Monthly Archives: March 2012

Wonderful news about our dear friend, Jaime Karpovich. I highly recommend you check out her blog Save the Kales (vegan or carnivore, you’ll certainly take something positive away by following her).

Save the Kales!

Hey. You like watching things, right? Watch this:

Maybe The Law of Attraction is real after all.

Starting in May, Save the Kales! will be airing as a half hour television show of the same name. We’ll be cooking in a beautiful “studio” kitchen. We’ll be traveling to different locations (most in or around the Lehigh Valley) to meet the people and tour the places bringing plant-based food, and  sustainable and healthy living ideas to the masses.

Add in a mix of vintage thrift stores, farmer’s markets, animal sanctuaries, and more… and you get Save the Kales! Show. It will essentially be this blog in television format. 

(Wow. Wow. I still can’t believe it.)

A new episode will air every month, multiple times a month, on RCN Cable – and be stored in the “On Demand” files so you can tune in any time. We will also air commercials…

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The Corner Seat wins award at Morning Call’s Best of the Blogs contest

It’s late so I’m going to keep this brief. I am honored and so very pleased to announce that The Corner Seat won an award last night at the My Choice Voice – Best Blogs of the Lehigh Valley awards ceremony held at Allentown’s symphony hall last night. We won in the Misfits: Defying Categorization section. Somehow I feel this is appropriate as I try to cover a broad range of topics in addition to my core subject of roller derby in the Lehigh Valley, specifically anything related to the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls.

It’s going to be a busy weekend with the Skindustry Expo and G-Child’s show at the Secret Art Space tonight. Saturday will find me in my own corner seat at the opening bout of the 2012 LVRG season. Then Sunday will find me parked in front of my computer trying to edit photos and sort out the weekend’s events for your viewing and reading enjoyment.

I’d like to congratulate all those who were nominated. I dislike saying there were winners because that also implies there were losers and that would not be the case in this instance. Each blog nominated is a winner in my eyes. There are so many great writers and creative types here in our little Valley and I am honored to know many of them personally. You, my fellow bloggers inspire me and broaden my horizons with each and every post. I try to read all of your work on a regular basis, you motivate me to become the best person I can be every day.

Thank you to my readers, friends, fellow bloggers and the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls for your support and enabling me to receive this award. It truly is a high point for me. I could never have done this without your help. You all hold a special place in my heart.

With that it’s time now to turn off the lights and bid you sweet dreams.

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Morning Call to honor Valley bloggers at second annual My Choice Voice awards

The region’s bloggers will be getting out of their comfy clothes and into their Spring finery for the second annual Morning Call Best of the Blogs awards (also known as My Choice Voice). If you are a facebook friend or twitter follower of mine, you’ve probably had enough of my campaigning for your vote for The Corner Seat these past two weeks. Voting closed this past Sunday and the ballots have been tabulated; all that remains is the official proclamation of winners.

This year the crop of bloggers has grown tremendously and the stakes are high. Many quality blogs are vying for the coveted Morning Call designation as best of the Valley in their respective categories. Some excellent bloggers will walk away tomorrow evening with a framed certificate and bragging rights for the year. There will also be a link to each award winning blog on the Morning Call’s website. The exposure that a blogger can gain by being linked to the area’s largest newspaper is priceless.

Unfortunately due to sheer numbers not everyone will win an award, but that does not make those blogs any less worthy of your reading. We are lucky in the Valley to have a great deal of talented bloggers writing about a diverse range of topics. From political watchdogs, foodies and personal reflection, there is something for just about everyone’s taste.

The Corner Seat is excited and honored to have been nominated in three categories by our peers. We count many of the bloggers nominated amongst our friends and wish the best to all. I feel all of the nominees equally deserve recognition for their efforts. Well established blogs will be competing against promising newcomers and it is anyone’s guess which ones will bring home the cheese.

Win or lose, I am looking forward to seeing old friends and new at the awards ceremony which will be held tomorrow evening at Allentown’s Symphony Hall. The last time most of us assembled in one room was this past January when the Express Times Newspaper held a blogger networking/meet and greet session at Bethlehem’s Steelstacks. This session was an informative mix of social interaction and tips for reaching a larger audience.

The Lehigh Valley bloggers are a great group of people who share a collaborative rather than competitive mindset. If you are looking for interesting reading I suggest you browse through the blogroll on our homepage. New blogs are continuously being added as I discover them.

The 2nd Annual My Choice Voice-Best of the Blogs Awards will be held at Allentown’s Symphony Hall Thursday, March 29th at 7pm. For directions and parking information click here

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It’s a secret: G-Child to perform show at Bethlehem’s Secret Art Space Friday, March 30

Packing 6 feet of swagger and attitude in her compact 4′ 11″ frame, Allentown’s own G-Child is slated to perform at the Secret Art Space located in Bethlehem’s Southside Friday, March 30, 2012. This will be G-Child’s first performance since last October. G-Child is scheduled to close out a bill that will include; Slightly Askew, Sunsets North, and We Are In Envelopes.

You may recall G-Child from VH-1’s White Rapper reality show, but she’s much more than your typical hip hop artist. If your only exposure to G-Child has been “as seen on TV” or in local clubs from years past, get ready to be knocked out like a rollergirl on the receiving end of a brutal hit. G-Child’s music and performance style have evolved since the 2007 airing of the show and she currently prefers to share the stage with punk/hardcore acts rather than be known strictly as a hip hop performer.

In between appearing at shows both locally and nationwide (she recently appeared at last year’s Gathering of the Juggalos), she is busy putting the final touches on her highly anticipated new album. Fans can anticipate seeing and hearing a lot more from G-Child in the near future.

Secret Art Space is located on Rink St between New and Vine. It’s so secret they don’t even have an address. Rumor has it you need to look for a green door.

Doors open at 7pm, the first band comes on at 7:30. G-Child will be hitting the stage at approximately 8:45pm.

It’s an alcohol free all ages show. There is a suggested donation at the door of $6-$8.

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Skindustry Expo 2012: Tattoos, hot rods, rollergirls and live music

The 2012 Skindustry Expo is headed to Allentown’s Holiday Inn Conference Center for its 5th annual installment. Those who have been to past expos know this is an event that is not to be missed. Over 100 acclaimed tattoo artists from around the world will be on hand showcasing their talent and inking loads of skin. All three event rooms have been booked by the Expo covering 10,000 square feet.

The Skindustry Expo, founded by Steve Lemak, owner of The Quillian Tattoo has enjoyed increasing attendance each year. All the artists from the Quillian will be in attendance as well as other notables such as Josh Woods from the recently aired Inkmaster tattoo reality competition and the Lehigh Valley’s own Alexis Uhl Kovacs who will also be featured on the upcoming tattoo competition show Best Ink which will be aired on the Oxygen network.

Alexis formerly of Allentown’s Art and Soul Studio, now has her own shop in Bethlehem called Electric Cheetah. In addition to tattoos Alexis specializes in permanent cosmetics. Check out her shop if you are in the area and be sure to schedule an appointment soon. I predict once her show hits the airwaves and the general public gets a look at her work, she’ll be booked up for a very long time.

Even if you aren’t interested in picking up some fresh ink, the Skindustry Expo is still a worthwhile destination for tattoo enthusiasts and the curious as well. You are guaranteed to meet interesting people and hear great live music. Featured musical performances will be by rockabilly sensations, The Ultra Kings and young reggae stylists, Trouble City All-Stars. I happened to catch the Trouble City All-Stars at MusikFest last year and they are a must see act, as are the Ultra Kings who regularly play Grumpy’s BBQ Roadhouse.

Fully healed tattoos will also be eligible to be entered in daily contests such as best color work, best black and grey and best traditional, to name just a sampling. Tattoo of the day will be judged from fresh tattoos inked at Skindustry. This is a correction from what I posted originally as I mentioned all tattoos inked during the convention were eligible for the contests.

I suggest if you are looking to get tattoos at the Expo that you bring cash, credit cards may or may not be accepted it will depend upon whether the artist is equipped with their own credit card processing terminal.

Best of all, the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls will be making an appearance again this year. The girls have been a staple of the tattoo convention in years past and if you would like to meet them and have a photo opportunity with them I suggest you get there on Friday between 2-10pm. This will be their only appearance at this year’s convention. They will be busy March 31th at their first bout of the 2012 season. Tickets for the season opener are still available and can be purchased here or better yet you can purchase the entire season here and never miss any of the hard hitting, body slamming action that is women’s flat track roller derby in the Lehigh Valley!

The Skindustry Expo runs from March 30th to April 1st and admission is $15 per day. If you are interested in booking time with a preferred artist; check out the list of participating artists on the Skindustry website and contact them in advance.

The Holiday Inn Conference Center is located at: 7736 Adrienne Dr, Breinigsville, PA 18031. For directions click here.

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Lehigh Valley Rollergirls to march Sunday in Allentown St. Patrick’s Day parade

It’s that time of year again; the season of Guinness, black and tan, and green beer. Grab your sheleighly, dust off your green plastic bowler hat, pin on your, “Kiss me I’m Irish,” button and head over to Allentown this Sunday for the 55th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The parade steps off at 1:30pm Sunday March 18, 2012 and will weave its way through Allentown’s west end. The parade route begins at the Allentown Fairgrounds and will head north on 19th St, west on Tilghman, south on 25th St and then east on liberty concluding back at the fairgrounds. Get there early to secure a place to park and grab a prime viewing location.

This is the oldest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the Lehigh Valley and is certainly worth checking out. There will be a wide array of local officials, organizations and colorful characters marching along the route. If you are low on St. Patty’s day swag, don’t fret there are plenty of vendors hawking everything from funny hats to noisemakers and balloons.

As they have done each year, the Lehigh Valley rollergirls will have a presence in the parade. Keep an eye out for them as they skate by and give them a wave and a hearty cheer. The Corner Seat will be on the sidelines across the street from the Jewish Community Center, if you happen to be in the area stop by and say hello.

For additional information on the Allentown St. Patrick’s Day parade click here

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Bethlehem City Council considers putting the (hot) dogs to sleep

Update: Bethlehem City Council has ruled in favor of a compromise measure regarding street vendors and Easy Weenies. Easy Weenies will be allowed to operate  between the hours of 6am – 4am Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday though Wednesday Easy weenies will be open from 6am – 6pm.

Easy Weenies business license is up for renewal and that will be acted upon at a meeting scheduled for March 20. By all accounts there doesn’t look to be an issue with renewal and it is expected the license will be granted.

There’s trouble sizzling in Bethlehem these days as city council prepares to decide the fate of a popular street vendor. At issue is whether or not the outdoor Easy Weenies hot dog cart should be allowed to continue their late night/early am operations.

Easy Weenies has been catering to the hungry masses on Bethlehem’s Southside for about two years, offering extended late night hours on weekends. Often Easy Weenies remains open as late as 4am due to the demand from customers exiting the area pubs, Lehigh University students and folks heading home from or heading to work. Never one to turn away a hungry patron, owner/chef Michael Hernandez remains open until everyone has been served.

The issue is the fact that the Easy Weenies business license states they can only remain open until 2:30am on weekends. Easy Weenies has been filling late night/early morning bellies for some time without issue until a neighboring business lodged a complaint. The local business finding fault is a nearby pub that bills itself as a place “where fun people meet and party.” But apparently fun people quickly become a lot less fun and the party is over when it involves hot dog vendors.

While I know that rules are rules and I suppose on paper Easy weenies should pack up their cart and move along by 2:30am, I am not sure why the bar has an issue with Easy Weenies operating after they (the bar) have closed their doors for the night. Easy Weenies complements their existing establishment by offering a dining destination once people exit their place of business.

Although I cannot speak for them, I suspect they have a deeper issue with Easy Weenies and may feel that the street vendor is siphoning food sales from their operation throughout the evening. If that is the case then the pub should look into creative forms of competition or a menu change rather than an attempt to shut down a fellow small business person.

Easy Weenies has found a niche market in an area dotted with late night bars and anchored by a major university. I can only imagine the ruckus on the Southside if Easy Weenies were forced to promptly stop serving the large crowds that begin to form shortly before bar closing time and swell by 2:30-3am. Let’s face it, when people go out to drink they become very hungry as the evening draws to a close, and one only needs to look at any diner or WaWa to see that the food and snack business spikes between the hours of around 2am – 4am on weekends.

Easy Weenies provides a benefit to the community at large by offering an option for nourishment to hungry locals returning home after a night of over-indulgence. Being able to grab some late night munchies while walking back to dorms and nearby residences means less folks deciding to get in their cars driving around in search of quick, tasty food. That alone should be a major reason for city council to consider extending Easy Weenies operating hours.

More than a hot dog vendor, Michael Hernandez is an unofficial ambassador on the SouthSide. Each day just before 11am he arrives at his designated spot in front of an abandoned church at 15 W. Fourth Street and begins to set up his mobile cart up for business. The wide expanse of sidewalk and the concrete church steps provide a welcoming natural environment for outdoor dining.

In the past mobile food carts were referred to as push carts but nowadays these sophisticated carts featuring full grills are hauled to their respective locations via trailer hitch and motor vehicles. Michael delivers his cart using his battered but faithful Ford pickup truck.

It takes only a few moments to get everything in place and set up; grill heated, umbrella extended, napkins and condiments ready on the counter and coolers filled with ice and refreshing A-Treat soft drinks.

As the grill is heating up, passersby stop to say hello to Michael and place their orders. It seems like Michael knows everyone, greeting them by name as they walk by or gather around his cart. Functioning as a modern day town square, the locals gather to catch up on the goings on in town and nearby business owners venture over to grab a quick lunch and exchange pleasantries. Michael is never too busy to have a conversation with anyone or to entertain the neighborhood youngsters who appear fascinated by him and his cart. He has even enlisted some of the local children in the past to dress up in “Weenie” costumes and act as enthusiastic mascots, which they in turn find to be a thrilling way to spend a lazy summer day.

I first encountered Easy Weenies last year following a salon appointment at the incredible Eskandalo. I was pondering my afternoon lunch options when I spied Easy Weenies setting up shop across the way. A NY native and lover of street cuisine, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to check out his offerings. I ordered a couple dogs and feeling daring decided to ask Michael’s suggestion for a topping other than my usual plain with ketchup. He recommended barbeque sauce with cheese whiz, and that has since become my go-to topping.

I didn’t return to Easy Weenies for another 6 weeks, but Michael immediately remembered my order without my saying a word. That’s impressive especially when you consider the amount of customers he serves on a daily basis. I was already sold after the first bite but now I was a fan as well.

Michael and his Easy Weenies hot dog cart provide outstanding street fare in addition to great conversation and a friendly smile which I’ve yet to see fade. He treats all comers with respect and is genuinely interested in what they have to say whether it is local scuttlebutt, sports talk or just shooting the breeze. All are welcome from the homeless and marginalized to the young children or the executive pulling up to the curb in an expensive sedan, he considers everyone equal and worthy of his kindness and time.

Whenever I stop at Easy Weenies, I gain more than an enjoyable and inexpensive lunch or a happy stomach; I witness the purest form of neighborhood and community and while I know I can’t put ketchup or cheese on that, I really wish I could take it to go.

Easy Weenies deserves to be open late and I hope you will sign an online petition that is available here. As of publication the petition is up to 176 signatures with the goal being to get 2000 names. Please take a moment and sign it, he also is circulating a petition from his location in Bethlehem.

The Morning Call has covered the Easy Weenies story and you can read about it here, here and here.

I also want to add that Easy Weenies is not just for carnivores, they also serve delicious veggie dogs and veggie burgers.

Bethlehem City Council is scheduled to address this issue on Tuesday, March 6, 2012

All photographs courtesy Deb Boylan, menu courtesy Easy Weenies

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