Meet our Fig bloggers!
Meet the virtual voices of Fig. Our columnists have something to say, and the Lehigh Valley is listening. So, sit back, relax and learn about the best of everything from pancakes to parties!
Arts & Culture
My name is Brie, and I was born and raised in Bethlehem. It wasn't until now that I've genuinely grown to appreciate my hometown. I attended Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Communications, concentrating in Public Relations and Rhetoric. I dabbled in the newspaper, TV production, and theatre. My main interests are singing/music, writing, voice work, and being with my friends and family.
Life without, often subjective, beauty is boring- a concept Galabout Bethlehem's Melissa O'Donnell celebrates. When she isn't busy with her high school English students, this Lehigh Valley transplant finds no shortage of awe inspiring art in her new digs and invites readers to join the party. From galleries to tattoo parlors; theaters to pub platforms; book stores to coffee houses, experience home grown Bethlehem beauty as she shares her casual views on the city's latest visual, performing, and literary contributions. You can follow Melissa's pop culture musings beyond Bethlehem at News For Shoppers. She also blogs about pop culture's influence on everything from her world view to her relationships at Under the Influence -- she'd love for you to join in on her journey.
Kat, a married mom of one, came to the Lehigh Valley in 2007 from Northern Virginia knowing no one. A lifelong theater/performer geek, she didn't feel at home here until Steel Stacks at ArtsQuest was built. It would be here that she found a second family and friends in the Lehigh Valley improv community. This is her blog that celebrates them and hopefully inspires people to not only see these awesome people perform; but to learn more about improv and perhaps take a class and do it themselves!
I was born and raised in Bethlehem and I am currently the Recreation Coordinator for the City. After graduating from West Chester University I came back to Bethlehem to work with the youth of the City in the parks and playgrounds. Being involved in the community has been nothing but rewarding. Bethlehem is a great place to live, raise a family, and have FUN. It doesn't matter if you are 3, 93, or somewhere in between, being active and having fun is what life is all about. Many of our memories from our childhood involve parks and recreation in some way. So why not make more memories, here in Bethlehem!
Whether you are looking to dine at an upscale establishment, or simply to blow off steam at a local happy hour in Bethlehem, Olive Peeters is your gal. Originally from the coal regions of Pennsylvania, Mrs. Peeters has been a staple of the Christmas City for over a decade. She has a degree in secondary English education, which earns her a paycheck at a local high school. Olive’s enthusiasm for both delectable eats and sophisticated brews and beverage is contagious. A self-proclaimed Belgian beer connoisseur, her presence is guaranteed at any downtown festival or event. If you are looking for all things Bethlehem, the words of the Christmas City Cosmopolite will point you in the right direction…or at least the direction of Main Street.
In August 2010, Angela began an exciting journey fulfilling her childhood dream. Born and raised in Bethlehem, PA, Angela always imagined having a bakery of her own. Angela started Sugar Babe Cupcakes and has been sharing her desserts with family, friends, the Lehigh Valley community and beyond. She started her blog Frosted Chaos hoping to share more tidbits of her life, recipes and personal experiences as a small business owner and baker. Angela hopes that by sharing her stories, it will help people believe in themselves and feel good about who they are. She's a firm believer in encouraging and not criticizing.
After graduating from law school on Long Island, NY, I made the move back to a city that captured my heart during my college years: Bethlehem. As newlyweds, both my husband and I love antique shopping, trying the latest craft beers, and working on DIY projects together. I am always on the lookout for ideas to keep our relationship fresh - everything from new restaurants to try to ghost tours around our historic city. We are always up for an adventure!
No space is too small to grow something for your table, and nothing tastes as good as fresh, local food – with this credo, Nadia blogs for Fig Bethlehem. As a Penn State Master Gardener, she is passionate about spreading the gardening bug (a good bug!) and cooking. Since 2010 she has been recording her gardening ups and downs in her blog Green Card Gardener. When she is not cooking or gardening, she works as a freelance copywriter, translator and editor, or loves to venture from her rural home into Bethlehem. The Old World charm of the city reminds her of her native Germany, whose food and culture she explores in her book and blog Spoonfuls of Germany.
Toni was born and raised in Bethlehem. After attending college in Philadelphia and majoring in Accounting, she moved back to Bethlehem and has discovered it to be the perfect backdrop to living a balanced life. With a love for adventure, spontaneity and good old fun she has found that Bethlehem has all of that to offer and more. Not one for sitting idle, Bethlehem has proven perfect for running the playground of life. Whether it is hitting local trails for a hike or run, taking fitness classes at local gyms, perusing the local farmers markets for fresh seasonal and unique ingredients, meeting friends for dinners and drinks, or simply sitting and enjoying the tranquility and beauty of Bethlehem; join her as she finds the balance.
Laurel Attanasio loves Bethlehem and being healthy! For Laurel, much has changed over the last fifteen years. Two of the most extreme changes were her health and her beloved Bethlehem. Both went through a complete revitalization. After graduate school, Laurel refocused her energy on healing her body, mind and spirit through incorporating a healthy vegan diet and yoga and Pilates into her everyday routine. At the same time, Bethlehem began to flourish with new restaurants, stores and cultural attractions. You will find Laurel teaching yoga and Pilates, running and meeting new and old friends throughout Bethlehem. Laurel loves traveling and teaching all over the globe, but always loves returning to her hometown, Bethlehem.
James Jacob Pierri of ausetgypsy.com, a Bohemian Metaphysical Experience offers a variety of Spiritual modalities for people to choose from. He moved to Bethlehem 5 years ago from Hoboken, NJ and fell in love with the town, people, history, and well-supported events the Lehigh Valley has to offer. James takes appointments AusetGypsy A Bohemian Metaphysical Emporium at 85-A E. Broad St. Bethlehem. (Prior to the opening of AusetGypsy, he took appts at Historic Bethlehem North Side's favorite witchy spot Into The Myst Metaphysical Shoppe.) As an Astrologer, James casts horoscopes for clients both nationally and internationally. His astrology work has been found in print, web, TV, radio. and podcast. James travels teaching classes and workshops on the practice and history of Astrology and is also a renown tarot specialist, palm reader, yoga instructor and studied anatomy and physiology combined with Auyervedic medicine. He's very excited to be part of the writing team at Fig Bethlehem and contributing his savvy brand of horoscopes and interesting POV blog related to life in Bethlehem via life at the metaphysical shop to the publication's audience. To contact James Jacob Pierri for private consultation or to explore his website further, please visit ausetgypsy.com.
Nathan Linder is a fully-functioning sentient automaton. Created by two earth specimens in the central region of our beautiful state, he's managed to migrate to and thrive in our amazing city of Bethlehem. It is there that he maintains a passion for the weird, the unusual and portals to other dimensions. His unique programming has allowed him to infiltrate proper society and act as a creative professional in our area for 19 years. Currently, he is the award-winning Creative Director for the Lehigh Valley market of Adams Outdoor Advertising. Proving that love knows no boundaries, he has found it with a local human female and together they are raising a delightful dachshund chihuahua hybrid. Through his blog, he hopes to reach out, entertain, and connect with like-minded beings from all corners of the galaxy.
Renee was born into an Italian-American family from Astoria, Queens. She has grown up between both Bethlehem and New York City most of her life—soaking up every ounce of music, culture, and good food both places have to offer. She graduated from DeSales University with a double major in English and Communications and a minor in slam poetry and freestyle. Her experience lies in marketing and fundraising to keep the arts alive in schools, as well as music production and promotions. Her passions include writing, cooking, different cultures, nature, meeting new people, music, comedy, and ricotta cheese.
Megan McCarthy lives with her husband Ryan and three year old daughter Riley in Bethlehem's historic Edgeboro neighborhood and is past-president of the MOMS Club of Bethlehem. She moved here in 2012 with her family and fell instantly in love with the city (you had me at Moravian Book Shop, Bethlehem!). Prior to being a full-time mom and Steel City resident, Megan worked professionally as a children's librarian in central NJ and as a television production assistant and theatrical stage manager in NYC. She holds degrees from NYU and Rutgers University. If you want to talk kids, libraries, books, TV, movies, podcasts, the arts (including the dark arts), NPR, organic eating, pie, BBQ, running, or cat videos, she's your girl.
Resident Tourist is the alias of Vanessa Palumbo, a transplant from Scranton, PA. A passion for photography, and an appreciation for her new surroundings, promoted her to start a local blog dedicated to playing tourist in Bethlehem as a resident. From this project sprouted the desire to share images from her daily adventures, highlight small businesses, and put the spotlight on everything that makes Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley so special!