Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Members of "The Office" convention planning committee gave us an informal tour of some of the sites associated with the show. Use this as a guide to create your own Scranton experience, but remember that the program just borrows the names of these spots and generally films elsewhere.

¿ The Radisson at Lackawanna Station (700 Lackawanna Ave., 570-342-8300, http://www.radisson.com/scrantonpa) was Jan's preferred spot for entertaining a client in a Season 2 episode. But Michael ruled in favor of Chili's, which, in reality, has no locations in Scranton. This upscale but hardly snooty hotel (rates from $109) is booked solid for convention weekend.

¿ AFA or Artists for Art (514 Lackawanna Ave., 570-969-1040, http://www.artistsforart.com) is a charmingly sparse gallery that highlights local artists. It also happens to be the place where receptionist Pam displayed her drawings during Season 3's "Business School."

¿ The menu at Farley's (300 Adams Ave., 570-346-3000), especially popular when natives come home for the holidays, features burgers, beer and American fare. During a Season 1 basketball game, losers were required to buy the winners dinner at this cozy pub.

¿ Lake Scranton (Route 307) is surrounded by a 3 1/2 -mile jogging and walking trail. But contrary to last season's "Beach Games" -- you know, the episode with Pam walking over hot coals -- there's no beach here.

¿ The main reason to visit The Mall at Steamtown (300 Lackawanna Ave., 570-343-3400, http://www.themallatsteamtown.com), which was spotlighted last season when Michael spearheaded a female-bonding shopping trip, is to see the original "Welcome to Scranton" sign visible in the show's opening credits. Since being replaced on the Central Scranton Expressway, the marker is on display in the food court, near a Taco Bell Express.

¿ Poor Richard's (125 Beech St., 570-344-4555) is the Dunder Mifflin gang's favorite happy hour spot, but the real place is a dimly lit bar inside a bowling alley. Still, management is savvy enough to host "Office" nights every Thursday, with free pizza until 9 p.m. and post-episode karaoke.

¿ The Anthracite Heritage Museum (McDade Park, 570-963-4804, http://www.anthracitemuseum.org) documents the experience of coal miners with exhibits that have a homegrown feel. Michael and Dwight saluted it in "Lazy Scranton," their version of the "Saturday Night Live" YouTube hit "Lazy Sunday": "You like coal mines and you wanna see 'em/Well, check it out, yo, the Anthracite Museum!"

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