I thought I talked about Ian Rosenberger, founder of Thread.  He’s a Pittsburgh native that started Thread International shortly after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010.  He set up a plant on the island that would take trash water bottles and other plastic trash and turn it into threads to be used to make fabric.  So he hires local residents to go out and collect plastic and pays them for what plastic trash they collect.  A lot of socially conscious companies use his fabric, but he is not known because these companies push their agenda of the good they do and he gets left out.   Names like Timberland, Reebok, Kenneth Cole and many others use his fabrics.   He’s come under criticism for the use of child labor, he buys plastic from anyone that brings it to his factory.  The kids do not work in the factory in a sweat shop kind of environment, as some have implied.  He just pays these kids for walking around in the fresh air picking up litter and helping to support their family.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing.  So he’s now shifting his business model and has created a factory here in Pittsburgh (actually Homewood), but he is also working with others to create his own product line using his own fabric.  Thread’s actual website is not currently working, I’m assuming it’s down until they come up with a product line to show.

The Pittsburgh Food Truck Park at Millvale’s Riverfront Park opened for the season last weekend.  I was initially against food trucks as I am against Airbnb and for the same reasons.  Brick and mortar restaurants and bed and breakfasts have a significant investment in the building and are inspected, licensed and insured.  Food trucks do have a bit of an expense in making the truck into a kitchen and they are licensed and inspected by the county.  Airbnb on the other hand are not licensed, nor does any government agency inspect or approve their operations.  I have since dropped my boycott of the food trucks.  Currently all operations at the Food Truck Park are outdoors (even port-a-potties).  By the summer they hope to have the shipping container completed and move the beer, wine and by then spirits into the container.  They will have a roof top deck on top of the container.  They are also taking over an old warehouse (currently still in use by the city of Millvale.)  Not sure if the indoor bathrooms are going into the container or warehouse. In addition to the rotating food trucks, they plan on other activities like live bands, yoga classes and other activities.

Speaking of food trucks, Dee and myself went to the Federal Galley last week, Federal Galley is not a food truck, but I kind of think of them as similar.  I had been wanting to try the Michigan & Trumbull Detroit style pizzas.  The pizza that caught my eye was the mushroom pizza and typical Dee she said she doesn’t like mushrooms.  She said that when I started making my garden quiche (zucchini, mushrooms and onion), she finally tried it and it’s been one of her favorites since.  She loved the pizza, I will make a mushroom lover out of her yet.

I first noticed Molly’s Trolleys when I lived in Florida.  Molly Stahlmand & Bob Spagno started the tour buses around 1995 here in Pittsburgh and would travel to West Palm Beach and decided to create a second Molly’s Trolley down there.  I wasn’t aware they originated here and was surprised when I moved back.  Molly & Bob decided to close down the Pittsburgh branch in 2010 and Just Ducky purchased it and ran it until this past fall when they decided to stop doing the trolley thing and focus on the Ducky tours.  Vince & Manon LaMonica, who own Pittsburgh Tour group (the double  buses you see around town).  Those buses are limited to nice weather and they have to stop tours when the weather gets cold.  They decide to start a trolley to extend their season and be able to cater to wedding, prom and other special events where the double decker buses would be too big.  Molly’s Trolley took off from Station Square, the new venture by Pittsburgh Tour will be starting down at Southside Works.  They are just doing weekends for another week when they will start their regular schedule of tours every two hours from 9 am until 5 pm.  Unfortunately, they will not be offering the off and back on again option for a single fare the double decker buses do.

Speaking of excitement on the Northside, Cafe Brugge just opened their Northside restaurant in City of Asylum’s Alphabet City on North Avenue.  This is so hot off the press, that they have not included the new (third location) on their menu site, the menu will be vary similar to the other two.

That’s it for today,