Anniversaries include the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial (1922), the beginning of of Cal Ripken’s consecutive games played streak begain (2,130 games in a row 1982), the Battle of the Aleutian Islands (1943) and the first daily published newspaper The Pennsylvania Evening Post (1783). Birth anniversaries include gold smith/jeweler/designer Carl Faberge (1846), voice artist Mel Blanc (1908), big band conductor Benny Goodman (1909) and Czar and emperor of all Russia Peter I (1672).
Alright you ‘old-school’ gamers, I’m talking pre-smart phone, there’s a new place opening in Hopewell, it’s the Pennsylvania Coin Operated Gaming Hall of Fame (pretty long name, it’d hate to see their business card). 🙂 These games even predate play stations, X-box and all the others, they have over 400 original arcade games just waiting for you. They also have another 1,200 games in storage awaiting repairs. One of the owners has been in the coin vending business for years servicing pinball, coffee, snack and all kinds of machines. As clients of his went out of business, he’d scarf up the unwanted machines and put them in his garage, he then built a “shed” in his back yard to store them. Obviously it got somewhat out of hand (1,600 machines seems more of an obsession than a hobby to me). 🙂 And as many things retro, arcade games are enjoying a resurgence. Last year I talked about Games N’at on Josephine Street that has been around more than 10 years, Southside and Pinball Perfection on Perry Highway (they’ve only been around a few years). Latitude 40 in Robinson is a newer chain like Dave & Busters and Chuck E Cheese. Adam Sandler is releasing a new action/comedy/gaming film this year called Pixels and there’s a convention at David L Lawrence CS July 30 – August 2 called Replay FX Arcade and Gaming Festival. A nice thing about the Gaming Hall of Fame is they’ve altered the games that you don’t have to buy rolls of quarters, when they open next week, it will be a set price $20 for two hours or $40 for all day. This weekend The Professional Amateur Pinball Association will be hosting the yearly event that opens the Carnegie pinball warehouse for it’s once a year tourney.
It looks like ever present Asian rickshaw that has taken hold all over the world may be coming to America. The Tuk Tuk Factory in Amsterdam is licensing a factory in Denver to start manufacturing Tuk Tuks here. These motorized three wheel vehicles are looking to fill the short distance gap in our commuting infrastructure sometimes filled by pedicabs. With all the drama with Uber and Lyft trying to enter the taxi service industry, I can’t wait to see this battle.
The Monterey Bay Fish Grotto is probably my favorite of the pricey Mt. Washington restaurants. I don’t patronize those restaurants often, but when I do I usually end up at the Monterey. They recently finished a $2.2M renovation changing the overall appearance of the restaurant and adding Sakari, kind of like a tapas, small plate themed restaurant on the lower level. Executive Chef Smith uses totally sustainable seafood in his kitchen, it’s all certified by the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch in California (no relation to the namesake restaurant). One of the things I like about Monterey Bay is their focus on the main food item. I have noticed over the years that they are not on a “mission” to impress you with their flash, they are more interested in the quality of the entree. Nothing against well prepared sauces and other means of presentation, Monterey is more interested in minimizing these and focusing on the appealing nature of the entree with minimal distraction. (Not saying other restaurants are “hiding something”; if I order salmon, I’m not interested in the Bearnaise sauce as much as the flavor of the actual salmon.)
Pleasant Valley, the homeless shelter and food bank servicing the Northside communities is having a fund raiser to improve their food distribution mission. The food bank hasn’t had an update in so long the shelves are actually pulling away from the walls. The want to totally re-do that space and make more user friendly and efficient. They service 950 food insecure households each month. They want to create a more grocery store appearance, more accessible and space so their clients don’t have to wait out in the elements for their turn. The crowd source platform they are using is through crowdrise. If you would like to help, you can cut out the middleman and send donations directly to the Northside Community Food Bank, 1601 Brighton Road, PGH, PA 15212. They have also set up an Amazon account so if you would like to donate food directly through Amazon to the food bank, you can choose what you want to donate and Amazon will provide free shipping on donations $35 dollars or more. Not to discourage any donations to this worth cause, remember different layers take a cut in the donation.
Shadyside is know for their late summer arts and crafts festival is adding a spring one this year. It’s this weekend from 10 am until about 5 pm Saturday and Sunday. Their traditional end of summer has some of the best artisans around and I suspect this weekend will not disappoint. More info at their website.
Speaking of Shadyside, the Shadyside Nursery will be holding another of their concert in the gardens from 5 – 9 pm Sunday. This is the third year for this event and they are requesting that you don’t bring your dogs or strollers. They are calling this Weather Permitting, which doubles as a disclaimer in case they need to cancel because of bad weather. Besides the bands, there will be a farmers’ market, food trucks, breweries and kids fun.
For our second year, Pittsburgh will be hosting it’s Open Streets Pittsburgh event this Sunday and then again on June 28 and July 26. They will be closing over three miles of roads from Downtown through Lawrenceville from 8 am until noon. It a good time to get an alternative view of these neighborhoods than usual. You can skate, walk, bike and move about in any mode, other than in a motorized vehicle. But do remember, the side streets will be open, so be careful at intersections. Businesses are planning specials, organizers are planning street events with entertainment, yoga, etc.
Remember the robot repair shop that was down on Sixth Avenue basically across from Heinz Hall? The art installation by Toby Fraley closed a year or two ago. He’s started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10,000 to open a new installation at the airport.
The EagleRider motorcycle tourism and rental company is coming to Carnegie. Initially, they plan on stocking about 20 BMW, Harely-Davidson, Honda and Indian motorcycles. It’s a nationwide network so you can rent a bike here and go on a road trip and drop it of in California or any place that has an EagleRider franchise. Besides just renting bikes, they offer self guided GPS tours that include accommodations.
All you Kenny Chesney fans descending on my neighborhood tomorrow, behave your selves. 🙂