Monday, January 11, 2010

January "First" Friday

Way to go, 2010. You messed up First Friday by making January 1 a Friday, then making January 8, First Friday (Observed), one of the coldest nights in recent memory. Brr!

But you couldn't freeze out a laid-back, lovely evening with friends. Despite a few friends cancelling at the last minute, Jen and I visited a few artists over at The Banana Factory (25 W. Third St., Bethlehem), checked out the glass-blowing show and listened to a Renaissance-inspired quartet in period costume. Can't believe I didn't take a photo. You're going to have to take my word for it.

Then the two of us met up with Mark at The Bookstore (336 Adams St., South Bethlehem) for a cocktail. I learned what makes a Manhattan "quite possibly the greatest classic cocktail ever created, and still unimproved upon in over 100 years." Rocking chairs and mismatched vintage sofas in the "living room" were our only seating options, since all the tables were reserved and every seat at the bar was taken. The cozy space was filled with locals and visitors alike - evidenced by the bar full of people settled in for the night and one gentleman paradoxically wearing an Eagles jacket and a cowboy hat.

On a tip from the owner of my new favorite bakery, Gail, from Back Door Bakeshop (1422 Center St., Bethlehem), we headed over to the North Side of Bethlehem to catch Dina Hall and The Backbeat playing at Starfish Brasserie (51 W Broad St. Bethlehem). That's where the photo above was taken. You can catch Dina in a couple of weeks at Godfrey Daniels (7 East 4th Street, South Side Bethlehem) and on First Friday in March at Tallarico's Chocolates (17 E. Third St., South Side Bethlehem).

We ate some tasty fishies from Starfish's half-portion menu while watching patrons line up in front of 40 Below Nightclub and Lounge (40 W. Broad St., Bethlehem) outside. Despite the wind chill actually dipping close to 40 Below, and the line to enter the club snaking down the block, many of these thrifty young folks must have decided to leave their coats in the car rather than checking them inside the club. (Incidentally, I just looked up the web site to link it for you, and discovered there is a rule, stated in two places on the site, that outlaws "Hoddies." I wondered whether coats are also not permitted.) Am I showing my age? On our way out, we remembered that the municipal lot isn't staffed after 11, so our parking for the night was free!

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