Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Want to know a secret?
The Secret Art Space is on Rink Street, near Vine Street, on the South Side of Bethlehem (very close to Deja Brew Coffeehouse - look for the green door).
The first-ever LV Ladyfest will be taking place there on January 2, featuring Fursaxa, Bad Temple, Ninjessa, Dark Circles, and Mad O, "a celebration of bands in the Lehigh Valley that have female musicians." Fursaxa is the only artist I'm familiar with; Tara's music is considered "acid folk." Overall I'd say they're mostly punk rock/indie but most indie groups defy classification in my mind. Check out the links above for more information and free previews of each group's music.
Randi from Comfort & Joy (105 East 3rd Street, Bethlehem) was bragging about her daughter's band, Ninjessa; she said that in addition to being insanely talented, the members are beautiful women and good cooks.
Secret Art Space is home to some of the the most free form, creative art gatherings in the area. If you have an itch for some original music (and it seems like some of you might, based on your recent comments), this would be a good place to scratch it. Doors open at 6 p.m., bands go on at 7. Cover $6-8.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I picked up your latest issue in a plastic box outside Christkindlmarkt last week, and I'm writing to let you know that I have a beef with your "Best albums of 2009" article. I realize that Andy Hermann is the national music editor of Metromix, and he's probably never been to the Lehigh Valley, PA. But your list of the best albums (online content via NYC Metromix - TMC has not posted it online yet) does not even remotely reflect the musical sensibility of most Lehigh Valleyans.
If your intent was to educate the masses about "real" music, it falls on deaf ears. We in the Lehigh Valley have lots of opportunities to rock out to live music, but most of it is by way of cover bands. Some are more metal, some are more classic rock, others pop or punk; however, I doubt any of them covered a song from your #1 album, "Middle Cyclone," by Neko Case. If one did, I would be belly-up to the bar singing "Man-man-man, man-man-man eater" at the top of my lungs with the one other Neko Case fan in the Lehigh Valley.
But Neko Case didn't stop in our at any of our great local venues like Godfrey Daniels (7 East Fourth Street, Bethlehem), Porter's Pub (700 Northampton Street, Easton), or Crocodile Rock (520 Hamilton Street, Allentown). She did perform at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside last April. She also played two shows at my favorite live music venue in Washington, DC, the 9:30 Club, where I once took in performances by artists like Ryan Adams, Kasey Chambers, Basement Jaxx, Zero 7, Pete Yorn, Old 97s, Mindy Smith, and Keane. She never came to the Lehigh Valley, because her record company believes that there is no audience for her here.
People like me, displaced music fans, have a couple of options:
- Make regular pilgrimages to the Keswick, the TLA, Electric Factory, or a venue in New York City, pray that Zoellner Arts Center or Musikfest will book a band or two we like, and count the days until SteelStacks is a reality
- Listen to Internet radio, WXPN out of Philadelphia, or WDIY's The Blend, and read Paste Magazine, SPIN and Rolling Stone
- Do as the Romans do - enjoy covers and the occasional original song by the bands we have, and hope that somewhere near the end of the set, when they think we're all good and liquored up, that the band will go out on a limb and play a tune by Vampire Weekend
Metromix, I am disappointed. Your writers could have spent a few hours researching an article on the top 10 list of the best concerts that came to the Lehigh Valley in 2009 - it would have been easy enough, since you print their listings every week! By publishing this list, you have proven how little local content you are actually interested in providing to readers, and I think that's a shame.
Lehigh Valley Transplant
Friday, December 18, 2009
Potbelly started in 1977 when a little antique store on Lincoln Avenue in
Chicago started selling toasted sandwiches (right along with vintage stoves, old
books and other knick knacks) to boost business.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I know of only one, and it's my friend Eric Gensel, who is a terrific photographer, former colleague, and dear friend. His company is On 3 Imaging.
Eric is responsible for the portraits on this blog, which are scheduled to appear alongside my first Lehigh Valley Style column in March. I am sincerely grateful. Also, special thanks to his beautiful wife Kinsey, whom I've known since high school, for the inspiration to use the Brew Works bar and for her patience!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Last week I joined a group of commercial real estate brokers and developers on the West End of Allentown for a walking tour of 19th Street and a preview of what's to come.
Frank Shipman gave us an update on what's going on in the former Shanty Restaurant. The building will soon be a salon and spa with a full-service restaurant. He is looking for a distinctive eatery to lease the 3,000 square foot frontage of their space. Then we visited the Civic Theatre (527 North 19th Street, Allentown), where my family will be enjoying the annual production of "A Christmas Carol" on Friday night. We heard about the West End Alliance's efforts to improve the quality of life in their urban neighborhood. The Alliance put together "19 Fun Facts About 19th Street," an inspiring list for any neighborhood, let alone one in Allentown! A few tidibits I didn't know: The Allentown Farmers Market attracts 25,000 people weekly, and the West End has its own dinner theater, Pines Dinner Theater (448 North 17th Street, Allentown).
When I saw the sign for Step in 4 Mor (1823 W Allen St., Allentown - a block off 19th Street) when I was turning around to go home, I pulled in to the parking lot. Niki told me about the store, which is owned and operated by her friend, Muhlenberg College alum Stephanie Morffi. I'd seen her ads, and I've been told that if I liked Shuze, that I should check out what Steph's got going on in Allentown. Steph and Vino, her adorable dog, were inside the store when I stepped in. Steph's done a great job selecting beautiful, of-the-moment shoes. I picked up a pair of Sam Edelman ballet flats with a crocodile-patterned leather and leopard-print fabric lining, and definitely selected an outfit to go with them today so that I could break them in! The store also has a fully-stocked wine fridge, some perfect housewarming gifts for holiday parties (including a girlie flask with hot cocoa mix), and great accessories you might just want to gift to yourself.
Check out little Vino, posing on the zebra-print settee!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
It has become customary that my dad, sister, and I bear the selfish Black Friday crowds at the Lehigh Valley Mall for a few deals and steals, but this year I want to focus my energy into seeking out unique gifts while helping our local economy at the same time.And today even the Chamber of Commerce asked for businesses to pledge to shop locally:
The pledge is simple: businesses, whether they are members or not, pledge to shift 5% of their spending from out of the Valley to back in. According to our statistics, if every business in the Valley took this pledge, an additional $100 million would be spent in the Lehigh Valley.I realize that not everything on your list is going to be available in an independently-owned local business, but to the extent that it's possible, give it a shot. It might mean one extra trip in the car, but maybe you'll start a new holiday tradition of shopping in a downtown area, or discover a whole new shopping experience. If you have already done some local shopping, how did it go? Did you find anything completely surprising or unique?
Saturday, December 12, 2009
The Great Good Place argues that "third places" - where people can gather, putFor people living in big cities, open space and community gathering spaces are key. Apartments are small and many people don't have cars or prefer not to use them to get around. So their little neighborhood joints become part living room, part kitchen, part remote office, part conference room. The people who work at these businesses, and the other people who hang out there regularly, become a second (or third) family.
aside the concerns of work and home, and hang out simply for the pleasures of
good company and lively conversation - are the heart of a community's social
vitality and the grassroots of democracy.
In a region like the Lehigh Valley, it's easy to get into a rhythm of driving from home to work and back again without getting to know your neighbors or spending any significant amount of time anywhere else. There are a lot of private clubs in the area, where mainly locals meet for cheap eats and drinks, gambling (shh...) and sometimes entertainment. But what about those of us who are new to the area? Especially if we aren't the kind of person to hang around a coffee shop and strike up conversations with complete strangers who might just be there to pick up something to drink and head back home or to work?
Do you have a Third Place? Would you nominate some of the best Third Places that might be a good place for a transplant to meet other like-minded individuals?
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Danielle and I had lunch at General Zapata (15 East 4th Street, South Side Bethlehem, a.k.a. GZ) last week. I'd been there a couple of times before (notably, once with the gang from RenewLV) and even ordered some quesadillas for a little office open house we held last Friday night.
The restaurant's name pays tribute to the former Zapata's Place (ZP) on Stefko Boulevard, where Rick worked for 10 years. Rick told me that even the hot sauce on each table is an homage to ZP's owner. Rick's extended family operates Amigo Mio (545 Cleveland Street, Allentown), a place known as much for its incredible food as it is for its strict rules (open 6-9 p.m., cash only, long waits because staff is limited). In addition to great Mexican, General Zapata's also includes cuisine from Rick and Carmen's Puerto Rican heritage. Rick makes the tortillas from SCRATCH, people. That means they are seriously fresh and chewy, not rubbery from refrigeration like the kind you get at many Mexican places. He also sources his beef and some other ingredients locally.
GZ open its 30-seat Mexican/Caribbean fusion dining room in May. When it's full (as it's been many lunches and dinners since it received a positive review from The Morning Call), it's tough to get in. I adore this size of restaurant; many are BYOBs and usually, the owner's in the back cooking up a storm or in the front, making sure everyone is comfortable. Sette Luna (219 Ferry St., Easton) started out about that size (before expanding into the space next-door). Sagra Bistro (620 Main St., Hellertown) seats about 30 in the dining room. The Cafe (221 W. Broad St., Bethlehem) probably seats about 50 in two separate, intimate rooms. You get a cozy feeling in a place that size. I know there are other restaurants this size - did I miss any gems?
Speaking of Mexican, Danielle told me that Fiesta Ole is opening where Fuddrucker's was (2955 Linden Street, Bethlehem), and then I read about it in Retail Watch. She is not the first person to tell me that Fiesta Ole is good stuff. But Mike at Beyond Scrapple (and Capri) panned it, so I'll need to investigate for myself. There are now three locations (in addition to Bethlehem, at 1116 Chestnut Street, Emmaus and 1808 MacArthur Road, Whitehall) in the Valley and two in Reading.
Monday, December 07, 2009
The second annual Nazareth Area Holiday House Tour (to benefit the Nazareth Center for the Arts) is Saturday, December 12, 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. In addition to the Nazareth Center for the Arts, nine other properties in Nazareth and Bushkill Township will be included on the house tour. Each home will feature art by a local artist and live music. Tickets are $20.
The Center's blog has more information about the house tour, and lists a few upcoming events. Their current web site is a bit sickly. When you're in Nazareth visiting the Center for the Arts, check out one of these great restaurants (just one or two blocks from the new Center for the Arts):
- Rios Brazilian Steak House (a meaty bonanza at 127 South Broad Street)
- Hana Sushi (just opened last month at 6 Belvidere Street)
- Main Street Garden Cafe (lunch only, 52 South Main Street)
- Bistro on Main (replaced Dutch N Such at 47 South Main Street)
Sunday, December 06, 2009
I was thinking to myself that it might be the only Middle Eastern restaurant in Easton. Both Olive Branch Cafe & Restaurant (355 Broadway, Bethlehem) and Petra Mediterranean (81 W Broad St, Bethlehem) feature Middle Eastern dishes, but I think Allentown has cornered the market on real Middle Eastern food in the Lehigh Valley: Damascus Restaurant (449 North 2nd Street, Allentown); Habibi Sweetheart Restaurant (1429 Lehigh Street, Allentown); and Aladdin Restaurant (651 Union Boulevard, Allentown). I know there are some loyal LVT blog readers who are big fans of Middle Eastern cuisine - what's your favorite? I know that Petra's food is a little Moroccan and a little Jordanian, Habibi is Jordanian, and Phoenicia will be Lebanese. From where in the Middle East do the others originate?
Also, does Easton have room for another fabulous restaurant? (Sort of a rhetorical question.)
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
For stores, or events, who cares if there are 100 people there. If you know the store owner, you might even get a heads-up when new gear arrives. But a restaurant you like to go to on Friday nights? Or a coffee shop with four seats? Dilemma.
There's a restaurant near the house I rented with friends in DC called Two Amys. When it first opened, it was a neighborhood gem. Tucked on a side street behind a popular Mexican restaurant, it subsisted mostly on overflow from that restaurant and maybe Cafe Deluxe. It had great pizza and a cozy little bar in the back that was perfect for meeting friends or a date, but it also had no parking and no "lobby." All of this made it charming and kind of a local favorite. Then it was discovered by Washingtonian in 2003 and picked for the cover of its Cheap Eats edition. Suddenly, the place was overrun by suburbanites desperate to escape the duldrums of their strip-mall Pizzeria Uno and California Pizza Kitchen. You couldn't get a table there on a weeknight, let alone a Friday. Even takeout was a problem, since the front of the restaurant was clogged with people waiting for a table. Parking in the neighborhood, already at a premium, became a nightmare. We stopped going there and found other neighborhood places that were just as good, but undiscovered.
Imagine my horror when the place all the hipsters have been buzzing and Twittering about was discovered by the Morning Call's Retail Watch. Word on The Bookstore Speakeasy (336 Adams Street, South Side Bethlehem) is out.
When Beata, Jorge, Courtney, Mark and I went last week for cocktails and microbrews after work, we were impressed. The place is cool - can't say I've ever been anywhere like it - but it isn't cheap. But that's what everyone said last week: The El Vee, Lehigh Valley Style blog and LV Scene all wrote reviews, Lehigh Valley With Love gave it a shout-out, Channel 69 stopped by, and Retail Watch proves again just how out-of-touch The Morning Call is. If you are thinking about going, check out the menu online and read at least one of the reviews so you don't look like a rookie. Here are a couple of tips: It is located between Fourth Street and the Trans-Bridge bus station. There is no dedicated parking, just meter parking at lots and on the street. The door says "THE BOOKSTORE" and you have to push open a curtain inside to find the bar. The Bookstore offers a limited menu, but the owners just introduced a prixe-fixe dinner menu, $35 for four courses (not bad), Thursday-Saturday between 5-7 p.m.
Best cocktail on the planet: the sidecar. At The Bookstore, it costs $11.00.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
See the drum major's baton? It's a tiki torch.
Check out the gander sandwich (above, right).
Lehigh beat Lafayette in their 145th meeting on Saturday, 27-21 in overtime. Theirs is the most-played rivalry in all college football history.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
In case you hadn't already figured it out, this blog's purpose is to educate people about what the Valley has to offer and to encourage Valley natives and transplants to visit local businesses. I'm not fond of publishing anonymous negative comments (though as long you aren't shilling for profit, anonymous positive comments, and shilling for a good cause or because you genuinely like something is okay by me).
The Express-Times recently covered the story of two college students who refused to pay a mandated tip at the restaurant. There are two sides to every story; however, the restaurant refused to comment in the article, so make up your own mind.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I'm gathering a small group of transplants and natives to have dinner at Sette Luna (a place where we love to take our friends from out-of-town) and then explore downtown Easton at night. I already have a list of no fewer than EIGHT things happening that night and plan to encourage everyone to do what they like and report back. I'm also taking suggestions from the floor (read: you). Then I'll compile everyone's thoughts into a 1500 word column for the magazine.
If it's okay with you all, I'd love to preview at least part of the column here, to get your feedback before my December 15 deadline. You'll have to tune in to Style in March to get the full story.
Let me know what you think! Want to join us?
Monday, November 16, 2009
There are a multitude of reasons for this. First of all, expatriates return home for some mandatory time with family who stayed in the Lehigh Valley. One can only handle so much of that, so after a few hours of unpacking and getting caught up on family dysfunctions, a stiff drink may be in order. For those who are not traveling out of town, it's a chance to catch up with old friends who are only in town for a few nights. Since it isn't a religious holiday and there's no reason to wake up early on Thanksgiving, it's prime for staying out late. Most people tend to stick close to home (and to the bars that were second homes), but some will flock to the bigger entertainment venues. Either way, it's a good excuse to get dressed up and show everyone how well you have done for yourself since the days of braces, driver's ed, and passing notes (which I doubt kids even do anymore w/ the proliferation of text messages). Here are a few fun parties I have heard about:
Pigpen Bar & Grille (702 Union Blvd., Allentown) has The Large Flowerheads, "Groovy '60s Music You Love," and no cover for ladies.
Allentown Brew Works (812 W Hamilton St, Allentown) has its regularly-scheduled Trivia Night, Whitehall High School 5th Year Reunion, and more.
Starters Riverport (17 W. Second St., Bethlehem) has DJ Cap Cee, no cover, and a naked chick rolling in leaves on the invite. (?!)
Sands Bethlehem (77 Sands Boulevard, Bethlehem) has Lauralea & Tripp Fabulous in the Molten Lounge, 8:30pm - 12:30am, no cover.
Blue Monkey (1092-1094 Howertown Road, North Catasauqua) is feature live music from Common Bond.
Drinky's (5 Centre Square, Easton) needs to update their web site, but I am sure they will be having a party.
Metromix is hosting a Thanksgiving Eve Bar Crawl at Firehouse, PigPen, Mezza Luna and Roosevelt's 21st, beginning at 7 p.m.
Natives, is there a spot that your high school friends have claimed as their own?
Transplants, will you be celebrating Thanksgiving Eve out of town at your old watering hole? Or will you be out in the Valley, laughing at all the awkward reunions or tagging along with your significant other to their reunion?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I really miss the variety and relatively low prices at Trader Joe's. They had some classic items which I stockpile when I have a chance to go. These include Big & Chunky Applesauce, a million Indian items, frozen goodies including to-die-for mac and cheese, Avocado's Number guacamole, soups, Dunkers cookies, tiramisu gelato, and French Market Lemonade. Their cheese section is drool-worthy. And I'm always game to try something new there, because the cost is so low (me: Do I like New Zealand Sweet Apple Rings/Indian Fare Punjab Choley/Pizza Parlanno? friend: Get it, it's only $2.99!). A Facebook group 1,500+ members strong hopes a Trader Joe's will open in downtown Easton, and I concur. I am tired of making the pilgrimage to King of Prussia and Westfield, NJ (where they have wine! Three Buck Chuck!).
I don't miss the prices at Whole Foods, but I did like the samples and staring at the bakery displays. And, they always had a good beer selection and the most beautiful organic produce.
I never miss Safeway. Each store has a nickname. The one near Georgetown is called the Social Safeway since it is such a pickup joint. It's been called that since before my parents lived there as young professionals. The Tenley store is Secret Safeway (obscured by trees) and the Dupont store is Soviet Safeway (because there is never anything on the shelves and there are always long lines). There may be others I can't remember, but I've blocked most of my memories of Safeway, primarily because the service was so awful and the produce was so peaked. DCist does a good job of outlining all the names and their reasons.
This week, I took an extra look around at Wegman's. The store has done a great job of buying and stocking items that are... dare I say?... Trader Joe's-esque. The organic aisles are reminiscent of Whole Foods, too. I'm impressed. I picked up pumpkin butter, soy milk and frozen organic burritos.
I still like going to small natural foods stores, however. There's something about the smell (is that ginger? patchouli?) and the idea of a local market that I like. Plus, when I find a new one, I like to take the time to explore, and often go home with treasures.
One of my favorites is Nature's Way Market on 143 Northampton St. in Easton. It's been open for 34 years and offers a good mix of fresh produce, pantry items, supplements and beauty products. They also frequently host educational workshops and have a great book and magazine section. This weekend, Courtney and I stopped in to pick up some vitamins, chocolate, mushrooms and energy bars.
Queen's Nutritional Products is a little off the beaten path, near the Giant shopping center at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. in Allentown. I have heard about Garden Gate Natural Foods at 17 S 9th St. in Allentown but have not visited personally.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
- At Advent Moravian Church, 3730 Jacksonville Rd. Bethlehem
- Friday, November 13, 3-8, Saturday November 14, 10-3
- Free admission, and free coffee, tea and cookies
- Proceeds from the garden sale and raffles benefit the BGC Scholarship Fund.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
There are knitting stores that host knitting circles and classes on site, and libraries that invite patrons to BYOK. Classes are cheap - often $5 or less - and the stores often offer discounts on your purchase of supplies.
I found a few knit shops in the Lehigh Valley. Did I miss any good ones?
- Tangled Yarns, 519 Main Street, Bethlehem
- The Knitter's Edge, West Broad St. at 15th Avenue
- Knitwitz & Sew Much More, 828 Main Street, Hellertown
- Conversational Threads Fiber Arts Studio, 8 S. 4th St., Emmaus
Friday, November 06, 2009
Tonight, there are:
- Six places to catch live music and enjoy art and shopping: Stone Soup Studios (301 Broadway), Comfort Suites (120 W. Third St.), Cleo's Silversmith Studio & Gallery (21 E. Third St.), Lehigh Bookstore (Campus Square), Fox Optical (28 E. Third St.) and of course, a DJ at Home & Planet (25 E. Third St.)
- Five great places to shop for holiday gifts: Shuze (17 E. Third St.), Tallarico's Chocolates (26 E. Third St.), Monsoon (11 E. Third St.), Loose Threads (9 W. Fourth St.), and Cutters Bike Shop (418 E. Third St).
- Two new exhibitions at The Banana Factory (25 W. Third St.) and Fox Optical
- Two live theatrical performances: The Tempest at Touchstone (321 E. Fourth St.) and The Lord of Misrule at Zoellner Arts Center (420 E. Packer Ave.)
- One wing-eating contest at Lehigh Pizza (13 W. Third St.) to benefit Meals on Wheels of Northampton County
- Two ways to work off those wings: Dancing at Northampton Community College's Fowler Family Center (511 E. 3rd St) and skating at the Steel Ice Center (Corner of Polk & 1st)
- A million places to have dinner within four blocks: 23 East Asian Bistro, La Lupita, Tulum, Alexandra's Bistro, Lehigh Pub, General Zapata's, Nawab Indian, The Olive Branch, Thai Kitchen, Starters, Michael's Steaks, Sal's Pizza, Lehigh Pizza, Campus Pizza, Sotto Santi, Goosey Gander, Blue Sky Cafe, Wildflower Cafe, and Dave's Deli and Gelato (I am sure I have forgotten some, but those are a good start.)
- Eight places to booze up after all of the other activities "officially end" at 10 p.m.: Starters Riverport (17 W. Second St), Comfort Suites, Looper's Grille & Bar (313 E. 3rd St.)afeaturing a winter wine tasting, JP Macgrady, Funhouse, Firehouse, Tally Ho, and the brand-new Bookstore Speakeasy
Sunday, November 01, 2009
The Express-Times' guide is an interactive site. First, you'll enter your address so that the site can populate your online "ballot." (It didn't include any of my Lehigh County races.) Each ballot page has a full bio as well as an area to cast your "vote." You can even make notes for yourself and print a sheet to bring with you on election day.
There's no reason not to be informed before you hit the polls!
November's First Monday (on November 2) will be held at Made In Brazil, the restaurant that will be opening soon inside the Holiday Inn (9th & Hamilton Sts., Allentown).
Once it's open, Allentown will be able to boast that it has one of nine churrascarias in the state of PA. Stop by between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. to preview the restaurant, and to sample Brazilian foods and drinks.
When I was looking for the link, I found the Allentown City calendar of events. I was impressed by the diversity of everything that is going on mid-week. Next Wednesday night after work, you could:
- Learn what encaustic painting is by visiting Lee Leckey's “Layers” exhibition in the Cressman Library Gallery at Cedar Crest College
- See A Serious Man at Civic's 19th Street Theatre
- Enjoy Wacky Wednesday Bowling Night at AMF Legends and Parkway Lanes for $1.00
- Meet other people interested in Downtown Allentown at Over the Hump Wednesdays at Allentown Brew Works (the Leadership Lehigh Valley alumni will be meeting up there that night as well)
- Attend a panel discussion on the 2010 Census at Muhlenberg College
- Be a smarty pants at Trivia Night at Jack Callaghan's
- Raise funds for United Way by shopping at the Women's Leadership Initiative's Power of the Purse event
That is just ONE NIGHT - a WEDNESDAY - just in Allentown! Visit the Allentown Calendar of Events for more information, and get out there.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I want a new bag for the fall, and new Coach just isn't in the budget this year. I want to get out and explore a few shops this weekend. Here are the places on my shopping list:
- The Green Punkin Consignment Shop
327 Front St., Catasauqua • (610) 443-3222
- The Attic
4 West Broad St., Bethlehem • (610) 866-2279
520 Main St., Bethlehem • (484) 821-0326
- Good-Buy Girls
1752 W Allen St., Allentown • (610) 434-5868
- Shelby's Closet
423 Chestnut Street, Emmaus
These shops are every bit as good as the others, and their proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations.
- Second Sight Thrift Shop
224 Nazareth Pike, Bethlehem • (610) 759-2002
- My Sister's Closet
3400 Bath Pike, Suite 103, Bethlehem • (610) 438-1269
Am I missing any? Want to come?
* Lehigh Valley Style just posted about thrift store shopping on their blog. They missed some of the ones I mentioned, but included a few I missed (or thought were a bit too far away to be considered "Lehigh Valley"). Incidentally, I did find a fall bag, but it was in the going-out-of-business sale at Head Over Heels at the Promenade Shops, not a thrift store!
Friday, October 30, 2009
A few of my favorite bloggers have inquired offline about the Singles Happy Hour happening tomorrow night at Looper's (313 E. Third St. Bethlehem, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 15).
Inquiring minds wanted to know:
Is it exclusively for singles? Well, the restaurant's open to the public, and I doubt they're checking for wedding bands.
Are there going to be good people there? I don't know, are you going? The crowd at LVStyle happy hour tends to skew towards the thirties - some a little younger, some a little older. If it's lame, then head over to Starters Riverport. I'm sure the US Open will be on. :)
Is it going to be sketchy? Will it be a pick-up joint like LA Fitness?* Hey, it's a singles happy hour. People who want to meet other single people should go. This is not exclusively a dating thing. Hello, ladies who complain that all your friends are married... here's a great op to meet other single women. Just say hi! If conversation lulls in seven minutes, order one of their fabulous Cosmos and toast the ladies from Sex & the City.
Bottom Line: JUST GOOOOOO. And let me know how it is. My married self will be on a treadmill thanks to my fabulous trainer, Becca, and the need to fit into aforementioned mermaid-shaped dress at Courtney's wedding in two weeks.
*I hear that LA Fitness is a pick-up joint that has workout equipment. I know that Kim and Kacie work out there, anyone else? Weigh in?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The hotel's grand opening is next week, but I had a chance to see it before the crowds. After managing housing for lots of people in my last job, and traveling quite a bit myself, I can appreciate the amenities the hotel offers visitors to Bethlehem.
First, technology and contemporary living style rules. There's a check-in kiosk (like you'd find at an airport). Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. Two computers in the lobby provide free faxing and printing for guests. Each room has a mini-fridge. The gym and pool are small but modern (so the whole building does not smell like chlorine). And, the property is 100% smoke-free.
I was most impressed by the hotel's 24/7 "Guest Kitchen" (pictured below). At any time of day or night, the same staff that can check you in or get you another pillow (they call them gallery hosts) will also make you a hamburger, ice cream sundae or cobb salad. You can place an order on a touch screen that is reminiscent of Wawa's. You can also grab a cup of real Starbucks coffee and something to eat in a case that looks a lot like the kind you'd find in a Starbucks cafe. Nothing they're offering is revolutionary, but touches like those make traveling more comfortable.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
If you are not clued in to what's going on in the Lehigh Valley, this event should be a great intro. It's free, at a fun venue (the baseball stadium), and is guaranteed to be good networking. And, I predict there will be an after-forum social at Pig Pen across the street.
Check out the event's web site, and I'll see you there.
YP Forum 2009: Your Voice, Your Valley
Date: October 29, 2009, 5-8 p.m.
Location: Coca Cola Park, Home of the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs
Register: email@example.com or 610-266-2217
What's a "young professional" or "YP"? Technically, for this event it's anyone who lives and/or works in the Lehigh Valley and is from the Generation X (born between 1961 and 1981)and Millennials (born between 1982-2003); however, everyone is
Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation wants:
-To learn about the key areas of interest for retaining and attracting graduates and younger talent to the region.
-To develop focus groups around those key areas and put you in touch with the appropriate groups, like our elected officials, community leaders and area employers, who can bring about change;
-To create new and innovative ways to reach out to YPs and tout the assets of the Lehigh Valley; and
-To get more young professionals, like you, engaged in the Lehigh Valley community.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
First it was a comic book. Then it was a film, and an off-Broadway musical.
Now it is a phenomenon, apparently sweeping the Lehigh Valley. If you missed the Zombie Prom at Crocodile Rock last weekend, there's at least one more opportunity to dance like you're dead this month.
On Oct 24 at 9 PM Sotto Santi Restaurant (10 W. Fourth St. South Side Bethlehem), invites you to a Zombie Prom celebrating Eskandalo Hair Salon's 2nd Anniversary party. $5 gets you in to enjoy DJ Brown Nick spinning punk rock as well as a noise band called TILE (performing at 10 PM).
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
First, the GlassWorks Halloween Party is at the Banana Factory (25 W. Third St., Bethlehem) on Friday, Oct. 30, starting at 8 p.m. Enjoy glassblowing demos, specialty beers, treats by Chocolate Lab, martinis by Marani, music, dancing, and a costume contest. Tickets are $50 (must be 21 to attend).
Also, members of the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild will be telling scary stories at Godfrey Daniels (7 East Fourth Street, Bethlehem) on October 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets $5.50, children 5 and under free.
And finally, I forgot to mention Dorney Park Halloween Haunt (3830 Dorney Park Road, Allentown)? The park offers a variety of Halloween-themed attractions (some for little kids, some truly gruesome and scary for big kids and adults). Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through November 1. Tickets start at $22.99.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tonight is no exception: I'd already registered for the Power of Women fall networking event, when the opportunity to go to Celebrity Scholastic Scrimmage (benefiting Communities in Schools) came up.
LVT correspondents Courtney and Julie will have to report on how CSS went - I hear it can get quite competitive. I'll be checking the PBS schedule to see if I can catch it later!
Instead, I'll be hanging with the ladies at the Banana Factory, delicately stuffing my face with whatever the gang at Sagra Cooking are serving up, and listening to Tina Bradford talk about social networking.
(It's not too late to register for either event, so visit the embedded links above if you're interested in attending!)
Monday, October 19, 2009
The outside may not look like much, but the inside smells like... heaven. Bright and clean, there's no place to "eat in" - probably dangerous for those of us with a sweet tooth anyway. A ton of colorful baskets, trays and plates were displayed, just waiting to be loaded up with freshly-baked goodies. I picked up a box of cookies to take back to my client and a few fliers. The chocolate chip-toffee cookies were still warm and I am salivating even as I type this the next day.
If you order a pound, you get a box with this many cookies (minus the two I ate in the car on the way home - oops) for $11.
Visiting their web site reminded me of another great way local businesses diversify. I'll bet they get a lot of online orders from biscotti and rugalach fanatics, especially now since Rach has introduced them to the world, but locals should know about MBB too!
Sunday, October 18, 2009
"Statement" pendants similar to this one.
A huge wall of handbags including Jewel-toned totes similar to these.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Our cat, who thinks that he is a person (or at least, that we are cats).