November 30, 2015


This past weekend I went to Christkindlmarkt, a holiday market held annually in Bethlehem.

There were two large tents and an outside area set up at SteelStacks. Massive tents. Huge. It didn't feel like I was in tents. They felt like true indoor spaces. But then my friend's daughter pointed out that we were walking on the road. Sure enough, I looked down, and there were parking spaces.

There were local artisans selling their handmade goods and local food vendors, too. A stage hosted live performances of Christmas music. The Banana Factory had a glass blowing demonstration, during which they made a beautiful glass ornament, and there was someone carving ice sculptures. I picked up a few Christmas presents and some hot apple cider. It was a fun time and something I'll look forward to attending every year.

November 17, 2015

That pasta with cheese thing

Sometimes I make this pasta with cheese thing. It's just something I tossed together one night when I was feeling lazy and wanted an easy dinner, and I've been making it ever since.

Dave loves it so much that he said he could eat it every night. I wouldn't go that far, but I do like it. It's ridiculously easy, but this latest time I added a twist- broccoli. I start by boiling pasta. I usually use bow ties for this. And this time, I cut up broccoli and put it in the steamer insert in the top of my stock pot. So as the water boiled, the broccoli cooked. Dump the al dente pasta in the colander in the sink, and throw the broccoli in there with it. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, oregano, freshly ground black pepper (always freshly ground), and Pecorino Romano cheese. The end. It's yummy!

November 11, 2015

Photography exhibitions at the Banana Factory

Last Friday some friends and I went to the Banana Factory, an arts center in Bethlehem, to see the photography exhibitions they're running now. It was the opening weekend for the new exhibitions, it was Bethlehem's First Friday, and it was also the weekend of the InVision Photo Festival, so there was a lot going on. I was really excited about the photo festival when I first heard about it, but I had plans that I couldn't break that weekend so could only take part by seeing the exhibitions. Hopefully next year I'll be able to hear the talks and maybe even participate in the day-long workshop that travels around Bethlehem and provides the opportunity to shoot in locations that aren't normally open to the public (if they do that again).

One of the exhibitions was of a National Geographic photographer's work. He chronicled the journey of one woman traveling across the Australian Outback by herself. I enjoyed it not only for his photography, but also because of the story the photos told.

Another exhibition was interesting to me because it featured only photographers that lived in Pennsylvania. I missed the deadline for entry by a couple of weeks! Next year I have to remember to try to get a photo or two accepted to this juried exhibition.

The resident artists' studios were open that night, too, so we went upstairs and saw some fantastic portraiture and art in various mediums. One of my friends is a terrific photographer (way better than me), so we talked photography for a bit as we wandered around.

My friend brought up an excellent point as we were looking at the photos from the college student exhibition. We were looking at two photos, one priced $50 and one priced $150. While they were each good, we both thought that the $50 photo was a much better photo- it was more technically difficult (it was a long exposure shot of a Ferris wheel) and the composition was excellent. She raised the question- why is this one $150 and that one is only $50? My response was confidence in themselves. The photographer with the higher priced photo had the confidence to ask for that price. She agreed.

While the photo festival is over, the exhibitions are running through December/January, so I encourage you to check them out if you're in the area. They're free to the public, too.

November 4, 2015

Lost River Caverns

A few weeks ago, Dave and I went with some friends to Lost River Caverns.

I had never been to a cave like this before, and I have an interest in geology, so this was a fun time. The entrance to the place was kind of interesting...

Just inside the building was even better.

No, this cave didn't have dinosaur fossils in it. Anyway, you can't just walk through the caverns on your own- you have to take a guided tour, which you start in the building, underneath the dino-urso face off going on there. The cave was pretty small compared to others, I'm told, but it had some cool features.

It indeed had a tiny river inside. Calling it a river is kind of a stretch. It had flowing water inside. It also had glow in the dark rocks! That was very cool, but hard to see in the photo.

It was a good outing. I'm glad my friends were along to make the day more fun.
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