Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Art 4 Homes

I noticed little green house-shaped flyers on retail counters recently. A group of people are putting together a party to benefit the fire victims on Ninth Avenue in Bethlehem, whose homes face/faced the park where the Bethlehem Rose Garden is located.

The flyer proclaims "Music, Art, Buskers, Workshops & More!" I hope that one of the workshops is on fire safety... seriously, we can all use a refresher. This fire started because one guy was grilling on his deck on a warm spring evening. It destroyed one duplex (two homes), damaged four other homes, and injured seven firefighters.

From the Express-Times story: "...Flames from a gas grill...compromised the hose to the propane tank, which exploded. The fire spread quickly across the wooden porch and also caused several other nearby propane cylinders to explode."

Best wishes to all of the families affected by the fire. The benefit will be held July 18, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Southside Film Festival

Anneke and I checked out the Southside Film Festival (SSFF) opening soiree last night at Home & Planet. (I suspect there may have been some other local bloggers present as well. Hmm...)

We didn't appear in the FMZ featurette. And conveniently, I didn't take any pictures. We were too busy chatting with Brian Tallarico, shimmying to the DJ's tracks, and ogling beautiful recycled furniture. We did wave to the bagpipers on the way in and we saw Graham and John. They could vouch for our presence, if they weren't running around making the whole festival happen this week. We left before they screened "Metropolis." There were a couple of martinis with our names on them at Looper's (props to our bartender, who looked up how to make my precious Sidecar).

I've never been to any Film Festival before. I'm not going to act like this is my "thing," but you know how I love a party. I admit that we rent our share of "indie" films, but they're from Netflix, so really, how indie are they? We liked Rachel Getting Married. I'm also a sucker for documentaries - that must be why I like reality TV. For my first films, I'm planning to see The Town that Was on Thursday at 7:30 in Whitaker Lab, and Imminent Domain on Saturday at 1:30 in Victory Firehouse. What are you going to see?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Casino billboards

I noticed the billboard for Trump casino when I was on Route 309 this week. It illustrates to the reader, driving at 65 mph, the features of the Atlantic City gambling experience vs. Sands Bethworks.

WFMZ covered the hard-hitting story without an ounce of humor.

But the billboards are hilarious! Here's the transcript.




My response:



Easton Farmers' Market

It was a great market morning at the Easton Farmers' Market. I headed east on 22 and found a meter spot right in front of the Third Street Alliance.

Moms pushing kids in strollers, older couples walking cute dogs, and a wide range of other people were strolling around Centre Square. I love taking my sister Lauren and watching her fascination with all the different sights, sounds and smells. The vendors are always so sweet to her. Today the Market was celebrating strawberries, and the strawberry pancakes with strawberry syrup looked yummy.

However, I was focused in my pursuit of rosemary and lavender plants for the garden. The lavender didn't survive 'the move' and I forgot to move the rosemary indoors for the winter. One of the merchants had a huge spread of herbs in little pots, looking very healthy and smelling yummy and fragrant! My purchase totaled $7.50 and the little guys went into the ground the minute I got home, next to huge bushes of purple sage, mint, tarragon, oregano, and chive, and rows of cilantro and basil peeking out of the ground.

I also picked out some baked goods from one of the stands ($11.00) and a pack of bacon from a local pig farmer ($5.50). Oddly, they brought a pig too.

While I was downtown, we stopped by the Carmelcorn Shop and Eagle's Nest Antiques, too. I picked out some vintage candy for gifts and a pack of fudge to snack on. In the antique store, I wandered and gazed at some beautiful pianos and brooches, but didn't take home any souvenirs.

My favorite market in DC was held in the parking lot of the USDA building next door to the Smithsonian Castle on Friday afternoons. I learned so much about fresh food from those vendors. Just like in Easton, there were soap makers, bakers, dairy farmers with homemade yogurt and cheese, fruit farmers, and farmers who raise their own organic meats and grow organic veggies that didn't always look as pretty as the ones in Safeway, but were quite tasty.

The Easton Farmers' Market is open 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday from May through October.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Camody Shoe Service

I tend to wear my shoes until the heels are ground down to a nub and the arch is completely broken. I have always done this, and in DC, especially walking to and from the Metro, I went through quite a few new posts, insoles and slip pads. I was on a first-name basis with my cobbler at The Cobbler's Bench, in the basement of an office building at Connecticut Ave & M Street.

Here in the Valley, my shoes get a lot more mileage, since I'm not hoofing it on sidewalks as much. The worst wear they get is the rug-burn on the back of the right one from putting the pedal to the metal in my Jetta.

I've had a pretty good run so far, not having to repair a single pair of shoes since we moved here three years ago. But the day came, and I asked around: where do people get shoes repaired around here? The Eastern PA Biz Journal recently ran a feature on the topic, but the resounding answer from people I asked was: Camody Shoe Service (502 N. 15th St., Allentown). Despite my earlier positive experience with Shepherd Hills, Camody is closer to where I live (and downtown), so I thought I'd start there.

I dropped off the shoes off on Thursday, and they were ready by Monday. Re-heeled and ready to hit the pavement again, for a mere $8. Definitely cheaper than replacing them altogether!

The shop is open 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. M-Th, 7:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. F, and 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Sat.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Bethlehem Restaurant Week!

It's Restaurant Week time again in Bethlehem! As always I am making my list and planning to go. Maybe this time I will actually be in town (sorry Court! I owe you lunch from January!). June 21-27, many restaurants belonging to the Downtown Bethlehem Association are offering some great specials. It's a great excuse to get out and try something new.

There is one new place on the list since the last R Week:

  • Tika's/aka South Beach (formerly Tortilla Flat)- 500 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18108; Call 610-841-5831 for details
I still have never been to:

  • Dartos’ Restaurant 46 W. North StreetBethlehem, PA 18108610-866-5005 Lunch: $5 Dinner n/a
These joints usually have some outside seating:

  • Bethlehem Brew Works 569 Main Street Commons Bethlehem, PA 18108610-882-1300 Lunch: $10 Dinner $20
  • Looper's Grille & Bar 313 E. Third Street Bethlehem, PA 18108610-882-2424 Lunch: $10 Dinner $30
  • Main Street Depot 61 W. Lehigh Street Bethlehem, PA 18108610-868-7123 Lunch: $10 Dinner $20
  • Mama Nina Foccaceria 548 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18108610-867-9802 Call for pricing
  • Starfish Brasserie 51 W. Broad Street Bethlehem, PA 18108610-332-8888 Lunch: $15 Dinner $30
  • Starters Riverport 17 W. 2nd Street Bethlehem, PA 18108610-625-2300 Lunch: $10 Dinner $20
  • The Café 22 W. Broad Street Bethlehem, PA 18108610-866-1689 Lunch: $15 Dinner $30
  • Edge Restaurant 74 W. Broad Street Bethlehem, PA 18108 610-814-0100 Lunch: n/a Dinner $30
Here's the rest of the list! Where are you going to celebrate Restaurant Week?

1741 on the Terrace 437 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18108
610-625-2226 Lunch: n/a Dinner $30

24 East Asian Bistro 24 E. Third Street Bethlehem, PA 18108
610-867-5979 Lunch: $15 Dinner $30

Apollo Grill 85 W. Broad Street Bethlehem, PA 18108
610-865-9600 Lunch: $15 Dinner $30

Blue Sky Café 22 W. Fourth Street Bethlehem, PA 18108
610-867-9390 Lunch: $10 Dinner $10

Confetti Café 462 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18108
610-861-7484 Lunch: $10 Dinner $20

Hotel Bethlehem–Tap Room 437 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18108
610-625-2226 Lunch: $10 Dinner n/a

McCarthy’s Tea Room & Restaurant 534 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18108
610-861-7631 Lunch: $10 Dinner n/a

Moravian Book Shop Deli 428 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18108
610-691-6619 Lunch: $5 Dinner n/a

Rail Service

I'm by no means a car hater, but I do like public transportation. Living in DC was made infinitely easier (usually) by the use of an affordable bus and subway.

Con: I'd love to see a train to NYC, but honestly, I don't know how much I'd use it. When I want to go to the city, either for work or pleasure, a 2-hour bus ride isn't too bad, and for less than 40 bucks, Bieber Tourways delivers me directly. I doubt I would take a train to Philadelphia, because I don't think you can get around Philly very easily without a car (Anneke, please chime in).

Pro: When new stations were added to the DC Metro, a veritable explosion of economic development occurred around them - condos, apartments, parking garages, Starbucks, bus depots, you get the idea. We lived almost right on top of a stop in the northwest part of the city, and there wasn't a square inch that was not developed and/or leased within 10 blocks. Hot property. And, tourists from Jersey and New York would visit the Valley for our casino, and Christkindlmarkt (oh wait... they already do). :)

What do you think we need? Trains? Bus? People movers?

Random aside: I can't stand the word "gauging," as in "gauging support." Sounds painful.