Tomorrow is the anniversary of the first face transplant (2005). Birth anniversaries include musician Jimi Hendrix (1942), martial arts professional and actor Bruce Lee (1940) and American West gambler, saloon keeper, lawman Bat Masterson (1853).
The Parador is ready for the holidays, we’re all decked out. Check out the more traditional Parlor tree:
And in the Dining Room is the Caribbean tree that’s all hand painted fishes, ocean themed ornaments and the red garland is actual fish netting I cut into strips and spray painted red:
And to enjoy a little holiday spirit while having breakfast:
It’s hard to see in my terrible picture, but the basket on the table is filled with baby coconuts that I’ve spray painted and painted holiday images like the full sized coconuts I hang in the front windows:
Summer Tissue (her real name) founded her non-profit Military Connections in 2007, but has been sending holiday packages overseas to our troops after sending one to her brother serving overseas and he asked her to send some to his friends 11 years ago. They hope to send 9,000 stuffed stockings this year. According to Tissue, 90% of the soldiers she sends to either have no family or are estranged from them. Trinity Methodist Church in Penn Hills has been a big supporter for several years now. Tissue is always looking for donations or volunteers to help out stuffing, packing and mailing. If you would like to partake, you can donate directly from her website, mail a check to 312 Auburn Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15235 or call her at 412-496-8941.
For those of you in the South Hills, Caste Village will be holding their annual Festival of Lights this weekend and Medical Rescue Team South Authority will be there Saturday from 4 – 8 pm for their Stuff an Ambulance event. They are hoping to totally fill one of their ambulances with toys for the Marine’s Toys for Tots program (and they are prepared to bring in more ambulances if the turn out is great!
Lets move away from the holidays for a minute, Trundle Manor is currently the headquarters of the Secret Society of Odd Acquisition and is curated by the eccentric Mr Arm and Velda Von Minx. Built in 1910, Trundle Manor has become a place where a culmination of years of insane collecting and creating has found its niche. They have jars of rat skins, organs and other parts in formaldehyde, coffins and coffin like things, murder weapons and many other bizarre items. Viewing is by appointment only and it’s not just for Halloween anymore.
Did you know the world’s oldest operating oil well is right over in Rouseville, Venango County? McClintock No 1 has been pumping oil for 153 years! It only produces about 1/10 of a barrel of oil per day (OPEC doesn’t need to worry about this one), but it’s still pumping.
“Think Small, Not Mall” is our slogan for Saturday, November 29, National Small Business Day. Instead of getting crushed, pushed and shoved in some over priced mall, support your small business this Black Saturday. All our local neighborhoods have a small business district with lots of options for holiday shopping. If you don’t have a small business in your immediate neighborhood that can fill some need on your holiday list, consider Lawrenceville, Shadyside, Southside, Brookline, or any of our other small districts.
Out by Construction Junction in Point Breeze is XFactory, is a multi use building that was a grocery warehouse with more space than four football fields built in the 1920′s. They have many small businesses in there from a winery, an embroidery company, cabinetmakers and with their close proximity to Bakery Square a number to tech firms. Howard Eisner has owned the building since 1977 and to draw attention and some excitement to, he hired artists Jewels Despines and John Muldoon to create a graffiti based mural along the whole first floor. It kind of blends with the old industrial look.
I am always looking for something unique that grabs my attention. Here’s a thought for you, why not include a local artist for a future remodeling or redecorating project coming up? It’s not as crazy as it sounds. Commissioned artwork is not just for the wealthy. Artists are a lot like Innkeepers, we’re both always looking to make a sale. :) I had two empty rooms last night and was offering them for $100. That fabulous artist Colleen Black contacted me last winter and we agreed to an exchange an original piece of artwork (the oil painting in Ruellia of a field of Ruellia flowers with a ghost hummingbird you can only see at night with the lights out)! There’s two thoughts here, the first one is I was just trying to squirrel away some money before the depths of winter slowness sets in. The second is a project Colleen and myself were interested in. My “rack rate” is $150 plus tax, that’s the same as an artist’s asking price. If they’re in a busy time in their career, they may not be as negotiable as during their slower time. Also, artists by nature are creative (I know that’s pretty redundant, but bear with me for a moment) and if your project peaks their interest, you will probably get a better price than some boring repetitive project. You don’t need the artist to make all the ceramic tile for the back splash for your kitchen remodel, they can do accent pieces, or maybe a central image that the store bought tiles surround. You don’t need a eight foot wooden sculpture to center your new garden on, maybe a four foot sculpture on a four foot base your create. You see where I’m going here? If you don’t have a bevy of artists to select from, go on-line and look up local artists by item you are looking for, go to local galleries and talk to the owners, if you find an artist you like, but they are out of your price range, don’t be shy and ask them for a referral to an emerging artist. Artists love supporting each other. Another source here in Pittsburgh is the Office of Public Art. I didn’t find the site overly friendly in easily finding what I was looking for, but spend some time and shop around and you might find inspiration.
There’s a bronze buck sculpture down in West Park by me. You can always tell when winter is approaching, locals start dressing him to keep him warm:
A funny story on the buck, I was taking Razor for his walk a while ago down that way and a mom put a small child on the buck’s back to take a picture, which frequently happens down there. In case you haven’t noticed, the buck is anatomically correct. When she put the boy down on the ground after taking their picture, the boy grabbed the buck’s private parts. Mom screamed and grabbed him away from the “offending body part”. I just laughed.
That’s it for today. Have a great Thanksgiving and travel safe,