Saturday, October 31, 2009

Consignment, Vintage and Thrift Stores

I have always found bargain hunting to be a great way to save cash and hone your "gatherer" skills. I still have a couple of finds from thrifty excursions with Leanne, Sara and Anneke in high school. I always get compliments on the tweed suit jacket I "borrowed" from Mom, which I had tailored to fit my modern sensibilities. Holly and I competed for space with drag queens in the consignment boutiques in Dupont Circle. I even went thrift shopping in Costa Rica when I realized I didn't have enough long-sleeved shirts to get me through my study abroad trip. I have no problem buying "gently used," but lately, I haven't had as much time as I'd like to sort through racks of has-beens and cast-offs to find the gems.

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:

These shops are every bit as good as the others, and their proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations.

* 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

Singles Happy Hour at Looper's

Update: Some photos of the singles happy hour are posted on Lehigh Valley Style's web site. I hear the place was wall-to-wall women. Go figure.

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

Christmas has arrived in Bethlehem!

The trees are going up, so it must be Christmas! So what if it's not even Halloween yet.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hyatt Place in Bethlehem

I happened to be visiting the new Hyatt Place (45 W. North Street at Guetter Street, Bethlehem) at the same time as WFMZ reporter Jaccii Farris and her camera guy. I barely escaped the lens as I visited with Maria in the sales office. Click the link above for the story.

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.

In addition, there are lots of little nooks, including in the lobby ("gallery") and in each of the rooms. The sofabed in each room has a huge cushioned ottoman that would be perfect for curling up with a book, or to watch bad late night TV on your 42" flat panel screen (see below).
There is a 70-person flexible meeting room, as well as some space off the dining area that could be set for a 20-person dinner (including on the patio) - perfect for a rehearsal dinner or other private meal. Some catering is done on-site, but the Apollo Grill will cater a full menu for private events.
So with all these amenities, you are probably wondering - how much? I checked the rack rate for tonight, and it's $139 for a room with a queen bed, about the same as Hotel Bethlehem.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tango Tea at Moravian

The inaugural "tango tea," a dance lesson with cheesecake & tea, will take place this Sunday at Moravian College. No partner or reservation necessary.

October 25

4-6 p.m. Bahnson Center @ Moravian College (60 W. Locust St., Bethlehem)

A free intro class will be held at 3:30 p.m. Then to stay for the tea and tango event (the "milonga"), it's $8 for general admission, and $3 for full-time students. The group also meets on Thursday evenings in the same place. There's a minimal cost for the Thursday night events as well. Email Andrew Kaye for more info.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Young Professionals get together in the LV

If you haven't heard, young professionals in the Lehigh Valley are getting together on October 29 for a forum about... ourselves. (How very Gen X of us.)

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: 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

Halloween for Grown-ups (III) - Zombie Prom

What's a Zombie Prom?

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).

If you're going to be a zombie prom-goer, why not be queen?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Valley Social Magazine

If you hang out at someplace trendy, there will inevitably be a pile of Valley Social magazines wedged somewhere near the entrance. (I have yet to see a lit rack in a night club.) If you don't visit anywhere that is trendy, or if the trendsetters have wiped out your hot spot's pile, you can read it online. It's not nearly as glossy, but it's a little easier to handle than the massive mag. There are a few local features, interviews with famous faces (some even have "regional" connections - e.g. Chelsea Handler is from Livingston, NJ), people posed in front of a step-and-repeat banner, and an aspirational fashion spread. Also, really beautiful photography. While you're online, sign up for their email updates. Since the magazine's deadlines are so far in advance (they're just getting around to putting a female golfer from the US Women's Open on the cover), they can't promote their upcoming events in the printed version. For instance: Tomorrow (October 22), Knopf Automotive will celebrate the launch of "the highly anticipated 4-door sports sedan, the Porsche Panamera. Enjoy live entertainment, Octoberfest (sic) inspired hors d'ouerves, and German beer & wine..." Head out to Yianni’s Taverna for a Muscular Dystrophy fundraiser on November 03, which is mysteriously promoted as a Grand Opening.

Halloween for Grown-Ups (II)

Since I posted my search for grown-up fun for Halloween, I have received a couple of suggestions off-blog that I thought you all might like. Feel free to add your own suggestions!

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

Competing Events

My dance card is never so full as on a night when I have purchased tickets to something.

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

My Boy's Baking

I was running an errand for a client and stopped by My Boy's Baking (196 Nazareth Pike, "Bethlehem" - just north of 22 on Route 191). I had heard that Rachael Ray was a fan, but I hadn't stopped in, since their bakery hours are 10-5, M-F. I had seen this sign many times:

...but this time I actually pulled into the parking lot.

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

Boutique shopping in the Lehigh Valley

I work dangerously close to Shuze - as in, I can hear the UPS truck departing after making a delivery of new goodies. I am tres jolie about the new pair of knee-high black leather boots Jennifer suggested and am wearing them any chance I get. I love shopping there, because there's always something new, she's hand-picked every item in the store and can give you the back story. She's also effortlessly fashionable herself and has a great eye for style, and like a real friend, will give you an honest opinion. Shuze has established relationships with local jewelry designers and always has the of-the-minute acessory you didn't know you were looking for.

I got a similar vibe at Boutique to Go/Boutiquetogo(522 N. 19th St. Allentown). I was exchanging some tickets at the Civic Theatre box office across the street; next Saturday night, we're going to see Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Since I had a few extra minutes, I wandered in and looked around the store. Despite the fact that the other patrons in the store were old enough to be my (very fashionable) grandmother, there were many, many items that are very much "this season," if you follow these things:

Chainmail and mixed metal, multi-strand bracelets and necklaces.

"Statement" pendants similar to this one.

A huge wall of handbags including Jewel-toned totes similar to these.

There are also quite a few special gift items. I adored the wine "cases" in the upper-right hand corner of this photo. (Yes, this would be an upgrade to the paper bag from the state store that you have been using.)

The mommies-to-be in my life (Jill, Kim, Kristen, Jessica) should drop some serious hints about this place. This is definitely a baby gift zone - nothing essential, just fun, designer baby blankets, toys, and decor. Mixed among the items in the girl/baby section (pictured below) were terry cloth-covered flip-flops designed to get you home from the spa in style - a thoughtful gift for Mom!
The prices were more than you'll find at Target, but still not outrageous (and there's a sale going on now). But for that special thing, a unique piece for yourself or a one-of-a-kind gift, the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting a local small business, and a great story to boot, both Boutiquetogo and Shuze should be on your short list.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Alternative Medicine in the Lehigh Valley

Lucky dog getting Reike treatment.

We received a postcard in the mail today about a local animal therapy center. I thought it might be a training center for therapy animals, but actually it's a therapy center FOR animals, right here in the Lehigh Valley. The center offers alternative medicine for your pets, including reike (hands-on healing) for your German shepherd's injuries, acupuncture and aromatherapy for your cat's anxieties, and underwater treadmill for your labradoodle's rehabilitation after surgery. I'm not sure whether any other local animal hospitals offer these kinds of treatments - if they do, please comment!

The Animal Therapy Center on the Companion Animal Campus of Wright Veterinary Medical Center (3247B Wimmer Rd., Bethlehem, at the intersection of Butztown Road). Check out the new center on October 17 & 18 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Our cat, who thinks that he is a person (or at least, that we are cats).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lehigh Valley Brewfest

The annual Lehigh Valley Brewfest is happening this Saturday in Easton. Yes we do still live in Bethlehem but apparently I spend all of my time and money in Easton. On October 17 in Hugh Moore Park, about 1,000 people are expected to taste a ton of different kinds of beer, enjoy music, food, and some beautiful scenery.

If you are "not a big beer person," which is apparently the excuse everyone who is not going is using, that is okay. The point of the 'fest is to introduce you to new things - perhaps even a beer or two you might like - so unless you don't like people (which is a whole other thing), you should still go. There are over 25 breweries and each one will have at least two beers to sample. Some taste like fruit, some taste like wine, and some taste like flavorful beer, but I doubt that anything will taste like Miller Light.

If you ARE "a big beer person," then perhaps the Connoisseur Tasting that starts at 12:30 might be for you. If not, hop on the shuttle from the city parking deck with the rest of us at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 on the day of the event. At last year's event, a technology hiccup made the line move slowly, but I've been assured that it won't be a problem this year.

If you have never been to Hugh Moore Park, it is a beautiful wooded recreation area maintained by the folks at the Canal Museum. It's just a couple of miles from downtown Easton, along the Lehigh River. If you're game for an educational field trip, there will even be a chance to take a canal boat ride and sober up a little. There will also be information about the organization that benefits from the 'fest, Equi-librium, inside the tent.
this could be you.

Your ticket price does not include the cost of food, but you can pick up reasonably-priced eats from the vendors on site: Pearly Bakers, Sagra Cooking, Stewarts Concessions, A Great American Sausage, Dave's Ice Cream, Wood's Wings, Fat Daddy's BBQ, Mex-Tex Trio, and 3rd St. Cafe.

At the end of the event, the shuttle will take you back to downtown Easton, where you can grab a bite to eat (last year we went to Sette Luna - yum) or continue the party at any of the downtown bars. The event is rain or shine, under tents and on grass. Wear sensible footwear and we'll see you there.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Easton Wins

If there was a contest for "best city of the week," I think that Easton might win for its activities last week.

Bethlehem: Lehigh football beat Georgetown (yay), Firehouse ribbon-cutting (couldn't find any photos), a new dance floor at Starter's (+2.5 points)

Allentown: Mayoral debate (-.5 points)

Easton: Hosted Urban Land Institute's "The Ultimate Green Choice: Urban Revitalization - City of Easton Case Study" on Thursday. Hosted Movies at the Mill at the Silk Mill on Friday. Hosted Apple Fest at the Easton Farmer's Market on Saturday. (+10 points)

I took part in the ULI conference, wherein the busy people of Easton took a few minutes to tell us about their urban revitalization progress, especially in residential neighborhoods (including some before-and-after comparisons of Easton Redevelopment Authority (ERA)'s blighted or vacant structures within the City limits). We also heard Easton's plans for the Silk Mill project.

The Simon Silk Mill is a 330,000 square foot historic complex in Easton's West Ward. It is easily accessible from the 13th Street exit from Route 22. The ERA, which owns the Mill complex, is considering it as a major arts center and destination, with buildings ranging from light industrial artist workspaces to media technology, as well as more traditional artist studio spaces. Artist enterprise facilities may be offered as condominium units and/or rentals, retail, restaurant, and plenty of parking. It will also be a part of the Bushkill Creek trail, which will begin near the intersection of Fourth Street and Route 22, where Lafayette College is planning a fabulous upgrade (once all those nasty hubcaps are out of the way).

The mayor then took the 90 of us on a walking "tour." We began with a history lesson and self-guided condo tour at The Grand Eastonian. We then walked down Restaurant Row, aka Ferry Street, where Sette Luna and Ocean were getting ready for the happy hour and dinner crowds and construction on the King's Drycleaner building and former Lipkin's space (soon to be restaurants as well) was evident. We walked past the Crayola Factory and Canal Museum, much to the amusement of the hassids who were parked at one of the wrought-iron tables. The Northampton County Historical and Geneological Society building was next, actively under construction and expected to open next year.

Here's an interior shot of the multi-purpose space in the Nurture Nature Center building (516 Northampton Street). It was once a fancy movie theater and will soon be available for event rentals and public events. Another part of the building will house the Easton Farmer's Market (indoors, off-season! Brilliant) and a few other office and retail tenants.

Emily, Katie and I were just at the State Theatre last week to see David Sedaris, but we didn't have a lot of time to gawk at the scenery. Most original architecture has been carefully preserved. Here, Denise Smith lets us know that this room has a "ship" theme (starboard ahead).

The front lobby of the State Theater (below) used to be a grand old bank.

In case you were curious, the red bags everyone is carrying are Easton Farmer's Market totes.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Voting in the Lehigh Valley

When you moved to the Lehigh Valley, you should have changed your driver's license to reflect your new address. Did you notice the voter registration option on the form? Did you check yes and register to vote in PA? Yesterday was the last day to register to vote in the November 3 election.

Local elections are a bit of a mystery to transplants, because in some cases, we aren't even sure what we're voting for, let alone who the candidates are. For instance, when we moved here, I was not familiar with of the concept of "County Commissioner." In D.C., I voted for city council, mayor and our district representative in Congress*. For those of you who didn't know either and maybe pretended you did, here's what commissioners do in Lehigh County:
"The Board of Commissioners is the legislative branch of County
and has all the legislative powers that may be exercised by
the County under the Constitution, the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
and the Lehigh County Home Rule Charter. Some of the Board's powers are: To
enact, amend or repeal ordinances, resolutions, and motions; to make
appropriations; to incur indebtedness; to adopt the budget; to levy taxes,
assessments and service charges; and to adopt the Administrative Code and the
Personnel Code."
There is no county council in Lehigh County, just a board of commissioners. Most townships also have a board of commissioners. Individual cities and boroughs have their own councils in addition to the county's board of commissioners.

Another office that was new to me was state constable. A constable serves six-year terms and belong to the executive branch of government. They answer to the governor and are not formally overseen by any state agency. They perform services for the Magisterial courts, but do not belong to the judicial branch. Constables maintain order at election polls and in the courts, may serve judicial process, writs, arrest warrants, levies and collect fines.

Many candidates have familiar surnames to Valley natives. Some were grade school classmates or are parents of their grade school buddies. Others have become household names by serving their communities in various volunteer capacities or by speaking out against current elected officials. Others have been in office so long, that no one can imagine anyone else in the role. You may be surprised at at the number of uncontested races in your district.

Local newspapers ask candidates to fill out a questionnaire and publishing the answers. They also generally endorse candidates for the major elections, but the rest of the pre-election coverage is pretty thin. The Pennsylvania League of Women Voters also provides a lot of valuable information on local elections, including where your polling station is, what to bring with you, and candidate bios. There are often public debates, but generally only the Congressional races' debates are televised on WFMZ, Channel 69.

Depending on where you live, this year's election could include county commissioners, state senators, judges and other local officials. Do your homework - vote - and please, for me, don't base your votes on name recognition (e.g. "I saw a lot of her signs in my neighborhood.")! Voter turnout is generally low in years where there is not a presidential race, so you will probably not have to wait very long to cast your ballot (paper, or touch-screen, like at my polling station).

*A little civics lesson for those of you who don't know: D.C. residents do not have voting representation in the United States Senate. D.C. has only been entitled to electoral votes for President since 1961. In the U.S. House of Representatives, the District is entitled to a delegate, who is not allowed to vote on the floor of the House, but can vote on procedural matters and in House committees. This is why many D.C. residents choose the license plate that proclaims "taxation without representation" and many remain registered to vote in their hometowns.

Monday, October 05, 2009

No Boys Allowed: Girls-only activities in the Lehigh Valley

If you are a football widow, or just looking for some fun with the girls this month, you are in luck!

Girls Night Out Lehigh Valley is an evening of beauty, shopping, food & entertainment, hosted by TC Salon Spa in Bethlehem. The event on October 8 raises funds & awareness for Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley and the Beginning over Foundation. General admission $25.

The next Martinis and Manicures events are October 14 at Allentown Brew Works and October 29 at Bethlehem Brew Works. Your $10 cover gets you a mini-manicure or mini-massage and your choice of a martini from the special Ladies Night Menu.

Run, walk or volunteer at the 17th annual Women's 5K Classic on October 17, on the Lehigh Parkway. All money raised goes directly to help fund breast and female cancer programs in the Greater Lehigh Valley area.

The Ladies Affair (postcard, above) raises funds for Lehigh Valley Hospital Health Network with an event at Melt Restaurant on October 25. The afternoon soiree will feature mini facials, massages, manicures and makeup and hair demonstrations, plus shopping and a raffle (what Lehigh Valleyans frequently call a "Chinese auction," which is neither Chinese in origin nor a true auction - just put your tickets in the bag next to the item you want and don't ask questions).


Friday, October 02, 2009

Lehigh Valley Fests this weekend

If you transplants haven't noticed, the Lehigh Valley loves a 'fest.

Even last week's Celtic Classic is frequently called Celtic Fest.

There are at least three FREE options for your entertainment this weekend.

Easton's Garlic Fest kicks off on Saturday with the Easton Farmers Market from at 9:00 a.m. "The Circle," where Northampton St. and Third St. intersect, two blocks from New Jersey and Route 22, will be closed to traffic. At 2 p.m., the wine and beer tasting event begins. Enjoy live music all day, including a concert by the kids from School of Rock at 2:30 pm! There's a Gastric Garlic People's Choice contest, a garlic dip contest, chef cook-offs and demonstrations, and children's entertainment. Plus, there's a blood drive for those of you who can make the connection from garlic to vampires to blood.

The 4th Annual Bethlehem Harvest Festival will feature an array of fall fun on Saturday. Beer tastings will once again take place on Main Street in Bethlehem from 1-4 p.m, with the beer garden in the Sun Inn Courtyard beginning at 3 p.m. There will be:
•Beer and food sampling
•An open air produce market
•Fine arts and crafts vendors
•19th Century brewing demonstrations
•Live music
•Children’s activities at the Smithy
•Harvest Soup contest and sampling
•Apple dessert features from the Sun Inn

Finally, Galen Glen Winery is offering tours of their vineyard & cellars this and next Sunday. Not to take anything away from the other wineries on the Lehigh Valley Wine Trail, but Galen Glen is gorgeous. The view reminds me of the hills of Napa Valley, and the wine is tasty. Free tractor and wagon tours depart at 1, 2, 3 & 4 p.m.

I'll be stopping by the Harvest Fest with my sister, after visiting the ArtsQuest Musikfest volunteer appreciation reception at Banana Factory. Go out and 'fest, let us know where you end up and what you think!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cabaret in the Lehigh Valley

I received an email from Touchstone Theater today announcing an upcoming cabaret event. I couldn't help but wonder if cabaret is making a comeback. A cabaret show features comedy, song, dance, and theatre. The two things that make it unique from other forms of entertainment is its performance venue—a restaurant or nightclub with a stage for performances and the audience sitting at tables (often dining or drinking)— and its master of ceremonies. The Touchstone performance is on Saturday, October 19 at Touchstone Theatre (321 E. Fourth Street, Southside Bethlehem). Doors open at 10:00, Performance at 10:15 p.m. $10 general admission, $7 students. Tickets on sale at the door or email for details. The show will feature music, dance, food and beverage, and is produced by the Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange. On October 27, November 24, and December 29, Allentown Public Theatre hosts the Spotlight Cabaret and Piano Bar at Allentown Brew Works. You'll hear Cabaret-style songs from 8-9:30 pm. After the show, an open piano bar will entertain the crowd with sing-along standards and show tunes. Cover is $5, not including a two-drink minimum (includes all bar drinks, soft drinks, and bottled water). The High Gravity Bar is no Kit Kat Klub, but I'll bet it would be a fun venue to see a cabaret show.

The Lehigh Valley chapter of the American Red Cross hosts their Cabaret & Cuisine party each spring. Next year's will be held on April 9 at Holiday Inn Conference Center, Fogelsville.

Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University has had cabaret nights in the past, but I couldn't find any mention of one in the 2009-2010 season schedule.

Is the Lehigh Valley ready for a cabaret revival?