by Justin Mekjean
In just a handful of blocks, plenty of great gift-shopping
Living in the heart of Allentown definitely has its perks and can be quite useful during the holiday season. Although known for its delicious restaurants and hip bars, Allen Street also offers some great gift-buying options, no matter who you’re buying for. A simple neighborhood stroll can help you knock off a good portion of your holiday buys.
For your athletic freinds, make sure to check out Rick Cycle Shop (55 Allen Street), where you’ll find a set of bike lights or that new bike pump they need. If biking isn’t their style, head over to Rick’s Sports (201 Allen Street) for a new pair of kicks or that Bills fitted tee they’ve been hinting at.
For your art-loving aunt, Indigo Art Space (74 Allen Street), Studio 224 (224 Allen Street), and Studio Hart (65 Allen Street) are just three of many galleries that offer rotating exhibitions of work by some great local talent, most of it for sale. Also check out El Museo (91 Allen Street), Buffalo Big Print (78 Allen Street), and Mundo Images (500 Franklin Street), among others.
If you’re shopping for your favorite English professor or your traveling buddy, make sure to stop in to Rust Belt Books (202 Allen Street) to pick up an early edition Hemingway or that Kerouac novel you always wanted to bring up in conversation. But be careful, if you shop like I do, you might find yourself leaving with a treat or two for yourself.
And don’t forget your vintage clothes loving special lady (or man, or little sister or brother, for that matter). Allen Street offers some great options to help your favorite Audrey Hepburn lookalike complete her look. Check out Allen Street Dress Shop (89 Allen Street) and Black Cat Vintage (93 Allen Street) to help enhance her style.
And when fatigue sets in from all the good finds (or you’re just looking an excuse to take a load off), make sure to fuel up with an espresso at Café Taza, on Elmwood just north of Allen; and while you’re at it, keep walking north on Elmwood to visit El Buen Amigo, Casa de Arte, and the row of antique shops between Allen and North Street. Or stop by Café 59, at the corner of Allen and Franklin, for a delicious café au lait. The respite will give you the much-deserved opportunity to pat yourself on the back while watching the rest of Allentown bustle, seeking that perfect gift for their someone special.
Neighborly Shopping: Grant Central • Hertel Avenue • Elmwood Avenue • Allentown
One Stop Holiday Shopping
Shopping Online, Locally • Cash Mobbing • City of Light
Celebrate Main Street • Show Your Thanks
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