Monday, August 6, 2012

PGH Stuff and Things N'at: August 2012

Due to a combination of extreme discomfort (stupid poison ivy legs) and a return to high temps (stupid sweaty poison ivy legs), I feel like I haven't been able to do much fun stuff lately. The good news is the itchiness is gone! Now I just have to wait out the disappearance of these scabs and patches of dead skin (I know, sounds really cool, right?!), but I'm back to shorts, skirts, and dresses. Stupid work pants be damned! So, in lieu of a post dedicated to one thing, here's a post dedicated to five things. Stuff and things n'at. Enjoy!

Love Front Porch
This morning while I was eating breakfast (toad in the hole smothered in cheddar cheese) and drinking coffee, I was catching up on my Google Reader. One of the PopCity articles I had missed last week was about Love Front Porch, based in Homewood. Do yourself (and Vanessa German, creator of Love Front Porch) a favor and read the site's About Me section. Or, if you're more of a watcher than a reader, press play:

I was inspired to donate to Love Front Porch, and I hope you will be too. The amount of time I spend in Homewood is basically zero. When I first moved back to Pittsburgh, a friend suggested I take a route through the neighborhood from my apartment in Bloomfield over to Regent Square. I felt incredibly unsafe. After that first ride through Homewood - even what as probably a less dangerous section that borders Point Breeze - I have stuck to braving Penn Ave when I need to get over to that part of the East End. Here's the thing though: I want to spend time in Homewood. It's a neighborhood in our city with a rich past (the Carnegies had homes there), storied culture (John Edgar Wideman sets many of his novels on those streets and Billy Strayhorn moved his family there), and buildings I want to explore (the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library and Victorian homes in need of some TLC).  But, because Homewood is a hotbed of violence, I stay away. I want to love Pittsburgh as a whole, not just the sum of the parts where I feel safe. I wish Vanessa German all the luck in the world with her project. And I hope it can bring a sense of calm and community to a neighborhood that is ailing.

Sometime in July, I saw these weird posters go up around Downtown. I was intrigued.

When I found out the project was of Bricolage's creation, that was all the mystery I needed solved before purchasing a pair of tickets. I'm not going to reveal much about Strata. I was specifically instructed not to on my visit. But, participating in this was one of the more unique things I have ever done in my life. My dad accompanied me and he not only enjoyed himself, but he had a completely different experience than me. Bricolage has undertaken a huge endeavor here, and they have succeeded. Do yourself a favor and get refitnessed before time's up. The production goes until September 1. Who knows when something this incredible and bizarre will pop up in Pittsburgh again.

The Calm After the Storm - Pittsburgh's Beautiful Sunset
If you're an Instagram user (follow me at everythingbetterpgh) and you have any Instagram friends who live in Pittsburgh, chances are they posted a picture of the sky from Sunday evening. We had a terrible day of rain and scary storms (which I was fortunate enough to get caught in on my bike!), but by 8 p.m., the rain had cleared and looking up was a treat. These photos: unedited.

Looking down Friendship from my corner on Gross Street.

East Liberty Presbyterian Church and The Highland Building
Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol!
Today would have been Andy Warhol's 84th birthday. While I was getting ready this morning, NPR aired a bit about it, and the unassuming cemetery in my hometown of Bethel Park where he is buried. Listen to the story here, and scroll down to watch a great time-lapse video that brings Warhol's grave to life over the course of two years.

Movin' On Up: To the 16th Floor of PPG One
Not going to lie about the rough string of ten days or so I just had to live through. Between the poison ivy, the anniversary of my mom's death, a bike accident, and two flats in four days, I was seriously down in the dumps. Add to that a crazy week of work, but not because of my day-to-day responsibilities. We packed up our offices in the Henry W. Oliver Building and bid farewell to the Daniel Burnham-designed mini-skyscraper and have said hello to PPG One, i.e. the glass castle that is so essential to Pittsburgh's skyline.

Sixteen floors up, with one of those baller window-walled offices is where you'll find me, Monday through Friday.
Now that the move is over, I am so happy. Walking into that building today, sitting at my desk and looking out the window at Pittsburgh, the Mon, the Smithfield Street Bridge, and the South Side Slopes... I feel like I won the office lottery. When I started with the law firm I work with, I didn't ever expect to a) have a job where I felt so challenged and engaged with my work (I had started off as the receptionist, but am now a writer/paralegal) or b) sit in an office that I truly think would make anyone jealous. I remember being a kid and visiting my dad at his office out in Robinson and thinking "Look how important he is with this office and this big window and wow!" (I was also OBSESSED with playing with the Xerox machine in his office; I was a weird kid.) Tomorrow, he's coming up to see my office and my window and I can't wait to show it off.

I feel like this move has been the 180-degree flip I needed in my grumpy overall mindset. I am excited about all the stuff and things n'at that are to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment