Thistles and Thorns

Borrowing a tradition from CMU’s campus newspaper, a compliment and a complaint for two Pittsburgh institutions, one new, one old. First off, as a follow-up to my last post about good places to grab a quick pre/post show bite in the Cultural District, I’ll add Palate, a new-ish French bistro on 6th between Liberty and Penn. The food’s good, and it won’t break your bank — they have a very nice little “bar menu” with various medium-sized plates, all for $7, and three of those will very nicely feed two people. Beyond that, I have to give a major shout out to the staff. We strolled (well, hopped, given my crutches) in at about 9:15 last night, cold, hungry, and fresh from a major annoyance, only to find that they’d just closed down the kitchen. They immediately re-opened it, sat us down, fed us well, and didn’t rush us back out the door, despite us being the only customers in the place. You don’t always see that kind of extra-mile behavior in mid-to-high-end restaurants, and they deserve credit for it. We’ll be going back, assuming they survive and stay open.

The complaint, meanwhile, goes to the people who were responsible for the aforesaid major annoyance, namely our state and city government. I injured my knee over a month ago, and have been unable to walk since then. So, I sent off to PennDOT for one of those temporary handicapped parking tags. The first application, they lost entirely. The second one (sent by FedEx and scrupulously tracked) they *also* lost, although yesterday one person claims to have found it. In the meantime, the friendly City of Pittsburgh Police have been so helpful as to issue me a nice large parking ticket for unauthorized use of a handicapped space. I know, it’s the way the system works, but it’s silly. What’s the point of having temporary permits if you can’t get or use them while you’re actually disabled?
(OK, I know, it’s not purely Pittsburgh-related, and I should be grateful that I was able to get surgery and get repaired, not whining about having to go to court and fight the ticket. But hey, having a blog means you get to complain to the Interweb once in a while.)

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