Tomorrow is the anniversary of Bunker Hill (1775), Iceland Independence Day (1944), South Africa repealed the last apartheid law (1991) and the 41th anniversary of Watergate (1972).  Birth anniversaries include Methodist Church John Wesley (1703), PA Governor Tom Corbett (1949), composer Igor Stravinsky (1882) and constitution signer William Hooper (1742).

Business has been crazy busy.  A huge trend the last few weeks is a ton of European guests (probably 10% of my total guests).  I don’t know Pittsburgh’s becoming more of a destination or if The Parador is a becoming an international destination.  🙂

Did you go out to the 15th Annual Atlatl Competition Saturday at Meadowcroft?  Loosely speaking, an Atlatl is and ancient attachment to a spear that extends it’s distance and accuracy.  They believe to have been in use by primitive hunters as far back as 30,000 years ago.  I guess that’s where Jean Auel got the idea for her heroine Ayla’s idea for her innovative weapon in the Clan of the Cave Bear.  It’s funny how as life goes by, you see things from your past that makes more sense with new perspectives.  It’s like years ago when I first read Frank Herbert’s Dune I thought how creative he was with the city names.  Then about ten years ago, as the middle east came to the front page of news, I swear all the city names he used are right out of Yemen.

Also on Saturday was the 23 Annual River Sweep, the largest river clean up in the country that cleans more than 2,400 miles of shoreline.  Cleaning the Ohio River from Pennsylvania through Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois they pulled more than 40 tons of trash out of the river.  This was accomplished by 600 volunteers in 24 groups, good work guys!

Well, the commute is open, you can now accept that job in DC and bike all the way.  🙂  Seriously, they finally opened those two last segments around Sandcastle and up around McKeesport for the Great Allegheny Passage Trail to be completed.  The organizers already have their eyes on some smaller improvements along the trail and a fairly large challenge getting the motor traffic and bikers separated along the Mon Wharf,  they just received a $2M state earmark for it.  It’s about 150 miles to Cumberland, MD where it meets the C&O Canal Towpath that completes the 334.5 mile trip to DC.  It’s a very cool trip (not that I’ve done it), going through the mountains, over rebuilt bridges over waterway and through refurbished tunnels that trains once uses, so the grade is minimal.

Next Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm they will be having a Pollinator Open House by St Vincent College in Unity.  Penn State Master Gardeners will be giving tours of the Reserve’s gardens and a local beekeeper will be their giving demonstrations.  Great opportunity if any of you are thinking of taking up apiary as a hobby.  More info by calling 724-837-1402 or by  visiting their website.

Next month, July 11 Phipps will be teaming with Penn State Cooperative Extension and nationally known garden designer David Culp for a special Summer Short Course on design and use of native plants.  It runs from 8:30 until 2:30 and the $95 includes lunch and coffee.  Limited spaces in their new learning center and a $50 deposit will be required.  More info by calling 412-441-4442 or by visiting their website.

Have you seen Mr Epic Man’s YouTube posting How Animals Eat Their Food?  I like it how his dining partner keeps a straight face watching his antics until the kangaroo.  Pretty cute.

144 years after Samuel Morse sent his first telegram, the  Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited will be sending the world’s last telegraph and closing it’s doors on July 14.

That Philadelphia company that’s been all over Downtown buying properties and converting them into apartments and condos mainly is planning a Kimpton Hotel chain Hotel Monaco brand, watch out Fairmont Hotel, you’re going to have a run for your money on the higher end guest market.  I like to see it because Pittsburgh’s been lacking in the availability of upscale hotel rooms.  It gives the city more of an upscale destination image. This 250 room luxury hotel will be in the old James Reed Building that has law offices of Reed Smith most recently.  So now we have luxury accommodations in The Parador, The Fairmont and a Monaco.  🙂

I’ve been a big fan of John Conti for some time now.  What a well presented argument for a compromise for the Terminal Building in the Strip (maybe he read an earlier blog of mine) he made in today’s Trib titled “Lost” Buildings Can Never Be Replaced.  🙂  Instead of tearing the entire bottom third of the building down, cut a pass through at 17th Street.  This leaves the imagery of the 1500 foot solid building framing what could be a VERY dramatic plaza framed by the Terminal Building on one side, the various old buildings (some have been re-habbed WITHOUT public money Buncher Group) on the other side and on the end that very dramatic St Stanislaus Kostka church.  They are even proposing leaving some of the structural metal work in place between the two parts of the Terminal Building for visual affect.    If you go to the link, there’s a rendering of their proposal.  I suggest going one step further, make a park in the middle of the street, a long narrow park.  Angled in parking and single lane in each direction would leave at least thirty feet in the middle for my park, maybe call it Parador Park?  🙂  Unlike Buncher, Mr Conti and myself are willing to compromise.

Have a great week,




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