Monday, May 31, 2010

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

The men and women who were put to death in 1692 in Salem because they were thought to be witches have no graves that are known to us, because they were not allowed a proper burial due to the circumstances of their deaths.

The Salem Witch Trials Memorial was erected to help right that wrong by at least giving each of those persons a place to be remembered. The photos below show this place, which is located about 2 blocks from the Hawthorne Hotel.

Each bench is inscribed with a name of one of the victims, and the date and manner of his or her execution.

While we know that none of them were actually witches, but simply people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and all victims of a hysteria we hope never to again see, there is still much interest in their stories.

It is their sad tale that has given Salem so much notoriety all over the world. While that is only one small portion of Salem's history, it is that reputation which often times causes people to want to visit Salem. Once these visitors are here, many do take the time to really learn about Salem, and for that effort they are well-rewarded, seeing a wonderful small New England city with a rich and diverse history, terrific architecture, a seaside location, and many other excellent reasons to stay and see more.
I hope to see you here at the historic Hawthorne Hotel.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ May 31 through June 6, 2010

There were no special requests for this coming week.

Monday , May 31 ~~ Denmark and Wisconsin
Tuesday , June 1 ~~ Djibouti and Wyoming
Wednesday , June 2 ~~ Dominica and Alabama
Thursday , June 3 ~~ Dominican Republic and Alaska
Friday , June 4 ~~ Ecuador and American Samoa
Saturday , June 5 ~~ Egypt and Arizona
Sunday , June 6 ~~ El Salvador and Arkansas

I hope to see you here.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Art Gallery at the Hawthorne Hotel

The Kensington-Stobart Gallery, located here in the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA.

Currently this wonderful gallery is featuring a collection of works called "The Luminous Landscape" and featuring works by 17 artists in the medium called encaustic painting. The show officially opens on June 10, with a gathering from 5 to 8 pm, but you, fair blog reader, get to see it now!

I stopped in today and shot these photos so you can see for yourself why you should plan on coming by the hotel and the gallery soon. These are all one-of-a-kind works, and when they are sold, they are gone.

I could not photograph my two favorites because they are in the windows, and there was a bad glare from the glass, so you will just have to come by to see them in person.
I hope to see you here (or there) soon!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

PEM in June, Much for Children to Do!

If you are making plans to visit Salem in June, here is what will be going on at the Peabody Essex Museum. There is ALWAYS so much going on there, that I think it is someone's full-time job just to keep the list all organized. Whatever the case, we are happy for all the activity, for our guests, our staff, and our neighbors to enjoy there.



Friday, June 4th 7:30 pm Morse Auditorium

Performance: Karen Finley’s The Jackie Look
Members $25, nonmembers $30 Reservations by June 1

Appearing as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in sunglasses, coif, pearls and tailored pantsuit, performance artist Karen Finley presents the New England premiere of The Jackie Look. Finley’s one-woman show unfolds in dramatic form as a lecture after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A champagne reception follows. Docent tours of The Kennedys Portrait of a Family: Photographs by Richard Avedon at 6:30 and 6:50 pm.

Saturday, June 5th 2 pm Morse Auditorium

Film Screening: RAW Art Works Real to Reel Film School

Teens in the Real to Reel program study cinematography, editing, scriptwriting and directing as they create short narrative and personal documentaries. You will be moved by the honest, thought-provoking and often irreverent voices that emerge. The filmmakers answer questions afterward. A reception follows. Some films may not be suitable for young children. Reservations by June 3.

Friday, June 11th 1 pm meet at the information desk

Gallery Talk: Imprints: Photographs by Mark Ruwedel

Photography Curator Phillip Prodger talks about the intersection of dinosaur footprints and human trails in Mark Ruwedel’s landscapes. Reservations by June 9.

Saturday, June 19th 10 am – 4 pm

Weekend Festival: Opening Day Eye Spy, Playing with Perception

Enjoy a fun-filled day of magic, illusion and art in celebration of the opening of Eye Spy, Playing with Perception in the interactive Art & Nature Center. Participate in a magic show, investigate optical illusions, meet featured artists and create your own illusion-inspired art.

FREE Turkey Hill Ice Cream from the Mix 104.1 Ice Cream Truck 1 - 3 pm

Opening Day Breakfast for Family-Level Members 10 - 11:30 am
Meet Rufus Butler Seder, filmmaker, artist, inventor and best-selling author of Scanimation® books. Explore a range of Seder’s optical toys and inventions as you enjoy bagels, muffins and fruit. Then create your own optical illusion art. East India Marine Hall. Space is limited; reservations by June 15

Artist Demonstration: Illusion Drawing 10 am - 4 pm

Chalk artist Michael Macaulay creates an amazing anamorphic artwork that appears to pop right out of the Atrium floor! His finished drawing will be on display through June 26.

Drop-in Art Activity: Hocus Pocus Portraits 10 am - 4 pm

Check out the mind-bending, body-warping effects of our funhouse mirrors and try sketching your reflection in a spoon.

Abrakidabra! Magic and Optical Illusions 11:30 am - noon and 3:30 - 4 pm

Mike Bent highlights optical illusions and other tricks that fool the eye in his famous Abrakidabra!™ show. Look for Bent between performances for special close-up magic tricks.

Drop-in Art Activity: Double-Vision Views Noon - 4 pm

See two sides of the story when you create your own fanfold drawings!

Artist Presentation: Optical Illusions 12:30 - 1:15 pm Morse Auditorium

In his internationally acclaimed Scanimation® books, LIFETILES murals and Cinespinners™, Rufus Butler Seder uses patented techniques to create the illusion of movement. Join this Eye Spy artist for an animated presentation about his work and how it draws on a rich history of moving-picture technology. For adults and children ages 10 and up. Reservations by June 17.

Drop-in Activity: Magic, Illusions and Optical Wonders 12:30 - 4 pm

Challenge yourself on a range of illusion-based activities, mechanical puzzles, magic and games with help from the experts at Eureka! Puzzles of Brookline, MA.

Family Gallery Explorations Tour: Eye See! 1 - 1:30 pm and 2:30 - 3 pm

Get a new perspective on art by looking at illusions and other optical trickery in PEM galleries. Reservations by June 17, meet at the information desk.

Artist Presentation: Pictures in Stereo 1:45 - 2:15 pm

Ron Labbe, one of the featured artists in Eye Spy, creates stereoscopic art and photography. Check out cool 3-D objects and activities from his private collection! For adults and children ages 10 and up. Reservations by June 17.

Film: Animal Imposters 1:45 - 2:20 pm Morse Auditorium

Discover an amazing array of camouflage strategies in the animal and plant kingdoms in this NOVA classic. For children ages 2–7 with accompanying adult.

Sunday, June 20th 2 - 3 pm meet at the information desk

Art & Nature Story Times: Move It!

Get into action with Swing,by Rufus Butler Seder, a featured artist in the new interactive exhibition Eye Spy, Playing with Perception. Then create your own simple optical illusion toy. For children ages 3 to 6 with accompanying adult. Reservations by June 18.

Saturday, June 26th 1 - 3 pm Art Studio

Studio Saturdays: Maya Stele Carving

The Maya commemorated important events and dates by erecting monumental stelae (stone slabs) inscribed with glyphs, many of which still stand. Carve your own stele from Mexican clay with help from artist and educator Paula Beaulieu.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memorial Day Trivia

One of the things you probably don't know about the Hawthorne Hotel is that one of our staff members is a well-known expert on things Civil War. Her name is Kristie Poehler, and she is our Director of Sales and Marketing.

She writes a newsletter on the Civil War, has written a book about it, and has even been featured on National Public Television.

So when I wrote the post on Memorial Day, she was quick to ask me if I knew the origin of Memorial Day. I guessed that it had to do with the Civil War, but she was quick to fill in the details for me. I thought you might be interested, too, fair blog reader, so here is what she sent me:

That was the war the holiday came out of, but it started in 1868 with General John Logan as a way to memorialize both the Union and Confederate soldiers who were buried at Arlington Cemetery. Logan was the first commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, the fraternal organization of former Union Civil War soldiers. New York was the first state to officially recognize the holiday and it became a national holiday in the North in 1890. The South celebrated it on different days until after WWI.

There you have it, folks!

Enjoy your holiday.


Memorial Day, Monday May 31

Unlearned Lesson

Memorial Day
Of every year
The little valiant
Flags appear
On every fallen
Soldier's grave--
Symbol of what
Each died to save.
And we who see
And still have breath--
Are we no wiser
For their death?

--Dorothy Brown Thompson

"And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me..."

--Lee Greenwood


In honor of Memorial Day, we are offering a special room rate this month for all active-duty military personnel. If you are active-duty military, the special for May is 50% off. Please ask for that when you reserve with the hotel. Offer valid May 26, 27 and 28 and 30, 31. Sorry, not available on Saturday night.

Please mention that you saw this special on our Blog or on Twitter. These reservations must be made directly with the hotel, by calling 978-744-4080. Valid military I.D. must be shown upon arrival.

Thank you for keeping us safe!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More Flowers with Clapboards

Clematis is one of my favorite flowers. They come in so many different varieties, and this is just an example of one. I love how the colors of this particular one seem to go so well with the colors of the house. The composition of the beautiful flowers with the fence that needs some paint somehow is pleasing to me as well.

I hope you enjoy this up-close look at our historic neighborhoods here in Salem, as I make my way through them to capture these photos.


Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 24, 2010

Remarkable Family Resemblance

Yesterday this young woman, Rebecca Sussman, stopped into the hotel to see this photo of her great aunt, Gretchen Kehn.
Gretchen's husband, Bob Kehn was the General Manager of the hotel from 1953 to 1964, and the Kehn's actually lived in the hotel during his tenure here, and raised their children here.
Rebecca, who lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had heard about this story and photo, and was in the area so she decided to stop by to check it out. I happened to be in the dining room, Nathaniel's at that very time, and also just happened to have my trusty digital camera, so I was able to capture the moment for our blog.
The most amazing thing about the event is how much Rebecca resembles her great aunt.
We love the stories of people that are interwoven around the Hawthorne Hotel and its history, and hope you enjoy reading these little tidbits as well.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Flags on the Front of the Historic Hawthorne Hotel

Salem, MA ~~

Here are the flags that will be rotated onto the front of the Hawthorne Hotel this week.
For more information on our flag program, see the post last Monday on this blog.

Monday , May 24 ~~ Democratic Republic of Congo and Texas
Tuesday , May 25 ~~ Costa Rica and Utah
Wednesday , May 26 ~~ Cote d'Ivoire and Vermont
Thursday , May 27 ~~ Croatia and Virginia
Friday , May 28 ~~ Cuba and Virgin Islands
Saturday , May 29 ~~ Cyprus and Washington
Sunday , May 30 ~~ Czech Republic and West Virginia

No special flags were requested this week.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Support for the Greater Community

Salem, MA ~~ The Hawthorne Hotel supports a number of good works in the community. Catholic Charities of the North Shore is responsible for carrying out a number of those "good works", and they are near and dear to our hearts, so I thought I would tell you about an awesome fund-raiser that they are having in two weeks.

It is a fashion show! It is the first time they have ever done something like this. It is taking place at their offices on Lynn Shore Drive, and promises to be a lovely evening.

One of the most exciting things about this fashion show is whose fashions these are, because they are beautiful, and made for "real women" to wear.

I hope you will check it out, and try to attend if you are at all able to go.

Here is the link to their event:

And here is a link to the designer, Denise Hajjar, so you can preview some of the beautiful clothing:


Hawthorne Hotel's Employee of the Month, April 2010

Yesterday we surprised Valen Richard, a member of our Banquet Service Team, with the Part-time Employee of the Month award for April. Her first reaction, after turning a becoming shade of pink, was to hug everyone, including her manager, Liz Dube, as you can see in the first photo below.

If you look closely, you may recognize Valen from other posts on this blog. She has been a beautiful "Princess" for our Princess Tea for the past several years.

Congratulations, Val! We are so happy to have you as part of the Hawthorne Hotel TEAM!!!


Liz Dube, Banquet Manager, congratulating Val.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cinema Salem Has Big News

Salem, MA ~~

As compared to the 'normal news' that they have every week, although I have my suspicions that some of this will seem more like 'normal news' than 'big' news. In any case, you may be interested, so here you are.

Here are the headlines: a) CinemaSalem goes 3D! b) Awesome live music concert is tomorrow night! c) LOST finale on the big screen Sunday night! d) Sex and the City opens next week and e) Dramatic overuse of exclamation points in a first paragraph!! And now, the details.

Based on the strong support for 3D programming among our audiences in the customer surveying we conducted earlier this spring, and on the runaway popularity of the format demonstrated by its domination of the box office for the past six months, we've installed an awesome 3D system in one of our theaters, which we plan to use for selected 3D movies, starting with SHREK FOREVER AFTER, which opens Friday.

SHREK 4 is getting great reviews, including this rave from Box Office Magazine: "Shrek is without question the funniest film of the year-at least so far." and this from Hollywood and Fine: "Funnier and more exciting - and more emotionally connected - than most of the summer's blockbusters so far."

SHREK 4 (in 3D) will screen on Friday at (4:45), 7:00 and 9:15; Saturday at (12:00), (2:15), (4:45), 7:00 and 9:15; Sunday at (12:00), (2:15), (4:45) and 7:00; and Monday-Thursday at (4:45) and 7:00.

Though more than our normal ticket pricing, 3D admissions at CinemaSalem are very competitive, and if you want to enjoy the experience for a real bargain, just come to our first show of the day on Saturday or Sunday (or any day during the summer), where you'll enjoy the 3D experience for only $8.

The first Cinema Concert is looking like a very cool event, integrating great young artists (Laura Vecchione and The Dejas), an acoustically beautiful room, and some fun opportunities that performances in a movie theater offer, -- all combining to create a fun and enjoyable listening experience. The show starts at 8:00 tomorrow night, and tickets are $9 today or $12 tomorrow, and are available at the box office or online at

If you're a LOST fan, the place to be during the Sunday night finale is in the comfy seats of CinemaSalem, witnessing the historic denouement in the company of your fellow fanatics, and able to gasp, groan, sigh, and bid adieu to one of the best shows in television history in the manner it deserves. The show starts at 9:00 pm and the cost is FREE! Last night, more than 130 people attended the penultimate episode, so the finale should be a huge event. But don't worry, we can accommodate more than 500, as we did for the Obama Inauguration.

Opening on Friday will be THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, which the critics love. The Los Angeles Times writes: "Everyone has secrets in the The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, a mind-bending and mesmerizing thriller that takes its time unlocking one mystery only to uncover another, all to chilling and immensely satisfying effect." USA Today agrees: "Stieg Larsson's best-selling crime novel has all the makings of a cinematic thriller. As directed by Niels Arden Oplev in Swedish with English subtitles, Tattoo is mesmerizing."

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO will screen on Friday at (4:00), 6:45 and 9:30; Saturday at (12:30), (4:00), 6:45 and 9:30; Sunday at 4:00 and 6:45; and Monday-Thursday at (4:00) and 6:45.

Everyone also loves BABIES, a handmade and beautiful documentary that captures the first year in the life of four babies from around the world. The Detroit News writes: "Blessed with no narration, an absence of gimmickry and an embracing love for its subject matter, Babies is as sweet, joyful and filled with curiosity as a you-know-what." The New York Times thinks it does something even more profound: "Might restore your faith in our perplexing, peculiar and stubbornly lovable species."
Babies will screen on Friday at (5:00), 7:30 and 9:25; Saturday at (12:30), (2:45), (5:00), 7:30 and 9:25; Sunday at (12:30), (2:45), (5:00) and 7:30; and Monday-Thursday at (5:00) and 7:30.

Back for another week is the intriguing IRON MAN 2, starring the ever-watchable Robert Downey Jr., and screening on Friday at (4:30), 7:15 and 9:50; Saturday at (11:15 AM), (1:45), (4:30), 7:15 and 9:50; Sunday at (11:15 AM), (1:45), (4:30) and 7:15; and Monday-Thursday at (4:30) and 7:15.

Finally, please don't forget to bring some change or bills to support the Witch City Walkers, the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure team we're supporting at the movie theater. You can support them with cash, or by purchasing the KOMEN KOMBO, $.50 of which is donated by CinemaSalem to the cause.
Thanks for supporting CinemaSalem!
Paul Van Ness

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cooking Class by Hawthorne Hotel Chef Steve Nelson

These photos were from last year's class.

Salem, MA ~~ On Thursday June 3, our Executive Chef, Steve Nelson, will be conducting a "Cooking as Art" class from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The theme for this year's annual event will be "Stepping into Summertime with Salads, 101".

The class is offered as part of the Salem Arts Festival, an annual multi-day event now in its second year.

Chef Steve will demonstrate creating several composed salads, with an emphasis on creative and beautiful presentations, handmade dressings and vinaigrettes, how to recognize and choose the best in local produce, how to shop at farmers' markets, and making flavored oils and vinegars.

The cost is only $19 per person, or $36 for a couple. You will enjoy tasting a number of the chef's creations this evening, and be provided with light refreshing beverages as well. Steve loves to have people enjoy his food, so there will be lots to taste.

Enjoy a lively, lovely and informative evening at the Hawthorne Hotel.

To purchase tickets to this event, please call our Dining Services Department at 978-825-4360 or 978-825-4311. Seating is limited to the first 30 people, so please do not be disappointed. Call right away!

I hope to see you here.


Another (one time only) Event to Do in Salem Friday, May 21

Jewelry Lovers take note:

PEM Gift Shop Event featuring Sonja Grondstra, local resident and glass jewelry designer. Sonja has worked with sea glass, recyled glass and fused glass for over 1years here on the North Shore of Boston. Her work is absolutely lovely. She is making a personal appearance here at PEM, in the shop Friday May 21 from 5-8pm, with lots of her beautiful pieces for one and all to see, try on and take home for someone special. There will be light refreshments and a cash bar on Friday night!

The shop is serving complimentary Tea Forte raspberry nectar tea, tasting Harbor Sweets "sloops" and sampling the Taza chile pepper chocolate to make your shopping/browsing experience more enjoyable!

Hope you can take a break for a few minutes and come over to meet Sonja and have a little treat!


I hope to see you here (or there!)


Garden Restaurant -- Love Dining al Fresco

Today's weather is absolutely PERFECT for dining outdoors. There is no better place in Salem, MA to do just that, than at the Peabody Essex Museum's Garden Restaurant. Reservations are not always needed, but will insure we can seat you timely, so give us a call at 978-542-1618.

I hope to see you there.


Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Thank You on Top of a Thank You

Salem, MA ~~

Special Attention is important to us. Here is a copy of some emails and photos we received that tell the story without any help from me.

I received this email from Penny Petronzio, our Dining Services Manager.

Alana is a student at North Shore Technical High School and was just accepted into the Culinary Arts Program. Her Aunt Pat called me ahead of time to see if the Chef would come out and say hello and Chef Ken went one step further and gave her a tour of the kitchen.

This was Alana’s birthday!



From: Pat
Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2010 3:06 PM
To: Penny Petronzio
Subject: Take a look at my photo(s)

Hi Penny,

Thank you again, for a wonderful visit to the Jazz Brunch last Sunday, you and your staff are the Epitomy of Customer Service


Pat B and Alana T

From: alana@
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 1:19 PM
To: Penny Petronzio
Subject: Thank you

Dear Penny,

Thank you so much for making my birthday a special one. The Staff was
incredibly nice, especially the executive sous chef Ken, and our
waitress, Angie. The hospitality and friendliness of both you and your
staff was outstanding. I can't thank you enough. I loved the kitchen
tour, and the food was delicious as well. Again, thank you so much,
and thank you for making my birthday a truly fantastic time.

I hope to see you again!

~Alana T


If we can help you with some special attention while dining at the historic Hawthorne Hotel, please call our Dining Services Manager at 978-825-4360.

We hope to see you here.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Carnival-Themed Special Event

This week we had a special group in the hotel that always comes up with the most fun events for their annual meeting. This year their theme was "Carnivals" and featured different things from carnivals from Rio to Mardi Gras and more.

We thought you might like to take a look, so here are some photos:

Cotton candy for centerpieces/favors.

Carnival games.

A fun-house mirror.

Can we help you plan a special event here at the Hawthorne Hotel? Give us a call at 978-825-4358 for assistance.

I hope to see you here.