This is the last weekend of the Pittsburgh Grand Prix, the premier event is scheduled Sunday the race through Schenley Park.  Be sure to keep yourself hydrated if you attend or even if you don’t this weekend, it’s going to be brutal.  And I like their charities Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Merakey Allegheny Valley School.

You’ve heard of the Whiskey Rebellion, the Boxer Rebellion and others.  I’m letting you know there going to be another famous rebellion that i have just created, the Ed Rebellion.  I started throwing away all the things the Pittsburgh recycling manager did not want to be bothered with and decided if he doesn’t want to deal with figuring out a solution, instead of me throw them in the trash he can do that.  🙂  My recycling bags were filled with the hard plastic packing shells and plastic bottle caps (I did remove them from the plastic bottles because someone pointed out to me that when going through the rollers the caps can shoot off like a bullet.

Official notice to those of you that used to have my iPhone number, it no longer exists.  I moved my flip phone number, which I love to my iPhone.  So 412-552-0123 no longer reaches me.  I moved my cell 412-508-6000 to my iPhone and got rid of the flip phone. It’s been a month and my left front pocket still feels naked.  ):  Alright Dave & Claire, it’s official.  🙂

I was in an accident a month ago.  Some stupid lady opened her drivers side door without looking in her mirror to see if traffic was coming down the street and she caused some significant damage to my passenger side.  I took it to get it repaired this morning and opted on my way back with the rental car to take the “road less traveled” and came down through Coraopolis and McKees Rocks.  Grimes Interiors is located in McKees Rocks and when I saw it, pulled over to check out the store.  Dwayne was in the shop (the first time I’ve seen him in years).   We chatted for a good bit, he’s over stocked with furniture.  If you are in the market for antiques take a look at these pictures, particularly if you take several pieces, I’m sure he’d work you a deal.

Grimes Interiors

Grimes Interiors antiques

Grimes Interiors side room


When I bought the property I turned into The Parador Inn of Pittsburgh, I bought a lot of antiques from the previous owner in a separate chattel agreement.  I hired Grime’s Interiors to do some repairs on a number of pieces.  One of the things I wanted them to do was the spectacular bedroom set in Allamanda someone had made the bed into a California queen (longer that your standard queen), so I told him I want new side rails making it fit a standard sized queen box springs and mattress.  Which was no problem.  One of the round knobs was missing off the foot board.  My suggestion was to take them off the matching armorie in Allamanda’s living room and just put something roundish out there.  He said no, they would make a match, which is this first picture.  The first picture shows the knob Dwayne’s crew made.  The second picture is a full view of the bed I’ve had wood carvers in that tried to find the flaw and no one ever has.  The third picture is the armorie in the living room with the original roundy things still attached.

Allamanda's foot board

allamanda's bed

Allamanda armorie

The federal government is projecting an 363 foot image of the Apollo 11 rocket that took Neil Armstrong to the moon on the Washington Monument  remembering the 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon.  And Neil Armstrong “that’s one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.” It’s worth following my link to see it, it’s pretty cool.

Queen with Adam Lambert are performing at PPG Paints Arena July 31.  Be sure to get your tickets and and book your room at The Parador Inn. Remember you can’t beat my price, park for free, ride the “T” both to the concert and from the concert.  And have a wonderful breakfast in the morning to start your day.

That’s it for today, as I said earlier be sure to stay hydrated, way before you feel thirsty,





Before I start whining, I would like to point out that my Crocosmia common name Lucifer has just stared blooming.  I love this plant, it isn’t at all like my favorite Heliconia common name Lobster Claw, it makes me think of it.  Heliconia is very prolific in Hawaii and can be grown in S Florida, but won’t grow up here, even indoors.  Here’s my Lucifer individual flower:


And here’s the whole bush:


Lucifer bush

While we’re talking about plants, here’s one of my my new lilies:

Monster lilies

Next weekend, the Deutschtown Music Festival is happening  Friday and Saturday July 12 &13.  300 bands on 30 stages some indoor, some outdoor see the above link for details.

Now, it’s OK for me to start whining, my first gripe is with the “manager” of Pittsburgh’s recycling program.  After years of me holding that mantle of Manager to now being Innkeeper both titles require the holder to solve problems, not to make their life easier.  Every time I hear him speak (or read an interview) there’s something else we’re not supposed to recycle.  As long as I’ve recycled I’ve known not to recycle thin cardboard with the waxy coating like soda & beer boxes.  Pittsburgh doesn’t recycle Styrofoam, but I collect Styrofoam in my basement and can take it to the Appliance Warehouse on the Southside.  Recently I heard him say we shouldn’t put pizza boxes in with cardboard because it has grease on it. I’ve heard him complain about the blue bags they require us  to use that the blue bags clog the machinery.  He’s also complaining about plastic bottle caps, even though they are made of the correct plastic that can be reused because they also clog the machinery.  Instead of whining, why not be a manager and find a solution.  My heroes in recycling is Sweden.  They built a trash to power plant (actually I think several) in the 1980’s and when Sweden decided to recycle, they were so effective that they ended up having to get trash from Denmark to burn.  (One of my earlier posts, I said Sweden bought trash from Denmark and a Swede corrected me, Denmark pays Sweden to take the trash).  🙂

Recently I’ve been hearing comments that we need to openly discuss race relations and I totally agree, but it needs to be a comprehensive conversation, not  a sugar coated one side.  Something happened last week that got me thinking again about this, a resident of Greenfield saw some kid in a construction vehicle that was unattended next to a kids park.  (This area has been the site of recent vandalism).  The resident confronted the kid and ended up on top of him while the kid’s sister was yelling at the adult to get off her brother and recording the incident on her phone.  I heard this initially as it was somewhat breaking news.  The latest versions I have been hearing are omitting the fact that the kid was in the vehicle, just pictures of this adult man on top of a kid.  The news interview the kid’s mom and she was rightly upset that an adult man was on top of her child, no mention was made of the kid being in a vehicle without permission.  The adult man says he called 911 several times and no police officer responded so he took matters in his own hand.  #! no adult should be on top of a child for any reason.  #2 the news needs to be fair and unbiased, not trying to be politically correct.

Which brings me to my next subject, Antwon Rose.  It’s been a  year since Officer Michael Rosfeld shot and killed Rose.  Something not mentioned since the incident was that Rose was in a vehicle that was involved in a drive by shooting.  Being involved in a drive by shooting should not have anything to do with Rose being shot and killed by Rosfelnd.  I would like to know if Rosfeld had any knowledge about the drive by shooting in a near by community and if so what.  Whether Rose was the shooter in the drive by or not does not in the least justify him being shot (maybe in the leg to stop him from fleeing).  The use of excessive force needs to stop and one big way to do this is to get rid of all these small police departments that don’t have the resources to adequately train their officers.

Besides talking about all aspects of racial interactions, not omitting facts that do have relevance, the last thing I would like to whine about is several years ago I read where the biggest cause of death for young black men where shootings by other young black men.  This is something I see being addressed by faith groups in black neighborhoods and this has be be address by society at large to figure out a solution.

Lastly, if you are a white supremacist or other hateful group, please do contact me.  I know for a fact that most of you are STUPID, if you were smart, you would have gone to college or a trade school start a career and moved on instead of sitting in your double wide drinking beer blaming the world for you lazy self.  I would love to connect you with the FBI, there’s agents that would love to talk to you.  You are the “Base” we hear so much about.  And I believe you will be too STUPID to see what I just  said.  🙂

Alright guys & gals, and everyone in between,  🙂

Happy Fourth of July,



John Mayer is performing at PPG Paints Arena July 28 get your tickets now and book your room at The Parador.  Remember the arena is just a short “T” ride from my Inn and is totally free. 🙂


Good year for my plants, my vertical hydrangea are blooming for their first time, instead of solid leaves for the flowers its more like a bunch of little fireworks:

vertical hydrangea

This weekend is the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, mainly in and around the August Wilson Center, a short “T” ride from the Parador Inn, I’m not sold out yet for this weekend,  I do have four siblings with their spouses visiting and some other guests mostly repeat guests.  Follow the links for details.

Also, summer is time for the remaining county fairs, I missed writing about the Butler Jeep Festival held every year last week. Lawrence County Fair runs August 12 -17.  Big Butler Fair runs June 28 – July 6.  The Fayette County Fair runs July 25 – August 3.  The Westmoreland Fair runs August 16 -24.  And lastly there’s the Crawford County Fair August 17 – 24.  Follow the links to get details on these local festivities and events.

And there’s lots of smaller festivals like the Polish Hill Arts Festival on July 21.  Homewood Black Family Reunion August 10.  It Takes A village  Community Day in Norrthview Heights on July 12.  And finally there’s Beltzhoover Community Day on July 13.  Also don’t forget the free Movies in the Park presented by Pittsburgh Citiparks and Dollar Bank.

And my sedum kamtschaticum Variegatum is blooming for the first time in eight years:


When to the Arts Festival this year, didn’t find anything that really grabbed be, but these giraffes were pretty cool:


And they are for a good cause:

IOcean Sole Africa non profit

I hosted my first wedding this past weekend.  Deena, Chris and family had a wonderful time.  JCP Event Group did a great job as always with food, service and ensuring everything went well.  Even though they lost the manager I had been dealing with, Dena stepped right in and made sure everything ran smoothly.  Besides the quality of their food, I love the attitude of the staff they hire.  I’ve never seen anything like a prima donna attitude, everyone pitches in and helps each other.

That’s it for today, have a great one and enjoy this summer weather,  remember Friday is the summer solstice, summer officially starts, (No running around naked dressed in Druid costumes, unless you want to).  🙂

Don’t forget to get your tickets to the John Mayer concert July 29, at PPG Paints arena.  It’s a five minute walk to the “T”, five minute FREE ride to Steel Plaza and then a five minute walk to the arena.  I still have rooms available, so book now at The Parador Inn.



The most interesting tidal bores to me is the one that flows up the Amazon River. That can send a 15 foot wave 1,500 miles up stream.  Check out the various tidal bores, they are all around the world!

I recently read an interesting book, Love Your Enemies by Arthur Brook.  Unfortunately I have lent the book already to someone and don’t have it to reference.  He talks about finding common ground and having a civil conversation on things you and your “enemy” agree on, not so much to convince them that they are wrong as to facilitate open and respectful conversation.  He points out that there seems to be five “universal” things everyone agrees with, this is where I wish I had the book.  There are I think it was five things we ALL agree on.  Like fair play, equal treatment, etc.  So he recommends discussing contentious issues with your “enemy” from those views.

This is the year of significant anniversaries, the first I want to mention is D Day‘s 75th anniversary.  This was mainly the United States joining with Britain to liberate France.  I like anniversaries because that’s when a lot of back stories come up like the king of England shortly before did a “morale building” tour of his forces where actually he was spying and sending the wrong message to Germany to divert their attention from the actual landing site.  Dropping down from 75 years to 50 years it’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.  Stonewall is considered the beginning of the fight for gay rights in America.  30 years ago Tiananmen Square became world news.  The point is you have to fight for what you believe in.  In referring to the above paragraph on Love Your Enemies, it doesn’t have to be 24,000 troops storming the beaches in Normandy,  It could be having a civil conversation about the senseless killing of Americans with assault rifles.

Back when I first bought the property I turned into The Parador, my friend Kathleen stopped by and we discussed my plan to blend a tropical feel with the Victorian house and furniture.  She came up with the idea of the water mark murals on the first floor.  I can’t say how pleased I am with them.  She finished the murals pretty much when the contractors finished leaving me to paint and put the seven guest rooms in the mansion together.  Kathleen and I was standing in the ballroom as the contractors were adding the bathrooms and she looked at the three blank walls on either side of that spectacular bar and asked if I wanted her to do something there.  Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall’s movie Key Largo is one of my favorite movies and that came immediately to mind and I said “You’ve seen the movie Key Largo?  How about some of those palm trees?”  I didn’t want her to get into a whole new mural project, just some palm trees.  What does she do but get the movie and bring probably 20 black and white stills from the movie to pick the images she liked.  The first image on the far  left of the bar is the Indians coming in before the hurricane:

Movie Hotel Largo

The last image on the far right from the bar she painted Hotel Largo, I walked in just as she was finishing and looked at her and said “Don’t get mad at me, but could you make that my Inn?”  She laughed and said sure:

The Parador Inn in Key Largo

The middle image is where I had water damage.  I repaired it and had this big splotch in the mural of plaster.  I spoke with my friend Arlen from City Books to see if she knew someone that could repair the mural.  I have met her husband Patrick, he teaches art and recommended this graduating student Kristen.  Kristen was a bit nervous trying to match Kathleen’s original.  I think she did fantastic, the art is different, that’s what’s great about art and why I never tell an artist what to do:

Humphrey Bogart Key Largo

You can notice Kristen used a bit more red.

My current book is The Pioneers by David McCullough.  It is the story of when the colonist colonized “the Ohio territory”.    After the revolution the United States owned pretty much everything west of the original colonies, give or take.  This is the story of Manassrh Cutler one of the founders of the Ohio Company.  They built their first town at Marietta, Ohio (I had been there a couple of times when I was young with my father chasing auctions) and never realized it’s historical importance. As life would have it, in Sunday’s paper Dianna Nelson Jones did an article on the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge.  If you are from Pittsburgh or neighboring areas you know how critical the system of dams and locks are for river traffic.  Particularly the Monongahela and Ohio are known for getting so shallow in spots that you can pretty much walk across these huge rivers without the dams and locks. The refuge is a series of islands down around Marietta.

The Western Avenue & Galveston Avenue business district (I’m pushing for a new name WestGal business district to differentiate us from the Northshore (down around the stadiums) and East Ohio Street (over on the East side of the Northside),  did a food drive in conjunction with the World Food Hunger Day (May 28).   So local businesses 412 Brewery, Adda, Allegheny Sandwich Shop, Bear Dog Bikes, Bier’s Pub, City Books, Giorgio’s, Leo. a public house, Lola, The Modern, Motive, the Parador Inn, Peppi’s, Pittsburgh Acupuncture and Massageworks, Refucilo Winery, and Royalties joined together and collected over 500 pounds of food that we donated to the Northside Food Pantry.

The latest at the Cathedral of Learning, the Philippine Room has just opened.

Don’t forget to get your tickets for Ariana-Grande at PPG Paints arena.  The concert is June 12, next week.  Also book your room at The Parador Inn for that night.  Remember there is nothing more convenient than parking for FREE in my lot getting ready in the convenience of your room and then taking the “T” from a five minute walk from my Inn and riding it FREE to Steel Plaza Station.  No hassles driving, fighting traffic, finding and PAYING FOR  parking.  Then reverse sit in your car until you can exit the lot, fight traffic and worry about DUI if you had imbibed.  🙂

That’s about it for this post,



I know it’s been awhile, I’ve missed you too.  🙂

Not having a housekeeper has been a challenge.  I’ve run ads in the paper and literally had hundreds respond, 1/2 had no qualifications.  Of those that I set a date & time for an interview 3/4 didn’t call to cancel just didn’t show up.  So I’ve been trying a new way this time within my network of friends and business associates. I went over the Reverend Larry at Calvary thinking he might know a mother that needs to be home to see the kids off to school and then being home when they returned.  My hours would work perfectly for that.  Instead he referred me to a guy working at the church.  Reverend Larry said this man has had some problems in the past and he had been good there.  I thought I’d give him a chance.  I told him I’d start him at $10 and when he could clean a room without me having to make corrections, I’d raise him to $12..  He never cleaned a room that I didn’t have to go in and finish up.  I had to repeatedly instruct him on how to perform certain tasks.  He’s over weight and again I was willing to overlook that, I made sure before he started he knew he had to bend over and clean under the beds.  Because of his obesity, he broke one of the steps in Bougainvillea from the second floor to the third (the old servants quarters steps).  He then was referred to as fat a** when speaking of him to my friends.  🙂  The last straw was I told him to clean the dust off the steps from my construction fixing what he broke.  3x and there was still dust on the steps.  When I told him he needed to clean the steps he threw they keys down and grabbed a hand full of dirty paper towels.  Yes, you’ve removed dust, but the stairs are still dirty.  So he walked off the job.

When speaking with my friend Jay that runs the food pantry, I explained I what had gone to Reverend Larry for  and Jay suggested school bus drivers.  They work early morning and then are free until afternoon.  Plus they are already vetted.  What a great idea.  I called three school bus driver companies, one of them was very cooperative and posted what I was looking for.  I did find someone that seemed pretty good.  Being the owner, cook, housekeeper and broken stair repairman I wrote her phone number down on a piece of paper that I’ve lost.

Since Dee quit in November, I didn’t want to hire a housekeeper right before the winter.  She was normally laid off in January and February.  I tried covering Steeler weekends with temps.  Many just didn’t show up. One showed up with bad breath and when I took her discretely to the ballroom with some mouthwash, tumbler and paper towel.  I quietly asked her to rinse out her mouth and she responded “WHAT ARE YOU SAYING, THAT I HAVE BAD BREATH?”  I said no, I was just asking her to rinse her mouth out.  She responded “I’VE NEVER BEEN SO INSULTED, I BRUSHED MY TEETH THIS MORNING” and she walked off the job.  If any of you know someone looking for a job, send them my way.  Male/Female I don’t care.  No experience required, honesty, good attitude and good work ethic are the experience I want.  Besides the $15/hour to start, there’s also the possibility of some decent tips.  I know what Dee used to walk out with sometimes. I made $30 myself last weekend.  🙂

A friend of mine lost her husband a little while back.  Ray had four kids from his previous marriage and she knew of my friend Nicky that makes memory bears.  A memory bear is a teddy bear made from clothing the deceased was fond of.  Nicky made one for herself when Kerry passed away last summer.  If you knew Kerry, you’d know that pink flannel shirt he always wore.  So my friend asked me to talk to Nicky  to see if she could make her some for her step-kids:

Memory bears

Aren’t they cute?  If you would like Nicky to make you a or some memory bears contact me and I will pass on your info to her.  I won’t put personal information out even in my blog on the web.  Email me if you want her to contact you ed@theparadorinn.com

They finally finished the fountain over in the Commons Park in front of Allegheny General Hospital.  It was designed to look like the original one built there during the Victorian times.  Here it is during the day:

Allegheny Commons fountain

And here it is at night with the LED (post Victorian):

Allegheny Commons Park fountain at night

And it’s not just housekeeping that’s been keeping me busy, finished up the new Bromeliad.  It is my first first floor and wheel chair accessible guest room.  Da kidz and me moved up into the old Bromeliad.  Da gerl didn’t like the idea of climbing stairs, she doesn’t like new things.   I told her that she was going to have to get used to them or she would be sleeping at the landing on the bottom of the steps.  So she’s now my stairs champ.  Here’s some pictures of my new room:

Bromeliad entrance

And here is looking from the ramp into the guest room:

Bromeliad wheel chair accessible guest room

And here’s from the back of the room towards the door:

Bromeliad wheel chair accessible guest room

I’m pretty happy with it.  I need to update my website to reflect this.  This room has everything all my other rooms have except for a fireplace.

My good friends from college Dave & Claire came up last week from Texas for several weeks and Dave’s been following my pigeon saga.  We are at a stalemate the pigeons and myself.  Instead of up to 30 pigeons I frequently now have just 3 -5, an improvement, but not good enough.  So Dave brought me his Daisy pump action rifle.  Much more accurate than the BB hand gun I had been using and not lethal.  This might be the game changer.  Wish me luck. 🙂

Generally, it’s been a great year for my gardens.  First off the daffodils did great, the best year ever.  The alliums I have the purple ones and they also did very well this year.  The tulips & hyacinth did very poorly this year.  The elephant ears are taking their time.  The banana plants are doing well.  I was concerned about the white lilac and dogwood, neither was doing much until this week:

White lilac and dogwood in the courtyard

You can see my celebrity ger’s head there.

I was interviewed by WTAE TV (Chanel 4 here) for the Garth Brooks concert last Saturday.  A friend send me a link to it, but it was muted and all fuzzy.  If you find it and get it to work, would you send the link to me so I can include it in a future post.

Gotta run, da kidz are whining they’re hungry,



One nice thing about spring is how it staggers the blooming of flowers.  The daffodils came in like banshees first, the tulips have been a great disappointment, the bleeding heart is still small, but have a great flowering show:

bleeding heart

I have those hybrid bananas that’s been along the wall for a couple of years, it was getting too big, so last year I hacked it appart and planted two along the mansion, between the box wood and then spaced two along the outer wall bordering either side of the Aztec sun calendar.  The one along the mansion have been growing well, but nothing along the outer wall until this morning, I saw some poking up.

Arlen my friend that owns City Books came up with the idea of doing a food drive to celebrate World Hunger Day May 28, so we divided the neighborhood business district in half, she has from Galveston east and I have from Galveston west.  We devised a lottery kind of thing where when you drop of a non perishable food item, fill out 1/2 the coupon with just your name and phone number and over Memorial Day weekend, we will collect all the food donated and give it to the food pantry right up on Brighton Road.  Then we will draw names for the winners.  Participating merchants have to donate a $20 gift certificate or equivalent to their establishment.  Participating merchants include 412 Brewery (the new tap room on Western Avenue). Adda Coffee and Tea across the street from me, Bear Dog Bikes on Galveston, City Books on Galveston, Giorgios pizza and pasta basically across the street from me Modern Cafe on the corner of Galveston and Western, Motive hair salon on Galveston, Pittsburgh Acupuncture and Messageworks, Rufucillo Winery and Royalties on Western and Peppi’s on Western.

I have a number of new partners on my Around Town Page.  Under Attractions Phipps Conservancy has finally offered me a better deal than the $1 off they have in the past, they are now offering $4 off, not overly generous, but it’s a savings.  I’ll see how many guests take advantage of this.  I sell more Warhol tickets than any hotel in Pittsburgh, partially due to their generous $11 discount, I also sell a lot of tickets to the Carniegies out in Oakland for the same reason.  I sell a lot of tickets to the National Aviary and Mattress Factory.  Under the Restaurants tab, I didn’t realize I had missed Giorgio’s Place I thought I partnered with him when I partnered with Jeff at Peppies.  Not so, I saw Giorgio at Ruffino’s wine bar grand opening and he pointed it out.   He is now offering my guests a fee topping on a large pizza and free fountain soda.  It’s vinyl table cloth kind of place but Giorgio makes his own sauce so his pizzas and Italian entrees are pretty good and very affordable.   I spoke with the owner of Adda’s Coffee and Tea shop across the street from me.  They said they were going to give me coupons for free stuff, didn’t specify what the free stuff was going to be, but I’m sure it will be pretty good.  Several of my guests know Adda’s Shadyside location from when the went to school at Pitt or CMU.  Dan at Legends of the Northshore has partnered with me and will waive his corkage fee for my guests, not big, but nice.

An apartment complex in Raleigh, North Carolina was having trouble with tenants not cleaning up after their pets.  So they hired Pawzlife to come in and  hosted a “pup party” and any tenant that owned a dog had to bring them.  Pawzlife staff did a quick mouth swab to get a DNA profile. With the DNA profile, Pawzlife takes DNA samples of the dog waste left around.  Can’t really say my dog didn’t leave those droppings.  🙂

The Hay’s Eagle’s chicks are pretty big already.  And it’s cool how I don’t know if it’s someone from the Audubon Society or who, but some one is in the chat giving some interesting tidbits of info.  I will have the webcam on sometimes when I’m doing work in the office and it’s funny to watch, their nest is built, their kids are growing up and they will still bring new sticks in and add to the next, i guess you see that perfect stick you need to find a space in your house for it.  🙂  Speaking of raptors, Dorothy at the Cathedral of Learning didn’t eat her first chick this year, was kind of gross last year.  And I though pregnant women and pickles and ice cream at 4 am was bad.  Glad I’m not  a peregrine falcon baby, there’s four egg incubating.  The National Aviary is running the web cam on Dorothy.

Observatory Hill’s house tour is June 4, tickets are $18 at the door and $15 in advance.  Follow the link for more details.

I moved this past weekend, I want to thank my nephews Joseph & Michael for their strong backs, they were a big help.  When I did the major renovations several years ago, I had intended to eventually make my space a wheel chair accessible room.  I moved there because Razor’s arthritis was getting bad and he couldn’t handle the steps anymore.  And then I got lazy and just stayed there.  I got a notice in the fall that I was being sued because my website was not ADA compliant, got that taken care of right away.  It was pretty easy for Nick my web-guy to bring it from 47% to 80%.  It  brought to my attention that I was sitting on a time bomb, since my Inn has 9 guest rooms I am required to have a wheelchair accessible room.  So the construction at this point was pretty minor, the biggest thing was I decided to go ahead and replace the windows.  In addition to being ADA compliant a lot of my guests would prefer to have a first floor room, they’ve had knee surgery or some other thing that makes stair difficult.  Plus I get a fair amount of middle aged people coming with their parents or a parent and the stairs are a challenge. So here’s the before:

As soon as it’s finished in about 2 weeks, I’ll post new pictures.

My Gerl doesn’t like new things.  She’s used to wood floors (first floor of the mansion, the office, etc), ceeramic tile floors my kitchens, rugs here and there but had never seen vinyl tile floors like at my sisters.  Da Gerl was terrified.  She wasn’t too happy with stairs to our “new house”.    It took three days to get her comfortable with them.

I’m OK with parents that don’t want their children to get the measles vaccine, but not OK with them infecting others.  I think parents that choose to risk the health of their children by not having them immunized, should have to keep them quarantined, go ahead with home schooling.  It’s not your right to get others sick.  I really shouldn’t be talking on this, because I refuse to get a flu shot.  Mainly because I think we should build our immune system up and getting sick is OK.  When I had the flu, i wouldn’t visit my elderly mother or go to the senior housing she lived in so I didn’t infect an elderly person whom the flu could be deadly as measles can be to children.

Eric Church is performing at PPG Paints Arena this Friday and Saturday with 8 pm shows.  Be sure to buy your tickets and book your room at The Parador Inn, I am sold out Saturday and still have a couple of rooms available Friday.  Remember, you can park you car in my lot, get ready for the show, walk five minutes down to the “T” hop on that for free to Steel Plaza station and walk five minutes up to the arena.  No hassles fighting city traffic, finding and paying for parking and then a possible DUI afterwards.  Just bring the “T” back rest up and wake up to a wonderful breakfast.

That’s it for today, someone is at my feet reminding me it’s dinner time, 🙂




Next Saturday is Independent book stores day April 27.  Be sure to go out and support your locally owned book store, I can’t resist the impulse to put a plug in for my friend Arlen at City Books right down the street at City Books.  Arlen received recognition from the chalk board association for her use of the a-frame chalk board she has outside her shop.

Sometimes DJT does something I just can’t ignore.  President Trump said on Friday that his administration was “strongly” considering releasing migrants detained at the border into mostly Democratic “sanctuary cities,” suggesting that the idea should make liberals “very happy” because of their immigration policies.  It reminds me of a neighbor that threatened to take his house of the Christmas House Tour if my advocates continued pushing the neighborhood association donate to the food pantry.  Again it reminds me of the story of the little boy that didn’t get his way and then was going to take his ball and go home.  Oh, just Grow Up People.  🙂

I’ve whined about how the OTAs (online travel agencies like Trivago, Expedia, etc) charging us lodging establishments a 15% commission and recently learned of something so much worst.    Colleen Black, the artist that created the painting in my Ruellia suite with the ghost of a humming bird.  Here’s the painting during the day with the ghost invisible:

Colleen Black

Here it is at night with the ghost visible:

Most artists have an agent the covers their art, her’s seems to be talking about wanting a 70% commission and I thought 15% was steep.

Celine Dione is going to perform at PPG Arena next March 13, be sure to book your room at The Parador Inn for the concert I have less guest rooms than they have seats.  🙂

Oh, one more thing, great daffodil season this year:

This is it for today, be thankful you don’t live int he Midwest, we just got some showers, no blizzards, I would have gone off the deep end.  🙂



I have a new friend, actually an older one. I had seen the chipmunk scampering around the yard last year, but then he disappeared. I used to put the peanuts out for the squirrels on a shelf I put on the shed, but I guess the little guy couldn’t get all the way up there like the squirrels..   Now that I’m putting the peanuts on the compost boxes next to the shed, he’s able to get up there for peanuts.  He’s so cute, he’ll eat a peanut and then shove one in his mouth and scamper over and then under the deck out by the street.  I guess he’s delivering breakfast to his significant other.  Here he is:


Getting ready for my next project.  I’m turning my space into a guest room and moving back to the space over the parking lot.  With these eight windows, it brings me up to almost 100 windows replaced:

Trim line windows

It’s so convenient having a ballroom.  With this project I will be ADA compliant with a wheel chair accessible guest room  It will also be nice, I have a fair amount of guests that have had knee or other surgeries that makes using stairs a challenge, even the main staircase.

The courtyard is now mulched, one of the nice things about winter, or at least when it’s over, the gardens get a make over.  This year I outsmarted da gerl.  Last year Mr. OCD placed my compost bins where I wanted to spread it last year and the mulch guy was late, I had my wheel barrel, shovel, etc station out in the parking lot and when I heard the truck arrive I spilled and spread the compost around.  When I went out to get my first load of mulch, da gerl discovered a “tasty treat’ in the compost.  So now she knew there was goodies spread under the mulch and spend the next several weeks scratching the mulch aside seeking more of that tasty treat.  🙂  So this year the compost was spread around when the wheel barrel with mulch was on the standby.  The elephant ears were more than ready when I planted them this week:

Elephant Ears

It’s so nice having the courtyard all cleaned up, mulched and the fountain up and running.  I love the sound of the water.

Also, I changed my bird feeder, it’s much easier for them to get at the seeds now.  I think I’m feeding most of the finches in North America and my morning doves and their kids are all residents now.  There’s a ton of them in my yard now.  I haven’t won with the pigeons, but it’s at a tolerable level now.  I still get the original one sometimes and I haven’t seen more than 3 – 4 on any one day.  By far most days there’s none.

There’s a new/old bar in Market Square.  It’s a pop up bar that’s being run by MW Hospitality, they keep changing the theme, the Clover Bar was all green and shamrock for St Patrick’s day, it is becoming the Dragon Bar in commemoration of the last season of the Game of Thrones.  See the link to see what else MW is doing.

Upcoming concerts at PPG Paints Arena include Cher April 18, Eric Church  May 3 – 4, The Who May 30 and John Mayer July 28.  Get your tickets now and book your room.  You insiders know how convenient The Parador Inn is for events at the area.    Park your car in my lot FREE, walk down to the “T” FREE, ride the “T” to Steel Plaza FREE and walk up to the arena FREE.  After the concert just reverse the above, did I mention FREE?  🙂 No traffic, parking, DUI, etc.

My last post, I said I would dedicate a post to my opinion of some current events and after writing several pages and getting thoroughly depressed I decided to just pass this one on.

OK, this game book isn’t unique.  But DJT stole a major tact used by the City of Pittsburgh for years.  I don’t know if he deliberately took this tact because of the short-term success with it in Pittsburgh.  For years Pittsburgh left enough money in the water and sewer authority’s account to cover the basic operating expenses.  Pittsburgh did the same with the parking authority’s account.  They did this to avoid raising taxes.  We all know you can’t own something without maintaining it.  What would happen to your car if you didn’t invest the money to change the oil on a regular basis?  Also, what would happen to your house if you didn’t squirrel some money aside for an eventual roof replacement.  That’s what the city did with both authorities.  They can’t raise the parking rates like they did with our water rates.  You can only use bottled water for so much, no washing machines, awfully awkward flushing toilets.  But commuters can easily find parking in garages not owned by the parking authority.  So the parking authority is looking into selling their assets (or actually in some instances they are “partnering” with other private entities to do joint projects.)  The city passed its obligations off to it’s children.  This is what DJT is doing with his National Emergency declaration and stealing money already ear marked for certain projects, again passing the federal government’s obligations to our children to build his wall, looks like he’s going to get somewhere north of $10 BILLION for his wall.  Between what he’s already gotten committed from the government shut down, this money grab and he anticipates getting more funding with the next budge. OMG.

OK kids, that’s it for today, enjoy this early spring,




Spring is finally here and not a moment too soon.  In celebration my Dorothy Wycoff Pieris is truly showing off:

Dorothy Wycoff Pieris

She’s been in the ground for years, but the last few she has certainly grown.  This is the best spring showing she’s ever done.

I found a cool place up in Wexford Salvaged Pittsburgh.  Sort of a Construction Junction, but they also bring in a fair amount of wood from a saw mill in Cranberry.

Two kids that survived the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas mass shooting have committed suicide in the last two weeks and a father whom lost his first grade son at Sandy Hook Elementary School committed suicide yesterday.  OK, it’s OK to think about steeling that  Maserati, but not OK to steal it.  Similarly it’s OK to contemplate suicide, but not OK to do it.  There is always help out there, it you don’t have a support network (or don’t want those people to know you have these kinds of thoughts), call the 24 hour national Suicide Hotline and talk to the professionals.  Currently the toll free number is 1-800-273-8255.  This is all about me, I can’t afford to loose a blog follower.  Just kidding, it’s all about you.  🙂 And parents, particularly of teenagers, need to have the hard conversation with them.  I think this is a much more important conversation than grades, alcohol, drugs and teenage sex.  Particularly if your kids seem well adjusted, sometimes these are the most at risk.  The reason I said the national Suicide Hotline is currently an 800 number there is movement in congress to establish a three digit  number like 911.

When I bought my inn, the previous owner had added a shower head to the pedestal tub in Allamanda.  The original subway tile didn’t go high enough to protect the plaster wall.  So I installed a shower curtain on three sides to protect the wall while keeping the water in the tub:

Allamanda shower curtain

That shower curtain was so ugly and I’ve been planning on adding ceramic tile above the original subway and bull-nose tile.  Just finished that and the bath is so much cleaner looking:

Allamanda new tile

If you are a Cher fan, she is performing at PPG Paints Arena April 2, I’m sure it will sell out so better hurry and get your tickets.  If you want to make a package of it, I still have rooms available.  Remember, with a 5 minute walk to the “T”, free “T” ride and then a 5 minute walk from the “T” to the arena.  No traffic to worry about, no parking fees, no worry about a DUI and a wonderful breakfast in the morning.  At 72, I don’t know how many more tours she will be up for, but she is always full of energy, she still puts on a great show.

This is it for today, I will be doing another blog very soon and make up on my opinions on current events  🙂  Enjoy the breaking of spring,



As typical of me, the outside of Bird of Paradise’s tub was looking kind of sad, so I was going to put a fresh coat of white Rustoleum on it. As i was sitting on my butt painting I noticed how sad the radiator right next to it was looking.  So my job doubled.  Then I noted how sad the tile floor was looking.  Three of the original bathrooms have ceramic tile that’s over 100 years old and the glaze has pretty much worn away, a secret treatment is to take Lestoil and apply a heavy coat undiluted to the floor and let it set over night.  The next day take a bucket of warm water, rag and nylon scrubber.  Use the scrubber on an area and then mop it up with the clean damp rag.  You will need to do this several times (until the water in your bucket stays clear) to get all the residue up.  Here’s the stained tile:

100 year old ceramic tile

And here’s the clean tile floor, freshly painted tub and radiator:

Bird of Paradise bathroom

And since doing this, Bird of Paradise’s closet opens into Allamanda’s bathroom and going back and for the radiator in Allamanda’s bathroom was bothering me, so I did that one as well:

Victorian ceramic tile

DJT was legal in his declaring a national emergency last month.  Although i strongly disagree with him doing this to “get his way”, it was legal and because our dis-functioning legislative branch of the government did not put restrictions on it when they enacted it in 1976.  I assume they did that on purpose assuming a commander in chief  would be reasonable.  Congress does have the power and authority to stop this power grab, if they have the nerve to do this.

Speaking of our government brings me to mind of my conviction that the founding fathers were aliens and speaking of which, there’s another past historical figure that I want to add to my list of aliens, Leonardo Da Vinci, actually his name was Leonardo from Da Vinci (that’s how they referred to people back then), like I would be Ed from Pittsburgh.  I’m not just stumbling on Leonardo, I’ve been a fan of his as far back as I can remember.  The reason this comes up now, is it’s the 500th anniversary of his death this year.  In keeping with this, the Carnegie Science Center has a special exhibit.  They have big digital reproductions of 20 of his famous paintings and a 60 life sized exhibits of his inventions, or at least things he was tinkering with.  Did you know he wrote backwards?  Dyslexia?  He was left handed (and so am  I)  🙂 , and writing on the paper from right to left kept him from smudging the ink.  He took copious notes and luckily for us used high grade paper that withstood time.  I have his thousands of pages of notes to his apprentice and after passing through several other people were finally published in the early 1900th century.  That was when his genius was finally discovered, for one thing he was the first to identify that the human spine was curved.  As he worked his study of anatomy he kept touching up his paintings to reflect how he now knew how various muscles worked.

I was invited to an open house City of Asylum was hosting last night, it was the first time I was in their new space at 40 W North Avenue.  They rehabbed the old Masonic Temple to a restaurant, book store and some event spaces that occupy the first floor, which is what they were showing off.  Actually, this new space is Alphabet City, a subsidiary of City of Asylum.  I’ve spoken of CoA in several past posts.  Such great people, founded by Henry Reese & Diane Samuels in 2003.  Read the link, they have such a cool back story.  The upper stories they turned into loft apartments, some market rate, some subsidized.  They still have the shot gun houses up the hill behind that have become fairly famous, one has a poem in Chinese written by one of their first residents on the front of the house.  If your touring the Northside, be sure to check it out. In Alphabet City, they have a series of events like book readings, jazz and other events.  They are always free, they do ask for a donation to help them out and you should RSVP ahead of time, because they fill up.  AC has partnered with Brugge on North, Brugge’s third location.  Something else I like about CoA, is they do things, not like those loosers that have had the rest of the Garden block tied up for years.  The developers insisted that they had to tear down the old historic buildings down to “make the numbers work”.  I didn’t like that as I didn’t like their insistence that they be exempt from the code requiring parking for their rental units.  What i have a major problem with is the zoning in that area calls for buildings to be no larger than 3 stories.  They couldn’t “make their numbers work with anything less than 8 stories tall.  I am good with getting reasonable variances from the basic zoning, but over twice the allocated height is ridiculous!  Here’s a picture of what they did next to the garden theater:


garden block demolition

It looks like something out of Aleppo, Syria instead of America.  Alphabet City is the three story building on the left of the white Garden Theater.

OK kids, I’m off to bed, the weather seems to be finally breaking and I am certainly ready for spring,