Get Around Downtown

Scranton, PA, USA, welcome sign formerly displ...
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By Donya Albert
Staff Writer

With spring approaching, people are becoming more and more restless, feeling the need to venture outdoors. They seem to be braving the cold weather in lighter jackets and hoodies, trying to summon spring. Where exactly are they going and is it any good? There are many shops and restaurants in Scranton that are privately owned and definitely worth mentioning. For those students whose primary means of transport is a faithful pair of Reeboks, most of these establishments are on the Scranton city bus route (COLTS- schedules available online).

Since no one should shop on an empty stomach we’ll focus on food first. If you are vegan, vegetarian, or just trying to give up meat for Lent, there’s Eden Café. It’s located at 344 Adam’s Ave, which happens to be an excellent block in general (home to Farley’s, The Green Being, Essence of Paradise, and one block up from Osaka). Eden’s Café is home to soy-based healthy foods, fashioned to imitate ham sandwiches, burgers, turkey clubs and even barbecued chicken. The staff is very friendly and willing to answer all your questions, and the food is affordable. You could get a sandwich, side and pickle for around $7.00.

If meat, cheese, bread and potatoes are your mandatory items on a grocery list then you may want to try The Banshee Pub located at 320 Penn Ave. The food is fast, delicious, and affordable and there is sit-down service available  so that under aged customers are welcome. They’re open seven days a week. When the weather breaks, treat yourself to a stroll downtown and you’re guaranteed to find a place to eat on almost every block. At Aglio’s restaurant, 341 N. Washington Ave, you might not be able to pronounce the name but the food ranges from cheeseburgers to blackened chicken over greens, and you can enjoy most of these meals with a drink, tip the counter girls, and still keep your bill under $10.00. The quality of the food is great, and the owner is always in. When you’re through eating, stop by Northern Lights Espresso Bar at 536 Spruce St., and grab a decaf hazelnut mocha, or white tea, or any of their delicious beverages. You might want to sit for a minute and check your email (they have computers upstairs as well as free wireless capabilities) or take off your shoes and walk across the courthouse lawn. The grass feels fantastic, the memorial is beautiful, and the fresh air will do you good. You can then, coffee in hand, walk over to one of the two art galleries nearby. Star Gallery is located in The Mall at Steamtown, and AFA Gallery is two blocks left of the mall. Both these establishments show local art as well as other works, they also carry literature on upcoming shows and events.

At this point your food is properly digested and you’re probably ready to shop. Comics on The Green, at 307 N. Washington Ave., carries fun gifts as well as great posters and comics for the serious collector. If all you do is walk by, it’s worth it to see their window display, usually showing a life-size character in action pose. For the ladies, Duffy Accessories is the perfect place to lose yourself and find the right bit of bling for Saturday night. Duffy’s is located at 218 Linden St. The accessories range from the latest trends to more daring pieces, and owner Maureen Duffy would have no problem custom designing whatever creation you have in mind but need help with. Along with accessories she has hoards of purses and scarves, and her boutique is the perfect place to stumble upon that elusive “it’s so me, I have to get it” piece.

For phenomenal shopping even closer to Marywood, pay a visit to The Fanciful Fox, at the top of Ash Street in the hill section (1425 Ash St). It’s Fair Trade, so you’re definitely doing your part to help the world. They have a full line of soaps, lotions, body butter and makeup. The best part, they are vegan, 100% animal friendly, and meticulous in the process they use to create their product. They have some of the longest lasting soy candles you will ever burn, and a cool body Scrub Bar where you create your own body scrub. Chances are upon entering you will be greeted by Trixie, family puppy and sales associate. The Fanciful Fox is excellent when shopping for gifts for any age and personal style. They have trinkets from around the world, sweatshop-free clothing, and accessories.

Again, every location mentioned is quite affordable for a college student. Get up and get out guys, go somewhere different, and try something new.

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