David Beroff (d4b) wrote,
David Beroff

Bethlehem Again

We went down to Bethlehem a week ago Wednesday, and frankly, both of us had been too lazy to write about it. So, let's fix that:

It had started with my storage facility asking me to cover my stuff with plastic in an attempt to protect it from the debris from an upcoming roof-improvement project. A ten-minute job with a three-hour round trip. So, we decided to make an entire day of it, instead. The Historic Bethlehem Partnership was running a walking tour focused on 19th Century medicine, and featuring a visit to the Bethlehem Apothecary. Once again, it was just Cat Lady and myself with the guide. After the formal tour, I took her down to (what remains of) the town's original industrial quarter, by the Monocacy Creek. We'd visited once before, but at night; this time, it was a bit easier to see things. :-) We then cooled off at the little cafe inside the Moravian Book Shop (which apparently claims to be the "world's oldest continually operated book store").

Back to the car, and a quick ride over to take care of the plastic-ing, which did in fact only take ten minutes, if that. By now, we were actually quite ahead of schedule, so we decided to visit the Sands Casino. I was struck by the huge amount of bus traffic there: When the casino was first built, an entire day's worth of bus arrivals and departures fit on a single giant TV screen, and now the same screen held less than a half hour's worth. It seemed like the majority of these buses served Chinatown residents from New York and Philadelphia. Both Cat Lady and I were taken aback by the overt racism against the Chinese expressed aloud in our respective bathrooms. Not that such prejudiced behavior is ever rational, but it was pretty obvious to us that the people being targeted were in fact the very ones whose money is keeping afloat several hundred jobs in Bethlehem.

I've now been to the Sands maybe a dozen times, but never to, yannow, gamble. I took the $5 they gave me in exchange for my email address, and used it to play the penny slots all the way until I was down to zero. (So I guess I still haven't actually gambled my own money.) Cat Lady took her $5 gift down to zero as well, then added $20 of her own cash, and turned it into $40 on the video poker machines.

Seeing as we were practically across the street from her, we tried to get Southside Landlady to join us for dinner, but to no avail. Then we tried to stop by the Segway place, only to find that the storefront had recently been shuttered. (A later email exchange revealed that Bob's still in business, but hadn't yet posted signs with his new location.) I think Cat Lady was relieved that I wouldn't have a chance to encourage her to try riding one. :-)

We managed to find on-street parking directly across from Thai Thai II, where we enjoyed a fantastic dinner. Afterward, we still had 45 minutes on the meter, so we sniffed around the older Moravian buildings on Church St., as well as the Bethlehem Library, where we discovered a Japanese serenity garden and tea house. Slipped back into the car just as the meter ran out, then drove over to a seminar by a firm in Allentown that's trying to recruit insurance adjusters for the Scranton area.

Ended up near ABE, which is pretty much the point where it's a toss-up to take 476 home, or 33/80/380. I figured it was a few minutes faster to take 476, and as we were getting onto 22W, Cat Lady points out that it would've been cheaper, toll-wise, to take 33, especially given that we were in no particular rush. Oops. :-) Here's her perspective on the morning:
On a beautiful day somewhere between late summer and early fall, David and I went to his old hometown of Bethlehem. I had heard from him how historic the city was and wanted to see a bit of it myself. I had done a little reading about the Moravians who had founded Bethlehem some 200 years ago and was fascinated by their seeming forward-looking approach in the field of medicine and also in the treatment of their fellow man. We took a guided walking tour, which really did not show us as much as I had hoped, but which was interesting in the guide's continual explanations about the Moravians and how they lived. Altogether a most satisfying tour.
Tags: bethlehem, cat lady, segway, travel

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