Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Saturday in Bethlehem, PA - Double Decker, Vegan Treats, and Secret Art Space - Memorial Day Weekend

On Saturday, Pat and I drove to his grandma's house in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which is an hour south of New York City. His grandma also lives near Double Decker Records and Vegan Treats.

I went crazy in the record store and invested too much money in a few fairly rare 7"s. I bought a Man is the Bastard 7", NOTA's "Moscow" ep, a Citizen's Arrest flexi, and the Rambo/Crucial Unit split 7" (which isn't rare and was reasonably priced). Pat bought the 1983 Dicks record "Kill from the Heart," which SST had released and is extremely hard to find in good condition in the Northeast. I was happy. We then got in Pat's un-airconditioned car and drove to Vegan Treats. Yes, I worried how the vinyl would hold up to the heat, having had albums warp in the past. And the purchase also made me feel a bit extravagant and self-indulgent, since I already have the MP3s for the 7"s. Actually holding the records, being able to look at the artwork and lyrics, and listening to music on the record player is special to me, though.

At the one and only Vegan Treats, I got a mocha cheesecake, and a dark and white chocolate cake. Pat got a berry cheesecake and a peanut-butter filled donut. The cheesecake was delicious. How can you go wrong with the chocolate-coffee combination? Unfortunately, the desserts at Vegan Treat's have shrunk in the last year. Previously, a solid chocolate spoon decorated the mocha cheesecake, like an invitation to stir a cup of coffee. Now, the cheesecake is just as good, but this chocolate amenity has been cut. The cake used to feed comfortably two people. Now, besides cutting some of the tasty embellishments, such as the chocolate spoon, the cake feeds only one person. Of course, now if you share,maybe you can sample several desserts. The price per cake has gone down some, although per bite the cake is now more expensive. The cake and other desserts are still amazing. I had a bite of the chocolate combo cake and was impressed with the balance of textures in addition to chocolate flavors. The chocolate cake was surrounded by a soft chocolate icing, sprinkled with white chocolate chips, and layered by ribbons of dark chocolate. Meanwhile, molten chocolate pieces were scattered throughout it. Yum. Anyway, I love and appreciate Vegan Treats.

On Saturday night, Pat and I went to a show in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at the Secret Art Space. We got directions there by asking a woman working at a vegetarian cafe, which offers mochas, but lacks an espresso machine. (Can I be a coffee snob if I admit to liking coffee from WaWa?) Anyway, Distress Signal from Philly played. Pat has known one of the members in the band for a while. I hadn't met him previously. Distress Signal plays metal. Some of the vocals are a little higher pitched than I like, but I the band is solid and fun to watch. The venue was comfortable and clean with a lot of open space. Significantly, someone did a great job of soundproofing it. The PA was loud, but you couldn't hear much noise at all from the outside.

PS When I left my house, I noticed that the elderly lady across the street had dumped a bunch of lettuce in our yard near the sewer. Obnoxious.

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