Nov 24, 2007

ALLENTOWN ON MY MIND


When Billy Joel sang "Allentown" in 1982, then Mayor Daddona invited the singer to come and see what a vibrant city we still were. He was afraid the negativity of the lyrics would hurt the city. Today there are many people who yearn for the good old days of the early 80's. Likewise, I'm sure there are people in Camden who would be offended by anyone thinking of their city as a metaphor for being distressed. My concern is Allentown's reality. I believe perception, is just an impression, by people, of a place they don't go to anyway.

11 comments:

river said...

ok... so what is your point? thank you

michael molovinsky said...

my point is that we do not have to be afraid that negative comments will hurt allentown. even billy joel's song, which received national exposure, didn't hurt us.

Dottie said...

I live in Allentown and even though I yearn for the good old days of Hess's and Leh's I try to get downtown as much as I can. I was there with my family for dinner on Sat. night. Hamilton St. did seem kinda dark and desolate in some parts, but there was a bustle of activity in and around the new Brew Pub. It was nice to see people of all different ages out and having a good time. I hope that The House of Chen stays in business and does well. We are looking forward to going to the Liberty Bell Museum to see Pip the Mouse. It will be our third year, and it's a fun tradition, AND it is free. I am hoping that the old and new can co-exist downtown because not everyone "livin' here in Allentown" is an affluent, upscale urban progressive. Whatever that means.

river said...

What was the name of the street that the big Lehigh Valley Dairy building was on? When I was growing up in the 1960's we would stop there every month. They had a restaurant there and I always got the hot roast beef sandwich platter.. OHHHH it was so fantastic! And then I would get a big ice cream sunday for desert. If I could go back in time for just one day I would make sure I stopped there first. :):):):):):)

michael molovinsky said...

the ice cream parlor at the Lehigh Valley Dairy(macArthur or 7th St) was already open by at least the early 50's, when i also enjoyed going there. the bridge over sumner ave. separates allentown(7th st.) from whitehall(macarthur), so the building actually is in whitehall. over the years there have been several proposals for a large retail complex at that site, which have yet to materialize. other early establishments out that way was penn fruit supermarket and jordan lanes. the jordan apartments(across from home depot, formally the george washington inn), also predate the 60's. had billy joel came then(he would only be 12 or so) he would probably stay at the fancy hotel traylor and marvel at hamilton st. and hess brothers. he could have taken the bus from the traylor down hamilton and stopped at every block. back then affluent allentown considered "congestion" a sign of the prosperity we enjoyed.

Dottie said...

I've heard that Zesto was a cool place for ice-cream. MM, you could start your own "Ask Mike" column.

michael molovinsky said...

dottie, the problem is that makes me feel too old!!!!!! i think your referring to a place on fullerton ave, but there was a place with a similar name at 24th and lehigh(teltesto?) so ironic that frank whelan(ask frank) parted ways with the liberal MC over his participation in the gay parade. i have suggested the museum do a show on the needle trades, sewing factories were one of the largest industries in the valley. the people who operated these enterprises won't be around forever.

Dottie said...

Feeling old? Maybe there is a Red Hat Society for men.

Frank now works for the Historical Society. In my opinion the only thing the MC is liberal about is their advertising. The paper is mostly ads. And they had the arrogance to print a full page ad about themselves on Sunday. Have you noticed?

My husband fondly remembers Zesto and tells me it was on Hanover Ave. and there was another location on the south side.

michael molovinsky said...

dottie, the paper could hardly be more liberal, pawlowski is still enjoying a honeymoon with the local press. my last letter, although only 7 sentences long as sent, had its meaning edited out. my memory and knowledge is weakest concerning the east side. i remember sad sacks hot dog stand for its photographic quality(ironically, it was close to K-Photo), and of course walps was a classic, as was anna maria's. i also miss franks' local history column.

Mr. Damien Brown said...

I remember going to the one on Hanover Ave as a kid. The only problem I can't remember if that was the ice cream place where Rite Aid is now at Graham or if it was down by Plymouth Street.

Either way, I remember both.

river said...

the one we went to was a large boulding, maybe 3 stories high and perhaps as long as a city block, but they had a dining area with a full menu and a full ice cream parlor and waitresses to serve you. It was wonderful and since I think the last time I was there was when I was perhaps 8 years old,(1963) I will never forget it. I dreamed of those Hot Roast Beef Sandwitch platters all week... and to follow it up with an 8 inch high banana split with whipped cream and cherries on top... OoooooOOOOHHHHhhhhhHHHH