Hi,

I’ve been working on a post, but it’s getting kind of long and I don’t want to rush it, so here’s another.

Christina & Jason had their afternoon garden wedding yesterday in my Courtyard.  The worst rain of any of my weddings, luckily it was real bad while we were setting up and not during their reception.  There was up to two inches of water and some areas of soft mud during set up.  The staff all had mud splattered over the back of their pants.  :)  But as I said, it rained a bit when the guests arrived and then basically held off until after wards.  Christina looked beautiful, I loved her dress.

I went to a chiropractor for the first time in my life.  Dr Casey Philips is right across the street from me (his main office is in Bethel Park).  He’s always been a great neighbor since I moved back up here.   Lately, my arms have been falling asleep while I sleep and it wakes me up.  So I went over to see him and we had an initial consultation and he took some X-rays.  We met again on Wednesday for treatment and OMG, I’ve slept straight through the night since.  The range of motion in my neck is incredible, the best in years.  And this is after just one visit.  He showed me where my problems are generating from (I think it’s my fifth vertebrae) on the X-ray.  He did a couple of different treatments and then he cracked my neck.  That was a first and pretty scary, but I guess if I get the results he done, I don’t mind the neck cracking.

Visit Pittsburgh, our convention bureau had a meet and greet for Visit Pittsburgh Partners and their staff.  Many of their staff I have met over the years I have been a member, I did get to meet some new ones.  I also met some other members I hadn’t met before.  The Pittsburgh Irish Festival will be held this coming September 10, 11 & 12.  The will have four stages of continuous entertainment, authentic Irish food & beverages, an Irish marketplace, children’s activities and many other activities.

Also, RiverQuest was there.  They are a non profit who’s main mission is educating people about how important our waterways are.  They do a lot of research, they take school children out and they have scheduled tours for the general public.  You can even schedule private parties on their boat.

I also met Paul from Pittsburgh Pedicabs, very green and laid back way to travel around the City.  They’ve teamed up with a local lady that’s a font of information about the City and they partner on bicycle tours.

I met with Nina & Jeff after breakfast was all cleaned up.  They’re getting married in September and looking for a place to house their guests.  This evening, Ed Cyphers from Sounds Like Fun disc jockeys is meeting with one of my brides for next year.  He’s a great guy and great DJ if anyone is looking for one.

I think that’s about it for today,

ed

Hi,

Another nice weekend.  The dreary weather finally left us Friday and stayed spectacular all weekend. It’s a wonderful rain storm today, no heavy winds or massive down pours, just a nice steady soaking of the ground.  The plants are happy.

Maria booked her and Frank here for their third anniversary, they were my first wedding here.  Such a nice couple, she is due with their first in five weeks, she looks great.  Maria was too funny, they found my Inn while it was still under construction.  At that point, I hadn’t have an event, so I wasn’t sure how many guests I could host.  I asked them how many they figured for their guest list and they said about 200.  I figured I could host about 150 at most.  They said they’d cut the list.  Basically, that was the last time I talked to Maria before the wedding.  She kept Jay, from Catered Elegance informed and I spoke with Frank.  They couldn’t get the guest list below 180, so we ended up tenting “The West Event Space”, my parking lot!  :)  They had the dinner there and walked through the connecting door to the Ballroom and had the dancing and festivities there.  A great time was had by all.  Last year, Frank was in the Trib a few weeks before the Pittsburgh Marathon and I saw it.  The Marathon, last year went right past my Inn and who’d I see running but Maria.  I shouted that I saw her famous husband in the newspaper and she laughed and kept on running.  :)

I subscribe to Fine Cooking, I love that magazine.  Generally, most of their recipes don’t interest me, but when there’s one that grabs me it’s a winner (the other recipes are great, they don’t do a lot of breakfast items which is what I generally am looking for).  What I love about the magazine are the tidbits you find in there and then the easy to follow recipes when you find some thing you like.  But I digress, speaking of tidbits, they had an article on brides having cheese wedding cakes.  How great is that?  I’m not suggesting this is right for everyone, or even many.  But for those that are looking for something different and love cheese, this is right up your alley.  Since reading it, my mind has been in overdrive and coming up with all kinds of ideas for icings, etc.  Here’s a link to a picture of one of their “cakes“.  I’ m not  as knowledgeable about cheese as they are and a bit more of a traditionalist and can envision a really cool looking “traditional” wedding “cake” with an “icing” made from some complimentary or contrasting soft cheese.  Also, they have this massive store/website/etc that appears really cool right up in Ontario.   Their web site is very attractive, but I don’t find it very easy to navigate, for one thing, they don’t have a contact page, they do have an easy to find contact E-mail button.  Yesterday, I had a hard time finding a picture of their “cake” and so I used their contact E-mail button and sent them an E-mail assuming I would hear from them today, Monday.  Low and behold, Alex responded within a half an hour and told me the cake was hard to find and gave me a direct link to the picture above.  I love businesses that go the extra mile of providing service during non traditional hours.

Speaking of things a bit different, Kerry at KS Kennedy Floral has a strolling table for hors d oeuvres or desserts.  There’s a model (she can be in any costume to fit the occasion) with the table around her and it’s on wheels the the table looks like her dress.  Check it out.

My Chinese white lilac tree is about half open, it should be in full bloom for Christina and Jason’s wedding this weekend.  The Japanese Dog Wood also will be in full bloom for them.  The scent from the lilac is so strong, it will be real nice for this afternoon event.

That’s all for today, keep dry.

ed

Hi,

Businesses supporting businesses, what a novel concept.  :)  My new bank, Slovak Savings and Loan right here on the Northside, had a consultant that came in to do some work with them and she called me for a reservation.  The best part of the story is Donna called me while I was in my old bank, First Niagara (who never referred anyone) talking with the manager.  It takes a change in mindset for people to think like this.  And it’s not just one business  supporting one of their customer businesses, it’s all of us.  Of course this is prejudice on my part, but if we all are aware of small businesses and help send customers our way instead of to the big box stores, this country would be a hole lot better.  I was a business major at Penn State many years ago and one fact (maybe the only one :) ) stuck with me over the years.  93% of the United States Gross National Product (GNP) is generated by small businesses.  There was an article recently in the newspaper that said the exact same thing.  There is literally millions of us out there.  When a friend or coworker asks about an accountant, send them to Bould and Associates instead of HR Block, flower orders to KS Kennedy instead of Telafloral, stereo needs to Butch’s Sound and Audio instead of Best Buy, get your Jamiacan Ginger Root Beer, Red Ribbon Cherry Pop, Pennsylvania Punch from Natrona Bottling and send your out of town friends & business associates to The Parador Inn, you get my drift.

And related to that, is donations to non profits.  I donate to most non profits that request a get away (I never donate to ones that solicitate from distant states, etc.)  And I get a fair amount of redemption of these certificates.  What I don’t get is referral business.  Honestly, when I donate to a non profit, it is to help them raise money for their worthwhile causes, particularly in these times.  But I have never received a booking from someone saying I saw your donation at xyz fund raiser and thought I’d support you also.  Or better yet, I’m on the executive board of xyz non profit and I noticed your donation to our fund raiser.  I have some clients coming in for my regular business and would like to lodge them at your establishment.  I’ve donated to fund raisers and had guests use the gift certificate, never actually come back, but ask me to donate to another non profit they belong to.  Am I being greedy?  Maybe I actually get referrals from these donations and the guests never acknowledge where they found out about me (but this has never been listed on my Guest Comment Card that is in each guest room).  If you are reading this and patronize a small business because you saw them at a non profit fund raiser, please let the small business know so we feel appreciated.

I was making the cinnamon swirl quick bread for breakfast and I got everything mixed and layered in the baking pans when a guest came to the door.  I greeted them, gave them the tour and then checked them in.  When I went back to the kitchen, I put the two loaf pans in the oven.  When I pulled them out half way through baking, I noticed I neglected to swirl the cinnamon swirl batter.  ):.  So we had swirlless cinnamon swirl bread for breakfast.

It was supposed to rain and be cloudy all day today.  It never really rained (the first day in many) and actually got fairly sunny (the first in many).  Makes me very happy.  I got the grass cut and the beach raked.  All set for the weekend guests.

RJ was funny this evening.  Andrew left this morning.  He was from Canada, and had been here from Sunday and each morning would stop and greet both boiz and play with RJ before breakfast.  If he was around during the day, he’d spend some time playing with RJ.  And most evenings when I came down to turn the music off and do the final thing with the lights (RJ follows me down each evening for this ritual), Andrew would be in the Parlor reading.  RJ would run over to him and they would play one more time.  This evening when I came down to put the Inn to bed for the evening, RJ went running into the Parlor and kept looking around.  He couldn’t believe his buddy wasn’t there.  :)

The new Angelica giga hasn’t grown, but is sitting there looking healthy.  The bananas are already sprouting new leaves.  The hibiscus that gets more sun has tripled in size (the other is growing, but no where as fast).  The elephant ears are being sluggish, but with the warmer weather, they should really start shooting up.  I need to pull the clematis apart, it has exploded and I need to get it growing where I want it (on the arbor, not under).  Everyone else out there in the garden are either growing well or exploding.  It’s going to be a great year for the gardens.

Kevin and crew from Crested Duck was in working in my kitchens this afternoon.  He will have his first day of sales tomorrow at the Fire House.  So they were busy as all get out and when I came home from doing my errands there was no place in the cold kitchen to put my purchases down, so I went in the Pantry and tried getting all five cloth bags of groceries, etc on the counter.  As luck would have it, the one bag that didn’t make it had a bottle of port in it, of course it broke.  Later, after Kevin left, I decided to move the vase with extra flowers in it, the two bottles of mix for Pina Colodas and Margaritas and a bottle of white wine from the cooler we share to the one in the Pantry.  Guess what, Mr. Lazy Man’s Load tried carrying all three bottles and the white wine bottle slipped out of my grasp in the Pantry and broke.  Not a good day for me and alcohol.  :)

Brian, from Wall to Wall Productions called me yesterday.  They’re right down the street and had one of the people they work with come in to town back in January and they placed him here.  They’re bringing another one in for eleven days the end of the month and booked him here (he’s coming all the way from Hawaii).  So Brian came by this afternoon for a tour and did all the details for the booking.  Also this afternoon, Kristy who’s planning a wedding next September came by for a tour.  The Parador may be a perfect fit, her and her cousin seemed to enjoy the tour.  That would be the third wedding I have already booked for next year, way over where I was last year at this point.

Well, it’s late and I need to make breakfast early, have a great evening,

ed

Hi,

Very nice weekend.  Mike & Joe were back and brought some family members for the weekend.  One of my many boring stories I subject my guests to was where the frog night light came from (a guest bought if for me after I told them how enamored I was with the cocci frog in the water feature).  They found a metal frog sculpture and bought if for the Inn.  Nicole & John were in for a get away while cheering their daughter on in her State gymnastics tournament in Western PA (she placed pretty high in the three categories she competed in).  My friends from Angola, Dave & Claire came in and are here for six days (their daughter and son will be joining them from NYC for the last two nights) and Tony & Sue from State College came in for one night.  It’s always nice to see old friends and great when times don’t change your relationship.

Tony’s pretty amazing.  He has made just about all the wooden  furniture in their house.  And he doesn’t just make stick furniture.  Each piece is a unique design with all kinds of inlayed wood and unique appointments.  He is friends with someone that owns a saw mill up in Centre County and any time they get unique logs in, they call Tony to see if he’d like it.  He has all this cool lumber stacked in his basement waiting for a project.  It’s always interesting to visit them and see what he’s up to.  He made their dining room set (eight foot table, six chairs and china closet), their bedroom set (bed, dresser, chest of drawers, side tables) and all kinds of furniture around the house.

I don’t like the middle table in the dining room and have been thinking about shopping around for one that would fit exact requirements I have.  When Tony & Sue said they’d be down to visit, a light bulb went off in my head.  So while they were here, I explained what I was looking for and what my budget was and asked if he’d be interested in making it and it seems he’s very keen on doing it.

Kevin from the Crested Duck has been working in my kitchen getting ready for the Terminal Shops opening later this month.  He’s the guy doing charcuterie.  I have several hundred pounds of various sausages aging in my basement.  :) He’s been invited to set up shop in the Firehouse Market down in the Strip and I think he’s going to start down there this weekend.  So he’s busy as a beaver making product.  He has a lot of short and long term aging recipes, luckily.  Also, we may have an arrangement.  Instead of serving bacon I have been at breakfast, we may partner together and I’ll serve his organic local sausage.  That’s pretty exciting.

I’m hooking up with Smartbox, they have a number of products, but the one I’m interested in is a presentation of various Inns and they sell these in bookstores and other outlets.  It’s kind of a nice idea, the price you pay for the box includes the price of staying at an Inn.  They make a nice purchase for someone themselves or a great gift. Lots of variety, pick an Inn you like in an area you like.   I more or less only get half price (this is how they make their money) and I get great exposure.  The pictures I sent didn’t have enough resolution, so I asked Stephen, my weekday housekeeper if he had a digital camera with high resolution.  He said his fiance has a camera, but didn’t know the resolution.  Allie was here waiting for him to get off work.  When Stephen asked her about the resolution, she didn’t have an answer.  She has a smart phone and so goes on line to look up the make & model camera she owns and then found out the resolution, which is more than adequate.  The point of this note, is I find the use of smart phones amazing.  To have that info available with a little work searching the web from your phone is just incredible.  I think I need to join the twenty first century and get one for myself.  I guess it’s about time.

Have a great one,

ed

Hi,

As a follow up to Sundays talk about the Pittsburgh Glass Center, there is a glass gallery in Shadyside.  Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery is located at 5833 Ellsworth Avenue.  They have an interesting web site, more of a retail outlet than PGC’s instructional, museum, gallery, etc approach.  But definitely worth checking out.

The Arondo Donax (the bamboo/grass along the front fence) are sprouting up all over the place.  When they grow up, (they reach over 13 feet tall) it’s going to be banner year for them.  The hybrid hibiscus are finally sprouting all over the place.  Very tiny sprouts, but lots of them are popping up.  The Angelica gigas finally arrived.  They are the coolest plants, they’re crack cocaine for bees.  Don’t worry, the bees swoop in to the plant, get filled up and leave.  They have very exotic leaves and the flowers are these spikes that jut up and look like fireworks.  One of my favorite plants.  The banana plants arrived (and were planted) yesterday.  They’re still pretty small, but will grow up to about eight feet tall and wide.  I’m excited.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I have a strong preference to shop as local as I can.  Last year I had problems with my ice machine and called Allegheny Refrigeration, a company right around the corner.  The repairman showed up, fixed the ice machine and when he presented the bill, there was a $32 fuel charge (they’re right around the corner!).  I questioned it and the repairman said everyone is charged that.  I paid it.  The two door refrigerator in my kitchen wasn’t holding temperature and I again called Allegheny Refrigeration.  When I asked if I was going to be charged the fuel charge since I’m right around the corner, the lady on the phone got a distinct attitude towards me and said she doesn’t set the price.  I told her I don’t care who or why, I just need to know if Allegheny Refrigeration was going to charge me, because that would stop me from using them.  I then called Sicilia and his answering service couldn’t answer if they charged a fuel charge, someone would call me.  I then called Fugh and spoke with a real friendly receptionist.  Carol said they charge a $30 fuel charge, but she gave me a credit for a coupon they have out in circulation, so my fuel charge was $10.  I agreed to this and had no sooner hung the phone up than Jeff from Sicilia called.  They don’t charge a fuel charge and Jeff was a very personable tradesman.  Since I already agreed to Fugh, I told Jeff he’d have my next business.  I really hate that deceptive and greedy businesses.  The place that I used to get my oil changed started charging a $10 service charge.  Why not just raise your rate.  They advertise a price and then when you go to pay, there’s service fees, fuel charges, etc.  My guests would walk out the door if when they checked in all of a sudden I was charging extra fees over my advertised price. In case you haven’t noticed, I put hyperlinks in for businesses I think we should support and not for businesses that I think are not reputable (ie Allegheny Refrigeration).

I sent Kerry an E-mail about Allegheny Refrigeration and the next three paragraphs are his response:

Yes.. countless folks with the same opinions on this horrible monopoly..So inconsiderate of the little guys and know they are the only game around..

A great man, Harry Killen, had worked for them for countless years and was let go some time ago for no good reason except to cut costs..amazing how they don’t work with pricing but get rid of the folks who had been with them for generations!

Harry is now on his own and does loads of work for many around the Northside with very fair pricing and considerate service ..(He learned what NOT to do from those guys) If anyone is looking for an amazing refrigeration guy, Harry is the one I insist on every time! His number is 412 304 3255 !!

This is me again, for some reason Kerry’s font continued.  Tonight’s Soup Night at Calvary Methodist Church from 5 until 7 p.m., my very good friend Lisa does it as a fund raiser for the church.  They have a Cinco de Mayo theme tonight.  Good food served cafeteria style for a good cause (and if you’re just a little bit sneaky, you can peek in the sanctuary with the three huge Tiffany windows.)

Finally, some very good friends from college are coming in tomorrow.  Dave & Claire are coming in from Angola.  Dave’s worked for Exxon for years and they’ve been stationed over there for three years now.  They have lots of interesting stories.  And they know my Caribbean/tribal look I’m trying to achieve here and all four authentic African masks in the first floor are from them.  Tony and Sue are coming down from State College.  Tony has run a green house up at Penn State since graduating in Horticulture.  Tony always brings me wonderful plants (those hybrid hibiscus are from Tony).  He also got me that grow light in my sun room that the plants love so much.  I feel like such a slacker when they visit bearing gifts.  But I’m not too proud to accept them.  :)

Have a great one,

ed

Hi,

Other than getting stuck in the most bizarre detour the City set up around the Convention Center while going to Restaurant Depot, the weekend was great.  The Pirates played this weekend (no traffic there :) ), the Pittsburgh Marathon was this weekend, the Penn’s play off against the Canadiens and Pitt’s graduation all combined to grid lock the City.  The detour made you turn up tenth street under the Convention Center, down Penn Avenue, up eighth Avenue then down Liberty.  It was so convoluted, traffic was backed up to the Ft Duquesne Bridge (and there’s not way to turn around once you’ve gone this far).  Literally it took me an hour to get through it.  So for the way back, I hoped on the thirty-first street bridge and came down route 28 and was home in fifteen minutes.

The oddest thing happened yesterday.  The neighborhood was holding a spring clean up, they always hold these on Saturday mornings.  That’s my busiest day for breakfast, so instead of helping, I offer a location to gather and supply coffee.  The front door was open and there were several neighbors on the front porch, I was in the pantry working on breakfast when this Oriental woman walked in with two boxes of Krispie Creme donuts and said “These are for Jennifer”.  I had no Jennifer staying here and have no idea what that was all about.  Would anyone like a box or two of Krispie Creme donuts?  :)

Heather and Matt, from the War Streets, housed their musicians here.  They had five rooms.  The wedding went great over at the Mattress Factory, from what I hear.  The Musician were great guests.  We also hosted a number of parents coming for their kids from Pitt.  I even had my newspaper deliverer visit this weekend.  Ruth has always told her husband Greg what a cool looking place and so for their anniversary, he booked a get away weekend.  Very nice.

The Pittsburgh Glass Center is hosting a very cool exhibit to coincide with Pittsburgh hosting the North American United Nations World Environment Day, June 5.  All the exhibits have to be either using green or have a green theme.  For those of you not familiar with PGC, their mission to foster glass artistry.  They teach classes, mentor and foster glass in the arts.  They are located at 5472 Penn Avenue, just past Lawrenceville.  There was an article on the exhibit in the Trib this morning, here’s a link to the Trib, then type Glass artist look at our fragile world in the search box and it will take you to the article.  The sculptures look amazing.

Speaking of artists, there is a wood artist working out in Lincoln-Lemington (generally out past East Liberty).  The Urban Tree Forge is located at 1004 Washington Blvd in the old Elias Studios.  John Metzler takes trees that have been cut or blown down and recycles these into furniture and pieces of art.  John made a tables for the G-20 Summit from oak and sycamore here on the Northside and tables for the Carnegie Library’s historical collection also here on the Northside.  An associate, Joshua Space made the face on one of his gargoyles on display at Phipps Conservatory out of a piece of sycamore he found fallen in his neighbor’s yard.

It’s been raining all afternoon, seems to have quit for now.  I think I’ll try and take da boiz down the park, I don’t imagine the dog gestapo will be out.  We should be safe.  :)

The Penns were up one nothing first period, now after two periods Canada’s up two to one.  Lets go Penns,

ed

Hi,

There’s a new restaurant in the Del Monte building down by the river, River Town (they don’t seem to have a web site) and Kerry from KS Kennedy Floral and myself had dinner down there.  Kind of a sports bar (down between the stadiums, what would you expect), but not overly so.  The menu was very creative with a Pittsburgh slant (ie Yinzer Salad).  The food was good and prices reasonable.  They are a Pittsburgh chain with three other locations.

Got busted by the City Animal Control today.  I take da boiz down to the park each day for exercise.  We walk down on leashes and then I let them off the leases to actually run, much better exercise than just walking them around the block.  There is a dog park in another section of the park, but Razor doesn’t get along with other dogs, so I can’t take them there.  I know you’re not allowed to have dogs off the leash in the City, but they are always under my control.  They’re so good, when they’re running around, I can call to them and with hand motions direct them where to run.  Well Animal Control pulls up and tells me there’s a leash less section of the park and I told them Razor doesn’t get along well with other dogs.  Razor has his rabies tag, I never got one for RJ, maybe because he was a puppy?  I don’t know why the vet didn’t give me one, but he don’t have one.  Animal Control informed me it was a $300 fine for having them off leash ($600) and $300 fine for RJ not having his rabies tag.  They let me know they were being nice guys by just giving me a warning.  I understand there are pit bulls running around biting people and such.  But da boiz are always in my sight, I clean up after them and I keep them away from other dogs and people.  There’s a time when I think public employees should practice discretion (and be aloud to).

That’s like the trash collection here in the City.  Being a business, I am supposed to pay an outside contractor to pick up the trash here.  I also live here.  I never go over two cans per week (I see residents in the City with two cans over flowing and bags and bags piled next to the cans).  I recycle everything (and I personally take it to a recycling center), half the year I only put out one can a week.  When the trash collectors miss my trash and I call the City, if I mention the name of my Inn, they immediately inform me that I need to pay an outside contractor to pick up my trash.  The City really needs to learn how to be business and resident friendly.  There are many excellent employees and I don’t want to call them the exception, but there also are an awful lot of very unhappy City employees.  I could tell all kinds of nightmare stories ($42,000 the City cost me over and above what was needed), but will pass on that.  If they want businesses to come to the City and thrive, there needs to be a pro business attitude.  I love the City, the residents, the attractions and culture.  We could do so much better if the local government wasn’t so unhelpful.

Speaking of the City, my neighborhood’s making some big strides this spring.  The old derelict gas station on the corner of Galveston and Western is the new home for the Pittsburgh Home and Garden show.  They redid the old gas station building this past winter and are now working on the grounds.  The old family court building next to the pizza shop is going to be retail on the first floor and a Pitt professor is going to live on the second floor with a roof top garden.  AND, the old boarding house catty cornered from me seems to have new owners.  A couple from Boston are in the process of buying it.  They plan on putting an Italian restaurant (they just sold their Italian restaurant in Boston) on the first floor, possibly with a gift shop.  Then they plan on some apartments above.  I hear the seller accepted their offer and I saw people walking around the property, like contractors preparing bids for work.  I’m pretty excited to see all this activity.

I am going to be in another New York publication.  Time Out New York is doing a feature on Pittsburgh and I had a phone interview with them today for their May 13 edition.  I also am hosting a travel writer in two weeks for the Louisville Gazette and Robb Report .  I love exposure, get your minds out of the gutter, I didn’t say I’m an exhibitionist.  :)  I still get close to fifty hits a month on my web site from the NY Times article from July, 2007.

Pittsburgh has Pitt’s graduation this weekend as well as the Pittsburgh Marathon (which isn’t routed past my Inn this year ):) and the Penns are playing a home game at the Igloo, the City’s going to be jumping.  I’m sold out.  So that’s about it for today, I’ve had two rooms check-in for the weekend and have five more to go.  I know Tim and his son are coming in late (Tim’s a regular, his daughter’s going to Pitt and they’re coming to pack her up for the summer).  I don’t know when the other guests will be arriving. So it’s just little projects that I don’t get too dirty from.

Have a great weekend,

ed

Hi,

It was supposed to be bright, sunny and warm today.  Ixnay on the bright and sunny, it is in the upper fifties, but pretty breezy that makes it seem colder.

I got the tickets from the Carnegie Monday.  I have ten each for the Warhol and the Carnegie Museums of Art, Natural History and Architecture, they cost me nine dollars (about half off) and I pass that on to any guests staying here.  So if you are planning on a visit, just let me know if you plan on going to either museum.  Also, being a corporate sponsor, my ENTIRE staff get’s half off admission with a pass I have.  Got that Darronda & Stephen?  :)

They may shoot part of a fairly major motion picture here!  That could be exciting.  Lionsgate has representatives scouting out the City for a shoot this summer and one of them stopped by today to see my Inn.  Apparently, Demian from the Pittsburgh Film Office has seen my Inn going towww.nickysthaikitchen.com and Peppis Cheesesteaks and was familiar with the outside of my Inn.  When Lionsgate called him to scout, this was one of the locations they wanted him to check out. He was pretty excited, because it gave him the excuse to see the inside.  He took lots of pictures.  It is very cool when I give a tour to someone that notices the details.  I have to laugh sometimes, I have all these museum quality antiques and hand painted murals throughout the first floor and the person I’m giving the tour to only comments on the banana leaf ceiling fans I bought at Lowes.

I was in that Japanese documentary they shot here and at the glass factories in Connellsville about Louis Tiffany two years ago.  The glass factories up by Ohio Pyle still make glass for Tiffany, and I think this is the company Youghiogheny Opalescent .  I’ve never found anything on line about the Tiffany documentary, but I do have a CD of it if anyone is ever interested.  It was pretty cool, the actor that they had portraying Louis Tiffany amazingly looked like Louis Tiffany.  The actor they had playing his son had similarities, but that was about it there.  Pittsburgh Film Makers shot a scene for a movie here a few months ago.  I’ve also been the back drop for a number of photo shoots (not counting my brides).  But if the Director and Producer want to use my Inn and we come to terms, this will be the biggest so far.  I think my Inn is THE ideal location for a backdrop for so many things.  Everything just seems to flow together.  It’s bright, cheery, comfortable and dramatic.

I was on line about a month ago and ordered two cold hardy banana plants.  I had two when I first did the Courtyard, but they died their first winter.  I didn’t receive an invoice with the final amount, estimated delivery date, etc.  When I received my credit card statement, I had been charged and so I Googled the name on the statement and found the web site again.  I got  a phone number and when I called it, the number was no longer in service.  I went back to the web site and there was a “contact us” button that brought up an e-mail addressed to Ted @ this nursery.  So I sent him an E-mail saying I tried the phone number and it didn’t work and that I need to speak with someone about this charge/order and gave him my phone number.  He sent me back an E-mail that he was too busy to call me.  He told me to look on the invoice for the delivery date or send him the invoice number for him to look the order up (I don’t have an invoice).  A series of E-mails went back and for, with his tone continuing to get worse.  I canceled the order, paid four dollars more with another company that I hope is more customer concerned.  If Ted treats his customers this bad, and they’re the ones giving him money, I can only imagine what he does to those poor defenseless plants.  I wouldn’t want a plant from his nursery (or maybe I should be looking at it as rescuing a pound puppy).  :)

Well, that’s it for today, have a great evening and keep warm,

ed

Hi,

What a nice weekend.  Bill and Pam were back again brought their son Nate in to take a test for Penn Culinary School, it has a new name, but that’s where I went.  Annette & Mark, repeat friends also, came to the ‘burg to pack up the kids from school.  Dawn and Ed came by for a get away other than their normal Steelers visit.  There were several other “new” friends that came by for the first time, but when Matthew and Jana checked in, Matt told me they were here on a referral from Ernesto.  Ernesto and Jessica was one of the nicest weddings I’ve had the honor to host.  If you’ve been here, the hand carved wooden fruit on my front round dining room table is a gift from his wonderful parents.

The fund raiser for the YMCA was quite fun.  The numbers aren’t in yet, so I don’t know how much they were able to raise for their good deeds, but all the guests certainly had fun.  I know they had over a hundred guests, many I remember from last year.  Linda I did a real nice catering.  Brian O’Neil was here signing copies of his book The Paris of Appalachia, a book about Pittsburgh. A real good book.

I got the tickets for the Warhol and Carnegie Museums of Natural History, Art and Architecture yesterday.  The Carnegie sells them to me for $9 (about 1/2 off), I sell them to any of my guests for that.  So anyone booking here, just let me know that you’d like them.

Well, I guess this is going to be a short one, good night,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow the YMCA is hosting their annual fund raiser here.  This is the second year I’ve hosted it for them.  They stopped by this afternoon and pretty much have everything set up.  They’re expecting about 100 guests tomorrow.  They are having wine tastings for new and old style wines, there are about seven massive gift baskets that will be silent auctioned off and some art work.  Linda I is doing the food and there is going to be live music.  Should be pretty exciting.

Stephen started back yesterday.  During his lay off, he got into orgami somewhat and you should see the new presentation we are doing with the toilet paper.  Up until, we’ve done the traditional triangle fold on the last piece of TP.  This is the traditional presentation you see in any hotel.  Stephen does a triple fold with the end two pieces of TP making a basket.  Then with another single sheet of TP, he does a fan fold and puts it in the “basket”.  Very sharp presentation.

I use Google Analytic’s to track where my visitors to my web site come from.  I started seeing referrals from Church Photography’s web site and was wondering who that was.  Then I remember last year when Russ & Natalie got married (their wedding and reception were elsewhere, but they stayed here).  They brought in Scott Church from Lebanon, PA as their photographer.  Scott’s a nice guy and does great work.  Well, Natalie called me yesterday and Scott wants to hold a photography class here.  The people taking Scott’s class will be staying here Friday and Saturday, November 5 & 6 and will be attending lectures and then taking photos around the property.  I gave them a great price on the event space as long as any published photos are attributed to “taken at The Parador”.  It should be a lot of fun.

I finished painting all the white trim in the kitchens.  Besides being a kitchen and all the wear and tear from that, it is also the most used room.  I bring almost everything in through the kitchen, the laundry room is off the kitchen and laundry baskets bang off the doorways, everything going to or from the basement comes through there (all my little projects) banging trim-you get the idea.  The kitchen was starting to look pretty tired and it looks so pristine right now.  And the white makes everything so nice and bright.

Well, have a good night and we’ll chat again soon,

ed

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