Category Archives: North Bethlehem

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BLOG: Thanks LV!

Infinite Thank You’s to everyone who helped make HEART OF STEELcity the Best Neighborhood Blog as per the local Best of Blogs contest. (My other blog, Save the Kales! won Best Food Blog. Cheers!)

With so many inspiring people and projects popping up all over, I can hardly keep up and was recently discussing inviting some guest bloggers to help us all know about this ever-growing bounty of Awesome.

For example:

  • The new SteelStacks building is going to be home for really amazing local entertainment, music and non-music like independent film, comedy and wacky collaborations. (Horror film geeks, you are going to be pleased.)
  • A new video web series  that documents people and indie business all over town!
  • Art Battles (stay tuned)
  • Local people getting national television shows – these people are local, still live here, and the shows are being taped here (there at least TWO that I know of right now!)
  • DIY ethics and organizing are creating new forces to be reckoned with

SO, SO MUCH.

If you’d like to be a contributing writer, or just want to send some info my way, do it early and often! Coming soon, I’ll post a link to all the blogs that won the BEST OF BLOGS contest. We’re all so excited, and we love you too.


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Filed under Allentown, EVENT, Lehigh Valley everywhere, North Bethlehem, South Side Bethlehem, Website, Writer

RENAISSANCE FAIR: What is the City But It’s People?

I started this blog several months ago as a testament to the beautiful people and inspiring businesses, artists, and projects that make their home in the Lehigh Valley. On a selfish note, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many people that do all they can to always improve this area in some capacity. But it’s not about me – it’s about the drive I have for helping to expose the hard work and deep passions that radiates from local residents.

A few years ago, there seemed to be this attitude that it was “cool” to hate the Valley. I found it was more common to hear someone complain about the area than to be excited about it. (I admit, even with all my optimism, I eventually became one of those people.)

Photo by local photographer Marty Desilets


But over the past year, there has been an always increasing unconscious uprising of positivity and motivation to turn the Valley into someplace we could all be proud of. Not only is it rare to hear a negative comment, I am constantly listening to people say how much they love it here – yes, the L word.

Upon talking to friends recently, all heavily involved in the various arts communities, one of them used the word “renaissance” to describe the shift.

re·nais·sance:  noun, often attributive

\ˌre-nə-ˈsän(t)s, -ˈzän(t)s, -ˈsäⁿs, -ˈzäⁿs, ˈre-nə-ˌ, chiefly British ri-ˈnā-sən(t)s\

a movement or period of vigorous artistic and intellectual activity

I love that perfect explanation of this new mental attitude, just as much as I love the Valley. When I think about the purpose of this blog, beyond just filling a creative and community-based need for me personally, I want to continue to document the great things happening here. I would hope someone who never came here would read this and know how much is going on, and be excited to visit. I hope people who once lived here and moved away because they felt it didn’t live up to what other cities could offer, would reconsider that perception and feel proud of all we’re doing.

As I’ve been planning the return of of this blog (I suppose it never left, but only updating  once every 4 months negates the point, yes?), something serendipitous, albeit small, happened that pushed me into more excitement. Let me share:

I was browsing Etsy (popular handmade craft site) looking for a new “it goes with everything” necklace. I wanted something metal with a vintage element. I forget the exact combination of words I typed in, but as I sifted through the pages, I found this one that caught my eye. I wanted it.

Horatio necklace by WishByFelicity, via Etsy

To my delightful surprise, it wasn’t until reading the fine print of the listing that I realized one of the vintage tags in the necklace is from Bethlehem Steel. There is no mention of that in the title, and the creator isn’t even from Pennsylvania. Just a weird twist of fate that in a sea of 20,000 necklaces (Jules Verne would be proud!), I found one that hit so close to home.

Small, but meaningful (to me). My current residence in the Lehigh Valley is deliberate. After considering a move, I was so by inspired the welcoming community of pioneers that I have since been able to call my friends, I knew that living here meant I could be a part of something great.

I hope I can continue to document it in a way that makes you as excited and inspired as it makes me.

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Filed under Artist, Business, Lehigh Valley everywhere, North Bethlehem, South Side Bethlehem, Visual Art

YOU’D BE WISE TO DRINK HERE: The “Best Coffee in Town” at the Charming and Friendly Wise Bean cafe

If you like coffee – no, more specifically – if you like good coffee, you must get yourself over to the Wise Bean in North Bethlehem. It’s tucked a little off Broad Street, still in a convenient location but one that makes you feel like you found a place that only those “in the know” are aware of. It’s small but beautiful, with bright colors, rock posters, local art and a gorgeous chandelier welcoming you.

And the coffee – they do it well. Very well. Read on to learn about the friendly baristas (that quickly learn your name), the atmosphere like no other in town, and why their coffee roaster is top secret (really!). Samantha Young, co-owner, knows everyone in Bethlehem and her vibrant personality and respect for customers and friends is no doubt part of Wise Bean’s success.

Read the interview with Sam Young below the cut.

Continue reading

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Filed under Coffee Shop, North Bethlehem