Tomorrow’s the anniversary of Crater Lake National Park was established (1902), consequentially Johnny Carson’s final show (?) (1992), Mr. Roger’s premier (1967), Richard Nixon was the first US President to visit Moscow (1972) and the strongest earthquake of the 20th century in southern Chile (1960); it is also the anniversary of the Truman Doctrine (1947), the National Maritime Day (1933) and Sri Lanka’s National Heroes Day (1971). Birth anniversaries include Allegheny City artist Mary Cassatt (1844), British author Sir Conan Doyle (1859), soccer star George Best (1946), actor/director Laurence Olivier (1907), German composer Richard Wagner (1813), conductor Peter Nero (1934) and jazz musician Sun Ra (1914).
There’s 90 neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and Ron Donoughe has been painting each one over the past year (not the entire neighborhood, just a part of it that he felt represented the neighborhood). The collection is finished and all 90 are on display at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts through August 9. Also on display is works by seven area artists including Danny Bracken, Haylee Ebersole, BA Harrington with Chele Isaac, Brett Kashmere, Derek Reese, Mark Schatz and Steven Sherrill. PCA’s always a fun place to visit, it’s located 6300 Fifth Avenue, Shadyside. The artwork is on display during their normal operating hours of 10 am 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 pm Sundays. More info at the various links or by calling 412-361-0873.
There’s a new green product out there created here in Pittsburgh, it’s called Pittmoss and is a ecofriendly alternative to sphagnum peat moss. Mont Handley, entrepreneur and CEO of Pittmoss Development has been working on this basically in his kitchen as he worked full time for Visit Pittsburgh. He decided he wasn’t getting any younger and if it’s his passion, he may as well jump in with both feet. He quit his job at the convention center and started Pittmoss Development. The TV show Shark Tank was looking to host some entrepreneurs that were veterans and his name came up through the Small Business Administration and he was one of the winners and walked away with $600,000 to develop his plant located in Ambridge. He parlayed his Shark Tank money with some local investors and ended up with $1.5M and plans to have his plant fully operational in just two more weeks. It is made from recycled newspaper and retains moisture better the old style peat moss. It retains 50% more moisture than traditional peat moss and growers that buy Pittmoss from him say that their plants mature three weeks earlier than with traditional peat moss. The harvesting of peat moss is pretty environmentally destructive. Besides all of the excavating of sensitive land, peat only occupies 3% of earth’s surface be holds 33% of stored soil carbon. So it’s a pretty much win/win all the way around.
I don’t know if you know of Pittsburgh’s “Skinny Building” located on the corner of Wood Street and Forbes Avenue, but the URA own it and have just finished refurbishing the exterior:
This three story building is only five feet wide and no one knows why such a skinny building was built. Supposedly, the Guinness Book of Records lists a building in Vancouver, BC that is six feet wide. I couldn’t find it on there site. Either way, what can you do with a five foot wide building? Maybe make it into the local Guinness attraction?
Here’s an idea for Port Authority, live bands in the Downtown stations. The MTA that runs New York’s subways has a call out for musicians to apply to play their music at specific locations. 70 applied and about 25 will be selected to perform over the summer. Granted acoustics will be a major challenge, but could be overcome. Transit riders get a treat to live music and the bands get exposure. They have bands featuring classical music, cabaret, opera, blues, reggae and even cartoon tunes applying. Could be a nice added venue for our city.
There’s a new “tour” bus plying Southside’s streets,Gypsy Rose is a bus that has been converted to kind of look like a pirate’s ship. The staff are dressed like pirates and covert like pirates during the 45 minute trek down Carson Street to the Duquesne Incline and back to Southside Works. They run from 11 am until 6 pm and you should arrive 10 minutes early to play games, taking pirate tests and receiving your eye patch and sword (fake) so you fit in with the crew. It’s a very family friendly adventure, they are planning on more adult themed Friday and Saturday evening “cruises” coming up soon. Currently they are only “sailing” on weekends, but plan to expand to daily after June 6. Admission is $10 and leave from 445 S 27th Street in The Works. More info at their website, or by calling 412-381-8687.
The 16 year old peregrine falcon Dorothy atop the Cathedral of Learning had a clutch of four eggs a month ago, they should be hatching any day now. The amazing thing is peregrine falcons usually only live to eight years old. Not only is she ancient, she’s still very much active and having chicks after all these years. You go girl. This is heartening after our Hays eagles lost all of their eggs earlier this spring.
Recently announced plans for the annual Three Rivers Regatta include a nine story Ferris Wheel! That’s pretty darn high. They didn’t announce the location for the Ferris Wheel, I assume Point State Park, which is always the hub of activity. Currently they are looking for corporate sponsors so the rides are free, the worst case scenario is there will be a small fee.
Pittsburgh will have a new festival Picklesburgh on the Rachel Carson Bridge. They say it’s going to be a big “dill” for the city. This free event will run from three until ten pm on July 17 and from ten am until 10 pm on July 18. It will feature food vendors, pickling and canning demonstrations, music, ethnic food showing the universality of pickling, cocktails with pickled ingredients and a huge pickle balloon will be suspended above the festivities.
Charleroi’s Pyrex is celebrating it’s 100 year anniversary. A Corning engineer was working on heat-resistant glass for railroad engine lights when his wife asked him if he had a glass she could use as a casserole dish in the oven. The first Pyrex items appeared in 1915, the iconic measuring cup debuted in 1925 and the signature red lines were added in 1941. The reason they moved production from Corning, NY to Charleroi, PA is there was an existing glass plant and it was fired by natural gas, the Corning plant was fired by wood. Since the Pyrex process basically needs the ovens to be on all the time, it just made sense.
That’s about it, have a great Memorial Day weekend,