has it he then presented her with the ring he had forged and demand for replicas of the romantic token quickly spread beyond the town.
In more elaborate versions, Joyce was offered a prestigious life and the hand of at least one worthy woman in Africa, but desired only to return home to the love he had been forced to leave behind, his love for her not weakening with time, absence, or temptation.
The direction the ring is worn and on which hand has further come to indicate relationship status.

The Scoop: Feb. 28, 2013

Editor Julie Imel Dishes the News You Need to Know

Something’s brewing

There’s a new café in downtown Scranton, and you’ll have a chance to check it out at a grand opening celebration on Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Morning Glory Café is located inside the Manhattan Room, next to the Jermyn Hotel at 326 Spruce St. Grand opening festivities include a free coffee tasting, live entertainment, door prizes and complimentary food and drinks. Coffee pros from Green Street Roasting will demonstrate how cold brew coffee is made and will discuss fair trade and organic farming practices. The festivities will come to a close with musical entertainment by local artists Daniel Rosler, Edward Cuozzo and Blinded Passenger.
The café’s founders, Chelsea Collins and Katie Trott, welcome the community to tour the space they share with the Vintage Theater. Among the café’s unique attributes are an environmentally-friendly bar and tables made from old pallets and barn wood, an upstairs loft area with vintage runs, couches and a record player, and you’ll even find some of your favorite board games and books from childhood. (We’re talking Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys here — count us in). As for their menu, you’ll find organic coffee, teas and espresso, baked good and options for a light lunch. Many of the products are Fair Trade and Rain Forest Alliance certified in hopes to promote ethical and green farming practices. In addition, Collins and Trott are making an effort to buy ingredients from local farms, vendors and dairies. For more information, find Morning Glory Café on Facebook.

Countdown to St. Patrick’s Day

As if you needed one (ha ha) here’s a little reminder that Scranton and Wilkes-Barre will soon be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Scranton’s annual parade will be Saturday, March 9. Wear your green and make like a leprechaun through the downtown. The Brian P. Kelly Memorial Race parade starts at 11 a.m. sharp, and the parade steps off at 11:45 a.m. For more information on the race and parade, visit
Don’t throw away all your green gear after Scranton’s parade has come and gone because you’ll have a chance to wear it again when The City of Wilkes-Barre hosts its parade on Saturday, March 16. Registration for the Renal Race, sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 36, starts at 7 a.m. at Rodano’s, and the parade will step off at South Main and South Streets at 2 p.m. For more information on the race and parade, visit
While we’re talking about St. Patty’s Day, we have a special issue planned next week that will celebrate Irish culture. We’ll have all the details on local parades and where to see and be seen in bars and clubs on parade day. We have a few more tricks up our sleeve, too. Be sure to pick up a copy of electric city in Lackawanna County and diamond city in Luzerne County to plan your St. Patty’s Day festivities.

Save the date

We’re all gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day, but there are other exciting events to look forward to as well. Here’s a couple that you may want to save the date for:
March 2: Promoting Pride in Public Square, a fundraiser, will be held at Rodano’s on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre from 4 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, and you’ll enjoy entertainment by two bands, beer, wine, stromboli, raffle and more. For more information and tickets, email Bill at
March 20: A Pysanky Workshop will be offered at the Everhart Museum in Scranton from 6 to 8 p.m. Stefanie Colarusso will teach this beginner’s class on traditional wax-resist egg decorating with a Romanian pattern emphasis in honor of the exhibit, The Blood is the Life, now on display. The cost is $25 for museum members and $30 for non-members. Space is limited and pre-registration/pre-payment is required. For more information, visit
That’s the scoop! Thanks for reading and I’ll meet you again next week.

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