Nov 28, 2017

News From Mars In Allentown

Sometimes when I read The Morning Call, it's like I'm getting news from Mars. In an article about Small Business Day, the paper featured a store downtown that pays no rent, and sells donated women's fashion to lower income women, who are dressing for a job interview. I commend the store, its landlord and the concept, but it certainly says something unsaid about the state of small retail in center city. I suppose for the article's purpose, the reuse boutique is more prestigious than the pawn shops.

An article in today's paper refers to a developer downtown who received permission from the zoning board to build apartments on the former Croc Rock site. In the real world here on earth,  there is nothing new about J.B. Reilly being given permission from Allentown.  Real news would have been if he wasn't given the green light.  Furthermore, he isn't a developer, but The Developer.

Yesterday on social media, a rabid cheerleader for the NIZ referred to me as an 85 year old, who should fade away with my outdated incorrect assertions, and extremly underwhelming blog. As long as the news from Mars has to be translated into Earth language, this blog will continue.


Fire the incompetants said...

I went strolling Hamilton Street on an event free weeknight. I have no idea how these high-end bars and restaurants make it. Stopped in at 4-Bars, drank a few high-end beers, left town $100 less, and traveled back to the suburbs where real life begins. If you call this progress, travel to Bethlehem and Easton where vibrancy flourishes. Oh by the way, I travelled into Allentown via 7th Street and it was a parking lot for our outstanding citizens and egressed on 6th Street where gangs were prevalent and possible drug deals were being consummated. This is Pawlowskiville in its entire beauty!

Scott Armstrong said...

It always amazes me how otherwise intelligent and educated people can get stupid when it comes to politics. Dissent should be welcomed and addressed in a civil civic society. We have neither here in Allentown.

Jeffrey Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Monkey Momma said...

This pop-up store serves as a fundraising vehicle for the charity's permanent site at 11th and Hamilton. The boutique itself is intended for female executive types, and/or women with some means. Their purchases help fund the operations of the charity it supports down on 11th Street.

So, they're not selling donated fashions to low income women. It's an important distinction, because the charity is actually really great and does not charge a penny to the women it assists.

The charity is run through the YWCA and provides a free outfit for interviewing women, and once a woman lands a job, she can get up to a week's worth of outfits, for free.

The boutique simply earns a few bucks for the charity itself. Shopping at consignment stores for designer clothes is pretty trendy right now. And, the idea with this particular boutique is to sell some high end, gently used fashions to women who will probably stop by the Hamilton for a martini afterwards. There's a similar set up in New York City in the SOHO district with a few consignment shops that benefit local charities, and the clientele consists of people with money to spend. The cash is then funneled into the charity. (I only know this because my teenaged daughter recently made me go all over the West Village and SOHO district, shopping 2nd hand stores. I'm telling you, 2nd hand is really in right now.)

I think it's interesting that suburban women will come downtown to shop suggests that with the right merchandise at the right price, customers with cash to spend will visit Hamilton Street.

Jamie Kelton said...

Where are stores such as Emil E Otto and Judds in the new NIZ marketplace ?

The opening of a goodwill store is what constitutes commerce these days on Hamilton Street ?