East End Runners

So many decisions could have been bad!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

October 2 Run: Westinghouse fountain in Schenley Park

On Sunday we will start at the George Westinghouse Memorial statue and fountain, right behind CMU (here's a map) which is finally done with its major renovation and is now a sight to behold.  Not sure where we'll end up for coffee.

Walkers ruled last Sunday (runners were probably all doing the Great Race) and we had a gorgeous trek through sun-dappled and somewhat nippy Frick Park, which we entered via a route we have only rarely taken, down the appropriately named Forest Glen Road and then up a rope handrail and over a wooden bridge, etc.  Frick is full of secrets.  Discussion of cashmere mitten-mania, which is planned to start again soon, this time expanding to baby booties - prepare for the booty call.

Endorsement:  conjunction of great events and exhibits and a book signing all about famous Civil Rights organizer and Congressman John Lewis (who will visit) at the August Wilson Center and the Toonseum - details here.  Now I'm off to see Michelle O.!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Sept. 25 Run: Start at Pam's house 2200 Beechwood Blvd. (Check Great Race road closures before you park.)

We're starting (at 7) and finishing (at 8) at Pam's house at 2200 Beechwood Blvd., which is also the starting point for the Great Race (which begins at 9:30), more or less.  So park anywhere in the general vicinity, and it would make sense to check the road closures ahead of time.  Pam has offered to provide coffee (and helpfully, toilets) at her house at 8 (thank you Pam!), for the RG finishers and the Great Race starters. 

Last week was a Frick Park run with a difference.  It was a perfect late summer morning in the park, as we headed in a leisurely way toward the newly opened Frick Environmental Center, which is both a "living building" and LEEDS platinum, also gorgeous. Some of us got a bit verklempt when thinking of that day many years ago when the running group approached this very spot on a Sunday at dawn, to come across the smoking ruins of the old Frick Nature Center:  we've come full circle. This time, seeing it was not yet open for the day, we still tried to get past the gate (in characteristic fashion), and got nervous as a staff member approached us... to offer us a tour! Which was amazing and included the super hi tech basement where the energy to run the place seems to be created literally out of thin air.  Kudos to the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy for putting us on the eco-map.  We were all inspired to make and encourage donations of $$ and also eco-themed gently used or new books, especially children's, which they will place in their adorable family library. 

Coffee at 61C, where we had a welcome visit from Judy, who has become a happy Californian, and where we learned the sad news (for us) that Audrey will go back to being a Virginian soon - now who will help us with Mah Jong?  Stay tuned for news of a post-run coffee at Wendy & David's to bid farewell.

A few endorsements, fairly random:

  • Chef's Table TV show
  • Old fashioned names - Harriet, Sylvia, and others that I can't remember
  • Cemetery plots at Homewood Cemetery - even if you're not really buried there
  • Votespa.com - will answer all your questions about voting, i.e. registration, absentee
RG now has 125 people on the list.  We should have a party.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sept. 18 Run: Colfax School

FOR NEXT SUNDAY:  please meet at Colfax school on Beechwood so we can run up to explore the new Frick Environmental Center, which just opened.

Today, after meeting on Washington's Landing, we had a lovely run up, up, up, up Rialto to the top of Troy Hill (where most of the neighborhood was surprisingly flat) and stopped to admire this house for sale that has a fabulous view. Turns out the PG wrote a story about it.


We also found St. Anthony's Chapel, (saintanthonyschapel.org) which is supposed to have the largest number of Catholic relics outside of the Vatican. It was closed, but gives tours most days. We returned to Washington's Landing via a different staircase that dropped us on the edge of Route 28, and new bike path that took us back to the island.

I can't report on coffee since I couldn't go, but we'll update next week.

Have a great week. 

Virginia

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Sept. 11 Run: Start at parking lot on Herr's Island/Washington's Landing

(Will try not to make this complicated.)  The start of the run is the parking lot across from the Washington's Landing Marina - which you get to by crossing the 31st St. Bridge from Penn Ave., taking your first left on to River Road, taking your immediate next left down to Herr's Island (called the 30th St. Bridge in the map, and then Waterfront Drive), and there it is at the bottom. Here's that map.  Piece of cake!

So the plan was to do a Troy Hill run from there, which would be to go back up to the 31st Street Bridge and cross Rte. 28 (there are crossing signals there) to go up, up, up Rialto Street which leads right into Troy Hill, and is just a few blocks away from the famous St. Anthony's Church and plenty of neighborhood charm.  I was going to lead that run, but now I won't be able to be there - so hopefully someone else can do the honors.  Or change the run altogether - many other possibilities from there!

Now there are 3 runs to summarize, but let's just say that at some point this crazy bike was seen,
and that they were all as fun and uplifting as always.  The last one (Schenley Park) had most of us puzzling over what exactly happened since we were talking so much - though the sudden brilliance of the dew sparkling on that new grassy path by Bartlett finally brought us to attention.  Re endorsements, I've been a bit lax about keeping track, but here are those that survive:


  • The Year of Mercy - something we could all use - which is going on right now.
  • The PAT Track app for realtime bus info - getting some love
  • Also getting more love:  yoga teacher and all-round inspiring person Linda Meacci
  • Should be getting even more love:  newspapers - we need them!  
  • Ways to read some newspapers and magazines that need subscriptions:  1. The public library databases, which you can get from the comfort of your home  2.  Your airline miles program  3. The mysterious 3 lines in the upper right corner of your browser that allow you to "go incognito," so they can't count your free articles?  It could work.


  • "The night of" miniseries on HBO - riveting.
  • Viking River Cruises - known to all the Downton Abbey fans - actually very nice.
  • Living in a place where the roaches aren't the size of birds.

  • Saturday, September 03, 2016

    Sept 4 and 5 runs: default at 61C Cafe in Squirrel Hill

    Just a bulletin - will try for more later.
    Sunday's run at 7 and Monday's holiday run at 7:30 will both leave from the 61C Cafe on Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill.  Bring ideas of where to go.
    Following week preview:  Troy Hill!

    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    August 28 Run: Start at Big Dog Coffee on the South Side, 2717 Sarah Street

    Since we didn't come up with a plan on Sunday,  I've got the controls here.  So I was recently inspired by reports of Pittsburgh's plan for a new giant park in Hays, so let's do a South Side run on the trail, starting at Big Dog Coffee, and heading toward the Bald Eagle nest, which is in Hays Woods.  I don't think there is a trail in from there, but we can look.  We can watch the river along the way, and also hang out on the Big Dog terrace afterwards.

    On Sunday we followed Lainy to the hidden pedestrian entrance to the Fort Pitt Bridge (guess what - next to Fort Pitt) and so inaugurated one more river crossing for the RG.  Runners headed down to the West End Bridge to get back; walkers went over the Smithfield Street Bridge, after a detour inside the Grand Concourse which was unaccountably open at 7:30 - good to know when in search of a gorgeous bathroom.   Conversation and endorsements were technology focused:

    • Pittsburgh Gigapanorama (thanks, David Bear!) - so you can see what's on top of the downtown buildings.  Sometimes there is a surprise - see photo.
    • Cut & Sew classes and workshops (will the cashmere obsession return with cold weather?) Also Lainy mentions: Gloria Horn studio.  This is technology too!
    • App-a-rama:
      • Life360 tracks your family
      • Find My Friends tracks everyone
      • Transit will change your non-automobile life anywhere
      • PAT Track covers, naturally, PAT buses, in real time
      • Target Cartwheel - special discounts 
      • GoMobile - will change your automobile parking life
      • NoWait gets you seated at restaurants without the lines
      • The WSJ weekend magazine shows you what apps celebs are using. 



    Friday, August 19, 2016

    August 21 Run: Downtown from PPG Place fountain aka Tomb of the unknown bowler

    Direct from our leader Lainy: "Downtown.  Tomb of the unknown bowler.  3 Rivers run including running group first... A bridge the group has never crossed on foot before!"
    If that doesn't get you there, I don't know what will.

    Last week was a North Side tour - starting with the amazing Randy Land.  I can't report for the runners, but the (power)walkers headed up, up, up into Fineview for, naturally, some definitively fine views, and the marvelously named corner of Compromise and Hemlock.  Coffee at the newest
    Commonplace Coffee locale, lovely though, due to their exceedingly careful attention to coffee technique, a bit slow.  But nobody cared.