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Volume 4, Number 2

Summer 2018

West End Living



Photo by Jane Geist Photography



Feast Your Way through the West End World of Food Festival

event will feature 18 vendors, serving everything from Middle Eastern to Puerto Rican to Mexican fare, in addition to live music, crafts, draft beer, and eating contests. The kidfriendly, admission-free festival, organized by The

If you want to dine around the world without ever having to leave Allentown’s West End, clear your calendar on Saturday, September 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. That’s BAND SCHEDULE when the West End World School of Rock: 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. of Food Festival returns Emily’s Toybox: 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. to 19th Street between M80: 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. Liberty and Allen for its The Large Flowerheads: 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. fourth year. This year’s IN THIS ISSUE 1 World of Food Festival 2 Ron’s Ramblings 3 West End News 4 Focus on the Arts 9 Block Party Festival

West End Alliance, a nonprofit neighborhood association, aims to bring people into the West End and acts as a fundraiser for the association. “The clientele and music are a great mix, so it really attracts a diverse demographic of patrons, which is good for business!” say Tim and Hala Bonner of The Taza Truck, an Egyptian food truck that will serve their shawarma, falafel, hummus, and baba ghanoush for their fourth year at the festival. The Puerto Rican Culture Preservation of Allentown returns again with their stand this year. 9 Seen Around Town 10 Civic Theatre Reno 11 Muhlenberg Clock Tower 12 Know Your Neighborhood

“It is an excellent opportunity to introduce our organization to the community and for them to learn from our cultural, delicious food,” says president Flor M. Velez. Be sure to try their pastelillos, Velez says. n Gibna Beyda Recipe Want a taste of what’s to come before the festival? Try the Bonners’ recipe for Gibna Beyda. “It literally means ‘white cheese,” they say. “This dish is a common side dish in Egypt usually served at breakfast with eggs and falafel.” Then see how it compares to the kind they serve come festival time. Crumble feta (the more sour, the better) with diced tomatoes, diced scallions, garlic, pepper, ground cayenne pepper, paprika, and extra virgin olive oil.

12 Tree Planting 13 Real ID Update 14 Students of Note 14 Thomas E. Parker Correction 15 St. Patrick’s Update SUMMER 2018



The History of Allentown’s Street Names By Ron Epstein

As you drive through the streets of Allentown you probably take the street names for granted. But did you know that some streets were named for people who lived 250 years ago? When Allentown was founded in 1762, its borders went from what is now 4th to 10th Street, and from Liberty to Union Street. Of course, these streets didn’t have names then. They were simply the north, south, east, and west ends of town. William Allen, the town’s founder, was married with six children (four sons and two daughters), and named the streets after his family. He named the main north/south street, now known as Seventh, Allen Street. He named what’s currently Sixth Street after his youngest son, William. Fifth was originally called Margaret, after one of his daughters and his wife. He called Eighth Street James, after his third son, and Ninth

Street Ann for his other daughter. Hamilton, Allentown’s primary east/west street, always held the name. But it’s not named after Alexander Hamilton, as you might think. William Allen named the street after his wife’s family name. Allen named streets after his associates too. Turner Street

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1762 map of Allentown, “Northampton Town,” its original name. You can see William Allen childrens’ names on the streets.

came from his friend and business partner, Joseph Turner, and Chew Street honored Benjamin Chew, who served on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court while Allen was chief justice. And Gordon Street? Allen took inspiration from Sir Patrick Gordon, who served as a colonial governor of our Commonwealth from 1726 to 1736. By the 1840s, the four townborder streets took on their current names. Liberty and Union became the north and south boundaries. Fourth Street was renamed Tilghman, most likely after William Tilghman, the husband of James Allen’s daughter Margaret. (Another source, though, claims the street was named after William’s father James, who was a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Council.) In 1852, the city introduced the

number system. Allentown’s founding fathers didn’t think that Allentown would advance across the Lehigh River or the Little Lehigh Creek. They only envisioned Allentown spreading north and west. Therefore the streets were numbered in an east to west direction. Under this system, Livingston should have been renamed as First Street, but because it abutted the riverfront, it was named Front Street. In sequence, Harrison became Second, Third Street was newly created, Tilghman became Fourth and so on, as the numbers continued up to Tenth. As Allentown continued to expand west to Cedar Crest Boulevard, some street names were apparently picked at random. That is why Main Street (between 28th and 29th) is so called, even though it really isn’t Allentown’s main street. And you may have noticed that Broad Street (between 27th and 28th) actually isn’t very broad! While the Liberty Bell Shrine and the Soldiers and Sailors monument are very important parts of our town’s past, the street names also had an important place in Allentown’s history. Think of that the next time you drive through the city? n


West End Yard Sale Season Is Here The West End is known for historic homes and walkable streets, making it the perfect neighborhood for yard sales. Whether you’ve been meaning to clean out your attic or enjoy finding used items at a good price, the long winter will have buyers and sellers more eager than ever to get outside and clean house. When the location of your home is already

West End n



West End Alliance, Inc.

PO Box 173, Allentown, PA 18105 PUBLICATION STAFF Editors — Paul & Meghan Kita Writer — Frederick Jerant Copy Editing —Sara Muir Designer — Publication Design, Inc. Photographers — Jane Geist — Hub Willson Intern — Olivia Hurtado Editorial Consultant Michael Drabenstott ••• ADVERTISING Neighborhood Coordinator Ann Biernat-Rucker For advertising information, contact Ann at 610-703-8004 ••• West End Living is published quarterly by the West End Alliance, Inc. to promote the West End Theatre District. ••• EDITORIAL Editorial suggestions or comments? Contact us at ••• West End Living is published quarterly by the West End Alliance, Inc. PO Box 173 Allentown, PA 18105 Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited manuscripts, photos or artwork. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from publisher. Printed in U.S.A.

an advantage, here are some tips to help take the load-off of unloading. Promotion. West End streets are heavily traveled so there is no better advertising than a simple sign on a telephone pole. However, advertising online allows you to share photos of items like electronics and furniture that attract serious buyers. You can share sale information on Facebook’s Lehigh Valley Online Yard Sale Group, which has more than 66,300 members. If an item does not sell in person, it can be sold directly through the group later on. Proximity. Talk to your neighbors and schedule a sale on the same day. Those passing by are more likely to stop if they have better odds of finding something between two or three houses. Pricing. Due to the age of West End homes and Pennsylvania’s inherent antique culture, your sale will likely include some collectible items. Don’t let their nostalgicvalue lead to overpricing. When a buyer steps onto your lawn, they are expecting yard-sale prices. If you insist on selling at retail price, be prepared to negotiate or pull the item back into your house at the end of the day. Pace. A yard sale that opens before 8:00 a.m. Friday through Sunday is a junker’s dream. However, you have to be comfortable with when you allow strangers onto your property. Don’t let the pressure of a long day deter you from much-needed decluttering. You can organize your prices a week before, or decide when someone asks, “How much for this?” Either way, reselling is a win-win for the buyer, seller, and the environment—and shouldn’t feel like a burden. If you’re a buyer, do yourself a favor and take a $10 bill on your next Saturday morning walk around the neighborhood. Pickin’ is good here! n By Kate Kareha (Follow her thrifting and picking on Instagram at @bijoupennflea) SUMMER 2018



Summer Fun The West End Theatre District will be chock-full of theatre shows, classic films, stage productions, art exhibits, classes, and other ways to celebrate the arts during the coming months. Here are the latest listings.

At Muhlenberg College n Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Step into the enchanted world of Broadway’s modern classic— the “tale as old as time,” based on the Academy Award-winning film. Belle is a beautiful, bookish young woman trapped in a backwater town; the Beast is a vain young prince trapped under a spell. Can they break the curse in time, or are the Beast and his

enchanted household forever doomed? This stage adaptation features all of the film’s brilliant original songs and some delightful new ones as well. June 14 to July 1 Thursday, Friday: 7:00 p.m. Saturday: 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Sunday: 2:00 p.m. Empie Theatre, Baker Center for the Arts n How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying Big business means big laughs in this clever lampoon of life on the corporate ladder. A tune-filled comic gem that took Broadway by storm, winning both the Tony Award for Best Musical and a Pulitzer Prize, How to Succeed… boasts a score by Frank Loesser. Featuring Muhlenberg alum, Broadway star, and TV

personality Frankie Grande. July 11 to 29 Wednesday through Saturday: 8:00 p.m. Sunday: 2:00 p.m. Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance

and 1:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday: 10:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Studio Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance For tickets and more information: 

n TAL: Beyond Imagination TAL is the story of dreamers, eccentrics, and surrealists who gaze up at the stars in search of something more. Through high-flying aerial acrobatics, dance, juggling, comedy, and magic, TAL invites you to experience the imagination of a child and the feeling of infinite possibility just within reach. Join the cast after each show for a free, 45-minute circus-themed activity workshop. June 27 to July 28 Wednesday, Thursday: 10:00 a.m.

At the Jewish Community Center n Art Gallery Exhibit: Jim Schmoyer and Elena Stokes This free showing features paintings by Schmoyer, and textile art by Stokes. June 1 to July 6 JCC of the Lehigh Valley 702 N. 22nd St. Please call 610.435.3571 or contact Monica Friess at for exhibit hours and other details.

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Class: J-Art Camp

In this fun and messy day camp, students will create a 3D letter or logo using cardboard, plaster, paint, and more. They’ll learn about logos, design and composition, construction and balance, embellishment, and craftsmanship all while creating something personally meaningful and easily displayed at home. Live animals will serve as realistic models to add to the excitement. There will be an art show showcasing the finished pieces on June 29 at 4:00 p.m. Please call for rates, discounts may be available. June 25 to June 29 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. JCC of the Lehigh Valley Ages: Kindergarten through 8th grade For more information about J-Art Camp, please contact Brenda Finberg at 610.435.3571 ext. 183 or

n Stagemakers Theater Presents The Music Man Meredith Willson’s classic follows fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize. This Tony Awardwinning musical comedy has been entertaining audiences since 1957 and is a family-friendly story to be shared with every generation. Auditions: June 18 and 19 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call backs: June 20 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Cast meeting: June 21 7:00 p.m. Show Dates: August 23 at 7:00

p.m.; August 26 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. JCC of the Lehigh Valley 702 N. 22nd Street Ages: 13 to adults Participation fee (required only upon acceptance of a role): $135; JCC members: $85 Audition materials may be found at For more information, please contact Brenda Finberg at 610.435.3571 ext. 183 or bfinberg@

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J-Band Camp

Each week, kids will spend time learning and playing songs with a band, absorbing music history, and practicing their instruments. They’ll form bands to encompass different instruments and vocals. If guitar or bass is your primary instrument, please bring it with you. July 2 –July 13 (except July 4) 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. JCC of the Lehigh Valley 702 N. 22nd St. Ages: 7 – 17 (5 and 6-year-olds may participate, but must first audition and receive approval from the directors.) For more information about J-Band Camp, please contact Brenda Finberg at 610.435.3571 ext. 183 or Please call for rates, discounts may be available.


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Stagemakers Do Re Mi Theater Camp

Learn hit Broadway songs while focusing on learning and maintaining basic stage skills, singing, acting, and dance. Campers will stage two full performances at the end of the three-week camp filled with everything they have learned. Camp: July 16 to August 3 Performances: August 2 at 7:00 p.m. and August 3 at 3:00 p.m.

FIRST Becoming a musician is all about firsts. Your first guitar, first live performance, first sold-out show. School of Rock provides experiences like these through performing, rehearsing and playing in a band. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a budding rock star, we will get you to that next level.

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FOCUS ON THE ARTS 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. JCC of the Lehigh Valley 702 N. 22nd St. Ages: Kindergarten through 8th grade For more information about Stagemakers Do Re Mi Theater Camp, please contact Brenda Finberg at 610.435.3571 ext. 183 or Please call for rates, discounts may be available.

Broadway Boot Camp Workshops with A Class Act NY

Campers will participate in workshops with various Broadway guest artists throughout the week. The workshops will focus on Broadway dance, improvisation and theatre games, stage combat, and stage makeup. On the final day of camp, campers will perform in a musical revue for friends and family to showcase what they’ve learned. August 20 to 24 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. JCC of the Lehigh Valley 702 N. 22nd St.



Ages: 7 through 18 For more information or to register, please visit broadwaybootcamp. Stagemakers Youth Theater Presents The Lion King Jr. See the African savannah come to life on the JCC stage with Simba, Rafiki and a cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle and back again, in this inspiring, coming-ofage tale. Auditions: August 27 and 28 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call Backs: August 29 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Parent Meeting: August 30 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Show Dates: November 15 at 7:00 p.m.; November 17 at 7:00 p.m. and November 18 at 2:00 p.m. JCC of the Lehigh Valley 702 N. 22nd St. Ages: Pre-K through 12th Grade Participation fee (required only upon acceptance of a role): $135; JCC members: $85

Audition materials may be found at For more information, please contact Brenda Finberg at 610.435.3571 ext. 183 or

At The Civic Theatre & Theatre514 n Dog Sees God: Confessions of A Teenage Blockhead When CB’s dog dies from rabies, CB begins to question the existence of an afterlife. His best friend is too burnt out to provide any coherent speculation; his sister has gone Goth; his ex-girlfriend has recently been institutionalized; and his other friends are too inebriated to give him any sort of solace. But a chance meeting with an artistic kid, the target of this group’s bullying, offers CB a peace of mind and sets in motion a friendship that will push teen angst to the very limits. Rated R: for mature audiences only. Raw language and sexual situations used in show. June 15 to 24

Fridays, Saturdays: 7:30 p.m. Sunday: 2:00 p.m. Thursday: 7:30 p.m. To purchase tickets: Box office: 610.432.8943

Civic Theatre School

Civic Theatre School (CTS) kids don’t just learn how to act, they also gain important life skills that help them grow. Such classes help foster positive achievement, collaborative-working and critical-thinking skills. They can also enhance creativity, and help develop skills that assist in learning languages and mathematics. The Civic Theatre School, the oldest continually operating theatre education program in the Lehigh Valley, is based in solid educational principles and incorporates many of the elements of the Pennsylvania Education Standards for the Arts and Humanities. July 9 to 20 July 23 to August 3 Students can choose half or full

day schedules Ages: grades 1 through 12 For details and enrollment applications, visit civictheatre. com; click on the “education” tab. n Julius Caesar Caesar returns in triumph to Rome and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated elite conspire to bring him down. After his assassination, civil war erupts on the streets of the capital. Theatre514 June 7: 7:00 p.m. June 9: 10:00 a.m. June 11: 1:00 p.m. Running time: 3 hours

n Follies Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas. New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs, and lie about themselves. Please note this broadcast does not have an interval, and that the performance includes strobe lighting. Theatre514 July 5: 7:00 p.m. July 7: 10:00 a.m. July 9: 1:00 p.m. Running time: 3 hours and 40 minutes

Fine Dining

n Hamlet Now seen by more than 750,000 people worldwide, the original 2015 NT Live broadcast returns to cinemas. Academy Award nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock, The Imitation Game) takes on the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy. Theatre514 Aug. 2: 7:00 p.m. Aug. 4: 10:00 a.m. Aug. 6: 1:00 p.m. Running time: 3 hours and 40 minutes n Cat on a Hot Tin Roof Tennessee Williams’ 20th-century masterpiece played a strictly limited season in London’s West End in 2017. On a steamy night in Mississippi, a Southern family gathers at their cotton plantation to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday. The scorching heat is almost as oppressive as the lies they tell. Brick and Maggie dance round the secrets and sexual tensions that threaten to destroy their marriage. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth is real – and which will win out? Please note that the stage production has an age guidance of 15 and over. Theatre514 Sept. 20: 7:00 p.m. Sept. 22: 10:00 a.m. Sept. 24: 1:00 p.m. Running time: 3 hours  n Macbeth Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy, directed by Rufus Norris (The Threepenny Opera, London Road), will see Rory Kinnear (Young Marx, Othello) and Anne-Marie Duff (Oil, Suffragette) return to the National Theatre to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Theatre514 Oct. 4: 7:00 p.m. Oct. 6: 10:00 a.m. Oct. 8: 1:00 p.m.  

n Blazing Saddles The Wild West was never wilder! In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary. Celebrate Mr. Brooks’ birthday with a cupcake and this classic film.

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Theatre514 June 28: 7:00 p.m. Rated R Running time: 1 hour and 33 minutes

Schedule for both shows Matinees (12:30 p.m. dinner and 2:00 (show):  Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday Evenings (6:30 p.m. dinner and 8:00 p.m. show): Friday and Saturday Ticket Price for Dinner and Show:  Adult: $50 Student (10 to 16): $35 Child (2 to 9): $20  Show Only Ticket Price: Adult: Preferred seating - $30, General admission - $25 Child: Preferred seating - $20, General admission - $15

The Cast of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” n Yankee Doodle Dandy From George M. Cohan’s beginnings in vaudeville as a child performer to his greatest Broadway hits, you’ll experience the exuberant energy of some of Cohan’s most famous songs including Give My Regards To Broadway, Over There, and Yankee Doodle Dandy. In celebration of our veterans, all members of the military (both past and present) will receive free dinner and show for Yankee Doodle Dandy with military ID, for all performances taking place June 27 through June 29. Now running through July 1. n The Rat Pack Lounge Frank, Dean, and Sammy are up in heaven, but God tells them they left some unfinished business back on earth. It seems Frank made an unfulfilled promise to Vic, the owner of the Rat Pack Lounge. Now he and the boys have one night to make it right. With more than 30 hits like My Way, What Kind of Fool Am I? and Everybody Loves Somebody, The Rat Pack Lounge will leave you singing and savoring the days of highballs and high-rollers. July 6 to August 19 8 WEST END LIVING


The Pines Dinner Theatre

At The Pines Dinner Theater

Muhlenberg Gallery Underpinnings is an exhibition of art works by two dozen Lehigh Valley artists associated with the Allentown Art Museum, the Baum School of Art, Lehigh University and various commercial galleries, framers, and other arts workers from Easton to Allentown, and beyond. Sculpture, painting, drawing, collage, and photography are represented, and highlight figurative, abstract, conceptual and other artistic directions in two dynamic exhibitions.

MAGIK –Mountain Bike

Elsewhere Civic’s 8th Annual Tonys and Tapas

This event will feature a tapas reception, open bar (with our signature “Mar-tony” cocktail), musical selections performed by Civic Theatre’s acting company, and both a silent auction and spirited live auction. Civic Theatre is excited to announce “The Harry Award,” a newlycreated award to honor an individual who symbolizes the true spirit of the Theatre. Named after Harry, the resident ghost of the 19th Street Theatre, the award will be presented to JoAnn Wilchek Basist, an extraordinary volunteer who has served the theatre as a performer, a board member, and the principal of the Children’s Theatre School.  Civic will also honor Bennett Automotive Group as its 2018 Community Honoree for their outstanding contribution to the organization.  Because Civic’s historic 19th Street Theatre is being renovated, this year’s Tonys and Tapas fundraiser will be held at the elegantly restored Vault 634, located within the grand hall and basement speakeasy of the historic Lehigh Valley Trust building. June 10 Vault 634 634 Hamilton St. Tickets: $150/per person Box office: 610.432.8943

Zach Kleemeyer –Blessings in Disguise 1

Barry Assed –Dance 26

This collaborative exhibition is split between Muhlenberg’s Martin Art Gallery and Cedar Crest College’s Center for Visual Research; participants will show different aspects of their practice across both spaces. For more information, contact Martin Gallery curator Paul Nicholson, 484-664-3467 or June 1 - August 4 Martin Art Gallery 2400 W Chew St, Allentown Tuesday – Saturday: 12 – 8 p.m. The Center for Visual Research at the Lachaise Gallery Miller Family Building 100 College Drive Allentown Friday: noon – 10:00 p.m. Saturday: noon – 9:00 p.m. Sunday: noon – 10:00 p.m. n

Emily Strong –Twist

Mark Wonsidler –The Little Table

Shop the West End

Blues, Brews, and BBQ

Designs By Maria Anastasia

Don’t miss the Block Party of the Summer. Hot BBQ, cold beer, and live music. Combine all three and you have Allentown’s 11th annual Blues, Blues, and Barbecue festival—and one of the summer’s greatest reasons to make the trip to Downtown Allentown. This year’s event takes place Saturday, June 9, from noon to 10:00 p.m., and now stretches from 9th and Hamilton streets down to 6th St. Come listen to free live music playing on one of six stages. This year’s lineup includes headliner Samantha Fish, Alexis P. Suter, and the Regina Bonelli Band. “We strive to showcase the diverse talent pool available to us and this year we want to highlight more women,” says Miriam Huertas, the senior Samantha Fish vice president for the Allentown Chamber and the producer of the festival for the past five years. Other acts include The BC Combo, Tavern Tan, The Groove Merchants, Doug Ashby, Supra Ayers Blues Band, Rev. Bill C. Wirtz, Clarence Spady Band, and The Craig Thatcher Band—all returning favorites, as well as Johnny Hayes and the LoveSeats, of NBC’s The Voice fame. More than 20,000 people have attended past festivals. Come set a record attendance this year and drink some fresh beer, shop local merchants, and feast on fantastic barbecue while you’re at it. n

PhotoS by Jane Geist Photography

BLOCK PARTY festival

Allentown Fairgrounds Adds New Signage The perimeter of the Allentown Fairgrounds property has undergone improvements during the last year. There is now new fencing and an Allentown Fairgrounds sign above the billboard installed at 19th and Liberty Streets. “There was a lot of positive feedback on the sign above the billboard,” says Terri Schwenk, Allentown Fair marketing director. The Fairgrounds is also now installing pillar lights on the posts at the gates, a development that should be finished by the start of this year’s Allentown Fair, Schwenk says.

Photo by Jane Geist Photography

Seen Around Town

Mary-Ann Hristofas’ flower shop has been a neighborhood fixture for the past five years, but her business took root decades earlier. In fact, long-time Allentown residents may remember her father’s grocery store, Arrow Market, at 11th and Linden Sts. “I started my business inside his store,” Hristofas says, “with little more than a bucket of flowers.” Eventually, she took over the entire operation. And when it was time to find a new location, she knew exactly where she wanted to be. “I’m from the West End,” she says, “and I stayed here even after I got married. I like the area very much, especially the Theatre District, and had come to this location many times when it was a card and gift store.” Moving the shop to 607 N. 19th St. in 2013 was a bit frantic. “We closed our doors for only two days,” she says, “one to empty the downtown shop, and the other to move in here. “ Unlike many other merchants, Mary-Ann’s inventory turns over quickly. Today, she offers floral products for all occasions and for any budget, from simple bouquets of cut flowers to elaborate customized arrangements. “I don’t follow ‘recipes’ on those,”

she says. “Tell me what you want in the arrangement, and I’ll do my best to provide it.” And she insists on quality. “I work with only reputable wholesalers,” she says, “because I will use only the freshest possible flowers. My name is on every arrangement, and I take a lot of pride in my work.” So how did the shop get its name? “Maria Anastasia is the Greek version of Mary-Ann,” she explained. “I’ve been using it for so long, people think my real name is Maria!” n Designs by Maria Anastasia 607 N. 19th St. (610) 770-3213 Hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; closed Sunday. Daily delivery to local funeral homes and hospitals; call to arrange other deliveries. SUMMER 2018 WEST END LIVING 9


Civic Theatre Continues Historic Renovation Project


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When Allentown’s Civic Theatre reopens in October of this year, it may look like a brand-new building. Work on the multi-million-dollar restoration project proceeds according to plan, says Jonathan T. Shehab, Civic’s marketing and community engagement director. The patron lounge area and new box office are coming together, he says, and the basement and storage rooms have benefitted from all-new HVAC systems. The theater’s large dome light will undergo a thorough cleaning and restoration, as will the painted art-deco designs on numerous walls. Workers are also restoring plasterwork. Any sections they deem irreparable, they will replace with sections cast from rubberized molds pulled from the original work. The exterior will acquire much-needed care, too, with new windows, repainting and a planned deep-cleaning of the façade’s mortar work. Workers will refurbish the theater’s marquee as well. “We are on schedule to reopen with a presentation of Billy Elliot. And we’ll announce our grandopening activities at a later date,” Shehab says. n

Clock tower

Muhlenberg’s Clock Tower Renovation Nears Completion For about the past year, the chimes of Muhlenberg’s Haas College Center clock tower had been silent. The tower’s clock, which served as a timepiece for students, faculty, and West End residents, had stopped. During a routine power-washing two years ago, the cleaning crew detected vertical cracks in the tower’s limestone façade, brought about by nearly a century of exposure to the elements. The building itself is structurally sound, said David Rabold, capital projects manager at Muhlenberg. But if left unattended, those cracks would allow water to seep in, adversely affecting the steel clockworks. Keast & Hood, a Philadelphiabased structural engineering firm, evaluated the damage and

developed an unusual solution. “The mortar in the façade is rigid,” Rabold says, “which contributed to the cracking. Rather

than reinforce the cracked areas, Kearst and Hood recommended opening them further, cleaning them out, and then filling them

with a rubberized caulking material.” Rabold explains that the patched areas would thus function as expansion joints, providing some flexibility to the façade and preventing future cracking. Masonry Preservation Services, Inc., of Bloomsburg is doing the repair work and should complete the project this summer, with workers restoring the tower’s concrete floors that support the clock mechanism. The clock and chimes, however, are working again. “The presidents of Muhlenberg have long respected the legacy they own, and understand their responsibility to maintain it. It’s unique for a small liberal arts college like Muhlenberg to have this kind of superstructure,” Rabold says. n



Know Your Neighborhood

You probably know it as the Allentown Rose Garden, which is what the flower-festooned section of Cedar Beach Park was originally called before a rededication ceremony on April 29, 2010. It’s a place where you see prom parties posing in the gazebo, hear children plunking spare change into the wishing well, and smell blossoms perfuming the air. However, the history of the garden goes back much further than 2010. Malcolm W. Gross was Allentown’s mayor during the planning and construction of the garden in 1931, and the grounds were modeled after English gardens. The sculptures studded throughout the garden have their own history too. The Greek statue, “Greece in the New World,” is the handiwork of sculptor Frank Chinnici, and found its home in the garden in the summer of 1943. The creator of “Father and Child” is unknown, but the rose garden caretakers installed it in 1930. Eagle-eyed park strollers may have noticed that a tiered fountain replaced “Children’s Fountain” back in 2011. This was not without controversy, says Karen El-Chaar,

Photo by Jane Geist Photography

The Malcolm W. Gross Rose Garden

executive director of the Friends of the Allentown Parks. Built in Akron, Ohio, in 1880, the Children’s Fountain didn’t age well. “The Children’s Fountain was removed from the rose garden in 2007, as it was repaired so many times it was no longer functional,”

says El-Chaar. “Repairs are not yet complete and at this point most seem to have accepted the ‘new’ fountain.” There’s also an “old-fashioned garden,” between the rose garden and stone house that features flowers and foliage that are not roses. Park planners created this


You’ll soon notice more than 40 new trees along the length of 19th Street from Tilghman Street to Greenleaf Street. On June 2 and June 9, city employees, neighborhood residents, and volunteers from local businesses planted the Princeton Elms and Sun Valley Red Maples along the street. “When fully mature, the trees provide a canopy that has significant environmental impact including lowering air temperature, decreasing storm run-off, and reducing harmful emissions,” says Stephen 12 WEST END LIVING


Rohrbach, the chairperson of the Beautification Committee. “Studies have shown that treelined streets provide pedestrian safety by lowering vehicular speeds compared with streets barren of trees. These pedestrianfriendly benefits bring more traffic to our business district and those businesses will see improved sales traffic over time. Studies have reported increases as much as 12 percent.” The City of Allentown received a grant to fund the project. The goal is to recreate the tree canopy that once lined 19th Street. n

Photo by Ann Biernat-Rucker

New Trees Line 19th Street

garden at the same time of the rose garden, not later. The City of Allentown owns and maintains the gardens with a fulltime Parks Department employee. If you’re interested in getting involved with the garden, follow Friends of the Allentown Parks on Facebook. n

Representative Mike Schlossberg: Real ID Update Pennsylvania continues to make progress in implementing Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. Pennsylvania licenses and identification will continue to be accepted at federal buildings and at airports through October 10, 2018. I expect the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to grant an additional extension allowing all Pennsylvania residents to have time to meet the final effective date for Real ID of Oct. 1, 2020. PennDot will be sending postcards to all license and identification holders in 2018 to

help them prepare for Real ID. For more information visit: RealID. Here are the steps you can take now:

1. PennDOT recently began informing customers about resources available at PennDOT. gov/REALID to verify whether or not identity documents are on file with the state. If they are, PennDOT will mark the customer’s file as “verified,” and after Real ID products are available in the spring of 2019, customers can opt into the Real ID

program by paying the onetime fee. If identity documents are not on file, customers will need to visit a licensing facility with those documents. Please wait for notification from PennDOT or my office on when local licensing facility will be prepared to accommodate those visits. 2. In the Spring of 2019, opt into the Real ID program by paying the one-time fee of $30 (the Real ID product will be sent through the mail). Standard license and ID renewal fees ($30.50) will also still apply. Once you pay the one-time $30 Real ID fee (to cover the cost of compliance), you will only pay regular renewal fees. More details will follow on how this is done. n

Representative Mike Schlossberg

Stay Connected! My office is located at 2030 W. Tilghman Street and is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Feel free to stop by or call 610-821-5577.  Email:  Online: Follow me on Facebook: Follow me on Twitter:




Winners in the Classroom and in Contests Muhlenberg Elementary Hazel Perone Hazel Perone is a “Future Leader” at Muhlenberg Elementary. She is in Mrs. Chaiko’s Kindergarten class, and is a wonderful role model for her peers and is respectful to everyone. She has an impressive work ethic and is kind to her friends, though does not let them distract her from her work. She has shown much academic progress this year due to her outstanding behavior and willingness to work hard. Trexler Middle School Aaron Schneider Aaron Schneider is in Grade 6 at Trexler Middle School and has been on honor roll all year. He participates in Allentown Drive baseball, Iron Colts (travel baseball), East Coast Prep (travel basketball), and will try out for the Trexler basketball and baseball teams. Despite his many sportsrelated activities, Aaron always finishes his schoolwork. He also met several times with Trexler’s School Resource Officer Joshua Faust to discuss student behaviors at the school, and to offer his own perspective as a student. Aaron is trustworthy and a natural leader who gets along with his classmates and always lends a hand.   William Allen High School Josie LaTorres Josie LaTorres is an exceptional young lady who always has a smile on her face. She is easy-going, good natured, and genuine. She cares for others and works hard to achieve 14 WEST END LIVING


in all areas of study. She meets challenges with hard work and determination. Josie participates in multiple honor societies, the chorale, and the drama club, where she recently starred in Allen’s spring musical, Aida. She also played “Juliet” in Allen’s Romeo and Juliet, and has been a dancer and soloist in the Twelfth Night Festival at Christ Lutheran Church in Allentown. Josie has been a class officer since 9th grade, and is currently ranked number two in her class of over 600 students. Josie plans to attend DeSales University this fall to major in musical theater (with a possible double major in international business). Dylan Ngyuen, age 11, is a 5th grader at St. John Vianney Regional School (SJVRS). He says his favorite subject is science because his class “does fun experiments,” but his best subject is “definitely spelling.” Dylan loves to read chapter books like Wings of Fire and Warrior Cats. He takes piano lessons and enjoys playing Road Blocks on his home computer. Dylan is also an altar server at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, where he and his family are parishioners. In the summer, Dylan enjoys attending camps at Future Stars and Allentown’s JCC but says he really wants to visit Florida again, especially Universal Studios and Sea World. Angelina Ngyuen, age 9, is a 4th grader at St. John Vianney Regional School and Dylan’s sister. Angelina’s favorite subject is science because the teacher plans a lot of hands-on activities, and hopes her teacher lets them make slime this year. She says her best

subject is spelling. When not in school or studying, Angelina likes to read chapter books. Her favorite is the Emily Windsnap series written by Liz Kessler. She also takes piano lessons and loves to do arts and crafts. In the summer, Angelina attends local camps where she enjoys archery and ziplining. Trexler Middle School Students Pen Prize-Winning Poetry Sallee Boose and Melody Herrera took first and second place, respectively, in the middle school division of the 13th annual Student Poetry Project. The event is sponsored each year by WDIY radio and the Lehigh Valley Press in support of National Poetry Month. The first-place winners in the elementary, middle, and high school divisions appeared on WDIY to read their poems and discuss their writing. The following poems are reprinted with permission from the Lehigh Valley Press. Waffles by Sallee Boose

You remind me of Sunday morning waffles. I could always count on You being at the table steaming over A book, as the steam Funneled out the open kitchen window. You always looked golden brown on the outside, Even if you were still soggy in the middle. You were as bright as orange juice in The glass next to me, but you could Shatter as easily as the glass when you hit the floor. You could be a sweet as maple syrup Or as bitter as strawberries. Even though you couldn’t eat whipped cream, You always made me feel like I was walking on the clouds. I wish I could have brought waffles to your Hospital bed, Because you remind me of Sunday morning waffles.

Orange by Melody Herrera

When I laugh and look at you, I realize I should be crying. When I tell you about my day, I realize I should be asking you. When you walk with me, in front of the orange-tinted sunset, I realize it will soon only be me. I’ve always said I would miss you, even when I didn’t truly mean it. When I meant it, you only smiled and laughed at me. But when I didn’t mean it, you would complain for hours about how mean I was. Can I find you in the music you left resonating in my heart? That’s how you wanted it to be. But I know I will find you in the orange-tinted town, right at dusk, in our favorite spot, right?

Sixth Grader Wins Poster Contest Itxel Aguilar, a sixth-grade student at St. John Vianney Regional School, was among the first-place winners in a poster and essay contest sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Ambassadors for Organ and Tissue Donation. Itxel’s entry won the middle school division. Her winning poster, completely hand-drawn, appears below. She’s been interested in art since early childhood. “I had never entered a contest before,” she said, “but my mom and dad encouraged me to. I think the contest is a good thing. People just wait, and sometimes they don’t get the organ they need. It’s good to tell people to help out if they can.” n

CORRECTION In our last issue, we misidentified Allentown School District superintendent Thomas E. Parker. West End Living regrets the error.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Race PhotoS by Jane Geist Photography

Thousands of spectators jammed the sidewalks of the West End Theatre District to celebrate Allentown’s 61st annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 18. Onlookers were treated to over two hours of the skirling sounds of pipe and drum bands, gaily decorated floats, and hundreds of marchers representing local businesses and civic organizations. The parade capped a week of Irish-themed activities, including the crowning of Brian and Kate Johnson as king and queen; a pub crawl; an Irish cultural community day; a special Mass; and a well-attended 5K run immediately preceding the parade. Be sure to mark your calendars — next year’s parade will take on March 17, the good Saint’s actual feast day.

West End Important Numbers Got a question? Complaint? Safety concern? Just pick up the phone!

Where is it? Do you recognize this image? Identify its location in the West End Theatre District and you could win a $25 gift certificate from a restaurant in the neighborhood. Send your entry by e-mail to or mail to: M. Drabenstott, 2346 W. Allen St., Allentown PA 18104 By June 29, 2018. One winner will be randomly selected from all the correct entries. Congratulations to Gretchen Krasley, winner of our Spring contest!

Photo by Jane Geist Photography

Ambulance: 9-1-1 Animal Control: 610-437-7535 City Information Desk: 610-439-5999 Code Enforcement: 610-437-7661 Code Enforcement - Rental Licensing: 610-437-7694 Community Problems (neighbor disputes): 610-437-7773 Crime Prevention Unit: 610-437-7719 Emergency Medical Services (non-emergency): 610-437-7751 Emergency Medical Services (paramedics): 610-437-7531 Fire: 9-1-1 Graffiti Busters: 610-437-8729 Graffiti in Progress: 9-1-1 Housing Compliance/Inspections: 610-437-7697 Leaf Pickup: 610-437-7638 Mayor Ed Pawlowski: 610-437-7546 Noise Complaints: 610-437-7751 Police Calls (emergency): 9-1-1 Police Calls (non-emergency): 610-437-7751 Police - Vice Unit: 610-437-7726 Rental Unit Inspections: 610-437-7695 Sewer Back-up: 610-437-7639 Sewer Emergencies (after hours): 610-437-7751 State Representative Michael Schlossberg: 610-821-5577 Street Lights: 610-437-7735 SWEEP (Bureau of Recycling and Solid Waste): 610-437-8729 Vacant Property Issues: 610-437-7694 Zoning: 610-437-7630 Zoning Violations: 610-437-4360



Minuteman Press Your Neighborhood Post Office


$1.00 PA Instant Lottery Ticket with any purchase Expires 7/13/2018. Limit one per customer. Must present original coupon at time of purchase. Not redeemable for cash. Only redeemable at Tilghman St. location.

OUR SERVICES • US Postal Services - Stamps - Priority & Express - Package Shipping • Boxes & Packing • PA Lottery • Fax Service


• Copies & Color Copies • Printing & Mailing Services • Creative Design • Blueprints • Posters & Banners • Custom Apparel • Promotional Products

• Efficient and Friendly Staff • Post Office Services & Prices • Located at 18th & Tilghman with FREE Parking • New Fully-Stocked Packaging Station • FREE Priority and Express Mail Packaging • Monday - Friday: 8am-6pm

Postal Services at Regular Prices!

Visit Our New Packaging Station!

• Prepaid UPS/FedEx Drop Offs • Shipping available from our City Center Store • PA Lottery Retailer with On-Line & Instant Tickets • Customer Use Computer Station with Color Printer

New Services Coming Soon! • Notary • On-Site Shredding • Package Receiving Service

1801 West Tilghman Street, Allentown, PA 18104 Phone: 484-223-3311 | Fax: 484-223-3314 | 16 WEST END LIVING


Summer 2018 West End Living  

World of Food Festival September 15 brings thousands to the West End; Business profile - Designs by Maria Anastasia; Civic Theatre continues...

Summer 2018 West End Living  

World of Food Festival September 15 brings thousands to the West End; Business profile - Designs by Maria Anastasia; Civic Theatre continues...