Intro to Meadville: These little known places get an A-plus from us

Even by the time our first Campus issue hits the stands, students — freshmen included — may feel like they’ve hit up all the hot spots Meadville has to offer.
But there are more places, tucked away and on the outskirts, that add something special to the flavor of Meadville. Give these a taste.

Touch of East (11826 Pennsylvania Ave.)
It may not look like a storefront from the outside (that’s because it is, indeed attached to someone’s house) but this little shop can hold a lot.
Get your dorm decked with their moderately priced Indian tapestries (about $30), or browse their counters full of carved ivory knick–knacks and jewelry.
This hole–in–the–wall shop also features Eastern-inspired clothes, intricate Bodhisattva statues, peacock feathers, swords and scented oils. Likely, you’ll make at least one impulse buy every time you stop in.

The Boot Box (11894 Pennsylvania Ave.)
While “The Boot Box” doesn’t immediately scream “feminine chic,” this store carries snow and rain boots, tennis shoes and moccasins that are decorative, comfortable and — I can’t stress the importance of this enough — actually hold up.
These brands are durable, even in Meadville winters.
You’ll find your Wrangler jeans and Columbia hoodies and more camo than you can shake a stick at — not to mention, animals. Real animals. All over the wall. Real, mounted animals. Brown bears, black bears, deer butting antlers.
The décor is a touch of the wild, while the store provides exactly what you need to keep the Meadville wild from soaking your socks.
The Safari Bar (562 Park Avenue Ext.)
If you didn’t get your fill of taxidermy at The Boot Box, another Meadville treasure will give you the satisfaction of a lifetime’s worth of hunting seasons-all while you stuff your face.
The Safari Bar has real wallabies, African elephants, zebras, bison and even polar bears — a big polar bear.
“I always get the French onion soup,” said Courtney Klein, ’11, who claims she loves the Safari Bar, “and a thing called ‘The Victoria,’ an open–faced sandwich with turkey.”
The animals are more exotic than what we typically see in Meadville, hunted from all over the world by owners Gail and Glenn Peterson.
Although the animals are non–native, somehow they fit right in.
“Just being different is very Meadville,” Klein said. “The scenery is awkward but entertaining at the same time.”
The Safari Bar is also, in its way, educational. Your placemat has numbered pictures of all these animals, and a list of their names.
It’s like a zoo on pause.

Park Avenue Cinema (960 Park Ave.)
While you’re downtown, catch a movie at the newly renovated Park Avenue Cinema.
As part of GAP’s involvement with Make it Meadville’s First Friday initiative, Allegheny students will receive free admission to the Park Avenue Cinema Friday, Sept. 3 between 6 and 11 p.m. Make sure you have your Gator ID with you.
Regular rates, according to Park Avenue Cinema’s Web site, rates are as follows: $2.75 for the matinee on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and $3.75 for evening.
During “Wild Wednesdays,” the price is discounted to $1.50 before 6 p.m. and $2 after, and there is a free popcorn with admission. “Inception” is playing.
You can’t miss it.