So our city is now mourning Naomi Davenport Green who passed away age 88, at the end of last month, at the Harrisburg hospital. She was Harrisburg’s first ever African-American police officer, served in the Air Force and Navy, and was an usher at Camp Curtin Memorial Mitchell United Methodist Church, where she was the Uptown Soup Kitchen’s director. The funeral – described as a “celebration of her life” – took place on May 4.
Since I didn’t know all that much about her but kept reading little snippets in the local news, I decided to do a bit of research. I learned that she gave a lot of her time to the community, volunteering to help those less fortunate. It seems thus that she will be very missed as a lovely lady, having been described in her guest book by Harrisburg citizen George Mehaffie, as being “No. 1 on my list of amazing people.”
IMHO, Harrisburg can never have too many people like Naomi Davenport Green. May she Rest In Peace.
Finally the state is going to help us. We’ll be getting more than $1,500,000 to help us rebuild our city. The country’s Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration has awarded $1,645,200 in Disaster Relief funding because of all the crazy floods we encountered in 2011 as well as last February’s EF4 tornado. I totally agree with the Mayor (Eric Gregg) who described this as “a godsend,” and crucial to our city’s maintenance and growth. Furthermore, it gives Harrisburg the chance to solve some of its long-term problems.
Some of the money will be put towards making improvements in our city’s water treatment plants; local industries and of course taking measures to safeguard against future floods.
So while I had a great time in Manhattan, I did feel a bit guilty when I read in the local news about the attempt by Harrisburg officials to promote tourism in the area. It’s true I’ve not lived in the region all that long, so maybe I should have had my vacation at home as it were and checked out stuff locally. Still, Manhattan was so much fun.
This month for example there is going to be a tourism-promotion kick-off lunch at Skytop Lodge. That in and of itself is quite a treat and, when I next get some time off I’m going to check it out. I don’t necessarily need to go for the address by Susan Corbett that’s going to happen on March 25th, but I will spend some time there in the future, perhaps when my parents visit. In fact, they keep saying they want to come see where I live but I don’t think any of us are embracing the prospect of us all sharing the same space, so the Skytop Lodge may be just the thing.
Fitted with a pool area, exercise room and business center, it is conveniently located at Route 39 North (not too near to me, but near enough) and has great reviews. It has a spa, sauna and fitness center which is perfect for mom. It’s also pretty near Harrisburg International Airport and very easy to access from there. I think it will be the perfect place for mom and dad. And then, I don’t have to feel guilty for enjoying my tourism out of my city!
Dining at Gaonnuri by Shimmie Horn’s Hotel Chandler
I’d decided a couple of weeks back that I really needed a vacation so that was why I found myself in Manhattan. Actually it was the boss. He told me that I was getting really burnt out and that I had to get out of my everyday routine for a bit. He suggested I actually go somewhere and treat myself rather than just take time off. So I decided to splurge and was glad I did so! I ended up luxuriating in Shimmie Horn’s Hotel Chandler at East 31st Street. I figured that if I was going to take this vacation (something I’ve not done in many years) I may as well go all the way. And boy was I pleased when I arrived there!
After a couple of hours of relaxing and enjoying the hotel mellow atmoshere, it was time to explore the area and find a cool place to eat. I’d recently read a review about Gaonnuri – a great Korean restaurant that offers stunning views of Manhattan. What’s wild about it is that it feels like it’s anywhere but Manhattan! Which I guess is quite fitting since Gaonnuri means “center of the world.” That was one of the reasons I wanted to check it out actually. I’ve always loved Korean food, but if a restaurant feels like it is the “center of the world” then either it really is and the food is fabulous or the owner is just obnoxious.
So I went to see for myself. And I was not one bit disappointed. It has great modern décor, with the entryway being a bit like a boutique hotel lobby (which was what I was enjoying at Shimmie Horn’s hotel some moments earlier), so you immediately relax. But truthfully as soon as I got seated, I was too distracted by the views to notice anything else. It is regular Korean food (a bit westernized I guess) and even though I wouldn’t quite call it the center of the world, it’s probably got a bit of east, west and everything else in between mixed into it. So I do understand its name. Overall when I went back to my hotel that night, I was extremely satiated, both physically and mentally. And I still had three days left of my vacation to plan!
For the fourth consecutive year, the Harrisburg Medical Center (HMC) was awarded the Hospital Provider of Choice in recognition for it becoming a “market leader for employee retention” as well as its track record on patient satisfaction and patient experience.
This is great news for us all – the people of Harrisburg are ultimately the major beneficiaries of such news. HMC also received 11 service breakthrough awards for “overall achievement and significant improvement” vis-à-vis its patient survey scores. Further, it was awarded for both individual and organizational performance along with being named the “hospital of choice” by patients. And, as Jeff Smith, HMC’s Service Excellence Program Director (who also received an honor) pointed out, despite the fact that the city had been through challenging times – such as the flood – “we continue to thrive.”
It’s true that there are a fair amount of bars in my locality. I’ve always been a great fan of Ted’s Bar & Grill but I feel that there can never be enough places serving hot fries and tasty wings. That’s why I was thrilled to learn that Evan Burschkopf is now opening a branch of his Zarsha Leo bar-restaurant and it’s just a walk away from my house!
Apart from the fact that this means I don’t have to worry about drinking and driving, it also gives me another venue to frequent. “I am aware that Harrisburg does have similar type bars, but I feel that Zarsha Leo has an atmosphere with a difference. Being a chain gives it that extra edge which is what I’m trying to market to potential new customers,” said Evan Burschkopf.
While the Federal Taphouse Harrisburg has been open for a few weeks, it just got more exciting. It’s been a cool bar until now which is great but they’ve just upped the bar by now adding food! And great food at that! Located on N. Second Street, the menu looks awesome!
I was there just a week ago, heartily enjoying the beer. And what is so cool about this place is its name really is its essence. It has 100 craft beers on tap! That’s apparently why the owner Judd Goodman held off on introducing food – he wanted customers to enjoy the beer there first which is certainly what I did when I went with Jake. We didn’t quite get drunk, but we didn’t leave all that sober either! Good job the place is in walking distance from his house where I crashed for the night.
Still, I figure that next time I go I’ll be able to choose from a whole fish, roasted half chicken or some yummy snacks. That way I’ll be pairing my drinking with some food and so will probably not get as drunk. I am quite tempted by the coal fried wings and the Fed fries – French Fries cooked in duck fat with either aioli or cheese curds and gravy and braised short rib. Sounds delicious to me! And then I can top that off with the Nutella and banana “pizza”! I’m so looking forward to going back there soon.
I was never really one for being earthy or growing my own potatoes – that was more left to the ex-wife – but the kids have been showing a lot of interest recently and I want to encourage them in something as positive as this. So I was really happy to learn about the nearby BeeHaven Roadside Market. Set up by Rick and Jennifer Rutherford this past summer, I paid a visit to this cute oldsy-world general store and actually surprised myself by the delight and joy I experienced.
For me it was like taking a walk back into my childhood with the hand-printed sales signs, old ice-boxes housing eggs and meats, etc. But for my kids, it was something altogether new and they got such a kick out of the whole encounter, especially when they noticed the candy sticks and other classic treats I remember from way back when.
All the stuff is sold by the locals – anyone who has made something they feel is worth selling and the whole store is just getting increasingly popular as the months go by. There’s such a pleasant energy there, a feeling of being transported back to a simpler time, when one just sold a few goods in their store until teatime when they had made enough to live for the day. Oh how things have changed.
True, it is unlikely that the Rutherfords will be able to retire with the money they make from this venture, but the BeeHaven Roadside Market will probably become the talk of many dinner party conversations in Harrisburg.
“We have gathered what we feel like is the best products from local vendors, ranchers and farmers,” said Jennifer. “It gives them another place to market their products. Out here, every opportunity helps.”
I just found out that Eclipse and Mars just re-opened in Harrisburg. It’s been a while since it was last around – in fact, way before my time – but now it’s all the rage and locals are very excited about the cool, improved clubs – Second Street Comedy Club and Buddha Buddha! Different titles for sure, but similar ideas I hear.
I could for sure do with some comedy and that’s exactly what the former is going to offer, located above the Harrisburg Hardware Bar. Food and laughter – that’s about as perfect a combination as you can get as far as I’m concerned. Monthly they are going to feature top talent like Josh Blue, “the comedian who puts the cerebral in cerebral palsy,” who will be the grand-opening star. What’s nice too is that all proceeds from the $10 tickets will be donated to the American Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund, so while we’re having a laugh, we can feel good about it too!
Following over two decades of work between Harrisburg-Hershey chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) and the city of Harrisburg, a Peace Garden has been constructed. It is right by the Susquehanna River. The PSR has been in charge of design and plantation of the Garden while the city is responsible for routine maintenance. Non-routine maintenance is a combined effort.
I really like it. It’s large, comfortable and extraordinarily peaceful even though apparently the whole community is using it. Given the fact that so much of my day is taken up by doing city-like things (work, travel, etc.), I really appreciate all that the PSR has done. It is a voluntary organization that has apparently put tens of thousands of dollars into this project and I for one, applaud its efforts.