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Providence: Walking with H. P. Lovecraft

A research trip to Providence, Rhode Island allows this biographer to immerse himself in the the world of his subject — weird fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft

A Few Days in Savannah

Knowing our shared passion for “old things,” trusted friends long have suggested that my wife and I visit Savannah, Georgia. During this past Thanksgiving weekend, we finally followed their advice. We were not disappointed. Instead of flying, we traveled to the Hostess City of the South on the Amtrak Silver Meteor line. The train ride…


Small Discoveries of Wonder

While sitting outside a tiny coffee shop in the Upper West Side in Manhattan on a recent afternoon, I looked across the street and noticed the architectural details of a seemingly nondescript building (ground floor business with several stories of apartments). The building’s artistic flourishes surprised and delighted me.

Paramount Theater

Faded Grandeur Down the Shore

To celebrate our wedding anniversary earlier this month, my wife and I enjoyed a short stay at Asbury Park, New Jersey. The weekend was wet and dreary. Perfect beach weather for us. Seriously.

"Learning New Jersey ... One Building at a Time" by Gabrielle Esperday, Ph.D. Apple Tree House, Jersey City, New Jersey. March 22, 2018. (Courtesy of Robert Farren)

A Snapshot of Jersey City Culture

Let’s face it: transplants to New York love to scoff at New Jersey.  (Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed that native New Yorkers lack this prejudice.) Contrary to this popular stereotype, culture exists in the Garden State.

A Night at a Movie Palace: Loew’s Jersey Theatre

Last weekend, my wife and I enjoyed the 1954 classic On the Waterfront in 35 mm film on the big screen. (The movie was shot in Hoboken, New Jersey.) While the film was riveting, the true attraction was the movie theater itself. The Loew’s Jersey Theatre stands across the street from the Journal Square PATH…

(Photograph by Author)

Snapshot: Durham’s Tobacco Warehouses

Last month, Regulator Bookshop invited me to Durham, North Carolina to present my new (and first) book, Left Bank of the Hudson: Jersey City and the Artists of 111 1st Street, to readers in the Research Triangle. Before my reading, I walked through downtown Durham and its warehouse district to get a feel for the…

Lyndhurst: An American Masterpiece

For our tenth anniversary, my wife and I spent the day in the country, or what city dwellers would have considered to be the country near the turn of the last century (i.e. the Progressive Era). We planned a day trip to the Hudson River to visit Lyndhurst, a Gothic Revival masterpiece. A quaint and…

A Sense of Rootedness: Reflections on History and Preservation

In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, Pope Francis commented upon the “need to protect those common areas, visual landmarks, and urban landscapes which increase our sense of belonging, of rootedness, of “feeling at home” within a city.” By preserving such spaces and visiting them, we as individuals and as a people might feel a connection…

Delightfully Frozen in the Past: Ocean Grove, New Jersey

During our recent vacation—too short, as always—my wife and I stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, right next door to the rowdy and famous Asbury Park. While Asbury Park tempts one with rock ‘n’ roll music, cheap drinks, and the hope of fast women, Ocean Grove offers quiet nights,…