Bethlehem: A Blend of Old and New

Day Seven: Focus today’s post on the contrast between two things. The twist? Write the post in the form of a dialogue. Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

B E T H L E H E MPeople often wonder why I chose to stay in the Lehigh Valley area after I graduated college. Don’t you want to move to New York? What can there possibly be to do back there?

At first, I thought they were right. I had my sights set on big city life; this was just a temporary solution until I could muster up the means to make my way there.

Fast forward almost three years later, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Living here in Lehigh Valley has given me a ton of opportunities. I have a job where I get to work on exciting projects that actually get seen, not something that will have ten other people’s hands on it before it goes out. I have an awesome group of friends, and a spacious place to live.

I guess it goes along with my job (I work in marketing for the local visitors bureau) to know things to do in the area, but that wasn’t always a perspective that I had. In college, everyone stayed in the teeny little bubble of campus, hardly ever venturing out of that small radius. It’s crazy to think that I only live 15 minutes away from my school, yet it’s like a completely different world.

Bethlehem, PA is a perfect juxtaposition of new against old, and I love calling it home.

You have Main Street, dotted with restaurants and chic boutiques. You have this lovely small-town feel with high class fine dining to mix it up a little bit. It’s a mecca of festivals; Musikfest in August, Celtic Classic in September, Oktoberfest in October. Don’t even get me started on Christmastime- it’s literally a Winter Wonderland. With a name like Bethlehem, how could it be anything else?

BigGoal_10sBut my favorite part of town has to be the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks- the ultimate juxtaposition of new and old.

Bethlehem was home to Bethlehem Steel, one of the world’s largest steel mills. The actual steel production ceased in the mid-1990s, but there are still remnants of it all over town. The most easily recognizable are the blast furnaces of the SteelStacks. Towering over the South Side of Bethlehem, these giant blast furnaces set the stage for an ultra-modern arts campus.

At night, the SteelStacks are lit up in a rainbow of colors. There’s a stage at the foot of the furnaces where a wide array of concerts are held throughout the year. In the summer, you’ll also find outdoor movie nights for families to enjoy. There was even a massive viewing party for the World Cup this past summer, drawing over ten thousand fans to catch the USA game.

Across the way, you find the ArtsQuest Center. The building is packed with arts and culture- from film, to music, to dance, to theatre, and more. There are always events taking place, all while the blast furnaces dominate the skyline in the background.

The two mirror each other in such an interesting fashion- old industrial America paired against modern artistic architecture.

There’s always something new creeping up, but never intruding against the old. Juxtaposition of two very different time periods is something that Bethlehem does like no other.


4 thoughts on “Bethlehem: A Blend of Old and New

    1. Thanks! I chose to not take the twist on this post, as the nature of my blog doesn’t really lend itself to dialogue. Throughout the daily assignments, I’ve been trying to stay consistent with the choices I made when I started my blog. This was the first assignment that I opted to skip the twist.

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