In a city known for its share of historical hotels — most destroyed by now — the Lenox stands out as a surviving relic of a more glamorous age. Dating back to 1896, it is the longest continuously run hotel in the city.
According to the hotel’s handsome website: “The operation began as a luxury-suite hotel for men and women of wealth, social refinement and prominence. They expected comfort and aristocratic accommodations while visiting the Pan American Exposition.” Indeed, aristocrats and celebrities alike found what they were looking for at the Lenox. Among its most famous guests include a young F. Scott Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington in his prime, Harry Belafonte, and Henry Fonda.
Today, the hotel caters to less notables such as myself and my little family of three. Nevertheless, the building and everything associated with it (the Lenox Grill has 550 bottled varieties of beer) still oozes with charm, elegance, and mystique.
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. 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, and the CITY. 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.