Born in Pittsburgh in 1947, Paul Freedman was perceptive at a very early age. He was standing on his parent’s front lawn one lovely spring day in his fifth year. There was a light breeze. Puffy white clouds sailed by majestically in a perfect blue sky. Paul took stock of it all.

“This town is dead,” he said to himself. “I’ve got to get out of here.”

He had realized his hometown’s prime attribute: it’s a great place to be from.


Since then, he’s traveled the length and breadth of the Northeast, going to Harrisburg, Allentown, and Erie, PA; Albany, NY; Stockbridge, MA; even going as far as Bar Harbor, ME.

“Bar Harbor was a revelation to me,” he said. “In February, when I was there, the ground was frozen down forty inches – solid, like iron. I didn’t think that could happen!”

Paul is deeply respectful of history. “I spent seven years in Philadelphia one weekend.” He says it’s the oldest joke he knows. He keeps it for special occasions.

An aficionado of both classical music and sleeping, Paul has passed out at least once in each of the great symphony halls of America. “There’s nothing like a Mahler symphony being played by a world-class orchestra to give you that sense of complete well-being that makes sleep all it can be. Great for dreams, too.”

Paul lives near Middletown, in Central New Jersey, where everything’s nice and nobody’s on fire for very long.

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