A garden for peaceful contemplation on the corner of South and Elmwood.

A garden for peaceful contemplation on the corner of South and Elmwood.

1/25/17 [Photo: David Kramer]

The area where South and Elmwood Avenues intersect can be dreary on a slushy overcast afternoon. Traffic is slow and people rush quickly from the Al Sigl Center to reach their cars in the windswept parking lot. In the distance, the abandoned Pysch Center casts a gloomy image.

Although I’ve passed that spot many times, on Wednesday I discovered for the first the John N. Paris garden for peaceful contemplation. With its 12 sided obelisk, plaque and then-snow covered two benches, the garden does not seem to attract much attention in winter time.

The striking feature is the obelisk. On each of its panels, in twelve languages, is inscribed: May Peace Prevail on Earth.

In a time when some Americans want to pull back from the peoples of the world, the obelisk is a powerful emblem of the oneness of humanity.

looing to elmwood






Driving for reading outside Wolk Hall: Literacy Volunteers of Rochester

Garden blooming at 7 Eleven on the corner of Clinton and Elmwood

About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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