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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Thorpe PA’

People can certainly be saddened by the music industry these days. I totally understand.

My first live concert was at the Fillmore East, an experience I still think about all the time. Music, both live and on vinyl, provided me with life-changing experiences that I draw upon to this day.

Back then, I had never heard of a tribute band. But like any business, things change, and you adapt.

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Most of the original bands we book these days at the Mauch Chunk Opera House can thank tribute bands for the paying work, and also vice versa – because it’s all part of how the doors to our venue stay open, hence making it possible for people to support live music.

BlogArticle2100% of the tribute band members that work here are also members of other bands, some tribute, some original. The players are all good – really good. It would be beautiful if all their original projects ended up rocking the world and getting them great-paying gigs, but, well, I probably won’t be wearing Yankee pinstripes either.

Nonetheless, like the bands we book, we keep trying for the big time. Until that happens, when I get up and march off to the day job, I wish I still didn’t have to do it, but I’m grateful for the work. For musicians, they’re simply glad to be able to perform live, and a paying gig, whether tribute or original, pays the bills as well as makes an audience happy.

Paying work is hardly a bad thing.  We have a venue to keep open. Meanwhile, each weekend, our events help make it possible for restaurants to open, hotels to get booked, innumerable tradespeople to get work, and a small town in Pennsylvania to prosper. We all work in a big circle, each depending on the other.

The biggest thing for me personally is that it makes it possible to occupy a little piece of the music business. Presenting live music and seeing happy faces, both from audiences and bands – that’s what it’s all about.

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Adapted from an article by Jakky Johnson that appears here.

Stepping into Len Brunson’s cigar shop on Broadway is like strolling into an earlier, simpler, and more authentic time.

There’s no artifice. OK Cigars is really a snapshot of Jim Thorpe – it says, “What you see is who we are, so come on in.”

You’re immediately greeted with Louisiana-born warmth as Len shows you his wares. OK Cigars is filled with historic and vintage artifacts, and, of course, a huge variety of premium cigars.

InsideInfoOKCigar1Notice the display case full of antique lighters and various smoking paraphernalia. Get a quick lesson and description of a handmade lighter from the trenches of WWII.

Len carries himself like a broadcast journalist –  appropriate because he himself was a TV news anchor for three years back in Louisiana. But he wound up leaving that world for New York.

Len owned a cigar shop in SoHo for 18 years, also called OK Cigars, with a business partner, also a gallery owner representing artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Len and his wife, Patricia, were contemplating the end of the lease for the cigar business, and, growing weary of the New York pace of things, they escaped one weekend and happened upon Jim Thorpe, PA – which, by the way, is only two hours from New York’s George Washington Bridge.

Well, we could certainly offer them a more relaxed pace here, so they settled down, had a bite to eat, then went to a concert at the Mauch Chunk Opera House, just up the street.

Maybe that subtle Jim Thorpe embrace was just what they needed. It was an awakening, so to speak. After his SoHo lease expired in May of 2014, they moved to Jim Thorpe, and the rest, as they say, is history.

InsideInfoOKCigar2Watch Len Brunson interact with guests and it becomes apparent that he relishes his exchanges with people.  He enjoys the architecture, the mountains, the river, the kindhearted residents, and the artistic people who live here. He’s a very informative and gracious host to boot.

So, New York’s loss is Jim Thorpe’s gain, and we are able to have somebody like Len in town. If you’re looking for a taste of history, someone who looks you in the eye when you talk, or a wonderful cigar, pay OK Cigars a visit.

Oh, and by the way, it turns out he knows his way quite well around a microphone and a guitar, and so he’ll open for Ten Strings and a Goat Skin (from Canada’s Prince Edward Island) at the Opera House on Friday, May 20. Funny how things work out in Jim Thorpe.

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Jim Thorpe has been Shelley Roberts’ home for more than half of her life. She and co-owner Amy Levinson have been involved in massage, wellness and healing since 1989 and founded Mountain Massage, Inc. at Split Rock Resort.

Now they’ve just re-opened in Jim Thorpe! Jim Thorpe Massage & Wellness Studio is located at 69 Broadway and open 7 days a week. Their grand opening is on April 23rd, Earth Day, from 10 am to 5 pm. It will include drawings, discount coupons, snacks and beverages.

Shelley’s passions include herbal medicine and natural cooking. Some of her children were born at home- one in a birthing tub, and one at the hospital. Inside of her right wrist a tattoo done by her oldest daughter says, “Anyone can have boring.” Shelley is currently working on her first book.

Shelley met Amy Levinson, her new business partner at Amy’s “pick your own” A & B Blueberry Farm in Forest Inn during the summer of 2014. Amy, a licensed massage therapist from New York, had relocated to the area several years earlier.

Over the next years not only a friendship developed, but partnership was born. Amy has been practicing massage in the Tri-State area since 2001. Amy’s interests include growing, cooking, and preserving food, she is also a KCBS bar-b-que judge. Amy has two daughters, a dog, chickens and turkeys.

When they met, Shelley was working as a cyber-school elementary teacher, and Amy was tending her farm. They decided to join forces, secure a location and share their healing arts. Jim Thorpe Massage & Wellness Studio is located at 69 Broadway and open 7 days a week. Stop in and meet us. 570-995-3025.

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Jim Thorpe is a great place for Valentine’s Weekend with all kinds of things going on. One of those things is that our many restaurants have special events prepared just for the occasion! Check here often for updates on the variety of places to go for your special Valentine’s getaway.Valentines Dinner in Jim Thorpe PA

Romantic Valentine’s Package at the Inn at Jim Thorpe (24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, (570) 732-4343) Grab your sweetie and celebrate Valentine’s in one of America‘s most romantic towns!  Philadelphia Magazine voted Jim Thorpe, and the Inn, as their “Best Romantic Getaway” a couple of years ago.  Two night packages include lodging, a delicious gourmet Valentine’s dinner, complimentary bottle of wine and souvenir wine glasses, daily $7 breakfast voucher, taxes and gratuity and start at just $229 per person.  Optional massages and spa services available, too. February 13-15 or February 14-16

Stone Row Pub and Eatery (47 Race Street, Jim Thorpe, 570-732-0465) – Valentine’s 5-Course Dinner for Two: Tasty food + romantic setting + 2 options (2/13 & 2/14) = SHAZAM! Dinner includes a shared appetizer, cup of soup, salad, choice of entrée, dessert, tea or coffee. Vegetarian, vegan, allergen-sensitive options & special Valentine’s Cocktails are available. $65 Per Couple. Reservations strongly suggested. See website for details. Bonus offer: for those who “can’t get rid of the kids,” family seating is available on a separate floor, away from all the couples looking at one another with googly eyes.

Penn’s Peak Valentine’s Dinner Dance with Remember When (325 Maury Rd, Jim Thorpe, 866-605-7325) – Your evening begins with a delightful meal followed by the sounds of Remember When.   Ticket prices, which include show, meal, gratuity and applicable taxes, are $49 per person.  Entrée selections are Maryland Crab Cakes, Chicken Cordon Bleu or Roast Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus.  All entrées are served with a cup of Italian Wedding soup, fresh garden salad, Chef’s choice potato, fresh seasonal vegetables, strawberry layer cake and choice of coffee, tea or fountain beverage.  Cash bar available. Saturday, February 14, 2015, doors open 5:00pm, dinner 5:30pm to 7:00pm, Remember When 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Reservations are available through our Box Office at 866-605-7325 or by calling Deb Biege at 610-826-9663.

The Broadway Grille and Pub (24 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, (570) 732-4343) Have a Romantic Valentine’s Dinner at the Broadway Grille on February 14. Enjoy a special gourmet Valentine’s dinner featuring surf and turf, filet oscar or lobster tail, all served with dinner salad, vegetable du jour, mashed potatoes, dessert and a complimentary glass of Champagne. Reservations highly encouraged.

Moya (24 Race Street, Jim Thorpe, 570-325-8530) Enjoy your Valentines dinner at Jim Thorpe’s most romantic restaurant. Our amazing chef takes great pride in creating you and your special someone a fabulous romantic dinner. Relax in our dimly lit elegant dining room. Featuring a regular menu with plenty of delectable dinner specials. Expect special martinis and an extensive wine and beer list. Reservations will be accepted from 5:00pm until 9:45 pm

Tony Stella’s Encore (66 Broadway, Jim Thorpe, (570) 325-4440) – After 35 years in the restaurant business, Tony Stella’s background is legendary, from the food to the service. Join Tony and his staff for an evening of love and romance. Complimentary roses for the ladies, phenomenal drinks, 40 beers, and the also-legendary absinthe. His award-winning 5-star menu and personal attention to you are from start-to-finish: treat yourself.

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For such a small town, we have a lot going on New Year’s Eve. Our motto is, “You don’t have to go far to feel far away.”

Indeed, once you park your car, we’ll take care of the rest. Whatever you choose to do, it’s going to be fun.

As restaurant and other details come in for New Year happenings, we’ll post them here. Meantime, also check with our excellent restaurants!

New Years Eve, Jim Thorpe, PATony Stella’s Encore – (66 Broadway) – A 5-star restaurant in the historic Albright Mansion right downtown. Dinner will be served from 5PM until 11 PM, bar open until 2 PM. Experience Tony Stella’s class cuisine and service in a casual setting. Enjoy the lovely Melissa Van Fleet performing on the 1886 grand piano. Ring in the New Year with class!

Broadway Grille & Pub – (24 Broadway) – New Year’s Eve Dinner and Party. Special gourmet prix fixe dinner menu, complimentary glass of Champagne. Live music with award-winning musicians Steve Brosky & Jimmy Meyer from 9:30-12:30 am, noisemakers, party favors, drink specials, no cover.

New Years Eve Jim Thorpe PAMacaluso’s – (1257 East Catawissa, Nesquehoning, PA – just 3 miles away, they pick you up in town!) – It’s New Year’s Eve1 at Macaluso’s Restaurant. Happy Holidays and especially a Happy New Year! We celebrate New Year’s Eve with dinners from 4:30 until 10:00 PM. We offer our regular menu plus our “Best-Selling Additions of 2014.” We do require reservations so please call us at 570-669-9433. Next door, our motel offers great lodging and discounted lift tickets from nearby Blue Mountain Ski Resort!

Stone Row Pub & Eatery – (45 Race Street) – We’re a made-from-scratch restaurant, specializing in tasty food & drink for everyone at great prices. We keep our menu small so that we can accommodate allergies, intolerances & food choices. We use ingredients that are abundant & in-season. NYE New Years Eve 2014 HD wallpaper for Standard 4:3 5:4 Fullscreen UXGA XGA SVGA QSXGA SXGA ; Wide 16:10 5:3 Widescreen WHXGA WQXGA WUXGA WXGA WGA ; HD 16:9 High Definition WQHD QWXGA 1080p 900p 720p QHD nHD ; Other 3:2 DVGA HVGA HQVGA devices ( Apple PowerBook G4 iPhone 4 3G 3GS iPod Touch ) ; Mobile VGA WVGA iPhone iPad PSP Phone - VGA QVGA Smartphone ( PocketPC GPS iPod Zune BlackBerry HTC Samsung LG Nokia Eten Asus ) WVGA WQVGA Smartphone ( HTC Samsung Sony Ericsson LG Vertu MIO ) HVGA Smartphone ( Apple iPhone iPod BlackBerry HTC Samsung Nokia ) Sony PSP Zune HD Zen ; Tablet 2 Android 3 DVGA HVGA HQVGA devices ( Apple PowerBook G4 iPhone 4 3G 3GS iPod Touch ) ;includes: glass of champagne, wine or inspired mock-tail. Choose one of each: soup, salad, appetizer, entrée & dessert. $65 plus tax & gratuity. Reservations are helpful for our 2 seatings: 7:30 & 9:30pm. Our pub will be open with a select menu.  Please contact us to discuss any additional dietary issues that we will do our best to accommodate. Vegetarian choices can be made vegan, excluding crème brulee & the bouchon.

Penn’s Peak (325 Maury Road) – Featuring Get the Led Out, the fabulous Led Zeppelin tribute. 9 PM, 21 and older event. From the bombastic and epic, to the folky and mystical, Get The Led Out have captured the essence of the recorded music of Led Zeppelin and brought it to the concert stage. The Philadelphia-based group consists of six veteran musicians intent on delivering Led Zeppelin live, like you’ve never heard before.  GTLO re-creates the songs in all their depth and glory with the studio overdubs that Zeppelin themselves never performed and brings what the audience wants…a high energy Zeppelin concert with an honest, heart-thumping intensity.

Mauch Chunk Opera House (14 W Broadway) – 70’s Flashback rings in the new year 2015 with a night to remember. It is an 8-piece show band, performing the greatest music of the 1970’s. Their playing is almost like seeing your favorite performers onstage. Dance and party till midnight, right in town!.

New Year’s Package at the Inn at Jim Thorpe
 New Year's in Jim Thorpe PAIncludes 2-night stay, special gourmet New Year’s Eve dinner at the Broadway Grille, bottle of wine and 2 souvenir wine glasses, live music and party in the pub, daily $7 breakfast voucher, noon checkout and all taxes. Starts at $265 per person, double occupancy.

For accommodations, we can take care of that – check here.

 

 

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Audiences return to yesteryear when the Mauch Chunk Opera House features silent film accompanied by the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra on Sunday, October 12.

When the Opera House was purchased in 1925 by the Comerford Company of Buffalo, NY, silent film had already come into its own, featuring box office stars Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and many others.

Paragon Ragtime Orchestra at the Mauch Chunk Opera HouseOriginally built in 1881, the Opera House was remodeled to accommodate the tastes of the day, and provide state-of-the-art entertainment to residents and visitors who arrived in town (then known as Mauch Chunk) from New York’s Penn Station by the trainload, several times a day.

Audiences saw top-shelf ensembles performing scores written specially for the silent films they watched. If Charlie Chaplin was poked on the head, there was a musical sound for it that was written into the score. It wasn’t as if the orchestra simply performed a soundtrack: the music was integral to the experience of viewing the film.

Courtesy of the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, that’s what a 21st-century audience will get to experience on Sunday, October 12 at 6 PM. Conductor and orchestra leader Rick Benjamin is able to present a fascinating experience that takes audiences back in time.

The orchestra was founded in 1985 by Benjamin and prompted by his discovery of an enormous cache of musical arrangements belonging to a theater orchestra, once led by Arthur Pryor. Benjamin organized a number of his fellow students at Juilliard to perform the material, and in 1988 The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra made its public premiere at New York’s Alice Tully Hall as the first period instrument ensemble to appear there.

Featuring the silent film stars Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Harold Lloyd, the films speak to an earlier time when these actors were famous and America’s music was Ragtime.

Read the Opera House’s fascinating interview with conductor Rick Benjamin, here.

Tickets cost only $25 for this one-of-a-kind experience and purchased online 24/7 at mcohjt.com, or call the Opera House box office at 570-325-0249.

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This article is taken from the New York Times, Sunday Review, August 9, 2014 edition. The original can be seen by clicking here.
As we contemplate the people that come to visit the Jim Thorpe area, in the summer and indeed in all seasons, we think about the nature of time off itself, and its many benefits. And Jim Thorpe is a great place to spend that time off and leave it all behind, even if for just a day or two.
Here are some things to ponder while doing whatever you do here – whether it’s rafting down a river, reading a book, sipping some coffee, or taking in a show.

By DANIEL J. LEVITIN AUG. 9, 2014

THIS month, many Americans will take time off from work to go on vacation, catch up on household projects and simply be with family and friends. And many of us will feel guilty for doing so. We will worry about all of the emails piling up at work, and in many cases continue to compulsively check email during our precious time off.

New York Times Reset Your BrainBut beware the false break. Make sure you have a real one. The summer vacation is more than a quaint tradition. Along with family time, mealtime and weekends, it is an important way that we can make the most of our beautiful brains.

Every day we’re assaulted with facts, pseudofacts, news feeds and jibber-jabber, coming from all directions. According to a 2011 study, on a typical day, we take in the equivalent of about 174 newspapers’ worth of information, five times as much as we did in 1986. As the world’s 21,274 television stations produce some 85,000 hours of original programming every day (by 2003 figures), we watch an average of five hours of television per day. For every hour of YouTube video you watch, there are 5,999 hours of new video just posted!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s a reason: The processing capacity of the conscious mind is limited. This is a result of how the brain’s attentional system evolved. Our brains have two dominant modes of attention: the task-positive network and the task-negative network (they’re called networks because they comprise distributed networks of neurons, like electrical circuits within the brain). The task-positive network is active when you’re actively engaged in a task, focused on it, and undistracted; neuroscientists have taken to calling it the central executive. The task-negative network is active when your mind is wandering; this is the daydreaming mode. These two attentional networks operate like a seesaw in the brain: when one is active the other is not.

This two-part attentional system is one of the crowning achievements of the human brain, and the focus it enables allowed us to harness fire, build the pyramids, discover penicillin and decode the entire human genome. Those projects required some plain old-fashioned stick-to-itiveness.

But the insight that led to them probably came from the daydreaming mode. This brain state, marked by the flow of connections among disparate ideas and thoughts, is responsible for our moments of greatest creativity and insight, when we’re able to solve problems that previously seemed unsolvable. You might be going for a walk or grocery shopping or doing something that doesn’t require sustained attention and suddenly — boom — the answer to a problem that had been vexing you suddenly appears. This is the mind-wandering mode, making connections among things that we didn’t previously see as connected.

A third component of the attentional system, the attentional filter, helps to orient our attention, to tell us what to pay attention to and what we can safely ignore. This undoubtedly evolved to alert us to predators and other dangerous situations. The constant flow of information from Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, text messages and the like engages that system, and we find ourselves not sustaining attention on any one thing for very long — the curse of the information age.

My collaborator Vinod Menon, a professor of neuroscience at Stanford, and I showed that the switch between daydreaming and attention is controlled in a part of the brain called the insula, an important structure about an inch or so beneath the surface of the top of your skull. Switching between two external objects involves the temporal-parietal junction. If the relationship between the central executive system and the mind-wandering system is like a seesaw, then the insula — the attentional switch — is like an adult holding one side down so that the other stays up in the air. The efficacy of this switch varies from person to person, in some functioning smoothly, in others rather rusty. But switch it does, and if it is called upon to switch too often, we feel tired and a bit dizzy, as though we were seesawing too rapidly.

Every status update you read on Facebook, every tweet or text message you get from a friend, is competing for resources in your brain with important things like whether to put your savings in stocks or bonds, where you left your passport or how best to reconcile with a close friend you just had an argument with.

If you want to be more productive and creative, and to have more energy, the science dictates that you should partition your day into project periods. Your social networking should be done during a designated time, not as constant interruptions to your day.

Email, too, should be done at designated times. An email that you know is sitting there, unread, may sap attentional resources as your brain keeps thinking about it, distracting you from what you’re doing. What might be in it? Who’s it from? Is it good news or bad news? It’s better to leave your email program off than to hear that constant ping and know that you’re ignoring messages.

Increasing creativity will happen naturally as we tame the multitasking and immerse ourselves in a single task for sustained periods of, say, 30 to 50 minutes. Several studies have shown that a walk in nature or listening to music can trigger the mind-wandering mode. This acts as a neural reset button, and provides much needed perspective on what you’re doing.

Daydreaming leads to creativity, and creative activities teach us agency, the ability to change the world, to mold it to our liking, to have a positive effect on our environment. Music, for example, turns out to be an effective method for improving attention, building up self-confidence, social skills and a sense of engagement.

This radical idea — that problem solving might take some time and doesn’t always have to be accomplished immediately — could have profound effects on decision making and even on our economy. Consider this: By some estimates, preventable medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. You want your diagnostician to give the right answer, not always the quickest one. Zoning out is not always bad. You don’t want your airline pilot or air traffic controller to do it while they’re on the job, but you do want them to have opportunities to reset — this is why air traffic control and other high-attention jobs typically require frequent breaks. Several studies have shown that people who work overtime reach a point of diminishing returns.

Taking breaks is biologically restorative. Naps are even better. In several studies, a nap of even 10 minutes improved cognitive function and vigor, and decreased sleepiness and fatigue. If we can train ourselves to take regular vacations — true vacations without work — and to set aside time for naps and contemplation, we will be in a more powerful position to start solving some of the world’s big problems. And to be happier and well rested while we’re doing it.
Daniel J. Levitin is the director of the Laboratory for Music, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University and the author of “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.”

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