382 GRIPES and Griping Strong!



I had to do it! I had to create a blog so you and I could gripe about all of "The Crap" that we encounter everyday in our lives. Believe me, there is plenty! You can now come to this blog to Gripe because you have the right to do so. Over time, we will Gripe about topics ranging from sports to politics to just about all of the garbage that happens around us. When you Gripe, you can add your name or not. It's your right! You can vent any way you want. Use foul language if you are angry enough to and if you are offended, just Gripe It! Hell, we have been banned from Facebook twice! You can Gripe about people, places and things. The only thing I ask is if you are going to Gripe about someone and you use their name, make sure you have the facts straight or say it's your opinion. Otherwise they will sue your and my ass off! It's your RIGHT TO GRIPE! You can respond to one of our Gripes or you can lay down your own Gripe. It's easy. To post your own Gripe just email it to therighttogripe@hotmail.com and we will get it on. You can also post a Gripe on our Facebook page. Just search The Right To Gripe. If you don't want to write it down, just click on one of the boxes below each Gripe to give your opinion. You can also become an official "Griper". All you need to do is "Sign Up" and create an account. IT'S FREE! So, don't sit back and take it, just GRIPE IT!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Top 5 Wilkes-Barre Tourist Attractions

Kilkenny Castle
While in Ireland, I had a chance to see and visit many tourist attractions.  I was able to see St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Rings of Kerry, Kilkenny Castle and St. Michan's Church, the site of the 800 year old Crusade Knight's mummy.  There were a tremendous amount of historical places to see because the Irish have preserved them for posterity.  I was able to visit the site of the original Guinness Brewery and the Jameson Distillery.  About 5 days into the trip I thought to myself, if people came to visit the Wilkes-Barre area, where and what would a tourist bus take them to see.  I pondered this question for quite some time because I really could not come up with several exciting as well as historical places in our area.  After more deep thought, I have come up with the Top 5 tourist attractions of Wyoming Valley.  Let's load up the tour bus, strap on the microphone and off we go.

Market St. Square
5.  Our trip around the Valley would start at the brand new Intercomodel Center in the heart of historical downtown Wilkes-Barre.  Before we pull away, look to your right.  You will see several bums and crack addicts huddled in the lot.  In case you don't know, the city was named after John Wilkes and Issac Berry, two members of the British Parliament who supported colonial America.  If you read up on their history you will know why the city was doomed from the start.  We board our bus here and go directly to Market Street Square, the site of the former Wilkes-Barre Train Station.  This historical building once saw rail service come into the city but now stands abandoned.  Back in the late 70's, it was turned into a night club complex by businessman Marvin Roth and quickly it became the "place to go" in Wilkes-Barre.  Several years later it was taken over by Wyoming Valley parasite Thom "The Tick" Greco where it was run into the ground and subsequently forced to close.  It stands today rotting from the inside out due to total neglect.  Chances are it will succumb to the bulldozer of doom.  Of course if "The Tick" is involved he will somehow work a deal with either the county or the WB Chamber so they can foot the demolition bill.

Stegmair Brewery currently
4.  As we pull out of the Market Street Square complex you will see the old Stegmair Brewery and warehouse.  At one time millions of gallons of "Steg" were made and shipped out via rail to all parts of the East coast.  Today, the historical site offers office space for federal workers, keeping the federal presence centrally located in Wilkes-Barre's downtown area.  It also houses the Wilkes-Barre Information Systems Support Center and a satellite office for the I.R.S.  There is nothing left what-so-ever in regards to it being and old brewery other than the name which means there is really nothing to see.

3. We will now head south down S. Main Street.  On your left you will see an empty lot.  This was the home of the famous Planters Peanuts.  Planters was founded by Italian immigrant, Amedo Obici right here in Wilkes-Barre. He started his career as a bellhop and fruit stand vendor in Scranton, Pennsylvania.  Obici later moved to Wilkes-Barre, opened his own fruit stand, and invested in a peanut roaster. Obici turned peddler within a few years, using a horse and wagon, and calling himself "The Peanut Specialist". In 1906, Obici entered a partnership with Mario Peruzzi. Peruzzi had developed his own method of blanching whole roasted peanuts, doing away with the troublesome hulls and skins; and so with six employees, two large roasters, and crude machinery, Planters was founded.  This once historic building was torn down due to its deteriorating condition.  Again, there is really nothing to see.  

Old Public Square
2 .  We will now head back North to Public Square.  This is the center point, the hub of our great city.  As we approach, you will see a statue of Christopher Columbus.  He had absolutely nothing to do with Wilkes-Barre.  Behind the statue you will see a small structure sticking out of the ground.  That is or should I say was the water fountain.  It broke a few years back and was never repaired.  It stands rotting away like everything else in this god forsaken town.  As we move around the Square, look to your left and you will see a plaque noting that Wilkes-Barre was the first city to have HBO.  There are no statues or plaques of John Wilkes and Issac Barre but we did get HBO first.  If you quickly look to the benches, you will get a glimpse of the ever elusive Square Rat.  These creatures come out after 5pm to infest the Square with their pestilence.  They will gather deep into the night and then scurry back tom their filthy dens before the sun comes up.

Vintage Hotel Sterling
1.  Finally our tour takes us off Public Square and down East Market Street.  Please take notice of all the abandoned building which are sure to rot and be torn down in years to come.  Speaking of rotting and tearing down, on your right you will see the once famous Hotel Sterling.  In it's day, this hotel ranked as one of the best on the East Coast.  The Sterling was known for it's beautiful lobby, large spacious rooms and private baths.  Over time The Sterling housed students from Wilkes and Kings Colleges, apartment dwellers and homeless bums and drug addicts.  The building is currently owned by CityVest who royally screwed up any chance to save the historic structure.  The Sterling will either fall down on it's own or receive the wrecking ball.  Once torn down, chances are a parking lot will be made.   

That concludes out guided tour of Wilkes-Barre for today.  I hope you got some great pictures of our lack of history.  Please exit the bus in a timely manner and we hope to see you again.         

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