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Franktuary – yum!


Sunset over the North Side

Carnegie Mellon University

Otherwise under the weather and too tired for words…


Fooling around in the Yayoi Kusama works at the Mattress Factory, a contemporary art museum on Pittsburgh’s North Side. It is very unique in that it is about spaces, indoors and out, and the art isn’t hung on the walls, per se. It is drawn on them, holds them up; it’s strung hither and thither to the ceiling, the floor; it is a place to sit, an organized pile of chaos, an illusion, a light (or an absence of it), even sound. Wonderfully wondrous, a bit wild, too.

 Catso, Red

James Turrell

Winifred Lutz

We saved our visit here and the Carnegie (below) for the hubster’s parents to enjoy with us. Hello!

The Mattress Factory occupies a collection of neighborhood buildings. I spied a lobelia making the best of a crack in the pavement on our way to the next exhibit.

It makes me think of a Subterranean Homesick Alien, which always makes me happy.

Living Things

Jacob Douenias / Ethan Frier

This did not read this blue in person, but I like the look of it anyhow. Follow this link if you’d like to see a more accurate representation.

The Color of Temperance: Embodied Energy

Julie Shenkelberg

Shift Lens

Anne Lindberg

Even the shadows look like art.

Trace of Memory

Chiharu Shiota

City of Asylum

House Poem

Huang Xiang

Burma House

Khet Mar

Across the Allegheny for a delicious lunch break at The Porch (NO pictures! Shocking.) and a little tour of the Cathedral of Learning

Inside the Carnegie Museum

Having Fun/Good Life, Symptoms

Bruce Nauman

Triangular Solid with Circular Inserts Variation D

Dan Graham

Telling Vision #3

Tony Oursler

I don’t know who made this, but I sure like it.

Happy Friday!


1970 Monte Carlo

1956 Buick Roadmaster

1950 Frazer

Je suis pret means I am ready!

1963 Cadillac

Hello fellow yinzers! If you are interested in cars and are available anywhere from 5 – 9, please do yourself a favor and go to the Starlite Car Cruise that is happening tonight in Wexford. We met our friend Kristen (Can you see your reflection in the Nova picture?) last week for the festivities and had a thoroughly good time. It is a rather huge affair, with row upon row of amazing autos of all ages and a small section of motorcycles, too. We went on Pontiac night (tonight is trucks), and I was incredibly happy to drool over many a beautiful GTO, though I didn’t get a decent picture of one because of shadows and open hoods and such. Wah!

They also have a good selection of snacks and drinks (I recommend the kettle corn), so it’s okay to arrive hungry. It’s also right by a few restaurants; we enjoyed dinner at the Dive but the #15 plate at Forgotten Taste is pretty terrific, too. The Giant Eagle Market District shopping center at Pine Township is also across the road, so you know, you can mix business with pleasure. We did.

Alright, pitch over. However you spend your evening, I hope it is lovely!


We Get Around

Holla! Happy Tuesday from Pittsburgh’s North Side. When I visited to house hunt, I stayed, for the very first time, at an airbnb. The hubster and I are old hats at renting vacation houses and apartments, preferring to see a place as the locals do, but we’d never ever considered renting a room in a home while the owner was present. That’s weird. Well, peeps, it pays to branch out, because Jonathan (pictured on the left with his boyfriend Andrew) became my first friend in Pittsburgh! He is a true man about town, knows this city better than anyone I know, and is a terrific person, all around. We met for dinner at the Monterey Pub (the place we first ate together – we’ll always have the Monterey, Jonathan!), had drinks at Andrew’s, and topped off the evening with Banjo Night at the Elk’s Lodge. We did not win the 50-50 raffle but hit the jackpot with a celebrity sighting of Ewan McGregor! Fun!

Heinz Hall

The Grand Concourse


A city of well preserved architectural gems,


sharp angles,

super cool murals,

war memorials,


and staircases!





Happy Monday from a stop at Blackbird Distillery in Brookville on our way to the Kinzua Bridge this past Friday. It’s a blink and you might miss the turn (we did the first time by) but definitely worth the trip. What a hoot! The man in charge was utterly hilarious and highly knowledgeable about every product Blackbird makes and sells, which includes moonshine in a myriad varieties, sauces, pickles, smoked meats, cheese, and more. Everything we tried was terrific. We came home with a t-shirt for the hubster, a bottle of the Lemon Drop Corn Shine (delicious!), beef jerky, and the best jar of pickles since moving to Pennsylvania. Spicy!

When it was built in 1882, the Kinzua was the tallest railroad bridge in the world. Though it only held that title for two years, it remained in commercial service for another 77, and later became part of the state park that bears its name. In a rather unfortunate turn, much of the bridge was destroyed by a tornado during restoration work in July of 2003, the twisted remains more akin to toothpicks than steel and a heady reminder of the fierce power of nature. At 301 feet, it’s a looong way down from what is now called the skywalk. Though I do not consider myself to be afraid of heights, it took all the courage I could muster to walk across the glass viewing panels. Eek!

Oh, and should you make the trip, be sure to stop by Stroup’s Maple Syrup, just down the road apiece from the park entrance. Harvested and processed right there! If you are lucky, you’ll be greeted by Skippy the Jack Russell Terrier, who very much likes pets from strangers.

The beautiful light in and around what might be the the handsomest cabin in the woods, and the sad source of our misses. Part of the Gateway Lodge, we’d planned on staying two nights and breakfasting at their cozy restaurant. Our first disappointment arrived when we learned at check-in that the lodge and its restaurant would be closed for a private party the whole of the weekend. Well, bummer, but we’re easy going and not about to let that get us down, and the cabin has a kitchen, so we’ll buy some breakfast provisions at the cute market down the way. Problem solved. Then came the unfortunate assault when we opened the cabin door. Mildew, potent and unpleasant. We opened windows, built a fire, and sat on the porch sipping our newly purchased shine to give it time. The sad truth was that nothing we could do would get rid of the odor or our disappointment. So we got a refund (which they were very kindly about) and drove home.

Thankfully it was only a couple of hours away and during the dreamy hours of the setting sun. And then a strange apparition, the glow of row upon row of tents, hundreds, maybe even thousands of them, right off the highway, like something out of a dream. We wondered and speculated at the largeness of it. What could it be? Our answer would have to wait for an internet connection.

The Pennsic War. A large living history group, gathering annually in numbers around the 10,000 mark, entirely dedicated to the Middle Ages “as they ought to have been.” Everyone in period attire, with battles and other challenges and the earning of war points. It all sounds quite interesting and organized, the Renaissance Fair on steroids, but, sadly, an entirely private event. The only method for observing is to become a member. Wait, I found a video. Fascinating!

 Yet another dazzler at the butterfly bush! A Monarch, I think.


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