Friday, April 30, 2010

Pansies are Lemon Drop Yellow

These beautiful pansies, called Lemon Drop Yellow, are grown just for us, and the plants in the rear of the planter boxes are miniature boxwoods.

We buy all of the plants for our planter boxes from Nunan's Greenhouses in Georgetown, MA in case you are looking for these same plants. We get many requests for this information, so I thought I would share it with you here. I just got off of the phone with the owner, who says they do have a few of the pansies left, so you may want to beat feet to Georgetown soon.

I hope you enjoy knowing just a little bit more about the Hawthorne Hotel and our beautiful planter boxes.

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Rhonda Helps Us Replant Our Island

Meet Rhonda, one of our terrifically loyal guests here at the Hawthorne Hotel. So why is she helping us to replant the island in the middle of Hawthorne Blvd in front of the Hawthorne Hotel?

Rhonda reads our blog every day, and on the day after her mother died, she read about the accident that destroyed most of the plantings on our island this past winter. At that very time, she was trying to find a way to plant a garden in honor of her mother, Claire, and (because she subscribes to our blog posts) here comes our story about the hit and run on our island into her email box.

Rhonda decided right away that she wanted to help us replant our island in Claire's memory, and so she wrote to ask me if that was a possibility. After wiping away a few tears at the thought that we have guests who care that much about us, I quickly responded to Rhonda, and we began making plans.

These photos were taken today as we finished up the planting that our landscaping company began for us (after all, we don't want our guests doing so much heavy lifting when there is a way we can make this happen). . . and it was a lovely day to a ceremony such as this.

Jay Gilliss, our Chief Engineer, gave a hand with the 'heavy lifting' and we are grateful for his assistance as well.

Rhonda and her good friend Kate in front of the Hawthorne Hotel.
Rhona and Jay put the finishing touches on the azaleas, planted to honor Rhonda's mother, Claire.

The guys from Stefano's Landscaping of Georgetown who did most of the work.

I don't know very many businesses that enjoy this kind of loyalty and connection with their guests. I do know how happy it makes all of us here at the Hawthorne Hotel feel to know we have those kinds of guests. Thank you so much, Rhonda, for making us part of your family.
Blessings on you, and especially on your mother's memory.
Juli (and the team of the Hawthorne Hotel)
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Flowers with Clapboards and the Historic Witch House of Salem

I took these photos on my way to work this morning. They are in the historic McIntire District. The dark house is the infamous Witch House, which is the only home in Salem with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials. Here is a link to a website that will tell you more. They will be opening for tours very soon.

The juxtaposition of this somber home, with the exuberant spring flowers is quite a contrast.

I hope you enjoy this peek at Salem in the springtime. Be sure to take a walk around some of the neighborhoods of Salem when you come for a visit. You will certainly see interesting things.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Fun, Funky, Fabulous Menu That You Can Enjoy Too

Every so often we are involved with clients and organizations who really partner with us to create fabulous events. They trust us to write special menus for them, and even to do the decor. That is the case with our good customer, Catholic Charities of the North Shore.
This year they are celebrating their 90th anniversary, on Thursday May 6, so we created an entire floor of food stations and passed hors d'oeuvres themed around the major changes in those past 90 years of food. This event is open to anyone who wishes to buy a ticket, so if you enjoy unique events, and are a bit of a foodie, this might be just the event for you.
You can eat and drink deliciously, and support the good works of this worthy organization here on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
Here is the full menu, and the link to buy tickets is located at the end of this article.
I hope to see you here.
Dining Through the Decades
Of Catholic Charities of the North Shore

Passed Hors d'oeuvres
Pimento Cheese-Stuffed Celery
Waldorf Salad in Filo Cups
Deviled Eggs
Baked Onion and Anchovy Canapés
Green and Ripe Olives
Chicken a la King, Patty Shells
Italian Style Meatballs in “Italian Gravy”
Buttered Macaroni

Pineapple Upside-down Cake
Snickerdoodle Cookies

Passed Hors d'oeuvres
Salami and Cream Cheese Stacks
Canapé of Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Butter
Saltimbocca Bites
Hearts of Lettuce, French and Blue Cheese Dressings
Creamed Chipped Beef Toast Points
Rainbow Trout Amandine
Escalloped Potatoes

Peppermint Brownies Garnished with
York Peppermint Patties
Rice Crispy Treats

1960 s
Passed Hors d'oeuvres
Mini-Beef Wellington
Quiche Lorraine
Tomato Aspic on Ritz Crackers

Fancy Gelatin and Fruit Salad
Chicken and Mushroom Crepes
Grilled Beef Brochettes Over Rice Pilaf
Belgium-style Carrots

Penny Candy Station, showcasing all of the Penny Candies
available through the 1960s

1980 s

Passed Hors d'oeuvres
Fried Wontons with Sweet-sour Sauce
Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
Pineapple and Bacon Rumaki

Tropical Fruit Salad with Kiwi
Blackened White Fish
Red Beans and Rice

Attended Station
Top Your Own Boboli
Mushrooms, Onions, Pepperoni, Spicy Sausage

New York-style Cheesecake
Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares

1990s and Today
Passed Hors d'oeuvres
Tuna Tartar and Seaweed Salad on Wonton Crisps
Blue Cheese and Cranberry Filo Flowers
Spicy Hibachi Chicken

North African Style Hummus, Tomatoes, Feta, Olives
Mesclun Greens, Sweet Grape Tomatoes, Honey Roasted Almonds, Mimosa Vinaigrette
Carved Steamship Round of Beef
Shiitake and Water Chestnut Relish, Tomato Ginger Relish

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Chocolate Fountain
For tickets, click on this link to take you to Catholic Charities website registration page:

Another Garden You Should See in Salem

Nina Vickers was a long-time friend of the Hawthorne Hotel, and a very special friend of mine. When she passed away due to complications from breast cancer, a group of friends put a memorial up in 'her' garden -- a space that she thought needed some flowers, and so she just started planting things there.

The garden has been kept up by Stephen Hultgren since Nina left us, and I stopped by to see all the flowers which were the result of bulbs that he planted last fall.

I hope when you visit us in Salem, you will stop by Nina's Garden (maybe on your way out to the Willows for some popcorn from Hobbes?) If you love beautiful flowers, and lovely little spaces, you will not be disappointed.
The garden is on White Street, which is the first street to the right, just after the side street of the House of the Seven Gables. It is a very easy walk there from the Hawthorne Hotel.
I hope to see you here (or there!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

His Name is Buddy. . .

. . . but he looks like it should be "Mr. Mellow" from these photos.

Buddy is a darling labradoodle who is simply huge, but so sweet and lovable, you just want to put him in your lap and cuddle him -- all 110 pounds of him. He is being trained as a therapy dog, and you can easily see how well he must do in that role.

Buddy can even give 'high fives' on command. What a sweetie!

We love being a pet-friendly hotel, and hope you love it that we are, too.

I hope to see you (and your lovable pets) here soon.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Cry Innocent" -- Something that Belongs on Your Salem, MA To-Do List

There are many things to do in Salem, and some of them involve the Witch Trials. This is probably one of the best things to do in that regard. I hope you can make it. The article has photos and a good description of what you will see when you go to see "Cry Innocent".

This production takes place at Old Town Hall, which is located only three blocks from the Hawthorne Hotel.


Monday, April 26, 2010

More Flowers with Clapboards

Here are some more "local color" photos of Salem. Historic homes in the McIntire District are primarily sided in clapboards. I love how the spring flowers look against them.
There are so many places to walk here in Salem, many of them historic neighborhoods. If you plan a visit to Salem, and want to get pointed in the direction of these homes, ask the clerks to give you directions to the McIntire District. It is only about 10 minutes walking from the historic Hawthorne Hotel.
I hope to see you here.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ April 26 through May 2, 2010

Monday , April 26 ~~ Bahamas and Kentucky
Tuesday , April 27 ~~ Bahrain and Louisiana
Wednesday , April 28 ~~ Bangladesh and Maine
Thursday , April 29 ~~ Barbados and Maryland
Friday , April 30 ~~ Belarus and Massachusetts
Saturday , May 1 ~~ Belgium and Michigan
Sunday , May 2 ~~ Belize and Micronesia

We have no special requests this week.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Flowers with Clapboards, Salem, MA

If you are a Hawthorne Hotel Blog-reader from last year, you know about my "flowers with brick" series of photos that I posted here. Well, that was last year, and this is now. I have decided that this year's series of flowers photos will be "flowers with clapboards" since many of the homes in the historic districts of Salem are sided with clapboards.

These beautiful trees are in front of the Pierce-Nichols House here in Salem. It is located on Federal Street at North Street, in the historic McIntire District. They are such a joy to see; I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. If you want to walk there to see them yourself, they are only about a 10-minute walk from the Hawthorne Hotel.

And I hope you enjoy this close-up look at bits and pieces of historic Salem, MA. as I post varying photos throughout this year.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Installation Complete in the Grand Ballroom at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here are some photos of the completed work that was done in the Ballroom today. Our new crystal chandeliers.

The photo above was taken of the reflection of the chandeliers in our oval mirror.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Work in Progress in Our Ballroom

Here you see the crew from Cranney Electrical installing the new chandeliers in the Grand Ballroom.

This work is going on today, and will be completed by the end of the day.
Stop by and check it out.

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PEM in May

If you are planning a trip to Salem in May this year, you might want to know more about what is scheduled at the Peabody Essex Museum. Here is the list:

Sunday, May 2nd 3 pm Morse Auditorium

Presentation Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation

Letters to Jackie presents 250 intimate responses to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. At PEM, author Ellen Fitzpatrick also discusses how images shape public perception of the U.S. presidency. A book signing follows. Reservations by May 1.

Saturday, May 8th 1 pm meet at the information desk

Gallery Talk The Kennedys / Portrait of a Family: Photographs by Richard Avedon

Photography Curator Phillip Prodger talks about Richard Avedon’s iconic portraits. Reservations by May 6.

Saturday, May 8th 1 – 3 pm Art Studio

Studio Saturdays Mosaics
Create a lively, colorful mosaic inspired by nature using simple materials with artist and textile designer Rahat Mama. For children of all ages with an accompanying adult.

Sunday, May 9th 2–3 pm meet at the information desk

Art & Nature Story Time ECHO Spring Blossoms

Count what’s springing to life outside. Then craft your own blossoms. For children ages 3 to 6 with accompanying adult. Reservations by May 7.

Saturday, May 22nd & Sunday, May 23rd 11 am - 4 pm

Weekend Festival Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea

Weavers, dancers, puppet masters, hieroglyphics experts and artists illuminate the Maya culture of Guatemala and Mexico. Come see the ancient arts come to life!

Maya Dugouts Demonstration 11 am - 4 pm

Boat builder Wade Smith reconstructs a large-scale, speculative model of a dugout canoe based on ancient Maya designs.

Weaving the Waterways 11 am - 4 pm

Using back strap looms, skilled weavers of Maya descent create a traditional huipil, a blouse with water motifs.

Guatemala Maya Sawdust Carpet 11 am - 4 pm
Master artist Ubaldo Sanchez creates an alfombra from hand-dyed sawdust, rice, dried beans and flowers on the Atrium floor. Help make the border!
Docent-led Gallery Tours of Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea

Family tour 11:30 am; Adult tour 1 pm; Tickets available at the admissions desk.

Grupo Awal Dance Noon and 3 pm
Young troupe members represent the Maya culture of Guatemala through folk dances, dress and cultural traditions. At PEM, see these 20-minute dance tributes to Maiz, or corn.

Puppet Theater Performances 1:30 and 4 pm

Gustavo Boada and members of Grupo Awal perform the Maya creation story — El Popol Vuh – with life-size puppets.

Story Time: Rain Player 2 pm
A boy named Pik challenges the Maya god of rain to a game of pok-a-tok — a cross between soccer and basketball —to avert a drought. For children ages 5-9 with accompanying adult. Reservations by May 20, meet at the information desk.

Hieroglyphics Presentation and Demonstration 2 - 3 pm and 3:45 – 4:45 pm

Marc Zender, an eminent scholar of Maya hieroglyphs, talks about the ancient writing system and deciphering techniques. After, join a beginner’s workshop and make your own glyphs! For adults and teens.Reservations by May 20.

Film: Breaking the Maya Code 3:30 - 5:30 pm
The complex and beautiful hieroglyphic script of the ancient Maya was until recently one of the last great undeciphered writing systems. Based on the best-selling book by Michael Coe, Breaking the Maya Code traces the epic quest to unlock the secrets of the script across 200 years, nine countries and three continents. Reservations by May 20

Maya Dugouts Demonstration 11 am - 4 pm

Boat builder Wade Smith reconstructs a large-scale, speculative model of a dugout canoe based on ancient Maya designs.

Weaving the Waterways 11 am - 4 pm

Using back strap looms, skilled weavers of Maya descent create a traditional huipil, a blouse with water motifs.

Guatemala Maya Sawdust Carpet 11 am - 4 pm
Master artist Ubaldo Sanchez creates an alfombra from hand-dyed sawdust, rice, dried beans and flowers on the Atrium floor. Help make the border!
Docent-led Gallery Tours of Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea

Adult tour 1 pm; Family tour 2:30 pm; Tickets available at the admissions desk.

Grupo Awal Dance 11:30 am and 2 pm
Young troupe members represent the Maya culture of Guatemala through folk dances, dress and cultural traditions. At PEM, see these 20-minute dance tributes to Maiz, or corn.

Puppet Theater Performances 12:30 and 3 pm

Gustavo Boada and members of Grupo Awal perform the Maya creation story — El Popol Vuh – with life-size puppets.

Story Time: Abuela’s Weave 1:30 pm
Set in Guatemala, this story portrays the loving rapport between a child and her grandmother. For children ages 3-9 with accompanying adult. Reservations by May 20, meet at the information desk.

Mural Art of the Maya Presentation 2 - 3 pm

Artist & archaeologist Heather Hurst, whose mural of a world-turtle is on view in Fiery Pool, explains how she reconstructs murals and what she learns by studying ancient images. Q&A follows. Morse Auditorium, reservations by May 21.

I hope to see you here (or there!)


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, MA Names Kate George Employee of the Month

Here you see us gathered to recognize Guest Service Agent Kate George as our Full-Time Employee of the Month for March.

Kate's winning personality, great smile and terrific attention to detail were all named as reasons for her being given this honor.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fun and "Green" Activity for this Week at PEM

If you have been to see "Trash Menagerie" at PEM, you will know what I am talking about when I say "The Spiders" and if you haven't, you need to go (and soon, because it is drawing near to the end of this fabulous exhibit) to see it.

In any case, on Thursday and Friday this week, there will be an artist there doing a hands-on project with those who are in attendance. The artist is Nnenna Okore, and she, with your help, will be making giant spiders and a giant recycled paper web on April 22 and 23.

These are so cool looking, and this is such a current 'happening' I am sure you will have fun with this project. For more information, call 978-745-9500.

I hope to see you there.


Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, MA ~~ Lori-Anne Cirome Named Part-Time Employee of the Month

Each month here at the historic Hawthorne Hotel we select both a full-time and a part-time employee to honor in recognition of their exemplary work for our guests. For the month of March we recognized Lori-Anne Cirome of our Dining Services Department.

Lori-Anne has worked for the Hawthorne Hotel for a long time, well over 15 years, since she left at one point and then returned to us in 1995. She is so versatile that she can work in Nathaniel's the Tavern (both as server and bartender) and in Banquets.

Lori-Anne is so nice and polite to everyone, is very caring and dedicated to her work, and respectful of her co-workers, that she is simply a joy to have on our team.

Left to right above: Juli Lederhaus, Lori-Anne Cirome; Ken O'Keefe; Rebecca Cope and Jennifer Normant

Congratulations, Lori-Anne, on your selection as our Part-Time Employee of the Month for March, 2010!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jim McAllister, Salem's Official Unofficial Historian and Best Tour Guide Ever

Spring Calendar of Events Featuring Jim McAllister

This Tuesday, April 20
“April in Paris” Lecture and Wine-Tasting at Pamplemousse*
Jim will chronicle the individual and collaborative accomplishments of expatriate musicians, singers, dancers and other performing artists – including Cole Porter, Josephine Baker, and George Gershwin - living in Paris in the 1920s.
The program runs from 7:30-9 p.m. and includes samplings of three different wines. Admission is $20 per person. Reservations made be made by calling Pamplemousse at
*Pamplemousse is located at the corner of Central Street and the Essex Street Mall in downtown Salem.

Saturday, April 24
Salem Athenaeum “Founders Symposium”
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex Street
Jim will be one of eight presenters at this charming private library’s 200th anniversary celebration and will talk about co-founder Samuel Putnam.
For more information or to make reservations contact Jean Marie at

Sunday, April 25
The Sea and Its Influence on Art in Essex County

2-4 p.m. King Hooper Mansion, 8 Hooper Street, Marblehead

Jim’s heavily-illustrated talk, offered in conjunction with the Marblehead Arts Association’s “Blue Show”, will examine the relationship between the North Shore’s coastline and the artists who came to paint it..

Adults: $12 Members, $15 Non-members, $5 students. To make reservations or for more information call 781.631.2608.

Sunday May 2
Chestnut Street Walking Tour
3 - 4:30 p.m. Sponsored by Historic New England
Offered as part of the sponsoring organization’s 100th anniversary, Jim’s walking tour of one of the most elegant of New England residential neighborhoods will feature general information about the street and lively anecdotes. Special attention will be given to past celebrations held on the street and to Historic New England’s Stephen Phillips House at #34. Reservations are required and may be made by e-mail at or telephone 978.744.0440. Admission charged.

Thursday, May 6
“Preserving History, Providing Homes with Opportunities”
Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction sponsored by the Caleb Foundation
6-8 p.m. at Capt’s Waterfront Restaurant, 94 Wharf Street, Salem
Jim will give a brief talk on the history of affordable housing on the North Shore as part of this exciting, first-time event.
The Caleb Foundation, a non-profit affordable housing organization which provides quality affordable housing to low and moderate income residents throughout New England, and The Caleb Group, an affiliate of The Caleb Foundation, also a non-profit organization which provides resident services to low and moderate resident throughout New England, is holding their first - ever fundraising event. Caleb is celebrating 18 years of resident opportunities, historic preservation, and a new, upcoming Gloucester project.
For more information about this event call 781.595.4665

Friday, May 14 (New date)
Opening Day for Jim’s Seasonal Walking Tours
For the first time since he started Derby Square Tours in 1983, Jim will be offering regularly scheduled public walking tours during the tourist season.
Jim’s one-hour “Tour du Jour” will meet outside the Salem Visitor Center on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings at 9:30 a.m. beginning May 14 and ending November 1 (excluding Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day). The tour route and content will vary from day to day but will always feature a blend of historical facts and colorful stories.
No advance reservations are required or taken. Admission is $10 for adults, $3 for children 7-17 (under 7 free). Cash only. Bring your own coffee.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ April 19 through 25, 2010

Once again we are back to our alphabetical order of countries of the United Nations for our flags of the week, having given the country of Poland one week of placement on the front of our hotel in memory of their deceased President and other dignitaries.

The states of the United States, as well as our territories and protectorates, are represented on the other side of the entrance to the hotel each day, again being rotated through by their placement in the alphabet.

Monday , April 19 ~~ Angola and Guam
Tuesday , April 20 ~~ Antigua and Barbuda and Hawaii
Wednesday , April 21 ~~ Argentina and Idaho
Thursday , April 22 ~~ Armenia and Illinois
Friday , April 23 ~~ Australia and Indiana
Saturday , April 24 ~~ Austria and Iowa
Sunday , April 25 ~~ Azerbaijan and Kansas

If you have a special request, simply call us at 978-825-4322 or 978-825-4444. We happily honor any requests made that have some connection with the Hawthorne Hotel.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Bujar and "His" Flag

Bujar is a member of our housekeeping department. He came into my office last week, grinning from ear to ear, because we were flying what he called "my flag" -- the flag of Albania, his home country.
I asked if he wanted to have his photo taken with it, and he rapidly agreed, so off we went, into the rainy late afternoon, to snap this shot. The fact that it was raining deterred him not one iota.
While Bujar was very pleased to have this photo taken, when I asked him about his preference for where to live, "this country" was easily Bujar's favorite in that category.
I hope you enjoy learning a little bit more about the members of the Hawthorne Hotel TEAM, and some of the things that connect us all.
PS In case you don't read this blog regularly, you may not know why we were flying the Albanian flag on this date. For more information, check out the posts every Sunday on this blog.
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Another Fun Event for School Vacation Week in Salem

Here is a link to an article in the Salem Gazette that talks about walking tours in Salem. It is of special interest this week, due to the event noted below.

Book Signing and Ghost Hunting Event Thursday the 22nd from 7 to 9!

Join us for a tour of the supernatural and the world of the fabulous as A Walk Through Salem and Salem Night Tours team up for this wonderfully creepy event. Chris Dowgin, author and illustrator, will be signing limited first edition copies of his book before and after you tour the haunts of the city with Tim Maguire. After this 1 hr tour, come back to the Remember Salem shop at 127 Essex Street and do some ghost hunting using the latest electronic devices. We will be visiting a little girl and her older brother who died in the basement (that was once connected to the secret tunnels in town) during the Great Salem Fire in 1914.

So mark your calendars and come on down to Remember Salem at 127 Essex street at 7 PM on Thursday April 22nd and have a spooky great time.

For only $21 you will never look at Salem the same way again. Own your own copy of the book!
After buying the book walk through town and see if you can enter through the Unzipping Tree in the Common and see the Magical Whimsical side of Salem!


I hope you enjoy learning about all there is to do in Salem,


Friday, April 16, 2010

Saltonstall School Field Trip to the Hawthorne Hotel

This week we had not one, but two different classes of students from the Saltonstall School here in Salem come over for a field trip to see the Hawthorne Hotel. I gave the students their tours myself, with the aid of a number of parents, aids and the teachers. The children were able to see some of the typical things in the hotel, such as sleeping rooms, our restaurants, and banquet facilities, but they also got a behind-the-scenes look at places such as the kitchen, the storerooms, and the Salem Marine Society's headquarters on the roof of the hotel.

I think the highlight of both tours, for the children, was the fact that we treated them to freshly baked cookies and brownies, and tall glasses of cold milk. As they left, it sounded like they were already trying to figure out how to be invited back again!

We enjoy being part of the fabric of life here in Salem, MA, and on the North Shore of Massachusetts. We hope you enjoy getting to know a little bit more about the things we do.

I hope to see you here, soon!

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