Cuenca, Ecuador

Cuenca

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Top 2 places to spend Halloween. It is quite possible I may end up choosing destination # 2 this year…

1. New Orleans,Louisiana

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Image by Getty Images

ImageThere are plenty of good reasons to spend Halloween in New Orleans. The endless parades and beignets are enough for me. I could easily book a room at House of the Rising Son on Pelican Ave and spend my time doing nothing but eating and being lazy….but I am talking about NOLA here..I have complied a list of  intriguing things to see while visiting New Orleans during Halloween.

1.Lafayette Cemetery. Visiting the cemetery half in the bag… at night, is always fun. Beware of mummies and ghosts. It is Halloween, after all…

2. Visit the abandoned Six Flags on Michoud Boulevard, at night. If you have a penchant for photography,arriving before sunset is the ideal way to go…just watch out for creepy clowns and angry cops.

3. The Historic Voodoo Museum is pretty cool. New Orleans Voodoo is more than just an obscure set of religious practices. The history of Voodoo in New Orleans is intriguing and involves zombies, Voodoo queens and much more. If you are like me and enjoy history, you may find yourself enamoured by this spooky place.

4. If you want to escape the enormous crowds of the French Quarter, but still want to drink and have a good time, head on over to Vaughan’s Lounge on Dauphine Street. After a long night of slamming back sazeracs and dancing like crazy to a bevy of local jazz musicians, you may find yourself too exhausted and beleaguered to make it back to your hotel room.

5. Voodoo Fest this year features Jack White…enough said….

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Photo were taken by Tiffany Bailey, also known as Flickr user xshamethestrongx.

2. Salem,Massachusetts

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Salem, Massachusetts is a lovely place to visit during Halloween. Some 60,000 people arrive in Salem every year for Halloween festivities. In regards to things to see and where to stay,there are a number of award winning B&B’s, along with dozens of historical sites. The Salem Witch Museum is a must see. Here are the top 5 reasons for visiting Salem this October.

1. Stay at The Amelia Payson House Bed & Breakfast on Winter Street. Amelia House is located in the Historic District of Salem. The B&B is a quick walk to the Salem Witch Museum, the House of the Seven Gables, as well as the carnival on Derby Street.

2. The Salem Witch Museum. The Salem Witch trials of 1692 were tragic. The people of 17th Century colonial North America were a superstitious bunch. Paranoia and religious zealotry led to the conviction of 20 innocent people…who all died at the hands of lunatics..Anyhow, the museum is a dark, creepy place filled with mystery. I highly recommend a visit.

3. Carnival on Derby Street. Fried dough, cotton candy, witches and zombies. All on the beautiful waterfront. Need I say more?

4. Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball. Drink lots of ale, preferably strong stuff, then dress up like the Texas Chainsaw dude and crash the ball…the Patagonia clad tourists will be horrified.

5. Check out Kane Hodder, aka Jason Voorhees. He will be making an appearance at Count Orlock’s Nightmare Gallery on October 30-31st. Chainsaw included…

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Three important essayists and their best work: Samuel Johnson, Jonathan Swift & Christopher Hitchens. Topics: Procrastination, poverty, satire, and death

  1. Samuel Johnson The Rambler

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“I sat yesterday morning employed in deliberating on which, among the various subjects that occurred to my imagination, I should bestow the paper of today. After a short effort of meditation by which nothing was determined, I grew every moment more irresolute, my ideas wandered from the first intention, and I rather wished to think, than thought upon any settled subject; till at last I was awakened from this dream of study by a summons from the press: the time was come for which I had been thus negligently purposing to provide, and, however dubious or sluggish, I was now necessitated to write.”

“The folly of allowing ourselves to delay what we know cannot be finally escaped is one of the general weaknesses which, in spite of the instruction of moralists, and the remonstrances of reason, prevail to a greater or lesser degree in every mind; even they who most steadily withstand it find it, if not the most violent, the most pertinacious of their passions, always renewing its attacks, and, though often vanquished, never destroyed.”

*O! Procrastination…I know you all too well…you are there when I wake up and pour myself my first cup of coffee. Why do I put up with you?

2. Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal

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“I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine; and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.”
* Satire at its best. Too many poor children…cook em’ up and serve them with stew!
3. Christopher Hitchens Trial of the Will
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“Before I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer a year and a half ago, I rather jauntily told the readers of my memoirs that when faced with extinction I wanted to be fully conscious and awake, in order to “do” death in the active and not the passive sense. And I do, still, try to nurture that little flame of curiosity and defiance: willing to play out the string to the end and wishing to be spared nothing that properly belongs to a life span. However, one thing that grave illness does is to make you examine familiar principles and seemingly reliable sayings. And there’s one that I find I am not saying with quite the same conviction as I once used to: In particular, I have slightly stopped issuing the announcement that “Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.”
*Even in the face of death, Hitchen’s sense of humor never waned. Although am a fan of Nietzsche, I do find his old quote to be my least favorite.