Tomorrow is the anniversary of the evacuation of Dunkirk, France (1940) where they safely evacuated all the British, French and Belgium soldiers across the English Chanel in any and every kind of water craft in the face of the vastly superior German forces. It is also Al Jolson’s birth anniversary (1886) and Julia Pierpont Day, in West Virginia Julia started Decoration Day in 1866 which eventually grew and evolved into the Federal Memorial Day.
PNC bank announced they were the ones buying up property along Wood Street between Fifth and Forbes Avenue recently and are building a 43 story office tower. This is because they have grown so much since acquiring National City Bank. Their processing center, Firstside Center, down by First Avenue was the largest greenest building when it opened in 2000. They are shooting for this to be the greenest skyscraper on the planet when it opens in 2015. As you know, I hate big, but I do have to take my hat off to them for this goal.
Mr Proponent of small businesses had two set backs. ): I hired Arborel Tree Service last fall to replace my purple plum tree in the parking lot that was so damaged in the snowmeggedan event February 5, 2009. I got three prices on replacing the plum tree and adding another tree in the back of the parking lot. Arborel had a competitive bid and I liked their suggestions on replacement trees. Afterward, anytime I called their phone number listed in the Yellow Pages, it always went to VM and they never called me back. I ended up getting snippy in the VM because of this. There’s a cell number listed on their business card that they did answer. So if I didn’t have that business card close, I would waste my time leaving a message. When I did get a hold of them, they were very nice and apologize. Only to not answer my next message. Why did I keep calling them? Because when I finally would speak with someone, they’d say “The tree should be in in two weeks and we’ll be out then.” In two weeks no tree, no update, nothing. And we would go through this routine again. When they finally did show up with the trees, they did a nice job planting the trees and the trees were of a nice size. But they dug the holes and planted the trees in the rain. So how did they clean my parking lot? With a leaf blower. Leaf blowers aren’t very effective with mud.
Now for the small business that got my goat yesterday. I need tile for the construction work going on in the Carriage House. So I went down to Architectural Clay Products, right over the hill from me. When I entered their show room, and the one clerk there was on her computer, she never looked up, she never spoke. There was a contractor there laying some display tile and he spoke. I was looking for original subway tile, with square sides instead of rounded. I didn’t see it, so I went up to the clerk, who at this point was talking to another clerk that had arrived. They looked at me, no one greeted me. I told them what I was looking for and the original clerk said she knew what I was looking for, but she didn’t work the day before and another employee didn’t put the catalog back where it belonged. The new clerk came around the counter and started doing some slightly inappropriate scratching. When she saw the look of bafflement on my face, explained she had surgery lately. The first clerk continues to complain about people not putting things back where they belong. So clerk #2 says there’s a sample of what I’m probably looking for on a cart in the back room. Clerk #1 and myself went back to look and it is what I was looking for. We come back out and I explained I was also looking for more authentic bull nose tile. Clerk #1 complains no one puts catalogs back where they belong and proceeded to show me the back of a sample display that had tiny sketches of what normally came with the bull nose. I then asked the dumb question, I guess. I asked them to quote me a price for the tile. Clerk #1 said ABOUT $2 a square foot and clerk #2 said ABOUT $2.30 a square foot. I don’t consider ABOUT to be a quote.
For those of you that still haven’t been to the Pittsburgh Public Market in the Terminal Building in the Strip, here’s another vendor worth checking out, Chris Johnston’s Blighty. He specializes in pasties (pronounce the a like in fast), flaky dough with fillings, looking somewhat like calzones. This form of British food dates all the way back to the 11th century, but became very popular in the 19th century with tin miners and others that got their hands dirty. They would eat this “sandwich” to the edges where their dirty hands held it and throw the edges away. Pretty interesting history.
Pittsburgh’s first distillery in about a century, Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries, in Glenshaw has been open since 2008. Pennsylvania Pure makes Boyd & Blair Vodka. A new distillery Wigle Wishkey will be in the Wool Company’s first floor space by 24th and Smallman Streets (by the new Otto Milk Condo’s). This is a family afair, Dad & Eric are the main movers and distillers, brother in law Alex will be the #2 distiller, Marry Ellen (mom) will be in charge of marketing, brother Jeff will be librarian and museum curator (they plan on opening a museum in their space talking about the history of distillery and whiskey. Having grown up right down the street from Mingo Creek Church, one of the centers for the Whiskey Rebellion, I’ve always been interested in it), and sister Meredith (Alex’s wife) will be co-marketer. Meredith and Alex founded Burgh Bees). I grew up in Washington County, right down the road from Mingo Creek Church, one of the main planning places for the Whiskey Rebellion. The name of their whiskey, Wigle is named after Phillip Wigle, one of two men convicted of treason for the Whiskey Rebellion and hanged in 1794.
Antiques on Washington in Bridgeville make signature hand crafted kitchen islands and dining room tables from reclaimed barn wood. Each piece is a unique piece of art for you to enjoy and enjoy showing off. It will be one of those pieces that always spark conversation.
Well, that’s about it for today, have a great evening,