Tomorrow’s the anniversary of California being admitted to the Union (1850), the battle of Marathon between ancient Persia and Athenia (490 BC),  the battle of Salerno (1943), Tajikistan Independence Day (1991) and Japan’s Chrysanthemum Day.  Death anniversaries include William the Conqueror (1087) and Mao Tse-‘tung (1976); it’s the birth anniversary of novelist Leo Tolstoy (1828).

I apologize.  I recently lied to you, but not on purpose.  I read an article that they were re-opening the second north bound lane on Route 28 early and thought that meant a more or less permanent opening.  Here they are just opening it in about a week until January when they will again close it for a significant amount of time.  Sorry guys.

It looks like the Children’s Museum may be taking over the city owned Carnegie Library in the Commons.  It was severely damaged by lightning several years ago, which gave the library system the excuse to build a new facility to service the Northside.  (The old library was not handicapped accessible and needed new mechanicals.  The library said it would be too costly to upgrade the building, I don’t know, it seems to me the cost of a brand new building would have to exceed the costs of upgrades.  But it wouldn’t be all new and shiny).  I wasn’t aware that the city was exploring tearing the iconic structure down and Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation made the city think twice about demolition.  Apparently, the Children’s Museum has a number of other associated non-profits that operate out of the museum like Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University Food City Fellows and Youth Alive that need more space.  It looks like it would be a pretty pricey endeavor, $6.5M to move in and $12.5M to make it sustainable.  I do hope something works out to save the second public library built by Andrew Carnegie.

The Northside’s Mattress Factory is expanding into it’s second space at 516 Sampsonia Way, a block from the original Mattress Factory proper and right by the Mattress Factory Annex at 1414 Monterrey Avenue.  The new (as yet unnamed) gallery adds 2,500 square feet of exhibit space and was purchased in 2001.  A series of grants has enabled them over the years to upgrade the Victorian building including wheelchair accessibility, new heating and mechanical systems.  They didn’t over renovate, leaving exposed brick, some broken plaster and many of the original fixtures creating non-sterile exhibit spaces. The first artist to open the new wing is Chiharu Shiota of Japan with studios also in Germany.  Shiota uses everyday items that are shrouded in black string like spider webs.

I assume most Pittsburghers have noticed the Gulf Tower again has the top lit up to give the weather forecast.  It’s been doing it for a year now and since it’s LED, the capabilities are large and so instead of the old it’s going to rain or it’s going to be dry, there’s all kinds of info it puts out.  If it’s red, that indicates it’s going over 80, orange is 66-79, amber is 50-65, light blue is 33-49, medium blue is 0-32 and dark blue is – watch out – below zero.  Red purple says rains over a quart inch and blue purple indicates rain less than a quarter inch.  Dark green indicates 50% humidity and above and light green is below 50%.  Winds of over 10 mph are indicated by magenta and less than 10 mph is indicated by pink.  Now to add to all that confusion, they have teamed up with the Pirates.  The Tower will flash black and gold for home runs and runs scored.  At home or away, once the Pirates win, the Tower will continuously flash black and gold for the rest of the evening.  Although the Pirates thing is controlled from a box in the Park, the Pirates can control it from any computer with Internet access and passwords.

Move over deceitful plumbing contractor Gillece, we need room for another low life.  Apparently mega construction contractor Sota isn’t content will all the millions of dollars in contracts he already has, he’s decided to scam disabled American veteran contractors out of business.  Sota “partnered” with his employee Jason Harris to form a new company with Harris (a vet) as token head  president.  Sota has 49% ownership and Harris has 51%, all the construction jobs listed on Battalion, LLC construction company are also listed on Sota’s.  The slogan of the newly formed Battalion construction company is “Demand the strength of an army”.  #1, shame on both Sota and Harris.  #2, I wonder if either will “man up” and actually take responsibility for this disgrace.

I drink a fair amount of coffee, but don’t partake in those energy drinks.  I definitely won’t be partaking in the new Sprayable Caffeine hitting the market.  Yeps, you got that right, you spray this concoction on your flesh to be absorbed through the skin to give you an energy boost.  A starter pack costs $15, said to last two to three weeks with a maximum 20 spritz’s per day.

The Mexican War Streets annual self guided home and garden tour is next Sunday from 11 am until 5 pm.  It’s $18 in advance, $20 the day of the tour.  Tickets will be available next Sunday on the corner North Avenue and Monterrey Street (where the big YMCA is).  The many folks over in the War Streets are a special breed (and I mean that in the nicest way, I’m in that boat as well) and you see a lot of unique adaptations of their Victorian homes.  After all, Randyland is in the War Streets.  More info on their website or by calling 412-848-1083.

Next Saturday, the airport’s holding an auction.  No planes, hangers or deicing machines, but plenty of other stuff.  Abandoned vehicles, old airport vehicles, lawn mowers, contraband the TSA confiscated, etc  It starts at 10 am and is a strictly cash basis.  It will be held at the Airport Heavy Equipment Building on Cargo Road in Moon.  More info at Flypittsburgh‘s website or e-mailing dromitz@pitairport.com.

There’s a new craft beer in Pittsburgh, Roundabout Brewery at 49th and Butler Streets has recently opened. Owner Steve Sloan has worked at other craft breweries around the country, even in New Zealand and Hawaii (actually that is part of “the country”).  🙂  His last position before spinning off on his own was brewery manager at the Church Brew Works where he won several awards.  What’s cool about the craft beer movement is they are a small community in themselves.  Scott Smith of East End Brewery gave Steve an old walk-in cooler and some other refrigeration equipment.  Bill Larkin of Arsenal Cider House and Wine Cellar lent all kinds of tools to Steve as he was getting ready to open.  They view themselves much as I do us Innkeepers, it’s us against the Goliaths.

The Northside Leadership Conference is exploring the idea of creating an artist’s market and co-op here on the Northside.  Something akin to the School House in Braddock or the Brew House on the Southside.  Emily Honhart is spearheading the concept and is seeking input from artists and what they might be looking for in the space.  NSLC is just in the exploratory phase to see what is needed as far as the amount of space the individual artists would need, accumulative amount of space needed under roof, special requirements (higher electricity amperage for welders say).  To get on board with the planning stage, contact Emily at emily@pittsburghnorthside.com.

Speaking of the Northside, next Saturday will be German Heritage Day over here.  Festivities will start at 9:30 with an antique car show over in the Allegheny Commons East.  A parade will follow at 11 am on East Ohio Street featuring antique German, German folk dancing and singing.  A lunch at the Teutonia Mannerchor at 857 Phineas Street over in Deutschtown will follow the parade.    Tickets are $15 in advance at the Priory Bakery and $18 at the door.  The Northside has a very strong German heritage from the Victorian era emigration.  There’s more info at the Teutonia website.

Coming soon (October 19 to be exact) will be Fineview’s annual Step-a-Thon.  This five mile race will ascend Fineview’s hills, streets and most notable staircases and is sponsored by the Fineview Citizen’s Council.  The course covers 12 public staircases for a total of over 1,600 steps.  You can register individually or as a team (prizes are given out for first place male, first place female and first place team).  There’s also a half-thon available as well.  The race starts at 8:30 and as your doing the race, the amazing skyline is only a twist of your head away.  🙂  I can’t provide more specific information, their website is under construction.  The above link will take you to that site with at least a phone number and e-mail address.

Have a great week and Go Steelers,




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