Places I went in 2011

Every year, I go places and list them. The primary criteria are 1.) Having a sit-down meal 2.) spending the night in that location.

Alexandria, Va.
Arlington, Va.
Burke, Va.
Fairfax, Va.
Falls Church, Va.
Franconia, Va.
McLean, Va.
Reston, Va.
Vienna, Va.
Annapolis, Md.
Baltimore, Md.
Columbia, Md.
Crownsville, Md.
Ellicot City, Md.
Poolesville, Md.
Avalon, N.J.
Ocean City, N.J.
Stone Harbor, N.J.
Wildwood Crest, N.J.
Woodstown, N.J.
Belleville, Pa.
Burnham, Pa.
Harrisburg, Pa.
Hershey, Pa.
Hummelstown, Pa.
Lewistown, Pa.
Mercersburg, Pa.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Reedsville, Pa.
Springfield, Pa.
State College, Pa.
University Park, Pa.
Washington, D.C.

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RIP Jeanne Hall

I was saddened to learn that one of my former professors, Jeanne Hall, died this past week.

Dr. Hall was a film professor — I only had her for COMM 150, the introductory film course. However, I knew her a little bit. In fact, even before I took her class, she introduced herself to me one day — “Oh, your William, I’m Dr. Hall.” This was particularly amusing because my friend Tom, was the class marshal for the film program several years earlier at graduation and had Dr. Hall as his advisor for several years and she couldn’t remember his name. I have held that over Tom ever since. Her long tenure in the College of Communications will be remembered fondly.

Legacy.com obituary: Jeanne Lynn Hall

UPDATED 01.03.2011: A much longer tribute from StateCollege.com: Jeanne Hall Remembered for Generosity, Spirit; ‘Had a Lot of Love to Give’

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2011 Redskins at Eagles Q&A and prediction with @scrappled

The last guest prognosticator of 2011 is @scrappled of Black Shoe Diaries, a Philly sports fan. He’s been here before. Let’s get it on!

WFY: If Michael Vick fought and executed your puppies would you favor irrevocable…Okay, that’s OLD news since Vick went to the Pro Bowl last year and signed a big contract so he’s a good person again, right? How has he done this season, a 7-8 season?

@scrappled: Okay, I suppose. The Eagles massively screwed up by not bolstering their offensive line, which leads to the evasive but undersized Vick taking too many shots. Not to mention, Vick has no idea how to slide. Bambi on ice is more graceful than a Michael Vick hook slide.

WFY: 7-8? D.C. was into falling flat after being OFFSEASON CHAMPIONS way before Philly. Is the clock running out on head coach Andy Reid? Does he still run a worse two minute drill than Penn State and its
3-tiered play calling (of the past, I guess)?

@scrappled: I’d be shocked if Reid didn’t return. For as much as we love to hate our head coaches, Reid is one of the best in the NFL when it comes to weekly preparation. Game management? Ugh. Nightmare.

WFY: Where do the Redskins/D.C. fall in terms of Eagles/Philly rivalries?

@scrappled: I’ve always viewed them as interchangeable, although I suspect thousands of Philly fans would disagree. To me, the level of hate corresponds with the success of rivals at that particular time. If the Redskins were a constant playoff presence, they’d be higher on the list.

WFY: Do you watch Eagles games with the sound turned down and the radio turned up?

@scrappled: Oh, how I wish. I don’t get the Merrill Reese radio broadcast in my house, so I’m usually stuck with whatever garbage announcing crew Fox forces upon me.

WFY: Who are the standouts for Eagles media coverage?

@scrappled: Bleeding Green Nation and Iggles Blog are both excellent, and the traditional Inquirer/Daily News guys on Philly.com have always been good. We’re lucky in the sense that our beat writers and columnists are generally of high quality. The local sports radio? Yeah, not so much. Idiots leading idiots.

WFY: Of the 4 major Philly teams, which one winning a championship would mean more to you? To the city/region?

@scrappled: Oh, it has to be the Eagles, especially with the Phillies breaking the urse a few years ago. Only with the Phillies’ recent success has baseball crept into a virtual tie with football in the region’s heart. But over the course of time? It’s a football city.

WFY: I’ve heard that an upstart, the roast pork sandwich, is challenging the cheesesteak for gastronomical supremacy in the city of brotherly love. I finally had the latter at a Tony Luke’s in Sea Isle City and enjoyed it, but not as much as the former. Which side are you on?

@scrappled: I’m with you, cheesesteaks now and forever. And you know what? I don’t even care who makes it. I try to avoid Pat’s and Geno’s as a matter of convenience, but I’m not a cheesesteak elitist.

WFY: Based on all the time I’ve been around Philly fans, I know you guys want to be told by a Washingtonian how the Eagles uniforms should look. That crushes the current kit every day of the week and twice on Sunday, doesn’t it?

@scrappled: Totally. Love the old Kelly Green. I don’t hate the newer look quite
as much as you, but it’s hard to beat that classic kit.

WFY: Since the Skins and Iggles always split and the road team usually wins how sad are you going to be when the inevitable happens?

@scrappled: Over it. Don’t care. The difference between 7-9 and 8-8 means
nothing to me with our longshot chances of a division title being dashed by the inept Jets, so let’s get the higher draft pick. Die, Eagles, Die!

WFY: On the wings of mediocrity? I-G-G-L-E-S!

I’m going with the burgundy and gold here, they always split the series. Let’s say 23-14

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Joe Posnanski on Joe Maddon, Hazleton

Hazleton – Curiously Long Posts, Sports Illustrated
After spending all fall in State College working on a book at Joe Paterno and what he meant to the Penn State community at large (impeccable timing!) Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski traveled east along Interstate 80 for a little while to see Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon’s hometown of Hazleton.

My first two years of college were at Penn State Hazleton and I lived in the borough of West Hazleton which is right next to the city of Hazleton. As I have mentioned before, it was an interesting experience. For one thing, growing up in sprawling Northern Virginia, the idea of firmly entrenched white/ethnic neighborhoods and the rivalries between them was eye-opening. I predicted that those rivalries would probably fade as Hispanics moved in; I can’t speak about the former, but the latter has drawn national attention for several years. Maddon is working with family who still live there to build a community center and wants “kids growing up in Hazleton now to look back someday and remember only good things from their childhood.”

And the people around him also nod in agreement when he says that Hazleton isn’t like that anymore. There are cracks in the sidewalk, closed storefronts and blankness where downtown once lit up. Maddon says that even the traffic lights have dimmed.

More: There’s distrust. Many people seem to know why. The Hispanic population has grown dramatically in Hazleton over the last decade or so. According to census numbers, there were about 250 people who identified themselves as Hispanic in 1990, barely over 1,000 in 2000. Now, there are almost 10,000 Latinos living in Hazleton. They have come for jobs, for more affordable housing, for the small town charms that not so long ago brought in the Maddonnis and Scarcellas and Barlettas and Palahniuks.

I wish Maddon and Hazleton luck, even though I have been hard on it over the years. The disparate groups need to realize that they all want to be there and build off that because for 50-60 years, people have been fleeing for better opportunities.

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