I stopped into the old fashioned/classic toy store in the neighborhood of Shadyside on Ivy Street. The cool toy store is around the corner from where we lived when we first moved to Pittsburgh. This is the same store my three kids would browse in for the longest time on the way home from school in 1989-1991.
Two floors of toy store! Filled with LEGO® and Playmobil®, knights, puppets, trucks and trains, dolls and puzzles. Everything you can wish for as a child. You might see some items you yearned for as a kid but never received.
I was buying a gift for a friend.
And while I was there, the young man came from behind the counter and started yo-yoing. I mean yo-yoing extraordinaire! His name is Ky.
There was nothing else but to stop my shopping and watch in amazement. All I had with me was the phone camera. With a phone memory too full, I had to delete pics to take a few shots. (too much phoneography for challenges?)
Wowee Wow. I don’t know how to describe it -but I was mesmerized. And then he put down the yo-yo and picked up a kendama. Yes, we have an old wooden one but I never knew what it was called. Or that it was of Japanese origin. He was smooth and skillful at both the yo-yo and kendama!
If you want to learn how to yo-yo like Ky you can head on over to Shadyside on Sunday at noon and practice how to put your yo-yo into a “sleep” so you can attempt the tricks like Ky was demonstrating. Learn “looping”. Ky will be there teaching in the Yo-Yo/Skill Toy Club at S.W. Randall’s. I think I need to return with a video camera and you can understand how you had to keep your eye on Ky and the yo-yo or Ky and the kendama. Do you have any yo-yo tricks?
Phoneography special. The weekly photo challenge I have been talking about it for days. Unable to do it for a variety of reasons. Out of town. Too dark. Many people shoot with their phones. All day, everyday. Don’t think much of it, the photos sit and take up space. They have them in the phone and that’s about it.
This is just a snippet.
Tonight Steve drove us over to Shadyside for 1/2 price burger night at Shady Grove. I’ve added some shots around town I already had in the phone. This is not an attractive time of year to showcase where I live. If you want to see Pittsburgh at it’s best you can check out Francine in Retirement of Frizz in Germany. I take photos of Pittsburgh frequently. This is a collection of the everyday. The Historical Marker is where musician Billy Eckstine lived in my neighborhood.
The snowy park is the neighborhood I live in Highland Park. There are 80 neighborhoods in our city. The edges of neighborhoods are where I drive through everyday to school and across the bridge, over the Monongahela. I’ve thrown in a few you’ve seen before just to round out the gallery.
Last Wednesday’s view of the Highland Park Entrance. The second one is what my driveway looked like! It’s all gone now.
The neighborhood is Shadyside.
Almost to Walnut Street along Shady Avenue, I had to stop and pull over.
A summer cloudburst, along with the sun appearing in the western sky- rainbow!
I’m sure the image could be tweaked a bit to darken the colors, but this is just as it was. The building is Calvary Church Parish Hall on the left, the church on the right. The 50mm 1.2 L lens was on the camera.
We lived in this neighborhood for two years in a little rental behind what was the Balcony Restaurant and Jazz Club. You could hear the dumpster trucks come in the early morning and the beer bottles clash in the alley. Today on the way home from school I stopped by the Food Museum where the fruit in the window is like a Flemish painting in the Metropolitan. Better known as the Shadyside Market. An elegant place. They were really nice to me although they knew I was checking the price tags before I made my selections. I knew I could buy bacon, eggs, and bread and not break the bank. The plan was to use a box of spaghetti in the pantry, the parmesan in the fridge and make spaghetti carbonara accompanied by a spinach salad with oranges and red onion. (had Spinach Salad on my mind, thanks to Chicago John from Bartolini’s Kitchen blog)
With the snow falling I knew that our big markets would be swamped as everyone rushes there to get the last roll of toilet paper or empty the shelves to stock their larder when they hear of an impending snowstorm. So no food photos of the great meal I was inspired to cook in the winter weather, But the neighborhood of Shadyside. Sometimes I cringe when I realize I would let 7 year old Laura walk around the block ALONE to Rite-Aid to buy the paper. What was I thinking? Prantl’s Bakery makes the Burnt Almond Torte everyone loves. Well, most people.
Yesterday was a very happy birthday and thanks for the emails, cards and nice comments! Laura baked a homemade angelfood cake and it was delicious. We had strawberries on it and some vanilla ice cream. James grilled out bison burgers and bratburgers, some tomato mozzarella salad and broccoli slaw.
You know how dog lovers have their specific breed they prefer? (Right Sarah and Amber?) And my cousins and their dachshunds and the Payer/McGraths and their Airedales. Laura and James have gone Golden Doodle. I know Debbie loves Golden Retrievers. Anyway, it’s a theme I’ve examined before. My animals in the city series. E and I were walking on Walnut Street after a summer breakfast last week and we stumbled upon this pug in the shop window. I think she was snoozing on the job!
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!
Today I went for a spontaneous “meeting” with Cj at Buffalo Blues in Shadyside. And I found the long lost relative of yesterday’s horse I posted. Today’s horse bright and well cared for, but no freedom as he is corralled in his wooden frame which is probably to deter theft. So I don’t see a single old rocking horse for years and then two in two days??? If one were to believe in signs… Looked up horse sayings seeking the origin of this Different Color phrase and we all know about the gift horse. A quote about switching horses in the middle of the race and the kids at school like to horse around. Horseplay is actually one of the boxes you can check on the discipline referral. We know about leading horses to water and on occasion I have eaten like one. If you missed the old gray mare she was posted March 31st. This spot outside the Oh Yeah! Ice Cream & Coffee 232 South Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (412) 200-5574 Open 7AM-11PM
Squirrels! They ransack bird feeders. Had one in the fireplace the month of July a few years back. Steve had to take it down the street and he wore oven mitts and a parka in July, carrying a cage. Neighbors must have gotten a look. I am sure it ran right back to our house after he released it in the park. Some call them rats with bushy tails and they are from the order of rodentia. Their beady eyes dart about. But just look at where they live! The colors in person were even more alive. Fred Peterson, President of the Pittsburgh Poetry Society read a poem at Maker’s Mark about the delicacy at the family table- squirrel brains. Not part of my cultural upbringing so totally unappetizing to me. When Laura moved to an apartment in college, one of the housemates had one as a pet. This was a tree worth driving around the block. This is an unretouched photo taken on a glorious autumn afternoon. Closeup of nest- scroll down for second image
Steve picked me up from school. We drove over to Shadyside. He asked me to take a photo of Bob’s store, Shadyside Mining Company, as a tribute to his friend who passed away last Saturday night. The beautiful bouquet lovingly tucked in the door made me cry. Went to buy a Post-Gazette at Rite-Aid but they were all gone. The young woman at Jitters Cafe and Ice Cream on Walnut and Ivy let me have the page with Bob’s obit(click) to put at his store so people could read the arrangements. Another friend, Ellen, came over from Talbot’s. She was wearing a stunning necklace that Bob designed. She told us about the bench across the street from the store where he used to sit. Steve and Rich and Bob and Ash used to play some mean tennis.Scroll down to see a photo @ Cappy’s last March of Doug, Steve, Rich, and Bob on the right in the group photo.
Different regions prefer certain pastries, baked goods. Burnt Almond Torte is popular in Pittsburgh. I’ve seen it as a wedding cake. tiered! Who brought the recipe here I don’t know but many Pittsburghers LOVE it. I’d never tasted one until we moved here. This one is from the Oakmont Bakery. Joan brought it to dinner one night. We split it three ways. Don’t know who ate the cherry. Not me. But before we devoured it, I photographed it. Here is a link to the Recipezaar Copycat Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte recipe in case you want to have a taste of Pittsburgh Pastry/Dessert. I hear there’s one where chocolate is involved.
I wrote and illustrated a little book for the students called You Need to Read. It illustrates reasons you’d need to read–sorting baggage tags for the different destinations at the airport, a firefighter finding a street name on the city map, a chef reading a recipe, a patient reading the medicine label, high voltage and thin ice. Love the exclamation point.