Monday, October 29, 2012

Lehigh Valley Favorite: The Morning Call's Shopping Scout

Maybe this feature exists in other newspapers, in other towns, but Shopping Scout is one of my favorite features in The Morning Call. It's so local, so adorable, and so honest, and I try never to miss it in the print edition.

Sure, there's Craigslist, Ebay, and... ahem... Google... but these readers turned to Shopping Scout to find and sell old Penn State Matchbox cars, refrigerator magnet collectors ( :)!!!) and corn cob grinders.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Revealing My Sources, Part I

The #1 Question I'm asked about this blog is: How do I meet people? 
The #2 Question is: How do you know about all this cool stuff? 

In this blog post, I will reveal one of the many sources I go to for information about what's happening, new businesses, and ideas for blog postings. Lehigh Valley Marketplace, an ad-magazine that is mailed for free to certain addresses (if you don't get it, you can call and ask, or read the content online for free). It is not available for purchase and is not distributed to retail locations to pick up for free, like other pubs. It's a beautifully-designed piece that includes some editorial content. For instance, the Fall 2012 issue includes a review of The Mint Gastropub and gives readers an overview of Fountain Hill history, retail and restaurants. But some of the good stuff lies in the margins - in the ads. I'd encourage you to check out this publication for inspiration - and look beyond the ads, into the business' web sites, to learn more.

RB Car Collection: "Two Brothers that really love cars… Since 1991 we have been in contact with the most exciting, interesting and rare automobiles in the planet. We buy, restore, sell and trade not only fine automobiles, but also very special pieces of history. Cars are part of our lives and having the opportunity to make new friends through these wonderful machines is a privilege. We have a very important and basic principle: to work with quality cars, providing our clients only with the best! Al and Alex Ruozzi"

Artists at Heart: "Our Mission: Appreciating beauty, inspiring creativity, sharing the joy of fine hand-made crafts! Artists at Heart is a cooperative venture of artists and fine crafts people in the Lehigh Valley area. Each of us has a passion for creating art, whether it be jewelry, ceramics, or other fine crafts. The name Artists at Heart reflects our philosophy that we are all artists and that exploring new outlets for creativity is a great source of joy for all people. In addition to selling our work, Artists at Heart offers beading and pottery making parties and classes for children and adults. Great for birthday parties, church and civic groups, family and friend gatherings, or as an occasion of their own. We offer special programs for Girl Scouts, Day Care Centers and Schools."

Conversational Threads: "Find over 100 premier brands of the finest, all-natural yarns in this quaint, independently-owned shop. Located in the center of the charming borough of Emmaus, PA, Conversational Threads is a shop unlike any other filled with your favorite basics such as Cascade 220 and Brown Sheep as well as an abundant supply of gorgeous fibers from independent dyers such as Madelinetosh, Skein Yarn and Handmaiden, just to name a few.  Join us in our comfortable seating area while you work on your projects and visit with our friendly staff and customers. Free help is available anytime we are open - no matter what the project!  Just be aware that if we are busy, you may have to wait a minute or two for our attention, although most times of the day we have a dedicated helper in the shop for your questions."

Finally, the last page always includes a "corkboard" of upcoming events, some big like the Downtown Bethlehem Harvest Festival, some small like a cardiac health summit at Lehigh Valley Hospital and a Zumba fundraiser.

Stay tuned for more sources - in the meantime, enjoy the beautiful fall weather in the Lehigh Valley!