Thursday, September 03, 2009

First Friday

I have rounded up a few friends to check out First Friday in Southside Bethlehem. It is one of my favorite nights of the month, such a great vibe and the sidewalks are full of people of all ages. The weather should be divine (for once!)

I'd like to start with a drink somewhere. It's Friday! A couple of months ago it was Lehigh Pub. This time it might be Looper's, Starters, or somewhere at the Sands. I'm not a smoker, so McGrady's and Tally Ho are out. Am I missing anywhere great?

Then maybe we'll visit Banana Factory and see what's going on. The glass blowing studio's "stadium seating" gives everyone a great view of the entire operation, and you can jam along with the artists to the live band playing.

Depending on what's in the gallery space (one time, the kids from the Lehigh Valley High School for the Performing Arts were performing), if there's a new exhibition, I'll hang around and take in the sights. It's a good meet-up place; every single month I see someone I know in the hallways. Sometimes I'll peek into some artist studios upstairs. It's cool to see what they're working on. I appreciate it so much, because I have no artistic talent whatsoever. There's always food and wine, and Olaf's got vodka on ice. Anneke and Becky have both attempted to entice me to join them in the salsa dance class held on Friday nights at the Banana Factory, but I haven't given in yet.

Then I'll make my way down Third Street to the places that are part of the Downtown Bethlehem Association. If I'm shopping for a gift for someone, I will visit Home & Planet, Stone Soup, Comfort & Joy, and Cleo's. Shuze and Clothesline Organics are my favorite places to shop for me. :) Clothesline welcomes classical guitarist Heath Hitchcock and will serve up local microbrews. Shuze has got jewelry from Loris Miller and fall boots! I want to get up to visit Loose Threads on Fourth Street, too. I stopped in to meet Helene - we have mutual friends, small Valley - and learned that the artist Todd Juknevic will be adorning the shop's walls with art and filling the air with music. Busy guy. If I'm craving a snack for the ride home, it's a toss-up between a dish of wild berry Euro Yogurt with mango or Tallarico's Chocolate (just about anything with dark chocolate works, but I love the coconut almond).

Have you been to First Friday, and if not - how come?

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