East End Runners

So many decisions could have been bad!

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 29 Run: Meet at 61C Cafe for a Neighborhood Run; Thanksgiving Morning Run: meet at Starbucks SqHill

On Thanksgiving morning, sleep in a little to meet at 7:30 at the Squirrel Hill Starbucks on Forbes.  Virginia will lead a run through Schenley Park, possibly extending to Oakland and Shadyside for those looking for a longer run.

Next Sunday 11/29, meet at 61C Cafe at the regular time for a regular neighborhood run.  After traveling to other neighborhoods lately, let's stay close to home base this time.

Last Sunday, Pam toured us through Homestead, starting in the Waterfront, crossing the train tracks, and up into Homestead, up the hills into Munhall.  We got off to a slow start, waiting at the railway crossing, where we counted 114 cars (excluding the double stacked ones), all covered in snow, coming from the west.  Perhaps a harbinger of weather to come, but glad not yet!  It was hard to run very far without passing a church.  At the pinnacle of Munhall, we found the historic Munhall Fire Hall, established in 1894.  We also wandered around the gorgeous Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, and pondered a bite at gastropub Dorothy 6.

Coffee was at Panera at the Waterfront, where Roye sparked a lively discussion on the origins of the bidet, which quite seriously lasted most of the coffee time!  Things that make you go hmmmm.....

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 22 Run: Meet at Waterfront Smokestacks for a Homestead Run

Next Sunday, let's meet at the Waterfront smokestacks (between Costco and Movie Theater) so we can have a Homestead run.

Last Sunday, we took one of the usual Highland Park runs in reverse.  It's funny how different things can look when in reverse.  At coffee, various topics were discussed, including a "single serving friendship" made at Target, and my favorite quote: "I needed 3 potatoes and 2 green peppers, and I spent $197."

Across the street from Target, Eastside, is coming along, and the conversation veered toward the concept of microunits in apartments.  This is actually one of the trends I'm following at work for my coverage of the multifamily market, so I was quite happy to share my nerdiness with the group.  Basically, in Pittsburgh, a "microunit" is around 500 square feet, but in New York and Seattle, it's around 350 square feet, about the size of a hotel room.  There are some great concepts out there, bringing back Murphy beds, built in furniture, etc.  These compact units are embraced by Millennials, but quite frankly, tend toward male Millennials.  But they only work in dynamic mixed use neighborhoods in apartment communities with lots of common areas/amenities.

The ultralight down vests and coats from Costco
Marshall's in Greentree-- best selection
Weighted vest from Dick's-- helps with preventing osteoporosis

Friday, November 13, 2015

November 15 Run: Meet at Tazzo d'Oro in Highland Park

This Sunday, let's meet at Tazzo d'Oro (Highland and Bryant) so we can catch the tail end of the fall foliage in beautiful Highland Park.

This past Sunday, Michele led us through the high and low points of Braddock, with no worries about missing out on hills.  We started out with the Edgar Thomson Works  and wound our way up to a bridge connecting to North Braddock.  We saw the Free Store and the community garden, but a couple of new things were going on.  For example, the Brew Gentlemen Beer Company, which has been flourishing along with its accompanying food trucks that appear on Friday and Saturday nights.  Then, Mayor John and his wife Gisele hosted coffee for us in their home.  Again, what an amazing experience to be able to ask questions of a PA candidate for US Senate!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

November 8 Run: Braddock Run and Coffee at the Fettermans'

This past Sunday, Sharon led the group through Squirrel Hill in search of festive and scary Halloween decorations. Coffee was a bit abbreviated (got to be productive with that extra hour), so I didn't catch any endorsements.

This Sunday, Michele offered to lead a very special run in Braddock.  Park on Braddock Avenue near the intersection with 11th Street.  Braddock Mayor John Fetterman and his wife Gisele will host coffee at their home afterward.  This is a great opportunity to learn about this evolving borough and ask questions of a 2016 Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.  Below is a note from Michele. She added that we can donate anything to the Free Store in addition to the specific items listed:

"Since Gisele and John have so graciously offered to host coffee, I am hoping that our running group can again help support the FreeStore.  While shopping over the next two weeks, and remember the upcoming run, can you please make a feminine hygiene product, diaper of any size or formula purchase to donate.  Gisele will be so happy and grateful.

"Furthermore!  please know that when Gisele offered to host coffee, she made NO MENTION of asking for a FreeStore contribution!  This is my idea completely and no one should in any way feel obligated to donate.  We are a fortunate group of means.  A this is a small donation to us but can be a "lifesaver" to someone in need.

"Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will have a lovely morning.  For those who do not remember, it is necessary to drive all of the way through Braddock and park around Edgar Thompson."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

November 1 Run: 61C Cafe for a Neighborhood Halloween Run- REMEMBER TO CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS!

This Sunday, let's meet at 61C Cafe so that we can run around our 'hood to check out the various Halloween decorations.  And remember to change your clocks to fall back to reflect the end (or is it the beginning?) of Daylight Savings.

This past Sunday, Roye led us on a jaunt through Allegheny Cemetery. While we didn't find the Halloween decorated tombstones, we thought the whole place, being a cemetery, was quite "Halloweeny."  The colors of the trees seemed to be at peak-- so beautiful.  And the crows flying overhead signaled the change of seasons.  I didn't catch any endorsements at coffee because there were just so many conversations happening simultaneously.  Always a delight.

Nov. 8 (the following Sunday), we will be in Braddock for a run led by Michele. Roye already sent the "save the date."  I'll send the details next week.

Friday, October 23, 2015

October 25 Run: Commonplace at Voluto (5467 Penn Ave) for an Allegheny Cemetery Run

Sunday we decided to enjoy some more of the beautiful fall foliage, but this time from Allegheny Cemetery.  We will start and end at Commonplace at Voluto, a few blocks away on Penn Ave.

Last week, Karen led the group through Point Breeze, Homewood Cemetery and Frick Park.  Until Daylight Savings happens next weekend (Nov. 1), it's still quite dark until about 7:30, so the neighborhood streets and community gardens were welcoming until it was light enough to enter the park.

At coffee, numerous conversations were overheard, so I will try to summarize what I caught:

First, the serious stuff:

Chris wants to announce a gun violence forum taking place on Thursday, 10/29, at 6:30pm at 2200 Beechwood Blvd.  Please spread the word.  Any questions or to RSVP, email him at elgrip@gmail.com.

On that same topic, Audrey has crafted a beautifully and succinctly written letter that you can use to write your politicians.  For the letter, contact her at: aekane@gmail.com.  Or, write your own and send along to the following:
Websites for politicians:

Under "Contact Me" you can fill out an email and write a letter or copy and paste what Audrey has written.

Other info:


Now, the fun stuff:

Endorsements for food:
Convenient and tasty BBQ beef brisket at Costco snack bar
Almond croissants from Five Points Bakery
Peace Love Donuts (but only the Oakland location)

Endorsements for movies:
Robin Williams tribute
Me and Earl now on demand- HBO and Showtime.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October 18 Run: entrance to Frick Park at Reynolds and S. Homewood

The woods are turning ever more beautiful so we are taking advantage with a Frick Park Run, and will meet at the stone gatehouse in Point Breeze, at Reynolds and S. Homewood.  Karen will make sure we don't get lost.  Coffee most likely to follow at 61C Cafe.

Our autumn excursion through Schenley Park last Sunday was a little early in the month to be radiant, but it was still lovely as always.  Actually as a native New Englander, I think its leafy pride is a bit much - the colors there are almost day-glo - it's kind of a juvenile taste.  Here fall is more subtle, like a nice burgundy compared to Kool-Aid.  And, speaking of subtle, it's Stillers season!  

Multiple endorsements of all kinds bubbled up:
  • Off the Record - like the Capitol Steps but all about Pittsburgh, courtesy of our amazingly talented news/film/radio/TV workers and supporting the Food Bank - go see it next year!
  • adorable town of Cambria, CA - where Judy is headed temporarily - she says come visit!
  • the fact that Wendy knit sweaters for her bridesmaids
  • Five Points Bakery - can't say it too many times - have you tried the Tahini Cookies?  
  • our resident judicial expert says: David Wecht and Hugh McGough.  Also Eat That Read This (also endorsed) additionally supports Christine Donahue and Kevin Dougherty.  And apparently if you select individual names instead of a straight party vote it carries more weight and is known as a "power vote" but maybe I should make sure I have that straight...
  • not exactly an endorsement but it's got to be said:  Trader Joe's has gone bonkers over pumpkin.  I think there's pumpkin pizza dough - maybe pumpkin brie - it's nuts.
  • the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante, starting with My Brilliant Friend - PLEASE read them so we can discuss!  1500 pages goes by in a flash!
  • And here we got totally psyched about TV series:
    • Frankie and Grace
    • Orange is the New Black
    • The Good Wife
    • The Affair
    • Veep
    • House of Cards
    • The Newsroom
Now we're all set for winter.