Thursday, January 31, 2019

Board of Trade Building

The Board of Trade building on Mulberry Street, Saturday morning.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Coney Island Lunch/Scranton Hobby

Our two favorite places in Downtown Scranton, Coney Island Lunch is always a great spot for a bite. Scranton Hobby is always worth a visit. Make sure you check them out next time you're in town, 500 block Lackawanna Avenue.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


You don't hear those words echoing through downtown streets anymore. On Tuesday. January 28, 1986 we were in Boston, on our way to Paul Revere's house when we heard the news on the radio. We needed to be on a 5:15 PM train out of South Station, and after a not so great lunch in Cambridge we got our stuff and fled. My brother in law driving down side streets trying to avoid traffic. Out in front of South Station a paper guy was yelling " EXTRA! EXTRA! SHUTTLE EXPLODES! ASTRONAUTS DEAD! This is the paper he was selling. Unlike most who had seen this replayed on telly through the afternoon, we had not, this was the first image of the tragedy we would see, and the only one until we de-trained the next day. This was the last time I learned details of a breaking news story through a newspaper. I do miss a good newspaper.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Federal Courthouse

The Federal Courthouse on Courthouse Square, Saturday morning.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Step Falls

Step Falls from the Harrison Avenue bridge yesterday morning. Starting to get icy down there!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Blanket Annie

Blanket Annie was a street person who frequented the Playhouse Square area in the early - mid 1970's. I gave her some spare change a few times back then, as did some of my co-workers. There was an overpowering odor about her, so you really didn't want to get too close. She wasn't the most pleasant person, she probably suffered from some kind of mental illness. Some people in the area gave her food and money, but she was sort of beyond help. They wouldn't let her inside the Royal Castle at 17th, the odor would chase the patrons out of that small space. The people that worked there, Doris and Larry, would give her free food, but they wouldn't let her inside, and that was also true about the Best Steak House that was on the same block. A few months after this article, Annie was found frozen to death in a box behind the Gulf station at 17th & Chester.
 From the Plain Dealer, October 5, 1974.
 From the Plain Dealer, October 11, 1974.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Erieview News

Erieview News at 1930 East 6th Street had been closed for over 20 years, but the sign from the 1970's renovation remains. Photo from last October.
This was a regular stop back in the 70's and 80's, newspapers from all over the world would be for sale in here. Some regional papers, like the Detroit Free-Press, Buffalo Courier-Express, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, would be here the day they were published, sometimes within hours, others would be a few days old, like the Los Angeles Times, or the London papers. You could also read these papers for free at the Public Library, just around the corner from here, they had a huge newspaper reading room. For me it was better to get a few, and take them back to the theatres, or home, where hot coffee made a nice addition to the paper. I used to read a lot of newspapers, usually three or four a day, sometimes more. Cleveland was down to two papers then, The Press and the Plain Dealer. I delivered the Press for a couple years when I was a kid. The Press folded in 1982, leaving Cleveland a one paper town, although the Akron Beacon-Journal expanded their reach into the Cleveland area, it wasn't the same. The BJ was a good paper then, haven't read one in decades, it's still published. Back then the papers seemed way better then what passes for news anymore. Lately newspapers have become little more than stenographers for the elite, and the television news is lots worse. News reporting has become very sloppy, and often downright deceptive, and slanted heavily towards the left. A good local example was when Fast Eddie Rendell was governor, the local newspapers and television stations all pushed his agenda, even going as far as allowing him to lie about "Tax cuts for all Pennsylvania property owners." It was a lie, and they all knew it, but he was the guy they were pushing. I remember sitting in that Barnes & Nobel on Main Street in Wilkes-Barre in the fall of 2006. Behind me was one of the WBRE news readers whose been long gone from here, she was telling some other people " we all love the governor, and we're doing everything to make sure he gets re-elected."  One of them even used a racial slur referring to Lynn Swan who was running against Rendell, great people. I just laugh when they have that tip line thing, around here it would be suicide to call that number, I have no doubt that whomever you were reporting about would learn of your call in minutes. Meanwhile the local paper has become little more than a bunch of puff pieces and poorly written news stories, sometimes vague as to what and where an event happened, television is worse in this regard. We ended up cancelling our newspaper, hard to do, but it was becoming way too expensive, and it didn't seem worth the hassle anymore. Plus it was hard to get rid of the papers, eight to ten times a year they wouldn't get picked up from the curb, and they'd be there for two weeks until the next paper pick up, sometimes four to six weeks. However, I really miss reading a good newspaper.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Penn Avenue

Penn Avenue looking south towards the Steamtown Mall on Saturday morning. Business at the mall has picked up now that the new aquarium is open.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Delaware-Lackawanna 2461

DL 2461 at Steamtown Yard on Saturday morning.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Jersey Central 1554

CNJ 1554 in the Steamtown Yard on Saturday morning.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Twinkie Lane

The old Hostess Bakery on Clark Avenue last fall. Back in the 70's the city renamed an alleyway that runs behind the building after the company's most famous product.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

South Side Skyline

South Side skyline. from last April, sure looking forward to spring.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Carter Road Bridge

The Carter Road lift bridge, Big Four Railroad bridge on right, from last spring.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Loew's Theatres

At your favorite Loew's Theatres, from the Plain Dealer, January 14, 1929.

Thursday, January 17, 2019


A couple views of last summer's trackwork along Ridge Row.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Jefferson Avenue

Jefferson Avenue, looking north from Lackawanna Station on Saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Keystone Lunch

We stopped by Keystone Lunch at 122 North Main Street the other day, always worth a visit!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Lackawanna Avenue Clock

The clock in the 500 block of Lackawanna Avenue started working again a few weeks ago, only problem is now it's 48 minutes fast. Apparently once a politician gets his photo taken in front of a project, that project becomes meaningless afterwards.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Rev. William Bishop

The Reverend William Bishop marker in the 100 block of North Main Avenue.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

North Main Avenue

Looking south along the west side of the 100 block of North Main Avenue this afternoon.

Suburban Symmetry

We were struck by the orderliness of trash day in the Cleveland suburbs while visiting friends last fall.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Hotel Statler

Victor Borge at the fashionable Terrace Room of the Hotel Statler, from the Plain Dealer, January 11, 1945. Years later we had Mr. Borge down the street at the RKO Palace.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Lackawanna Avenue

A couple views of Lackawanna Avenue, from Saturday, in front of the Steamtown Mall.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019


A look at the newly renovated Samter's building, tenants started moving in last month, good to see this landmark structure back in action.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Stairs

New stairs along Ridge Row replacing old wooden stairs that lead to the path across the Lackawanna RR tracks, just installed last week.
Hope they do something about the mud pit at the bottom of the stairs, looks like some poor soul already slipped here. Glad it wasn't me, don't get up as fast as I used to.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Eastbound Freight

A DL eastbound freight train, led by Union Pacific 5561, with Norfolk Southern 9491 along Ridge Row on Saturday morning.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

South Presbyterian Church

South Presbyterian Church at 3170 Scranton Road. This church was opened on January 1, 1892 and served the community until 1937 when the church merged with another one in Parma. The building was sold and became St. Elias Melkite Greek Catholic Church, which moved to Memphis Avenue in 1964. Today the building is home to Mega Church.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Lehigh Valley 414

LV 414 a few months ago at Steamtown.

Friday, January 4, 2019

South Side Skyline

View from behind Lackawanna Station a couple weeks ago.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Step Falls

Step Falls from the Harrison Avenue bridge last Saturday morning.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Scranton Skyline

View from the Harrison Avenue bridge on Saturday morning.