Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Rasputin goes to the Animal Rescue League Wednesday night for adoption. You can see that he is extremely attached to me. He came in as a hissing, growling stray, likely with little contact with people. He's such a sweetheart now. I want to keep him so much my heart aches when I think about having to take him in. But...if he's gone from a semi-feral into this sweet lovey-dovey guy, then I guess my job as a foster mom is done...and he needs to go to his permanent home. But it won't be easy to give him up.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Things I Love About the Casino
1. It's a very quick bike ride from my house, about 15 minutes.
2. The outdoor light poles have speakers that play the casino music.
3. It's a fairly cool, slightly modern design. It puts the Mountaineer and other local rinky-dink casinos to shame.
4. It has beautiful landscaping along the river trail and a nice amphitheater.
5. It has a lot of big windows so you can see the three-story, glowing chandelier and people having fun in the bar.
Things I Hate About the Casino
1. Absolutely no good vegetarian food options. Pre-packaged salads and pizza don't count.
2. The faux exclusivity vibe of the only formal restaurant, Andrew's Steak & Seafood, is annoying. Both D and I and other people I know have been turned away for not having reservations, when nearly half the tables were empty.
3. No bike parking.
4. A confusing, tight parking garage on the inside, a monstrosity from the outside.
5. Tight, deceptive slots. When Dave and I played the nickel slots, we didn't realize it was defaulted to the maximum bet...of $5! We wondered why our money was going so fast. Even the penny slots were defaulted to a minimum bet of 40 cents, so the cheapest good slots to play (you could play some true penny slots, but they were all on cheesy machines) were the quarter slots. Because nickels are usually my high limit, I wasn't happy about that. We quickly lost $30.
The casino has been carefully designed to take my money. I don't like that. But it is still calling me...will I be able to resist its temptations?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Foxburg has a very small main street but was bustling. With restaurants offering seating right on the river, some antique shops, a chocolate store, and a wine cellar (we bought a bottle of the Foxburg chardonnay--very good!), it's a little tourist destination. Who knew? (I didn't until a Twitter pal clued me in.) There was a lot of new development--a hotel, restaurant, and bridge. Who is investing in Foxburg? I'm nearly positive they're not part of the state's Mainstreets program. A private developer perhaps?On the drive back, we stopped in Butler.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
This Weekend: August 14-16
Bike Fest. There are a bunch of cool bicycle-themed events all weekend, brought to you by Bike Pittsburgh, who works to make Pittsburgh a safe, accessible, and friendly place to bike. We're going to their kick-off fundraising party tonight at The Pittsburgh Opera's offices in the Strip.
Next Weekend: August 19-22
My favorite church/neighborhood festival: North Side Summer Celebration is happening at Holy Wisdom Parish (the church adjacent to 279 North right after the on-ramp from East Ohio Street.) Sure, there are rides and slots and a car cruise, but we go for the homemade pierogies, halushki, other Polish yumminess, and baked goods.
Pogoalooza 6 takes place August 19-21 and features extreme pogo athletes. Fun!
Next Next Weekend: August 28-29
Great Lake Swimmers are playing a free show at Schenley Plaza in Oakland on Friday, August 28.
The Sprout Fund's popular Hothouse benefit event is happening Saturday, August 29 at Walnut Capital’s new Bakery Square development on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh’s East End. There will be music, performances, art, food, and drinks.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
We walked on the Cliff Walk, a famous 3.5 mile trail with the sea on one side and decadent mansions on the other. Loved it!Mansions.Fellow creatures enjoying the coast.Kate created this while we were beachcombing for rocks (our pockets were filled--great finds).
Boats in Newport's harbor.
Monday, August 10, 2009
In the afternoon we went to a bunch of really cool independent boutiques on Hope Street and Wayland Square. I got great stuff, including an awesome necklace from a Providence-based designer at a cool shop called Studio Hop, a pretty summer scarf, a handmade hairpin from local Lucky Bird Studio, a funky card holder from 11:11, and my Ellington bag.
We had lunch at Red Stripe—I had a great salad with fried chevre and really amazing double-fried French fries with a garlic-mayo sauce. So unhealthy, but so delicious.
In addition to the great independent shops and restaurants, what I loved about Providence is the public art everywhere. Because of The Sprout Fund, Pittsburgh has great murals. But we don't do as good a job of incorporating art into underutilized spaces, we don't have a good diversity of public art, and we don't work with local art students enough.
This is Providence's three rivers--yes, they too have three rivers! The pits in the middle of the river (there are 100 of them) are an installation for WaterFire. Waterfire is a sculpture by Providence artist Barnaby Evans installed on all three of Providence's rivers. After shopping, we relaxed back at the house. Kate had gotten a babysitter, so she, Billy, and I went to dinner at a noodle restaurant and then headed into town for WaterFire. The pits are lit at dusk, and then boats with crews of volunteers go through the river until midnight filling the pits with more wood and keeping the fires going. It was really cool! They also had a bunch of food vendors set up and stages with music. There were like a million people there—it was packed.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Kate and Billy’s Dutch Colonial—I love the slightly spooky, Amityville-Horror-esque style of the roof. It’s big, has tons and tons of storage space and built-ins, but my favorite part of it was the large shady yard filled with huge trees.
On Friday we walked around the Brown and RISD (Rhode Island School of Design) campuses and saw a little bit of Downtown. There were lots of cute, independent shops and restaurants around campus, just 10 minutes away from Kate’s house.
We ate lunch at a really good Mediterranean place. I had a fantastic falafel wrap. Friday night we had another awesome meal—this one at Chez Pascal, literally around the corner from Kate’s house. I had herbed baked ricotta with sautéed spinach with a garlic sauce and salad with baked feta along with some really good wine—everything was amazing.