Friday, August 31, 2007

. . . and the award for cinematography goes to. . . .

. . . not me, nor the Hawthorne Hotel! However, we did recently win two awards from two different magazines. I thought it would be good to let you know about those.

NORTHSHORE MAGAZINE chose us as the 2007 Editors' Choice Winner, for Hotels; and BOSTON MAGAZINE said our Sunday Jazz Brunch was the Best Brunch on the North Shore.

Back to videos -- I am having fun putting some videos on this blog. I promise I'll get better -- now that I have a reason to work on it. Here are two other trial videos I shot this week at the Ropes Garden.

If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you will already know that I get to walk through this garden on my way to work most mornings, and I simply adore it. Now with these videos, hopefully you can get a better sense of the place, although you won't be able to stop and smell the roses:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Picnic Photos

At the Hawthorne Hotel we value our connections with each other, and tend to think of ourselves collectively as a family. Sometimes dysfunctional, as is true with many families, but a family nonetheless.

One of the things that families do is have picnics, and the Hawthorne Hotel has a long-standing tradition of a summer outing. Ours was this past Monday, and the weather was glorious. The weather even cooperated for my annual cotton candy-making work. You can see John Kluge and his family with their blue cotton candy in this photo.
If you want to see all of the photos, the easiest way is to go here:


P.S. If you want to get to the reservations page of our website, here is a direct link:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More insight from the "heart of the hotel"

This week we held our annual picnic for our staff members and their families. It was at Camp Naumkaeg near the Willows here in Salem. As things were winding down, and we were cleaning up to leave, I noticed Bill Soper picking up the childrens' activity table, with a gorgeous view of the water in the background, and snapped this photo to share with you, our readers.

Bill is another of those 'unsung' members of the "heart of our hotel". He works as a banquet set-up person, and we are very happy and pleased to have him as part of our team. Bill can always be counted on to get our set-ups right, and to be there to break them down as soon as an event is over. In addition, Bill cares a great deal about how the Hawthorne Hotel looks, and he is always on the alert to make sure each aspect of the rooms that he cares for looks pristine.

The banquet set-up crew is one that you will barely see here at the Hawthorne Hotel, but I can assure you that they are an important part of our team, integral to a great many aspects of the service we provide to our guests.

Congratulations, Bill, and all of the banquet set-up team, for the work you do! Thanks so much.


By the way, the link right below here will take you directly to our CHECK RATES and RESERVE page of our website. I hope that is a help, and thank the reader who suggested this.
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Would you believe VIDEO?

This is my first time posting a video to our blog, something I have been wanting to do for awhile, but Blogger was not ready. Looks like now I need to get a real video camera instead of simply using the video function on our little digital camera!

Yippee!!! A new dimension to our blog.

. . . . smiling broadly. . . .

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

More "Heart of the Hotel" Staff

As I wrote yesterday, about the staff members that you simply don't see and don't even really realize are here, the employees who work in the "heart of the hotel" are such an integral part of all we do here.

This is Donna Daly, our receiving and purchasing manager at the Hawthorne Hotel. You can see her in our main kitchen, where she was checking on a delivery with our chef at the time.

Keeping up with buying, receiving, storing and issuing approximately one million dollars worth of food and liquor is no small job, but Donna does it with dedication and good humor.

She is another part of our accounting team, and we would be lost without her.

Thanks for all you do, Donna!

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Thanks for the suggestion!

If you look at the comments on yesterday's blog, you will see a great suggestion from a reader. While I may be a dedicated blogger, I am far, far from being a technical person, so the reader presented a great challenge to me. Since I can't figure out what is the 'right' way to deal with it, at least right away, I've decided to do a 'work-around' and here it is:

If you click on this link, it will take you straight to our reservations portion of our website, to be able to check availability and rates and reserve a room here at the Hawthorne Hotel. I will continue to put that into every post on our blog until I am able to put it into the heading as a link.

Thanks for the suggestion.


Monday, August 27, 2007

The Heart of the Hotel

In the hotel business there are two main areas we speak of internally and they are the front of the house and the back of the house. Another term that is used for the back of the house is the heart of the hotel.

When I see people like Scott Gardner, shown here, I have to think of the "heart of the hotel" because of the way he works. Scott is our accounts payable clerk, and a whole lot more. He interfaces with me quite a bit, and I am very happy for the fact that he is both dependable and thorough, while being easy to get along with, jovial and friendly.

Because they are not in the public eye, our guests do not normally think of the fact that we have people like Scott working for us. Sometimes I think even our own staff members do not really realize how many different jobs there are in the hotel.

Right now we have approximately 140 employees working for us, including an accounting office staff of eight, which includes the storeroom and night auditing positions.

Thanks for all you do in the "heart of the hotel", Scott and the entire accounting team.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ August 27 through September 2, 2007

It's been a slow month for flag requests here at the Hawthorne Hotel. Please remember, fair reader, that we happily take requests from our guests to have a special flag flying during their time here at the hotel.

Monday , August 27 ~~ Chad and Minnesota
Tuesday , August 28 ~~ Chile and Mississippi
Wednesday , August 29 ~~ China and Missouri
Thursday , August 30 ~~ Colombia and Montana
Friday , August 31 ~~ Comoros and Nebraska
Saturday , September 1 ~~ Democratic Republic of Congo and Nevada
Sunday September 2 ~~ Costa Rica and New Hampshire


Saturday, August 25, 2007


Since I appear to be on a building-terms streak, I thought you might also enjoy this bit of trivia related to our hotel. In the photo you can see that the painter is working on painting the light fixtures, but the prominent feature of the photo are the decorative-looking corner pieces of the building. Here is their proper name -- coins. Here is the dictionary quotation:

coin (koin) n. 1. A small piece of metal, usually flat and circular, authorized by a government for use as money. 2. Metal money considered as a whole. 3. A flat, circular piece or object felt to resemble metal money: a pizza topped with coins of pepperoni. 4. Architecture. A corner or cornerstone.

Any more questions?


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Friday, August 24, 2007

A Terrific "Three Musketeers" at the North Shore Music Theater

Last night I was privileged to be able to see the latest offering at the world-class North Shore Music Theater. If you like legitimate theater, there is really none better than right here in Beverly, Massachusetts. The seats are comfy, each and every seat is so close to the stage, and the productions are always professionally mounted. The singing was incredible. Even the usual 'housekeeping' issues were done with style and humor. All in all, this is a great entertainment opportunity, and it is right here!

Here are some photos, and a synopsis of the play:

From fast and furious duels to the dangerous streets of Paris by night, this thrilling musical celebrates honor, romance, friendship and a lust for life. In its East Coast Premiere, one of the greatest adventure stories of all time explodes onto the NSMT stage! THE THREE MUSKETEERS is a classic tale and now a swashbuckling new musical, with music by George Stiles, award-winning composer of Honk! and Broadway’s Mary Poppins. NSMT is proud to present the timeless coming-of-age story of young D’Artagnan as he joins forces with Athos, Aramis and Porthos to battle the malicious cardinal and save France. En garde!

The Three Musketeers will be playing through September 9, 2007. For tickets and information call 978-2327200 or go to

Thursday, August 23, 2007



No, it is not a curse word, although it sounds like it could be. A bollard is defined as:

bol·lard n. Nautical. A thick post on a ship or wharf, used for securing ropes and hawsers. [Middle English, probably from bole, tree trunk.]

Ours are the green posts that you see at the sidewalk. They were intalled to do two things -- the first, and most important, was to keep large vehicles such as busses and trucks from driving up on the sidewalk and destroying our canopies. The second reason is that they more fully define the entrances to the hotel.

I hope you enjoy this bit of hotel-related trivia.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not every guest is a favorite, and here is why


If you read this blog faithfully, you will likely wonder if all of our guests are our favorites, and if all is sweetness and light at the Hawthorne Hotel. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and we certainly get our share of nasty people here.

This photo is alarming proof. It appears that someone thought the lid to the ice bucket was an ashtray. How thoughtless of them! You can be certain that we will make every effort to see that the 'guests' who did this pay for the damage they did, not only to this ice bucket, but also to the carpet which was burned with a cigarette as well.


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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We Love Cinema Salem and hope you will too!

As you may already know, I love Cinema Salem, for many reasons. Thus these frequent posts on our Hawthorne Hotel Blog. Besides, this is a great thing to occupy your time in Salem, while saving LOTS of money. The prices there for first-run movies are incredibly low.

After you save all that money on your movie and snacks, perhaps you would like to stop into the Hawthorne Hotel to dine in either one of our restaurants before or after a show. One LITTLE KNOWN FACT about the Hawthorne is that we serve food continuously from 6 am through 11 pm every day. So if you get out of a movie at 9:25 pm and are wondering where to go, check out the Tavern at the Hawthorne.


Here is their weekly newsletter and show line-up:

Two big events coming up this weekend at the CinemaSalem Café, starting on Friday night, when jazz guitarist/vocalist Michael Kirsch returns at 8:30 pm to entertain the stylish folk who enjoy the serene ambience, helpful staff, and delicious coffee, and who have sophisticated ears to notice the subtleties of live music. This event is FREE, so invite your cheap relatives.

On Saturday night, August 25, we're happy to host a booksigning party and bookreading by Jo Kadlecek, the author of "A Quarter After Sunday", the second novel in the Lightfoot Trilogy. I'm almost finished with the first book, "A Mile from Sunday", and can't wait to get the second book signed. The event will start at 8 pm and is also FREE!

Don't forget to wear a beret and say "You see, I'm also a writer" in order to get a free coffee in the Café!

Now onto the films!
Opening Friday is THE NANNY DIARIES (PG-13 - 107 minutes), the new satiric comedy starring heavy-hitters Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Paul Giamatti and Alicia Keys. The tag line is: "Life at the top, as seen from the bottom", which pretty much summarized the dramatic tension in this observant look at the sparks that fly between middle and upper classes in our supposedly classless society.

Killer Movie Reviews calls it, "The culture clash, or rather class crash that ensues as middle and upper mix uncertainly is far more insightful and, dare I say it, humane, that the usual take on such things." New York Magazine writes, "The Nanny Diaries opens in the Museum of Natural History, where Annie, a student of anthropology, places Upper East Side child-rearing rituals in a world-historical context and apologizes to the audience in advance for the odd stereotype.

Derivative of Mean Girls but very good: Most American movies downplay issues of class and privilege; this one creates museum tableaux to illustrate them. . . Linney looks sleek and pretty. She's the best thing in the film, her face a tight mask under which you catch glimpses of a frightened human being."

THE NANNY DIARIES will play daily at 11:30, 2:10, 4:45, 7:25, and 9:50, except for Monday when it will play at 11:00 as the Mom and Baby Show, and then reprise at 2:10, 4:45, 7:25, and 9:50.

The lovely period drama with a modern twist, BECOMING JANE (PG - 120 minutes), starring Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy will play each day at 12:00, 2:40, 6:45, and 9:25. The Arizona Daily Star notes, "Anne Hathaway concludes the thorough evolution from Disney princess to serious actress. With commanding wit and a deft British accent, she's more than convincing as a wickedly intelligent woman restricted by proper society."

BOURNE ULTIMATUM (PG-13 - 115 minutes) enters its final week at CinemaSalem, drawing raves from its impressive crowds, and from the New York Post, "Another potent PowerBar of a movie, all protein and no fat. I sat there transfixed and chuckling with joy as Greengrass let. Her. Rip." Don't miss this "best action movie of the year" screening daily at 11:00, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, and 9:40.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ August 20 through 26, 2007

Monday, August 20 ~~ Burma and Kentucky

Tuesday, August 21 ~~ Burundi and Louisiana

Wednesday, August 22 ~~ Cambodia and Maine

Thursday, August 23 ~~ Cameron and Maryland

Friday, August 24 ~~ Canada and Massachusetts
(Do you know what this would mean if you were playing a game called "Scrambled States of America?" If you think you know the answer, write to me, Juli Lederhaus, at and if you are correct, you will be entered in a drawing to win two free tickets to our Halloween Ball.)

Saturday, August 25 ~~ Cape Verde and Michigan

Sunday, August 26 ~~ Central African Republic and Minnesota

I hope to see you here.


A New Exhibit at the Kensington-Stobart Gallery

Several weeks ago Salem and this area was the subject of a gathering of artists, who all painted "en pleine air" which means they painted their subjects right outside in the weather, all in one day. Here is a definition from the on-line dictionary, Wikipedia:

"En plein air is a French expression which means "in the open air", and is particularly used to describe the act of painting in the outside environment rather than indoors (such as in a studio). In English alfresco has the same meaning, however in Italian the term al fresco has a rather different one, either in jail or simply cool air.

Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-1800s working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school and Impressionism. The popularity of painting en plein air increased with introduction in the 1870s of paints in tubes (resembling modern toothpaste tubes). Previously, each painter made their own paints by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil. The Newlyn School in England is considered another major location of such painting in the latter 19th century."

I hope you will drop by the Kensington-Stobart Gallery to have a look for yourself, as the photos do not really convey what lovely paintings these are. In addition, the prices are very reasonable for original, framed artwork.

I hope to see you here, at the Hawthorne Hotel, in the Kensington-Stobart Gallery. If you happen to see the woman at the desk while you are here, her name is Sandy Heaphy and she is the manager of the gallery. Be sure to tell her you saw her on our blog.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

What is a lintel? It's not a lentil, which is a legume. . .

. . . but an architectural element which carries the weight of a building over a span such as a window or door opening.

Why do you care? Well, maybe you don't, but we sure do. Especially since we found out that a whole lot of them need to be replaced on this old building. It is expensive, time-consuming work, but it has to be done.

Why? Because the old ones were not properly built back in 1925, and so over the years water has gotten to the steel, and rusted it. So now the bricks have to be removed, the lintels removed and replaced with new ones, in the proper manner so that this won't happen again. At least, not on my watch.

Here are some photos of that work in progress.


Friday, August 17, 2007

A day in the life of the Hawthorne Hotel usually includes visits from our canine friends

While I was out photographing the painting and other work happening around the hotel, I ran into "Tabitha" who was out begging for treats from her owner. She was so cute, I had to get it on film to share with you.

Since this blog is intended to be a 'daily diary' of the life at the Hawthorne Hotel, I thought you might enjoy seeing this other slice of life, on Hawthorne Boulevard.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Work in Progress at the Hawthorne Hotel

Running an historic hotel is a bit like living the movie, "The Money Pit". There is always something to do to keep this old building fit, and we are engaged in a number of those projects right now. Here are some photos of the painting project.
We have put so many coats of paint on the building's ground floor over the years that it was beginning to come away in huge chunks. It was also beginning to obscure the architectural details of the building. This current major painting project is fixing all those issues.
I'm glad the weather has been so lovely this year -- it makes it nice for both our visitors, and the workers who are so involved outdoors.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Improvements to the Hawthorne Hotel

This summer we added automatic doors to the Essex Street entrance of the Hawthorne Hotel. We did the same thing to the front (Hawthorne Boulevard entrance) about a year ago, and it was such a good thing that we worked hard to set aside some capital improvement dollars to do the other set of doors.
Now with a push of a button our old doors are more convenient, both for our guests for whom access is a challenge, as well as for people with their arms full, or people in need of assistance in other ways.
As you can see by these signs, we are also in the process of a significant repainting of our ground floor. More photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

All of our history is not glorious

My posting of a vintage postcard of the Hawthorne Hotel as the photo for this blog has prompted a friend and neighbor of the Hawthorne to send along a copy of a postcard that he has. Michael Coleman sent me this, along with some comments, "You might get a chuckle out of it; it's very 60's."

I did get a big chuckle. I hope you will too.

The Zanzibar Ballroom is now called just the Ballroom. The wonderful Palladian windows have been uncovered (they were covered over in the 60's in an effort to make the Hawthorne look 'modern'.) If you want to click on the postcard photo you can bring it up as a larger version so you can see more detail.

The Main Brace photo is of the space we now call Sophia's. We use it as an extension of Nathaniel's for Sundays, and on other special occasions, and we also use it as a function room. In this photo shown here, it was set up as the "Ready for Red" room, part of Color My World which was a themed-event we did for Catholic Charities this Spring. I chose that photo so you can see that it is the same space as is shown in the Main Brace Photo on this Historic Postcard.

These current era photos of our current Ballroom and Sophia's are for comparison purposes.

I hope you enjoy this slice of Hawthorne Hotel history, and thanks again to Michael for helping us understand that not everything that has been done to this old building has been in the spirit of preservation.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ August 13 through 19, 2007

Monday , August 13th ~~ Bolivia and Georgia
Tuesday , August 14th ~~ Bosnia-Herzegovina and Hawaii
Wednesday , August 15th ~~ Botswana and Idaho
Thursday , August 16th ~~ Brazil and Illinois
Friday , August 17th ~~ Brunei and Indiana
Saturday , August 18th ~~ Bulgaria and Iowa
Sunday August 19th Burkina Faso and Kansas

There are no special requests for this week.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Do you love a good value? So do we, here at the Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel

Two Dinners
For $26.00

Tavern on the Green

On Sundays, Mondays,
Tuesdays and Wednesdays
From 5pm – 10pm

August Choices

Spicy Roasted Chicken Breast
black bean and pineapple salsa
and cilantro tomato sauce


Pan-Roasted Haddock
cool cucumber-mustard sauce,
confetti rice and yellow summer squash

Farmer’s Vegetable Pasta
local corn, squashes and peppers sauté,
angel hair, garden fresh tomato basil sauce

Each Entrée comes with a Small Mixed Green Salad
or Cup of the Soup of the Day, and Chef’s Choice of Dessert

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ode to Cornell ~~ What would Joseph do?

Currently at the PEM they are exhibiting the works of Joseph Cornell. His fanciful and imaginative works were the inspiration for the artists of Salem and surrounding areas to put together their own works in his style. Those works are on display at our wonderful Old Town Hall through August 19.

I stopped by today to take a look, and thought I would share a few of the many works with you on my blog.