My first ‘holy shit’ moment while on the road last year came when I stumbled upon these structures – part of the old Bethlehem Steel plant – during an aimless Sunday drive between Allentown and Bethlehem. My second ‘holy shit” moment came a little bit later, when I noticed there was a casino (the Sands) next door. My third ‘holy shit’ moment came very shortly after the second moment, when I was marveling at how quickly I had lost 70 dollars on video poker.
The area around these building has been turned into the artistic and cultural center of the city, featuring an arts center, cinemas, a bistro, and a music pavillion. I shant be surprised if I come back around next year and see some of these building turned into lofts. Because, you know, all old industrial buildings must be turned into lofts. Circle of life.
The Steel Stacks is also where the annual Musikfest festival is held, featuring 500 bands performing over 10 days. The festival started today – I was unaware of this until I pulled into town and started looking for a hotel to spend the weekend. There were no rooms to be found – according to a fella at the Red Roof Inn in Allentown, all the rooms in town had been booked up months ago due to Musikfest. So fuck you, fans of Sublime With Rome (performing on Saturday), for forcing me to spend the weekend an hour away from town.
Despite not being able to stay in the area, I’m glad that I at least got to spend a little bit of time wandering and taking pictures before the whole Musikfest stuff got started. And I’m equally glad that I only ended up losing 40 bucks this time around on video poker.