East End Runners

So many decisions could have been bad!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 24 Run: Highland Park run starting and ending at the Tazza D'Oro cafe on Highland Ave.

Next week - as we love to do - we're taking Joanne up on her offer to lead a Highland Park run, starting at the Tazza D'Oro cafe on Highland Ave., which will open at 7 a.m. on a Sunday, reminding us that we're getting closer to a city that never sleeps!  (Well, a little closer.)

Future runs: Aimee reminds us that the 31st is the first Pittsburgh Open Streets day, so we'll beat everyone out there and take a route on Butler Street or Penn Ave. - details later.  And for the following week, Audrey has discovered an intriguing new cafe - the Staghorn - on Greenfield Ave. open early Sunday, so we'll discover that and run across the Greenfield Bridge before it closes.

About last Sunday and the brave but minimal showing of runners after a 6 a.m. downpour - I was about to write "oh, ye of little faith" but then did a search of this blog and discovered that I had said that AT LEAST 3 other times in similar circumstances - which means that I am repeating myself, but also that this happens a LOT!  For lo and behold, not a drop fell between 7 and 7:55, and the park was not even muddy, but just atmospherically jungly and misty.  We peered in at the rising new Nature Center building, and recalled the day a decade ago when the RG came across the smoking ruin.

We had a lovely coffee, but for one small thing:  please, 61C, take a look at the vintage of your customers in the early morning and save the weird indie music for the millennials that show up around noon.

The Ramen Bar on the Little's side of Forbes
The Jewish Sports Hall of Fame - kudos to Karen's family!
The Classic Lines Bookstore on Forbes in Squirrel Hill, and its wine-and-macarons events
The fact that both Karen and PtB are apparently related to the historical Jane Seymour, as seen in the also endorsed Wolf Hall on PBS (but why did it end before they told her story??)
The fact that Aimee and hopefully someone else will be your future bloggers for a while - as I'll be taking a blog break - thank you!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

May 3 Run: Start at Mellon Park parking lot off of Fifth Ave. (but don't park there - see message)

A number of us will be running in the Pittsburgh Marathon - all power to them! - but those of us who aren't will still follow the route a bit, starting at 7 as usual, at Mellon Park at the corner of Fifth and Beechwood.  BUT:  be sure to park somewhere on the Beechwood side because Fifth Ave. will be blocked off for sure and you may have to hang around Panera or the knitting store for hours, which actually wouldn't be so bad.

I have no report on last week's run, since I didn't manage to get there and only had a solo run up to 61C for coffee.  But then I got the happy surprise of seeing both Elaine and Anne Jane - return of the natives!  And a good complement of the group too, quite enough to have a delightfully long chat and to endorse:
(apparently a food theme this week)
Book:  Sous Chef: 24 hours on the line
Another book:  The Story of Sushi
Pittsburgh blog:  Eat this - read that (recommended by my daughter Lena who knows about these things.)
A robot that feeds you tomatoes while you run (not kidding - take a look - Aimee also knows about these things.)
Bread & Salt bakery in Bloomfield - none of those fripperies - bread that doesn't fool around.
A watermelon carved like a baby carriage - with lace! by Lainy for Galit's baby shower.

Friday, April 24, 2015

April 26 Run: Colfax School for a Frick Park run

I'm at a conference in Nashville this week, so just a bulletin this time:  meeting at Colfax School on Beechwood at Douglas in Squirrel Hill - we'll make a circuit through Frick Park - hopefully it won't be snowing -

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 19 Run: Wendy Bennett Trailhead at the bottom of the Schenley Oval for a classic park run

Meet up at the Wendy Bennett Trailhead - where Bartlett meets Hobart in Schenley Park (map) - and we'll run through the tiny green evidence of early springtime, hoping to avoid the muddier parts.  There may be trilliums!  (trillia?)

Sunday's mystery run was called that since I had no idea where we would be going, but we ended up pursuing an Eco theme, threading through the trees in Schenley Park, then up to investigate what's been going on at Phipps' LEED certified Center for Sustainable Landscapes and their Eco-friendly classroom, roof gardens, new statuary, and general model ecological-ness.  We headed back past CMU's similarly LEEDed Gates-Hillman Center and up the hidden nature path behind it.  Then we just tanked up on coffee, and endorsed:

  • 2 great bars:  Houghs Bar in Greenfield, with its Artisan Nachos, and the Independent Brewing Co. on Shady.
  • 2 eccentric guys:  The Kiltman, aka Richard Greenberg- and I quote: "hashem is the boss, I am the applesauce." Read more of the same here.  And the guy with a beard who rides his bike in all weather who wrote the book about all the steps in Pittsburgh.  
  • 2 runs coming up:  Mother's Day to the Shrine of the Blessed Mother, and the week after up and down the StepTrek on the South Side. 
  • 2 places to play Mah-Jongg:  the Meetup at Panera on Tuesday nights, and at random times with some of us runners - bring it up at the next run if you're interested.  Bring your Mah Jongg socks!
  • Food Inc. - documentary that will make you mad and upset - is that an endorsement?  
  • This one is:  new runner Gretchen - welcome!
photo courtesy of Aimee

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

April 12 Run: 61C Cafe again for a mystery run

We'll meet at the 61C Cafe on Murray Ave. again, head toward Frick Park, or Schenley Park, or both. Or maybe Homewood Cemetery, where there is now a family of wild turkeys adding to the other fauna.  We'll be spontaneous.

Well, I tried to see if our route last week did in fact look like the outline of a squirrel - umm, not really - but we did note the new Welcome to Squirrel Hill sign en route (PtB says they need volunteers for the garden.) And there was a bit of related theme, as we passed another garden that claimed to be a "certified wildlife habitat" (this is really a thing!) and also visited Sylvania Natives, an almost hidden-away nursery for native plants.  But the main thing was synagogues and churches up and down and near Beechwood Blvd., and we ran by a whole bunch of them - mainly homey little places, like the Agape Life church (left), B'nai Emunah, famous for its hot dog lunches, and one adorable place that doubles as both AND has services in Ukrainian. Also a church named Mary S. Brown Ames, with a mysterious grave marked "Shawnee" - and RG's devoted researcher PtB has uncovered that it's the 2nd oldest graveyard in Pittsburgh.   Also Iain revealed that Beechwood Blvd. was once the Nemacolin Indian Trail.  I think we've got enough for a novel here.


  • kosher for Passover baking (recipes below)
  • doing a "phone cleanse"
  • the word "perseverating"
  • Sally - who grew up on "Mad Men"
  • Cuba (can't wait to hear about the trip!)
Bonus feature!
Recipes for those of us starved for pastries during Passover:
2. Cheryl's Mom's Chocolate Chip Mandelbread
6 eggs
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. matzo cake meal
2 T. potato starch
1/2 c. oil
2 c. chopped nuts
1 t. lemon juice
Lemon rind

Sift cake meal, starch through strainer.
Beat eggs with sugar. Add oil, lemon juice and rind.
Mix in dry ingredients. Stir in nuts.
Add 6 oz. chocolate chips to batter.
Spray cookie sheet pan. Spoon into 3 loaves.
Bake 30 minutes at 350.

Cut and slice into 1" pieces.
Turn on side. Return to oven 30 minutes or until crisp. 

Thursday, April 02, 2015

April 5 Run: Start at 61C Cafe in Squirrel Hill for and Easter/Passover run

Starting at the 61C Cafe on Murray in Squirrel Hill - our newest coffee location, and the challenge is, in honor of both holidays, to cover as many churches and synagogues as we can in an hour.  I looked at Google Maps and it's kind of like a connect-the-dots puzzle.  If you do it you get an outline of a squirrel!

First, I promised to go back 2 weeks to our return to Robert E. Williams Memorial Park, aka Herron Hill Park which takes us to the top of the Hill and around the reservoir which gets an amazing view of the city in all directions.  Checking the blog, this is the 6th time we've been there - starting in 2008.  It seemed more rundown than in previous years but at least we weren't chased by a large ferocious dog (2010.) We circled back to Laurie's house for coffee, which was delightful in every way, though not least because of the pecan sticky buns.

Last Sunday we really tried to retrace an old route through Greenfield, and did get as far as Big Jim's, but we got off track when we were barred from the crumbling steps next to the church (alas no trespass) and we simply ad-libbed, hitting the Jail Trail, an old stairway off of Bates, and the conjunction of Romeo and Juliet Streets in South Oakland.

2 weeks worth of endorsements:
  • Crying Towels - Laurie has one from her grandmother, and Wendy has uncovered related facts including an intriguing connection with Terrible Towels - to be revealed in the next installment!
  • In a pinch, croup and any number of ailments can be treated with your dog's prescription for Prednizone
  • Lenox, MA, Kripalu yoga retreat, and the Berkshires generally
  • The Trapp Family Lodge - where the hills are alive 
  • Clem's Barbecue in Blairsville - only an hour away
  • Safe biking behavior - especially as the years pile on
  • Mark Wahlberg (really)
  • Monica Lewinsky's TED talk: The Price of Shame - generated a new look at that whole episode, and also this comment found later by Sarah. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

March 29 Run: starts at WQED parking lot, 4802 Fifth Ave., Oakland

Got up this morning and wondered:  where is the run tomorrow?  Oh-oh - I forgot to send out the message!
It's from the WQED parking lot, 4802 Fifth Ave. Oakland - though I think we can't park there - just find a spot nearby.  We're going to try to recreate Bobbie's Greenfield run from the early days.  Hope someone remembers :-)

Blog to be updated later with details of last week's terrific run and even better coffee at Laurie's

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