East End Runners

So many decisions could have been bad!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

February 7 Run: Lawrenceville: Espresso a Mano cafe at Butler and 36th Street

There was some enthusiasm about a Lawrenceville run, so we'll start at 36th and Butler and go from there.  That's at the Espresso a Mano cafe, which is a favorite, but interest was also expressed in having breakfast at Barb's Country Kitchen (nearer to 47th St.)   However, people may not have time, so we can decide on the run.  We can see what's new on the river trail (apparently a dog park?), and what hip new storefronts have opened.  Also the Allegheny Cemetery awaits.  Many possibilities!

Last week we explored the South Side flats - basically we ran from the Goodwill to the Salvation Army and back (checking out the potential cashmere haul) and visited the Thinnest Building in Pittsburgh, the Terminal Shops (kind of an unfortunate name), the Heritage Trail, and then settled down into the coziness of Big Dog Coffee, which did have the promised fireplace, plus an actual large dog upstairs.  You can tell what most of us are doing evenings by the fact that endorsements fell heavily into the Watched on TV category:

  • The Great British Baking Show (many thumbs up)
  • Mozart in the Jungle
  • The Americans
  • Fargo
  • Black Mirror - esp. episode with John Hamm
  • Master of None
  • The Bachelor?  
  • Movies: Inescapable and Meet the Patels
Also (not sure what this indicates)
  • The Aviary
  • Bell bottoms, culottes and gauchos
  • Locksmiths - Ace Locksmith, and also the Squirrel Hill Locksmith which also repairs appliances.
Finally the great suggestion that, after we learned that PCTV has many slots available, our running group could have a show of our own, modeled on The View.  We could call it The Schmooze.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

January 31 Run: from Big Dog Coffee Shop on 2717 Sarah Street, South Side

By popular request, since we haven't done this in a while, we'll run through the South Side, starting and ending at the charming Big Dog Coffee Shop, first introduced years ago by Pam.  I think they have fireplaces!  We don't have a route yet but one will magically appear.

We got a bit confused last week, since I missed Lainy's message about the run starting at her house and offering not only coffee and goodies but mitten-making lessons.  Well, actually I was the only one confused, so I missed the start and ran on my solitary way, also managing to get locked out of my car (damn those electronic keys!)  But it all came together when I saw the runners returning and gathering in Lainy's kitchen for freshly baked bread and other delicious things AND a table set up with sewing paraphernalia and piles of cashmere - yes, cashmere! We cut and sewed like mad; like
the Zika Virus, the contagion of cashmere mitten-making is spreading fast.  If you want to get involved, just ask at the next run - but be aware it may take over your life.  In a nice warm soft way.

Bonus from the Jan. 17 run - photo by Laurie - our view of the Allegheny at dawn.

Friday, January 22, 2016

January 24 run: default at 61C Cafe, Murray Ave., Squirrel Hill

Neither Aimee nor I were at coffee discussions of the running plan last week, so we'll just meet at our usual spot - 61C Cafe in Squirrel Hill - and figure it out from there ☕️

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

January 17 Run: 21st St and Liberty Avenue parking lot- Strip District/La Prima Run/Coffee

This coming Sunday, let's get back to our old friend, the Strip, for an oldie but goodie, followed by the local favorite, La Prima coffee.  It's been too long since we've enjoyed those warm almond meles!

This past Sunday, we had quite a large group of intrepid souls willing to run in the soggy weather.  Unfortunately, it rained for almost the entire run, but it was delightful nonetheless.  Michelle led us through Edgewood, Swissvale, and Wilkinsburg sections of Regent Square as well as a loop through Frick Park.  We saw wildlife!  An opossum crossed our paths after giving us quite the dirty look!  We saw history!  Old Pittsburgh trolley tracks!  We saw commerce!  Active train tracks!  I would say this run met Elaine's definition of a "designer run" given all these attributes.

Unfortunately, we were all so waterlogged and damp that we didn't stay long enough to record endorsements at the sleepy but beautiful City Cafe (former shoe repair shop turned into a beautiful cafe with a pressed tin ceiling).  It's so hard to believe that only a few days ago for the run, it was warm enough to comfortably run in the rain-- oh how quickly things change.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate for Sunday's run.  If not, grab those buffs and cashmere mittens!

Thursday, January 07, 2016

January 10 Run: Meet at City Cafe, 106 E Swissvale Ave, Edgewood

Next Sunday, meet at City Cafe (106 E. Swissvale Avenue) for a Stairs/Tunnel Run in Edgewood.  Park on the street near the School for the Deaf.

Last Sunday, we met at the newly opened historic Ace Hotel (former YMCA) in the burgeoning East Liberty, so we could stylishly sip coffee in the hip lobby.  Even though we're a hardy group normally accustomed to the cold, since we had been spoiled by the warm-ish weather, the 20 degree morning was a bit of a shock to our systems.  Good thing there was plenty to distract us from the wind (as well as new homemade Running Group mittens)!  We headed toward Allegheny Cemetery, but turned around after hearing there was a brand-new restaurant about to open across the street, Apteka!  And we were delighted to see one of the owners there with a couple of contractors constructing the most important part, the bar.  After a bit of a chitchat, we continued along, heading back to Ace along the sidestreets toward the gorgeous sunrise.

Now with such a large group, I only caught the side toward the right of the photo.  Endorsements and topics of discussion from my side of the couch included:
Political canvassing, some love it, some hate it
Hillary Headbands, a throwback to the 1990s!
Hot Flash Designs
Rasicka restaurant in DC
Midwives and some harrowing birth stories!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year's Day Holiday Run: Starbucks in Sq. Hill - and Jan. 3 Sunday Run: the Ace Hotel, 120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty

Once more, an embarassment of running riches this week:  2 runs - holiday New Year's Day default run at 7:30 from Starbucks (on Forbes) in Squirrel Hill, followed by the Sunday run at 7:00 starting at the new Ace Hotel on 120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty.  We're not sure about coffee availability there but Zeke's is around the corner, also great and open at 8.  If nobody else wants to lead, I'll take it up to the Allegheny Cemetery and back.

Last week I not too hopefully asked for ideas for the Squirrel Hill runs, assuming there is nothing new under the Forbes@Murray sun, but how wrong I was. PtB and Iain took us out some unaccustomed streets over to Fernwald and its romantic view of a misty sunrise all the way down to the Carrie Furnace, not to mention a surfeit of stunning mid-century modern homes, all expertly described by Wendy.  Our sadly unfulfilled search for holiday decorations last week was totally redeemed in many yards this time, especially one on Marlborough that absolutely ruled them all and included tiny dancing and singing snowmen (photo thanks to Pam.) Then on Sunday Pam took us into every hidden cul-de-sac off of Beechwood and Shady (good interval training as every one goes straight uphill.)  More architectural gazing at secret mansions we never even knew were there (how many Pittsburghers are in the 1%?) including the Scaife estate on Braeburn Place, which as you can see below is creepily blocked out on Google Maps street view.  Now that's power. 

Had to race back with bagels for visiting rambunctious nephews, so no endorsements recorded - though feel free to write in with anything essential.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dec. 25 (Xmas Holiday Run at 7:30) at Starbucks on Forbes and Shady AND Dec. 27 (Normal Sunday Run at 7) - at 61C Cafe on Murray at Bartlett

Wow, that was a long subject line. But it had to include the default 7:30 a.m. holiday run on the 25th (Starbucks on Forbes and Shady), as well as our usual 7 a.m. run on Sunday (61C Cafe on Murray at Bartlett.)  And I might as well add the New Year's holiday run at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 1 - also at Starbucks - but will send a reminder next week.  A lot of running time coming up!  No special routes planned yet - bring your ideas. 

Last week we had a rather deflated tour of holiday inflatables - a few sad puddles of plastic, and not much else to look at.  Even the glowing Moravian stars on Hastings are gone.  Maybe it's hard for homeowners to get in the seasonal spirit when it's so damn warm.  Sorry, but winter should come with icicles, snowdrifts, frigid air blasts, drippy noses, numb toes, etc.  Call me Scrooge, but I love that nice warm feeling you get after a good run in the freezing cold, especially when a group coffee is involved.  Also, we need it so that we can wear buffs.

Speaking of which, many endorsements!
Stay tuned for more...