I don't know about you, but lately it seems like concerts have gotten insanely expensive and somewhat annoying. I don't like when I pay $100+ for a ticket and can barely even see the stage. If you feel the same way, then you would love Philadelphia's Theatre of the Living Arts.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
About three things I am absolutely positive: First, I love Twilight. Second, I love Twilight. Third, I love Twilight.
Okay, I admit, when the movie, Twilight, came out a few months ago, I thought nothing sounded dumber than a vampire love story. With the exception of Harry Potter, I've never been into fantasy movies or books and I didn't understand why everyone was making such a fuss. Until the other day...
I cringed when Dave came home from Blockbuster with Twilight in hand. I love him dearly but I couldn't help but think he had wasted one of our perfectly good trades from Blockbuster.com on a teeny bopper flick. I should've known it was coming, I suppose. After all, he had just finished reading the first book in the series and he had mentioned how good it was.
The movie sat on top of our TV, untouched, for a few days. But then on Wednesday he asked the inevitable question that I'd been avoiding all week: Do you want to watch Twilight tonight? I dreaded the blood, guts and fanged men in capes that surely made up this silly movie, but how do you say no to the best husband in the world who willingly sat through 27 Dresses, P.S. I Love You and a myriad of other chic flicks that I've subjected him to?
And so we watched Twilight.
And then we watched it again the next night. And again last night. That's right, 3 viewings in 5 days. And now I won't let him return it to Blockbuster until we buy a copy of our own because I'm absolutely addicted to it.
I just started reading the book and I'm hooked on that too. Dave is on the second book, New Moon, which he said is good but not as good as Twilight. I hear the third and fourth books are excellent. Needless to say, I'm counting down the days until the movie version of New Moon opens on November 20th.
Yep, I'm joining the masses...I LOVE Twilight. If you haven't checked it out yet, give this one a chance.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Like birds flying south when they sense the winter chill or sea turtles migrating dozens of miles to lay their eggs, there's something strange that happens in Bethlehem every July. It starts with the presence of parking signs in lots throughout the town. Then, magically, white tents appear under the Hill to Hill bridge and along Church and Main Streets. The energy in the town shifts and the locals begin to trade stories about the musical acts they're going to catch. And then, when the first week of August finally arrives, so do a million people from around the world. That's right, it's that time of year...Musikfest is here!
- There are both free and pay-to-see musical acts playing on 14 different stages (11 of which are free!) There really is something for everyone since every music style imaginable is represented, from Polka to Third Eye Blind. To check out this year's lineup, visit http://www.musikfest.org/lineup/
- Musikfest is hip to social media. They've got a Twitter feed, a Facebook fan page and a MySpace page, all of which give you real-time updates on special events and any concert tickets remaining.
- Musikfest pays homage to Bethlehem's Germanic heritage, so all of the venues have a "platz" at the end of their names, which means "place." For example, Americaplatz, Martin Guitar Lyrikplatz, etc.
- Parking can be a beast and the Bethlehem Parking Authority preys on violators. Your best bet is to take advantage of Shuttleplatz, which allows you to park at one of the official off-site lots and take a trolley in. Round trip fare is $4/person, which is much cheaper than the $30+ you'll pay if you get a ticket. For more info on parking lots and Shuttleplatz, visit http://www.musikfest.org/about/directions.asp
- Don't try to approach a food vendor with cash, you need tickets for everything. Ticket booths are located throughout the festival. I recommend scoping out what you want to purchase first or else you'll have no idea how many tickets to buy and you'll end up throwing away perfectly good tickets.
- The last night of Musikfest (Sunday, Aug. 9) is always celebrated with a fantastic fireworks display. It's definitely one of the highlights of the festival, however it's the worst night for parking, so do yourself a favor and leave extra time to shuttle in. The best views are from the library and the bridge. One of the most popular spots, is on the grassy knoll beneath the library. Just keep one thing in mind: people start putting out their blankets and chairs that morning. Don't show up a half hour before the show and expect to find a good spot there.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The movie definitely differed a lot from the book (don't worry, no spoilers) - certain characters were changed, a couple were left out, a few sub-plots never made it to the big screen and the overall story works itself out differently in the movie than in the novel. After the movie, Dave asked me which version I liked better and my honest answer was that I really loved and appreciated both. One thing that I applaud Cassavetes for was that he used a good amount of the author's voice and dialogue in the movie (he did this with The Notebook too). Picoult is definitely present in the movie, which made me like it all that much better.
Overall recommendation: Definitely worth the $10 to see it in the theater.
If you enjoying canoeing and biking, I highly recommend that you check out one of the PA Wildlands Conservancy's Paddle & Peddle events (http://www.wildlands.org/). We did the Lehigh Gap trip this past Saturday and LOVED it! A small group of us (about eight people plus the river guides) launched our canoes in Bowmanstown shortly after 10 a.m. and paddled down to Walnutport, stopping for a bite to eat about halfway. The "paddle" took a little over two hours. Unlike my other canoeing fiascos, this trip was actually enjoyable because the water level was just perfect - the current kept us moving and we didn't get stuck on any rocks. AND we actually learned how to steer the boat! As stupid as it sounds, I've always gone canoeing without ever really knowing how to steer the thing. But this time Dave and I maneuvered through the rapids and rocks like pros. That was the other awesome thing about the trip - since it was on the Lehigh, not the Delaware, we actually got to enjoy the exhilaration of some rapids.
We arrived in Walnutport a little after noon, hoisted our canoes out of the water and climbed on mountain bikes for the ride back to Bowmanstown. The trail back was flat and graded, making for a nice, easy ride. We actually learned that the trail is part of the Rails to Trails Conservancy program (http://www.railstotrails.org/), which is creating a nationwide network of biking trails out of old rail lines. How cool is that?!
About 15 minutes into the "peddle" we stopped at the nature center where we divided into two groups. The first group continued following the flat path along the river while the second group hiked their bikes up the mountain and rode along a scenic ledge. Dave and I joined the second group and were glad we did. The trail up top had some obstacles but was a fairly easy ride with dramatic views of the mountains and river.
I've always wanted to do something like this and the Wildlands group makes it so easy, providing the boats, the bikes and anything else you need along the way. I'm convinced we would never have been able to execute such an enjoyable trip on our own, so it was completely worth the $35/person fee. I hope you'll check it out!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
As part of the Lehigh River Water Trail, this path extends for a number of miles in both directions, making it perfect for a long walk or bike ride. The trail is a well-maintained, gravel surface with views of the Lehigh River on one side and the canal on the other. If you follow the trail east towards Freemansburg, you will pass by the new Sands casino at the site of the former Bethlehem Steel. Venture westward for a more natural experience (except for the noise from the rail cars that pass through from time to time). http://bit.ly/fF34N
This one-mile paved walkway is perfect for a leisurely stroll along the Lehigh Canal in the borough of Northampton. The area was recently updated to create an idyllic park setting, complete with picnic pavilions, park benches and baseball diamonds. If you're looking for a longer walk, the southern end of the path connects to a dirt trail that leads you through the woods to the Hokendauqua Creek. If you venture out in the hotter months, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of the local children perched on the wooden platforms high up in the trees, waiting for their turn to soar through the air on their rope tree swing and plunge into the water below. http://bit.ly/FxtFc
Follow the blue blazes for the Scenic River Trail, a 2.1 mile hike along the Delaware River in Martin's Creek. The Tekening Trail is a 5-mile network of pathways in Martin's Creek Preserve. Though there are three other trails to choose from, the Scenic River Trail has the most to see and is the only one with river views. It is a dirt hiking path through the woods with many uneven surfaces and obstacles. Be sure to wear hiking boots or very sturdy sneakers. The trail is great for hiking or mountain biking and there are several scenic overlooks along the way. The only downfall is the din of electricity being generated at PPL's nearby power plant. Luckily, you only hear it for a few minutes in the beginning of your hike and by the time you reach the river views, the sound is long forgotten. http://bit.ly/K6vwI
6. Bushkill Falls. Bushkill, PA.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Every once in awhile a movie comes along that is so bad that my husband actually bans my movie choices. My worst offense of all time was when I dragged him to see Solaris (I've never lived that down). Unfortunately last night's rental of Confessions of a Shopaholic came in a close second.
I read Sophie Kinsella's novel about 7 years ago and LOVED it, but the movie? Disappointing, to say the least. My biggest complaint is that they changed the story line way too much. For example, the novel is set in London and the protagonist, Becky Bloomwood, is a cheeky Brit with a hilarious rationale for her spending behavior. The movie, however, was set in NYC and Becky came off more clumsy and shallow than her lovable literary counterpart.
The movie also fell short when it came to the relationships between Becky and the other characters. For example, her conflict with Alicia Bitch Longlegs was underwhelming and I didn't really buy the attraction between her Luke Brandon.
Bottom line: save the rental fee, read the book.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Not to sound cliche or like some sort of literary critic, but the movie wasn't nearly as good as the book. It wasn't nearly as depressing either, which was a major failure on its part because it's supposed to be depressing. I was also disappointed by the lack of on-screen chemistry from Leo and Kate. I mean, I bawled my eyes out at Titanic, but they didn't manage to pry even an ounce of emotion out of me in Revolutionary Road. Needless to say, when I returned the movie to Blockbuster, I warned the woman not to read the book. If she thought the movie was depressing...the book might actually push her over the edge.
I don't want you to get the wrong idea; the book was actually quite good. Richard Yates did a brilliant job capturing the characters' conflicts and his descriptions were so vivid you could practically taste each scene. If you're considering the book or the movie...go for the book, you'll get so much more out of it.
Friday, June 19, 2009
It's been rainy and gray here for so many days now that I've lost count. To make matters worse, thunderstorms are threatening to wash away the weekend too. The worst part about a rainy weekend is not knowing what to do with yourself, so I put together a list of 10 things to entertain yourself while you're cooped inside (and none of them require a television set):
1. Break out an old board game (or buy a new one).
2. Prepare a theme dinner complete with centerpiece, menu and costume.
3. Make homemade greeting cards.
4. Crack open a book you've meaning to read.
5. Take a well-deserved nap.
6. Call an old friend.
7. Learn some basic words in a foreign language.
8. Organize old photos.
9. Bake something tasty.
10. Create your own cocktail.
Wishing you a fun weekend despite the weather!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Marisa de los Santos recently released Belong to Me, the sequel to Love Walked In. I just read it and...I loved it!
Many have asked if you have to read Love Walked In before cracking open Belong to Me? Not necessarily, but I would. While Belong to Me stands well on its own, and de los Santos does a solid of job of providing the relevant backstory, reading Love Walked In first will carve out a little place in your heart for Cornelia Brown that makes reading Belong to Me all that more fulfilling. Plus, to feel the true impact of the storyline, you really need to understand the relationship between Cornelia, Teo and Clare, which only Love Walked In can provide.
Regardless, Marisa de los Santos' voice is captivating, no doubt the result of her PhD in creative writing and her extensive background in poetry, and Belong to Me secured her as one of my favorite women's fiction writers. If you haven't read her work yet, I highly recommend it.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
In case you missed some of my other adventures, here are the links to my Oslo article and my piece on Bergen and the Fjords. Enjoy!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I've always wanted to run a 5k. It's one of those pesky little things that's been on my life's list of things to do for years now and every time I'm in my car and I see a race in progress I think, that should be me out there. Well, thanks to my step-sister in-law, Amanda, who invited me to the YWCA's Race Against Racism, my husband, Dave, who kept me company (and provided ample motivation along the way) and a beautiful weather forecast...today it was me out there!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
My favorite part about our recent trip to Barbados wasn't the white sandy beaches or the turquoise blue waters. It wasn't the eighty degree weather or our beloved morning walks on the beach. It wasn't the delicious meals down at St. Lawrence Gap or even the rum - although that came in a close second. My favorite part of our trip was the sunsets. Each day as the sun dipped low in the sky, the beach emptied and every last person made their way back to the hotel to change for dinner or catch the evening news, completely missing out on the most beautiful part of the day. It was as if the sun waited for everyone else to leave before hiding behind the clouds and exploding into golden rays that stretched all the way across the sky and embraced us with its warmth. It was one of those moments I will take with me forever and return to whenever I close my eyes.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
If you've gotten even a sliver of enjoyment from one of those magnetic word poems, then you should check out Wordle (www.wordle.net).
Click on the link to visit my word cloud about the things I love: http://www.wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/553111/Things_I_Love
Posted by erika at 11:51 AM