I went to Panza Gallery in Millvale on Wednesday. Took a watercolor to be framed and wanted to shoot Mark Panza the owner as he said he would be happy to be part of the People at Work Series. But something came up and his daughter helped me choose a nice mat and frame for my painting and I asked Jennifer if she would be part of the People at Work series. She graciously agreed after I explained the project. So I photographed her a few times in the gallery and then I asked her if she still made jewelry and she said yes but she said she had some ceramics downstairs. So right then and there I created a new project- I am starting an EMERGING ARTIST series of photographs! If you know any emerging artists who are in the area and would like to be featured on the blog I would be happy to photograph them and some examples of their artwork. Why not? It is hard to get started and I know a ton of people who make, buy and collect art so why not use the blog to show some of their work and them? Jennifer just got her braces off and paid the final payment on them and check out the ceramics with the teeth. Surely her othodontist needs that piece in the office on display!!! If you want to see more of her ceramics or jewelry just call Panza Gallery 412.821.0959.Or leave a comment and she can contact you. Jennifer is still in school AND working at her dad’s gallery, and when I was there she had opened the place, was working on invoices, taking calls and selecting frames and mats. Thanks Jennifer.
One time Laura sent me tips on how to photograph food. I should have read it more carefully. It is not easy to make it look tasty and inviting. I am at a point in my life where I lay out all the ingredients for a recipe before I start making it. You want to know you aren’t missing something crucial. The phone rings, you’re listening to the radio, you lose count. At least with it all spread out and ready you can doublecheck you added everything. Today was soup making day. I made a double batch but did each one in a single soup pot as I never think doubling in one pot works the best. The key to this Best Recipe is the addition of the Parmigiano Cheese Rind to boil up with the vegetables. It really makes the broth delicious. This recipe is total veg and I don’t add the pasta in the soup pot as it soaks up all the liquid. You can make ditalini and put it in the soup bowl and ladle the hot soup on top. I followed the recipe to the letter, slicing the leeks just so. And there is no such thing as inexpensive Parmesan. I cut the rind in half. The cannellini beans go in the last 5 minutes and I used canned. The recipe is from The Best Recipe cookbook(1999 edition) by the Editors of the Cooks Illustrated Magazine (page 28) or click here for their recipe for Hearty Minestrone. There are charts of other vegetables to use but broccoli is considered too strong for the soup and overpowering. And the reason it is called the Best Recipe is because they test all the recipes for a single dish and make it 100 different ways- with vegetable broth, chicken broth and the water with the wonderful soup rind- and they describe the pros and cons of each method and or addition. It’s good reading, about how and why they conclude they have found the BEST recipe! And I see there is a NEW Best Recipe out now. Yum!
As well as an orthodontist. Not sure how he studied for his credentials to taste pie but I know he does a great job. I think cherry is his favorite. Enough with the posts about cakes already, a main subject of my photography lately.
Laura tells me that cupcakes are soooo yesterday and that Pies are ALL THAT!
Magnolia Bakery just opening in Chicago now? She says they are late. I’m not sure because when I visit my sister in NYC I see people lined up around the block to get cupcakes on Bleecker Street at Magnolia still.
But today’s post is for Rob, a dear friend of our family, who has left comments from time to time on the blog. You might see him zipping along in a cute 2 seater British car, on his way to a pie tasting!
And the story is this. Apple pie on the left from the local grocery chain with the initials GE and the pie on the right? Patty’s Farm Market in Aspinwall on Freeport Road. That is where we got the pies for Mark and Erika’s rehearsal dinner at our house, nine years ago. Laura picked up the apple pie when we were shopping for supper ingredients. I looked at it as we put in into the back of the car and I just thought it looked uninviting. Not worth getting fat on….. so on the way home from the GE, I pulled into the Farm Market parking lot and gave her a fistful of bills and instructed her to buy a pie. And a box of fresh blueberries, too.
“What flavor?”, she asked. “ANY!” - was my response. “Whatever appeals to you.” The one on the right is Strawberry Rhubarb!. Delicious. Tart and sweet combination. Summer. So Rob, this post is for you. My favorite PIE GUY.
All three are manufactured in the USA!!
Two in Pennsylvania, and one in Connecticut (Wiffle® Ball)
Learned how to make a ® symbol on the Mac keyboard so thought I would use (overuse) it for this post.
These names are familiar I know. And to people my age, a host of memories will resurface after you view these images.
Silly Putty® is now owned by Binney and Smith and is more than fifty years old. Tons of this pliable stuff has been manufactured and sold in the past fifty + years.
Slinky® has an interesting history, too, and About.com lists this memorable jingle but be careful cause it might stick in your head all day and you’ll remember the tune, too. They are manufactured in Holidaysburg PA.
“What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, And makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing, Everyone knows it’s Slinky…
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, for fun it’s a wonderful toy
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, it’s fun for a girl and a boy
- Advertising Jingle for Slinky
You can always buy a new Slinky cause who hasn’t gotten one stretched out and tangled up irreversibly?
And I remember when Wiffle® Balls came out ! Do you? They are still selling strong. Especially to college kids.
I was in Shadyside Variety Store, picking up a few items for the grandchildren. I remember when Mark, Matthew and Laura used to shop here in the early nineties. We lived around the corner for two years and they could walk there to shop.
So many nostalgic favorites- and the latest inventive toys from the Toy Fair, like Spot It which Sharon the proprietor demonstrated for me so I can play it with Anna and Michael when I visit. Keeping my brain sharp. I am fairly certain they’ll beat me.
See the rubber chicken dangling inside the colorful hula hoops at the store entrance? Next time the grandchildren come I am going to take them to the Shadyside Variety Store, give them each some money and see what they decide to buy after extensive browsing!
The nicest guy from Texas,who just finished up a Robotics Conference at CMU, was shopping – he held the Etch-a-Sketch up for me when I was exploring the store for classics!
When your shopping list says birthday gift, jumprope, jacks, sidwalk chalk, art supplies, Dots, Pinky Balls, and Silly Putty, Slinky and Wiffle Ball….. Shadyside Variety Store 5421 Walnut Street, Pittsburgh – (412) 681-1716 (Cash or check!)
Someone asked me the other day if I were a reporter. No, a blogger. Self-assigned!
My friend G’s mother in Morris Plains NJ used to make these icebox cakes in the sixties. I always loved to eat a slice of one. And they still sell the cookies you need to make one. I hear they are difficult to find. I found a box on the top shelf of Giant Eagle supermarket right here in Pittsburgh and I saw them for sale in Kroger in Ohio.
We are still missing the NABISCO bakery which is now a location for Google and the new gym, Anthropologie and some other stores. There is even a hotel in Bakery Square where the NABISCO bakery used to be. I am not sure if they used to bake these chocolate wafers in that facility or not. Found an article that these cookies were advertised in 1929 with this recipe suggestion! And the author of the article is correct- these cookies are always hidden on the top shelf in the cookie aisle. I’ve been thinking about making a Famous Chocolate Refrigerator Roll for a long time. So I bought the Famous Chocolate Wafers and a pint of heavy cream to whip. Mine did not look as neat and lovely as my friend’s mother’s dessert did when we were growing up. Once I covered it all with the leftover whipped cream it looked better. It is chilling now. Laura is coming in tomorrow from OH and I hope she will find it amazing when we slice it and it is striped. Milk chocolate is all I had for a garnish but dark chocolate garnish would have looked better. After you put it all together, it sits in the refrigerator and as I remember it, the cookies soak up moisture and get cakelike and soft, with the layers of cream in between. A no-bake dessert you just assemble and refrigerate. Anyone remember eating this as a child?
If you want the nutritional information you can click here but just enjoy a single slice and have people over to share it!
Drove by the moving truck on the street that runs into mine. After I drove by, I glanced in the side mirror. Pulled over with the flashers on and caught what I saw in the truck.
Today We Saw a Turquoise Plastic Radio, a Bobble-Head Jesus, a Princess Grace Ashtray and a Copy of Paradise Lost
Where can you see all that in one afternoon? BELLEVUE, PA And in the slideshow at the end of this post!! Head vases, a statue of Groucho Marx, autograph book, Betty Boop and an Atwater Kent Radio.…..oh, and another church for sale, too!
After my 11 o’clock appointment, J and I headed for Bellevue. Who knew that tomorrow is the start of their 4 day long Summer Solstice Spectacular. You can click here for the details We grabbed a quick bite at Joe’s Rusty Nail, an ice cream scoop of chicken salad on greens, some mandarin oranges and strawberries with balsamic and a blueberry muffin. A tall glass of ice tea. Cash or check, no cards. We walked down the block to a place we had driven by. Joyce’s Antique Emporium at 494 Lincoln Avenue in the heart of downtown. Oh my. We could have spent hours there, everything so carefully arranged and classified. Things you might have had as a kid or your mom had or the neighbors or your grandmother. I’m still thinking about the set of Pyrex bowls I left there and am thinking about going back if they are still there. Afterwards we stopped by the Farmer’s Market booths and I bought some strawberries that I made into jam when I got home- Joy of Cooking recipe. There was a shaved ice vendor. J bought the perennial Bloodroot to plant in her wonderful garden. We had fun checking out the antiques store with EVERYTHING. The Pickers Show on the History Channel needs to come and do an episode from this place. I am serious. We had the nicest conversation with the man minding the place and he was knowledgeable and full of great stories about the items in the store! The aluminum glasses on a blue coffee table outside the store caught our interest and we couldn’t get over the variety of items displayed. Canisters Depression glass, Kewpie Dolls, Betty Boop, swizzle sticks, an accordion, bugle, toys etc etc etc….See the slide show below. Call them at (412) 761-1288.
It’s for sale! And it is BIG. You don’t have to make beer in it. I drove by it the other day. Stopped and took a few shots. The enormous For Sale Sign gave me a jolt. Pittsburgh Brewing Company is on the National Historic Registry. A Landmark. That status might impact some of your remodeling plans if you turned this place into condos but you know it’s a solid structure. It was established in 1861. They’ve knocked a lot of it down in the back but not sure why. A big pile of rubble would need to be cleared. The Iron City brand has moved out of the city to Latrobe. I’ve actually been to an Ocktoberfest in this place years ago. Empty buildings that once held purpose seem sad to me. Especially all the churches around the city but even the brewery evokes feeling for the architecture, the magnificent details, the history, the immigrants who came to Pittsburgh and worked there, built it- the once busy place no longer being useful. Feels more than sad, it feels depressing. The abandonment. This place needs to be purchased and rehabed and made to come alive again. Someone with some $ (okay, some $$$) and creative ideas for the space. I have no idea the pricetag. A great location, minutes from downtown. There’s a wonderful view of Polish Hill, too. I could see the domes of Immaculate Heart of Mary, where Mark and Erika were married in 2002. This is the kind of structure you see in Preservation Magazine, needing someone to come and save it. Hope the right person comes along soon. Wanna buy a brewery> Here’s your chance! Even if you hadn’t thought of buying a brewery before you read this post, maybe you’ll consider it now! If you are interested you have to call for the details on the price.
I was talking to my artist friend Bill Pfahl and asked if I could post a photo of him painting a scene of a church in Lawrenceville. Part of my people at work series. He agreed. Turns out I shot him in 2006. Tuesday I’m going to ask when he’s painting, if I can find him in the city and shoot another portrait. Here is his palette. He painted the church where Mark and Erika were married and gave it to them as a gift. It hangs in their front hall where it changes as the light changes throughout the day.
From the archives. People at work series- graciously allowed me to photograph as we ordered drinks to go with our cheesesteaks.
I like the backlight of the glass door fridge, her quizzical expression, patiently waiting for our order. Tourists!
I am sorry I didn’t get her name but perhaps someone will know and comment.
In the city of brotherly love last summer for a wedding and it was late Saturday night, a line around the block to get into Jim’s Steaks. Steve and I waited. It was well worth the wait And just last week, Mark said to me that it’s all in the bread. Hmmmm. Good thing we live across the state in Pittsburgh!!!
There was a time when we lived in Kentucky and the kids were young, I used this Kitchen-Aid stand mixer almost everyday. It still works perfectly. I wanted this mixer so badly when we returned after living in Germany for 3 years. I don’t remember any color choice except white or off-white/almond? A couple of years ago I asked for a new beater as the old one’s coating had started to peel. The dough hook, the whisk like beater beats egg whites to stand in peaks in short order. All so useful and good. Laura was just turning three when he got it and now she’ll be 27 in a couple of months. I used to ask each child what kind of cake they wanted for their birthday. That year Laura asked for a “Piggy Cake” although I am not sure why. Mark asked for a State of Kentucky cake and Matthew a GI-Joe cake. Good thing my friend J and I took a class in Cake Decorating in Grafenwoehr!
I was thinking about what to post for Father’s Day this year to remember my dad. This gift from him has mixed a lot of cake batter and bread dough in our house. Last year I posted a slideshow of my dad’s life in a minute. This year I’m posting a photo of his generous present that’s been well used and appreciated.
He’s been gone almost nine years. Missing him everyday, not just today. What special things remind you of your father?
The unexpected gift of cake! Her daughter Jozie brought it to me at Mama D’s retirement picnic down the hill in the park on Friday night. Mrs. Sciulli taught me how to make this cake in her basement kitchen a couple of years ago. It is like an Italian sponge cake, light and not too sweet, perfect with coffee. Just delicious. Today she baked one and sent it to me. So nice of her. I came home, cut a piece with a serrated knife and photographed it in the living room before I ate it. Mrs. Sciulli calls it biscotti but it is not like biscotti we think of biscotti, a twice baked cookie., hard and ready to dunk. This cake is light and eggy and has a beautiful crumb. Thank you Mrs. Sciulli. And Joz for bringing it to me. What a nice surprise! It is delicious.
What would you do if it’s June and you found an opened box of Marshmallow PEEPS® on top of your daughter-in-law’s washing machine in the laundry room? My son’s washing machine, too but there they were, sitting there, already opened. Someone had eaten half the double box of the little chicks. And true, Easter was the end of April so how hard and dried out must they be by now? Then I thought to myself, I like them with a bit of stale crust, not fresh. When was the last time you ate a Marshmallow Peep?
Darn, they’re BLUE.
I’m always going on and on about how I don’t like to eat anything blue. Wah Wah Wah. Blue food grosses me out I always say. Blueberries are really deep purple not blue. I never liked those raspberry popsicles, either. Blue food seems so fake, like the frosting on a Smurf Cake!
HA! Okay, I won’t eat one but– there was some great light streaming through their foyer windows, even with the new UV protection film they had put on last week. What to photograph? The older kids at dive team, youngest sleeping, Jack watching Tom and Jerry. I took the box of blue PEEPS, put them on the stone tile floor, turned them a bit, let the light catch on the cellophane and reflect from their sugary skin. Oh yes, I was photographing the stale blue peeps, how interesting the light was. I could see a bit of sparkle from the sugar coating. I wondered if they were still moist inside? When was Easter, I calculated the degree of freshness. That stale factor seemed attractive to me and I what does it matter anyway because remember I don’t eat anything BLUE.
I’ll just separate the one from the herd, flock, group, family, row…..yes, there it was, the white marshmallowy interior of a PEEP. \
The guts exposed.
Let me adjust the white balance on the camera settings with the white insides showing now. See how the light reflects on the white?
Oh I remembered the Mother Goose Rhyme about old Hannah Bantry or maybe she was young.
In the pantry,
Gnawing at a mutton bone.
How she gnawed,
How she clawed it,
When she found herself alone.
And you know what happened next. I broke the cardinal rule about Don’t eat anything BLUE. I ripped off the tail end of that PEEP and it was chewy and very stale. Dried to perfection. Just seasoned not raw or gushy. Totally disgusting. Delicious. Childhood remembered, but they were yellow then. I ate it, chewed it, swallowed the sweet sweet sweetness of the sugary confection. And photographed the evidence. PEEPS® and I are about a year apart in age.
I put back the other ones in the still opened, airing-out-box of PEEPS®, right back on top of the washing machine in the laundry room.
I ate it AND enjoyed doing so but limited consumption to a lone PEEP. Honest. Even though it was BLUE!!
There are all sorts of shapes, recipes and crazy info about PEEPS® and the Just Born Manufacturers.
What will you admit to eating when no one is watching?
Today my friend J(of Pittsburgh, not Omaha) and I went to the Tin Front Cafe for lunch. We heard about the St. Joseph the Worker statue having been removed from the nearby church. Judith Tener told us where to find him in a parking lot and so after lunch we wound around one- way streets and asked a few people for directions but eventually we climbed up hills and back and found this beautiful statue waiting for us. He was striking. There were the huge stone barrels pouring molten steel out onto the world. Flames carved in stone. See detail below on image three.
A big crane erected this statue (which was blessed in Italy by Pope VI) on St. Michael the Archangel Church in 1966 in Homestead. Many Slovaks helped build this church.
When the church closed, the diocese took the statue down in 2010.
People missed looking at St. Joseph high above the buildings, overlooking Homestead and the Monongahela River.
A memorial to the hard workers of the mills in this town. He was loaded on a flatbed and taken to St Anne’s now 3 combined parishes to form St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish. Read the names of the people etched in bricks- Vehec, Tarasevich, Godleski, Milchalk, Straka, Pavlik, Sklencar, Sayko to name a few.
The statue was designed by sculptor Frank Vittor (b. 1888 in Italy) who also made the Honus Wagner Statue now at PNC Park. His story on the link if you click on his name tells how he came to work with Stanford White and then a week later White was murdered…but that is not the main idea of today’s post and I am getting off track. It was just incredibly interesting. Vittor taught at Cooper Union in NYC and also at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University)
Here are two views of the giant St Joseph the Worker statue. And a detail shot, too.
There are plans in the works to get him relocated in a place of honor but will keep you posted when this happens.
There is an historical marker honoring sculptor Frank Vittor by the Columbus Statue in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh
I enjoy shopping in a smaller market. A place that isn’t an airplane hangar or cluttered with patio furniture and piles of stuff at the ends of the aisles. Just down the hill is a reopened market on Bryant Street, cleaned up and offering La Prima coffee to grind, a delicatessen case filled with all sorts of meats, cheeses and salads. Sandwiches to go. Enrico’s Biscotti. In the freezer they have Donatelli’s Italian Ravioli-mushroom, artichoke, roasted red pepper and traditional cheese. They sell Allegro Hearth Bread, fresh produce and Turner dairy items, Bob’s Red Mill grain products, spices and Chuckles . They’ve extended their hours and will deliver to your home. After my appointment I stopped in to get lunch ingredients as a friend was coming over to eat. BLT on T shouts summer to me!
Shopping list- Vine ripened tomatoes, sliced with serrated knife
Head of garden lettuce, washed and patted dry
Boar’s Head bacon slices, cooked in cast iron skillet and drained on paper towels
Hellmann’s mayo, in a glass jar
Allegro Hearth Bread, toasted in the fancy toaster V gave me for my 50th bday
Tahitian Vanilla Gelato, for dessert
Front porch, to sit out and eat
A summer day
A friend to share the meal.
5901 Bryant Street
Pittsburgh PA 15206
Phone: (412) 661 8720
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 AM to 8 PM
Sat 9 AM to 7 PM
Many people have seen The Birds (1963). These birds seemed as if they could have been in that film. My friend J was Tippi Hedren for Halloween one year at her office, a blazer torn up in spots, some other touches I can’t remember but maybe she will write and I will add them. These Turkey Buzzards and the Catbird made interesting silhouettes. Shot with a 70-200mm lens. Couldn’t decide if which wings made a stronger composition. Image one or two?
J sent me an email about the details of her Halloween costume at work….” My H’ween costume started out innocently enough – hair up, dark stockings, skirt, blazer. As they day progressed a few stuffed birds started to appear on my desk. By mid-day lots of birds and my hair got messier, a bit of blood appeared on my face and neck. Then my blazer got ripped at the shoulder seam and bloody bits on the blazer. Then the dark stockings got horrible runs, and more blood and more birds and by end of day it was gruesome. ” Thanks J for the details. 6/15/11
In Pittsburgh there are lots of staircases winding up hillsides and slopes. Paper streets are defined on existing on paper but not in reality but in Pittsburgh there are streets on maps that are actually stairs. Some are incredibly steep and long. The other day I was at another red light in McKees Rocks and saw this sidewalk/steps. The bench ad for Pierogies Plus is true as they are delicious. A book written by an architect librarian and archivist at CMU. Author Martin Aurand‘s book The Spectator and the Topographical City describes the formation of the topography of Pittsburgh’s hills and valleys.
Maura put on her mom’s gardening gloves, picked up a trowel, dug in the dirt and transferred a shovelful from one part of the flowerbed to another. I asked her, “What are you doing? and she held up the little spade to show me!
At a red light, shot through the windshield, but isn’t this a great sign? Sudden Service. Open for business in McKees Rocks, PA. How making the same photo black and white it can feel like I took this photograph years ago. Try four days ago!
It was a hot day and this man was hard at work. Chartiers Avenue was closed due to construction. I needed directions. So I pulled into C & D Auto Service as there was an open bay and I met this nice man who drew me the map below so I could get where I needed to go.
And here is the detailed hand-drawn map Don made for the detour route to Ohio Valley General Hospital.
Then I asked if I could photograph him, my people at their jobs series, and he said to photograph his partner Chuck. I looked at Chuck and we laughed when I said I couldn’t see Chuck working. He was at the desk in the office and it was not as exciting and dramatic as the work on the tire machine that Don interrupted to go and draw the map for me! It was so kind of him to take the time to help give me excellent directions that required a lot of turns on one way streets. Thanks Don, Don’s wife, and Chuck at C & D Auto Service.
Nice people !
C & D AUTO SERVICE INC
1265 CHARTIERS AVE
MCKEES ROCKS, PA 15136
listed on Angie’s List since 2004
Just last week a guy came in Sunseri’s and ordered five sandwiches to go, double wrapped. He was flying them to California. One for him to eat and the rest for his family. Wednesday I was driving by after my appointment and was headed out to see M and her Mom in the hospital and picked up a couple of sandwiches. Ashley the cashier asked me how my visit was with the grandchildren last Friday! Good memory. I was buying Italian animal crackers last time and a Tuna Balsamic with chopped onion. Jimmy gives me a hard time with that order. Not his favorite thing to make. The Employee of the Month photo is framed on the wall- It’s Jimmy with cigar. Sunseri’s started in August 1985 and is a favorite destination for lunch. Check out the size of their pepperoni sticks and the cheeses and olives for sale. The single loaf is onion/olive oil bread.
Ellie the Chihuahua. Up on Uncle Frank and Aunt Linda’s porch. She was watching that 1933 Plymouth pull out of the garage, too. Erika’s Aunt Georgeann has a new Chihuahua, about a year old. Rescued from somewhere out west. I thought the capture of light on the fur was especially nice. Thanks Ellie. Aunt Theresa calls her Ellie Mae. She seemed to enjoy all the attention.
So many varieties of dogs. People enjoy big dogs, little dogs, fluffy dogs, short and long dogs, short hair and long hair. Pugs, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Boxers, Collies, Setters, Airedales, Italian Greyhounds, Schnauzers, Terriers, all sorts of Doodles, Retrievers and Labs- there are some fancy named dogs I can’t even spell. Plus all the dogs who do service and work for and with humans. Companions.
Some people aren’t into dogs at all. Allergies.
Some prefer a cat. More allergies.
Some people are afraid of dogs. Some dogs, you should be afraid!
Some people prefer no pet at all. The very idea of “pet dirt” makes them cringe.
But lots of people LOVE (and I mean LOVE) their dogs.
My co-worker Bonnie is partial to chihuahuas and my Illinois cousins and also my friends J and M love their dachshunds- long or short hair. From generation to generation some families have the same breed of dog. But some dogs come from the shelter or the pound or are lost and found, no particular papers or pedigree but much loved by those who rescue them. Another lucky dog today!
p.s. WordPress updated the comment box method below.
No wonder V had trouble getting Jack’s shoes on his feet as we were getting ready to go across the street to the playground. Turns out there are two identical pairs of sneakers that the boys were given last week by a friend. Back in Ohio, Jack put on the two right ones and V discovered it when he was visiting Pittsburgh! How he could manage to walk without falling was amazing.