Tomorrow’s the anniversary of the civil rights march on Washington (1963), like an early Google, radio figured out they could make money off advertisng (1922) and Jamaica’s Port Royal hurricane (1722). Birth anniversary include film star Charles Boyer (1889), Vaudeville performer Donald O’Connor (1925), first lady Lucy Hayes (1831), naturalist Roger Peterson (1908) and German author/poet Johann Goethe (1749).
Apparently, when we rebuilt my website, we disconnected my Twitter feed. It’s back up.
Not to beat a dead horse, we are again setting a new record. July was the biggest month EVER at either Parador (Pittsburgh as well as Palm Beach) and August is going to beat that, hands down. We haven’t had less than 10 guests for breakfast each morning. Generally it’s been 14 to 20, and I’m talking weekdays! And it looks like we’re going to be on The Travel Channel this fall! They are going to use the Parlor for the interview of their most popular show, The Dead Files. They’re not doing a paranormal investigation here or anything like that, they’re just shooting the interview between hosts Steve and Amy and their experts here. Six minutes, one million viewers.
And of course during all this business, my computer died. I bought a new commercial reach-in refrigerator and knew it would fit through the door. What I didn’t account for was the ice machine doesn’t move. The delivery guys from Penn Fixture had a real hard time getting it in, there’s a number of gouges in the tile floor, a big crease where the new refer fell into the ice machine and the coup de grace was when they knocked the statue of a chef my nephew bought me onto my computer killing my computer screen. I’m addicted to my computer. I do all my own marketing, accounting, data base, reservations, Welcome Letters, etc. And for it to die in the middle of all this business was just nuts. So as much as I hate big box stores, I went out to HH Gregg for a new Toshiba . They only had the floor model of the one I wanted, so I told them to un-program the demo software and return it to factory standards. Billy the sales associate and JC his boss both seemed well informed and knowledgeable. In the mean time, JC offered me a screen I could plug into my old computer so I could do my work until the reprogramming was complete. I eventually brought it home, had my computer guy Mike install my programs and carry my files from the old computer to the new (he could do it without the screen). All is fine, I thought! Friday, it was working fine in the kitchen that afternoon. I closed it up, took it to the Office that evening. I took a shower and settled in for the night and went to check my e-mails and the screen wouldn’t come up. It was turning on, but the screen wouldn’t work. I tried several times that evening (what is it they say about insanity is trying the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result?). So Saturday I took it back to HH Gregg and encountered JC’s replacement Eddie. What an idiot, he’s why I don’t shop big box. Someone that doesn’t know what their doing and so they blame everyone else. He first blamed my computer guy, he then blamed a virus, he kept deflecting the problem instead of trying to figure out what’s wrong. The screen finally came back on and Eddie said “it’s fixed”. After a terse conversation (I knew I wasn’t going anywhere with him), I took it home with him saying don’t worry you still have two weeks left on your 30 day warranty. (Stupid me, I should have backed up my accounting and data base and didn’t). ): Sunday, the screen did the same thing. So Monday, after breakfast, I go out to HH Gregg to return the computer and get a new one. (My opinion, the demo power system was damaged from being “on” all day long on display). Luckily, Eddie wasn’t working. Billy and JC were both on shift and it was quickly, politely and professionally handled. Now I had to get Mike back to transfer the files AGAIN, and this time I had to recreate all my accounting transactions from receipts, printed checks, credit card receipts, etc for two weeks. (I made Ty do the data base.) So I’m back in the saddle with a totally functioning computer and a happy camper.
So this is why you haven’t heard from me for a bit.
Speaking of publicity, we were just in The Trib. The title of the article, “Who needs coastline? Pittsburgh has its own sandy retreats” and talks about various Pittsburgh businesses that have a beach theme, like Kelly’s Down by the Riverside Saloon, Paradise Island Bowl & Beach, Sandcastle, Cabana Bar, Rumfish Grille, and how can you talk about the beach without including The Parador Inn. They missed a few local tropical retreats like Redfin Blues
Roberto Clemente was the first Latino player inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Not only was he a huge superstar on the field, he was a real role model for kids growing up in the sixties and early seventies. He overcame numerous obstacles and never lost sight of who he was and what he believed in. Hearing the Nicaraguan dictator Somoza was stealing relief supplies Roberto was involved in collecting and sending down there. Somoza was selling the supplies on the black market. Roberto decided to fly down with the supplies to ensure the supplies got to the people who needed them. That’s the famous plane crash that took his life. New Hampshire playwright Alki Steriopoulos (a Pittsburgh native) has written a musical 21, based on Roberto’s life from childhood in Puerto Rico through his untimely death. Point Park University will be premiering the musical in October at The Pittsburgh Playhouse.
At the age of 89, Lauren Bacall recently passed away, what a great actress and lady. The Fashion Institute of Technology is opening a museum showcasing hundreds of items of clothing she donated. It is slated to open next spring. Lauren worked with many clothing designers and had an extensive collection of one of a kind garments. Lauren started modeling at the age of 16 and by 19 she was discovered by Harper’s Bazaar and from there, Hollywood found her. She possessed a subtle seductiveness and yet was full of fire and self confidence. She will be missed.
The “Deer” at Carrie Furnace National Historic Landmark was created by George Davis, Liz Hammond, Tim Kaulen, John Latell, Mike McFadden, Joe Small, Tim Yohman and Bob Ziller 17 years ago as a “pop-up” art installation. It was never intended to last this long and since it has, and is suffering from the elements. The Deer has created quite the following. Rivers of Steel, the nonprofit in Homestead that owns the site and is trying to turn Carrie Furnace into a regional attraction includes the Deer in the tours they offer. I’ve talked about Rivers of Steel in the past. They occupy this very nondescript building on 8th Avenue in Homestead that you could very easily pass without noticing it. But they are huge, I forget the number of people that pass through their doors or do their tours, but it’s massive They started an effort to restore and stabilize the Deer and they started a Kickstarter campaign a couple of weeks ago. They’ve actually raised the $5K minimum needed and have 18 days left in their campaign left.
It’s that time of year again for you medieval folks, the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival is in full swing out in West Newton. It runs Saturdays and Sundays (also Labor Day) through September 28 from 10:30 am until 6:30 pm. They feature swordsmanship, jousting and other medieval sports. The Washing Well Wenches will again be performing their comedy routines and performing pipe and drum shows. As well as arts and crafts and a wide array of food services both contemporary and medieval.
The Pittsburgh Public Market will be opening a new service next month and I’d say it’s long over due for such a facility in Pittsburgh. They are opening a shared commercial kitchen on September 15. I have an official commercial kitchen and have been approached on several occasions but start-ups wanting to use my space until they can get on their feet. It’s a bit of a pain for me, I’m not a traditional restaurant doing breakfast prep, followed by lunch prep followed by dinner prep, but I do use the kitchen throughout the day. For example when I have a free hour to make bread for tomorrow in the afternoon. I had one start up I knew and let them use my kitchen, I charged a nominal fee. Every time they left, if the kitchen was left as clean as when they arrived I was lucky. Usually I at least had to wipe everything down again. They mopped the floor once in the four months until I told them they had to clear out. It’s not in my job description to follow up and point out what they missed. Being a commercial kitchen run as a rental unit ($17.50 per hour), they’ll be set up with someone who’s job is to be sure the kitchen’s left as it should be and the hourly fee would cover a clean-up crew to do heavy cleaning. The kitchen’s going to be available 24/7, so if you need to come in at night after your day job, you can pursue your cooking. They have on-site lockable storage available (I don’t know if this includes refrigerated space as well, or just for your knives, etc). It will be production designed, so I imagine if you are hosting that party for 100 guests in your home, you could probably rent it, get everything done on a commercial scale. Doing quantities of food in a commercial space is SO much easier than in a normal home kitchen. They plan on eventually expanding the kitchen into the vendor area so they can offer cooking classes and demos. A great addition to the Public Market. I haven’t been in the Market since they moved to 2401 Penn Avenue several months ago, I need to check out their new digs.
The Pittsburgh Biennial is celebrating their 20th year through November 2 at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in Shadyside, in fact, it’s grown to include space inside the Pittsburgh Filmmakers. On display will be the works of two dozen artists with Pittsburgh connections. Most will be mixed media or installation type pieces. One of the pieces, Steve Gurysh‘sThe Long Cloud is a print that used 2 ounce of uranium (yes the dangerous stuff). Don’t fear, it’s encased in thick plastic and concrete with a Geiger counter attached so you know if there’s any leakage. There’s Chris Beauregard‘s The Smudge which is an axe embedded in a wall and it’s wrapped in bundles of sage (I’m sure you are aware the belief that to take sage, light it and carry it around letting the smoke drift in the corners of your house/room to cleanse the room/house of troublesome bad spirits/energy). There also the floor to ceiling creation by Eli Blasko‘s A Plot in Perpetual Flux with an interesting use of pillows, flowers and stairs reminiscent of an MC Escher print. The show’s put on by non-profits and they suggest a $5 donation.
Tom Atkin’s one-man show, The Chief, will air on WPXI (Channel 11) at 8 pm on August 30. It’s the story of Art Rooney, the founder of the Steelers. The Chief was first performed at the Pittsburgh Public Theater in 2003 and had sold out crowds for the seven years of it’s performances. It’s set in Rooney’s office at the old Three Rivers Stadium and features the straight talking, cigar smoking legend talking about his youth growing up on the Northside through the Steelers rough start through the glory days of repeated Super Bowl Victories. It was recorded in 2009 and it’s pretty impressive that it will air on prime time.
That’s it for now,