West Reading Avenues Winter 2015/2016

Page 1

Greater Reading’s hub for arts, shopping and entertainment Winter 2015/2016

Holiday Glow 2015 Have a Dickens of a Good Time

The Hunt for Holiday Treasures Why I Love West Reading

WELCOME //// from the editor

Welcome Winter!


Kristin Golden Mancuso, Editor Avenues Magazine

inter is an exciting time in West Reading and this issue of Avenues is packed with save-the-date-worthy events and great hot spots to explore! With news about several new restaurants and businesses opening this winter, a busy entertainment calendar and retailers preparing for holiday shoppers – be sure not to miss a page!

Holiday season is Holiday Glow season on the Avenues and the West Reading elves have been happily planning an exciting December calendar. Our special guide offers you details on all of the events here for your enjoyment this winter. From family activities and date nights to shopping and decorating tips – there’s something for everyone.


Extraordinary! When Buying or Selling Your Next Home Fine Homes & Estates are my specialty, & Extraordinary homes deserve Extraordinary attention.

As the premier Realtor in Berks County, I have used my professional eye, marketing savvy, enthusiasm for the business, and my understanding of the process to quickly match buyers and sellers. My sales and marketing skills have made me the most successful agent in Berks County, and I would like to share that success with you. When you are ready to sell or to buy, pick someone who can give you Extraordinary results!

Lisa Tiger

LisaTigerHomes.com 610.779.2500 • 610.207.6186 (direct)

In each issue, Avenues keeps you informed about our community, including updates on our residential and business initiatives, with recurring stories from Elm Street Manager Dean Rohrbach and Main Street Manager Christin Kelly. In our Winter issue, Dean offers his view of all the wonderful things to LOVE about West Reading, as well as an update on our Paint the Town initiative. Christin shares her winter-season tips – including ways that you can give back by supporting the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation on Giving Tuesday. For your health, The Reading Health System provides important guidance on flu prevention. And Bandon Ballantyne writes about ways to recharge your spirits through your holiday shopping, socializing and celebrating! Former Avenues editor Andrea Much shares her shopping insights in, “The Hunt for Holiday Treasures,” and “Holiday Shopping at the Vanity Fair Outlet Center” lists insider tips for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. We hope this issue stays with you all season as a reference guide to winter in West Reading and the extended Penn Corridor. We look forward to seeing you on the Avenues this winter! Kristin Golden Mancuso Editor lovewestreading.org


Helpful Arts, Culture & Business Links Art Plus Gallery artplusgallery.org Berks Arts Council berksarts.org Berks Jazz Fest berksjazzfest.com The Gallery Above Penn Square galleryabovepennsquare.com GoggleWorks Center for the Arts goggleworks.org Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Industry greaterreadingchamber.org Greater Reading Convention & Visitors Bureau gogreaterreading.com Greater Reading Economic Partnership greaterreading.com RACC - Miller Center for the Arts racc.edu/MillerCenter R/C Reading Movies 11 & IMAX rctheatres.com/loc_reading.asp Reading Downtown Improvement District downtownreading.com Reading Public Museum readingpublicmuseum.org Reading Symphony Orchestra readingsymphony.org Santander Arena (Previously Sovereign Center) santander-arena.com Santander Performing Arts Center (Previously Sovereign Performing Arts Center) santander-arena.com Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area schuylkillriver.org West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation wrcrf.org West Reading Main Street lovewestreading.org Wyomissing Borough co.berks.pa.us/wyomissing

694 Reading Ave, West Reading Cell: 610-914-6792 Office: 610-373-2212


Avenues Winter 2015/2016

The Yocum Institute for Arts Education institute-of-arts.org




CONTACT INFORMATION Publisher, Tracy Hoffmann Hoffmann Publishing Group, Inc. Editor, Kristin Golden Mancuso Design, Kim Lewis Cover photo by Kathi Christie


2921 Windmill Road Reading, PA 19608 HoffmannPublishing.com 610.685.0914 Avenues@HoffPubs.com

ADVERTISING 610.685.0914 ext. 1 Sales@HoffPubs.com

BOROUGH BUSINESS West Reading Borough 500 Chestnut Street West Reading, PA 19611 WestReadingBorough.com 610.374.8273

WEST READING MAINSTREET PROGRAM West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation 500 Chestnut Street West Reading, PA 19611 WRCRF.org 610.685.8854



24 Holiday Shopping in West

Reading and the VF Outlet Center

New & Improved On the Avenues

10 2015 Paint the Town 11 The Gift That Gives Twice 12 WHY I LOVE WEST READING 15 It’s That Time of Year Again … But There Are Ways to Reduce the Impact of the Flu

16 Taking Time for “Me-Time”

26 Berks County Nonprofits

Collaborating on “Giving Tuesday” Campaign

27 Home for the Holidays 28 The Hunt for Holiday Treasures


30 Winter on the Avenues 36 Farmer’s Market Getting Ready for Winter

View the Digital Version of West Reading Avenues online at lovewestreading.org The opinions expressed in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced electronically or in print without the express written permission of the publisher. West Reading Avenues is published quarterly {Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter}.

21 HOLIDAY GLOW 18 Get Your Glow On! 20 Inspirational Decorating... By Buttonwood Blooms

21 Have a Dickens of a Good Time 22 Run Santa Run 5K

38 ARTS & CULTURE 38 Avenue Art


From the Editor 5

IN THE KNOW & ON THE GO //// new & improved

New & Improved on the Avenues NEW ON THE AVENUE

EmJ Pilates Opens for Business at Shri Yoga Emily Wagner has been practicing Pilates for about eight years, receiving her mat certification through Balanced Body in 2009 and apparatus certification through DK Body Balancing in 2012. She is passionate about her practice and is excited to share it with others through her new business EmJ Pilates. Her business, operating in Shri Yoga, opened in late September 2015. EmJ Pilates provides individualized Pilates instruction to people of all fitness levels, from the beginner to the advanced Pilates practitioner. Private sessions utilize Pilates apparatus and props and incorporate traditional mat work. EmJ Pilates blends classical Pilates methods with contemporary variations in both private sessions and group mat classes. Emily also offers sport-specific Pilates instruction for individuals wishing to complement their normal fitness routine with an exercise that will build strength in the core, enhance flexibility and improve balance and stability.

We are a full service real estate company representing clients in Berks and Lancaster County. If you are planning to buy or sell your home, please consider Weikel Realty. 12A South Fifth Avenue West Reading, PA 19611 (610) 816-7404

www.WeikelRealtyGroup.com Chris J. Weikel REALTOR®/Broker (610) 914-3199

Emily has two main goals. The first is short term: “I’d like to help people feel better leaving a session with me than they felt when they arrived – whether that is better about their bodies or better about themselves.” The second is more long term: to teach people better ways to move, improving functional fitness outside the studio. Emily offers private and semi-private sessions, as well as five mat classes a week. Her schedule can be found on her website, www.EmJPilates.com. For more information, visit her website or call 717-201-3700. EmJ Pilates is located in Shri Yoga at 511 Reading Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611. Shri Yoga is happy to announce their new Rhythm for Life Series offered in conjunction with drummer Mark Seaman. Visit their website for more details www.shriyogapa.com.

EmJ Pilates

www.EmJPilates.com 511 Reading Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 717-201-3700 Megan Weikel REALTOR® (717) 779-3817

First choice for clients seeking integrity and high-value services 6

Avenues Winter 2015/2016


Let’s Taco Bout It Make plans to visit the new Mexican Grill opening this winter, located in the heart of West Reading. This luchador-themed restaurant will leave you fighting for more! The savory Latin American and Mexican cuisine is available for both lunch and dinner. Make sure to come out, join us, and let’s taco bout it!

Let’s Taco Bout It

616 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 Visit their Facebook page for more information.

La Abuela Opens

You’re Invited!

Serving quite literally the recipes of las abuelas (my grandmother), owners James Castaneda and Glenda Rosil created their menu from memories of their grandmothers’ meals.

Customers already have favorites. Try their outstanding Mole Verde, a grilled chicken breast covered in traditional, homemade mole verde ($11.99). Another hit is the Enfrijoladas, which includes three rolled corn tortillas with shredded chicken covered in a creamy bean sauce, topped with queso fresco and served with sour cream, rice and a salad ($10.99). Glenda has blended the Mayan and Aztecan influences of their grandmothers in two special taco meals; try their Tacos de Adobada or Tacos al Pastor ($10.99 each). They offer restaurant dining (no reservations required), take out and delivery service, call 484-509-5778.

La Abuela

448 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 Sunday – Thursday, 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Friday and Saturday, 11:00 am – 10:00 pm




James’s family is from Taluca, Mexico and Glenda is from Guatemala. Together they prepare authentic meals from scratch, bringing Mayan and Aztecan seasonings and traditions to West Reading.

5-9 PM

25% Off Any Retail Purchase

20% Off Gift Certificates

gototinas.com lovewestreading.org



BLDG. 7 Yoga What if you could find everything you need to reach your fitness goals in one place? Well, you can at BLDG. 7 YOGA. Get your vinyasa groove on. Dial down to a restorative rhythm. Fly high (or low) in our aerial slings. Challenge yourself with TRX, go high-intensity with Indo-Row! Calm your mind with Svaroopa®, Tai Chi or Qigong. Get back to nature with Ayurveda or acquire the skills to sink into the silence of meditation. We bring years of teaching experience and technique to you in one community. BLDG. 7 YOGA welcomes everyone, regardless of age, fitness level or yoga experience. What do you want to build? We’ll help you get there.


www.bldg7yoga.com 220 North Park Road, BLDG. 7, Wyomissing, PA 19610 484-755-5705

Berks BalletTheatre presentsThe Nutcracker Dec. 19th at 2 and 7 pm Dec 20th at 2 pm at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, West Reading See the holiday tradition come to life. For tickets, visit bbt.ticketleap.com. For information, call 484-555-BERKS.


Avenues Winter 2015/2016


Bloomin Lotus Opens on Penn Avenue Approaching the new Bloomin Lotus Cafe, visitors may wonder what the space is all about. From the large spherical fountain in one window to the large concrete eternity cross set on a bed of river rock in the other window, it seems to be the fusion of a yoga studio and a coffeehouse. Upon entering, customers are greeted by organic surroundings – hardwood floors, exposed brick wall and earthy accessories – a menu that is locally sourced and a staff that is as authentic and down to earth as the cuisine. The menu includes such notable favorites as Under the Sea (a house made tuna salad with celery hearts and tart cherries), Curry No Worry (chicken salad with a mango chutney and water chestnuts) and who could forget the farm to table soups? Blooming Lotus sources their vegetables from Stoltzfus Gardens in the Shillington Farmers market or B&H Organics. However, as you engage with the owner Kimberly Quanquin, you quickly begin to realize her passion is really all about living the mission for what she hopes will become an iconic brand of service to the community and the staff she employs. “We’ve all got our stories and when we learn to navigate through them, either creatively or vulnerably, amazing things begin to happen.” The concept was first conceived during her own life-changing trip to Australia. “I had no labels, no failures, no fears. For all intensive purposes I could wake up on any given day and choose the story I wanted to write and so I did! It gave me a new perspective on my own divine potential.” The cafe is a space for all, but more importantly the brand will be about understanding the importance of holding a space for our authentic selves. “We are not what has happened to us but what we wake up every morning and choose to be!” says Kimberly. Her life’s passion is to offer motivational speaking engagements, continue her writing and launch businesses that give others a creative outlet for their talents. “A lot of life changing events happen around the table!” says Kimberly. “We hope to see you around ours.”

Bloomin Lotus

426 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 610-755-5612 Open Tuesday – Saturday 7:00 am – 3:00 pm. And special events by appointment. Off street parking available.

PRESERVING YOUR PRECIOUS MEMORIES! We convert fading photos and outdated audio, video and film media to high quality DVDs and CDs. • Videotape • 8mm movies • 16mm movies • Slides • Photos

• Cassettes • 8-Track • Reel-to-Reel • Records

& Albums

We can produce custom printed discs, dust jackets and covers for quick reference or gifting ideas, and can create multiple copies for the entire family or party. There's still plenty of time before the holidays! We also invite you to inquire about our newest service, Custom Laser Engraving. It's great for novelty ideas and special promotions. Visit our website for file preparation guidelines and hours of operation.

encompassmedia.net 610.372.1010 97 South 5th Avenue West Reading, PA 19611




2015 Paint the Town By Dean L. Rohrbach, Elm Street Manager


his year fifty-eight volunteers from eight of Berks County’s largest companies donated a day of their time to paint fifteen homes in West Reading as part of the 5th Annual Paint the Town event in September. In past years we focused on painting visually interesting or architecturally significant properties in bold, bright three-color schemes.

In past years we concentrated our efforts all on one block. This year we deviated from that strategy and painted three areas. Two of those areas had the most challenging properties in the borough. We wanted to see if color would mitigate their blighted appearance. The three cinder block homes on Cherry were especially significant because they can be seen from the area where we set up the musical stage for our special events. We wanted to give people the sense that all property owners can make an effort to be beautiful. We hope that our efforts contribute to our community’s ability to attract new businesses, as well as homeowners looking for a nice place to live, work and play in Berks County. In addition to improving the neighborhood’s curb appeal, beauty reinforces the idea that ours is a safe neighborhood where people care. We feel if people see well-maintained home facades they will know people here are conscientious and love their community.


From Allentown Take I-78 West to 222 South towards Reading. Continue on 222 South towards Lebanon/Lancaster. Take 422 East towards Pottstown. Take the Penn Avenue, West Reading, or Penn Street, Reading exit.







From Philadelphia



































Avenues Winter 2015/2016

Take I-76 West to the PA Turnpike (toll road 76W). Take 76 West to the Morgantown exit 298. Proceed through the tollbooth to I-176. Continue for approximately 10 miles and take the 422 West exit. Take 422 West to the Penn Street, Reading, or Penn Avenue, West Reading exit.

From Baltimore Take I-95 to Baltimore Beltway (I-695W), then to I-83 North to York, PA. From there take Route 30 East, to Lancaster, then 222 North to Reading. Merge on to 422 East towards Pottstown. Take the Penn Street, Reading, or Penn Avenue, West Reading exit.

From Harrisburg

Take the PA Turnpike East to Reading exit 286. Continue on 222 North to Reading. Merge on to 422 East towards Pottstown. Take the Penn Street Reading, or Penn Avenue, West Reading exit.


The Gift That Gives Twice By Sallie Weaver


he add-on name given to the Woman’s Exchange two years ago has certainly turned out to be rather fitting. Voted as Berks County Living’s Best of Berks gift store of 2014, “It’s a Gift!” proves to be quite a gem in our city of West Reading. We have 3 missions: first, to provide artisans a place to sell their creations; second, to donate the proceeds from our sales to local charities; and third, to help fulfill the desires of our volunteers who want to give back to their community.

Much of the merchandise is one-of-a-kind as well as artisan made, perfect for any gift-giving occasion. Having an incredible selection of children’s, women’s and home décor items, there is something fit for all ages. Our store used to be one of Berks hidden secrets, however, word is spreading rapidly! If it is your first experience visiting with us, allow yourself enough time to spend in each room. Our motto, “Give the Gift That Gives Twice,” is the icing on the cake. Each year, the profits earned go toward benefitting local charities. This year for our charity partner, we are teaming up with The Breast Cancer Support Services. Where else could you shop for the perfect gift while simultaneously supporting a local charity?


Hope Happens Here!

PMS 7433U Advertise in Greater Read ing’s hub for arts, shopping and entertain ment Winter 2015/20 16

PMS 2593U AVENUES is mailed directly to addresses in Berks, Chester, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery and Schuylkill Counties.

PINK POWER NIGHTS FOR ALL SURVIVORS Mon. December 7, 7pm Holiday Celebration

Holiday Glow 2015

Have a Dick of a Good Ti ens me

The Hunt for Holiday Treasures Why I Love West ReadIn g

entertainment shopping and g’s hub for arts, Greater Readin Summer 2015

Mural Tours 2015

Arton the Avenue


JUNE 20, 201

for A Great Placeests Gu Weddings &

For Advertising Information & Opportunities Contact: Alicia Lee Alicia@HoffPubs.com 610.685.0914 ext 210

Enjoy the companionship of other survivors as we look towards 2016

Mon. January 4, 7pm Recharge Your HealthTune Up for 2016 Presented by Krista M Schenkel, DO, St. Joseph Medical Group Family Medicine – Strausstown

BREAST CANCER SUPPORT SERVICES YSC FACE 2 FACE GROUP Tuesday, Nov 24, and Jan 26, 5:30pm – 7pm For survivors under 45. Meet young women in Berks who are dealing with breast cancer.

FOR SPANISH SPEAKING WOMEN EL PODER DEL ROSADO GRUPO DE APOYO This group meets monthly for support and information. Call Isabel at 610-478-1004.

529 Reading Ave., Suite C, West Reading | 610-478-1447 | bcssberks.org




WHY I LOVE WEST READING... By Dean L. Rohrbach, Elm Street Manager


he Borough of West Reading is a wholesome environment for working couples with children, providing affordable housing opportunities with its smaller row home-style, factory-worker architecture.  The buildings in the borough were all constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for factory and mill workers with a human scale – no buildings over three stories.

Business District

On Penn Avenue, you have a wonderful mix of distinctive boutique retail shops and an array of diverse dining options attracting visitors from around the region. In adjacent neighborhoods older row homes are painted in historic colors and flower pots dominate. A canopy of mature trees arches over many of the area’s streets providing shade and connecting residents to nature.

Over $8 million in grants and bonds were invested to improve The Avenue’s five-block business district. The impressive list includes: • street and sidewalk improvements • 21st century infrastructure upgrades • much improved traffic flow • upgraded inter-modal transportation • charming cast-iron lampposts • bicycle trails • street furniture • hidden overhead utility lines • attractively landscaped public spaces • and gaily painted storefronts with quaint and unique signage Streetscape improvements enhance community appearance. Façade grants maintain and uphold an aging housing stock.

Neighborhood Branding

Much effort has been made to enhance neighborhood branding, and special events build cohesiveness among divergent groups who mingle and discuss shared interests. The interesting part is that mostly, they share one thing in common: they love and take pride in their community and are willing to work together to make it better. Here neighbors know one another and work together to make the neighborhood a safer, friendlier, and cleaner place.


Avenues Winter 2015/2016

We’ve made ourselves attractive to citizens of the 21st Century. West Reading has its own style; it offers choices; it has a cheery look; it’s small-town America; it’s a fun place to play; and it’s the cultural heart of the region. We greet visitors with beauty and romance them with color. Attractively painted homes reinforce the impression of a safe neighborhood, where people are friendly and care. Beauty helps make West Reading a retreat from stress. Attention to detail makes our neighborhoods a pleasant experience for residents and visitors. We have over 144 unique shopping opportunities to suit every budget with over 20 restaurants representing many cultures, including Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Italian, French, Chinese, Mexican, vegetarian, micro-breweries and tavern cuisine. We’re also home to Reading Medical Center, the largest employer in the county.

ELM STREET NEWS //// Recreation

West Reading’s Walk Score is 85 (very walkable) so most errands can be accomplished on foot. Walking or biking is a complete sensory experience. It’s a great place for visitors to safely (more police per capita) explore and serendipitously discover little surprises likes murals, mosaics and textured walkways.

Within a fifteen-minute walk of The Avenue you have a wonderful number of destinations including our award-winning Community Garden & Social Area. The vibrant Reading Public Museum with its world-class sculpture garden, art gallery, planetarium and arboretum. We have a quality open space network including the riparian ecosystem along the Wyomissing Creek with its swimming holes and trout fishing. There is also the Schuylkill River’s Thun Trail, for biking and hiking; eventually the trail will follow the river all the way to Philadelphia. There are also recreational activities such as a community swimming pool, athletic fields, playgrounds and a handicap-accessible fishing dock. We offer superior educational facilities (ranked 3rd in state).

Special Events

In addition to our inviting physical environment, we also hold a number of events throughout the year including our indoor/ outdoor Farmers’ Market; our monthly Second Friday on Penn; annual Art on the Avenue; Fall Festival; and Jazz on the Avenue. Other special events include parades, horse-drawn carriage rides, and the annual water-balloon fight – all making a memorable experience for the whole family. Exciting things are happening in West Reading and we want more people to know about us.



Chick Corea & Béla Fleck


The Manhattan Transfer

Mavis Staples

April 1-10, 2016 Reading, PA

Keb’ Mo’

BWB: Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown

Spend 10 jazz- and blues-filled days and nights in the Greater Reading area! Over 120 scheduled events, plus great shopping and dining in one area, make the 26th annual Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest your perfect spring getaway.

Tickets go on sale December 5 — the perfect holiday gift! For tickets, call Ticketmaster toll free at 1-800-745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com to order online.

Boney James


berksjazzfest.com * LINEUP AS OF 10/27/15. SUBJECT TO CHANGE


Avenues Winter 2015/2016


Follow us on Twitter @berksjazzfest


It’s That Time of Year Again … But There Are Ways to Reduce the Impact of the Flu


t’s that time of year again. You’re thinking, “holidays,” right? That’s true. But it’s also flu season. In the United States, flu season occurs in the winter, and it most commonly peaks between December and February.

Many people think that influenza (the flu) is just like a bad cold. The flu is different from a cold. It is a contagious respiratory illness that often comes on suddenly, and its symptoms include fever (or feeling feverish), cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. The flu can be quite serious. More than 200,000 people a year are hospitalized because of influenza. So what can you do to reduce your chances of getting the flu or being seriously impacted by it? There are three important steps: • Get a flu vaccine • Stop the spread of germs • Take antiviral drugs within 48 hours if you’re diagnosed with the flu. Let’s look at each step. Regarding getting a flu vaccine, there is a myth that the flu vaccine can give you the flu. It can’t. Injected flu vaccines only contain the dead virus, and a dead virus can’t affect you. The reason you might feel ill after getting the vaccine could be the confusion of side effects from the vaccine or the confusion of getting another respiratory virus around the same time as the vaccine. But here’s the truth: You can’t get the flu from the flu shot. Here’s another myth: If you’re young and healthy, you don’t need to worry about getting the vaccine. The truth is, we should all get the seasonal flu vaccine. Protecting yourself isn’t the only reason to get vaccinated. If you have a small child at home, or an older parent, your failure to get vaccinated could endanger them. That’s true on a societal level, too. Others’ safety depends on the rest of us getting immunized. The second step is to stop the spread of germs. As much as possible, try to avoid close contact with people who are sick. Wash your hands often, and when you are in public places, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, because that is one of the quickest ways to pick up germs. If you are sick with the flu, limit your contact with others. That may mean missing work or other commitments, but everyone will thank you for not spreading your germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that people with the flu avoid contact with others until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours. If you are around other people, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in

the trash after you use it. At home, disinfect surfaces you touch to reduce the chances of family members picking up your germs. The third step is to take antiviral drugs if you’re diagnosed with the flu. There is a myth that there is no treatment for the flu. In fact, there are two drugs that can treat flu, and your physician will prescribe one of them if you are diagnosed with the flu. Neither is a cure, but they shorten symptoms by one to two days, making you less contagious. You must start medication within 48 hours of becoming ill. Here’s another myth: Antibiotics can fight the flu. The truth is, antibiotics only fight bacterial infections. Many patients go to their doctor asking for antibiotics for the flu or other viral infections. There are instances of flu complications that involve bacterial infection, such as sinusitis, bronchitis and pneumonia. In those cases, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to fight the bacteria. But the flu is viral, so unless complications arise, there is no need to take antibiotics. And … just one more myth. Did your mother tell you that cold weather causes the flu? In this one instance, Mom was mistaken. Going outside in the winter hatless — or even coatless — does not increase your risk of flu. The only way that cold weather might increase the risk of flu is that we stay inside and are in closer contact with people who may be sick. May your family have a healthy holiday season, and a healthy flu season, too. lovewestreading.org



Taking Time for “Me-Time” By Brandon Ballantyne, Licensed Professional Counselor at the Reading Health System, West Reading.


s the new year begins, many of us make resolutions to change our lives for the better. One of those changes is often to plan more time for “me.” We all have friends who resolve to exercise more, take on a new hobby or balance our schedules better.

In the mental health field, I have worked with several clients over the years who have told me that they don’t have enough “me time.” What is “me time” you ask? For many, “me time,” is considered to be a dedicated portion of the day, week or month where a person can engage in enjoyable activities – away from the busy, hectic, and chaotic environments of work, school and family. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? It should be, however, in today’s world, “me time” is at a premium. If we don’t plan for “me time,” we gradually become overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious and depressed. Research suggests that one of the most effective methods of self-care is implemented through the use of our very own senses; sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. The basis of this approach encourages individuals to engage the five senses and by doing so, achieve moments of self-care, self-soothing and emotional comfort. This effort will encourage us to put all other tasks, assignments and responsibilities briefly on hold. Our community of West Reading offers many opportunities to practice this type of self-care. Spend 15-30 minutes per week utilizing West Reading to develop your very own self-soothing itinerary:


Avenues Winter 2015/2016


Dedicate one trip to your sense of sight. Take a leisurely walk in the park by the Reading Public Museum, noticing all the specific details of the ducks, birds, squirrels, stream, trees, paths, grass and gardens.


Dedicate one trip to your sense of sound. Take a walk down Penn Avenue and specifically pay attention to all the sounds you encounter. This can include everything from cars and conversations to live music.


Dedicate one trip to your sense of taste. Plan time by yourself or together with friends or family. Take a walk down Penn Avenue and stop in at the first restaurant that looks appealing. It is important to not second guess yourself. We think too much during the work week anyway. Try something new on the menu, or order something that you can remember as tasteful or comforting when your life was stress free. Foods such as macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese and pizza are examples of personal “comfort” foods that I enjoy. As you sit and eat, engage one another in conversation. If you are in the restaurant alone, engage the waitress or waiter in conversation about light-hearted topics such as the weather, or some of the other attractions that Penn Avenue has to offer. It is important to remember to take your time to eat your meal. Remember, this trip is completely dedicated to your self-care and emotional comfort. There is no need to rush.

A community bank. Funding community projects.

Sounds like a good formula to us. TOUCH

Dedicate one trip to your sense of touch. I suggest that you visit the stores on Penn Avenue – many of them carry uniquely crafted and handmade merchandise. Notice the details of the merchandise (size, texture, color, shape). But remember, you are not obligated to buy everything. However, treating yourself to something affordable may be a nice reward for making it through another demanding work week.

Offering a wide variety of business banking services.


Dedicate one trip to smell. As you walk down Penn Avenue, notice the various smells coming from the restaurants and coffee shops. You will want to pay specific attention to the positive memories that those smells create. I recommend that you stop in a store and try some lotions and perfumes. It is possible that these smells may remind you of enjoyable celebrations with friends or gatherings with family. There is research that suggests that our sense of smell is strongly connected to memory. Therefore, we can utilize our sense of smell to unlock positive memories, thus creating positive thoughts, leading to positive emotions.

1-888-238-3330 | www.VISTBank.com Member FDIC


lthough we are unable to “fix” the demands of the busy work week, we can dedicate time each week to our own emotional health. If you do not have 15-30 minutes each week to dedicate to your emotional self-care, I want you to take a time-out and challenge that thought. The high expectations that we face throughout the work week can “blur” our beliefs about what level of free time we have available.

By implementing weekly emotional self-care, we increase the quality of our work, and our productivity. This plan will provide us with an emotional “re-charge.” I encourage you to take advantage of ways in which our beautiful community can serve as an outlet for stress, and open the door for weekly relaxation.


painting, photography, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, fabric arts, prints and more Visit our new addition --A Gift Shop featuring small artist-crafted gift items

Winter/Holiday hours: Sun 10-4pm. Closed Mon. Tues 12-5pm, Weds - Sat 12-7pm. Fridays 12-8pm. in December

604 Penn Avenue West Reading 610-375-9122 www.artplusgallerypa.com

Closed for remodeling 12/24-1/6/2016 Welcome back to our new look in January! lovewestreading.org





Penn Avenue is the place to be this holi-

day season! We are aglow with a month special events, sales and holiday spirit that will make you as merry as can be! So make your list, check it twice and head over to West Reading, whether you’re naughty or nice! Seasonal favorites such as the Run Santa Run 5k, Santa Pub Stroll (hosted by the West Reading Tavern) and the annual Mrs. Claus Competition will make you merry and bright! Traditional shopping nights now include #WishListWednesday; an added feature so Santa will know exactly what’s on your list (and our shops can let you know what’s new)!


Avenues Winter 2015/2016

Holida Schedu y Glow le

Get your glow on!

Black F riday


Friday, N


he Holiday Glow celebration kicks off on Black Friday, November 27th, the day after Thanksgiving. Start your Black Friday shopping by strolling through the countless manufacturers and wide selection of shops at the VF Outlets Center and enjoying the boutique shops and restaurants along Penn Avenue. Immediately following the next day, November 28th, is Small Business Saturday. Parking and shuttle service will be available; a continuous loop, from the VF Outlets to Penn Avenue from 10AM-5PM. Spend the day on Penn Avenue as West Reading rolls out the red carpet for our biggest shopping day of the year! Shops will host endless specials and sales, restaurants boast the best bites to eat and gift certificates to share with that special someone and don’t forget something sweet to celebrate the season with! Family fun up and down the Avenue all day, with a special visit from Santa, strolling entertainment and a Stay and Play options for the kids at Snapology while you shop (details at http://reading.snapology.com/Calendar.html). Friday, December 4th, is Fa La La Family Friday, which kicks off with the West Reading Borough 87th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting and Music Celebration at 6PM in Delaney Circle. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Wyomissing Area School District Music Department, and there will be performances by Scottish Rite Cathedral, Berks Ballet, and many more! After the tree lighting, join us on Penn Avenue for caroling and old-world inspired Christmas treats at our favorite shops as you make your way to St. James Church located on the 600 block of Penn Avenue for a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and a side of hot chocolate (sponsored by the West Reading Recreation Commission)! Carriage rides from 6-10PM in front of St. James Church are available again this year, December Fourth, 11th and 18th, a beloved activity brought to you by the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation. New this year are Santa Saturday, December 5th, 12th and 19th, featuring selfies with Santa from 11 AM – 1 PM and gift-wrapping station at Buttonwood Blooms, Santa’s Helper Flash sales from 12 – 2 PM at the shops and restaurants up and down the Avenue and don’t forget to check the Lego Lab hours at Snaplogy, so the kids can Stay & Play while you shop!

Small B mber 27th u Saturday siness Satur , Nov da

y ember 2 Parking a 8th nd shutt le Penn Ave service fr nue; con tinuous lo om VF to op.

Fa La L a

Family F Friday, D riday ece Tree Ligh mber 4th ting at 6 pm – 7:3 Kids Ho 0 pm tC Carriage ocoa Crawl & C aroling Rides Santa S a Shop. S turdays tay. Sa Saturday vor. , Dece

mber Santa Se lfies, Gift- 5th wra Worksho ps at Butt pping & Make & Take onwood Blooms

Shop Til l Night 2 You Drop Lad n ies d Frida Friday, D y ecem

ber 11th Shops op en later for Seco Santa stro nd Friday lling Ave nue & C arriage R ides

Run San Nationa ta Run & l Ginge Sa rb

turday, D read Ho ecember use 5k in the 12th morning Gingerbre ad specia ls/festivit ies in the aftern



Night Thursday ,D Spend th ecember 17th e evenin g st Avenue, making (a rolling and shop ping the nd check ing off!) wish lists!

Day oon/even

Men’s S hoppin g Night ecember 1

Friday, D


Santa P u Mrs. Cla b Stroll & Santa S us Competitio n aturda Saturday ys , Dec ember 1 9 ing Tavern th Host’s P ub

West Re ad

Stroll For the fu ll s c hedule o events an f Holi d please vis Suggested Holi day Glow d it www.fac LoveWestRead ay Hours ebook.co in m/PennA g.org or venueW estReadin g



Inspirational Decorating...

By Buttonwood Blooms

Decorating for the season… It sounds exciting in theory, but where to begin? Monika Schleifer from Buttonwood Blooms offers a few simple tips. Hopefully, they’ll inspire you to create a holiday style for your home that is completely your own.

1.Borrow from nature. Nature provides us with a bounty of grapevines, pinecones, branches and clippings from the garden. Don’t be afraid to “borrow” from your own shrubs and trees. Don’t worry, they’ll grow back. Monika used branches and grapevines she gathered and dried to accent her entry gate display.

2.Consider starting with a few of your favorite things from your storage area! Incorporate a plant stand. Paint an old set of skis. Hang your grandmother’s snow shoes. Or use your childhood sled or a tooworn-out-to-use chair as a backdrop.

3.Layer. Don’t be afraid to overdo it. Cluster objects in twos or threes to maximize impact. Think about layering different textures, contrasting colors and and adding unexpected surprises. Monika tucked faux woodland creatures into many of her displays pictured for a bit of whimsy.

4.Collections make a greater impact displayed together! Don’t place just one or two lonely items on a table or mantle. More is more – and makes a strong visual statement. Monika gathered lanterns to create her magical mantle display. Buttonwood Blooms, 510 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA 20

Avenues Winter 2015/2016


Have a Dickens of a Good Time PA Dutch Christmas Carol Trolley Rides.... Back By Popular Demand


fter a totally SOLD-OUT run during the 2014 Holiday Season, the Pennsylvania Dutch “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”, aboard the old fashioned Rhoads Christmas Trolley, will once again be a part of Holiday Glow in West Reading. Last year’s event was so successful that it sold-out a week before the Trolley started and ten more performances were added. This year, Fecho Productions is set to present 30 performances of this very special family friendly holiday event! Take a ride back in time as this delightful family interactive entertainment, with a PA Dutch twist, unfolds in and around charming West Reading. The audience boards the trolley at the Ridgewood Winery on Rt. 724 and is transported back in time to the streets of ye olde West Reading Town. Scrooge, himself, plays the surly emcee of this delightfully corny and wonderfully homespun treatment of the Charles Dickens’ classic. With a heart locked up tighter than a cash box, Scrooge, encounters the visits of three spirits at various West Reading businesses, for the chance to open up his heart and relish in the joys of his fellow man. Children and adults will love it, giggling between the comedy and the dramatic twists, as they also get a mini-tour of West Reading.

The Trolley departs from the Winery to West Reading, with Ebenezer Scrooge and the Crathchit’s in tow, as they begin to spin the time-honored tale for the trolley audience. When the trolley gets to West Reading the entertainment will be in full swing and it will make several stops at various West Reading businesses to meet other characters and further the storyline. As old Scrooge begins to find some faith in his fellow man and is reminded what a blessing his life is, the trolley wends its way back to the Ridgewood Winery as the audience sings Christmas carols.

Tour Dates and Times

Nov. 28, 29 & Dec. 5, 6, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 with two performances each evening beginning at 5:45 PM & 7:30 PM

Tickets and Information

Visit GenesiusDifference.org or call 610-373-9500. For Group Sales or Private Performance options please call Fecho Productions at 610-780-7627.


$39.50/Adults; $30.00/Children under 18 (plus credit card fees)... children ages 4 and younger can ride for free if they sit on a parent’s lap. Advance purchase highly suggested!

Price Includes

The event is sponsored by L.O.V.E. Team of West Reading, Genesius Theatre, Ridgewood Winery, Tina’s Salon, Solve IT Solutions, The Mattes Group-ReMax of Reading, Rhoads Limousine, Justin Bortz Jewelers, United Artist’s Salon, David’s Cleaning & Diffurence.

A complimentary wine tasting at the Ridgewood Winery (wine tasting begins 45 minutes before tour times), non-alcoholic beverages and popcorn, trolley ride/tour, and special treats, gifts and discount coupons from participating West Reading businesses.

Tour Departs from the Ridgewood Winery, located at 2039 Philadelphia Avenue, Birdsboro, PA 19508, located just off the 422 East by-pass & Morgantown Expressway at the intersection of E Pointe Drive and Route 724. If lost call – 610-404-2727.

Free parking at the winery. The Trolley is NOT wheelchair accessible, but is climate controlled for your comfort. The events run rain, shine or snow, so please come prepared and dress accordingly.





Run Santa Run 5K

K un 5 R a nt n Sa un u R R ual e. th un Ann Kid’s F ber 12 enn Av . h t 4 P m m The .5 mile y, Dece rt, 705 8:30 a. a a t d t an aturd ing S gins a a.m. .m. S Runn tion be at 9:30 10:00 a A egistra n Run 5K at R id’s Fu ta Run K un San R


n Saturday, December 12th, hundreds of participants will suit up in Elf suits and begin a 5K through the beautiful borough of West Reading. The wave of seasonal spirit running through the streets is an audience delight before beginning a day in town. Head to the Avenues to cheer hundreds of participants running, walking and ringing holiday cheer through the streets closed for traffic. As with any downtown happening around here, the West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation will present a safe, exciting atmosphere with plenty of activity for all ages to enjoy.

Run Santa Run 5K

To kick off an energizing holiday season, runners take their mark in front of one of the nation’s top 50 running stores in America, A Running Start, located on the 700 block of Penn Avenue. Led by Sorita Averill, owner of A Running Start as well as Race Director, Run Santa Run winds through the rolling hills and loops around the vibrant borough of West Reading - ringing in the holiday season at elf-quality. Add in the fabulous specialty foods from local restaurants on the Avenues, a DJ blasting music through the streets that are entirely closed to traffic, and you have a holiday street party that is nearly North Pole Status.


Avenues Winter 2015/2016

When Run Santa Run was first organized four years ago, Sorita Averill and Rebecca Doubek, event organizer from Doubek Worldwide Media, envisioned a sea of racers in holiday colors that donned jingle bells to ring in the holiday spirit through town. This race has grown to be one of Berks County’s largest races. Crossing the finish line were over 800 of the jolliest runners to embark on a beautiful winter run through this vibrant community. Especially with a post-run food spread featuring some of the best local flavors. Last year’s food providers included Go Fish, Papillion Brasserie, Georgio’s Pizza, Say Cheese and the West Reading Diner. This year, the first 800 participants registered for Run Santa Run will receive an Elf costume. The only run of its kind in the area, the Run Santa Run 5K is for anyone who wants to have fun running and walking through lovely West Reading. Stay in town and show your race ticket to participating merchants for special store discounts around the Avenues. Same day registration is available, but without guarantee of the Elf running outfit. For more information, visit A Running Start, or www.pretzelcitysports.com.


Led by Mrs. Claus…

Even Mrs. Claus agrees that this borough is a magnificent atmosphere for a winter fun run. That is why she borrows the sleigh from Santa to come down from the North Pole and lead the Kid’s Fun Run in West Reading. Mrs. Claus will be in town to lead the children ages 7 and under in the Kids’ Fun Run that takes place at 9:30 a.m. After post-race refreshments, enjoy some shopping on the Avenue or continue the fun and take the kids to the nearby cultural attractions, like the Reading Public Museum, Neag Planetarium or Yocum Institute for the Arts!

Run Santa Run is an undoubtedly fresh way to spend a December Saturday, so come out to the Avenues and enjoy the morning. While the race is on, have brunch and stroll the boutiques and art galleries on the Avenues.

Introducing 2014 Mrs. Claus, Ms. Elsie Miller I really enjoyed being Mrs. Claus; I love entering contests because I enjoy using my imagination to put out-of-the-box costumes together. The experience was truly awesome - the only thing missing was Mr. Claus! My favorite part about wearing this costume was showing people that you could be fun and sexy at any age. The gifts were fabulous as well as the prizes and coupons - it took me almost six months to use them all up! I received everything from beautiful jewelry and engraved goblets to gift cards to different boutiques and restaurants. Who wouldn’t want to try and win every year? I am so blessed to be living my life right now.

10-7 Mon-Fri 10-5 Sat-Sun

We invite you to put on your best Mrs. Claus outfit and join us.

Creative & Inspiring Gift Ideas 201 Washington Street, Reading, PA 19601 610.374.4600 | www.goggleworks.org




Enjoy Holiday Shopping in West Reading and the VF Outlet Center


he official start of the holidays, Thanksgiving weekend, is right around the corner and everyone is looking forward to celebrating traditions both old and new. Black Friday isn’t a new tradition, it’s one that’s been around since at least the 1960’s. But how the name came about is full of lore with some claiming it got its start from our Philadelphia neighbors. One story claims the term originated from Philadelphia Police and how they used it to describe the heavy and often chaotic traffic in the city, both vehicular and pedestrian, the day after Thanksgiving. Eventually around 1975 the term was being used outside of Philadelphia as well. Another story claims that later, after retailers saw it being popularized, they did not like the negative connotation it carried with it, so they started circulating an alternative explanation indicating the term stemmed from the when businesses turned the corner on sales for the year and went from being “in the red” to the “black” and began to turn a profit for the year.

Whichever explanation you believe to be the truth, to this day, it is still the start of the bustling holiday season for all of us. Anything we can do to make things easier or help us cross items off of our to-do list is always appreciated. This year we invite you to take a second look at what is right here in West Reading to help you do that, shopping at its’ very best! The VF Outlet Center is located at 801 Hill Avenue offering many great name brand outlets, including; Bon Worth, Carters, G.H. Bass & Co., Dooney & Burke, Easy Spirit, Famous Footwear, OshKosh B’gosh, Reebok, Samsonite, Timberland, its’ namesake, the original VF Outlet store, and many more. The outlet center will have extended shopping hours Thursday, Thanksgiving night from 6pm-Midnight and 6am – 9pm on Black Friday. This offers families a chance to get an early start on their holiday shopping and join many others in what has become a family tradition of fun, merriment and, of course, shopping. The center will be all decked-out in its holiday best, welcoming families from near and far as they scoop up the best deals of the year.

Here’s a list of some of the Best Black Friday Tips in hopes they get you through this first big weekend, as well as all season long, ensuring you have a happy, healthy and less stressful holiday. TIP #1 - Visit the VF Outlet Center website, vfoutletcenter.com, ahead of time to find out where all the best deals will be, and make a list of your must-shop locations for the night or the weekend. TIP #2 - Find the center map, also on the website, to see where those stores are located. PRO TIP: Some store have recently moved locations, so even if you have shopped here before, be sure to look at the map to see where your favorite shops are located now. This will also help you plot a course, saving time and wear and tear on your legs and feet. TIP #3 - Wear comfortable shoes & layers. There are two main reasons for this, one – you’ve been on your feet cooking all day and will have many more hours on your feet going from store-to-store collecting door-busting deals. Reason two – layers are helpful if you find a little something for yourself too! You can easily try it on without having to go in to or wait for a fitting room.

HOLIDAY GLOW //// TIP #4 - Get there early for great parking. This is not only important just for the sake of great parking, but as you shop and your arms get weighed down with bags, this will allow you to easily get to your car to drop off packages, freeing up your arms for what else, but more shopping! PRO TIP: It’s a good idea all year round to keep in mind, when putting shopping bags in your vehicle be sure to secure them out of site when possible. This will ensure a safe and secure shopping trip. TIP #5 - Have a lot of shopping to do for the holidays and not many free weekends to do-it? We know how packed calendars get this time of year and whether it’s holiday parties, school plays or other family celebrations leaving you wondering how you’re going to be able to get it all done. A great suggestion is make a weekend of it by reserving a room at the Courtyard by Marriott Reading/Wyomissing, which is conveniently located within walking distance of VF Outlet Center and the shops along Penn Avenue. Then you can shop till you drop Thanksgiving night or Black Friday, and head back to the hotel to get a good meal and restful night’s (or early morning’s) sleep before heading over to Penn Ave to be a part of Small Business Saturday supporting West Reading businesses. PRO TIP - Be sure to book early to get one of their Thanksgiving Weekend Shopping Packages which will include special gifts including a $30 gift card for VF Outlet and VIP Coupons for many of the stores there.

Plus make merry all day Saturday with selfies with Santa, live entertainment, gift wrapping and a FREE shuttle service to make your day all the more magical!

Together there is amazing shopping and dining, fulfilling all of your holiday shopping needs, while also being convenient right here in West Reading. So make your list, check it twice and show the love to West Reading this holiday season! Find all the details for your day at the following sites: VF Outlet Center: VFOutletCenter.com | facebook.com/VFOutletCenter Love West Reading Business District: LoveWestReading.org | @LoveWestReading Courtyard by Marriott Reading/Wyomissing: facebook.com/CourtyardbyMarriottReadingWyomissing

Penn Avenue’s Small Business Saturday also provides the perfect place to kick-off your holiday shopping season and get in the spirit! With charming boutiques, refreshing restaurants and a unique assortment of fine food and drink purveyors; they’ve got just the thing from stocking your pantry to filling your stocking! For the foodie in your family, try a gift certificate to any of our diverse and delicious restaurants, delivering tastes from Mexico to the Mediterranean to new American, they have something to please even the pickiest palate! Or, grab a growler to-go for the beer enthusiast in your group; Penn Avenue boasts some of the best places for brews in Berks County! You’re always a welcome guest when you show up with something sweet from one of the bakeries or candy shops or try something savory to share; from the best triple cream brie to the most succulent and sustainable salmon on the block! We promise your plate and palate won’t be disappointed! For the fashion-forward find something to slip into that’s comfy, fancy or fabulous from any of the charming and chic boutiques. Deck yourself with a custom piece of jewelry, or deck the halls with fresh cut flowers or a freshly framed piece of art. Funky and fun gifts await you up and down the avenue for the adventurous, artsy and adorable people (and pets) on your list (whether naughty or nice!).




Berks County Nonprofits Collaborating on “Giving Tuesday” Campaign


coalition of 29 Berks County nonprofit organizations is embarking on a campaign to take part in the national Giving Tuesday movement, which culminates Dec. 2. The coalition established www.GivingTuesdayBerks.com as a guide to those 29 nonprofits, ways Berks residents can help them and events being held during the campaign.

During the local campaign from Nov. 21 through Dec. 2, nonprofits will share messages about each other and about www.GivingTuesdayBerks.com. The campaign allows the Berks organizations to spend time and effort encouraging people to give to other organizations instead of solely to their own causes.

Several local school districts, churches and other groups have also agreed to share information about www.GivingTuesdayBerks.com.

This is the first time there has been a Berks-wide effort to take part in Giving Tuesday. The movement taps into holiday shoppers’ sense, following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that they should give back to their communities. “At this time of year, our local nonprofit organizations need your help,” said Kevin K. Murphy, Foundation president. “They do more than feed and clothe the poor. Our nonprofits organize community events. They revitalize downtowns and neighborhoods. They teach children how to be active, respect themselves and be respectful toward others. They provide learning opportunities for people of all means. They celebrate art and support artists. “They care for sick and injured animals. They serve meals to the elderly and, yes, they feed and clothe the poor.” Murphy appointed Jason Brudereck, director of communication at the Community Foundation, to organize the effort. “The campaign is designed to help you decide how to make a difference in Berks County by providing you with options,” Brudereck said. “Use our campaign to make a difference in a stranger’s life. Make a difference in your neighbor’s life. Make a difference in your community, in your life.” Leaders of local nonprofits are excited to be part of the campaign. “GivingTuesdayBerks.com provides an intelligent way for Berks Countians to support organizations and projects of interest, and for those agencies to engage with donors new and old,” said Ryan A. Breisch, executive director of the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks. The Community Foundation plans to expand the initiative next year to include as many Berks nonprofits that want to participate.


Avenues Winter 2015/2016


Home for the Holidays T By Christin Kelley, Main Street Manager

here’s no place like home for the holidays and we’re making our list and checking it twice for the most festive and lovable holiday season yet in West Reading! A month of don’t-miss events during our Holiday Glow celebration, starting with Small Business Saturday on November 28th. Penn Avenue is the premier holiday destination for picking up the perfect present for your special someone or spending the evening celebrating the season with your favorite people!

Carve out some time to make the season extra special this year by spending your time and your dollars in your own downtown. Enjoy selfies with Santa at Buttonwood Blooms on Saturdays; take in the holiday window displays during our annual competition for best window on the Avenue; make your menu with the finest ingredients from our local purveyors. We’re your one-stop holiday shopping and dining destination for everything, and everyone, on your list. So give the gift of your presence this holiday season. Shop, stay and play on Penn Avenue and support the people who make living here during every season the reason why you love calling West Reading home sweet home. We’ll be looking for you on the Avenue as you gather the gifts that make this magical season one worth remembering. Whether it’s time for yourself on your yoga mat or a longboard for your loved one, there’s something for everyone to love about the season this time of year in West Reading!

GET Be ready to greet guests at a moment’s notice with something

savory this holiday season while you entertain away the evenings. Homemade chive and onion jam from Bloomin’ Lotus paired with a brie cheese of your choice from Say Cheese! Restaurant & Cheese and easy homemade toasted baguette are simple staples to keep on hand during the hectic season without sacrificing serving something special. Chive and Onion Jam, $6.99 at Bloomin’ Lotus Café & Deli; 426 Penn Avenue, 484-755-5612. Brie Cheese (price varies on type and amount); fresh baguette, $6 at Say Cheese! Restaurant and Cheese; 600 Penn Avenue, 610- 406-5390, saycheese-restaurant.com

GIVE Show the West Reading Community Revitalization Founda-

tion the love this holiday season as we participate in Giving Tuesday Berks on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. Your heart-felt dollars will help support the things you love most about West Reading – the Farmers’ Market, Penn Avenue festivals, neighborhood revitalization and public art - just to name a few! The Berks County Community Foundation will be accepting donations on our behalf all day, visit bccf.org for more details! It’s the perfect present for the person who has everything.

GO Create a night to remember with a Christmas carriage ride

on Penn Avenue and through our charming residential district. Twinkling holiday lights and the clip-clop of horse hooves enchant the evening as you sip hot chocolate and stay warm under a pile of blankets in your carriage. Carriage rides are Friday, December 4th, 11th, 18th from 6-10 PM, starting in front of St. James Church. For all the details, and the Holiday Glow schedule, please visit LoveWestReading.org.




The Hunt for Holiday Treasures 
 By Andréa D. Much


n our busy world, the holiday season often feels like a mad rush to track down all the right gifts in just the (Saint) Nick of time. When was the last time you enjoyed a seamless, strolling shopping experience? Wouldn’t it be magical to stumble upon treasures you can’t quite imagine – finding that it’s the exact thing to package as a perfect gift? And isn’t the journey to this discovery the true experience that rings in the essence of the holidays?

X marks the spot in West Reading. Under the light of the sidewalk lamps, among the expertly executed holiday window decorations and around each corner off of Penn Avenue, there is much treasure to be found. Maybe you know what you’re hunting for; maybe you don’t. You may find that one extraordinary gift for a special someone – and you may end up finding many one-of-a-kind gifts for multiple people on your list. In this elegant, small-city setting, the magic of the season is in the ambiance of the old-world feel of the shops, and is revitalizing to the soul.   What we treasure is defined differently to each individual. We treasure antiques, wedding bands, comic books and christening gowns, to name a few. Some of us spend time searching for a certain novelty item that holds a significance, others aren’t even sure what kind of treasure they’re after. Some people turn in items that no longer serve value in order to gain a “fortune” for it, and that item then becomes another person’s treasure, only to continue the cycle.


Avenues Winter 2015/2016

To begin the search for hobby collectibles, rare novelties and unique antiques, here are a few landmark locations to enjoy.

Curious on the Avenue

605 Penn Avenue 610.685.3996 
www.curious-on-the-avenue.com  Tuesday - Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.  
 Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
 Closed Sunday & Monday. The name of this shop says it all. Cure your curiosity as you marvel your way through three floors of rooms, an enchanting garden and carriage house. Here, half the treasure has already been hunted for you! Inventory is carefully collected by owners who hunt for high-quality items of uniqueness. Best advice? If you love it, buy it – these treasures turn so fast, you have to snatch it up as soon as you find it!

The BT Gallery

514 Franklin Street 610-373-2968 
 Hours: Wednesday - Friday, 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. 
 Turn a corner or two off of Main Street Penn Avenue until you find The BT Gallery. It’s just the type of shop that makes you look twice as you’re en route to the basketball courts or the Borough Hall building; this retro novelty shop is reminiscent of a funky neighborhood store you’d find in New Hope or SoHo. In a space that was once the smallest bar in Reading, new and used vintage items fill the walls and shelves of this tiny hippie gallery that holds a big heart.

Shop It’saGift! for the holidays. Vertigo Records

449 Penn Avenue   Call 610-320-9927 for Store Hours  Every great town needs a record store for those who treasure the sound of vinyl. Step into Vertigo Records and flip through an extensive selection of vinyl classics as well as brand new records. Find your favorite band or album. All who treasure music will love exploring Vertigo Records!

Holistic Skateshop

516 Penn Avenue  484-577-4183 
 M-Th: 12 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  Fri: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. 
 Sat: 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. 
 Sun: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.  If wooden toys are your gold, Holistic Skateshop has the rest of the essentials to enhance your skateboarding experience. Here, four-wheeled wooden boards preserve skateboarding culture with a holistic approach by uniting its community through this timeless recreational sport.    Remember that treasure hunting requires a bit of detecting and uncovering. You’ll never know quite what you’ll find beyond the doors of these shops – along the Avenue, and off the main city street. But whether or not you’re really looking, it’s true that there are hundreds of treasures to be discovered in the shops of West Reading, and it’s never a bad day to embark on a treasure hunt here.


Open Thursdays until 7 pm • Free Gift Wrapping Proceeds go to Local Charities

And, as you shop hop, there are plenty of restaurants and taverns along the way that will replenish even the most tired treasure hunters. Whether it’s a cupcake or a spirit – everything you could ask for is available to brighten your trip.  So, whether it’s extensive collections or limited editions, unusual furniture, rare novelties or original art prints, take a stroll through the neighborhood and enjoy all of its treasure!

720 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA 19611 | 610-373-0960 Tues •Wed • Fri •Sat 10-6, Thurs 10-7, Closed Sun & Mon ItsaGift.org • Like us on Facebook! lovewestreading.org



on the AVENUES November West Reading Holiday Cheer Stroll

Wed, November 18th, 2015 400- 800 Penn Avenue., West Reading, PA Registration Time 5:30 - 8:30pm The Holiday Cheer Stroll will feature cocktails from various West Reading Businesses $10 Donation requested loveteam.eventbrite.com Or for more info Gotowestreading@gmail.com

Hallmark Channel Presents Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2015

The Santander Arena , Reading, PA Wednesday, November 25, 4:00pm & 8:00pm Larry Magid Entertainment is proud to present TSO when they return to Reading for their 2015 world tour! Santander Arena will host two spectacular shows on November 25th at 4pm & 8pm. Tickets start at $35.50. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.com, the Santander Arena Box Office or charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000. Visit www.trans-siberian.com for more details. www.santander-arena.com

Black Friday Planetarium Shows

Neag Planetarium Reading Public Museum, 500 Museum Road, Reading, PA 19611 November 27 @ 12:00 pm After a long day of holiday shopping, sit back and enjoy a show in the one and only Neag Planetarium! 12 p.m. Simple Gifts 1 p.m. Astronaut 2 p.m. Jack Frost and The Skies of Winter 3 p.m. From Earth to the Universe 4 p.m. Cosmic Origins Spectograph www.readingpublicmuseum.org

December Lewis Black

Santander Performing Arts Center 136 N 6th St, Reading, PA 19602 Thursday, December 3, 7:30pm Grammy Award-winning stand-up comedian, is one of the most prolific and popular performers working today. He executes a brilliant trifecta as stand-up comedian, actor and author. Receiving critical acclaim, he performs over 200 nights a year to sell out audiences throughout Europe, New Zealand, Canada and United States. www.santander-arena.com

Genesius Theatre Presents: Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5 the Musical”

Performing at Genesius Theatre 153 N. 10th St., Reading, PA Opening December 4th, 2015 For the theatre office, general questions, show times, call 610-373-9500 or Email: genesiustheatre@verizon.net. www.genesiusdifference.org


Avenues Winter 2015/2016

WINTER ON THE AVENUES //// events Capitol Steps

Miller Center for the Arts 4 North Second Street, Reading, PA Friday, December 4, 7:30pm The Capitol Steps have an odd way of looking at the news. When they hear of a scandal, they don’t think about whether it’s good or bad for the country. Their two questions are: (1) Is it funny? And (2) what rhymes with it? Next thing you know, the award-winning comedy troupe has a new parody! www.racc.edu/MillerCenter

Holiday Happenings at the Scottish Rite Cathedral

Peppa Pig

Santander Performing Arts Center 136 N 6th St, Reading, PA 19602 Friday, December 4, 2015, 6:00 pm Peppa Pig’s Big Splash is an action-packed live show, based on the popular Peppa Pig television series, designed to deliver to preschoolers and young fans an unforgettable first, live theater experience. A fully immersive musical production featuring a dozen familiar and original songs, as well as an interactive sing-a-long, the live stage show will have fans laughing and dancing – just like Peppa. www.santander-arena.com

A Peter White Christmas featuring Mindi Abair and Rick Braun

December 6, 3:00 pm Miller Center for the Arts 4 North Second Street, Reading, PA Peter White’s Christmas show promises a playful tribute to the holidays. With a mix of traditional and funky, as well as some of their greatest hits thrown in for good measure. www.racc.edu/MillerCenter

Live Under the Stars: Cartoon Christmas Trio

Neag Planetarium Reading Public Museum, 500 Museum Road, Reading, PA 19611 Thursday, December 10, 6:30pm This Philly-based trio was started in 1995 for the sole purpose of playing music from classic Christmas cartoons, especially the music of Vince Guaraldi, the composer of the “Peanuts” soundtracks. This year the Trio—Jeff Knoettner on piano, drummer Jimmy Coleman and bass player Rob Swanson—will be celebrating their 20th anniversary. It’s a great way to swing into the holiday spirit! www.readingpublicmuseum.org

Mannheim Steamroller

Santander Performing Arts Center Friday, December 11, 7:30 pm The Mannheim Steamroller tour, now in its 30th year, is still met by sold-out audiences and was one of the top 20 concert tours in the nation last year. This year Mannheim Steamroller’s two touring ensembles will hold over 90 performances throughout the United States.

Bring your whole family for this special holiday event. Visitors will be welcomed with a beautiful live Nativity and a festival of trees. The Train Club of the Scottish Rite Cathedral will host 14 model train displays and a huge Lego display, delighting guests of all ages. The train club has designed the scale villages on multiple platforms using all gauges – from Z to Garden! While you’re there, enjoy a visit with Santa, clowns, balloons, games, entertainment and delicious homemade goodies. Admission is free. Special Performances: Saturday, December 5, 7:00 PM – TUBACHRISTMAS Sunday, December 6, 7:00 PM – Rajah String Band Saturday, December 12, 7:00 PM – Reading Choral Society Hours: 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Saturday, December 5th and Sunday, December 6th Saturday, December 12th and Sunday, December 13th 310 S 7th Ave, Reading, PA 19611 (610) 373-0104 www.valleyofreading.org lovewestreading.org


WINTER ON THE AVENUES //// events Reading Community Players: Kids Holiday Cabaret

Have a Cupcake with Santa at Secrets Bakery 602 Penn Avenue, West Reading, PA 19610 Second Friday - December 11, 5:00 – 8:00 pm Friday, December 18, 5:00 – 8:00 pm Saturday, December 19, 1:00 – 3:00 pm You’ll have an extra reason to stop into Secrets Bakery this December. Visit Santa and enjoy one of their amazingly delicious cupcakes on three special dates. Hugg Photography will be there to take a photo of your little one with Santa. A $5.00 fee includes one cupcake and a 4” x 6” printed picture with Santa. Photos will be available to download online after the events. Walk-ins are welcome, but Santa’s hoping to know who’s coming. Call 610-334-7678 to save your spot with Santa or for more information.

A Pops Holiday with Special Guest Elliott Yamin

Miller Center for the Arts 4 North Second Street, Reading, PA Sunday, December 13, 4:00pm Elliott Yamin is an American singer known for his hit single “Wait for You” and placing third on the fifth season of American Idol. His self-titled album released March 20, 2007, debuted at number one on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and at number three on the Billboard 200.

December 18, 19 Take a break from all the cooking, baking and gift wrapping to come and enjoy the songs, dance and spoken word that celebrate Christmas and the winter season! Local kids share their talents….a gift for you! For more information, call 610-375-9106. www.readingcommunityplayers.com

New Year’s Eve Pops Concert

Thursday, December 31, 7:30 PM Simon & Garfunkel Retrospective A.J. Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle have been performing this remarkable tribute to the music of “Simon & Garfunkel” for more than a decade and their sold out shows prove the effect on their audiences is undeniable. A.J.’s warm baritone and Jonathan’s soaring tenor combine flawlessly to capture the essence and magic of “Simon & Garfunkel’s” sound of the early years in Greenwich Village. www.readingsymphony.org

Pro Team TenT sale

Dec 3-6 | Thurs-sun

large Tent loaded with Officially licensed sports Team apparel! Football - Baseball - Hockey and much more!

Adult T-Shirts starting at

Meet Hall of Famer, World Series Champion and Member of the 1983 Phillies World Series Team


$ 99

Joe morgan Sat, Dec. 5 | 9:30am-11:30am VF Outlet, Level 2, Blue Building

Select teams and styles. Sizes M-2XL. Compare at $20-$25.

Adult Sweatshirts starting at


$ 99

Select teams and styles. Sizes M-2XL. Compare at $40-$55.

A free 8x10 photo will be provided, no outside items for signature. A pass will be required for an autograph. Passes will be available outside the Blue Building, starting at 8am, while supplies last. One pass per person, must be present to receive pass.

VF Outlet Center | 801 Hill Avenue | Reading, PA | (610) 378-0408 Tent Sale Hours: Thurs-Sat 9-9, Sun 10-6 | Store Hours: Thurs-Sat 9-9, Sun 10-6 | www.vfoutletcenter.com |


Avenues Winter 2015/2016


WINTER ON THE AVENUES //// events January

Joe Bonamassa

The Santander Arena , Reading, PA Tuesday, January 12, 8:00 pm Bonamassa promises an incredibly special acoustic evening of extraordinary music and new arrangements of favorite songs. He will be joined by an all-star ensemble of world-class musicians including the acclaimedChinese cellist and erhuist Tina Guo, whose repertoire stretches from classical to heavy metal; andHossam Ramzy, the Egyptian percussionist and composer, who has performed on dozens of film soundtracks and records, and was the percussionist on Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s No Quarter: Unledded Tour. www.santander-arena.com

Matuto (Brazilian Fusion)

Miller Center for the Arts 4 North Second Street, Reading, PA Friday, January 15, 7:30pm Matuto’s songs can sway hips just as easily as spark insights. On stage, instruments (accordion, guitar, bass, drums, cavaquinho, zabumba, and triangle) whirl around the core of Matuto’s sound: the syncopations of Brazilian music and the folk traditions of the American South. It’s Bluegrass meets Brazil. It’s an unlikely combination on paper, but on the dance floor, it just feels right.You’ll hear Brazil in the rich tones of Rob Curto’s forró accordion playing, in the rural rhythms of maracatu (from the Pernambuco region), in the urban beats of Rio’s samba, and in the intricate, chorinho-inspired melodies. All of this balanced with clear connections to American jazz, blues, bluegrass, and folk. www.racc.edu/MillerCenter

Fire + Ice Fest

Reading Downtown Improvement District, 645 Penn Street, 5th Floor, Reading January 15, 2016, 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm From ice carving competitions and a 5-alarm chili cook-off to EXTREME interactive ice sculptures, live music, and a fun-filled Snowfall Ball at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel, Reading Fire + Ice Fest has something for everyone. Sip on some hot cocoa and nibble on s’mores while listening to live outdoor music or catch the spicey action of salsa dancing. We’ll also have a variety of food trucks on-site to keep you fueled throughout the festival. Admission to outdoor activities at Reading Fire + Ice Fest is free. Nominal admission fees will be required for special events. www.readingfireandicefest.com

Give your love an address. Select any address in the world, and let a diamond mark the moment that changed everything.

Where you met. Where he proposed. Where you call home. #MapYourMoment



WINTER ON THE AVENUES //// events D. L. Hughley

The Santander Arena , Reading, PA Friday, January 22 at 7:30 pm FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY. One of the most popular and highly recognized standup comedians on the road today has  also made quite an impression in the television, film and radio arenas. DL can currently be heard nationwide as host of his own afternoon radio show “The DL Hughley Show” which is nationally syndicated in over 50 cities across the country including the #1 radio market – New York. www.santander-arena.com


Dracula, LA Theatre Works

Miller Center for the Arts 4 North Second Street, Reading, PA Friday, February 12, 7:30pm Bram Stoker’s novel of 1897, Dracula, was published with little fanfare. Despite initial critical praise, audiences didn’t flock to this otherworldly tale until the early-mid 1900s, when film versions generated enormous praise for the title. In Charles Morey’s acclaimed adaptation, Count Dracula escapes Transylvania and slips quietly into Victorian London. The city seems helpless against his frightful power, and only one man, the smart and resourceful Dr.Van Helsing, can stop the carnage. See this gothic1horror classic 10:06 brought to YocumAdHPG.pdf 10/26/15 AM life by America’s premier radio theater company, LA Theatre Works.


Reading Symphony Orchestra Valentine’s Concert

February 13, 2016,7:30 pm Santander Performing Arts Center, 136 N 6th St., Reading, 19601 Dee Daniels’ musical career is as varied as her four-octave vocal range is thrilling. She is a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavoring, to the stage. She has performed and recorded with many ‘Legends of Jazz’ including Toots Thielemans, Houston Person, Clark Terry, Lionel Hampton, Monty Alexander, John Clayton, and Jeff Hamilton, Hank Jones, Bill Mays, Dennis MacKrel, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ken Peplowski, and Russell Malone – to mention a few. www.readingsymphony.org

Mark Your Calendars! 26th Annual Berks Jazz Festival April 1-10, 2016

The 26th Annual Berks Jazz Festival will be the largest yet with over 130 musical events held in several venues throughout the Reading area. Featuring a range of musical styles that span the spectrum of Jazz, Blues and R & B, each year the festival continues to grow. Over 50,000 people join in the fun – traveling from all over the Unites States, as well as from Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, England and Europe. The Jazz Fest committee is busy finalizing artists for the 2016 Jazz Fest. The fest will announce confirmed artists periodically prior to the official announcement. Fans can send their “Wish List” of artists for the 2016 fest to johnernesto@comcast.net . The annual Berks Jazz Fest is presented by Berks Arts Council, located in Reading, PA. The mission of Berks Arts Council is to cultivate, promote and support the arts in our community through collaboration, education and presentation.

Important dates to remember.

Saturday, Nov. 28: Jazz Circle Pre-Sale Sunday, Nov. 29: Lineup, schedule announced Saturday, Dec. 5: Tickets go on sale


Avenues Winter 2015/2016

Fall at the Miller Center 2015–2016 SEASON Present this coupon and RECEIVE A SECOND TICKET FOR 50% OFF any of the performances listed in this ad! Limit one coupon per order and must be presented in person at time of order. May not be exchanged for cash.

Downtown Performing Arts Series Matuto Brazilian-Appalachian fusion fun! FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2016, 7:30 PM Dracula, LA Theatre Works Gothic horror classic brought to life by America’s premier radio theater company. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2016, 7:30 PM Camille A. Brown & Dancers Dance known for high theatricality, gutsy moves and virtuosic musicality. SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2016, 7:30 PM

Steel Wheels A roots and Americana band. SATURDAY, MARCH 12, 2016, 7:30 PM

Illustrated Lecture Series Rome to Oberammergau Filmmaker – Stan Walsh FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2016, 1:00 PM & 7:30 PM Superior, Land of the Woodland Drummer Filmmaker – Tom Sterling FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2016, 1:00 PM & 7:30 PM

For tickets and information contact the Miller Center Box Office at 610.607.6270 or visit www.racc.edu/millercenter.




r e t n i w r o f y d a e r getting Meet the Vendor


eginning November 29, the West Reading Farmers’ Market plans to move indoors. (At the time of print, the VF Designer’s Center will be it’s new home – but please visit www.lovewestreading.org or the West Reading Farmer’s Market’s Facebook page for details.) The same great market you’ve come to rely on for ingredients from May through November will be continue to be open for business inside through May 17, 2016. Vendors agree that it is important for the market’s success to continue to provide seasonal ingredients to customers all year long. Make shopping the West Reading Farmers’ Market a part of your weekends!

Renewal Kombucha Before moving to Lititz, Jeremy lived in West Reading for 10 years. He mentioned his memories of when the farmer’s market first started, and how over the years he watched it really bring the community together. Jeremy said, “From the first days of planning to start Renewal Kombucha, I knew the West Reading Farmer’s Market was somewhere that I wanted to be.” The atmosphere is always celebratory, and mostly everyone carries a smile. As it gets colder, the West Reading Farmer’s Market will move indoors to the Vanity Fair Designer’s Center. “We are excited to be a part of the winter market at Vanity Fair starting in November. After all, people still need their kombucha when it is snowing outside!” The flagship flavors that are offered regularly are as follows: Hibiscus Mint Green Tea, White Tea with Lemongrass, and Cinnamon Orange Maté. There are usually one or two seasonal flavors or infusions available as well. Some of the special flavors they have featured include Strawberry Green Tea, Root Beer Kombucha, and White Lemongrass infused with local, organic beets and lemons. Jeremy has been a vendor since the beginning of the 2015 market season. He mentions, “It has been an amazing first year for us, and we have been blown away by the positive response from the community. There’s a real feeling of support among the vendors, and we help each other out when someone has a need. Also, it’s been great spending time at the stand with my wonderful wife and our fantastic friends who volunteer to help us out.” As for future plans for growth, Renewal Kombucha will be moving into a storefront in Lititz soon. The new space includes a sixtap bar system and more production space than they currently have, allowing them the ability to have their komucha readily available during the week. Their goal is to be up and running by mid-November. As they start some small-scale bottling, Renewal Kombucha hopes to make it more widely available for customers, as well as planning to have it on-tap in at least one restaurant in West Reading. More information can be found on our facebook page at www.Facebook. com/DrinkRenewal, or on our website at www.DrinkRenewal.com. You can also email us at info@DrinkRenewal.com

Meet the Vendor

Primordia Mushroom Farm Searching for that rare, gorgeous mushroom to be the star of your next meal? You’ll definitely find it at Primordia Mushroom Farms’ stand at the West Reading Farmers’ Market. Started in 2011, Primordia Mushroom is a family owned and operated gourmet mushroom farm located in Lenhartsville, PA. Matthew Sichler and his wife and partner Jesse Tobin began as hobbyists interested in fermented foods and drinks. Their passion turned to farming and they identified a gap in the market for chemical-free mushrooms. Their growth has been rapid. In just four years, Primordia has evolved from selling to a few local accounts to distributing an impressive weekly delivery schedule that includes trips to New York City three days each week, Philadelphia one day a week, Lancaster one day, Allentown one day and Reading one day. Home cooks can enjoy Primordia’s produce from their stands at any one of the five different farmers’ markets they sell to weekly. As for their stand at the West Reading Farmers’ Market, Matthew said, “We are excited to be a part of the market and love our customers who shop with us there. It’s fun to be a contributing member of a positive, growing community.” One of the secrets of their success is their promise to not use pesticides, fungicides or artificial fertilizers in the production of their mushrooms. Primordia grows 7-8 varieties year round – with an auxiliary variety available seasonally. Matthew and Jesse also forage mushrooms and buy from other local foragers. Customers will find a healthy assortment of Shiitake, White Trumpet, Grey Oyster, Golden Oyster, Pink Oyster, Elm Oyster, Maitake, and Lion’s Mane varieties. Primordia also offers a CSA and wholesale pricing. For more information, visit Primordia Farm on Facebook, call 484-336-4611 or email PrimordiaFarm@gmail.com.


Your Success Because Your Success is Important to Us

BUSINESS INSURANCE Property and Equipment Liability Insurance

Automobile and Truck Fleets Workers Compensation Professional Liability

Anticipated 2015-16 Schedule:

Group Medical, Disability, and Life

November 29-May 17 Indoor every 2nd and 4th Saturday 9:00 am-1:00 pm at the Designer’s Outlets of VF

Are you a farmer or vendor interested in becoming a vendor? Visit lovewestreading.org for application.

610.376.3959 • Fax: 610.376.2610 1150 Berkshire Boulevard, Wyomissing





Avenue Art by Judy Ballinger, Art Plus Gallery


inter comes with a lot of excitement for the artists on Penn Avenue. The Berks County artists’ cooperative at 604 Penn Avenue is being renovated with wood floors, a new counter, comfortable seating, a gift shop and enhanced exhibit space. In addition to the larger paintings on the gallery walls, members will be displaying small items ideal for sale in the gift shop. A desktop tablet will enable customers to view collections of each member’s art digitally.

The Holiday Show at Art Plus Gallery opens on Second Friday, Novem-

ber 13, featuring art with winter or holiday themes. This exhibit will be open until December 24, with extra evening hours as part of Holiday Glow in West Reading. Also in December, the fabric art of Martha Ressler will be in the exhibit room at the YR Club in Wyomissing. At the end of 2015, Art Plus Gallery will close for a week to complete renovations. A Grand Opening will be held on the Second Friday of January to celebrate the “new” gallery, featuring the final exhibit of our Nolde Forest outreach project in the new special exhibits wing.

The Nature of Nolde is an open invitation to all students, kindergarten through high school residing in Berks County, to capture some aspect of the nature of Nolde Forest in their art. The children may use any medium, including photography. Art Plus gallery has initiated this project in conjunction with the Friends of Nolde Forest and the Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center. Many schools have arranged field trips, and children are also encouraged to visit the forest with their families. In December, a panel of Art Pus artists will review the student work submitted by the schools and individuals to select the best pieces for display at the Nolde Mansion, which will host an awards ceremony reception on December 12. These final winning works will move to Art Plus Gallery to be the featured exhibit for the month of January. Other venues on Penn Avenue will feature Art Plus artists’ exhibits in January. At Say Cheese! on the corner of 4th & Penn, the paintings, encaustics, photography and mixed media work of Donna Unger, Maeve Lausch, and Jay Ressler will be on display through February. These are three multi-faceted artists whose work expresses the pleasure of experimentation with forms, themes and materials. The West Reading Tavern will show Food for Thought, new images from the artists of Art Plus. These will be displayed in the restaurant from January to March.


Avenues Winter 2015/2016

Bottom Left: Oil painting by plein air painter Russell Slocum, whose love of Nolde Forest has been instrumental in his recruiting and coordinating the groups involved in the outreach venture. Below: Oil painting, Middle Trail, by Crystal Domino. Bottom Right: Oil painting, Nolde Stream, by Michael Weaver.

Location Reading Hospital 5th Avenue Lobby

Skin & Body Care Gourmet Food Items Homemade Preserves Fresh Wreaths & Holiday Arrangements Holiday Cookies & Candy Home DĂŠcor & Candles One-Of-A-Kind Handcrafted Jewelry

FREE Valet Parking

Join us for Our Annual

Hol iday C raf t Fair Thu r s d a y,



7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Free Admission/Open to the public All proceeds benefit programs funded by The Friends of Reading Hospital including Patient Comfort Items

For more information visit www.readinghealth.org/holidayhappening.

Like us on

The places to shop for the best gifts of all!

406 Penn Avenue, West Reading

720 Penn Ave, West Reading

404 Penn Avenue, West Reading




639 Penn Avenue, West Reading Nobody Does "I Do" 610-378-1111 Like London Blue


23 South 6th Ave, West Reading 1-800-266-9203

Put Us on Your Wishlist This Holiday Season!

643 Penn Avenue, West Reading

715 Penn Avenue, West Reading



• Furs &

Leathers for Men & Women

544 Penn Avenue, West Reading 610-373-2121


• Wools

• Accessories • Sizes 0 to Plus Size


643 Penn Ave., West Reading, PA 19611 www.pollackfurs.com 602 Penn Avenue, West Reading 605 Penn Avenue, West Reading Call for Hours: 800-635-4417 or 610-781-4099 610-685-3996



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.