Nov 19, 2009

Museum Pimps Park


I suppose the difference between a whore and a call girl, or a john and a client, is one of wealth and sophistication. Here in Allentown, many of our institutions have the same small circle of people on their boards and at their fund raisers. Some of the same faces that dominate the Trexler Trust, also comprise Pawlowski's kitchen cabinet, and are routinely photographed at the Museum functions. Art and politics will merge this spring as SOTA, Allentown Art Museum's Society of the Arts, temporarily takes over a home at Ott Street and Parkway Boulevard owned by the Allentown Parks Department for it's Boutique and Cafe. And it will encourage exploration of the Rose Gardens, which have undergone renovations, including new paths and reflection ponds.

One of the most controversial proposals of the Cedar Park Plan was the conversion of this very house into a cafe. Although quickly rescinded by the city, the Rose Garden neighbors were rightfully concerned about increased congestion and parking problems. Supposedly, one of these cross-board members had a Tavern on the Green delusion, which would actively promote the Garden as a wedding venue. How ironic that the door will now be cracked open for that usage by the Art Museum. Will the neighbors enjoy that bitter pill as a hors d'oeuvre? Although the roses will not be blooming in May, guests may explore the new paths. Although conforming with the American Disabilities Act may well be a good thing, nobody can claim these paths enhance the beauty of the garden. The previously separate gardens are now connected by one straight path, which visually dominates the view. Instead of walking in the gardens, we now have a walkway lined with flowers. The use of this property as a "Cafe" is being justified as part of the traditional Showhouse project, in which a house is redone by leading local designers. The house chosen happens to be about five blocks away, on North 28th Street. Wine and Cheese anybody?

23 comments:

monkey momma said...

I have to admit - a cafe right there would be really interesting. Since Hava Java no longer makes an acceptable cup of joe, I'd be willing to try a cup from one of the mayor's cronies.

I completely agree with you about the walkway's dominance in these parks, though. They're huge and, although very nice, they're the main thing you see now. They've completely changed the character of that park. And, the pillars remind me of a cemetery.

I will be interested to hear how this news is received by the neighborhood around the garden. We shall see!

Anonymous said...

Today at approximately 8:10 a.m. Fox News broadcasted a segment on Allentown's SEIU vs,. the boy scout and the park trail he uncovered.

We will leave it to others to decide how Allentown's union fared.

One question that went unanswered by local SEIU union leader, "Why did he and his union allow the park's path to deteriorate to the point it became an illegal dump?"

Anonymous said...

The pillars do look like a cemetery lot.

michael molovinsky said...

the "pillars" have been joined by a wooden trestle on top. although that construction is as indicated by weitzel and the architect to city council, they both neglected to elaborate on the brick patio beneath. this is room size, designed to accommodate chairs for a wedding. behind it, the paved road surrounding the last reflective pool, diminishes from that feature.

how ironic, that many westenders who opposed the park plans, but who support the museum, are being channeled by this boutique and cafe tactic.

Anonymous said...

how ironic, that many westenders who opposed the park plans, but who support the museum, are being channeled by this boutique and cafe tactic.


being seen and seeing being is very important to some. photos on society pages are status symbols.

Anonymous said...

We do not believe for a moment ADA would have demanded this historic early 20th century
park to install cement walkways. We believe the city could have applied for an exception. Has Weitzel ever shown documents to substantiate federal demands?
Something is not as it appears and only time will tell.

michael molovinsky said...

to my knowledge the city never claimed that the walkways were mandated. the compliance was more or less an excuse for that segment of the cedar park plan. actually, in my opinion, the walkways are the least offensive of all the plans, with the additional paved paths across the creek being the worst.

Anonymous said...

I liked the big ditch better.

Any chance they will rip up the new sidewalk and put the ditch back?

Katie Bee said...

The art museum has been doing the showhouse and boutique/cafe for years. If the house they decide to use is large enough, they can tuck the boutique/cafe somewhere on the property. However, when they used the house adjacent to West Park, they could not and instead used the Masonic Temple.

I have worked for the showhouses on and off in past years (my mother had been in charge of them for a number of years, and i happened to get dragged into them), but I don't recall there being a riot when the last showhouse was by West Park. Nor do I recall the Masonic Temple benefitting fabulously from allowing the museum to use their property for a boutique.

Certainly the neighbors didn't decide to live next to a park and expect minimal traffic.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:45, although the garden walkways will remain, i would hope that in the future when the parks are headed by someone with park background, instead of a recreation person, the planned redundant paved paths are removed from the open spaces.

michael molovinsky said...

katie bee, as you well know, the masonic temple was across the street from the west park house, not blocks away. i've seen workmen going in and out of the park house for over a year. this administration has a pattern of putting things back on the table, after they initiatively remove it because of public outcry. you have also worked as a intern for the administration this past summer

St. George said...

"...conforming to the Americans with Disabilities Act..." in our beloved Rose Garden. The next thing will be a call to provide the pimps with accommodations for their whores. Molovinsky intends well but misses the serious threat posed by the disabled. They will soon take over the city. First, wheel chairs in the Rose Garden, then the next thing will be special classes for the disabled at Allen High School, paid by the taxpayers.

michael molovinsky said...

st. george, actually if you focused on the controversy, instead of me, you would know that i never opposed the walkways in the garden. i mention them in this post because i found it ironic that the art museum would promote something that visually was a distraction from the former beauty of the garden, as opposed to an enhancement. will this be the first in a series of special events in that "cafe", opening the back door to a plan which the mayor told 150 citizens was off the table.

Anonymous said...

michael molovinsky said...
st. george, actually if you focused on the controversy, instead of me, you would know that i never opposed the walkways in the garden. i mention them in this post because i found it ironic that the art museum would promote something that visually was a distraction from the former beauty of the garden, as opposed to an enhancement. will this be the first in a series of special events in that "cafe", opening the back door to a plan which the mayor told 150 citizens was off the table.

November 19, 2009 11:18 AM


Exactly. No one is against a suitable walkways for wheelchairs
so don't get ridiculous.


will this be the first in a series of special events in that "cafe", opening the back door to a plan which the mayor told 150 citizens was off the table.



this sounds right on target.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 11:59, thank you for your comment. actually the inane insults, such as being against disabled children in schools, is the sort of nonsense apologists such as st. george resort to. let me state my current comment policy; such insult based comments will not necessarily be published. i also "discriminate" against comments which mention specific names except for public figures, any private addresses, and any comments which are more vicious than my own. i will generally make exceptions for comments signed by someone's real name.

Katie Bee said...

My internship does not render my every opinion invalid. I am no longer an intern and therefore no longer able to represent this administration to you.

michael molovinsky said...

katie bee, my apology, michael m

St. George said...

Molovinski:

Please don't do to me what the Morning Call did to you in the election.

"let me state my current comment policy; such insult based comments will not necessarily be published."

Silencing critics does not become you.

michael molovinsky said...

this post was submitted by "big jim"

when the whole cedar beach mess was going public,the mayor was interviewed on the local t.v.news. he said, "i am comitted to developing allentown's park system". he is good for his word. he is developing the allentown park system. lets hear it for development in allentown's parks. hip hip hooray.

Anonymous said...

Where did Katie Bee intern?
city hall?
she makes a valid point about living next to a park and not expecting traffic.
lehigh parkway east every christmas holiday season for the past what 12 years or so has more than a month of heavy every night traffic for Lights in the Parkway. So for 11 months a year,
they enjoy the most spectacular view in town and for one month, they must be hosts to visitors. Not a bad trade-off, if you ask me.

but.

we suspect this park office cafe venue is just the beginning, a trial run.

ironpigpen said...

When is the Mayor going to get serious about developing JOBS in the city of Allentown?

When is the Mayor going to get serious about the economic development of downtown Hamilton Street?

When is the Mayor going to get serious about making the city safer?

(How long till the Rose Gardens gets torched like Bucky Boyle?)

Why do I get left with the feeling sometimes that this Cedar Beach Park Development deal seems to be the biggest thing on His Honor's agenda?

Anonymous said...

Those are new paths in Cedar Beach? I thought they were little roads.

Anonymous said...

SOTA represents HIGH CULTURE in Allentown. What a god forsaken backwater this is. No wonder J.Marin and her husband are fleeing to Europe. Who can blame them. The Marins didn't last very long in the Queen City, did they?