Day 142: The Plaza Grower’s Market (and Downtown Allentown)

All my life I’ve lived on the edge of Allentown, the city that might be most known from Billy Joel’s hit, “Allentown”, and yet I have never spent much time downtown. Take away my trips to the Baum School of Art, Crocodile Rock Cafe, and the Symphony Hall, and all you’ve got is a handful of visits to friends and some happen-stance trips resulting from getting lost.

Downtown Allentown hosts a lot of really cool events and there always seems to be something to do. One such thing is the Plaza Grower’s Market that is held every Wedne- wait a minute… today is Wednesday! Exactly. Can you see where I’m going with this?

I figured that if I was going to make the trip over there and put money in a meter, I might as well add a few more dimes and nickels and explore a bit. But first it was off to the market!

I’m a sucker for live music outdoors. It just draws me in and makes me feel so happy. So it’s no surprise that, when I round the street corner the market’s on and hear live music, I practically run into the next few people and cars, not paying attention to my surroundings.

The market was smaller than I had hoped. I spoke with one of the vendors there and she told me that it’s still picking up for this season. I looked over the tables laid with vegetables and fruits, honeys and incense, and teas galore. I wasn’t hungry at the moment so none of the food called my name (I’m finally learning to not go shopping when I’m hungry:)), but the tea vendor definitely did. I don’t like hot drinks, but I will drink black tea or iced green tea every now and then, and my mom and sisters really like tea, so I thought I would get some. There was only one problem- I couldn’t choose between them all! I narrowed my options down, and finally stood with two teas in my hand; a black Scottish breakfast tea and a green tea I couldn’t pronounce, but the label looked exotic. In my effort to push off deciding, I started to look at everything else (I always catch myself doing this), and a shelf filled with tea accessories caught my eye. Sitting on top was a cute loose-leaf tea strainer for a tea pots! It even had a little tea cup as the charm on the end of the chain. I immediately remembered my sister, Susanna, was going to get a whole new tea pot with a built-in strainer because she had loose-leaf tea, and decided this was the best solution to her problem. I simultaneously scooped it off the shelf and dropped the tea bags back on the table. Problem solved.

I then started to walk down the street, looking at the random mix of stores, cafes, and businesses. Most seemed to be getting run-down and I envisioned what this city must have looked like 20 years ago. I was thinking of turning around to go back to my car, when a window display of shoes and a sale sign across the street got my attention. I love shoes!

I made a bee-line towards the store, this time remembering to watch for people and cars, and ten minutes later walked out of the store with a new pair of shoes in my hand. I’m a sucker for shoes. (This last part was nothing new in my life. I’m always looking for sales and always buying shoes.)

When I got back to my car, the meter was just running out and I headed home with a happy smile.

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2 Comments on “Day 142: The Plaza Grower’s Market (and Downtown Allentown)”

  1. Lynn Zeiner Says:

    Sarah, I lived in Allentown 20 years ago and trust me, it did NOT look much better. It pretty much was lousy. You need to go back 40-50 years – when Hess’s was in it’s hayday. It made me giggle when I read that…

    • Sarah Sullivan Says:

      haha! ok 50 years! and just a random fact- the chandelier (s) that are in the Cosmopolitan restaurant in Allentown were the originals from Hess’s!


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