Tuesday, January 17, 2012

There ain't s**t to do here

Yesterday, I noticed a message on Twitter (a "tweet") that bothered me. Keep in mind that tweets are limited to 140 characters, hence our abbreviated messages.
"@ROBB_EMLB: RT @JayETC_EMLB: Bethlehem's bigger than you would think unfortunately there aint (sic) s**t to do here."

I asked, "What do you like to do?"

He replied, "I'd like for people to throw more parties and better public transportation and more events overall."

(This is the part where I laugh out loud to myself. If there were any more events in the Lehigh Valley we'd have to add another month to the year.)

I asked, "What events have you been to? Do you like music, art, sports? Public trans is just ok. Good city to city."

He replied, "I'm so use (sic) to New York public transportation, that LV's is mediocre, and I've been to some events but they aren't appealing."
I thought right away about LVWithLove and WINK's upcoming prom, the South Side Film Festival, and the Allentown Art Museum's new photography exhibit, "Rock the Valley," and the Art After Hours event this Thursday night celebrating it. All three are accessible using multiple LANTA bus routes.

Anyone have advice for Jay?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Maxim's 22, Allentown Restaurant Week and other Lehigh Valley foodie news

  • I can't wait for a French bistro Maxim's 22 to open on the ground floor of the former Pomeroy building near Centre Square on Northampton Street in Easton. Maxim's 22 is brought to you by some familiar faces in the downtown restaurant scene: the principals are Josh and Terry Palmer, two of the owners of Sette Luna at 219 Ferry St. Patch and Express-Times got the story last month when the liquor license was transferred. So, is that enough to tip off Retail Watch? ;)

  •  Downtown Allentown Restaurant Week January 9 - 15, 2012
    Enjoy lunch and dinner at special prices at
    Allentown Brew Works
    Bada Bingg
    Cafe Central
    Island in the Sun
    Made in Brazil
    Pasta Alla Rosa
On Friday night, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., enjoy meet and greet sessions with local artists! Check out Bobby Zeik at Sangria, Chris P. Jones at the Allentown Brew Works and Brandon Wunder at Made in Brazil.
Free valet at Cosmopolitan (as always), free lot parking after 5 p.m. at the Farr Lot after and in the Spiral Deck at 8th and Linden Streets, and free street parking after 6 p.m.

  • The Long Road for the Sun Inn Restaurant from The El Vee
    Michael Adams
    , the Lehigh Valley's only James Beard-award winning chef, has been busy since he left The Farmhouse. He may even open a restaurant in Bethlehem! Stay tuned.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

New Year's Resolution: Exercise, Dance?

Does your New Year's Resolution include getting more exercise, and learning to dance? Did you dance as a kid and miss the cameraderie of class and discipline of regular dance instruction? Do you want to get your kids interested in dance?

Registration is open now for Spring 2012 community classes at Muhlenberg College. Through its Muhlenberg Community Dance Center, classes are offered in Dance, Pilates, & Fitness for All Ages & Experience Levels.

Registration Deadline: Monday, Jan. 9!

For a full schedule and information about these programs, download a brochure from the College's website.

Classes for Young DancersJan. 17 – May 5, 2012
Young dancers of all ages and experience can chose classes in a variety of levels in ballet, tap, modern, jazz, pointe and hip-hop. Students perform in an annual concert and may be invited to join the MCDC Company. New this year: Creative Movement classes for ages 4-6.

Adult Ballet ClassesJan. 23 – April 30, 2012
If you enjoyed dance classes in your youth, but got away from it, or have always wanted to try a ballet class, MCDC Adult Ballet is the perfect opportunity. Classes meet Mondays 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Tap Classes for Adults with Shelley OliverJan. 24 – March 20, 2012
April 3 – May 8, 2012
Community tap classes are designed to proved a unique dance experience that combines rhythmic expression and organic movement. The object of every class is for each student to have fun while learning and developing at their own pace in a supportive environment. Three levels of tap dance allow students to determine the degree of challenge that they enjoy while experiencing this American art form. All levels of classes meet on Tuesday evenings for one hour.

Pilates Classes for AdultsJan. 24 – May 3, 2012
The Pilates Center has classes designed for all exercise levels and wellness needs. Courses being offered include Beginner Group Mat, Intermediate Group Mat, Intermediate Group Reformer, Core Synergies (for the advanced Pilates student). Private Pilates and duet sessions also available.

Friday, January 06, 2012

New Year's Resolutions: Learn Something New?

New Year's Resolutions: Learn Something New?

Want to expand your horizons? Maybe meet other people with a global perspective? Lehigh University's upcoming lecture series may be a way for you to accomplish both goals.

Source: Lehigh University:

2011-2012 Town Hall Lecture Series

The ongoing series discusses topics that are timely and relevant to the local community. The lecture begins at 7 p.m. at Bethlehem City Hall, 10 East Church Street.

Now in its second year, the Town Hall Lecture Series, presented by The City of Bethlehem and Lehigh University's South Side Initiative, seeks to foster an exchange of knowledge between the university and city residents, touching on matters of current interest and of local, national, and global importance.
“We have an exciting line-up of lectures this year,” says Seth Moglen, co-director of Lehigh’s South Side Initiative. “Lehigh faculty members, who are nationally recognized experts in their fields, will talk about issues of wide interest to the people of Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley. These are issues that matter, issues that people in our city care about. The lecture series provides an opportunity for university faculty to share their expertise and for open, wide-ranging conversation after the presentations.”

Upcoming lectures include:
Feb. 8, 2012: Breena Holland, associate professor of political science, will draw on her research in order to offer a compelling vision of environmental justice, which will also enable us to think practically about how to address some of the city's most pressing challenges, including hunger and lack of access to affordable fresh food, and related public health issues like obesity, diabetes and asthma in her lecture, “Environmental Justice, Food Security, and Public Health: A Future for Bethlehem.”

April 11, 2012: John Pettegrew, associate professor of history, will speak on, “The Empathy Project: Understanding the Experience of U.S. Combat Veterans of the Iraq and Aghanistan Wars,” which will draw from Pettegrew’s interviews with combat veterans in the Lehigh Valley in order to try to close the huge gap of understanding between American civilians and the hundreds of thousands of men and women who fought in the post-Sept. 11 wars.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

New Year's Resolution: Meet people + Learn to SCUBA Dive?

New Year's Resolution: Meet people + Learn to SCUBA Dive?

Always wanted to learn how to SCUBA dive? Or getting ready to go on a tropical vacation and want to get certified in advance?

Lehigh Valley Dive Center on Route 191 in Bethlehem Township offers classes at a couple of locations in winter.
The first classes are starting soon:

Bethlehem Twp Community Center
Price: $375
Sundays: 9 A.M.-2 P.M.
Orientation 6:00 P.M.: Monday, Mar 5
Pool sessions: Mar 11, 18 & 25
Open water sessions: May 5 & 6

Lehigh University Taylor Gym
Price: $375
Wednesdays: 6:30 P.M.-10 P.M.
Orientation 6:00 P.M.: Wednesday, Jan 25
Pool sessions: Feb 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
Open water sessions: Apr 30 & May 1

PS - I purchased my wetsuit for triathlon training at the Dive Center and found the staff to be knowledgeable, patient and helpful!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Pork = New Year's Luck in the Lehigh Valley

Although I've lived in the Lehigh Valley since 2006, I had never eaten pork and sauerkraut on New Year's Day until I joined a family that draws its roots in Pennsylvania Dutch culture.

I'm not from Pennsylvania or "Dutch" (really, German), so until I began dating my now-FH, I hadn't considered it an essential tradition. But in his family, it's no joke - everyone eats pork, and even those who aren't wild about sauerkraut need to have some of that, too. It's good luck to do it, and bad luck not to.

(This is also the family that is so superstitious about the Philadelphia Eagles that when they scored a touchdown once while we were eating dinner together, they started making new rules, like "Now we have to eat soup every time the Eagles play.")

Like an obedient convert, I ate my pork and sauerkraut and have high hopes for 2012 as a result. 2011 was a sad one for our family, since we lost two loved ones. The recipe for 2012 looks good: start with memories of those loved ones, add a new baby or two, mix in a wedding and a trip to visit family friends in Maine. Bake for 12 months. Serves a family.

My friend Kirwei always buys new pajamas and sheets on New Year's. I always clean my home office desk, put new pictures in frames and dust off the old ones. Some people buy new underwear and eat black-eyed peas.

If you're from the Valley, is pork on New Year's a tradition in your family? And if it's not, have you adopted it since you've moved here? Any other New Year's traditions?

Even if not... happy new year, everyone!