Sideshow Horror Market at Merchant Square Mall | Allentown, PA | 15 February 2020

Yesterday felt like an extension of the weekday when my alarm went off at 5:22, okay, so 17 minutes later than a normal weekday morning! Haha. The bus from Philadelphia to Allentown left at 7:15, I had to be there by 7.
I took Lyft and ended up at the Greyhound Station at 6:30. They were sort of rude at the Greyhound Station in Philadelphia because I asked them which line I should wait in. They grumpily told me, “this isn’t a Greyhound bus! It’s some bus over there that will board at 7!” Alright. When I went over at 7, to walk out the door, the same person grumpily snapped, “I told you it was over there!” I was already walking over there. 
The bus ride was nice; Trailways was a lot nicer than Greyhound. The only time I’ve been on a Greyhound was from Green Bay to Milwaukee back in 2012 and they overbooked the trip! Yesterday’s trip wasn’t that full, I put on my headphones and window watched. I was in Allentown in 1.5 hours. The ride was quicker than the ticket estimated.
Once in Allentown, I went to Starbucks and walked Downtown Allentown, aka City Center, and took photos. City Center by the PPL Center is really nice. I want to go back when it’s warmer and walk around some more. Maybe see a show and have dinner at the Dime.
I looked at my watch and saw it was time to order Lyft. I had a Middle Eastern driver and he was super friendly. Merchant Square Mall was maybe ten minutes away and it was remote. It reminded me of Zerns. Zerns was this farmer’s market in Gilbertsville that my parents and I went to a lot when I was a child. 
I walked in and a jeweler greeted me. He asked me if I was looking for anything in particular and I told him I was looking for the Sideshow Horror Market. He pointed out the directions, then tried to talk me into buying some swarovski crystals. I told him when I left the market, I’d come back.
I passed a few gothic and comic shops on my way to the special events hall. Those stores looked neat, but I was too focused on getting to the show to see Anna and Alli. 
I paid the admission and as I walked through the doors, I saw Anna. I ran over to her, we hugged, and she showed me where she was set up. Alli gave me a big hug too.

 It was so great seeing Anna and Alli too! Anna’s first art market and the day was a success. I helped sell a set of Valentine’s Day cards and marketed. I’m glad I could be there for my friends. 

When I wasn’t helping, I was walking around to the other shops. One shop was selling a hatchet girl lamp; she gave it to me for $20 because the person who custom ordered it, backed out and she couldn’t find any other buyers. Her shop was neat. I also met Damian MacDonavan, who hosts Damian’s Dreadfuls on RCN. Unfortunately, we don’t get RCN in King of Prussia/Philadelphia, but he is on YouTube. He was fun to chat with and his camera assistant was even better.  I also met Father Evil. 


Alli’s boyfriend, Matt, came later. The show ended at 4pm and before we cleared out, Matt took our group photos. I asked Anna if she wanted to sit and she said, “no, girl, you sit because you helped make this day great! You have the gift of schmooze and you helped draw in customers. You’re a natural!” That made me feel joyful. 
Matt ended up taking me to Hummus House, a gluten-free Middle Eastern restaurant by the bus station. Matt is gluten-free and that was his favourite spot. Anna is staying with Alli and Alli lives in Bethlehem; they were going to take me to a restaurant, but since Matt lives in Allentown he offered to take me and that’s when he suggested Hummus House. I’m glad I left with a group of people because I bypassed that crystal guy. I had no intention of buying any crystals, but we left quickly. 
Hummus House was delicious! Matt is friends with the owner, so all I had to say is, “Matt called and I’m the friend that is gluten-free.” He gave me the gluten-free list; I ordered garlic hummus with GF pita and a lentil salad. I have half of the lentil salad left, that was so filling. 
After I ate, I had a half an hour to kill before the bus. The owner let me hang out a little longer and let me charge my phone. The restaurant was not only delicious, but very kind. 
I enjoyed my day trip to Allentown. Matt said, “next time you plan coming up here, let Alli know. I run at Valley Forge Park and I can always pick you up.” I told Anna I was thinking about going to a rubber stamp convention at the Allentown Fairgrounds later this year. She recommended that if I go, ask her cousin if I could stay. Her cousin was out of town this weekend and that wasn’t a viable option. Anna’s cousin is super sweet and that is who I stayed with when Anna was in town in July. 
I left at 6:43 and got back to Philadelphia by 8:15. It wasn’t a bad bus trip! My resolution for the Roaring 20’s 2.0 is seeing my friends more often. Anna lives in Greenville, SC and last summer when I saw her, that was my first time since March 2009! A whole decade! I didn’t want to see Anna in another decade and since she is one of my best friends and one I’ve had for almost 20 years (August 2020 will mark 20 years!), I wanted to be there for her. We all had a blast yesterday.

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Creator of the Happiness Box Project Initiative, a project where you write your happiness or gratitude each day, then open the box in the New Year. The Initiative is to teach joy and gratitude, to pass it on to others.

One thought on “Sideshow Horror Market at Merchant Square Mall | Allentown, PA | 15 February 2020”

  1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

    Thanks for reporting in about your day trip to Allentown, dear friend! From the looks of the pictures you took, City Center A-town is spotlessly clean. It surprised me to read that you encountered rude people at the Greyhound Station at the start of your journey. Please remember that 99% of the time the people you meet in your travels are friendly and helpful and you routinely turn strangers into new friends. Let’s assume the universe was merely undergoing a correction yesterday. Your super friendly Lyft driver got things back on track, and the hours of fun spent with friends Anna and Alli enabled you to put the unpleasant bus station incident behind you. I can tell that I would have had a great time browsing through the stands at the Sideshow Horror Market because it’s my kinda thing. $90 for a smashed in face is a steal of a deal! 🙂 It was nice of Anna to give you props for helping warm customers and sell her wares. You experienced more kindness and a great GF meal at the Hummus House and it was nice of Matt to take you there. The food looks delicious! I hope you keep your resolution to see worthwhile friends like Anna more often. A 20 year friendship is something to be treasured.

    Have a wonderful week, dear friend JM!


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