Blog posts about Easton, Pennsylvania.
Shortly after graduating from college, I tried starting a gaming club in the Lehigh Valley, Pa. I was fresh off having helped create the Role-Playing Underground when I was a student at Lock Haven University, and I was desperate to get a new campaign up and running.
It failed. We had a few meetings, and I was able to find enough people to get my own campaign off the ground, but in the end I didn't understand the fundamental difference between a college game club, and a real-world one. In college, the club was about recruiting people for your game. In the real-world, it was about playing games
Quick note: for those who might have been drawn to this post by the casino going up Bethlehem, Pa., I'm talking about role-playing, card, board and war games, not gambling.
Ultimately, I was able to patch together enough players from the club and some local cons. Once I had a group of my own, the need for the club faded. So did the club.
I'm doing the bachelor dad thing while Sue's away at a PowWow this weekend, so I figured it'd be a good thing if we started off our day with some exercise. I packed some zucchini bread and milk for the kids, loaded up the wagon our baseball mitts and Lucas, then walked to the Cosmic Cup for morning coffee while Jordan road her bike. Coffee in hand, we walked back home, deposited the bike in the side alley, then walked down to Nevin Park for breakfast under the trees.
After that the kids and I ran around on the playground equipment and swung on the swings, taking occasional breaks to play catch. All in all, a good start to the day, the only downside to which was the whining from Jordan about how tired she was on the walk back home.
It wasn't a hard work out, as things go, but it got my heart pumping climbing the hill back from the park, and tired out the kids so I think we can declare mission was accomplished.
Jordan and I went canoeing on the Bushkill River on Mother's Day as part of an effort to get Jordan, Luke and our friends Jess and Dylan's two-year-old twins used to the idea of being in a boat. We started off putting all four kids in the boat, and then Sue and Jess dragged them up and down the brook for a while (exceedingly cold work, given that it was only about 70 degrees out, the water was far colder, and they were standing in it). Once the little kids had had their full of the water, I took Jordie out in the (slightly) deeper water. The water was about two feet deep in this picture, giving us just enough clearance to go paddling.
The dent you see in the side of the canoe is not from me; rather it's a legacy of a disastrous family canoing trip on the Delaware River when I was a kid that ended with said canoe colliding with a rather rock after our first encounter with rapids. The canoe is in good shape in spite of its Titanic moment, and Sue and I have had it out on the Delaware a bunch of times, though not much since the kids were born.
The Elucidator is a quarterly print magazine published in Easton, Pa. It's the sort of thing that people outside of the town might never expect to be here: a magazine reviewing local culture, life, and arts. It's "Chew" and "Imbibe" columns check out the Lehigh Valley's bars and restaurants, while "Listen" reviews a variety of music, and regular photo essays explore life in and around Easton.
Like I said, it's nothing you'd expect to find here. Unless, of course, you actually lived here.
Easton's changed a lot over the years, in some ways for the bad (gangs) and many ways for the good (the arts). There's an established arts community, multiple art galleries, some cool downtown events -- including beer, garlic and shad (yes, shad) festivals.
Geek musician/singer Jonathan Coulton (Skullcrusher Mountain, Re: Your Brains) lives in Brooklyn, New York, which isn't all that far from the Lehigh Valley. Yet to the best of my knowledge, he's never played here, which is something I'd like to change.
There's a Lehigh Valley "demand" for him in Eventful:
The Cosmic Cup had live jazz tonight (with my boss on drums, so I stopped by with the kids for coffee, hazelnut chocalate gelato, and good music. We didn't stay long -- Jordan was tired after a big day at preschool -- but the kids seemed to enjoy it, and it was a great break from the regular routine. Luke really liked it, and spent half the time bouncing up and down on my lap, smiling at my friends, and occasionally pretending to be shy.
I don't blog about my adopted hometown all that much, aside from the occasional flood, but here's something worth noting: a list of free wifi access points across the Lehigh Valley. It's part of the The After Work Chronicles, the official blog of "Lehigh Valley Network of Young Professionals" and it's got posts going back to 2005, which is pretty good for a blog.
If you are looking for photos of the 2005 flood, please read this entry -- The Editor
The Delaware River flooded its banks after the remnants of Ivan -- combined with another storm -- dumped a huge amount of rain on the Lehigh Valley. Sue, Jordan and I walked down town to snap a few pictures of the scene, and we were astounded by what we saw.
As of Sunday, 9/19/2004, Larry Holmes Drive, which runs along the eastern edge of the city and abuts the park, was underwater (sorry, no photos of that -- we were on the wrong side of Rte. 22, and the digital camera can't shoot that far). Riverside Park is underwater and apparently the McDonald's was as well.
Closer to home, the river flooded 3rd Street, putting a car wash and numerous homes underwater. Rte. 611 is similarly drowned.
On the other side of College Hill (where we live in Easton), the Delaware turned Eddyside Park into just an extension of itself, creating a few sink holes along Rte 611. Further upriver, the Delaware destroyed a home, which later floated downstream and apparently hit the Free Bridge.
Here's one of the reasons why I love living in Easton, Pa.: ready access to the Delaware River.
After all, you can't have a Labrador and not live near a river ... or at least, it's not quite as much fun.