East End Runners

So many decisions could have been bad!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 24 Run: Wendy Bennett Trailhead at the bottom of the Schenley Oval for a park run

We will meet at our favorite Wendy Bennett Trailhead, which is located at the beginning of Overlook Drive, intersection with Bartlett St:  map.  The run planned is our classic Schenley Park trek, with coffee to follow at Commonplace.  Something to be said for continuity in this dizzying world.

 Last week we enjoyed another classic, the Three Rivers/Three Bridges run downtown, which never fails to showcase our delightfully picturesque city center.  OK, so it's not the Brooklyn Bridge, but really, just try to get a free parking spot near that one.  The skies were grey, but the rain held off, and the city and its rivers still had a monochromatic beauty which we saw from many vantage points.  Everyone had places to go right after the run, so no coffee chat, hence no endorsements.  Hopefully that will correct itself this Sunday!

(Photo used with Creative Commons license from Flickr.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 17 Run: PPG Place downtown for the famous 3-Rivers 3-Bridges run

On Sunday we'll hope for good weather to show off the gorgeous views from 3 bridges - Smithfield St., Fort Duquesne, and West End -  downtown - starting at the fountain at PPG Place.

We certainly had good weather last Sunday as we headed down from the now infamous Blue Slide Park (I mean 22 million views?)  into cool, deep Frick Park.  It wasn't until we reached the very bottom and crossed Commercial St. that I remembered we were aiming for Duck Hollow (which has its own admittedly sparse Facebook page - in this case, 532 views - there is no justice in the social media world) which was as adorable as ever.  Then of course the long, long trek up - passing through the eerily uniform Summerset development, where not a soul was in sight and the gardens look regimented. But it does have a spectacular view. We discussed where we all might want to live after moving out of the family house and looked favorably on the venerable Maxon Towers, which we discovered a) Wendy's Mom wrote a song about, and b) is a NORC.

Later over coffee we endorsed:
Transcendental meditation - may be a road to bliss or at least something different
Tin Front Cafe in Homestead - recently enjoyed
Podcasts:  60 minutes, Story Collider, Freakanomics

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

August 10 Run: Frick Park's Blue Slide Park at Beechwood Blvd. & Nicholson St.

Next week: Meet at Frick Park's Blue Slide Playground at Beechwood & Nicholson for a Park and Duck Hollow run.

Last week, a small group of us braved the 95% humidity and gloomy, threatening skies to run in Highland Park.  Unfortunately, the trails were too muddy, so we stayed on the roads encircling the reservoir and lake.  We passed the inviting City pool, looping around the park, reservoir, then along a little traversed road with secret City steps.

We enjoyed coffee at delicious Tazzo d'Oro, which never seems to disappoint.


City Events:
Highland Park's Reservoir of Jazz and Summer Soul Line Dancing Sunday evenings through August
First Fridays at the Frick

Movies: Philomena, The Grand Budapest Hotel
TV: This Old House- Jersey Shore post-Sandy season

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

August 3 Run: Enrico's Tazza D'Oro on Highland Ave.

Next week:  meeting at Enrico's Tazza D'Oro on Highland Ave. for a (what else?) Highland Park run, and as always we hope Joanne will appear, but if not, Aimee will lead the way.

Last week, after filing through Mellon Park, serenaded by a mysterious young man with a recorder,
Virginia got us to check out the new Bakery Square development.  Apparently there are already some earlybirds living there, waking up to the sounds of earth movers.  We found a new path to Shadyside, revisited the passive house on Walnut Street, the massive houses everywhere else, and pondered the 1-percenters in our town:  who are they and where do they hang out?  We also learned that it is possible to bike to Monroeville from Regent Square in 30 minutes.  Which beats driving on the turnpike at rush hour.

Coffee talk centered on food - surprise!
  • Jacquie has been to the Kavsar Uzbek restaurant on Mt. Washington with an intriguing menu listing of meat in jelly, cold soup, ground beef sautéed in omelet with cheese, fried lamb with bones, eggs stuffed with sprats, and pancake bags.  I would go just to order things named Shurpa, Tuzlama, and Holodets.  There is also live entertainment!
  • New "artisan bakery" on Wilkins Ave. - awaiting the opening
  • Pam endorses Colangelo's polenta almond cream cake from the place next door to La Prima
  • We need to stop eating 0% yogurt - it doesn't have the good yogurt germs.  It seems full fat is better for you.  Hurray!
  • Speaking of full fat - two cakes have been tested that can be created in your own kitchen and will never be forgotten by their eaters:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 20 Run: PPG Place fountain for downtown Open Streets run

We'll start at the PPG Place fountain downtown and take a look at the city without cars during Open Streets Pittsburgh.

The highlight for me last week was Aimee's gracious offer to be co-author of this blog/list!  I'm going on vacation on Friday, and who knows when I'll be back?  (Just kidding, Aimee.)  Last week we had hoped to see the fancy cars in Schenley Park, but realized that would have to wait a few weeks, so we just headed over to Greenfield for something different.  We traversed the great new trail that was once most of Pocusset Street, and saw numerous intriguing and even famous landmarks on Greenfield Avenue:  Salon Louis, home of Tom and Wendy's brilliant stylist, also St. Rosalia's church, behind which we have been known to bushwhack up a giant hill, also Kevin's Computer and Photo and Szmidt's Old World Deli (have no idea how it is but what a great name.)  The hills coming back up Schenley Park were killer, but we talked and talked through them of course.

The pilgrimage walk to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, led by Macs Adventure
Movie: The Way, where Martin Sheen also makes this trip
The new croissants at Starbucks!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 13 Run: Starbucks at 2345 (lower) Murray Ave for a trip into Schenley Park for opening of Grand Prix

Cheryl reminds me that this weekend is the start of the Grand Prix, so we can go see what's happening there - and maybe we can also change it up by trying out the Starbucks on lower Murray Ave.  There seems to be some news about Starbucks changing its croissant recipe after buying the La Boulange restaurant/bakery, so I'd say we are required to check that out.

I literally can't read anything on my recording napkin except for "bunbo" and "cat acne" and somehow I hesitate to call them endorsements.  But I can report we had 2 delightful runs last week, starting in the same place but covering completely different territories.

Help wanted:  person who can type and run (not necessarily at the same time) to serve as co-contributor to this blog/list.  Reply to: roye.werner@gmail.com.  It's fun - really!

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

July 4 (7:30 am) AND July 6 (7 am) Runs: Both starting at Commonplace Coffee on Forbes, for simplicity

Hope that title wasn't too confusing - usually the holiday run comes after the regular Sunday run, but not this time.  So, this Friday, July 4 at 7:30 am from Commonplace.  (And possibly also this Friday, July 4 at 5:30 am for the early-bird weekday runners who just pop awake at 5 every Wed. and Fri.)  And, of course the 7 am Sunday run, let's also make it from Commonplace, because this is already a mess and we really don't want to complicate it any further.

Last week was graciously hosted by Aimee and took us through the Squirrel Hill streets and byways that we never see - Parish Lane, Holyrood St., Kipling St., the house that Willa Cather lived in - followed by coffee, etc. at Aimee's beautifully renovated home where we were joined by Larry and Greta, got some excellent home renovation ideas, and of course had the usual informative gabfest and endorsed:

  • TSA Pre - get into the special fast lane at the airport!  You can apply or it seems to sometimes happen to some of us now automatically - possibly because middle aged women in pink Mizunos don't fit the terrorist profile
  • Cantaloupes from Costco - tasted at Aimee's - perfect!
  • HelpX - volunteer work exchange overseas where Jan is heading right now!
  • Drinkable Book Project - from Wendy, and I'm embarrassingly late on this one so we missed the fundraising deadline, but still important to know about.
  • Books:  

    • Cut me loose: sin and salvation after my ultra-Orthodox girlhood by Leah Vincent (from Pittsburgh) - this set off a local firestorm in the Jewish Chronicle when it came out
    • Cooked by Michael Pollan - anyone who cooks will love to read how that activity forms the entire basis of civilization