East End Runners

So many decisions could have been bad!

Friday, April 18, 2014

April 20 Run: Commonplace Coffee on Forbes in Squirrel Hill

(Please fire me from this job:  somehow I turn around and it's Friday!)

So next week, after several adventures, we are having a comforting familiar run from Commonplace Coffee on Forbes in Squirrel Hill - since it's Easter and also the 6th day of Passover, maybe we can involve some ecumenical theme.  Also apparently "Look Alike Day" and the beginning of "Organize Your Files Week" so we can throw that into the mix.  Or maybe just bask in the long-lost 70 degree weather. 

Our adventure last Sunday was to circle around: the 40th St. Bridge (with its adorable painted state seal decorations), the many sights of Millvale, the Millvale Rowing Center (Anne Jane probably in the vicinity), the 3 Rivers Heritage Trail, the 31st. St. Bridge, the warehouses of Penn Ave., the Roberto Clemente museum, and the adorable storefronts of Butler Street in Lawrenceville.   Millvale was especially picturesque, as we visited the church with the Maxo Vanka murals (which we couldn't see, but here they are courtesy of internet magic), numerous hippie-style community gardens, a genuine French Bakery, the astounding furniture store across the street
(this photo does no justice at all to the blindingly shiny acrylic contents), the original Pamela's (at which we still have to commit to a future post-run breakfast), Mr. Small's, etc., etc.  Then back to Squirrel Hill for another coffee from which I had to exit before noting the usual words of wisdom - more next time!

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 13 run: Millvale run starting at Butler and 40th St. RiteAid parking lot in Lawrenceville

Next run was inspired by Aimee and will be around and about Millvale, starting in Lawrenceville at the corner of 40th St. and Butler, RiteAid parking lot.  It turns out that the newest contingent of runners has no recollection of a Millvale run - I thought "how could that be?" until I did a blog search and found out that we did it in... 2008, as described then by Anne Jane:
After a sharp but short uphill we arrived at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church where we stopped for an all too short look at the murals:  We continued through Millvale proper where we took in some of the local sites (Mr Smalls , Jean Marc Chatellier's Bakery and the new Pamela's Diner). Although many of us were "knackered" due to the heat and humidity we agreed it was a special run and made plans for a run that would start (and end at) the diner!
Hey, what an idea!  Apparently opens at 8 - we can decide en route, though we'd have to run back to our cars after loading up on pancakes. Or.. run back to the cars first and just drive over.  Let's see.

Last week we were finally all treated to Michele's full-of-surprises run through Frick Park, Regent Square, Edgewood, up to and almost including the back of the K-Mart Parking Lot (one foot in just to get another RG trespass credit.) Previous attempts had been foiled by icy and glacial conditions, but this third time was the charm, in fact totally charming, as it had the miraculous effect of tying parts of the city together in completely unexpected ways through hidden steps and alleys.
Delightful round-up again at the 61B, endorsing:
  • Maintenance of brain functioning - a good idea. How? Who knows, but there was this Nun Study...
  • Mah Jongg - might help
  • Grey hair - does not help
  • Pond's Cold Cream - used by our grandmothers
  • Penguins who recognize voices
  • Using your French Press plus a microwave and a whisk to froth milk
  • The people who give out sample delicacies at Costco
  • a FREE HAIRCUT (see below) - which at least takes us somewhat back to brain - or head - functions - am a bit worried about the disconnectedness of this list -
Special offer arriving via Michele (whose own haircuts are super-chic:)  
Days available are Sunday and Monday (Sunday is pretty full but there is lots of room on Monday)
South side Salon - 1700 East Carson.  These are one hour appointments for a full haircut - trims are acceptable.
My hairdresser, Jeffrey, needs 30 "models", which means heads of hair.  It is not a fashion show or competition.  Philip Pelusi has a haircutting philosophy called Volumetrics.  The people that will be doing the haircuts are experienced salon owners and other hairdressers from out of town, who will be demonstrating their knowledge of Volumetrics.  It won't be a sales pitch.  He just needs your head!
If you are interested call Tracy at 412-488-6618.  I think the Monday session is at 11:00 AM.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

April 6 Run: Return to Regent Square, 61B Cafe on Braddock

(Sorry about that last blank message - fingers slipped)

This Sunday Michele has offered to introduce some surprise features in this Regent Square run starting at the newly discovered 61B cafe on Braddock.  We can only hope that FINALLY we won't be discouraged by a major ice storm.

Last week, my personal example of RG synchronicity at the downtown run: last minute discovery of no car - caught the 71C bus from Pt. Breeze at 6:50 - got off at Smithfield at 7:20 - headed past the Wm. Penn (saw Darryl) - then a pit stop at the Greyhound Bus Station (nice facilities) - over to the underground pathway at the Convention Center - emerging riverside at the exact moment that the group was passing directly across the river (clearly spotted due to Sandy's dayglo jacket) and met halfway across the 7th St. Bridge.  Enough said.

The usual delightful gabfest at La Prima (though only apricot meles available) with the following endorsements:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 30 Run: Back to the Strip - start at parking lot at Liberty and 21st St.

Anticipating the views downtown, the yummy pastries, and maybe a relief from hills, we'll head back to the Strip on Sunday, parking in the usual lot at Liberty and 21st.  Runners-to-the-run: write in to make arrangements.

Last week we returned to our familiar Schenley Park run - still monochromatic which was comforting in a way; next time we're there green things will be starting up all over the place, urging us to get moving already.  Nothing against springtime - but there's something to be said for being allowed to curl up in a blanket a while longer.  Hmmm - that was not really in the runner's spirit - I take it back.

The usual lively chat followed of course with numerous observations/endorsements:
  • Joined at the hip - or the hand - or the brain - with our smartphones - reminding me of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy and its daemons - an awesome read
  • The Smithsonian Channel - free and excellent
  • All Things Disney, then and now - how did it get to be so powerful for 50+ years?  Do underground tunnels have anything to do with it?
  • Standing desks from Varidesk
  • Final episode of Downton - esp. the romance downstairs

Thursday, March 20, 2014

March 23 Run: Wendy Bennett Trailhead at Schenley Park (see below for map)

With hopes of spring, an earlier sunrise, and not too much mud, we return to the Wendy Bennett Trailhead and Schenley Park for our next run.

We had a refreshing and comfortable run last week through Regent Square and Frick Park, and will give 2 more thumbs up for the 61B Cafe and its provisions.  Which may have had an intoxicating effect since they inspired napkin scribblings so incoherent that I can only transcribe them:

  • cellphone addiction
  • prayer rooms
  • new jobs
  • nightmares
  • classics
  • immigrants
  • Las Vegas, Ventriloquist Terry Fator, the Hoover Dam and Pinball Hall of Fame (this I know comes from Lainy)
  • Mini M&M boxes that hold quarters perfectly (Teri figured this out)
  • The famous day of the RG Ice Storm and Aimee's heroism
  • Woman Caves with nail polish, yoga, cappuccinos, and flowered dishes
  • radioactive Fiestaware "not safe but cool" according to Jan
  • The idea that we should get continuing ed credits for this

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

March 9 Run: Strip run from 21st and Liberty parking lot

The almond meles at Colangelo's are calling us again to the Strip, so we'll start at the 21st and Liberty parking lot and head downtown, cross a few bridges, and return to La Prima and inhale those delightful smells - at least I think that was the plan.  (Someone might want to call ahead to avoid the heartbreak of no pastry.)

We skirted the edge of the snowstorm by getting out early and followed a pretty clear path over the Hot Metal and along the river to where the Eagle Has Landed in Hays - and actually saw him or her take off over our heads.  We were pretty sure we made out the nest, though a hazy reality was trumped by the much clearer photo on Pam's phone.  By the time we reached our cars, everyone's hair was frosted.  Back at Commonplace Coffee we settled into the warm interior as the snow swirled outside - talked books, arts, wildlife, travel - how civilized is that?