Archive for October, 2010

A public message to the Monroeville Post Office

When you only have one open window (even though workers are at all the others) and a line of about twenty people, commenting loud enough for me to hear

The line keeps getting longer and longer, but it is their own fault.

Your customers get mad.

And I post it online.

Where I spent most of my week

Thought it was a fun sign.

Another question

Is it still a flash mob if you know it’s going to happen?

Market Square tomorrow at eleven.  Better get there a little early.

Once again, just sayin’

It just became very moist outside

Just sayin’

“When the Rain Stops Falling”

Quantum Theater opens it Neighborhood Initiative with their production of “When the Rain Stops Falling,” featuring an all-local cast.  They invited a small group of patrons and bloggers to their technical rehearsal and allowed us the chance to walk around, take pictures, and talk with some of the cast and crew.  Sadly, I didn’t grab the names of any of the other bloggers (I was off looking around) except for Joe and Betsy, but they’ll be posting about it soon I imagine.

I am really excited about the Neighborhood Initiative as a way to engage the local community and as a form of outreach to not only theater goers and patrons, but entire neighborhoods.  I’ll be interested to see where else Quantum will be going over the next 18 months.  During the run of “Rain,” you can stop by Church Brew Works for a special three-course meal.

This production takes place in the Iron City Brewery, a sign with the letter Q marks where to turn off Liberty onto Sassafras Street.  The location, simply put, is awesome.  We got to explore a little bit beyond where the production is, which was a lot of fun.  The space itself is heated, and a bit cavernous, offering seating for 150 at each performance on custom built risers (a tradition of Quantum).  The set is extremely wide, which puts the audience off center, but I really liked the affect.  Other performances of “Rain” around the world have featured rotating stages or giant water machines, making it rain.  Iron City Brewery offers not only the room to create one large set and giant set pieces, but the projection of stars onto the exposed insulation of the walls and ceiling, creating a beautiful scene.

Being a technical rehearsal, lights and sounds were being cued and adjusted, and it was great to see the actors interact with the small audience as things were fiddled with.  There was one stinkbug that got shooed away, and a scene was restarted at one point as we waited for a train to pass.

Set design by Tony Ferrieri

That is one of the hallmarks of Quantum though, being outside of normal theater spaces offers a chance for the world to interact and be part of the production, for good or for ill.  I couldn’t help but hope for rain during at least some of the performances.  The sound and smell of a rainstorm I think would be a wonderful addition to the already water-centric piece.

“When the Rain Stops Falling” opens Thursday and runs through November 21, and special nights with receptions and discussions have been planned.  Learn more and buy tickets online here.  Here is the official blurb to wet (oh, the pun) your appetite:

Seven people, bound together by blood and circumstance, share a story that stretches across time and place, from London in 1959 to the coast of Australia in 2039. Alone in a torrential downpour, one man finds himself on the receiving end of this legacy of secrecy, betrayal… and love. A fish falls from the sky. And the mysteries of his past begin to unfold.

A special thanks to Quantum Theater for allowing me to come to their rehearsal, poke around and interact with cast a crew, it was an absolute blast.  Check out the rest of my pictures here.

Coming up next

Set designer Tony Ferrieri

What do trains, stinkbugs, raincoats, Iron City and umbrellas have in common?  Pop in tomorrow to find out.

Note: once again posting from my phone, I apologize for any wonkiness.  I will be able to clean it up later if need be.

Good gravy, that was strange.  Apparently WordPress did not like my mobile upload, should be fixed now!

Iranian cuisine at Conflict Kitchen

Waffle Shop put up a great video showcasing Iranian food, which was being featured at Conflict Kitchen.  Stick around until the end for the cooking-show-esque demonstration:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOp-jgbQIok[/youtube]

When did this happen?

Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette

I’m very confused.  Since when did Allegheny County have buffalo?  And not the kind that are delicious wings, I mean honest to goodness buffalo?

I’m sure this reads as incredulous, sarcastic or maybe even rhetorical.  But I honestly want to know.  Anyone?  Bueller?

Fire on Grant

I’m hearing reports that thre is a fire downtown.

A coworker walked by and said she thinks the Mellon building was being evacuated, and I just read on twitter that the fire is spreading and the county courthouse is being evacuated as well.

The Post-Gazette reports on it here, from their reporting it is just the county courthouse.

Conflicting reports, but I’ll keep looking to see what I can find.

Update: What I gather is the fire was limited to the county courthouse, and smoke travelled through the HVAC system mostly.  The building remains closed the rest of the day, and I’ve heard of no injuries.  Buses are no longer being detoured and service has been restored to Grant Street, but Port Authority warns of residual delays

PATransit Tuesedays: Oh thank goodness

Penn Station reopened yesterday!  Thank freaking goodness.  The opening was delayed, which all things considered, was not unexpected or too terrible of an inconvenience (it is construction after all).  However, it seems to have (knocking on wood here), reset the bus schedules and brought things back on track.

I say this after one day of having the right bus at the right time.  Which, should not be something to celebrate…but, well, you know…

Since July, my bus has rarely showed up on time (normally one of the three I can catch home doesn’t show up, causing a snowball affect), or so terribly overcrowded that I physically don’t have room to stand.  And again, I have to praise the two hardest working people at PAT that I know of, the two who run @pghtransit, they have helped me out so many times I really should buy them a coffee or something at the very least (I hope their bosses appreciate them…hint hint).

A couple things to praise PAT though, the station looks awesome.  There wasn’t really anything done that I could tell to the two long sidewalks, except new handicap access with the bumpy strips, but the road itself looks pretty awesome.  Over next to the post office/federal court building, the sidewalk was completely redone and looks nice, although I haven’t walked on it yet.

One really nice thing was that there was a crossing guard yesterday.  The pedestrians have this “free for all” mentality at Penn Station, so whoever had that guard there to help direct traffic, I can’t promise that those behaviors will stick, but it was nice.

Once again, I’m thrilled that things are going back to normal, we’ll see how the rest of the week pans out.  We shouldn’t have had to wait four months for a fix, but I’ll chalk it up to a win nonetheless.

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