Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Kent State student demonstrations that left four students dead (1970), Rhode Island declared it’s independence from England (1776), Haymarket Square Riot (1886), the Freedom Riders started (1961), Jamaica was discovered by Christopher Columbus (1494) and the first female British Prime Minister was elected (1979). Birth anniversaries include actress Audrey Hepburn (1929) and American author, educator, public servant Horace Mann (1796).
It was the Pittsburgh Marathon this morning, quite the turn out. There were about 30,000 runners again this year, but during the surge, it was a lot more crowded than last year. There were people running on both sidewalks because the street was so crowded:
And there wasn’t as many people in costume as last year. There was one person in some brown thing I across the street I couldn’t see what they were, one drag queen and Charlie the tuna:
There also was a runner juggling three deflated footballs (I couldn’t tell if it actually was Tom Brady from where I was standing). 🙂
If you are an Innkeeper, beware of the organization inspectedinns.org, they also own BnBstar and All American Bed and Breakfasts. I used to pay to advertise on BnBStar and got very little traffic through that site, so I cancelled in 2013. A charge showed up on my 2014 credit card statement from them and they no longer answer their phones, I left a message (no one returned my call) and disputed the charge. The charge again showed up on my credit card statement this year. Again they don’t answer their phones and I am disputing it. The payment was never made, but I have to go through the hassle of formally writing the dispute and mailing to my credit card company. A minor PIA, but one I shouldn’t have to do. This will be the last time they will be able to pull this because USAA Credit Cards will be issuing a new credit card to me this year.
Western PA might not always be on the cutting edge, but we’re never too far from it. Rent the Chicken in Butler is taking on the chicken rental craze sweeping the country and has been renting chickens for about two years now. Chicken rental is feeding on the eat local and healthy. Chicken rental prices vary based on the company, location, length of lease, etc. Generally they include two hens, feed, help line and a wheeled cage (so you can move the cage around the year so the chickens get to eat all the bugs spread around the yard). The two chickens will generally lay about a dozen eggs each week. To show how much this is growing, Rent a Coop started in 2012 renting five or six coops per month and they are now renting 25 to 30 coops each month. If you’re considering chicken renting, there’s an on-line resource Back Yard Chickens that started eight years ago with 50 members. They now boast 325,000 members and has a wealth of information for the chicken enthusiast.
Cinco de Mayo is coming up Tuesday. You can do your boring old toast it with a Corona beer at your favorite watering hole and have their boring interpretation of what Spanish food’s supposed to be, or try something a bit different. If you are planning on celebrating at home, one good choice for authentic groceries is Reyna Foods in the Strip. I was in there one time looking for a product and the clerk I was talking to gave some misinformation and Reyna herself was in the next aisle and came around and politely corrected him. Brookline/Beachview are home to our Little Havana. Las Palmas, in Brookline also has great selections of authentic Spanish groceries as does the Market on Broadway IGA in Beechview. Right down the street, El Milagro is a restaurant and small grocery store. Farther south on Broadway is probably my favorite Caribbean restaurant Casa Rasta, they’ve been so successful that they moved from the little storefront location up a few doors next to where Davio’s used to be with as a full service restaurant with a full liquor license. Big Burrito has two great Mexican/Caribbean themed restaurants Mad Mex and Kaya. Mendoza Express is like the Spanish highway diners you find all over South Florida. Two walk ups on Federal Street here on the Northside that do a nice job are Casa Rasta (unrelated to the original Casa Rasta in Beechview) and El Burrito.
MeadowCroft Rockshelter is opening for it’s 46th season to the public this weekend. It is believed to be the oldest site with proof of human habitation in North America dating back 16,000 years ago. It’s located in Avella in Washington County. In 1973 a group of archaeologists started digging around out there and found recent fire pits, empty beer cans and other recent debris. They dug down deeper and found older beer cans, and trash. The kept digging and found evidence of continued human habitation going way back. And these people even had shells from the Atlantic ocean showing how well traveled they were. A truly amazing field trip for you, it’s part of the Heinz History Center in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute.
My neighborhood association is always upset with the Steelers and all the disruptions caused by the 8 home games they play in the stadium. The Steelers have been here way before these people moved in (Three Rivers Stadium was built in 1970), the neighbors new this when they decided to purchase their houses. McConway & Torley foundry has been in Lawrenceville since 1868, way before any Lawrenceville residents were even born. It was well established before any Lawrenceville resident purchased their home. So why are they trying to shudder this business that not only was there long before any residents, but also pays good wages and benefits to over 400 Pittsburgh residents? Did something happen that all of a sudden there’s annoying sounds, truck traffic, etc? I don’t get it, where do people get off choosing to move to a location knowing what’s in the neighborhood and then once they live there for awhile think they have to right do do this?
Phipps Conservatory’s new Summer Flower Show is taking a new twist, they are featuring Weird and Wonderful plants. Several highlights include the Chenille plant (one of my guest rooms is named for this intriguing plant with it’s long fuzzy flowers that look like red caterpillars), Australia’s kangaroo paws, bromeliads (also a namesake for one of my rooms with their waxy leaves in brilliant colors that look plastic), a ceiba tree cover with large thorns, an elephant’s foot, brain flowers, purple and orange cauliflower bottle plants and trees known for their storage devices to hold water during dry seasons. We again reached out to Phipps to partner with us, but they only offered tickets at a 10% discount. We sell more Warhol tickets than any hotel in the city and are #2 in the city with our River’s Casino package. Maybe next year they’ll quit being penny wise and pound foolish. 🙂
Mark your calendars, Bellevue’s having their summer tour next Saturday, May 9 from 1 – 5 pm. John Hermann inherited his father’s leather business wealth (and business) back when this was Allegheny City. John was a prolific artist (over 1,000 pieces) that he never sold. Being a Bellevue native, he donated his collection to the city and that will be one of the highlights of the tour. There also will be several houses and churches that showcase the grandeur of this bygone era. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the tour. This is a self guided tour, so you can take your time and enjoy all there is to see. Details on their website.
Well, that’s it for today, I’m sure there’s a lot of sore and tired people in Pittsburgh after running, walking and biking 27 miles today, rest up folks,