Northside seems to be getting quite a face lift.  East Ohio street had one person that owned much of the real estate who passed away and his heirs are selling off the properties.  (this is similar to what happened on Rt 51 South through Whitehall, Brentwood, etc)T he main business street here on the Northside really is showing a lot of rejuvenation.  After completing the replacement of the water fountain on the corner of North Avenue and Cedar last year which I talked about last year.  The city is investing a little over a million dollars upgrading the Commons along North Avenue from Cedar.  The city is spending a fair amount of money replacing sidewalks and paving some streets or at least some intersections, replacing dead or dying trees.  There’s a group here on the Northside that has owned many properties they let run down and rented to section 8, they are doing massive improvements on many of these run down properties.  I hear they are still section 8 and that the government (state or federal I don’t know) is paying for most if not all of these improvements.

I am so over this pandemic.  It’s bad enough with all this social distancing, mask wearing, canceled events, etc but when you add to this all the shortages. What’s driving me crazy is this rotating shortage of items. I have a severe case of OCD and I really like to use products I like.  We can start with the bacon I have bought the same product at Restaurant Depot for years, I am aware of the close working conditions in the meat packing industry and the shortages caused by this.  I’ve finally found another product that’s acceptable. I don’t use Old English a lot, but it has it’s purposes and I’ve been having trouble finding it.  Iron Out is a product you might want to look into, it’s great at removing stains on linens (if you use it wash in hot water and never use any kind of soap, bleach or pre-treatment).  I haven’t been able to find it for weeks now and just found smaller bottles of Old English at Rolliers in Mt Lebanon.  I have always used anti-bacterial to clean the bathrooms, there’s always been a number of products out there like Lysol and Tilex are two products I’ve used in the past, neither can I find these days.  I’ve had to switch back and forth between Kemp’s vanilla yogurt and and acceptable alternative James Farm.  I could go on with examples but to keep from beating this to death, I’ll stop here.  Like I said, I understand the problems with meat packing, but all these other “shortages” is it because so much of our stuff is made in China and the feud we currently have with them?

I drove through the Strip district, the first time in months and I have take my hat of to the McCaffery group from Chicago for doing such a nice job.  To see the pictures I took of the Terminal building and the big building across the street that was home to the barter group Green Apple and a series of night clubs (the first I remember was Metro Pool and that space had several different themes over the years) you will need to go to my Instagram account it will be my post tomorrow to see the two pictures I took today.  I’m at theparadorinn.  Although I am not a big fan of our mayor these days, I give him a lot of credit for stopping the Evil Empire Group Buncher from tearing down 1/3 of that iconic building so they had easy access to those boring apartments and other housing units they’ve squeezed between the Terminal Building and the river.  I’m adamantly apposed to that developer that wants to tear down Wholey’s old ice house storage building.  I agree it’s an eyesore, but a modern 26 story glass and steel office building among three story buildings.  You want to build a Downtown high rise office building, fork over the bucks for a piece of Downtown property.  The next time you are in Pittsburgh (if you don’t currently live here), take a drive through the Strip to see all the construction going on down there, it will blow you away. One final whine on this topic, I hate this modern construction that uses those pre-made colorful panels that are cheap and easy to install instead of creating architectural interesting designs.  What happened to architects?

I don’t know if you’ve heard of the melee on Liberty Avenue this past weekend.  I think by far the majority of America is supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement.  And I also believe the vast majority has serious issues with the lawlessness associated with many of these protests.  Besides the destruction of personal and government properties there’s also the chaos in many of these gatherings.  The BLM needs to organize themselves.  It’s a new group that hasn’t had time to develop itself.  They need to learn from other movements (not just political, but all kinds of movements like Pittsburgh’s Great Race, the Arts Festival, quickly come to mind).  They started small and as they grew, they learned they needed  to control the crowds, they organized cooperation with the city to close off certain streets and keep activities on those streets.  They also have volunteers working the crowds.  I suggest BLM on a national scale organize their splinter groups in a way that they have volunteers that hold attendees to certain standards like wearing face masks and impartial volunteers selected to document events like this past weekend’s disputed interaction between restaurant patrons, bicyclists, protesters and bystanders. Nothing is more powerful than pier pressure at keeping things peaceful, Martin Luther King would be appalled at the violence.  My biggest concern here is the edge this disorder is giving a certain person in this race that thrives on discord and votes of people that would normally vote him out of office might be swayed to “vote for the law and order candidate.”  If you think things are unfair now, just wait and see what the next four years could bring.

If you’ve followed my blogs in the past, you know I am a big fan of the Hays Bald Eagle live cam and I believe the nest in Harmar now has one as well.  Check out this new one following the Elks during their rutting season here in Pennsylvania.

That’s it for today, stay safe and healthy and support your local small businesses,