Saturday was beautiful and despite the fact we slept in pretty late, the boyfriend and I had a fun-filled day outdoors in the lovely Lehigh Valley. The town we live used to be a big steel town. Bethlehem Steel, founded in 1857, was once the second-largest steel producer in the US, behind Pittsburgh. With the US steel industry’s decline, Bethlehem Steel declared bankruptcy in 2001 and was dissolved and sold in 2003, leaving a whole lot of land and buildings abandoned. In 2007, the property was bought for the construction of a Sands Casino.
I’m not a gambler, but I’ve been the casino and it’s beautiful and brought a lot of work to the area, so it’s A-OK in my book. It’s even better in my book because it also lead to part of what I spent my Saturday doing. Part of the old steel mill, known as Steel Stacks, has been refurbished by ArtsQuest, a non-profit based in Bethlehem celebrating the arts. Every weekend, Steel Stacks hosts and arts and antiques market full of local vendors selling their wares. It’s not a huge market yet, but it was nice walking around in the open air looking at all the lovely items people made and were selling.
Boyfriend and I were big fans of the José Madrid Salsa tent. I sampled probably a dozen salsas ranging from mild to pretty hot. Boyfriend is both brave and a lover of spicy foods, so he tried the “Verde-XX Stupid Hot.” For his bravery slash likely dead taste buds, he received a sticker letting all passersby know he tried the Stupid Hot. A lover of chips and dip, I bought up 4 jars of José Madrid: Raspberry Mild, Black Bean Corn and Poblano Mild and two jars of the Chipotle Con Queso – yum to all! And I still haven’t gone out and bought chips. I know, I’m ashamed of me, too. This will happen very soon.
Inside the ArtsQuest building, there is a MusikFest Café for musical performances, spaces for art (of course), a food court, and an alehouse movie theatre! I’ve yet to see a concert or film there, but this will be happening soon, too.
On the second floor were some amazing glass sculptures (top right: tastebuds, bottom left: skin, bottom right: [hair] follicles):
If I had $8,500.00 to spend on art (or at all), I would so be down for buying the tastebuds. All the wiring around the pieces lit up, causing a nice glowing effect in the glass. There was a fourth piece that was supposed to be the cornea, but I wasn’t feeling that one.
After traipsing around Steel Stacks for a while, we hopped over to Bethlehem’s north side for lunch and drinks at Mach’s Gute, a place we know friends of ours go quite often and had the afternoon’s only requirement of outdoor dining. I sipped only on water since I was running a 5K the following day, but boyfriend had a couple Victory Headwaters while we ate lunched and chatted on the patio.
After lunch, we headed over to the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs game. They’re the AAA farm team for my beloved Philadelphia Phillies. Seats are only $9 (heck yes!) so we decided that morning if we were going to be apocalypsed, we were going to go out watching a baseball game. For a while the sky looked pretty ominous and there was rain off and on, but the only rapturing happened when the Pigs succeeded in a badass run down of one of the Gwinnett Braves trying to score a run. The Brave on second was almost at third so the Brave on third had no choice but to try and run home. He got caught in a run down and was tagged out by the catcher. The Pigs won 4-2. And then Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga killed it on SNL.
My sister said they’d written this skit around the outfit because Gaga already owned it. I believed her for a minute because it could be true. I am gullible.
How did you spend your Saturday not being raptured?