Sunday, April 25, 2010

WHO IS EASTON? Free Speech and Free Pizza: May 1st, Center Square

Our historic circle downtown will be a hotbed of expression 
again on Saturday, May 1st after the Farmers Market.

Posted by: Noel Jones

This should be interesting: Lafayette College, the Governor Wolf Athenaeum and Neighbors of Easton are sponsoring a free speech open mic event called WHO IS EASTON? and inviting all citizens of Easton to get up during this open mic and express themselves. It can be speech, poetry or song, and it is open to everyone on any and all topics. That's right--everyone and anything: environmentalists, new urbanists, poets, songsters, all languages, all political parties, all faiths, students, seniors, old-timers, newcomers, middle-aged Gen X-ers, homeowners, renters, children, Little League dads, soccer moms, teachers, taxpayers, bloggers, blog widows, underemployed, over-employed, the angsty cynics and the overjoyed--you name it--it's all welcome to be expressed at this event. 

Come out and have a free slice of pizza and hear what citizens of your city have to say!

Who is Easton? What conglomeration of voices will we hear? The voices that come out and speak, that's who. And believe you me, this will be publicized, so if you want the world out there to know that

people with your opinions and feelings live here, then hang around after the Farmers Market next Saturday and make your voice heard!

The Governor Wolf Athenaeum and Neighbors of Easton are proud to be sponsoring this exercise in democracy, as Neighbors of Easton strives to be a forum for earnest civil debate and discussion, and the athenaeum aims to provide classes and forums that encourage engaged citizenship and artistic expression in the community. This open-air event is an exciting opportunity to take some of the discourse expressed in our virtual forum into the physical world.

It seems a fitting event for our circle downtown, where the Declaration of Independence was once read aloud all those years ago. Our Center Square is an historic place of American expression, and now is as good a time as any to reclaim that history and make ourselves heard. Besides, what better way to see who really makes up our city?

I hope to see you there--better yet, I hope to HEAR you there!


Gabi Lachapel said...

I am looking forward to seeing the response this event receives from Lafayette and the city of Easton! Hearing so much about the rich history of Easton, has made me eager to find out what the residents themselves think of the city they live in. Living on the hill, I have heard many experiences, stories and stereotypes but have yet to hear the real deal. We are not expecting one big family hug at the end, but instead we are looking to give people the opportunity to voice their opinions while at the same time raising awareness to issues of concern people might have.

Invite everyone you know, all are welcome! Can't wait to see and meet the Neighbors of Easton :)

Juliet Lodi said...

Generally when events are held regarding a town or city, those "in charge" are the ones who do the talking. However, I think this is a great opportunity for everyone to have a voice, instead of those who are "supposed" to do the talking. This is an opportunity for everyone regardless of age or profession to say what they think, what ever that may be. I truthfully don't know what to expect. I don't know what I would even say if I got behind the mic, but I am excited to be a part of this. As a student at Lafayette I am excited to learn more about the city that I live in. Easton may not be my primary residence, but I am here 8 months out of the year and when I am here, it is home. Therefore, I want to know more about my home-away-from-home and the many people who live here.

hopeunseen said...


I tip my hat to you! For eight months a year you are our neighbor and a citizen of the great city of Easton. PLEASE give voice!


noel jones said...

I for one am REALLY looking forward to this--I can just imagine the wide range of voices and opinions we will hear--and hey--it's FREE PIZZA.

Laura said...

Im looking forward to this event because I really think that hearing others' impressions about Easton, about their day to day experiences and also share my perception, are going to lift that "veil of ignorance" that is such a barrier to promoting equality and fairness.

Hope to see everyone there! Communication is definitely the key to prevent festering emotions from degenerating into conflicts!

Eliza said...

I am really looking forward to this event! It will be interesting to see the various opinions and thoughts that the people of Easton have on their city and their community. Although I do not live in Easton all year round, this city is my home now and I am very excited and anxious to hear what everyone has to say. I go to or run through Center Square on my way to the Lafayette Crew boathouse everyday and being there so much has made me interested in the history and present culture of the city. Please come everyone! This is an event that should not be missed - and there will be free pizza and a raffle too! I hope to see you all there!

Julie Zando-Dennis said...

This is off point, but . . . tell more about the Lafayette Crew boathouse! I pass it when I bring my dog to the beautiful and historical Hugh Moore Park. When are your meets? Do you compete against the classic crewers like Harvard and Yale? Where is your run? Presumably towards Bethlehem because of the dam. See any bald eagles on that run? Tell all.

Jerome said...

The short time that I have been residing in the City of Easton because my enrollment in Lafayette College, I have yet to get a chance to get an idea of the local identity of the city. I am still very curious to what the city thinks of itself and how it is generally viewed upon by others and its current residents. All my friends that went away from their local areas (as I come from Georgia) to attend college have stories and images they “paint” about the cities their schools are located in. I am looking forward in hearing the image the people of Easton will “paint” of their city, so when I go back home I can tell stories of the city of Easton to my friends and just have a better overall knowledge of the place I stay at for over 8 months of every year.

Mike said...

After coming to Lafayette, I heard from numerous people that the town of Easton was very class divided. The lower income houses are located at the lowest elevations in the city and the higher income houses are typically located at the top of the hills. This structure seemingly began when steel companies came into the Lehigh Valley. The laborers would typically live in the lower areas of town and the owners would reside on the hills. Does this structure still exist today and, if so, what impact has it had on everyone living in Easton?

noel jones said...

Mike--actually, the classes in Easton may be divided, but it is more of a social reality than a geographical one. For instance, I live in the West Ward, which is the poorest neighborhood in the city, but I am near the courthouse, which is high up on a hill--in fact most of the West Ward is high on a hill. However, when someone in Easton says, "he lives on the Hill"--they are referring to College Hill, and CH is known for a more affluent population, although there is some income diversity and housing diversity there as well.

Socially, though, I do think that there is a divide--not so much between those with and without money, but those with and without education--which often goes hand-in-hand with having and not having money. I'm not sure how we compare to other cities...I'll have to give that one some thought--maybe some readers who have been here longer than I have might like to weigh in on that one...

celticwarrior said...

I would love to weigh in on that but I would most likely be deleted.Free speech is not for telling the truth.Would someone like to comment on what free speech is or does just sound good with free pizza.We should call this town Free Easton.

LSTAG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LSTAG said...


Easton is home to a plethora of special trees, they help make the city what it is. We are LafSTAG, a group of Lafayette students, searching for the most special tree in the city. Do you have a tree that means something to you? One that brightens your ride to work? Or serves as a jungle gym for your kids? If you want your tree to be featured on an Easton Greenmap in the Bachmann Publick House and entered into our "Special Tree's of Easton Contest" please submit your special tree(s) via e-mail to or in person to one of the LafSTAG members present at "Who's Easton" this Saturday. Your trees will be valued in terms of their rarity, size, condition, setting, history, community interaction, age, beauty, sentimental ties, and you are welcome to include any other factors that are important to you. Ugliness, huggablity, scariness, climablity and any other factors that give the tree meaning to you may be included. The winner for the overall best tree will be awarded with a $50 gift certificate. Please include the trees address along with your description of what makes your tree so special.

Your interaction is greatly appreciated, and we hope to see you all at this Saturday's wonderful event.

Team LafSTAG
(Lafayette Special Tree Appreciation Group)

noel jones said...

Celtic Warrior, WHO IS EASTON? is for everybody, and that means you too--come on out and speak up. The event is designed to give ALL voices in Easton a forum.

celticwarrior said...

But I have and get called every name in the book.I dont ask anyone to agree just show me were Iam wrong.I have been right on the money about the Mexican borders and thank good for arizona.We finaly have a politician who will stand up for its people. I hope our governor would adopt sb 1070. But Iam sure he wont cause he might hurt someones feelings.Ijust thought that was Free Speech.

noel jones said...

LSTAG--I will try to take a picture of the weeping cherry tree in my back yard--a lot of people don't realize that there are many beautiful trees in the West Ward.

SPECIAL THANKS to all the Lafayette students and community members that made today's event such a success--it was quite a different Center Square today than on a usual Saturday after the Farmers Market, and many people said they hoped it was going to happen again, which is a great response.