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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 Although quickly rescinded by the city, the Rose Garden neighbors were rightfully concerned about increased congestion and parking problems.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?