East End Runners

So many decisions could have been bad!

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

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 29 Run: Aimee's run from her house at 5557 Woodmont, plus coffee and treats!

Next Sunday Aimee invites us to coffee and goodies in her newly renovated kitchen, after a run she's also cooked up starting at her house at 5557 Woodmont in Squirrel Hill.  If you feel like bringing more yummy stuff, it will also be welcome.

My task now is to find some way to cover two action-packed runs and two info-packed group confabs in condensed form, so as not to write forever.  Here goes:

Two Sundays ago:
Route:  Starting and ending at the William Penn Hotel, aka Reid's and my residence until we get kicked out.  (We are in love with staying here, having been prepared for it many years ago by Eloise.) Ran through some festival highlights: giant Renoir dancing couple in PPG Place
; 1000-t-shirts dipping into the water at Point State Park; Liberty Ave lined with rainbow "Be Brave" banners; arrival at the fountain at the moment it was turned on; ditto the start of the Man Up Father's Day 10K.  Congratulated Yi on his first Father's Day!  Also on his post-doc at U. Chicago!  Where we will miss him but he promises he'll be back soon.

Last Sunday:
Route:  Strip to Washington's Landing and back. Carefully observed the 5 minute rule!  Which allowed us to meet up with the valiant run-to-the-runners near the start; then over the river and through the woods to the tip of the island and back along the trail to the 14th St. Bridge - all the way drinking in the shimmering Allegheny in the early summer light, trying not to trip over the multitudes of bunnies that are hopping around everywhere. Rewarded finally with abundant warm almond meles (no sharing this time I noticed) and the discovery of Colangelo's almond polenta cake - also catering.

Combined endorsements - it will take you all summer to get through these -
La Hutte Royal in Troy Hill - amazing secret artist project
Sally Hanson's Insta-Dri Top Coat
But also gel with Lynn from Pearl Nail Salon 
The "share garden" on Wilkins Ave. near Beechwood
Vaseline (wrote this down but not sure why)
Cafe Granita - now at La Prima!
Dona Jo Active Wear - Pittsburgh/Brazilian entrepreneur with very cool pants.  But are they pants or tights? Teen vs. Dad showdown.
Watching the World Cup on Univision - free on your computer and the announcers are wild
Kohinoor Indo-Pak Cuisine - super-recommended
Superior Motors - new Braddock restaurant by Kevin Sousa - about to open
Pittsburgh movies:  Out of This Furnace? Actually Valley of Decision with Gregory Peck, vs. Out of The Furnace with Christian Bale
Cures for plantar fasciitis:  the boot and the sock
The Under-the-Counter Composter that can save your marriage

Thursday, June 19, 2014

June 22 Run: strip run starting at 21st and liberty parking lot

(Sorry - have had a distracting week and am writing this on my phone so I have no idea how it will look.)  Run is planned to make a circuit of Washington's Landing but anything is possible.  More news and endorsements next week - also photos (hint:  if you have them please send!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 15 Run: Omni William Penn Hotel downtown main entrance

Writing this from the Wm. Penn Hotel lobby under one of the three grand chandeliers, everyone is invited to start the run from my temporary (2 weeks) home here, which is awesome!  We'll start outside the front entrance, visit the newly opened Mellon Square across the street, and then run around the 3 Rivers Arts festival grounds, etc.  Speaking of the latter, let's hope the rain holds off.  Coffee in the lobby and perhaps we'll get to visit with our friend Darrell!

Last week at the WB Trailhead,  I am sorry to say that the 5-minute-waiting rule was sadly ignored!  It took Aimee and me a half hour of wandering the leafy trails to finally pick up a trace of that telltale raucous laughter.  But all is forgiven, especially after the sight of Yi, who came to coffee with his beautiful new baby Luke (Boteng in Chinese), about whom he said, unforgettably, "when you hold him, it's like holding the whole world."

Flu shots, by our infectious disease expert, we are now convinced!
New Squirrel Hill farmers market - Sundays 9-12 in the parking lot between Beacon and Bartlett
The BOB Stroller (I think) tested by Aimee and now Yi
Free or donation yoga classes:

  • Tuesdays at 6:30 at Blue Slide Park (Linda)
  • Sundays at noon at Schoolhouse Yoga - Strip District location
  • Sundays at 9 a.m. at Market Square downtown (LuluLemon)
  • Sundays at 9:30 in Highland Park (Yoga Hive)

Namaste everyone!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

June 8 Run: Wendy Bennett Trailhead for Schenley Park run

Next Sunday we'll start at the Wendy Bennett Trailhead, at the start of Overlook Drive, foot of the Schenley Oval, and lightfoot it through the leafy trails.  Remember when the road down into the park was pitch dark, forbidding as the entrance to Mordor?  Now it's so bright at 7 it might as well be mid-day.   Tempus fugit, or something.

Anyway, we had a lovely run through CMU, Oakland, and - to tell the truth, I can't recall since there was so much talking.  But whatever it was, it was a success in rounding up the rogue trio that is often missing from the Sunday runs - and now at least some of us know where they go!  Plus we got two pieces of fascinating data on the house across from Tom's:  in 1920 it was mistakenly bombed by anarchists, and today it has two exquisite red Chinese symbols flanking the door expressing double happiness in celebration of a wedding.  Despite trying I cannot think of how to connect those two, but maybe you will.  Other highlights:  we are proud to have a Zumba Instructor, a Professional Cuddler, and a soon-to-be new bride in our midst; our daughters are discovering fascinating things in foreign lands; and never let a new father change a baby's diaper in your kitchen.

Treat coming up at the June 29 run:  Aimee will lead from her house and give us coffee in her new kitchen!  More details forthcoming...