Tomorrow is Turkey’s Republic Day (founded in 1923), the anniversary of Great Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Internet was created (1969). Birth anniversaries include Nazi leader Josef Goebbels (1897), Scottish biographer James Boswell (1740), American writer and journalist Dominic Dunne(1925), baseball executive Charles Ebbets (1859) and the creator of song Dixie, Daniel Emmett (1815).
The latest exhibit at The Warhol is Pittsburgh native Chuck Connelly: My America. Chuck’s been working in Philadelphia for the last three decades and seldom sells his works. He is so famous as a financial failure that HBO did a documentary on him, The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not for Sale in 2008. He has something like 4,000 paintings in his Victorian home! I like his whimsical art, kind of like Warhol with a sense of humor. The exhibit is included in the admission price and runs through January 4. More info at the Warhol website or by calling 412-237-8300.
It’s been a good season for my compost. Those darn worms really worked their butts off (do worms have butts?). This is by far the best batch they’ve done yet. I took the rest of the Arundo donax out from the front fence (those plants that everyone thinks are corn before they get 10′ tall). They’ve been used in the South and Midwest as bio fuel crop and it turns out they’re pretty invasive. So I decided to get rid of them and just finished digging their roots/tubers up and added this black gold to fortify the soil. Here’s a look at the front with the fruits of my lovely worms labor:
I also had enough to spread over that small garden in the back of the parking lot. Look see:
With as busy as The Parador has been (at least 86% occupancy the last three months), we are only putting out one trash can a week for the trash collections. A lot of that is my obsession with recycling and Dee & Ty’s buying into it. Recycling starts at the point of purchase and goes from there. I avoid heavily packaged products. We dry out guest rooms bars of soap and when I have a box full, I run them over to the local YMCA that has a men’s program. Metal goes into a box in the basement (coat hangers, etc) and I periodically go out the Construction Junction and donate any tools, building parts, etc and they have a dumpster you can put clean metal in. Also, I save wine bottle corks and there’s a store adjacent to CJ that recycles art supplies and the corks go out there. I’ve even found a place that recycles Styrofoam (the peanuts I’ve taken to pack and ship stores for years, The Appliance Warehouse takes all those packing Styrofoam and to-go containers).
I’ve talked about Natrona Bottling Company in a past post. They are the makers of Red Ribbon Pop, Jamaica’s Finest Ginger Beer (what we use as vases here at The Parador) and Plantation Style Mint Julep (They also have a couple of smaller brands as well). The 110 year old company had been family owned all those years. A couple of years ago someone bought them and I thought it was going to be the end of them as they were. Fortunately, Vito Gerasole, the self proclaimed sultan of soda, embraces the old style bottling. They still use sugar cane for sweetener, instead of high-fructose corn syrup all the big guys now use. The big guys have seen a decline in sales each year for a number of years now. Now that Natrona has new leadership, they’ve grown 60%! You can see them around like at stores like KS Kennedy Floral and Gourmet down the street from me and Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop in the Strip and out in Beaver.
I don’t know if will help, but the Allegheny Commons Bridge has been listed on the Young Preservationists Association top 10 list for 2014. At YPA website, they only have the 2013 top ten, so I’m not sure if they selected the pedestrian bridge (which the span over the railroad tracks has already been demolished, so I’m assuming not) or they are speaking of the West Ohio Street Bridge down near the National Aviary. That bridge is structurally deficient and needs to be replaced. The railroad is trying to force us to raise the bridge three feet to accommodate double stacked trains. They want us to pay for it so they can make more money. Doesn’t seem right to me. Especially since the other option is for them to pay for lowering the tracks the three feet for them to be able to make more money from double stacking. On top of the cost issue, raising the bridge three feet would seriously impact the Commons because they would have to regrade West Ohio Street to meet federal standards. Many of those hundred year old linden trees lining West Ohio would have to be cut down! The Commons is such an iconic park. It started as a common grazing area in the 1800 for Allegheny City and grew into the park it is now. There’s all kinds of visual treats for you when you walk around the park and take a minute to look around. Besides being the oldest park in the City of Pittsburgh, it also is the largest.
Well, you don’t have to be in Pittsburgh (or Florida for that matter) anymore to get a Primanti’s sandwich. The Pittsburgh iconic can be ordered through Goldbely.com. For $109.00, the kit contains enough lunch meat, cheese, fries,cole slaw and Italian bread to make four sandwiches. As a bonus, for a limited time you also get a limited edition T-shirt.
There’s a new hotel in a classic building in the planning stages Downtown. The old German National Bank building on the corner of Sixth and Wood Streets is in the planning stages of becoming a 104 room boutique hotel. They plan on having two bars and a restaurant for their guests as well as being open to the general public. Currently called the Granite Building, the new name will be the Forbes Hotel. That’s in addition to the new 247 room Hotel Monaco under construction on William Penn Way in the former Reed Smith building and the proposed 180 room Drury Hotel in the old Federal Building. There’s also a number of Holiday Inns, Embassys and Hiltons also in the works. Either under construction or proposed is 1,505 new hotel rooms in da burg.
What’s up with our judges? I’ve had issues with our legislative and executive branches, both state and federal for some time. But always held the judicial in high regard. Sending kids to juvenile facilities so the judges could take pay offs, Supreme Court Justice Orey CONVICTED and she’s she’s still fighting it. Now another supreme court justice is caught receiving and sending racy e-mails. I’m pretty indifferent to porn through e-mails, if I get one I just delete it. I think their stupid. I do have a problem with judges receiving and sending them on “company time”. #1 they should be the epitome of decorum. #2 doing this on the job? State Supreme Court Justice McCaffery also got called on the carpet for “speaking” to the judge at the Philly traffic court where his wife got a ticket (I don’t care whether he was making a social call or trying to get the ticket fixed, either way it shouldn’t have happened). And his wife making hundred of thousands of dollars in referral fees from lawyers while she was his administrative assistant.
This brings us to the controversy over the potential threat of Ebola in America. We just don’t trust the government anymore. I don’t believe I would contract Ebola from riding on an airplane with someone with the virus (unless we exchanged bodily fluids ). But the CDC let that nurse travel knowing she had potentially been exposed to the virus while treating a patient makes you question their reliability. It’s like the Legionnaires deaths at the Pittsburgh VA Hospital. Two years later and we don’t have answers, we have the latest spin the VA’s trying to put on it, while the people running the place got bonuses! It’s OK to make mistakes, I do it all the time. And I fess up and pay the price, whatever it may be and move on.
I don’t know if you saw the story on Howard Lutnick, but when he was a junior in high school, his dad passed away. He started college at Haverford and one week into his freshman year, he learned his mom passed away due to some medical mistake. The dean called Howard into his office and said “Howard, your four years are free.” Well Howard graduated and worked his way up in a financial company in New York to where he’s now chairman. His company lost 658 employees in the 9/11 attack, he would have been in that number if he hadn’t have to take his son to school that day. He/his company has continued to donate millions to various causes, usually requesting a project be named after one of the lost. He personally just donated $25M to Haverford’s library. Why can’t we see more good stories like this?
Yesterday, I got the elephant ears dug up and most of the large vegetation cut down. Now that I no longer have the Arrondo donex, the pile is much smaller. In the past, Jeff that owns Peppi’s right down the street has let me use his dumpster to get rid of it. It’s a bit of a pain for me because I can only put so much in at a time. It bothers me putting anything into a landfill and so I called the city today to see if they have a program for composting. They sort of do, it’s one of those programs where you fill those brown paper bags with the vegetation and put it out to the curb. I’d have to fill the street to get rid of all I have. The city employee I spoke with said I could take it to a city dump over on the West End, but that defeats the purpose of keeping things out of landfills. Then I thought of Western PA Conservancy, they’re the great people that plant all those gardens around the city and throughout Western PA (they also run Falling Water). I see them in the Fall taking all the plants out of their gardens and putting the old plants in trucks. I figured they have some kind of a system for composing bulk and so I called them. Sure enough, they do and I met with one of them and we took my truck up to their compost heap. It’s much larger than mine. He’s a picture of the garden I sponsor through the Conservancy on the corner of Brighton and California Avenues:
It looks prettier in the spring and the summer when it has flowers.
Have great one and Happy Halloween,