Hi,

Tomorrow’s the anniversary of black activist Angela Davis’ acquittal (1972), the Battle of Midway (1942), Pulitzer Prizes (1917), the massacre at Tiananmen Square (1989) and the emancipation of Tonga (1970).  Birth anniversaries include musician Freddy Fender (1937) and King George III (1738).

I found this cool wooden wind chime at Moonstones shop in Dormont, they have some strange, but also some very cool items:

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Volunteers tackled the Allegheny River around Blawnox collecting 10 tires, 35 bags of trash and 150 pounds of metal of an 8 miles stretch.  This was organized by Allegheny Clean Ways and call their efforts “tireless cleanups” tongue and cheek referring to all the tires people throw into our waterways.  They are looking for volunteers for their next tireless cleanup in Verona on June 7 if your from that area or just have some free time.  More info at their website or by calling 412-381-1301.

Millvale’s second brewery has just opened to join Draai Laag Brewing Company.  Grist House Brewing is located at 10 Sherman Street, Millvale and they are open Thursdays through Sundays by hours they post on their Twitter account or on the their Facebook page.  The open brewery is below the public pub housed in an old slaughter house that still has that rustic look.  They’ve also added a deck for relaxation and imbibing.  :)  Their phone is 412-447-1442.

For those of you that have visited The Parador, you should recognize the coffee/tea cups I use at breakfast.  The long story about these cups is they the a Villeroy & Boch pattern called Miami.  Villeroy & Boch is a French company and the pattern that was used on one of the fine dinning rooms at Resorts Casino back when my management team took over the food and beverage operations.  Paul Patay, our VP of Food and Beverage immediately switched to an American china (Mr. Patay’s first language was French, there was debates where he was French or French Canadian) because of the cost of the china ($27 per cup and saucer), cost of shipping and the time it took to receive items ordered.  So we went with a very nice Sterling China pattern, locally available and much more cost effective.  What to do with this old china we took out of service and had no further use for?  We sent it out to our warehouse and Mr. Patay and VP of Purchasing (who controlled the warehouse) negotiated a price for staff to purchase sets of this china to get rid of it.  Peter Durkin, the VP of Purchases told Mr. Patay he wanted $4 for it.  Mr. Patay thought Peter was speaking per piece and there was 12 pieces per setting meaning each place setting would be $48.  Mr. Patay, always watching pennies negotiated the price down to $1.25 before he realized Peter was speaking place setting, not piece.  So I got a set of 12 of this fine china for $15.  :)  I have had it for years and when I started running a B & B, started using the china for breakfast.  It didn’t take long until I needed more pieces and learned Villeroy and Boch discontinued the line.  So I found Replacements Unlimited in Miami that specialized in finding discontinued china.  I had been paying anywhere from $20-$25 per coffee cup and saucer until I couldn’t get anymore through them.  A friend recommended I look on E-Bay and have found them on there from $15 – $20.  Last week, I found a 12 piece coffee cup and saucer set, plus 12 bullion cups for $39!  Oh happy days are at The Parador!

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Again, for yinz that have stayed at The Parador, I had this really chintzy fake oriental rug in the Library that I was always afraid someone was going to slip on and break their neck.  I put those non-skid pads under it, but guests were still frequently skidding on it.  I like the look of Persian red rugs and found a 50 year old Mashad in great condition and a great price.

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‘;Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation has started their free guided walking tours Fridays.  These guided tours start at noon at Triangle Park, the new little park on Liberty in front of the Fairmont Hotel and last about an hour.  These guided tours take you through Market Square and the newly opened Melon Square.  You never know what you’ve missed walking around Downtown until you go on one of these guided tours that point out all the hidden treasures Downtown.  Reservations are encouraged by calling Mary Lu Denny at 412-471-5808 extension 527.  (If you are interested in volunteering to give tours and learn even more about out fair city, Mary Lu can help with that as well.  July’s walking tours are the Gems of Grant Street, the August tours are Bridges and River Shores and September tours are Fourth Avenue and PPG Place.

The very public savvy Wigle distillery is opening a second location, right here on the Northside in Spring Garden (just east of Deutschtown ).  The Whiskey Garden and Barrelhouse will be open Thursdays and Fridays from 5 pm – 9 pm, Saturdays from 11 am – 6 pm and Sundays from 11 am – 4 pm (the reason for the early closings is out of consideration of their neighbors since it is basically a residential neighborhood).  Thursdays will be focused on non-profits to use the space for whatever they need, Fridays will be a rotating list of various programmings (like a bluegrass whiskey tasting on June 20 with a live bluegrass band).  When they first open on Saturdays they will be giving tours of the Barrelhouse and Sundays there will be having garden parties in their Whiskey Garden.  Sounds like fun.

Northside’s second annual Music Festival is scheduled on Saturday, July 12 in Deutschtown.  Attendance last year was estimated at around 2.500 and they expect to double that this year.  Adding 10 more bands this year brings the total performing to over 70.  To accommodate this expansion, a second stage is being set up in Allegheny Commons around North and Cedar Avenues.  The afternoon festivities will start around 10 am and be family friendly.  They plan on food trucks and a flea market in the Commons to add to fun.  The main stage on Foreland Street will run from 4 pm – 8 pm and in consideration of the neighbors, the bands will then adjourn to James Street Gastropub, Max’s Allegheny Tavern, , Artists Image Resources, Bistro, Park House, Penn  Brewery, Verdettos, Allegheny Elks Lodge, Peanuts and Key West.

And don’t forget the 55th Annual Three Rivers Arts Festival starts this weekend.  It runs from Friday, June 6 through Sunday, June 15.  There is sooooo much during the festival that I’m not going to even give highlights.  There definitely something for everyone at the Festival.  Check their website to see what tickles your fancy.

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust did a Ballroom Dancing event last year at Market Square and it was so successful that from 5 – 7 pm they will be hosting Ballroom Dancing (and other forms of dancing) lessens each Friday in June.  Just show up with your dancing shoes and learn some new steps.  :)

Well, the rain seems to be holding off for a bit today, I think I’m going to take advantage of the sunshine and start working on the deck in my beach, it really needs cleaned up and a new coat of stain applied.  Have a great day,

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