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Local News

October 18, 2013

Heard Around Town: Salem welcomes contortionist, circus act and levitating geisha

SALEM — There is really no better show in town than the Licensing Board.

They get to handle problem rooming houses, used car dealers scamming the public and the witches and psychics who, try as they might, just can’t seem to get along.

This week, it was street performers — lots of them — all coming for licenses for Halloween.

Chairman Robert St. Pierre had them stand in a row like a police lineup from an old James Cagney movie, which makes sense considering both St. Pierre and fellow board member Rick Lee are retired cops.

St. Pierre asked each person to state his or her name and talent.

There was a “drum trio,” a visual artist who does tai chi, a horror makeup artist, a contortionist from Australia, a man who does a handstand on top of stacked chairs and — our favorite — a levitating geisha. Let’s hope, for the geisha’s sake, it’s not windy when she’s out there, or if it is, that she tethers herself to a tree in the Japanese garden.

Oh yeah, there was also a woman from something called the “Ignited Church.” Nobody seemed sure what she did, but she got approved along with everybody else.

Halloween heaven

In case you haven’t opened your October edition of Family Circle magazine, our humble city has been named one of the “Seven Best Haunted Cities for Families.”

The other pretenders — excuse us, contenders — are Charleston, S.C.; Gettysburg, Pa.; New Orleans; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; and Tombstone, Ariz.

Food fun

Naumkeag Ordinary, a new restaurant on Washington Street, did something this fall that amazed and delighted a few customers.

After dinner, the waiter approached a table of four, asked if they wanted dessert and then announced there was only one item on the dessert menu.

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