Category Archives: Easton

Horns – New Sustainable Restaurant Coming to South Bethlehem

During the heatwave this past weekend Hailey and I went for a walk through the sideside (yes, we are insane) and we stopped to peak in the windows of a new restaurant under construction at 123 West 4th Street near Play It Again Records. What immediately caught my eye were the two antique Singer sewing machine tables converted into small cafe tables and the old pictures leaning against the wall.

Hailey and I were quickly spotted by John Silvestera who took a break from working on the interior of his future restaurant to invite us in for a tour. The place was really cool. One of the first things I noticed once inside was where the place may have gotten its name…there were a few animal mounted heads on the wall, some with horns. The place has a rustic look, but not in any sort of Cracker Barrel way, definitely much cooler and darker. Aside from the Singer tables in the window there are wooden picnic tables (trust me, it works) and a coffee bar area under-construction. The coffee will be fair trade of course. John also said he was going to have a Chef’s table in the kitchen where lucky diners can get up-close to the action in the kitchen. Chalkboards across the wall in several areas will include the menu, specials, and one black-board is already devoted to defining some of the terms common to sustainable dining. He made his own lighting fixtures.

In the corner there is a big barrel with a vessel sink. John explained that instead of having water bottles people can either bring their own containers for free “super filtered” water or pay a small amount for a cup to fill up. The purpose is to encourage people to think about waste and ways they can be more green. I asked about take-out and the containers he’d be using and he’s on top of it already, it’s all green.

John and Horns are both welcome additions to the southside. In case you missed it, the Express-Times ran a story recently about how John came to the southside after being turned down by Easton. Easton’s loss is definitely our gain.

It was also refreshing to see work being done behind open glass. I wish more people would consider this. I realize it may steal some of the thunder by not having a big reveal once it’s all done but because he didn’t hide behind windows covered in craft-paper or newspaper he gets to interact with future customers now to get the buzz started. I’ve seen tweets since my visit from others who have been invited inside by John for a tour and I think that’s just so smart. I was actually chased off by peaking inside an open door when floors were being redone in the old McCorry’s building on 3rd Street. Really? You’re going to chase curious people away people showing interest before you even open? I just don’t get it.

Ok, sorry, back to Horns. John is hoping to have Horns open in early September. Check out some of pictures I took, though it doesn’t compare to seeing it in person. Go take a walk, look curious, maybe you’ll get a sneak peak too.

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Update #2 on Summer To-do List

Ringing Rocks We went here on our day off last Friday, each of us with a hammer, even little Hailey. I was impressed by her ability to scramble across the boulder field with very little help and she had a blast making the rocks ring and hiking through the woods. Here’s a demo:

Easton Farmer’s Market

Hailey and I went last Saturday because the Crayola Factory was celebrating their 15th Birthday. Hailey is usually interested, at least briefly, with shopping at the farmer’s markets, but not so much when the Crayola Factory is having a block party! I managed to buy some soap that looks and smells like a creamsicle, wine, and farmer’s cheese. Over at the party Hailey insisted on climbing the rock wall.


Blueberry Festival

After getting back from Easton Hailey and I hopped on my bike (I have a trailer she rides in) and rode over to the blueberry festival. I was bummed not to come back with a blueberry pie this year, there was a fire that day at the bakery in Easton that supplies the festival.

Still left on the list, although I don’t see much action coming up this weekend with the heat wave. I will be found either in the AC or at the pool!

  1. Peddler’s Village – ran this past the family when we went to Ringing Rocks…they voted for New Hope instead…which was a lot of fun. We’ll still see if we can fit it in.
  2. Philadelphia Zoo – might fit this in on the staycation during Musikfest. We’ll see.
  3. The beach. Booked a place in Cape May right on the beach. My original choice, Margate, has no hotels and house rentals require a week. So we opted for Cape May instead and let me tell you getting a room there with only three weeks notice was not an easy task either. Most hotels and B&Bs require a minimum stay of 2-4 nights and we just didn’t want to eat up that much of our Musikfest staycation. Also, many of the B&Bs hate children under 8, or even 11. That’s right, they do not allow children under those ages to stay. Very frustrating.
  4. Baltimore Inner Harbor, MD. We’ll see. Not seeing a whole lot of opportunity to get this off the list, may have to move to next year’s list, but we shall see.
  5. Hawk Mountain still see this happening in September
  6. Lancaster County if not the summer we should be able to do this in the fall. I started following a furniture place on twitter and I love their tiger maple pieces. Would love to visit.
  7. Martin on Main barring any unforeseen circumstances, I should be there.
  8. Lunch at Starter’s Clubhouse if it weren’t for the heat wave I could have snuck this one in this coming weekend. This should be doable over the staycation.
  9. Hershey Park not sure about this one either. Husband thinks there isn’t enough for Hailey to go on (I believe she’s still under 40 inches, maybe 39 inches). I haven’t been here since 6th grade so I don’t really remember what they have. I think she would enjoy the chocolate tour (chocolate is her favorite food). Admission is pretty steep so I don’t want to blow it if she’s too young to really enjoy it. Any comments?

Speaking of comments please share what you’ve been up to this summer or if you think my list is missing anything!

Bucket List Update…I’m Slacking

Back in January, one of my first blog posts was a personal bucket list of local attractions that I have never been to and want to cross of my list in 2011. So how is it going? Of late….not so good. In the beginning I crossed off a few items rather quickly. I thought that June, mid-year, would be a good time to look back and review my progress and regain some momentum.

So here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. America On Wheel’s Museum  – see my post
  2. Visit a local vineyardsee my post
  3. Souper Bowl at Banana Factorysee my post

Three things. I did three things, that’s it??? And all three of these were crossed off by mid-February!

So here’s what I didn’t do, along with my sorry excuses…

  1. Easton State Theatre – I originally wrote:
    “Everything I am interested in seeing is always sold out by the time I hear about it or the cost is not in-line with my level of interest.” Pretty much the same thing is happening. I either fail to check the schedule or I do find something I’m sort of interested in but the price is higher than my interest (for example, Bryan Adams).
  2. Any number of restaurants in Easton I have yet to get to. We aren’t big restaurant goers…my husband doesn’t care for crowds and we have a kid. Might have to turn this one into a birthday dinner.
  3. Godfrey Daniels – busy weekends…wanted to take Hailey to a storytelling event but was already over booked. Need to take another look at the schedule.
  4. Touchstone Theater – I’d like to get there sooner but if I don’t, I plan on seeing the Christmas Follies in December.
  5. Gio’s Italian Grill in Macungie – I jinxed myself. This was supposed to be a done deal…my reunion was supposed to be here but it got hijacked and turned into a picnic. I must admit the picnic was a lot of fun, not that Gio’s wouldn’t have been good, but it was great seeing everyone’s kids so it worked out for the best. Even if that means I have to make new plans to cross this off the list.
  6. Historic Bethlehem Cemetery Tours this is in October so I’m still ok…for now.
  7. Renninger’s Antiques and Collectors Extravaganza in Kutztown. I made plans to go to the June Extravaganza with a friend who also loves antiques. They are moving into a new house in July and she has sworn off buying more stuff that they will have to pack and move so we rescheduled for September’s Extravaganza.
  8. Glass blowing and/or photography classes at the Banana Factory. I found the class I want to take (a photography class where you make a book) but I forgot to sign up and I think it already started. I’ll have to check the next schedule.
  9. Martin Guitar Tour – I’m going to go to this when I’m on vacation for Musikfest in August.

To be honest, I’d be happy if I got through more than half of this list this year. I think the hardest one for me is going to be the State Theatre and maybe the Banana Factory class, depending on what is offered and when. 

I’m also making a summer to-do list. Not really a bucket list because many of the things I’ve already done previously, but just want to get there again. Hopefully I’ll get around to writing a post about it soon.

Did you make a bucket list for this year? How are you doing with it? Let me know in the comments! 


A Motley Crew

No, that’s not a misspelling. I really mean a roughly assembled group of characters, not a 80’s hair band. I’ve somehow managed to become part of an amazing motley crew of local bloggers who have been nominated to participate in The Morning Call’s Best Blogs of the Lehigh Valley contest. (You can also click on the picture to go to the contest)

Yes…this is another contest that involves registering and voting…daily (helpful hint: use something other than Internet Explorer, Chrome worked well for me). So I’m hoping for one of two things. One, that everyone manages to get through the registration process and votes for us daily, or two, that no one bothers and only members of my crew vote, guaranteeing a win for all of us!

I’m fairly certain that I’m the newest of the bunch, since I just started blogging this year, so it really surprised me when I was invited by Laini of THE Little Pocket Guide of Bethlehem…and that other town to the east…oh yeah, Easton…to join The Lehigh Valley Independent Media group and become part of this organized chaos. I also believe I have the stiffest competition, I am in the same category as The Junk Drawer which is an honor, since its author, Kathy Frederick, was one of my inspirations for blogging in the first place. In the “humor” category no less. Ack!

Here are our recommendations, I’d love for you to vote for all of us, but at a minimum I ask that you consider supporting your favorite INDEPENDENT bloggers, not the corporate blogs. Nothing against corporate blogs, they have their place and I’m a fan of many of them, but I feel this is a local contest where the independents should reign.

Don’t forget! You can vote every day! And you can find links to these fine blogs in my blog roll to the right.

Bucket List 2011 – Lehigh Valley Stuff I Want to Experience for the 1st Time

Do you have a bucket list? I don’t. I’m more of a take it as it comes kind of person. Which is probably why I haven’t done a whole heck of a lot! So….one of my new year’s resolutions was to put a short term bucket list together of things I’ve never done in the Lehigh Valley that I’d like to experience in 2011. In the past I’ve only done this in my head and might have knocked one or two off the list and then forgot all about. I’m getting old…it’s time to put it in writing!

So here goes  12 things to do, because there are 12 months (actually it just worked out nicely that way):

  1. America On Wheel’s Museum – This place looks pretty cool and right now there is a British Invasion exhibit. I actually HAVE to go there this month as I’ve signed up to volunteer to help take down their Christmas decorations (which is laughable because I still haven’t finished taking down the Griswald-esque display at home), but I’d like to visit as just a visitor too.
  2. Easton State Theatre – Everything I am interested in seeing is always sold out by the time I hear about it or the cost is not in-line with my level of interest.
  3. Any number of restaurants in Easton I have yet to get to.
  4. Godfrey Daniels – I still can’t believe I haven’t been here. It’s on the Southside and not only do they have great music acts they also have story telling sessions for kids. I have no excuse.
  5. Touchstone Theater – Again no excuse. I really want to see the Follies show they do at Christmas. I saw the kid friendly version at Christkindlmarkt in 2009 and it was a lot of fun.
  6. Gio’s Italian Grill in Macungie – everyone raves about the food here. It’s just a bit off the beaten path for me. But…I graduated from high school with Tony the owner and he is hosting our 20th High School Reunion this June so that should make this an automatic cross off! (I’ve jinxed myself, haven’t I?)
  7. Historic Bethlehem Cemetery Tours in October – I actually bought tickets through Groupon for this in 2010 but scheduled my tour during the Halloween parade. #FAIL
  8. Renninger’s Antiques and Collectors Extravaganza in Kutztown. I forget about this thing every year. And they hold it THREE times a year. This is so right up my alley. Not officially the LV but close enough.
  9. Glass blowing and/or photography classes at the Banana Factory. This has been on my unwritten list every year since they opened that glass blowing studio. Well, now it’s in writing damn it.
  10. Visit a local vineyard – Yes, I’m lame…I haven’t done this yet.
  11. Martin Guitar Tour – I’m not a guitar player but appreciate the workmanship that goes into these beautiful pieces. Another one that is on my yearly bucket list in my head.
  12. Souper Bowl at Banana Factory – Last year I failed to buy my tickets in advance and it sold out. I’m buying my tickets today!

And just in case I managed to inspire anyone…here are 12 things I’ve already done, that I love, and maybe you haven’t gotten around to doing yet:

  1. Farmer’s Markets: Allentown (year round), Easton, Emmaus, Hellertown, and South Bethlehem all have great to nice farmer’s markets. (Listed in order of my favorites-*sigh* yes southside is last, it’s small and its on a weekday…booo).
  2. QMart (whoa, they have a website?)  Quakertown’s Farmer’s Market – I didn’t list it with the above because, well, its in a whole class of its own. It’s a great place to go when you are feeling bad about yourself (As a friend likes to say “QMART – where men are men and sheep are scared”). You can buy anything from blow dart guns to used porn there (ok, I think it is just back dated, but used is funnier).
  3. Merchants Square – Kind of like Qmart, on a smaller scale, a little less weird, and there is no food. My favorite place there is K.D Smith Auctions. It’s a monthly bid board auction with some great finds – furniture, old cameras & radios, military stuff, old toys, local memorabilia, even classic (50’s -70’s?) nudie pictures. There is also a good children’s consignment store and many collectible toy stores. If you want weird…go on the second floor and check out the wrestling memorabilia place. They have ring worn costumes. Enough said.
  4. Seasons Olive Oil and Vinegar Tap Room – Awesome store on Main St. They have the best olive oils and balsamic vinegars in the world. Go in and sample, my favorites are the dark chocolate balsamic, the pineapple white balsamic, and the tuscan organic olive oil. Yum….and they make excellent gifts…hint…hint.
  5. Abode – I LOVE THIS STORE. Beautiful, unique furniture that is reclaimed and refinished. The store is in a historic home behind Tika’s, just off Main St. on Market St. It’s easy to miss but definitely worth finding.
  6. First Friday –  It amazes me how many people have not been to this event. Every first Friday of the month the stores, restaurants and galleries stay open late (until about 10PM) and the streets bustle with activity. See artwork, hear musicians, eat, drink and be merry. Many of the shops have free alcohol!! Small little cups…but still…free alcohol! Oh and sales! Can’t forget the sales!
  7. Musikfest – Another one that amazes me. Just go. If you don’t like crowds, go during the week during the day. If the heat is the issue, go later in the evening. Parking the problem? There are shuttles.
  8. Blueberry Festival – This is a lot of fun if you have kids, like crafts, or really, really like blueberries. If none of these apply, then it may not be for you. If this leaves you wanting more, try the Kutztown Folk Festival.
  9. Take a non-credit class at NCC or your local community college. There are soooooo many cool classes, I just got my catalog in the mail today.
  10. Go to an Iron Pigs game – It’s a beautiful stadium and there’s stuff to do besides just watching the game. If you have kids this is a must. If not, it’s a lot of fun to just sit at the tables near the entrance and drink beer with friends.
  11. Crayola Factory – Again, if you have kids. This place is a lot of fun and there is a lot of stuff there to tire them out. If you don’t have kids, and you don’t like being around a bunch of over-excited ones, you should probably just get your Crayola fix at the gift shop.
  12. Lehigh Valley Zoo – This is a lot of fun because it is relatively close, there aren’t a ton of crowds, the penguins are cute and did I mention there aren’t a ton of crowds? You can make a day of it or squeeze in a quick trip and have the rest of the day to do other stuff. Get a membership and  get 50% off of participating zoos, including the Philadelphia Zoo! It’s the best deal if you have kids.

There’s a lot of good stuff here, a little something for everyone. Even if a person did just half these things she would have a great 2011. If you have other places and events to recommend or have questions about any of the experiences listed here please leave a comment.