Getting Off that Bipolar Express

Locomotive 142 - Delaware River Railroad Excursions

Photo courtesy of The Delaware River Railroad Excursions

Every time I turn around it’s Christmas. Whatever happened to those seemingly interminable days when that long wait for the seasonal magic and that big payoff on the 25th of December was more than any child could possible bare? Now I wish that I had it within my power to slow down that express train of time. At best, a very brief detour onto a siding is the most we can hope for before the conductor yells roll on. But still there is a lot time and space between the flicker of a flame, the notes of a song, the words on a page, or the turning of a wheel. All we need do is to look and to listen–and that time will be ours to keep.

We invite everyone to look and to listen as we share some of our favorite musings and memories from Christmases past.

candle_and_tankard Let us set the mood for the festivities by providing you with the recipe for the proper libation. Of course, we’re talking about a Smoking Bishop. Click here to listen to  a detailed history about the makings of this delightful English concoction. The recording was part of a radio broadcast of The Bleecker Street Cafe heard Fridays at noon over the airwaves and internet of WDVR-FM.

And now that your settled in front of the fire with your steaming bowl of the Bishop. Please enjoy The Bleecker Street Players from one of their more memorable past performances of  A Christmas Carol, recorded live at WDVR-RM in December of 2013. Click on the links below to listen or download. As always, we extend our sincerest apologies to the decedents and devotees of Charles Dickenschristmas_carol_logo

And what would Christmas be without a bit music? I’m happy to report that I have finally found a new favorite collection of holiday tunes. Bing Crosby has been relegated to the backseat in favor of singer/songwriter Ellis Paul. His release City of Silver Dreams is just absolutely wonderful! Please enjoy this live performance of Christmas Lullaby from that release.

And before you climb back aboard that fast moving locomotive of life, please receive into your heart this benediction from my compadre  and co conspirator in this venture, Ed Petersen.

christmas_benediction

Glasses Raised..Spirits Lifted…Journeys Shared

Posted by: Chris Poh for American Public House Review

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Of Tracks and Taverns–and of Grapes and Grain

2-8-2 "Mikado" Type Steam locomotive

The town of Phillipsburg, New Jersey, like so many other American communities, is in the process of redefining itself as it struggles to carve out a place in the new globalized economy. This once significant eastern transportation hub. located at the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers,  had established itself as a thriving manufacturing center during the nineteenth and twentieth century. Today what remains of that past prosperity can be seen in the town’s collection of stately Victorian homes, the ornate facades of  the recently restored downtown buildings, and those imposing railroad bridges and trestles that once serviced the rolling stock of  five major railroads.

Delaware River Railroad Trestle

These days one can still hear the occasional horn from a passing freight train of the Norfolk Southern, and there has been talk by the state of bringing back passenger service to Phillipsburg–but as is more often the case, the economic revitalization and resilience of the community has mainly been fostered by a few dedicated individuals.

So now on most weekends from late spring through the end of October, one can board the handsomely restored vintage Long Island Railroad commuter coaches being pulled by the 2-8-2  “Mikado” Type Steam Locomotive on a journey downriver to sample the offerings of a local vineyard. This is just one of several day trips and family outings offered by Delaware River Railroad Excursion

Delahanty's SignFor those, like myself, who much prefer the juice of the grain over the nectar of the grape, I highly recommend an afternoon of pints and train spotting from the deck at Delahanty’s. This Phillipsburg favorite  established in 2001 by Jim and Carole Diee, is quickly becoming the preferred trackside perch for the staff of American Public House Review

The Deck at Delahanty's in Phillipsburg, NJ

All Aboard!

Posted by: Chris Poh

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