This Saturday, be sure you go down the Strip for the Strip Search. 🙂  It’s a search for the best sandwich in the Strip, hence the quirky name.  It’s going to be in Benkovitz, most recently kiddie car seats maker Mom’s was in the space at 21st and Smallman Street.  More than a dozen restaurants, food trucks and street vendors will be compete for the coveted Best Sammich in da Burg.  Vendor’s include my neighbor Peppis, Spork, Wholey’s, Meat & Potatoes, Kelly O’s, Point & Park Bugges, Muddy Water Oyster House, Strip District Meats, Edgars’ Best Tacos, Bull Dawgs, Lucy Original Banh Mi and PGH Sandwich Society.  It will run from noon until 8 pm, admission is free but there will be a small charge for the samples.  There will be live music, beer, wine and Wigle whiskey available.

I know I am going to get flack over this and I do feel bad for him, but Otto Warmbier, what were you thinking?  First of all to go to the famed world’s most notorious human rights violator North Korea and then to steal a propaganda poster!   What did you expect?

As I get depressed about what we are doing to our environment, something comes along that picks me up.  I went to a Pennsylvania Resource Council recycling event in McCandless for hard to recycle liquids this spring. They had a huge line of residents that don’t want to pollute our waterways and the Recourse Council was very efficient.  It didn’t take long to make my way through the line.  And it only cost $32 for two boxes of various liquids.  I’ve always been green and when I moved up here, I went with the most efficient bulbs available at the time and out fitted the Inn with compact Florescents.  After about 8 years, as they started burning out, I started switching to LEDs.  They were pretty pricey and I just learned, that since 2008 their price dropped 90%.  The first ones I replaced were either the ones I deliberately left on all night or stairwell lights in guest rooms that I knew they left the on all night.  They need to come up with less intense candle bulbs for my chandeliers.  I’m probably at 90% LED now,  I’ve read where we are reducing our electrical consumption so much that it’s causing coal plants and nuclear plants to close down because they are too expensive to run given the current prices for electricity.  I’ve switched my electrical supplier to Green Mountain wind energy.  I’m looking into going solar, that’s probably two years yet.  Even with their prices dropping, they claim to last up to 10 years, some do not.  How am I supposed to track them, I bought the light bulb from Home Depot in October 2016?  The time of tracking them would negate any savings from the warranty they provide.

Also good news on the PA environmental front, the state supreme court ruled that the state government can’t divert revenues from gas leases to the state general fund.    If they want to put more money in the general fund, why not reduce the size of our legislature by at least half?  We have the biggest and most expensive state government (and some say the most ineffective).  I hate it when they create a new tax for something and then divert that money to the state’s general fund because they can’t come up with a balanced budget.

There’s a new water sport for you extreme types.  Flyboard is a wide term to describe various forms of water propulsion to get you moving around.  There’s back packs, things that resemble skate boards and even a bicycle kind of thing.  You strap the devise on your back, feet or other parts of your body and release the pressure in the hose you are connected to and it propels you.  There’s a national Flyboard association and they are having a tour stop in Erie June 24 & 25.  You can watch the pros or even give it a go yourself.  Near Lancaster, OH is Jet Pack Water Adventures and also in Ohio is Sky High Hydroflight Rentals in East Liverpool, seems the only way to get info on Sky High is through face book.  They will have Flyboarders at the Regatta in the beginning of August.  My suggestion is to always do this over water instead of over dry (and hard) land.  🙂

Pittsburgh native Josh Marino had a brain injury while serving in Iraq.  When he returned to America he was suffering from PTSD from the injuries, he was stationed at Ft Riley awaiting a medical discharge.  He took a knife he owned and was contemplating suicide when he went out on his front steps and a baby kitten crawled out from under some bushes by the steps and climbed on his lap.  Josh quit feeling sorry for himself and started worrying about what he could do for this kitten, he named Scout.  He ended up feeding the litter tuna fish daily and the kitten that befriended him was the only one that wanted to cuddle with him.  One day, the litter disappeared.  He went to an adoption event at the rescue shelter and as he was walking around, a little paw came out of a cage and rubbed his leg.  He immediately recognized Scout and adopted the kitten.  He has since gone to school and got a masters  in clinical rehabilitation and works with Vets.  He made a video that is posted on Mutual Rescue.

I had two guys from Holland stay with me last week.  Bas & Lowie are both travel writers & bloggers and documenting their bicycle trip across America, all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  Bas posted a blog featuring The Parador, follow the link to his post.  Oh and for you that don’t speak Dutch, here’s a translation sans the great pictures he took:

Not many visitors from outside America know Pittsburgh. Indeed, by no means all Americans have an idea of ​​this city. Sin (Google translate is a nice tool, but not perfect, I think Sin is supposed to be Since or something, I don’t think he was calling us a city of Sin, that’s left to Las Vegas) 🙂 because Pittsburgh is fun. Not only because steel history – including robust brick buildings and big factory pipes – fits perfectly in a hip street scene, nowadays because the summers are hot, the sports teams popular and the residents of Pittsburgh are friendly.

After a little 600 kilometers, our first serious stop The Parador Inn, a Victorian-style Bed & Breakfast. The intention is to stay one night here, but a combination of a friendly owner, Ed Menzer, an intensive week and a lot of logistic plans to make sure we decide to stay overnight. It proves an excellent choice. Stress has disappeared in the Parador, not least because of the reggae music that is gently in the background throughout the day.

Victorian Caribbean

Ed Menzer is from Pittsburgh, swirled around elsewhere and returned to his hometown eleven years ago to start a Bed & Breakfast. When he saw his current building on the Western Avenue – one of Pittsburgh’s north side – for sale, he was in love. He fell as a block to the Victorian style, transformed the huge building into 9 guest rooms and runs his business eleven years later every day. Together with Dee, yes. His help with everything ended with Ed one year after the Parador started, and never left. Dee’s son, Taymar, was 7 when Dee started working. During the weekends he went along and did his homework in the library. In the meanwhile, Taymar is 17, and if he has no school, he works in the ministry. Ed: “I can not even get into the dining room, but I have to stay in the kitchen. Taymar loves to take care of people and does it all the best. ”

The style of The Parador Inn is not only Victorian, but interwoven with a Caribbean atmosphere. “Done because I like to come to the Caribbean,” Ed says. “But also because I like to listen to reggae. And now I can set it up all day. ”

The Caribbean atmosphere comes back everywhere. The wallpaper is transformed into flowery motifs or pastel tones into bright colors with monkeys, toucans and other jungle residents. In the front room is a steel room where you can enjoy happy sounds. And all rooms have a color that represents the flower of a Caribbean plant or tree. The African tulip tree, for example, blooms beautifully deep red.

E north of Pittsburgh seems far away from everything in town, but do not let it deter you. In fact, the beginning of Western Avenue has been a slow but nice march for years. A few nice places: Benjamin’s Burger Bar and Nicky’s Thai, who has been voted best Thai in Pittsburgh for four years in a row. Do you want to enter the center: 20 minutes walk you are there. Whether you take the Parador de T, the free tram that brings you to the other side of the bridge.

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Add to our growing international appeal, German airline Condor will be adding direct flights to Germany next week.  This is in addition to Delta that has had summer flights to Paris for several years now.  And Icelandic WOW that started European flights two weeks ago.

That’s it for today kids,



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