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Old 09-20-2006, 05:03 PM
 
16 posts, read 95,284 times
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My girlfriend has family up that way in Titusville, and we want to move to PA within 3 years, but don't want to move "on top" of the relatives. We have been in a relationship for 10 years, and want to know what the gay and lesbian life is like up there. We read about the Historic district and the gay and lesbian family demographics there. I also teach, and she is a budding photographer with a degree in commercial graphics, so we need to be near people.
Does anyone know the ins and outs of Allentown?
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Old 09-20-2006, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,620 posts, read 77,695,048 times
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I'm also gay, and I live in Scranton, a similarly-sized city about an hour north of Allentown via I-476. I can tell you that both Scranton and Allentown have very sizeable GLBT populations, but most are still "closeted", as Conservative feelings can still be rather harsh in PA. Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about, I decided to head to Twist, a local gay-oriented nightclub in the Scranton 'burbs, one evening a few months ago, and not only was their parking lot filled, but several other lots at nearby office buildings were overflowing as well, and you could barely squeeze yourself inside of the club! Inside I noticed several "straight" members of my high school class; Needless to say a number of so-called straights in the region are actually closeted and just afraid to come out to such a narrow-minded area.

What I can tell you is good news though---The Lehigh Valley's GLBT community is more prevalent and more "visible" than it is here in Scranton (Allentown even hosts an annual Pride Festival, something that would kill the Conservative yuppies here in Scranton!) I suspect that the Lehigh Valley's close proximity to Philly and its high presence of NY/NJ transplants has made it a mecca in recent years for more cultural diversity, so you should both fit in just fine in Allentown! Unfortunately, I'm not too familiar with Allentown, but I'm familiar with neighboring Bethlehem, and I'd highly reccommend Fountain Hill and many neighborhoods in "SouthSide" to you both!

For your girlfriend's commercial venture, I'd actually see if she'd be interested in setting up her own small photo/art gallery in either SouthSide Bethlehem or the Moravian Bookstore area of NorthSide. Somebody else would have to give you more detailed information on Allentown; I'm just ignoring it right now because my uncle, who has lived in Bethlehem and Fountain Hill for the past decade, says that Allentown is a "slum."

Best of luck to you both! I know that there is a large "out" community in the Lehigh Valley, (especially Bethlehem), and New Hope, about an hour to the southeast along the Delaware River, is a gay/lesbian paradise! I suspect that the suburban housing developments in the Lehigh Valley would probably be home to your typical "gay people are evil and have cooties" Republicans, (at least that's how Scranton's subdivisions are) so staying "in-town" would probably be your best bet.
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Old 09-20-2006, 06:58 PM
 
16 posts, read 95,284 times
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Wow, thanks so much! Well we live in South Carolina, the "Bible belt." It can't be any worse for us!! LOL LOL..We are having our 10th anniversary tomorrow! We'll have to check those out.
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,620 posts, read 77,695,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheRho View Post
Wow, thanks so much! Well we live in South Carolina, the "Bible belt." It can't be any worse for us!! LOL LOL..We are having our 10th anniversary tomorrow! We'll have to check those out.

Congratulations to you both! Being together for even one year is an astounding feat anymore in this nation where the divorce rate now outnumbers the marraige success rate, so celebrating an entire DECADE together is something to rejoice about! I'm happy for you both! (Now, if only I could find me a nice boy in Scranton with the cute "Joisey" accent to celebrate a similar milestone with someday! LOL! Let the hunt begin!)
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:28 PM
 
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I am not aware of any one section that is the In place but I am in the Poconos but do go to Allentown to do all my shopping.

One of my best friends is Gay and he lived in downtown Allentown many years ago with his then partner. This of course was in the late 80's and then they moved back up to the Poconos as they were in debt(they lived the good life and could not keep up with their Credit card payments- so they moved in with Parents).

I will tell you this is not like the Bible Belt! So you do not have to worry about that here!

I am Female but I love being with the gay community. No wonder I liked Scranton so much! I just feel Gay men are so much more understanding to a persons feelings.

Also I use to go to Baum School of Art which is downtown Allentown. Not the best area though. Artists have a heck of a time making a living.
I would agree with Scranton. I would prefer to live in the Bethlehem area or Moravian than Allentown. Allentowns crime has increased a great deal and downtown has turned into a Slum area. I hate driving down there now a days and avoid it with a passion.
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:10 PM
 
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I reccomend living in Bethlehem. As far as gay social life there is the Candida's Bar on 12th and Chew in Allentown, the Stonewall dance club which is more gay men but women of course are welcome, and Diamonz on the borderline of Allentown and Bethlehem. Im a hetero male but I know the scoop! Have fun!
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Old 09-23-2006, 04:01 PM
 
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Okay, is all of Allentown that way? Where we live they have "outskirts" of the city. We're going to be looking for yard and grass..not just pavement. Would we have any luck with that?
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,620 posts, read 77,695,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheRho View Post
Okay, is all of Allentown that way? Where we live they have "outskirts" of the city. We're going to be looking for yard and grass..not just pavement. Would we have any luck with that?
Of course you'll always have more "suburban" options in the way of spacious backyards, two-car garages, and plenty of elbow room to spread out a bit in the Allentown area, but I was just trying to gear you more towards an "in-town" location because, as in most parts of the country, the suburbs are extremely Conservative overall and may not be too "warm" to the thought of a lesbian couple moving in next-door to their children.

I speak on this issue from firsthand experience. In my development, mostly full of upper-middle-class families who commute to Scranton or Wilkes-Barre for work, there was a quiet uproar "behind closed doors" when a lesbian couple from Philadelphia was considering relocating to a home just around the corner from my family.

I firmly believe the suburbs are more "narrow-minded" overall for two primary reasons:

1.) Most suburban residents are originally from the cities, and they feel as if by moving to a newer housing development in the 'burbs that they are "protecting" their families from the "ills" that cities breed within their borders. Unfortunately, among those urban "ailments" is "diversity", as most subdivision dwellers in Eastern PA are white, straight, Christian, and upper-middle-class, and they tend to equate people of color, different creeds, and homosexuals as being "bad" for their children's living environments. As such, they'll band together to try to keep out "difference" from interfering with their "perfect" suburban lives. I just fear that if you and your partner plop yourselves down in a newer development in, per se, Palmer Township, that you'll never truly be "accepted", and you'll always have your neighbors talking about you behind your backs and excluding you from backyard barbecues (as is done here in the Scranton 'burbs).

2.) The suburbs just tend to breed "dullness"---Every house is vinyl-sided and has a two-car garage, every family has a minivan or an SUV, every middle-aged female is a "soccer mom", every person is white, non-Hispanic, straight, and Christian, etc. Any potential "vibrance" that enters their path is seen as an immediate "threat" that must be squashed. For example, I recently saw an episode of "Flip That House" where a neighbor walked right up to a homebuyer and flipped out because their new front door was too similar in color to hers and attention would be taken away from her home! There have also been reports here in suburbia of couples being forced to repaint their exteriors because their chosen color is too "loud" for the surrounding neighborhood. With such dullards living in our suburbs (including my parents!), is it any wonder why any sort of rapid change would scare them?
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Old 09-24-2006, 08:48 PM
 
16 posts, read 95,284 times
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Yes, I hear your plea. We most definitely won't be affording any newer homes. I'm a teacher, and don't make the six figure income in the first place. We're not looking for the country, and we certainly know about the suburbs and not being accepted, because when I bought this house years ago, the neighbors next door tried to "harass" us to move out. It was awful what we went through. We stuck it out and stood our ground, although it was miserable as you could probably guess. Our house was toilet papered, we were mocked and yelled at to go back inside, and *****, muff diver language yelled at us...we were actually ready to move, but we didn't, and I'm glad. Those neighbors stopped once they saw we were not going to move, and they are decent to us now...go figure. Now we're actually looking to move, but this time because we want to.
Have you ever been up to Titusville, pa? We're looking for neighborhood areas like that. I know with my credit now and being behind on bills, that I probably won't qualify to buy another house. When I got this one, I had spotless credit, and well, bad times fell upon us. We want to be near the city, but not so close till there isn't a tree or something.
Is there a way to get photos of Allentown? Are there magazines online other than people's images they've posted? What does it look like?
You've really been a big help.
Sheila and Rhonda
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:12 AM
 
11 posts, read 84,059 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SheRho View Post
Okay, is all of Allentown that way? Where we live they have "outskirts" of the city. We're going to be looking for yard and grass..not just pavement. Would we have any luck with that?
No just the center city area where the courthouse is located and the surrounding area. The further away from center city the better it gets. Whitehall is nice and so is the area where Wegman's Supermarket is located after the 3000 block of Tilghman Avenue. If your looking for an apt try the newly developed Trexler Park Apts. Whitehall has the Peachtree apts. They are both lovely! Google it.
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