Hi,

It’s been a while, business has been unbelievable!  I was sold out for last night and a business traveler contacted me to cancel, his wife had a minor heart attack.  Two hours later I got a call from a gentleman looking for two nights!

Tomorrow’s the anniversary of the strongest earthquake of the 20th century in Chile (9.5 in 1960), Crater Lake was established as a National Park (1902), the Truman Doctrine was adopted by the US Senate (1947), Mr Rogers’ premiered (1967) and President Nixon became the first US President to visit Moscow (1972).  Birth anniversaries include physician and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  (1859), American artist May Cassatt (1844), Laurence Olivier (1907) and jazz musician Sun Ra (1914).

Have you seen the eagles on the Eagle Cam lately?  Holy Cow, they’re little eagles.  So cute.  Not to take their thunder, but The Parador has a bit of an Eagle Cam:

photo 1

The next is in the Arborvitae outside Allamanda’s living room.  Dee to the picture.  RJ was outside yesterday and I saw several robins buzzing him and realized what had them all in a flutter.  He wasn’t really chasing the chick, he was just following the little guy with curiosity he never got too close, but I guess he was to close for mom.  I called him in the kitchen and everyone was happy.  :)

We are continuing to work on our About Town pages, the next page will be local galleries and it should be live early next week.  My goal is to make the About Town a source not only suggestions for potential guests on things to do, I would love it to be known as “The Source” for things to do in Pittsburgh.  If you have a quirky, lesser known attraction in the area, please send me an e-mail or post a comment so I can include it.  If there’s a particular restaurant that you absolutely love and I don’t have it listed, please let me know about that as well.  I do have a nice selection of restaurants and there’s a lot of excellent ones out there that I don’t have listed.  I can’t include all the good restaurants, but if one really stands out with you, I’m looking for it.  :)  You can see what I have by going to my website www.theparadorinn.com and clicking on the About Town Icon.

The latest in LED display is OLED named for Organic Light Emitting Diodes is being developed by PPG here in Pittsburgh.  OLEDs are said to combine the best attributes of plasma and LCD screens with none of their short comings.  OLED uses phosphorescent organic carbon compounds that are four times more energy efficient the metallic ones commonly used in LED lights.  They are still under development (for one thing, they’re having trouble with blues), but are already showing up in some products like Samsung’s Galaxy S5.

The steel industry is trying to reinvigorate the faltering steel can use in America.  They have hired “nutritionists” to tout the healthiness of canned food.  Canning, in and of itself, is a fine way to preserve food.  But the industry has insisted on over cooking, over salting and over sugaring their products.  Instead of trying to con the consumers into buying “healthy” canned food, why not put a push in for actual healthy options?

Lowe’s is partnering with Porch.com for the do-it-yourselfer.  It’s kind of like a virtual Yellow Book hyperblend LinkedIn, Pinterest and Angie’s List all in one, and it’s free (Look out Angie).  :)  Right now it’s free for businesses (eventually I’m sure you will have to pay to have a prominent listing) and the businesses can list years in service, licenses, insurance even testimonials and pictures of work performed.  Porch.com is live and you can go there yourself for referrals if you are looking to get work done.

The 20th anniversary of The Warhol was this past weekend.  One of the new exhibits at The Warhol will be an exploration called Halston and Warhol Silver and Suede, a look at how they affected each other.  The Warhol intends to keep the festivities going on throughout the rest of the year.  More info at their website or by calling 412-237-8300.

Talk about being the step child of Western Pennsylvania, the land the politicians forgot, the Mon Valley.  The PA politicians are lauding the $788M 19 mile expansion of the Southern Beltway connecting I79 to I 376 out to the airport.  This will give the Marcellus companies at South Pointe easy access to carry suitcases of loot from the Western PA farm fields out of the state.  :)  This WAY under utilized  highway is slated to carry 7,500 vehicles a day (the section of the Findlay corridor was slated to carry 12,000 vehicles and it just carries 3,750).  So I wonder how inflated the 7,500 number is.  To give you a comparison, the Parkway east carries 73,000 daily and the Parkway west carried 85,000 daily.  We have the Parkway west that services the western communities.  We have the Parkway east to cover the eastern communities and the Parkway north to service the northern communities.  We have nothing servicing the southern communities.  Well, I’m not being totally honest here, we do have the Mon Valley Expressway that runs from Morgantown to Jefferson Hills, but it doesn’t enter the city.  If the fathers of Pennsylvania want to do something to spur development in an area generally forgotten, complete the Mon Valley Expressway instead of making Mario Lemieux’s trip to the airport more convenient, why not give access to the Mon Valley?  They have the river for transport, they have the rail systems in place from our turn of the century industries.  There’s vast areas of former steel mill sites just waiting to be developed into new industries.  I70 does go through the Valley, but it doesn’t come up to Pittsburgh.  If I was the decision maker of a large corporation deciding where to invest millions of dollars to create a manufacturing center, I would want access to the major local city.  If it’s going to take over an hour to reach the banking, educational, medical and entertainment centers, I wouldn’t even consider the Valley.  As an added bonus, if they design the Expressway right, it could make a major improvement in traffic flow on what is currently a parking lot during rush hours around the Squirrel Hill Tunnels.  This is a obviously a sore spot with me.  I grew up on the fringes of the Valley, Finleyville.  I remember as a child going down to Monongahela and Charleroi  and their bustling business districts.  When I moved back to Pittsburgh to open The Parador Inn, I went down to Monessen to look at some equipment and was litterally shocked at the conditions of some of the towns down there.  I was speaking with a friend that works down there and he told me I should take a trip down to see what’s going on down in The Valley now days.  He pointed out the Charleroi has quite a bit going on with some recent developments and more on the books with the borough management, code enforcement, business owners and the public all actually getting along and working together to make things happen.  He pointed out the Pyrex is celebrating 100 years in Charleroi and that Charleroi has one of the largest National Historic Districts in Pennsylvania.  He says there’s really a lot of energy and great new dining going on down there.  I’m thinking it may be time for a road trip.  :)  I still think they should finish the Mon Valley Expressway before continuing on with the Southern Beltway.

There’s a couple of cool groups emerging around The City, one is City of Play.  Another is We Are Here.  Both are focused on finding what Norm Peterson referred to as his “third place” in Cheers.  In case you’re not a follower of Cheers, his first place was home, his second place was work and the third place he felt at home was Cheers.  Both groups offer biking and walking tours to introduce residents to places they drive past and would not normally be exposed to.  In addition to the “normal list of suspects” like local coffee houses Coffee Tree, Crazy Mocha and The Bee Hive, they frequent little mom and pop grocery stores with a couple of chairs around a Coke machine.  We have been chosen to host the 2014 Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place conference September 8 to 11, the premier gathering of walking and bicycling professionals in North America and We Are Here has been invited to speak at the conference.  They have events scheduled though out the year, particularly in September.  Check out their website or call 412-460-7429 for more info.

For those of you that use the Parkway West from Downtown, be prepared for a major nightmare this fall.  They had to do some emergency repairs in March to support the sagging ceiling and were planning on strengthening it more this fall, but decide since the ceiling is n longer needed mechanically and they were planning on eventually removing it anyway, why not just do it now.  So it looks like the will close all in bound and out bound tunnels for several weekends starting this fall.  Luckily for me, I seldom go out there on the weekends, any errands I do to Robinson is normally weekdays.  But I can only imagine the nightmare traffic this will cause.

There’s Hollywood, Bollywood, what are they going to call Pittsburghwood?  They just finished shooting the Russell Crow movie Farthers and Daughters and next month they’re going to stat filming Southpaw staring Jake Gyllenhaal as a boxer that fights his way to the The casting call will be Saturday from 10 am until 3 pm at the Inidana Mall, 2334 Oakland Avenue, Indiana, PA.

Have a great one,

ed