Friday, July 31, 2009

A COOL Salem Photo Contest

I received the following information this week, and wanted to pass it on to all of you, fair blog readers:


Destination Salem Photography Contest

Destination Salem has launched a new photography contest! Let your guests, clients and customers know that their photograph could be the cover of the 2010 Salem Visitor Guide (and win them $100 dollars)! The contest runs through the fall. Rules, regulations, and an entry form are available online at


Fortunately for you, since I am on the board of Destination Salem, I may not enter the contest, so you have nothing to worry about in terms of competition from me and my trusty iPhone or Nikkon.

I do hope you have the opportunity to enter. I would love to see one of our HH blog readers win -- then I could do a profile piece about you and your winning entry right here on our blog!


Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Meeting Planner Well-Satisfied by Excellence

We recently received an event evaluation from a meeting planner who could not stop raving about the excellence that he found everywhere he turned at the Hawthorne Hotel. Here are scans of the evaluation. To enlarge them to make them easier to read, simply click on the images.

To make it easier for you to read, I have transcribed the comments below:

Juli, I know I checked many "excellents" here but I have been involved in many business meetings throughout the US and Europe having just left an assignment with a multi-national, London-based co.

This truly was the"Excellent" experience.

I received many compliments from the attendees. Not only was everything done efficiently but everyone was smiling!

A couple of my attendees were hard-to-please "Brits" and they were converted when their special requirements were expertly met!!!

You have a great, well-trained staff!

Thank you!

Can we help you plan a meeting here at the Historic Hawthorne Hotel? Call us at 978-825-4358.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wow! Look at all the things to do in Salem during Heritage Days, July 31 through August 10

Salem City Hall
93 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970
Phone -- 978-745-9595
Salem Heritage Days - July 31-Aug. 10

Friday, July 31
Salem Maritime Festival – Concert - 7PM-9PM -
Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf

Kick-off Heritage Days at this historic venue and listen to the sounds of Entrain, the eclectic Martha’s Vineyard-based six-piece band playing rock, blues, calypso, zydeco, jazz and funk. For more information, contact 978-740-1650 or visit

Saturday, August 1
Haunted City "Junior" Triathlon – 8:30AM – Dead Horse Beach, Salem Willows
Junior Triathletes come compete in Salem's youth triathlon. Boys & Girls ages 5-17 come test your endurance and courage to compete. Registration begins at 7AM. Fee: $25 (pre-registration) $35 (post registration). Register on-line at For more information, contact Brandi Dion at or (978) 204-8588.

21st Annual Salem Maritime Festival – 10AM-8PM –
Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf

From 10am to 5pm join the staff and volunteers of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site for the 21st Annual Salem Maritime Festival on historic Derby Wharf. Free family fun will include children's activities, traditional music, Rain Forest Reptiles, horse-drawn wagon rides, sea side kite flying, craft demonstrations, environmental “muck walks” in the wharf tidal zone, and more.
The tallship, Kalmar Nyckel, a replica 1638 tall ship of Delaware will be there and will be open for free, so come aboard and meet their crew and join in hands-on activities. USS Constitution master gun team will be conducting gun exercises with a replica 1812-era 5,600-lb cast iron long gun, complete with simulated blast of the gun.
Stay for another evening concert with Squeeze Box Stompers from 4-6pm and contra dancing with Sarah Smith and the Salem Country Orchestra from 6-8pm. For more information, contact 978-740-1650 or visit

Clown Day – 10AM-4PM – Salem Willows

Send in the Clowns - stop by the Salem Willows and have clowns make balloon figures for your children, get their face painted and let them be entertained by continuous performances all afternoon.

Sunday, August 2
YMCA Witch City Triathlon – 7AM-11AM – Forest River Park

Come test your endurance or just watch our triathletes swim, bike and run. The event starts and finishes at Forest River Park. Entry fee: $60. Register on-line at Registration begins at 5AM. For more information, contact the Salem YMCA at 978-744-0351.
Historic Salem's First Annual 5K Road Race – 9AM – 2 New Liberty Street (Salem Visitor Center)

New This Year – The Heritage Day Road Race starts at the Salem Visitor Center and goes down Derby Street, loops around the Willows and up Essex Street back to the Visitor Center. Registration begins at 7AM. Fee: $20 (pre-registration) $25 (race day). Register on-line at For more information, log onto

Tour-A-Truck – 11:00AM-1:00PM – Salem Willows

Youngsters get a chance to climb and explore the insides of all kinds of big trucks. Rita's Ice will be on-site with free samples.
"Howlywood" Dog Show – 4PM-6PM - Salem Common

Entry fee: $5 per dog. DRESS REHEARSAL – best Hollywood costume; QUIET ON THE SET – loudest dog; TAKE TWO – dog/owner look alike; RUNNING BY THE PUP-ARAZZI – obstacle course; LIGHTS, CAMERAS, ACTION – best actor/actress

Registration begins at 3:00 p.m. (rain location: South Harbor Garage). For more information contact Donna at or 978-744-2615.

Monday, August 3

Mayor's Night Out Restaurant Sampler – 5PM-7PM
Join Mayor Kim Driscoll for hors d'oeuvres samples at Gulu-Gulu, Tavern in the Square and The Grapevine Restaurant. The group will meet at Gulu-Gulu at 5 p.m. Pre-registration required (max. 40 participants). Cost: $20 (Cash Bar) Proceeds benefit the Salem Main Streets program. For more information or to register call the Salem Chamber at 978-744-0004.

Young Dance Company – 8PM-10PM – Salem Willows Shell
A Heritage Days favorite, come see the Young Dance Company perform their exciting 2009 dance production. Don’t forget to bring your blankets and chairs, relax by the ocean, and enjoy.
Tuesday, August 4

Ice Scream Bowl - 6PM-7:30PM – Salem Common
(formerly known as the 'Scooperbowl')
We all scream for ICE-CREAM! Indulge your sweet tooth! Sample flavors from many of the North Shore's finest creameries and ice cream parlors. Bring the whole family. $5 Adults / $3 Kids. Proceeds to benefit Salem Main Streets. For more information contact the Salem Chamber/Salem Main Streets at 978-744-0004.

Willows Summer Concert – 7PM-9PM – Salem Willows Shell
Enjoy the last concert of the season with the Dick Donovan Big Dance Band and guest vocalist. Don't forget your chair!

Wednesday, August 5

Window Box & Traffic Island Awards Ceremony – 5:30PM – Emmerton House Garden – Hawthorne Blvd.

Please join Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, the Salem Garden Club and the Salem Beautification Committee as they award the winners of the City's window box and traffic island competitions. Light refreshments will be served immediately following the ceremony.
Lip Sync Night – 5PM-6:30PM – Salem Willows Shell
We're doing it again…The City of Salem's 3rd Annual Lip Sync Night. Would you like to perform? We are looking for groups of 2 or more. Participants should be between the ages of 6-14. Please bring your own music in CD form only. You must pre-register at the Salem Park, Recreation~& Community Services Department, 5 Broad Street. For more information, please contact Eileen Dunn at 978-744-0180, ext. 20 or

Dance Enthusiasm Performance – 7PM-9PM – Salem Willows Shell
You won't want to miss the amazing performances of Salem's Dance Enthusiasm Dance Company, winners of hundreds of awards at dance competitions across the United States. The dance company will perform many of their award-winning routines. It's a show that's guaranteed to entertain all ages.

Comedy Night – 7PM-10PM – Moose Lodge – 50 Grove Street
Get ready to laugh with featured comedians Paul D'Angelo and
Paul Gilligan. Tickets are $10. You can purchase tickets for the comedy night at the Boys and Girls Club at 13 Hawthorne Blvd (978-744-0915) or at the Salem Park, Recreation and Community Services Department at 5 Broad Street (978-744-0180).

Thursday, August 6

Salem's Best Pizza Competition – 6PM-7:30PM – Salem Common
Come decide which Salem restaurant has the best pizza. Bring the whole family. We will award the top adult and kids pick. $5 Adults / $3 Kids. For more information contact the Salem YMCA at 978-744-0351.

Movie on the Common –~After Dark (8:30PM)~– Salem Common
The City of Salem~Park, Recreation & Community Services Department presents~(movie TBD), so bring popcorn, a blanket or chair and enjoy.

Friday, August 7
Kids Night – 5PM-7:30PM – Salem Common
The Salem YMCA will transform the Salem Common into a paradise for children with moon bounces, rides, games and arts & crafts. $3 per child will pay for unlimited rides. For more information contact the Salem YMCA at 978-744-0351. (rain location: Salem YMCA, Sewall Street)
Saturday, August 8
Wild Fish One Mile Swim~& Purely Mad 2 Mile Swim –1:00PM – Collins Cove Beach (Webb Street)

Cash prize to top male and female swimmers in each race. Athletic Race Bags, Tech Shirts given to first 150 people to register! Fee: $20 (pre-registration) $25 (post-reg) Registration begins at noon time. For more information, contact Brandi Dion - (978) 204-8588 or

Essex Street Fair – 10AM-6PM – Essex St. Pedestrian Mall
Fun for all ages this street festival has something for everyone. Crafts, jewelry, paintings, stained glass, and other unique items will be featured along the Essex Pedestrian Mall. Street performers, face painters, and strolling musicians will entertain crowds. For more information, contact the Salem Chamber of Commerce at 978-744-0004.

IMPROV on the BRICKS – 3:30PM– 4:30PM - Derby Square
Join the Salem Theatre Company for their 3rd annual free improv comedy bash. Brig a lawn chair! Bring padding! It's improv on a hard surface and anything can happen! For more information visit

Salem Jazz & Soul Festival, Berklee Summer Series Concert - 5PM–7PM - Derby Square (in case of rain, event will be held in the Museum Place Mall off Essex Street.)

The "Berklee Summer Series" presents Dopapod. This free outdoor concert at Derby Square is produced in conjunction with the Berklee College of Music. Featuring up and coming bands hand selected by Berklee faculty. For more information visit http:/

Sunday, August 9
Essex Street Fair –10AM-6PM – Essex St. Pedestrian Mall
Fun for all ages this street festival has something for everyone. Crafts, jewelry, paintings, stained glass, and other unique items will be featured. Street performers, face painters, and strolling musicians will entertain crowds. For more information, contact the Salem Chamber of Commerce at 978-744-0004.

Phillips House 8th Annual Antique Car Meet – NOON–3PM –
34 Chestnut Street

Join the Phillips House and the North Shore Old Car Club for the Eighth Annual Car Meet at which vintage and antique vehicles, including the Phillipses’ collection of carriages, two Pierce-Arrows, and a Model A Ford, are displayed on historic Chestnut Street.
For information, call 978-744-0440 or visit

IMPROV on the BRICKS – 3:30PM– 4:30PM - Derby Square
Join the Salem Theatre Company for their 3rd annual free improv comedy bash. Brig a lawn chair! Bring padding! It's improv on a hard surface and anything can happen! For more information visit

Monday, August 10
Salem Community Band Concert – 7PM-9PM – Salem Willows Shell
NEW THIS YEAR – Come listen to the band made up of Salem residents from Grade 8 through adult. Led under the direction of Cynthia Napierkowski, director of the Salem High School Band.
Keep checking for EVENT updates

For more information about any of the events, please visit the Events Calendar at or contact Salem City Hall at 978-619-5676

Heritage Days is brought to you by the
City of Salem
Kimberley Driscoll, Mayor

The Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem YMCA, Salem Willows Merchants, Salem Main Streets, Young Dance Company, National Park Service, Salem Theatre Company, Dance Enthusiasm, Salem Park, Recreation & Community Services Department, Donna Michaud, BnS Fitness, Salem Garden Club, Salem Beautification Committee, Salem Jazz & Soul Festival, Senior Recognition Days Committee, Historic Salem Inc., and Historic New England

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Terrific Little Theater Production here in Salem

I had the opportunity to see this madcap little theater production on its opening night. It was terrific. If you love live theater, and only want to pay a pittance for it as well, this is the show for you. Not only that, but you can easily walk the four blocks to the church hall where this is playing.

I hope you enjoy it.


July 27, 2009

Our Underpants are coming down!
Steve Martin comedy has four more performances, through August 2 in Salem

STC’s smash hit production of Steve Martin’s The Underpants runs for just four more performances (July 30-August 2) at the First Church in Salem, 316 Essex Street, in Salem, MA.
North Shore Art*Throb raves “Get your tickets now! Fantastic!” about STC’s production. The New York Times calls Martin’s script “laugh-out-loud funny.”

When Louise Maske’s bloomers fall down in public, the quiet, conservative lives of both her and her husband, Theo, are shattered. It doesn’t take long for a line-up of prospective and peculiar boarders to show up at the Maske’s front door. As scandal explodes into spectacle, the characters reflect – and reflect upon – our society’s fascination with fame, our reliance on gender roles, and our enslavement by sex.

The Underpants is the final Main Stage production of STC’s Season Six and is directed by Dominick Pangallo (Salem), with stage management by Jason Feran (Beverly). Jessica McGettrick (Salem) is the assistant stage manager and Alicia Greenwood (Beverly) designed the costumes. The cast includes Sarah Carlin (Beverly), Stephen Cooper (Marblehead), John Fogle (Marblehead), Bob Karish (Salem), Craig Owen (Georgetown), Caroline Watson-Felt (Salem), and James Wilcox (Beverly).

Production Details
Thursday-Sunday, July 30-August 2
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:00pm; Sunday at 2:00pm

Adults $20, Students/Seniors $15 – reservations at or (978) 790-8546. Box office opens 30 minutes prior to curtain; reservations not picked up by five minutes to curtain are subject to cancellation. Groups of 15 or more making advance reservations receive $3 off each ticket in their group; group inquiries should be sent by email to

At the First Church, 316 Essex Street, Salem

This venue has limited handicapped accessibility. Patrons with disabilities that are unable to walk up or down stairs are kindly asked to call the STC in advance at (978) 790-8546 so that appropriate arrangements may be made for them to be able to access the theater.

Show time: 1 hour, 40 minutes, including a 10 minute intermission. The Underpants contains suggestive language and innuendos that may not be appropriate for children.

STC is proud to be a ticketing partner with the following businesses and organizations. Members of the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem Arts Association, Massachusetts Teachers Association, House of the Seven Gables, or the Salem YMCA can show their membership card at the box office to receive a $3 discount off their ticket price. Patrons who dine at Caffe Graziani, Gulu-Gulu, or Capt’s or who stay at the Hawthorne Hotel or Salem Inn the day of the show and show their receipt at the box office will receive a $3 discount off their ticket price. These discounts may not be combined.

About the STC

The Salem Theatre Company - a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization – was founded in 2002 and enriches the artistic, cultural, and economic life of the Greater Salem region through the performance of classic, contemporary, and new works of exceptional theater. The STC strives to move and inspire, and to build connections with new, diverse audiences and theatre artists through the performing arts and arts education outreach.

Currently in its Sixth Season, the STC will produce their annual free outdoor Heritage Days show Improv on the Bricks in Derby Square in August. Details of the 7th Season, which commences September 2009, are available at

Monday, July 27, 2009

Flowers with Brick and More

Flowers with brick (in the background)

Purple butterfly bush. By the way, this is located just outside the back gate of the Ropes Garden, so be sure to walk all the way through and you will spy it.

These are so fragrant and lovely. They give the garden movement and grace.

On my way to work today I walked through the Ropes Garden, one of my favorite places in Salem. I was taken with two bushes full of flowers that are very fragrant, so I asked one of the workers there what they were. He wasn't sure, so he asked his colleague and she didn't know either. They were both very apologetic.

I took photos, and not a quarter of a block farther in my walk, I ran into an acquaintance who is a member of the Salem Garden Club. She was doing some volunteer work on one of the landscaped traffic islands on Summer Street, and so I showed her the photos I had snapped with my iPhone. She quickly and correctly identified them as both being butterfly bushes. I verified her information with the Internet as soon as I got to work.

Here are the photos for you to enjoy, but you really do need to experience these in person if you possibly can. They are so fragrant and lovely.
I hope you get a chance to see the garden this year, and do go soon if you want to experience these terrific flowers.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ July 27 through August 2, 2009

Here is the lineup of the Country and State Flags that we will be flying on the front of the Hawthorne Hotel each day in the coming week.

At this time there are no special requests. If you have a special request, simply call us at 978-825-4322 or 978-744-4080.

Monday , July 27 ~~ Rwanda and South Carolina
Tuesday , July 28 ~~ Saint Kitts and Nevis and South Dakota
Wednesday , July 29 ~~ Saint Lucia and Tennessee
Thursday , July 30 ~~ Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Texas
Friday , July 21 ~~ Samoa and Utah
Saturday , August 1 ~~ San Marino and Vermont
Sunday , August 2 ~~ Sao Tome and Principe and Vermont

As part of this program we post a small overview of each state and country in our lobby, right next to the Front Desk.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Salem Insider's Package

We have a brand-new package available at the Hawthorne Hotel, and it is so much fun, and so different, we just have to let you know about it.

We call it the Salem Insider's Package (or Locals Package), and it was created to give you a way to stay at the Hawthorne Hotel, but act, shop, eat, and recreate like one of 'us'.

Our staff at the Hawthorne put together a list of all of our favorite places to go -- these are the places WE go when we are not working, and the really run the gamut from diners and 'holes-in-the-walls' to nicer places. The list includes places our team members to go relax, whether to bowl or shoot some pool, or go to the beach, or the arcade and picnic areas of the Willows -- they are for the most part places our 'normal' tourists would never find on their own, and would not usually be told about, because they are simply the places that the locals frequent.

Megan Campbell, our Front Desk Supervisor, put them into a lovely booklet, complete with a locator map (she is very talented -- you will see when you get your booklet!) Each business has the address and phone number and hours listed, as well as a little synopsis of what you will find when you go to our favorite places.

The ONLY way you can get one of these booklets is to buy the package!!!

In addition to the booklet, when you buy this package, you also will get tickets to our local movie theater, Cinema Salem. The movies that play there are always first-run (on three big screens) and then there is the screening room which has about 25 seats, and shows a kind of 'art' or foreign film -- a smaller theater with an intimate feel, and extremely well-chosen and unique films.

Last but not least, included in this package is a roll of quarters. That way you will be all ready for the arcade games at the Willows, or to feed parking meters if you venture off into some of the areas that are not quite walkable from the Hawthorne Hotel. And if you do neither, we are certain you will still find a good use for them (maybe feeding the toll booths on the turnpike on your way home?)

  • overnight accommodations at the Hawthorne Hotel,
  • The Salem Insider's Guide by the Hawthorne Hotel Staff,
  • discounts for three of our restaurants -- coupons in the guide
  • tickets per person to Cinema Salem, and a
  • roll of quarters per room, all for
  • very attractive rates starting at $161 per room.
I hope to see you here! Just don't buy all the jelly sticks at Ziggy's so that I don't get any and we'll still be friends.


P.S. If you are planning to move to Salem, this is your must-have hotel room package. You will feel like a local from the moment you move here with this booklet!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Things Like This Email Make Us All Smile at the Hawthorne Hotel

Sent: Friday, July 24, 2009 6:51 AM
To: Karen Cotton
Subject: RE: Wedding

I just wanted to let you know that our son had a perfect wedding at the Hawthorne. The food, accommodations,service, ALL PERFECT. We want to thank all of you for making their day a special day.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Angel Loves Our Pet Amenity at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here is Angel, a darling white terrier visiting with her human, Bertram, from Fairport, NY.

Angel had just received her pet amenity from the front desk, a soft squeaky toy with the Hawthorne Hotel and a heart embroidered on it. We give one of these to every dog that stays with us here at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Once Angel got her mouth on this toy, she was not going to go anywhere, nor would she let go of it for anything. In the photo above, it looks like an extension of this pretty white dog.

If you want one of these squeaky toys for your sweet dog, and won't be staying here anytime soon, you can purchase one on our website,

But I do hope to see you here!

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Cinema Salem Newsletter

As you know, we love Cinema Salem, our local, and locally owned and operated movie theater just one block from the Hawthorne Hotel. Here is this week's newsletter:

Now Playing: Away We Go (R); Bruno (R); Outrage (NR): and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince!

Tidbit #1: If you come to see Big Man Japan today or tomorrow, for goodness sake, stay through the final credits!

Tidbit #2: Last week's Harry Potter 6 midnight premiere completely sold out two theaters by 10:30 pm. For the several hundred whom we had to turn away, we're working on a three-screen interlock for next year's HP7a.

Tidbit #3: We had a ton of people coming to our weekly LOST parties last winter and spring, where we projected the mythic TV show for free on our big screen. Theories were discussed, friendships formed, community built, and popcorn sold. We'll be doing the same thing this coming winter when the final season unfolds, but we had a question for you: what other shows would you shuffle out of the comfort of your home to see on the big screen with a bunch of like-minded geniuses such as yourself? Glee? Friday Night Lights (on DirecTV before they go to NBC)? The Office/30 Rock? Desperate Housewives? The only technical requirement is that they be on weekday evenings and start at 9pm or later. Indicate your preference by replying to this email, and we'll count up the results and report back soon.

Tidbit #4: Last week's Discount Variety was one of the best yet, with a totally improvised, hilarious monologue about intercultural relationships by the comedienne and an awesome, courageous set of extraordinary music by someone who will soon be compared to Kate Bush. We hope to put some of it up online so you can catch it. In the meantime, mark August 20 on your calendars for the next Discount Variety show in the Café.

Tidbit #5: Away We Go (R) has been called " one of the best films about love I've ever seen" by the film critic at the Kansas City Star, who must have seen loads of movies. The Oregonian writes: "Away We Go is offbeat enough to feel like a breakthrough indie but familiar and warm enough to serve as a thinking person's romantic comedy."

Away We Go will screen Friday and Saturday at (12:00), (2:10), (4:20), 7:10 and 9:20; and Sunday-Thursday at (12:00), (2:10), (4:20) and 7:10.

Tidbit #6: Bruno (R) arrives at CinemaSalem with Sasha Baron Cohen's typical understated subtlety and a 69% positive rating at This is London loves it and also finds it important: "Brüno is a brave and necessary comedy. The film will appear to be a succès de scandale, and will outrage many people, but it is actually just a success, a film with an instinct for naming and shaming a host of overprotected wrongs. Go and see it."

Bruno will screen on Friday and Saturday at (12:30), (2:30), (5:00), 7:30 and 9:40; and Sunday-Thursday at (12:30), (2:30), (5:00) and 7:30.

Tidbit #7: In the Screening Room this week is Outrage (NR), which the New York Times calls an "indignant and methodical documentary which offers a lot of insight into the ideology and psychology of present-day political homophobia." The Philadelphia Inquirer was similarly impressed: "Despite its title, Outrage is calm, riveting, and provocative, taking pride in officials who come out and and taking aim at those who remain closeted," while the Hollywood Reporter submits "Audiences, regardless of their politics, will find Kirby Dick's film entertaining, brisk, visually interesting and perhaps even thrilling."

Outrage will play on Friday and Saturday at (11:45 AM), (1:45), (4:00), 7:00 and 9:00; and Sunday-Thursday at (11:45 AM), (1:45), (4:00) and 7:00.

Tidbit #8: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is the best movie of the series, in the humble opinion of this scribe, yet remains accessible and engaging for people who haven't experienced the books or movies. The Los Angeles Times writes, "The Potter pictures have become the modern exemplars of establishment moviemaking," while across the pond, the Globe and Mail pens: "The experienced team behind the Harry Potter movie series is comfortably in the groove with the sixth film, which plays down the fantastic elements and introduces contrasting playful teenaged romance and a new tone of adult gloominess."

HP6 will play Friday and Saturday at (11:30 AM), (3:00), 6:45; and 10:00; and then Sunday-Thursday at (11:30 AM), (3:00) and 6:45.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Photos of the New Nathaniel's Dinner Menu Items

Appetizer of grilled sea scallops with fresh corn, wilted greens, and bacon jus.

Baby iceberg lettuce hearts with fresh tomatoes, Gorgonzola dressing, and bacon.

Watermelon salad with fresh goat cheese and ice wine vinaigrette

Steamed PEI mussels with fresh tomatoes, garlic, white wine and french bread toasts.

Herb-marinated baby fresh mozzarella balls, local fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and prosciutto

Grilled chicken breast with fresh strawberry and walnut relish.

Demi portion of the grilled rack of lamb with fresh fava beans, fennel, red wine reduction, and roasted baby sweet potatoes.

Haddock "Massachusetts Bay Colony" with warm local crabmeat and fresh corn salad, Hollandaise sauce, roasted new potatoes, and fresh green beans.

Chocolate-banana bread pudding.

Peanut butter bomba -- milk chocolate encases peanut butter ice cream with a heart of liquid caramel. Like a frozen peanut butter cup, all grown up! Yummy!!!

I hope you come to try out some of our lucious new summer dinner menu items in Nathaniel's, here at the Hawthorne Hotel.
See you here!

Vote Early & Vote Often

I recently received this email -- a PR event for Travelocity that should result in great PR for BOSTON as well. In our business, when Boston does well for visitors, so does SALEM, so we have a strong interest in this contest, and in Boston succeeding in winning it.

This one is even more simple than the Preservation Contest we asked for your help with earlier this year (and in case you didn't know, Salem came in second and Old Town Hall did get a nice big grant from AMEX because of it -- so those of you who voted DID make a difference.) In this contest below, you don't even need to register, so just go vote, PLEASE!!!




The Travelocity Roaming Gnome is heading out for summer adventures in a big PR effort targeting Facebook & Twitter (the first of its kind!!). Basically two or three cities go head to head each week and America decides where the Roaming Gnome will end up. And starting tomorrow – the three cities are Philly vs. DC vs. BOSTON!!!! This is great PR for BOSTON this week and beyond if we win!!!!!

Voting will take place from Wednesday, 7/15 at 12 noon till Wednesday, 7/22 at 12 noon. Voting is unlimited so vote as many times as possible, every day of the week.

Vote at and please vote multiple times!!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel Honors May Employee of the Month

(L to R, Juli Lederhaus, Jennifer Normant, Tony Baez and Ken O'Keefe)

Chefs Jenn and Ken were so adamant in their nomination and lobbying for the award to go to Tony -- we just had to find a way for all three of them to be here when Tony and the rest of the management team would be present to award him this honor.

Tony has a quiet, polite way about him, and that was evident in these photos that we snapped as we surprised him at work in the kitchen on Monday afternoon.

Tony Baez was selected as our part-time employee of the month for May, 2009, and it took us a little while to reconcile his schedule with all of the managers who wanted to be present to honor him with this award. Tony works for us both here at the Hawthorne Hotel, as well as for our offsite catering division at the Peabody Essex Museum. He was cited for being hard-working, dependable, and versatile, as well as just plain nice.

Thank you for all the work that you do, in the heart of the hotel and beyond, Tony! We sincerely appreciate all of your hard work!!!

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Nathaniel's New Summer Menus Start TONIGHT!!!

Whether you are already a fan of Nathaniel's Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel, or have never been to dine with us before, you should be certain to try out our new summer menu, starting tonight.

Early Dining Special: Guests ordering a full-sized entree before 5:30 receive a
complimentary salad of the month and choice of dessert from our menu.

Birthday Special: Dine with us on your birthday, and one of your entrees is 'on the house'. Call for reservations and details of this very special offer.

For reservations or information, call 978-825-4311.
I hope to see you here.

Appetizers, Salads and Soups
The Demi Portions of Our Entrees also make great Appetizers

PEI Mussels Agro Dolce
Eggplant, tomatoes, olives, capers and golden raisins, sweet and sour

Carolina-Style Barbecued Short Ribs
Crispy potato, pickled watermelon

Mozzarella and Tiny Tomato Salad
Julienned prosciutto, arugula pesto

Seared Scallops with Corn
Apple smoked bacon broth

Soup du Jour
ever-changing creation

Steve’s Seafood Chowder
a tradition continues…

Warm Spinach and Smoked Shrimp Salad
Mixed tomatoes, pine nuts, red onion, lemon-basil vinaigrette

Caesar Salad
Parmesan cheese, garlic croutons
choice of Mediterranean white anchovies or apple-smoked bacon

Baby Greens and Roasted Beet Salad
Walnuts, goat cheese, white balsamic vinaigrette

Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad
Ice wine vinaigrette

Baby Iceberg Salad
Apple smoked bacon, tomato wedges, and creamy Gorgonzola dressing

Our demi entrée portions make excellent appetizers or second courses


Shrimp and Scallops Sophia
Our signature dish, named for Sophia Peabody Hawthorne
sautéed shrimp and seared scallops with sauce Bearnaise,
grilled asparagus, steamed spinach, herbed risotto
Twenty-eight ~~ Demi-Portion Eighteen

Suggested Wine: Saarstein, Riesling, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany, Bin #803

Haddock Massachusetts Bay Colony
Roasted fresh, local haddock topped with gently warmed crab, corn and basil salad,
lemon-dill Hollandaise, roasted potatoes, green beans,
Twenty-four ~~ Demi-Portion Fourteen

Suggested Wine: Martin Codex, Albarino, Rias Baixas, Spain, Bin #802

Chilled Citrus-Poached Salmon
Salad of avocado, cherry tomatoes, supreme oranges, jicama, baby arugula,
tossed with citrus vinaigrette

Suggested Wine: Rancho Zabaco, Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley, Bin #804

Pan-Roasted Halibut
Valencia orange-butter sauce, spring rice pilaf, wilted arugula,
Twenty-eight ~~ Demi-Portion Eighteen

Suggested Wine: Kenwood, Chardonnay, Sonoma County, Bin #107

Grilled Twelve-Ounce Pork Chop
Stewed tomato-caper-Kalamata olive sauce, mashed potatoes,
herb-marinated grilled zucchini

Suggested Wine: Martin Codex “Ergo” Rioja, Rioja, Spain, Bin #905

Grilled Top Sirloin Steak
Cabernet demi-glace, au gratin potatoes, grilled asparagus

Suggested Wine: Sterling, Merlot, Central Coast, Bin #606

Herb-Roasted Rack of Lamb
Fava bean, sweet potato and fennel sauté, cabernet, thyme and blackberry jus
Thirty ~~ Demi-Portion Twenty

Suggested Wine: 7 Deadly Zins, Zinfandel, Lodi, Bin #906

Maple-Mustard Glazed Free Range Skillet Chicken
Fresh strawberry-walnut relish, sweet potatoes, sautéed green vegetables
Twenty-two ~~ Demi-Portion Fourteen

Suggested Wine: Frei Brothers, Chardonnay, Sonoma County, Bin #806

Light Summer Vegetable Stew
Eighteen ~~ Demi-Portion Eleven

Suggested Wine: Pannotia, Torrentes, Argentina, Bin #307

Warm Berry Crumble
Blueberries, Raspberries and Blackberries, crumble topping, served warm
with vanilla ice cream

Strawberry Crème Brûlée
Chantilly cream and crystallized ginger

Flourless Chocolate Truffle Torte
Whipped cream, chocolate sauce

Peanut Butter Bomba
Peanut butter gelato surrounding a heart of caramel, encased in chocolate,
drizzled with peanut butter sauce

Warm Butter-Toasted Pound Cake
Strawberry-rhubarb compote, vanilla ice cream, crystallized ginger

Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding
Chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream

Six Ninety-five

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ July 20 through 26, 2009

Special requests have been honored for Monday and Saturday. Otherwise we are continuing in alphabetical order as usual.

Monday , July 20 ~~ Belgium and North Dakota
Tuesday , July 21 ~~ Portugal and Ohio
Wednesday , July 22 ~~ Qatar and Oklahoma
Thursday , July 23 ~~ Republic of Moldova and Oregon
Friday , July 24 ~~ Romania and Pennsylvania
Saturday , July 25 ~~ Ireland and Puerto Rico
Sunday , July 26 ~~ Russian Federation and Rhode Island

Let us know if you have any special requests. Call us at 978-825-4322 and leave a message with a phone number where we can return the call in case we have any questions.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ghost Hunters Fan Comes for a Visit

On Saturday a young guest by the name of Elsa (seen with me here) from South Carolina checked in to the hotel for a visit. She came specifically because she is a fan of the television show, Ghost Hunters, and a big fan of T.A.P.S. She wants to become a paranormal investigator, just like they are!

While she and her family members were checking in, I happened to be at the front desk. She asked if I would have my photo taken with her, and as you can see, I was happy to oblige. She told me that another family member who could not come would be very jealous!

I hope I can find a way to make your visit to the Hawthorne Hotel a happy one, too. And Elsa, I hope you find everything you came to Salem to experience.

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Summer Menu Items Sing the Season in the Garden at PEM

Red and Yellow Watermelon mosaic with fresh goat cheese and ice wine vinaigrette is my favorite starter ever. It is so refreshing, light and tasty, I would eat it every day!

Our trio of chilled soups changes often. On this day, they were, starting at the far left, and going clockwise, Gingered Carrot, Kiwi-Strawberry and Red Plum, and at the bottom right, Asparagus with Lemon. It was so hard to pick the best of the lot, because each one was so nicely flavored and delicious. Another light and summery way to begin a meal in the Garden Restaurant at PEM (Peabody Essex Museum.)

Our chef created an extra-special lobster roll. The thing that makes it so delightful is that instead of boring, plain mayonnaise, the lobster meat is dressed with a lemony aioli dressing. Outstanding and delicious!

The summer vegetarian entree is a grilled melange of summer vegetables with fresh mozzarella and black quinoa pilaf. Again, a terrific testimony to the freshness of summer and its bounty of vegetables.

The Garden Restaurant is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11:30 to 2:30 for lunch. For reservations (which are an especially good idea on nice days or rainy days alike) please call 978-542-1618.

I know you will enjoy your meal at the Garden, and I hope to see you there.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Something Really Great to Do in the Evening

Salem Theatre Company is staging "Steve Martin's The Underpants" play here in Salem right now, for this weekend and next, Thursday through Sunday.

I had the opportunity to see it last night, and I had a wonderful time, laughing out loud, and enjoying the terrific acting. Don't let the location of the production scare you away -- the basement of a church is not where one would normally think to find top-rate entertainment, but you will find it at this production.

For more information, go to

I hope you enjoy the photo (above) and the video (below) that I managed to take with my iPhone. I know it was a bit dark in there, but you can get the gist of the setting in any case.


Parking Lot at the Hawthorne Hotel Gets Spiffy

This week we did our annual resurfacing of the parking lots at the Hawthorne Hotel. This time (as you can see in these photos) we added a painted set of lines to each side of Essex Street to create a walkway for pedestrians using Essex Street to get from hither to yon in our neighborhood.

We can park 119 cars in our parking lot, more than any other hotel or inn in Salem.
One of the problematic issues that we have in possessing so many parking spaces in the heart of downtown (where parking is a bit of a challenge) is neighbors who somehow think they enjoy some kind of rights to park where they please, including our well-posted private parking lot.

In order to do the striping this time, we had to tow one of those neighbor's cars out of our lot. She was indignant, telling our manager on duty that she had been told by her landlord that it was okay to park there, and that she had been parking there for six years with no problems. Yikes! The nerve of some people.

While most of my job is enjoyable, dealing with inconsiderate people is no fun at all! I hope you enjoy learning more about the workings of the Hawthorne Hotel.

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Photo Contest by the National Trust -- THIS PLACE MATTERS

I just received this email from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and thought I would share it with you, fair blog reader, because I believe you may have an interest in both the cause and the prizes!


Celebrate the places that matter to YOU and be entered to win a digital camera!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation and Fireman’s Fund Insurance are proud to announce the start of the Summer 2009 Places that Matter Photo Contest. Submit photos of your favorite places — whether they’re national monuments or right in your own backyard — and be eligible to win one of three digital cameras.

Entering our contest is easy!

Go here for more information:

1. Download our This Place Matters sign — or make one of your own!

2. Take your photo in front of a place that matters to you.

3. Add it to our pool of places that matter across the country!

You may enter as many digital photos as you wish between now and Tuesday, September 15, 2009. Ten photos will be selected as finalists, after which a public online vote will determine the final winners.

The photo with the most votes will win the grand prize of a Panasonic Lumix ZS3 digital camera! Each of two runners-up will receive a Panasonic Lumix ZS1 digital camera, and all three winners will also receive a Sandisk Extreme III 8GB SD memory card.

To enter one (or more!) images, visit our This Place Matters website and use our free photo upload tool.

Too often, places that matter to us can be lost in a heartbeat — sometimes even before we realize they will be missed. The best way to save a place that matters is to call attention to it and value it before it is endangered.

Thank you for all you do to showcase the places that matter — inspiring others to protect, enhance and enjoy the places that matter to us all. And good luck!


The This Place Matters Team @ the National Trust for Historic Preservation

P.S. The competition is open to all photographers age 18 or older regardless of residence or citizenship, so long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation. Photo submissions must be uploaded by 11:59 pm Central Standard Time on Tuesday, September 15, 2009. Please read the full rules before entering.

1785 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
202.588.6000 / 800.315.6847 /

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

David Pagano Named Hawthorne Hotel's Employee of the Month

Here is David Pagano, working in the Tavern, just before we walked in to surprise him with the award.

David is such a versatile staff member -- he works for us as a bartender, a server in both the Tavern and Nathaniel's, as well as the lead server in our Garden Restaurant at the Peabody Essex Museum, where we are the preferred food service provider. David was selected as our full-time employee of the month for the month of May, 2009.

Not only did we present David with this award today, but also recognized him for an outstanding suggestion that he put in our employee suggestion box. This suggestion will be implemented within the next few weeks, and I will be sure to let you know all about it when we do.

Stay tuned, and meanwhile, when you see David, say Congratulations!


Check out Twitter & Our New Summer Menu in the Garden Restaurant at PEM

I just tweeted some photos of the new menu items at PEM Garden Restaurant. You may already know, or maybe not, that we run the food service at the Peabody Essex Museum. I just went there to have lunch, to check out the summer menu items. Between Claire Kallelis and I, we tried four new items. All delicious, as well as beautiful.

Follow me on Twitter to check out the photos. "HawthorneHotel" to see photos of the Trio of Chilled Soups; Watermelon & Goat Cheese Salad with Ice Wine Vinaigrette; Summer Vegetables with Fresh Goat Cheese and Balsamic Reduction; and Lobster Roll with Lemon Aioli. They are all yummy!

Here is the complete menu:

Peabody Essex Museum
Garden Restaurant

New England
Clam Chowder
Cup ~~ Five
Bowl ~~ Six-Fifty

Caesar Salad
Romaine, Parmesan,
herbed Parmesan crostini
Demi-Portion, Five ~~ Full Portion, Eight

Trio of Chilled Soups
A sampling of three varieties of chilled soups
in petite cups

Small Mixed Green Salad
Julienne cucumbers, carrot ribbons,
cherry tomatoes, radish sprouts
white balsamic vinaigrette
Demi-Portion, Four ~~ Full Portion, Seven

Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad
Yellow and red watermelon, goat cheese, ice wine vinaigrette

Soup and Salad
Choose a trio of cold soups or chowder and a full-portion salad from the section above

Bistro Filet Medallions
Herbed, marinated bistro-filet medallions,
corn, tomato, black bean salad with herb-lime vinaigrette, purple Peruvian potatoes

Citrus-Chive Crab Salad
Avocado, orange wheels, julienne tomatoes, on Bibb lettuce leaves, triple citrus vinaigrette

Baby Spinach Salad
Herbed grilled shrimp, sliced strawberries, blueberries, orange wheels, shaved red onion,
Orange-vanilla bean dressing
Demi-Portion, Nine-Fifty ~~ Entrée Size, Fifteen

Chicken Caesar Salad
Romaine, chicken breast, Parmesan, herbed Parmesan crostini
Demi-Portion, Nine-Fifty ~~ Entrée Portion, Thirteen

Raspberry Chicken Salad
Chicken, raspberries, Mandarin oranges, spiced pecans,
mixed greens and raspberry vinaigrette
Demi Portion, Nine-Fifty ~~ Full Portion, Thirteen

Grilled Summer Vegetable Mélange
Portobello mushroom, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, red pepper,
fresh mozzarella cheese, herbed quinoa, with a balsamic reduction

Lobster Roll
Fresh lobster tossed with a light lemon aioli and celery,
caramelized shallot potato salad, pickled watermelon

Catch of the Day
Market Price

Panini of the Week
European-style grilled sandwich selection
See the daily special sheet for today’s choices

Open Wednesday thru Sunday 11:30-2:30 pm ~ 978-542-1618

From the Ropes Garden

Several weeks ago I snapped these photos with my iPhone when I was on my way to work one morning.

I was amazed that a cameraphone could capture even the insect on this peony so well.

This rose still had the morning dew on it.

I hope you have the opportunity to visit the Ropes Garden on your visit to Salem. It is located on Essex Street, so you only need to turn right out our Essex Street doorway and walk about 5 blocks and you will be there. It is on your right side, just after the Witch House.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Halloween Ball Theme

This year's Hawthorne Hotel Halloween Ball will feature the theme "Reality Bites" and will be our take on the myriad reality shows that are currently the rage on television. Each room of the Ball will be decorated in a way that pokes a bit of fun and our own unique style at an outrageous style of entertainment.
We hope having this advance look at our theme will help to get you in to the costume-making spirit, and that you will have fun creating your own version of "Reality Bites" to wear to our most outrageous costume ball ever.
We know it might feel early, but we sell out for this one-of-a-kind event earlier and earlier every year. Don't be disappointed by waiting until the last minute!
I hope to see you here.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

A New Exhibit at the Kensington Stobart Gallery in the Hawthorne Hotel

(Paintings of the seafaring life, by Phil Cusumano)

Here is a video tour that I took on Saturday to show you the newest show at the Kensington Stobart Art Gallery here in the Hawthorne Hotel. The art is all by Phil Cusumano who is a marine artist and sea captain. Mr. Cusumano, who signs his paintings "Filippo" for the name on his birth certificate, was born into a seafaring family, and this was his career for most of his life. However, he has always loved to draw and paint, so when the fishing industry declined, he decided to pursue work as graphic artist.

I will also post a video of his still-life paintings

(Beautiful still-life paintings by Phil Cusumano)

These paintings are all available for you to purchase at the Kensington-Stobart Gallery located on the front side of the Hawthorne Hotel. For more information, you can dial the Gallery directly at 978-825-0022.

I hope to see you there, or here, at the Hawthorne Hotel.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ July 13 through 19, 2009

The flag of Poland above was drawn for us by a charming young neighbor who loves our flag program. We profiled this story first on Sunday, May 24. It has taken this long to get to one of the flags that Trevor created for us, but we are finally here. For comparison's sake, the Wikipedia version of the flag of Poland is inserted below.

Monday , July 13 ~~ Palau and Nebraska
Tuesday , July 14 ~~ Panama and Nevada
Wednesday , July 15 ~~ Papua New Guinea and New Hampshire
Thursday , July 16 ~~ Paraguay and New Jersey
Friday , July 17 ~~ Peru and New Mexico
Saturday , July 18 ~~ Philippines and New York
Sunday , July 19 ~~ Poland and North Carolina

I hope you enjoy this bit of local color on our weekly flag page.