Over the weekend, yours truly had company , which found us all over in my lovely little town up the road, after we enjoyed my mulled cider when they arrived. I think my friend Russel was feeling it before we even left. New Hope is always a very intriguing river town. We were going over to enjoy the autumn weather, and drink and eat from pub to pub, a crawl if you will. Since we have been getting some new readers here, a lesson on New Hope, and what better time then Halloween. New Hope is a quirky, fun, and eccentric town dating back to the mid 1700's. New Hope is considered the half point between Philly and NYC, where travelers would stay overnight and be ferried across the Delaware River the next morning. The town being along the river also saw much commerce being transported as well as the mule drawn canal system. Up the road is also where George Washington made his famous trip across the Delaware River on Christmas during the American Revolutionary War.
Years later, the town changed and became a artist colony...artists, writers, musicians and the like all found refuge and like minded people to be around, and that's when the town started getting colorful.New Hope was the location of an art colony, founded by Edward Willis Redfield and William Langson Lathrop, that produced noted regional work. Members of the colony included George Sotter, Daniel Garber and Fern Coppedge. Artists also associated with an art colony in nearby Phillips Mill. The members of the vicious circle the Algonquin Round Table often found themselves here like Art Samuels and Harpo Marx; Charles MacArthur, Dorothy Parker, and Alexander Woollcott. Dorothy Parker even bought a house here. Other notable residents have been Stan and Jan Bernstein, Oscar Hammerstein, Aaron Burr,( my distant relative...yes you read that right), Odette Myrtil, George Nakashima, and James Michener.
Some time when the art colonies arrived, the town also became a hot bed for witchcraft, which makes sense, since the town is a very haunted town. Many witches, wiccans, and there is even a warlock who owns of the most popular shops in town. You need a potion? He has one. The Dame stopped in this visit for his sage he gets to keep his house clean. Last I knew, New Hope is still one of the most haunted towns in the US. While I have never seen a ghost, I have felt strong presences in certain spots and areas of town. You may remember years ago when NBC network anchorwoman Jessica Savitch and her boyfriend drowned to death after their car overturned into the Delaware Canal, at Odette's, a popular cabaret bar.
The Aaron Burr House
Nektar..the whiskey Bar we had a few in....quite an assortment.
Take all that plus New Hope's primary industry of tourism. New Hope has historically been a location where Broadway theatre shows are "tested and fine tuned", and many notable big screen and stage actors bought weekend homes in the area. The Bucks County Playhouse features many plays and musical productions. I last saw Betty Buckley and Angela Lansbury there. Finally in the mix....New Hope became a popular gay resort in the 1950s, and continues to have an active and extremely large gay and trans community as well as a huge motorcycle crowd on weekends in the warmer months. It's quite something, and you know what? Everybody inter mix's and gets along with everyone. Including the ghosts.
I have yet to see a town anywhere like it and take quite the pride living here. And adore it's campest and sense of humor.Did I mention there is also a lot of S&M and sex shops?