Tag Archives: SteelStacks

Weekend Hodgepodge

I hesitate to say it for fear of a freak late season storm, but I think spring has arrived! Although the questions that accompany the loss of a friend, Matt Steiner, at too young an age, weighed on our minds, we appreciated and enjoyed the days full of warm sunshine and took advantage of the time to have some fun!

Horns Sandwiches

Friday night, after stocking up on some household essentials (it was payday!), we picked up some takeout from Horns. I tried "The Colonel," which sandwiches maple & hot sauce coated chicken confit with dark greens in rosemary belgian waffles. Kevin tried a meatloaf sandwich with bleu cheese and mushrooms on challah bread.

Pure Sprouts Bin

Saturday morning, I returned from a morning run to find that our Pure Sprouts all-local bin had arrived! I was so excited to see radishes and pea shoots—signs of spring to come! Soon enough, we'll start our work share at Heritage Farms CSA and be earning our produce while learning a ton!

Dog Treats

I revisited making dog treats (the 300 my Brownie troop made went moldy in a week!!!)—This time armed with the advice of Bone Appetit Bakery. After baking them at a low temperature for over an hour, I think they are dry enough they won't get moldy! I'll post the recipe after a while if they stay fresh!

Michelle Turzanski at SteelStacks

Having rolled out several hundred dog treats, I picked up my friend Amanda and we headed to SteelStacks to visit the winter market and see our friend Michelle perform. Her lovely voice seemed so dramatic in front of the blast furnaces!

Seasons Oil & Vinegar Taproom

With our farmer's market purchases complete, we wandered to downtown Bethlehem to catch the St. Patrick's Day parade. First, though, we stopped into Season's Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom so I could pick up a bottle of mushroom & sage oil to dress salads with.

Bethlehem Crowd

Under the incredibly sunny sky, huge crowds came out to see Bethlehem's 2nd Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade. My friend Jaime rode atop the Vegfest float as the garden queen, and one of my high school scouts carried a division banner.

O'Grady Quinlan Dancers

It's always a trip to see the O'Grady Quinlan School of Irish Step Dancing, because I danced with that school for 11 of its earliest years. In those days, we wore sashes with puffy painted Celtic knots on them, plaid skirts, and only started wearing wigs towards the end of my dancing stint. Man, how that school has grown! Hundreds of dancers paraded past, showing off their cuts and points!

Wassergass

Still enjoying the sun too much to call it a day, Kevin and I set out on an afternoon drive, picking up some raw milk at Keepsake Farm, then winding through the roads to Wassergass.

Wassergass General Store

We stopped in this quaint general store for a snack and were greeted by a cheerful owner who seemed to know everything about anyone in the town.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

When we arrived home, we sat down for this classic St. Patrick's Day meal of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, soda bread, prepared by my father. Of course, we paired it with some whiskey!

Jumbars Breakfast

Sunday morning began like I remember San Francisco mornings—A little cool, foggy, and quiet. We picked up Jumbars breakfast, of course. I had a yogurt parfait and a side of sausage.

Creekside Picnic

Shortly after breakfast, we set out on a 10.4 mile bike ride along the Saucon Rail Trail. (There was a baseball game behind our house, and they tend to be pretty loud, with people traipsing all through our yard and balls hitting our cars, so we try to arrange to leave when they play!) As a relative newbie bike rider, this was the longest I've ever ridden! In Water Street Park, we had this picnic of a leftover Horns sandwich, corned beef & cheddar on soda bread, and couscous salad.

Wild Onions

As we were finishing up our picnic, we noticed a man walk by with a large bunch of green onions. After an observant look at our surroundings, we saw wild onions growing everywhere! We foraged a small bunch to bring home.

Wild Onion & Greens Pesto

When we got home, Kevin fired up the grill to make dinner, and I whipped up a batch of pesto using everything green we had in our fridge! I incorporated radish leaves, pea shoots, spinach and wild onions. Now we have several meals' worth in the freezer.

Early Spring Grilling

We used the local ingredients we had purchased over the weekend to grill up a great seasonal meal. We had a Keepsake Farm steak, marinaded with whiskey, honey & mushroom sage oil. On the side, we had grilled radishes and golden turnips with wild onions and mashed rutabagas.

Juliette Low Dinner Party Art

Finally, I wound down the weekend by working on my contribution to Moravian College's homage to Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party." My piece will represent Juliette Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, in honor of it's 100 year anniversary. It incorporates a mess kit, trefoil, campfire setup, and a string of pearls tied in a square knot …

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Drawn to the Quest?

Last night, while ordering my second gin & tonic at the bar in the lobby of the Artsquest Center at Steelstacks, it hit me that I had visited this space—in fact, spoken to this bartender—3 times in the past 3 days. This is not to say that I’ve been on some sort of ridiculous bender where I’ve been frequenting bars, but I have had various reasons to show up at this venue over the past couple of days.

This arts center in south Bethlehem has proven to be a pretty major point of contention among several people I know personally. A friend’s partner found steady enough employment here that they could adjust their lifestyle to suit their passions. A colleague refuses to visit the facility because of its connections with the casino. A man a spoke to tonight referenced the casino and this center as a reason he likes this area, even though he never gambles himself. I’ve made money designing graphics for a gambling addiction group that formed after the entertainment complex opened. I’ve also spent money seeing movies, dining, attending concerts and purchasing drinks from this center.

Who would have thought that an arts and entertainment complex on one of the largest brown fields in the region would cause so much controversy? I can’t say that I was thrilled, or even mildly supportive, about a casino opening in south Bethlehem. But, it’s not something I am going to argue now that it has opened, and I have to say, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with my interactions with the Artsquest Center to this point. However, I suppose wherever there are large sums of money being spent to develop a part of any town, disagreements and controversy will arise.

Artsquest Center

Artsquest Center at Steelstacks, image courtesy of Architect Magazine (Click the image to read a pretty interesting architectural review of the building)

Politics and opinions aside, I have visited the Artsquest Center several times over the past couple of days. Saturday morning, I visited the winter farmer’s market, which paled in comparison to the summer market (understandably), but still packed a punch and allowed me to purchase some fresh, local veggies in these cold months. I was thrilled to see the press coverage of the reopening of the market (after it unfortunately was pushed aside for the Christkindlemart tourist attraction).

Farmer Thad from Jett's Produce

A still from a video of Farmer Thad from Jett's Produce harvesting some winter lettuce.

You can read more (and watch a video!) about the market here and here.

Saturday night, I headed back to the center for dinner and an amazing Everclear concert.

Everclear

Everclear, in front of the colorful blast furnaces of the old Bethlehem Steel.

To read more/see more pictures of Everclear, click here.

Finally, last night I attended the first Lehigh Valley bloggers meetup, also at the Artsquest Center. Sponsored by Lehigh Valley Live, the event allowed local bloggers from various backgrounds and interests to step out from behind their screens and meet others who fill the blogosphere with impassioned content. Food bloggers, political activists, news journalists, special interest writers and non-profit organizations gathered to share their thoughts on ethics, accountability, anonymity, and content. It was great to see the amount of energy people have for sharing their passions and encouraging conversation and the diversity in styles, approaches and attitudes. Lehigh Valley Live took a few minutes to put in a plug for their blog hosting services, and a young man presented his initial vision for Bloggleverse, which seems to be a hybrid of WordPress and Facebook. The site is in it’s earliest days (created 12/30), but it’ll be interesting to see how it develops.

Lehigh Valley Live Bloggers' Night at Artsquest

Bloggers discuss their opinions about all aspects of "amateur journalism."

I wish I would have had the chance to talk individually with each blogger, and I wish even more that there would have been a list of everyone’s blogs available, but these are the products of some of the cool Lehigh Valley-ite bloggers at the event (if you were there and I missed you, please feel free to leave your blog address as a comment!):

  • Laughing At My Nightmare: A brutally honest and often hilarious documentation of this 19-year old man’s life with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a debilitating disease that has left him in a wheelchair since age 2.
  • Remember: A well-informed blog written by a fascinating environmental scientist centering on the Allentown parks system, plant life, and life with anxiety, with a call to action for all people to get involved in environmental service.
  • Neighbors of Easton: A blog of enormous content and scope, this woman touches on all aspects of local democracy, food, and businesses.
  • No Room For Seconds: A foodie through-and-through, this gent shares recipes and reflection through witty-titled posts.
  • The Corner Seat: This woman offers comprehensive coverage of the Lehigh Valley Roller Derby scene, as well as entries about local art and music.
  • Save the Kales!: I’ve already told you about this fantastic vegan cooking and lifestyle blog.
  • Lehigh Valley With Love: A satirical look at news in the LV, with an eye for the absurd and a good heart, supporting several charities.

I know there were lots of other talented and fascinating folks at the meetup, that I just didn’t have a chance to talk with! This event definitely reinforced the notion in my mind that there are awesome people doing great things in this area. I can’t wait to meet more of them (maybe at the Artsquest Center, since it seems to be the place to be these days!).

Now, to go finish the tortillas I am making so I can post another recipe soon!


Weekend Hodgepodge: Everclear Edition

I am still waiting for my hearing to come back in my left ear and my voice to regain strength after this weekend’s awesome Everclear concert, but fortunately my fingers still work, so I can tell you about it! The weekend got off to a pretty low-key start, which is actually just what I needed after a particularly long (actually, all-day) meeting at work on Friday. After a happy hour drink with some colleagues at Roosevelt’s 21st, my Friday evening was filled with my crocheted blanket, homemade turkey noodle soup Kevin made for me, watching Fievel Goes West and reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, then heading to bed at some ungodly early hour. Yeah, yeah, not incredibly exciting, but some Friday’s you just need to kick back, you know?

Keepsake Farm

Saturday saw me wake up early to get some errands accomplished and catch up on some work so I could party hard with no guilt later on. First stop was the new Keepsake Farm store for some much needed milk and cheese. The new farm looks much bigger—I'll be anxious to take a look around in warmer weather! They are still missing their fluffy cat, who got homesick and snuck out a screen in the middle of the night. Hope they find him soon!

Farm Market Goods

I also checked out the return of the SteelStacks market and was pleasantly surprised to find longer lines at the indoor producer-only market than I did at Walmart! Since the Westgate market kind of flopped for us due to a large presence of resellers, we had been holding out (and getting sparse in the kitchen) until this market reopened! I am sooo excited for all of this fresh, local goodness!

SteelStacks dinner

After knocking out some design work and preparing pierogi filling, we headed over to SteelStacks to grab something to eat before the Everclear concert Kevin got me tickets to for my birthday. We were suprised to see that the lobby area becomes a candlelit, table cloth -enhanced dining area on Friday and Saturday nights. The menu was still the same Aramark offerings, but paired with the nicer ambiance and waitstaff, it made for a nice meal! I had a southwest veggie soup in a bread boule.

Since we didn’t plan on a sit-down meal, we got upstairs to the Musikfest Café a bit later than I had hoped to. I was a little nervous that we wouldn’t get a good spot in the general admission crowd—A problem I frequently run into as a short person in large crowds. Somehow, though, despite the fact that we got upstairs just as the doors were opening, we managed to get a spot literally against the stage. No joke, I used the stage as a table for my drink. Needless to say, we remained glued to our places for the hour-and-a-half before the show started (it began a half-hour late).

Sinclarity

Finally, the show started with Sinclarity opening. They rocked the house pretty well, and their style warmed everyone up for Everclear. The only bummer was that they announced before their last song that all of their money from the tour had been stolen at the venue. Granted, they weren't very smart having all that cash in a backpack they proceeded to forget in a public bathroom at the concert venue, but it was disheartening to know there was a thief among us at the show.

Everclear Set List

We were so close to the stage that we had a clear view of the setlist the Everclear roadie taped to the floor for the bassist. I thought about grabbing it at the end of the show, but my hesitation in order to think about it allowed someone else to grab it first.

Everclear

We couldn't have asked for a better view of the band!

Art Alexakis Everclear

Art Alexakis went acoustic for a couple of songs, including a cover of "Brown Eyed Girl," which he dedicated to his daughter (they played this instead of "Strawberry" on the setlist). It was funny to hear him talk about paying tuition for his daughter in one breath, then about revolting against authority in another. 🙂

Sean Winchester, Josh Crawley, and Freddy Herrera harmonize

Sean Winchester, Josh Crawley, and Freddy Herrera harmonize as Art Alexakis strums guitar.

Dave French Everclear

Rhythm guitarist Dave French jammed on a great solo at one point.

Freddy Herrera Everclear

We were literally inches from Freddy Herrera, bassist. He was great, letting several of us (including Kevin & I!) strum his bass at one point, making eye contact, and smiling or making a face for the camera if he saw you taking a picture.

Art Alexakis Freddy Herrera Everclear

Art Alexakis also made his way over to the mic right in front of us a couple of times.

Autographed Everclear Album

Amazingly enough, after the show, the band came down to actually hang out with the fans that stuck around! We somehow ended up second in line to meet Art Alexakis, then mingled at the bar with the rest of the band for over an hour! I had the foresight to bring my cherished "Sparkle and Fade" album for autographs, although I forgot a Sharpie and had to rely on others for writing implements.

Freddy Herrera Colleen Marsh Everclear

Freddy Herrara, bassist, and me!

Sean Winchester Colleen Marsh Everclear

Sean Winchester, percussion, and me!

Josh Crawley Colleen Marsh Everclear

Josh Crawley, keyboard, who performed despite a bout of food poisoning, and me!

 

Dave French Colleen Marsh Everclear

Dave French, rhythm guitar, and me!

Colleen Marsh Art Alexakis Everclear

Art Alexakis, lead vocals & guitar, with me!

As if this night wasn’t amazing enough, a completely random stranger stopped me after the show to tell me how much she liked my blog. I had never seen this woman in my life! Unfortunately, I was too starstruck, deaf and exhausted to say anything particularly intelligent or appreciative to her, but it really did make my night!

Jumbars Omelette

Sunday morning got off to an appropriately slow start. The ringing in our ears had slightly subsided by the time we picked up our food from Jumbars. This omelette with sausage, spinach, caramelized onions and provolone, with multigrain toast, was perfect for sopping up the last of the Captain & ginger ale in my stomach.

Chocolate Mochi

After finishing a couple of other design projects, I walked up to my friend Cathy's house to meet up with some co-op folks and prepare for this Thursday's big meeting. Of course, good food abounded, including tasty hummus and this chocolate mochi—A sticky Japanese rice flour treat that I can best describe as a mix between chocolate pudding and jello, but stickier and vegan. It was delicious!

Pierogies

Finally, we finished the weekend out with a big batch of pierogies for dinner (and freezing for later).

Also, after a quick trip to Moravian’s south campus, we ended up running around in the cold trying to catch a big orange cat that was running loose in the cold. Unfortunately, he got spooked away just as Kevin was getting him to come over. Hope he found some shelter from this bitter cold!

Here’s to a weekend that sure beat the last one!

 


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