Monday, October 17, 2011

Penn Ave on Fall 2011's Most Perfect Night: Unblurred October 2011

I'm not even exaggerating in the slightest when I say that Friday, October 7, 2011, was Fall 2011's most perfect night. I'd gotten out of work early, changed into my awesome new bike-covered sweatshirt (that I will attempt to not wear every single day until it falls apart), and met up with Mike for Kelly's happy hour. The patio was open and it almost felt like summer. Perfect way to end the week and begin a weekend full of fun fall activities and one-of-a-kind Pittsburgh events.

After Kelly's I joined Carrie and Corey for pumpkin picking (we cheated; we went to Giant Eagle) and then a walk up and down Penn Ave for October's Unblurred. Walking down Gross to Penn, I couldn't ignore how excited the fall makes me. I was unabashedly giddy.

We started at Modern Formations, which tends to be our usual starting point for Unblurred as it is right at the end of our street. A couple of my favorites from their show:

Tiberiu Chelcea, "Mice Marching to the Beat of the Blue PCB"

Crystala Armagost, "She Always Had a Fiery Temper"

Outside of Modern Formations there was a guy set up doing "Psychic Drawings." Carrie decided to participate and see what her future held.

We're not 100% sure what it means, but a personalized drawing of one's future doesn't fall into one's hands every day. We figure Carrie's about to embark on some sort of journey, maybe in a helicopter. Selfishly, I hope she owns a helicopter so we can get down to St. Louis and run around the City Museum for a day.

While Carrie and Corey placed an order at Spak Bros., Allie and I stopped into Awesome Books to check out both books and cats. I picked up a John McPhee collection of nonfiction essays for $5 and spent some time with a lovingly lazy gray cat.

Oh. And then there was this painting on the wall. Awesome Books = awesome.

Our next stop was to Assemble, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite galleries on Penn. Their show was centered around the question of "Do You Think This Is Art?" and everything was interactive. There was a survey sheet you were supposed to fill out as you went along. Instead of checking the boxes, I wrote an essay at the bottom (because I'm a writer and tend to be overly wordy when it's not necessary), but forgot to snap a picture of it. My opinion will therefore always be a mystery to you. (Not really: I think everything is art. Anything that I look at that is different from what I normally see is art. To me, at least.)

Feeling a little sleepy (and a little like we needed to pee), we stopped into Quiet Storm for milkshakes and coffees. Corey and Carried headed back to Spak to pick up their food, but Allie and I headed further down Penn in hopes of having our second Franktuary hot dogs of the day (one joy of working in the Oliver building: hot dogs are always right around the corner), but the truck had already departed from Tee Rex's parking lot. So instead, we checked out the vintage clothing offerings and the $5 t-shirt bins, which had already been fruitful for me in August. This time the bin was even more fruitful as I ended up with five screen printed American Apparel t-shirts for $20. Three shirts I kept for myself (one of which I'm wearing now to celebrate Zombie Fest, that'll I'll be checking out later today). I found a My Pet Monster t-shirt for Corey, but it was way way way too small for him, so what better to do with it than put it on his My Pet Monster?

Even though fall is just kicking into gear in Pittsburgh (as I write this on the second Saturday in October), I can honestly say that it will be hard to beat this Friday night as one of the most perfect fall nights in 2011. There's an energy in the air that I can't ignore in the fall. It's the best time of year. No questions asked.

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