Thursday, May 27, 2010

Emmaus Artisans Market and Farmers Market

Emmaus coffeeshop Perk on Main (332 Main Street Emmaus) just announced a new open-air Artisans Market in adorable Downtown Emmaus.

Opening day is scheduled for Sunday, May 30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and will continue on the last Sunday of each month in Triangle Park. Emmaus Farmers Market (already open for the season, weekly Sundays 10-2) is only a block away, so shoppers can check out a wide variety of the local producer-only goods while they're downtown. The Emmaus Farmers Market is located in the parking lot of KNBT (235 Main Street, Emmaus).

The Emmaus Main Street program has planned a full schedule of events this summer: Check out their site for information about live music, guided tours, a golf outing, and other programs.

Monday, May 17, 2010

In The City For Good (food)

I'm scheduled to check out an event at Symphony Hall next week (May 26) called In The City For Good. The event will celebrate the award of an Honorary Doctor of Divinity to Lee Butz by The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, in recognition of Mr. Butz’s commitment to urban areas, particularly his investment in downtown Allentown, and his philanthropy throughout the Lehigh Valley.

The program will feature a short discussion about The Seminary’s role in educating a new generation of religious leaders needed for urban transformation in the Lehigh Valley and the ecumenical churches’ roles in urban revitalization. Guiding the discussion for this program are Alan Jennings, executive director of Community Action Committee of Lehigh Valley and the Rev. Dr. Katie Day, head of The Seminary’s Urban Theological Institute; and other Lehigh Valley urban leaders.

And of course, the party would not be complete without great food, and this event is no exception. Guests will enjoy the ethnic fare of four, family-owned, restaurants located in downtown Allentown, including Winston’s West Indian & American Restaurant (619 N 7th St), La Mexicana Grille (407 N 7th St), Kow Thai Take-Out (1201 W. Linden St) and Aci Halal (34 N. 2nd St).

To get tickets ($65/person), contact Rhonda Clymer Dietz at 610-965-6388 or email before May 21. Proceeds will support and extend the impact of the Lee and Dolly Butz Scholarship Fund, which provides training and urban internships designed to develop leaders equipped to contribute to the revitalization of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Theater in and out of the Lehigh Valley

I've spent the last two Fridays inside theaters in the Lehigh Valley. It's too late for you to see the Act 1 production of "Guys and Dolls" at DeSales (which I loved) but you can still catch "Rent" at the Civic Theatre in Allentown. It runs through May 23 and tickets are $31 or less.

There was a red carpet on opening night, and Lehigh Valley Style was snapping pics as patrons arrived. Fun! Even though the show was performed by amateurs, it was a lot of fun, and some great vocal performances stand out in my mind. The cast, which includes community members ranging from a civil engineer to a medical sales rep to college students, obviously enjoyed performing the show. You can't help but get caught up in that enthusiasm. Now that the local spring musical season is over, I'm thinking about taking a day trip to NYC to see a show.

How to get there: If you're like me, you prefer public transportation to driving. I figure if I don't need to drive around when I'm there, I don't need to drive there. There are two charter bus companies that will pick you up in the Lehigh Valley deliver you directly to Port Authority for $40 round trip (less than parking in some cases AND you can sleep or listen to show tunes on your iPod).

How to get tickets: When you arrive, head straight for Times Square and queue up at the Theater Development Fund's TKTS booth to get tickets for one of the shows that is not sold out yet that afternoon or evening. TKTS Discount Booths offer tickets to Broadway and Off-Broadway musicals and plays at up to 50% off. If you aren't picky, you can see some great shows. I've seen James Spader and David Alan Grier in Race and James Gandolfini, Jeff Daniels and Marcia Gay Harden in God of Carnage that way. I even had a balcony seat for God of Carnage! Broadway Box is also a good resource for discount codes. Disclaimer: If you have 10 family members coming into town and everyone wants to see Mary Poppins, you should probably order your tickets in advance so your cousins from Tuscon aren't disappointed.

Can you recommend a Broadway show, or another great way to get to New York on the cheap?

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Young Professionals Night at the Civic Theatre

I was going to write about Young Professionals Night at the Civic Theatre (527 N 19th Street, Allentown), but Caitlin from Allentown Good News beat me to it. Rather than restate what she has already written so nicely, I'll provide a link here and event details. I'm going to see the show this Friday so I'll give you the scoop on the production... can't predict the scene next Friday, though. The pre-party's the first joint effort for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce's Young Professionals Council and Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation's Valley YP's.
Civic Theatre, in conjunction with the Young Professionals Council of the
Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Valley YP's of the Lehigh
Valley Economic Development Corporation, is also hosting the next Young
Professionals Mixer on Thursday, May 13th from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. Young
Professionals that attend can purchase tickets to the 8PM production of RENT for
that evening at the discounted rate of $22 (normally $29) using the purchase code "YPC." For more info and to RSVP, email or call 610-433-8903 ext 201.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A quick "Retail Hawk" update: Hello Burrito in Bethlehem

Tyrone, I am not trying to take your job, but I've got a little scoop.

Hello Burrito is coming to Bethlehem (38 West Broad Street, Bethlehem) this summer!

Cali Burrito (3104 Hamilton Blvd. Allentown, near Cedar Crest and Muhlenberg Colleges) and Tulum (17 West Morton Street, Bethlehem, near Lehigh U) are fantastic. Hello Burrito might become the Moravian College student's local burrito joint, but I know a lot of happy Bethlehem residents, workers and visitors will also be interested to check out the new spot.

I spoke with Hello Burrito's owner, Rachel Lambdin, today. This will be Rachel's second restaurant; she's already found great success in Kutztown with Betty's Wraps. When looking for a second location, one of her employees recommended Bethlehem. Rachel was also inspired by The Attic expanding in Bethlehem (and coincidentally, both businesses have Bethlehem and Kutztown locations on the same block), and feels that it's an easy place to open a business.

The lunch and dinner offerings will be similar to Betty's menu but more limited, specializing in burritos - both the standard Mexican/Southwestern type and other more international flavors like Thai and Asian Sesame.

Customers will be able to get in and out of the restaurant quickly with a good meal under $10, or they are welcome to hang around and enjoy their meal on one of the many vintage diner tables Rachel has acquired. She's given them to a variety of local artists to decorate/refinish, so each one will be a work of art. There may also be live musical performances (maybe even by Rachel herself!). Also, Hello Burrito will offer many vegetarian and vegan items, and will feature biodegradable and compostable packaging.

I asked Rachel, why Bethlehem, why now? She replied that the feeling of growth and excitement in downtown Bethlehem is "palpable," and that there has been something magical about the process. The lease is signed, and if there isn't any holdup with the permit process, Rachel hopes Hello Burrito will be open in June or July 2010. Best wishes!