Tomorrow’s the anniversary of the founding of the National Grange (1786), Santa Barbara Mission was founded (1786 as well), the last American hostage was released from Lebanon (1991) and Chase’s Calendar of Events book was first published (1957 the book where I find these tidbits). Birth anniversaries include chronicler Helen Chase (the co-founder of Chase’s Calendar of Events-1924), Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle (1795) and English author Samuel Butler (1835).
Last post I showed pictures of the interior of the Mansion with the holiday decorations. Here’s the the night time view welcoming you to The Parador:
And here’s a picture from the side:
I need to get Roy Engelbrecht up to take new pictures, here’s the pictures he took of the holiday trees.
That blue glow in the Dining Room bay window is my Caribbean tree that’s all hand painted fish, nautical ornaments and the garland is actual fish netting I cut into strips and spray painted red. Very fun:
And here’s a re-print of the Parlor tree Roy took:
On Sunday, December 6, Saint Anthony’s Chapel on Troy Hill is hosting a visit with the real Saint Nick! They will be removing several relics of the fourth century bishop of Myra (which became Turkey) for closer inspection. In case you aren’t aware of St Anthony’s, has the largest collection of relics outside the Vatican (more than 5,000). The collection was acquired by Reverend Suitbert Mollinger who used his family fortune to acquire the relics in the latter part of 1800’s when political turmoil was dissolving many churches and monasteries in Europe. When the parish couldn’t come up with the money to build the grand church he had envisioned, he used his own money to build the current chapel that holds the collection. They have pieces pieces of bones, cloth fragments and artifacts including several from the “crib” Christ used as well as relics of the three Wise Men. The church is located at 1704 Harpster Street, more info at their website.
I know I was recently complaining about our state judiciary, here’s another nail. That attorney and ex-Allegheny County commissioner Charles McCullough that has been charged with stealing from the estate of an elderly client suffering from dementia has successfully has delayed his trial for over five years. The two dozen counts, nine felony include siphoning money from her estate for his personal use, that of his sister and some to a Republican campaigns run by his wife a COMMONWEALTH COURT JUDGE! Is there no honor left?
I found this really cute toy store in Lawrenceville, Dragonfly Castle Toys. It’s at 4747 Hatfield Street, down towards the river obviously up around 47th Street. It’s a little store front with a nice selection of environmentally friendly and many made in the USA toys. She has a website under construction and I’m including the link for future reference, but it’s not up yet (she’s only been open a month or so). She’s open 11 am – 7 pm Tuesday through Fridays, 10 am – 6pm Saturdays and 1 – 5 pm Sundays. More info will be available at her website or by calling 412-478-7009. Insider tip, she’s hosting a Last Minute Shopping Party on Dlecember 18 from 7 – 9:30 pm with her famous spiked punch. That’s one way to be sure to get that “perfect” gift you may live to regret.
There’s a free show at the 937 Gallery on Liberty Avenue that showcases The Landscape Architecture of Dan Kiley, one of the premier 20th century landscape architects. He’s the guy that did that modernist gardens outside US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, the Jefferson Nation Expansion Memorial, St Louis that has the Arch as the back drop and locally the the Carnegie Museum of Art Outdoor Sculpture Garden and the Agnes Katz Plaza0 adjacent to the Pittsburgh Public Theater (you know that little garden with the sort of free form water fall that kind of looks like a castle and has those eye shaped seats designed by Louise Bourgeois).
Need a break from this dreary winter weather? Phipps Conservatory just opened it’s Winter Flower show to the theme of the song A Winter Wonderland. 25,000 lights and 36 varieties of poinsettias should buoy your spirits. They have a sleigh filled with wrapped presents, a bear family made out of tree bark and all the rooms are themed from different lines in that classic holiday song. They have visits from Santa, the Sugar Plum Fairy, family fun days and a New Year’s celebration. It runs through January 11 with more info at their website or by calling 412-622-6914.
While we’re talking about holiday highlights, there’s always The Carnegie Museums annual holiday decorations. The link doesn’t show pictures of their amazing holiday trees that are decorated each year with a theme and I don’t recall this year’s theme, but it’s always worth a visit to see what these amazing ladies come up with each year. There’s also the Neapolitan presepio, their wold famous collection of figurines handcrafted between 1700 and 1830 by Neapolitan artisians, there’s more than 100 of these works of art.
While you are in the area, you can’t miss the holiday trees in the Cathedral of Learning’s Nationality Rooms. In case you aren’t aware of the history of the Cathedral, in the 1920’s the chancellor of Pitt decided to build the tallest educational structure in the world in the hopes that city children would look up and be inspired to stay in school. Then in the 1930’s he decided to create the Nationality Rooms. Pittsburgh was originally settled by the French and British, then when industry started the Germanics came over first. He got the German club of America to pay for, bring German craftsmen and materials and build a German classroom. The Czechs did that, the Poles, etc. The first floor has the original immigrants, the third floor has the newer immigrants, the Turks and Swiss opened their rooms last year on the third floor. In all, there’s around 40 International Rooms. The interesting thing about them is they had to be built circa when Pitt was founded (around 1787). Not all cultures have a fir tree with lights and balls, but all cultures have a holiday around Christmas/Hanukkah and all have traditional decorations. It’s a very interesting display.
The Handmade Arcade is back at the Convention Center this Saturday from 11 am until 7 pm. In it’s eleventh year, Handmade Arcade has earned BuzzFeed.com’s list of 35 Craft Fairs Every Creative Person Needs to Visit in the WORLD! About half the 150 vendors are from the Pittsburgh area. When they open they will have Colonel Eagleburger’s Highstepping Goodtime Band performing with life sized puppets worn by Girl Scouts. A ten foot puppet will be working the crowd as will pop up performance by Continuum Dance Theater. I’ve gone to it for the past several years and always find something.
Everyone I know loves cheese. Most people love local connections. Marry the two and you have to have a winner. I love going to Penn Mac in the winter and walking up to the counter and asking them to give me four of their favorite cheeses of the day (they are too busy “in season” to do this). But finding a good local cheese is so cool (and enjoyable). There are several sources for good local cheeses. A number of local restaurants use local cheeses in their cooking, but you can also find some good local cheeses. The nice thing about this is these sources are also small businesses and take the time to talk you through the selection process. Possibly the largest selection is the East End Food Coop. Located real close to Construction Junction, one of the few places I like to take time and peruse the many items available and get ideas on re-using past treasures (soon to be mine). More info at their website or by calling 412-242-3598. In Lawrenceville there’s Wild Purveyor’s Market at 5308 Butler Street. They carry a large selection of cheeses and other local products. Finally in the Strip at the Pittsburgh Public Market (2401 Penn Avenue) is Wheel and Wedge. They don’t have a website, but you can visit them on Face Book. I will never understand why businesses don’t have a website. Face Book, Twitter, Instagram, etc are great tools and you don’t have a super website, but all businesses need a website. I’ve gained exposure through Face Book, but never sold a room through them.
That’s it for now, take care and keep warm,