Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Constitution of the US took effect (1788), the Declaration of Independence was declared (1776), Amelia Earhart disappeared (1937), President James Garfield was assassinated (1881) and the execution of slave Denmark Vesey for his conspiracy in what would have been the largest slave revolt in South Carolina (1822).  Birth anniversaries include Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908) and tennis player & clothier Rene LaCoste (1904).

Finally, a little break this Monday & Tuesday.  I’ve been extremely busy, and that’s a good thing.  :)

If you are looking for something to do this summer, a great choice is to attend one of Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation for the list of tours they are sponsoring.  Most are free, some are self guided and some have tour guides.  One of note is the tour of the old Jail House designed by HH Richardson.  It has been re-purposed as County Juvenile Court.  Most of walk through the City with a purpose and don’t see what’s really around us.  Besides the imposing Oliver Building, Frick Building and others, there’s tons of smaller detail around the City that these tours point out.  By the way, about two weeks ago their installed the recreated lions for the front of Dollar Bank on Fourth Avenue (the originals since being refurbished, grace the inside of the bank).

Another interesting yearly tour is the Biblical Botanical Gardes at Rodef Shalom Temple at 4905 Fifth Avenue, Oakland.  It is open 10 am until 2 pm Sundays through Thursdays, Wednesdays 7 until 9 pm Wednesdays and noon to 1 pm Saturdays.  They have a trove of sub-tropical plants that are native to the middle east that they winter in their greenhouse in West View Cemetery and bring to the garden  and plant each spring.  They try and educate guests that originally, Jews and Arabs of the area were basically farmers they highlight what would have been grown back then as well as many other interesting plants.  Entrance is free, but they do accept donations.

The Three Rivers Regatta is this coming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  There’s two fireworks shows July 3 and 4, both by Zambelli but totally different shows.  Daily events include Beach ‘Burgh will be on the Allegheny River Steps, Colcom Kids Zone will be on the City side lawn, BMX stunt riding, extreme Pogo and the Sandsational exhibit will be down in Point State Park.   Besides the races on Allegheny River, there’s a wide variety of entertainment like on Wednesday, Marvelous Mutts Dock Dog Show, entertainment on the Main Stage to include Jefferson Starship at the Rivers Casino Amphitheater Beatlemania will perform and other live entertainment.  On Thursday, besides the speed races, the Dragon Boat contest and Anything That Floats competitions will be held as well as live entertainment on both the Main Stage and Rivers Casino Amphitheater.  Times and much more detail on their website.

If you want other options, the Butler County Fair goes through Saturday.  It runs 9 am until 11 pm with rides, live entertainment, food and other activities at this 158 year old fair.  There’s also the farm aspect with tractor pulls, livestock exhibits and other farm related shows and activities.  Admission is $6 before 4 pm and $8 after.  The entrance admission does not include some of the live events.  More info at their website or by calling 724-865-2400.

Seven emerging artists will have an exhibit at The Brew House at 2100 Mary Street on the Southside.  In case you are not aware, the former Duquesne Brewery that became The Brew House was illegally squatted by artists probably twenty years ago or more.  Eventually it became Pittsburgh’s largest (and legal)  :) artists enclave.  I don’t know how many artists are in there now, most have living accommodations as well as workspace/show room.  Artists Alexis Roberto, Cara Livorio, Crystala Armogost, Josh Mitchel, Elizabeth Brophy, Kate Hansen and Terrance M Boyd will have their works on display.  The exhibit is open from noon until 4 pm Saturdays and Sundays through August 4.  Admission is free.  More info at the websites or by calling 412-381-7767.  A great chance to see the works of these artists and you never know who you are going to run into at The Brew House.  Rick Bach, the artist that has done most of the metal sculptures for the Mad Mex restaurant chain as well as other Big Burrito restaurants also did the Aztec sun calendar sculpture on the wall in my Courtyard has a residence there.

For any of you that haven’t been here (or noticed it while here), it’s a pretty amazing piece.  #1 it’s totally customized with the word parador over the center face and other details.  The reason for it’s location (and purpose) is when I bought the Inn, my next door neighbor’s dusk to dawn sodium vapor light would shine into the courtyard all night and was very annoying.  When we first installed it, the light would shine right through it as if it wasn’t there.  Chris, a mutual friend (and the gentleman that made my Parador sign that hangs off my front porch) and owner of Sign Works in the Strip provided a piece of frosted lexan and it works perfectly.  The sculpture is great during the day and pretty spectacular at night.

Master Degree graduates from CMU Neil Druckmann and Bruce Stanley have created a video game about apocalyptic America called The Last of Us.  Much of their animations are either directly Pittsburgh, or very closely resemble it.  In this game, a real fungus, cordyceps, that kills  insects by attacking their brains, is portrayed as killing most of the humans as well.  The country is divided between a government run by martial law and the militant group firefly.  The hero Joel must bring this young girl to Boston and the reason she’s so valuable is she’s immune to the disease and along the way the battle all kinds of baddies.  More than most apocalyptic video games, this one seems to have a decent story line.

That’s it for today,

ed

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