Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 visitor's guide for people attending the Sideshow Gathering

Once again, this is just something I'm putting together, and is in no way endorsed by the Sideshow Gathering or any of the businesses mentioned.

I think everything I talked about in this post last year is still valid. If you're looking to get something to eat, some Starbucks coffee, looking to buy books, or chocolate, or music, or need to go to the hospital, you can follow those directions.

However, there were several omissions I need to take care of:

BEER, WINE, and LIQUOR: Folks from outside of Pennsylvania may find themselves confused by Pennsylvania's arcane liquor laws. (Even people from Pennsylvania find them confusing!)

Bottles of wine and liquor are sold only in state-owned stores, formerly called "State Stores" but now generally called "Wine and Spirits Shoppes." The closest one is technically located at 2136 WILKES-BARRE TWP, WILKES-BARRE, PA 18702-0000, but it might be easier to just look for the Wilkes-Barre Township Marketplace, the plaza that contains Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Starbucks, and several other stores. It's there, conveniently located next to the Chuck E. Cheese. ("You kids go and have a good time, daddy needs to do some shopping...")

To get there from the Woodlands:
- Turn left (south/west) on 315
- Take 315 about one mile until it becomes Business 309
- Take Business 309 about one mile
- Make a left on Mundy Street and follow for about a half mile (this is actually the second intersection with Mundy Street; you can get there by following the first, but then you will make a left in the next two instructions)
- Make a right on Highland Park Boulevard and follow for about half a mile
- Wilkes-Barre Township Marketplace and Starbucks will be on your right

Beer is sold in cases only at beer distributors, and in smaller quantities elsewhere. Many places that sell prepared food are also allowed to sell beer by the six-pack, and I believe the law limits purchases to two six-packs at a time.  Beer by the six-pack can be purchased at most pizza places and delis, though a wide selection can also be bought at Wegman's supermarket at 220 Highland Park Boulevard. (To get there, follow directions above to Wilkes-Barre Township Marketplace, but continue past the marketplace on Highland Park Boulevard and make a right at the traffic light in front of Wegman's. You can also access Wegman's directly from Business Route 309.) You can also get a huge selection of local beers by the six-pack (including make-your-own mix-and-match) at the Georgetown Deli next to the Giant Cow on 309, 720 Wilkes-Barre Township Boulevard.  For an excellent selection of beer by the case (because, really, when is 12 bottles adequate?) continue just past the Georgetown Deli to Wychock's Beverage at the Four Keys Plaza, 730 Wilkes-Barre Township Boulevard. (Other beer distributors are nearby, but feature only pedestrian brands.)

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS: Ses Carny called it "A sideshow performer's shopping center," and that sounds about right. The nearest one is located at 1074 WYOMING AVE (Route 11), Wyoming PA, 18644. Unfortunately, this is about six miles away from the Woodlands, and getting there can be tricky.

Simplified directions:
- Turn left on 315
- Turn right onto 309 North (NOT Business Route 309)
- Turn right onto Route 11 East (follow signs carefully for the first few hundred feet)
- Take Route 11 to the MIDWAY SHOPPING CENTER
- Harbor Freight is to the left of the center of the parking lot

Complex directions (adapted from Google):
1. Turn left on PA-315 S toward Motorworld Dr
2. Turn right to merge onto PA-309 N - 2.7 mi
3. Take exit 4 toward US-11/Kingston/Forty Fort - 0.3 mi
4. Turn right onto Rutter Ave - 256 ft
5. Keep left at the fork - 92 ft
6. Continue onto Welles St - 0.4 mi
7. Turn right onto Wyoming Ave - Destination will be on the left - 2.1 mi

Coming back is a little trickier:

1. Head west on Wyoming Ave toward Stites St - 2.1 mi
2. Turn left onto Welles St - 0.4 mi
3. Welles St turns slightly right and becomes Rutter Ave - 0.2 mi
4. Turn left to merge onto PA-309 S - 2.4 mi
5. Take exit 1 for Pennsylvania 309 Business S toward Pennsylvania 315 N/Dupont/Wilkes-Barre - 0.3 mi
6. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for PA-315 N - 331 ft
7. Turn left onto PA-309 BUS N - 0.2 mi
8. Continue onto PA-315 N - 0.5 mi
9. Turn right -Destination will be on the right - 62 ft.

There is also a HOME DEPOT on Business Route 309 in Wilkes-Barre (technically 41 Spring Street) and a LOWES in the same plaza as Barnes & Noble (see last year's directions.)

If there's any other sort of place or thing people would like directions to, please let me know!

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