Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Crimean War (1853), the first birth control clinic opened in Brooklyn, NY (1916), John Brown’s Raid occurred (1859), Marie Antoinette was executed (1793) and Yale was founded (1701). Birth anniversaries include Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion (1886), jurist William Orville Douglas (1898), educator Noah Webster (1758) and poet/playwright Oscar Wilde (1854).
The latest addition to The Parador’s Halloween decorations is a scary tree:
My last post talked about haunted houses. Here’s two other Halloween activities you might be interested in. I hear there’s a Zombie Outbreak in Emsworth. They must be stopped by November 2 or the planet it is doomed. You can suit up and join the fight at 500 Huntington Avenue, Emsworth, PA 15202. Paint balls are provided. :) More info at their website or by calling 412-327-2078.
Speaking of Halloween, the Western PA Humane Society will be hosting their 8th annual pet costume contest Howl-O-Ween at the Mall at Robinson from 7 – 9 pm on October 24. Registration starts at 6:30 at entrance C by Macy’s. You need to register to participate. The categories include Look Like Owner, Group Theme, Most Original, Most Macho, Funniest and Cutest Pet. The cost is $20 in advance per category or $25 at the door. You can enter as many categories as you want, proceeds benefit WPHA programs. More info at their website or by calling 412-321-4625.
I don’t want to be an “I told you so”, but Merrill Stabile is proposing building two 11 story office buildings over the parking garage he plans to construct on property he owns between the stadiums! Just to remind you who Mr. Stabile is, he owns Alco Parking and offered $10M to buy the parcel of land behind Stage AE that is being developed by the Steelers and Continental Real Estate (the Steelers and Continental have exclusive development rights to the properties where Three Rivers Stadium used to stand paid and only paid $1M for that land). When the Steelers and Continental announced their plans to develop that parcel, they claimed it only warranted a three story structure, but Mr. Stabile thinks there’s a market for 22 stories of office space (two 11 story buildings). There’s time limits on the Steelers and Continental to develop the areas of the Northshore currently being used as surface parking lots. They had to start development last year or they would lose their development rights and so they hurried up and built a minimal building to keep their exclusive rights to development, at a $9M savings!
Our very own WQED turns 60 this year. PBS is only 45 years old. Pittsburgh certainly set the stage 15 years before the rest of the country! Governor Rendell slashed state funding for public television when he was in office and that not only meant a $1M loss in state money but also matching federal dollars. They are surviving, but by a thread. There is a movement to get Governor Corbett to restore funding, good luck with that. I’ve been watching this show on WQED on sanitation in America. America started trying to clean up our cities in the 1850′s Chicago. Chicago is very flat and level with the lake so they couldn’t dig holes to put sewers in. He came up with the idea to RAISE the city! Ellis S. Chesbrough embarked on raising the City of Chicago, connecting the buildings to an integrated sewer system and then back fill! Most amazing.
Are you looking for that big break to the big screen? They are looking for background extras for the new Will Smith file about former Allegheny County forensic pathologist Bennet Omalu credited as being one of the first to identify football brain injuries. His study of former Steelers center Mike Webster’s brain after he passed away was pretty cutting edge at the time. Jeanne Marie Laskas wrote an article in the 2009 GQ Magazine on how the NFL tried to discredit the study. Casting call will be Saturday, October 18 at the Double Tree Hotel, Bigelow Square Downtown from 8:30 till 4 pm. More info at Movie Extras website.
Having worked in Atlantic City casinos in their heyday, I’ve always watched them. It’s such a shame watching the HUGE missed opportunity. They had such potential with so much money, and blew it. Four casinos are closing this year and AC is still such a waste. If you go a block or so away from the main drags, it’s the same as it was when casino gaming was past. Revel, the newest casino, opened 2 years ago. It cost $2.4B (yes, that’s a B) in a market that was already in steep decline. Obviously it lasted just two years before going into bankruptcy. A Canadian company with casinos in Las Vegas is in the process of buying it for $110M, quite the discount. :) I wish them luck.
You’ve probably heard of “farm to table,” but how about “field to garment”? In Alabama, acclaimed fashion houses Alabama Chanin and Billy Reid have a new line of organic cotton clothing made from their own cotton field. There was just a segment on NPR about them. It would be nice if more cottage industries were able to take off and make a go of it.
Thank you Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala. The little guys in the August Wilson Center flap have an advocate, Mr. Zappala. I know $32K is chump change the grand scheme of things like $9M, but for the lowly stage hands (I use that term loosely-no offense to the stage hands who worked hard for their money and the money that was paid in advance to the AWC) who’s money owed was going to disappear, it’s a big deal. Mr. Zappala filed a theft and wage charges stopping the sale until these are settled. I bet it gets someone’s attention now. Judith Fitzgerald is getting her $590,000 for six month’s work (to be fair, it was her and her legal team), Dollar Bank was getting most of their $9M (a lot of that was just fines and penalties), even the developer 989 Liberty Partners were going to get a cut in the deal to cover their “expenses”. I can’t believe the URA, Pittsburgh Foundation and the other partners in this deal were willing to stiff all these little guys. How immoral! Now I hope Mr. Zappala looks into the small contractors that were also going to be left high and dry. Fitzgerald (note my lack of proper address can be taken as my lack of respect for her) also has not released her list of small time contractors also facing getting stiffed . Fitzgerald (again my lack of respect) has said she “planned to do that ONLY if there was enough money in a purchase deal to repay them.” Hey Fitzgerald, let’s take it out of your FEES! Then I bet it’s worth her time. Totally outrageous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Out in Oakmont, the Kerr Museum recently received a significant donation. The Kerr Museum was built in 1897 for doctor Thomas Kerr. It was his family home and his doctor’s office. His only daughter lived in the house until her death in 1994 and she bequeathed the family home to the city of Oakmont to be used as a museum dedicated to her father. Helen Burch of Mt Lebanon wanted to donate her grandmother’s trousseau (the clothes, household linen, and other belongings collected by a bride for her marriage) so they could be properly cared for and appreciated. Her grandmother, Emma Jackson married Harry Burch in 1891. These items have been kept wrapped and in their original trunks for years. It was like a treasure trove when the members of the historical society arrived at Ms. Burch’s house and examined the items. The exhibit is only on display until November 15, so if you want to see it, shake a leg. :) The museum is only open Saturdays from 10 am until 2 pm (if you get a group of 8 or more, you can get a private tour on mutually agreed upon time). More info at their website or by calling 412-826-9295, admission’s $8 and gets you in to see the entire first and second floors of the museum.
If you’re looking for that slightly different night out, here’s some suggestions: They hold Party in the Tropics at Phipps Conservatory about once a month from 7 pm to 11 pm and you must be 21 or older. The normal price of admission gets you in, you can wander around and pick up beverages of choice and munch a bit while enjoying their vivid Flora. This year, events are scheduled November 7 and December 5. More info at their website or by calling 412-622-6914. Not to be outdone by Phipps, the National Aviary at Night hold their evening soirees the third Thursday of each month from 5 to 9 pm and its for the 21 and older crowd as well. It’s half priced tickets ($7) and you can take an additional $2 off if you bring a receipt from a Northside restaurant. Atria’s Kookaburra Cafe has food available and there’s also a cash bar. More info at their website or by calling 412-323-7235. The Andy Warhol Museum has happy hour every Friday from 5 to 10 pm and also offer half price admission. The Warhol also sponsors contemporary independent music in the Warhol Theater. For more info, go to their website or call 412-237-8300. Tired of all those screaming kids at the Science Center (that’s what the Science Center’s for, by the way) :) , tired of not being able to play the many interactive games because little kids are all lined up? Not to despair, the Science Center offers 21+ nights once a month from 6 to 10 pm. Cash bars are on each floor helps limber you up for the challenges (or you can blame it for doing worse than a ten year old).
That’s about it for now, have a wonderful day,