Archive for April, 2012

PATransit Tuesday: North Shore Connector

Over the weekend, I headed to the Pirates game (the one they lost) and on the way back, was able to take the North Shore Connector from the North Shore station to Steel Plaza.

My only complaint is that the steps were messing with my eyes a little bit, but I think my glasses hadn’t gone all the way back to clear from sunglasses at the time, so I’ll chalk it up to that.

We ended up waiting about five minutes with a pretty large group.  We all got on, and smoothly headed across to downtown.  It has been years since I’ve ridden the T, and I forgot how smooth it was.  I ended up helping a very nice couple who was unsure of the order of stops, but were also getting off at Steel Plaza, so it made it convenient for them to just follow me.

I’m a little confused as to what the “Area of Refuge” signs are for.  First I was thinking it was for lost children, but then I realized young kids would not understand the word “refuge.”  Then I thought maybe in inclement weather, the T station can be used a storm shelter, or maybe it is a warming station for the homeless.  If you know, please sound off in the comments, I’m interested!

Since it was free, I took the T, although I think I probably would have ridden even if I had to pay for the convenience, I just don’t know how I would have shown the operator my pass, but I guess since I rarely ride the T my ignorance can be forgiven, at least this once.

Check out the rest of the pictures from the North Shore station (and pictures from the game) in the gallery here.

The first Pittsburgh gaffe of the Presidential campaign

Mitt Romney visited Pittsburgh last week, and had this to say:

“I’m not sure about these cookies. They don’t look like you made them,” Romney said to the woman sitting next to him. “No, no.They came from the local 7-eleven, bakery, or whatever.”

The cookies came from Bethel Bakery.

Here’s the deal, I’m probably going to start some sort of flame war, but maybe it’s because I live out east, so the only times I have Bethel Bakery is when someone brings it into the office, but I think Oakmont is better.

I know, I know, flame away in the comments, but I guess either way, we can just be proud of the fantastic baked goods coming out of the local Pittsburgh bakeries.

Oh yeah, and Bethel Bakery is taking advantage of the gaffe and started a “Cookie-gate” promotion, pretty awesome.

Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week

Yesterday, Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week kicked off.  Penn, Church Brew Works and Rock Bottom are each making special beers for the events and venues all across the region will be having special events and tastings all week long.

Last night, I headed to my local bar for their Founder’s event, where they had a tapping of their incredible Breakfast Stout.  I left very happy (I haven’t had this awesome beer in a long time) and a free Founder’s glass (and of course, a Penguins win)!

Untappd is also getting into the spirit of the week, offering a special edition badge for anyone who checks in at two officially participating venues during the week.  You have a ton of choices, so get out there and find some of the awesome places in Pittsburgh that celebrate craft beer the entire year!

My friends and I had been using Beerby, which is another beer app, developed and owned locally.  At one point they announced they were closing, so we all moved over to Untappd.  Local money came in and Beerby is still operating, so take your pick.  Beerby has cooler badges (they are all badgers) but Untappd has more features.  Either way though, they are both great, free apps for both Android and iOS to find great beer near you.

I’ll be back with more, and hopefully I can try some of the three special beers, and I’ll check in throughout the week.  Enjoy the brews, be safe, and find some new craft beer around Pittsburgh!

Terror-Fest at Destinta

I picked up a flyer for the upcoming Terror-Fest at Destinta in North Versailles, and it looks pretty awesome.

Twenty bucks gets you large popcorn and pop with free refills and into three of the following four movies: Cabin in the Woods, Lockout, Safe and The Raven.

Twenty bucks for one movie and a large popcorn and pop is a good deal, and even though I don’t think I’d be able to make it through more than two movies without falling asleep, I may go check out Cabin in the Woods, which I’ve been waiting for.

Check out Destinta on Route 30 in North Versailles, and the Terror-Fest begins Saturday, April 28 at midnight.

Good men and the Pitt bomb threats

The Good Men Project has covered the Pitt bomb threats in two articles.  The first:

 See, of all the possible ways that the world could end, this is one of them.  It’s surely among the most effective:  by taking the level of extreme comfort that we soft, insulated denizens of the First World have come to expect–this assumed “freedom from fear“–and subverting it, our weakness is completely exposed.

And the second:

Pitt’s endowment is in the billions of dollars and its community is in the tens of thousands, yet it has been rendered impotent by threatening notes scrawled on bathroom stalls and untraceable emails warning of imminent disaster.

Go check them both out, they are both long, but worthwhile reads, from Pitt graduate students writing for the GMP.

The Electric Baby

Quantum Theatre was gracious enough to set up a time for me to chat with Karla Boos, artistic director and founder of Quantum about their latest production, The Electric Baby.  The play centers around the influence a child has on the adults in his life, bringing together those in Pittsburgh with his Romanian mother and Nigerian father.

Once again, Quantum returns with a world-premier, and this one has a special connection, being set in Pittsburgh, written after playwright Stephanie Zadravec’s time in the city.  Zadravec was on set for the first and last weeks of rehearsal, and she will be in town for most (if not all) of the run of the show.  The cast and crew, as always, includes a slew of locals, including those with Point Park and Carnegie Mellon filling out their resumes.

What I’ve always liked about Quantum is their dedication to the local community, and the East End in particular, the area they call home.  Like prior performances, Electric Baby continues their neighborhood initiative, this time heading to the Friendship neighborhood.  Quantum travels to the Waldorf School, in the shadow of the new Children’s Hospital, adding poignancy to the show.

The Waldorf School is described as a “bright space, with an old fashioned quality,” said Boos.  While they had originally thought to try to stage the play in Children’s Hospital, the logistics, as well as I can only assume, the additional stress placed on the patients and staff, moved the production to the nearby school.  The Waldorf, being an old convent

Boos mentioned that when you first walk into the school, you smell apples, as the students make applesauce each day.  I think that’s pretty awesome, and I wonder what kind of memories that is going to conjure in theater-goers throughout the run of the show.

Next season, I am happy to report, Quantum will continue their neighborhood initiative and will hopefully be premiering more plays.  Although I asked, Boos can’t disclose the shows or locations yet, and I completely understand, but I am eagerly anticipating the announcement to see what they’ll be doing next.

In the meantime though, make sure to check out The Electric Baby, which runs through April 22, and of course, take advantage of the nearby food partnerships, either Verde or Cafe Sam.

Note: I wrote this up two weeks ago, and apparently hit the wrong button, my apologies for the delay in getting this online.

Cyber Easter Sunday

Calvary Church, for the first time, will be live broadcasting the Easter Service via the Internet.

Tomorrow, the 11:15 a.m. service will be available to be viewed from anyplace with an Internet connection.  Look for me!  I’ll probably be wearing a blue shirt, but I won’t be able to confirm that until tomorrow morning.

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