Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Scranton venue declines same-sex wedding

I was revolted to hear the news that the Inne at the Abingtons refused to book a same-sex couple’s wedding.


Via the Scranton Times-Tribune

Via my hometown newspaper, the Scranton Times-Tribune:

Venue refused to serve gays; sets off social media firestorm

NORTH ABINGTON TWP. — When Pennsylvania’s gay marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court, Desiree Mark of Greenfield Twp. abandoned her plans to be married in New York or Connecticut and happily focused on planning a wedding in her home state.

When the 29-year-old sent queries to Scranton area wedding venues requesting an appointment, she learned that marriage equality does not mean equality for gays and lesbians.

“Unfortunately, we do not hold same sex marriages at our facility,” read the email from Courtney Killeen, Wedding & Event Planner for Inne at the Abingtons. “I truly do hope you find somewhere that will fulfill all your wedding dreams.”

Met at the North Abington Twp. venue Thursday, Ms. Killeen confirmed the email was authentic and reflected the policy of the Inne, not her personal belief.

“I don’t agree with it,” she said, adding the owner, John O. Antolick, would be unlikely to comment publicly. Mr. Antolick did not respond to several requests for an interview.

Gays and lesbians gained the legal right to marry in Pennsylvania this year, but can be blocked from reception venues. With no legal protections for LGBT people in Pennsylvania, any business can refuse to serve someone who is, or perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

You can read the rest of the story here.


If there’s a bright spot, it’s that the comments were surprisingly civilized.


I can only hope that we move beyond such ridiculousness sooner rather than later.

Camp No

Now that Facebook friends have finally moved on from “graduation” photos from pre-K, kindergarten, third grade, eighth grade and pretty much any other end-of-school milestone one could dream up, it’s camp time.

I never knew that people sent their kids away for a month or two (or more) each summer until I got to Cornell. There I met peers who had begun going to sleepaway camp as young as eight years old.

“Do your parents not like you?” I wanted to ask them. Why else would parents exile their kids for 15% of each year? Even weirder, most of my college classmates said they liked going away to camp.

I found this truly shocking.

Girl Scout camp

When I was eight years old, I talked my parents into letting me go to Girl Scout camp. I remember that it took some effort, and that I thought they were being silly in their concerns.

What concerns? That I would hate camp. Or get injured. Or be homesick. Or be actual sick.

My best friend Leslie went to overnight camp at Camp Archbald before and loved it so I wanted to graduate from Camp Laurel, the Girl Scouts’ area day camp. Camp Laurel was OK except when we got dirty, and I didn’t really like the one night we had a sleepover at camp, and cooked dinner over the campfire (which took hours). I also hated the compost toilets – gross.

In spite of all of this, I wanted to go to Camp Archbald like Leslie and being the persistent little weirdo that I was, I got my way.


I didn’t like the food. Some of the girls in my cabin were weird, like the twin sisters who fought non-stop. I felt weird sleeping in my Kermit the Frog sleeping bag atop the plastic mattress on my bottom bunk.

But most of all, I dreaded the daily swimming session that required me to go in a lake. Ack, muddy bottom and mysterious floating leaves and swimming things! Because I refused to participate in the first day swimming placement test, camp counselors placed me in the Green group, two levels ahead of little girls in Red paddling around in less than three feet of water. It was utterly humiliating.

Each day during swim hour, I would get in the lake (completely under duress), find the same flat, broad rock and balance upon it while shivering and trying not to cry about the muck around my feet.

Here’s the thing: I was a great swimmer, having taken lessons since I was two years old. I just thought lakes were creepy. I still do.

Leslie, meanwhile, had tested into the Blue group which swam in the five foot deep water just outside the protective dock. By the end of camp she had advanced to the most proficient swimming group by completing swimming across the lake and back.

I tried everything I could to get out of swimming in that lake. I told the counselors I was sick but if I didn’t jump into the lake instructed, I’d be pushed. Eventually I gave in and agreed to learn the Elementary Back Stroke. At the end of camp, I re-took the swimming test and advanced to the Blue group. I nearly lost my mind upon realizing that had I just tried in the first place, I could have been swimming in deeper water that afforded swimmers the ability to avoid the lake’s mucky bottom.

Once or twice daily (!!), I’d write home to Mom and Dad. The messages became increasingly plaintive.

Girl Scouts postcard collage

Consider this fact though: camp lasted just five nights. Five. All that drama over five nights.

When I reunited with my parents on the final morning of camp, you would have thought I was getting to home after being a prisoner of war.

Still, going home wasn’t completely sweet. You see, I was actually sick and within twenty-four hours of escaping camp, I was hospitalized with some combination of a viral infection and dehydration. Probably from all the tears that dampened my sad postcards home.

PS If you suggest I go camping now, the answer will be a firm no. Unless there’s a cabin involved, with a hot shower and beds. Then I’ll reconsider.

How was your weekend?

This weekend, I celebrated being back home in Brooklyn after a few days in my home state of Pennsylvania. These were some of the least restful vacation days, but I got lots of quality time with family.

I also…

Did a little prep for Mollytopia‘s upcoming NYC visit. She booked us for a cheese class at Murray’s. I’m so excited!

Had brunch with this handsome fellow Zach (and his wonderful mom) at Spring Natural Kitchen. The banana bread French toast is terrific.


Read half of a book I’m not fond of but can’t seem to give up on and this Apartment Therapy post about living in Los Angeles.

Went to dinner with my friend Amanda at Corkbuzz. We had a wine flight of rosés to acknowledge the coming end of summer. My favorite was the Bisson Portofino Ciliegiolo ’12 (Liguria). The food was hit or miss unfortunately–and pricey.

Caught up with Eliza and her mother Susan, and also met Oscar.

Got a much-needed haircut here and afterward, a much-much-needed passport photo which, while acceptable, I will not be posting anywhere.

Other than the fact that I got my nails done and hate the color, it was a good weekend.

What did you do?

Go Scranton (that’s what she said)

There’s a big event taking place in my hometown on May 4 to commemorate the end of the TV series, The Office.

Via the Times-Tribune

Some of the series’ biggest names will make the trip including the actors who play Jim and Pam, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer, and of course Rainn Wilson, the frequent troublemaker Dwight Schrute.

Via JudgmentalObserver

So far there are no signs that Steve Carell, who played Michael Scott through Season 7, will attend.

Andy Bernard aka Ed Helms should make the trip–after all, Scranton is only two hours’ drive from his alma mater and mine, Cornell.

The element I find coolest though is ticket prices: they top out at $21. Isn’t that wonderful? There are also free events including a come one, come all parade. Something for every Office fan.

Maybe I should make the trip!

Related posts:


Yoga that blows my mind

Are you into yoga? I have taken classes here and there, but nothing serious. Usually whatever my gym offers versus a more specialized studio.

A friend from high school, Nicole Scavo-Powell, found Astanga yoga while caring for her terminally ill father and became very serious about it, eventually becoming certified to teach.

When Nicole and reconnected on Facebook, I saw her pictures and videos and found them incredibly inspiring.

N Scavo photo by Jennifer Savo

N Scavo photo by Jennifer Savo


N Scavo-Powell

Nicole teaches in Scranton including at Mission Yoga, and also teaches privately.

Old Forge pizza

Whenever I go home to the Scranton area, going for pizza is high on my To Do list.

Not just any pizza will do. And I definitely don’t call for Domino’s or Pizza Hut. Sacrilege.

Instead it’s Old Forge style pizza I crave. When I visited my family for Christmas, my friend Kristin and I went to Salerno’s.


It was so satisfying. Great, familiar pizza shared with a friend I have known since we were five years old.

Have you ever tried this style of pizza?

Related posts:

  • Scranton scenes
  • Five great things about Scranton

Twinkies are crap anyway

People are going bananas about the liquidation of Hostess Brands. I’m sorry for the loss of jobs, but not much else.


I have never had a Twinkie, a Ding Dong or a Ho Ho. SnoBalls downright scared me all my life.


I grew up with Tasty Kakes. Peanut butter Kandy Kakes specifically. I assure you: they are superior. And to my knowledge, not made of creepy chemicals.


It’s a Pennsylvania thing, but if Tasty Kakes aren’t in your area, you can order online.




Did you watch the first episode of TLC’s Virgin Diaries? EW asked “Most uncomfortable TV hour ever?”

I successfully avoided it until a clip was shown on one of the late shows. DRAT!

You know it’s a bad kiss when you watch and find yourself trying to decide whose fault it is.

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