Thursday, July 31, 2008

More info about the new BBT mural:

There's an article in this week's City Paper about the new BBT muralright here

Purple Drain, Purple Drain

This is tonight, and it looks like a good time

Thursday, July 24, 2008

i guess i have about 12 minutes of fame left.

I'm proud to say that this very blog (and this very blogger) was mentioned in an article about the Banana Stand in this week's Pitt News!

Cynthia Yogmas, a library and information sciences student at Pitt, who runs, said the addition of the Banana Stand is much needed.

"I think it complements the Grasso Roberto cafe, another neighborhood business nearby which serves fresh gelato," she said.

Yogmas also added that new businesses help beautify the historically Italian neighborhood.

"If you walk down Liberty Avenue, closer to the Bloomfield Bridge, you'll see a vacant storefront that used to be an ice cream shop but hasn't operated in years. That's unfortunate, considering the family/community element of the neighborhood who would benefit from it. [Daisy's Banana Stand] is something we really needed," she said.

Read it here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

these are a few of my favorite things

1. Paul's CDs. In college, I'd take the 54C here to buy used indie rock cds. Now, I walk up the street to here to buy used indie rock cds.

2. Bocce tournaments under the Bloomfield Bridge. Great for watching cute Italian men of all ages!

3. Dreaming Ant video. Thank you for rekindling my interest in David Lynch films!

4. The view from my back porch. It's like 'Mary Poppins' up there. I can see over everyone's rooftops, all the way to the North Side on one end and Oakland on the other. At night, it's particularly awesome.

5. Italian Days - the annual festival that closes off traffic on Liberty Ave. and hosts food vendors, games, Frank Sinatra impersonators, an outdoor screening of "Moonstruck," and something awesome called an "Italian egg roll"

Friday, July 18, 2008

the times, they are a'changing

So all this talk about the BBT's new sign reminded me about how much the neighborhood has changed in the past few years, and how it is continuing to do so. First of all, real estate has gone way up. Not even 4 years ago, I looked into houses going at $50,000, but today those same types of houses on the same streets are at the very least $80,000. The Goodwill at the end of Liberty turned into a car dealership, while a car dealership down the street went out of business. A movie theater (long closed) turned into a Starbucks/sandwich shop, while plans for a new movie theater are being made on the lot of another closed car dealership. It's all part of a multi-million dollar development plan slated to redesign the Baum-Liberty corridor. In place of the Don Allen Auto City car dealerships, there are plans to build condos, a hotel, a grocery store, a movie theater, and buildings for office, retail, and medical use. Seems pretty impressive in scope, and the impact it will have on the community will hopefully be positive. You can read more about it here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

whoomp, there it is.

I couldn't get the best angle from my car this morning, but here is the new mural. Maybe I was a little too harsh the other day. Maybe I just fear change. At any rate, it's certainly different.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

work in progress

Here's a picture of the mural's progress as of yesterday - pulled from an Internet messageboard.


Monday, July 14, 2008

sign o' the times

***UPDATE: Another reliable secondary source just informed me that it is, indeed, just primer and that they are repainting and restoring the mural. ***

This is second hand information, but I've just been told that the mural on the side of the BBT, THIS ONE:

has just been painted over. If this is true, how could they?!?!?!?! That is easily the most identifiable icon of the neighborhood. It's the image and personality. Big, bright letters that cheerfully invite you in. Oh, I'm so mad.

For now, I'm going to tell myself that maybe they're just touching it up. If it's gone for good, I may need to start a petition to get it back up there.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Butterflies in Bloomfield!

This local group is urging residents to bring butterflies to the area by choosing plants in their gardens that will attract them. If it works, they might be able to hold a butterfly hunt! For info on the types of plants and nectars that will attract butterflies, and to post photos of the butterflies you find in your garden, check out Butterflies in Bloomfield .

Monday, July 7, 2008

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By the way, Pgh Tribune-Review columnist Joseph Sabino Mistick wrote a nice feature about Bloomfield as a neighborhood business district. Read it here.

4th of July hijinx

Last weekend, I wound up at a Bloomfield 4th of July party that had an Elvis impersonator and a stripper. Oh, and fireworks too. But, yawn, those sights eventually became boring, so we wandered across the street to an old empty warehouse with a big dumpster in front of it. We soon found out that this place was probably once a print studio, because protruding from the dumpster were the discards of one - broken screens, outdated political signs, and transparencies for grocery store specials (Hot Peppers!!!! $.89 a lb.!!!!). Pretty cool, but it only made our adventurousness grow, so we wandered into the 'hollow' - that mysterious place at the bottom of Gross St. that eventually shoots you out over by Pittsburgh Brewing Company, wondering what the heck did you just see. Old train tracks, graffitied garages made to look like angry faces, other folk art masterpieces strewn about the landscape, rickety steps clinging to the side of an overgrown hillside, and empty buildings in various states of decay make you feel like something wicked this way comes. But that night we were relatively fearless (and stupid) so we found our way into one of those abandoned buildings, using our cell phones as flashlights, exploring the ruins of rusty office chairs, floppy disks, and metal shelving, which looks especially creepy in cellphone light. Now, I'm not condoning anyone to go snooping around these places, but I'm glad I did.