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Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

If you instantly know how to pronounce Wilkes-Barre, you must be from Northeastern Pennsylvania. I know how the locals pronounce it and yet still I can’t see it. It’s just not proper English. Wilkesbury or Wilkesberry would be right. Wilkes-Barre is just wrong. On so many levels. OK, now I’m over that.

Scranton is a town that really grew on me. It’s a nice little town that knows it’s not a big city and doesn’t care. I mean some people care, but I get the impression that they’re imports from someplace else and they have inferiority issues with having moved to Scranton. The real Scrantonites are different; they know that they’re not New York or Philadelphia and they like it. They like who they are. It’s nice to see that North of the Mason-Dixon line.

The obvious thing to do in Scranton is to do a tour of the spots from the intro of “The Office.” Here’s a hint: drive down Mulberry Street. My inside sources tell me that nearly everything was filmed from there, except the “Welcome to Scranton” sign which is on I-81 coming into town. Also, the Houdini museum is in town. I didn’t go.

There are a couple of places that I ate that I figured I’d mention. The first is Cooper’s Seafood. Don’t let Google Maps mislead you, it’s a bit North of town. The place is like that movie “The Labyrinth” from 1980-something with David Bowie: kind of freaky and disorienting and you don’t know if there’s a point until you get to the end. The end is their beer selection. It’s awesome. I had a Victory Hop Demon off a hand pump. The food comes in third — did I mention the train that runs around the top of the place?

And there’s “The Brixx” which has the best salad I’ve ever heard of. It’s got grilled steak, chicken breast, and (AND!) shrimp. There might have been a crappy salad underneath it. But it’s a salad, so it’s got to be healthy.

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