East End Runners

So many decisions could have been bad!

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 22 Run: Meet at Laurie's house, 4401 Schenley Farms Terrace across from Schenley High School

Next week, Laurie has graciously invited us to start and have coffee afterwards at her house at 4401 Schenley Farms Terrace (map - maybe easiest to park on Centre or Bigelow.)  We'll most likely do the run up to the up to Robert E. Williams Memorial Park (aka Herron Hill Park) which was "created in 1889, and designated a Historic Landmark in 1989" in a "tree-lined residential section of the Hill known as Sugar Top. This park offers one of the most unique, panoramic views of Pittsburgh."  We've done it before, though not in a while.
On Sunday we met at Allegheny Cemetery, still a bit dark and creepy at 7:05.  After tooling around the streets for a while, we got brave, went in and spent the time running up and down and up and down its many hills - never finding Stephen Foster's grave - but occasionally stopping to gaze at (and be gazed at by) LOTS of deer, maybe gathering there to escape the Mt. Lebanon firing squads.  No real signs of spring yet, though those of us with eagle-eye vision perceived some tree buds.  Appealing coffee stop at the other Commonplace (was Voluto) Cafe on Penn.  
Endorsements:

   Dish restaurant on the South Side
   E2 and especially its Sunday Sauce event (click on Events)
   Udipi Cafe - all vegetarian Indian
   Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia
   Taking teenage kids on vacation - NOT




Thursday, March 12, 2015

March 15 Run: Allegheny Cemetery and thereabouts - meet at Penn Ave. entrance

On Sunday we are touring Allegheny Cemetery, looking for signs of spring, and perhaps picking up a bit of Friendship (of course) along the way.  Meet at the Penn Avenue entrance.  Not sure about coffee location.

Last week was still icy in unpredictable spots - I know this even though I missed the run itself but ran over to Virginia's later. However, lots of warmth (and deliciousness) in Virginia's kitchen afterwards, as we bid farewell to Tammy, who is moving to LA, but has promised to come back for visits.  Much interesting conversation, too much to report, but here are endorsements:
Netflix:
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Tina Fey's latest)
Hemlock Grove (if you don't mind creepiness)

Books:
Audio version of Tina Fey's Bossypants
Amy Poehler's Yes Please
My Brilliant Friend - and the Neapolitan Trilogy by Elena Ferrante

Movies yet to come, made in our fair city:
Let It Snow - production spotted recently in our neighborhoods
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - opening this summer in NYC - and featuring: several RG members!  Maybe planning a group trip to go see it there and do some circuits in Central Park, too.

Apps:
Busgazer - realtime information on Port Authority buses  - guaranteed to change your life
Pittsburgh Snow Plow Tracker - hopefully not to use until next year

Life:
Tammy's advice on using systems to make choices - please come back and tell us more.


Monday, March 02, 2015

March 8 Run: Virginia's house at 1200 Lancaster Ave. Regent Square

Thanks to Virginia for the following:

For those who have not heard, we're going to lose our running mate Tammy Thompson. But it's good news for her -- she's gotten a job in LA and will be leaving Pittsburgh the second week in March.
I'd like to give her a proper send-off by hosting an after-run breakfast at my house next Sunday, March 8. Tammy said she may not make it to the run, but she'll come afterward for the food!  
So instead of meeting at the 61C Cafe in Squirrel Hill, let's meet at my house: 1200 Lancaster Ave., 15218 Regent Square.  I'm at the corner of Sanders and Lancaster on the Frick Park side of Regent square. This is four blocks off of Braddock Avenue -- turn at the corner at Sanders and Braddock where Vanilla Pastry and Typhoon are located. \
Don't forget the clocks change for Daylight Saving that day. We lose an hour, but I'll have plenty of coffee -- caffeinated and caffeine-free.
See ya then -- Virginia

Last week:  Intrepid souls!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

March 1 Run: Commonplace Coffee on Forbes in Squirrel Hill

Next Sunday - back to basics - we'll start at Commonplace Coffee on Forbes in Squirrel Hill, but probably actually have coffee at the 61C Cafe.  Don't ask me why, though it probably has something to do with pastry.

This is sort of like returning to our comfy home after 2 icy attempts to scale Mt. Dahntahn.  This last time, four of us simply ran from one block to the next, looking out from each corner to find a stretch of concrete in any direction that wasn't a skating rink.  We did find some, mainly in the bike lanes.  We also wandered around the fancy new Hotel Monaco, which kind of hits you in the face with over-the-top decorative touches (forgive the bias of someone in love with the William Penn), though the long, elegant bar was an exception, and we started planning a happy hour there soon.  8 a.m. was certainly a happy hour downtown that day, too, as the lines at both Starbucks AND Dunkin Donuts were immense, so no coffee either.  No wonder we're heading home.  (But we'll be back.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Feb. 22 Re-Run: Omni William Penn hotel downtown - entrance on Wm. Penn Place

Next week:  a re-run of last week, which was to meet at the Omni William Penn Hotel downtown (entrance on Wm. Penn Place) and scope out new and old hotels, and anything else we like dahntahn.


OK, so last week didn't work out too well.  Running Group has been known to go out in all kinds of extreme weather, but this time (17 below wind chill?) was a bit much... except for the valiant and weather-defying Sarah! Our woolen hats (and buffs) are off to you!  Stay tuned for more adventures next week.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Feb. 15 Run: Omni William Penn hotel downtown - entrance on Wm. Penn Place

Post-Valentine's Day, we'll be meeting in the lobby of the William Penn hotel downtown, so we can visit, inspired by Virginia's intriguing description, the new Hotel Monaco downtown which is right next door.  We're going to really get a look inside (unlike last time when we tried to get past the security guard) and see how it compares to our old world favorite.  That will make for an interesting discussion over the Starbucks paper cups (no china! the only thing wrong with that place.)  Will there be hearts and roses?

Last Sunday we avoided the icy paths through the park, and headed down over the former slag heaps, through the shiny new Summerset development (and its gorgeous view) almost down to the Homestead Bridge, but then up, up, and up back to Beechwood with a quick trip past the houses of some neighborhood RG members who we tried to wake up. (Though admittedly some may have been out of town.)  The hills were a bit killer, but this is Squirrel Hill.  (In Spanish, La Colina de las Ardillas - more elegant, no?)  Unaccountably, though we had a pretty good turnout, nobody made it to coffee - which was a little sad.  And just as when a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear it, what of the endorsements when there is no napkin to write them on?

Monday, February 02, 2015

February 8 Run: Blue Slide park at the corner of Beechwood and Nicholson

Next week we'll check out the lay of the land at Blue Slide Park (Beechwood and Nicholson) and the rest of Frick Park from that starting point.  Depending on the ice and/or mud, we can either go through the park or follow Beechwood through it's twists and turns.  We're nothing if not spontaneous.

Last week at Bakery Square we were unexpectedly swamped by our running nemesis, The Fleet Feet franchise, the McDonald's of running groups. Hundreds of them!  Luckily we got off early, and just headed up the newly repaired Penn Ave. past many intriguingly hip storefronts, including the Center for Postnatural History and Los Sabrosos Dance Co. - which seriously made me think we were in Portland.  (Though my idea of Portland is purely imaginary.)  We entered the 19th century dignified calm of Allegheny Cemetery only to turn around and immediately head back to the Coffee Tree before the invading Fleet hordes returned.  In that very comfy space we endorsed:

  • Nail polish - Opi brand Rosy Future and Color Zentury
  • Cashmere sweaters for $4.50 ($3.75 with the over 55 discount!) at Goodwill
  • Goodwill itself, particularly the new location in Lawrenceville and the Murrysville Clearing Center
  • Etsy pattern for sewing mittens out of aforesaid cashmere 
  • Making a quilt out of the t-shirts of your kids' childhoods
  • The Wednesday/Friday fearsomely early morning runs, still going strong!
  • Someone named Pauline downtown who repairs sweaters (I think this is it.)