9 Miles in Pgh: A photo essay

9 Miles in Pgh: A photo essay

I like to use my long runs to see the city, especially when it is as beautiful out as it was this weekend. I live in an extremely hilly neighborhood, so I reserve my near-home running for shorter mileage days. Luckily, flatter routes are close by. I don’t like to do the same route for every long run, but I do like to run paths that are familiar enough that I have a good idea how far apart the landmarks feel (and can mentally push myself in the late miles when I’m getting tired, because I know when the next landmark is coming up). This Saturday I took one of my favorite flat & shady paths.

But first– COFFAY.


Fully caffeinated. Time to run.

Mile 0: Kicked things off at Southside Riverfront Park

Southside Riverfront Park

Mile 1: Taking the riverfront trail toward downtown, the path goes alongside the train tracks and has an industrial feel

Riverfront Trail

Mile 2: After swinging a right on the Smithfield Street Bridge, it’s a left onto Blvd of the Allies, and heading toward Point State Park

Boulevard of the Allies

Mile 3: Pixburgh Photo Essay isn’t complete without one of these

Point Park Fountain

Mile 4: Ran up and across the Fort Duquesne Bridge and then went up the riverfront trail along the Allegheny, lots of foliage and shade, and the folks on this trail tend to have good trail etiquette so I’m not spending all my energy M-F’ing inconsiderate people biking three-across under my breath.


Mile 5: Still going up the Allegheny, lots of leaves and spotting lots of boats. There is a wrecked boat along the way which is fun to see, but I couldn’t get a good snap of it.

Allegheny Trail

Mile 6: I took the trail up to Herr’s Island/Washington’s landing, which puts you on a lovely little trail going around the island, and then I made my way up to the 31st Street Bridge.  Even though I had my fuel belt, it was warmer and more humid than I expected, and I was thirsty. On the bridge, I realized that I would very soon be in the Strip District, where I could refill my bottles. That was a moment of joy.

31st Street Bridge

Mile 7: SWEET, SWEET WATER FOUNTAINS THANK YOU PGH PUBLIC MARKET FOR MY WATER BOTTLE REFILLS (they also have toilets, if you are out on a run and have a need).


Mile 8: Ok I didn’t take a picture of Mile 8. I ran up Liberty Avenue toward downtown and by this point I was starting to run out of steam because LAST MILE TO GO, and boy was I getting tired. So there’s no picture for this one. But Liberty Avenue on this stretch isn’t much to look at anyway.

Mile 9: YES I AM DONE. Mayor Caliguiri says “That’ll do.”

Mayor Caliguiri


And afterward I recuperated by eating snacks while soaking in the tub, because if you have not eaten snacks IN the bathtub, you do not know what you are missing. It’s my favorite thing all week. Don’t knock it til you try it.


Four Things for the Weekend

Four Things for the Weekend

The last few weeks have involved lots of running, books, watching Harry Potter movies and writing. Lots of writing. Legal writing, that is. So during my (limited) recreation time, I prefer to listen to other peoples’ words, rather than write my own. Resulting in me having a whole lotta activity on Goodreads, but not so much here. But I still like to check in from time to time, so here we are.

  1. Wineglass Half

I’m running the Wineglass Half Marathon in Corning New York on Sunday, October 4.  I have never been to the Finger Lakes and am excited to do a run there. This will be my first long race since February. I had planned to run the PA Grand Canyon half in July, but for a number of reasons, that got bagged.  I also was hoping to run the Disneyland Half over Labor Day weekend, but I deferred that to next year, due to travel costs (after Disney World and Napa in the same year, we flat out can’t afford to go on a trip to Disneyland). So the Wineglass Half in Corning is up next.

In my quest with Baby Beez to earn 100 medals, I did sign up and run a 5 mile “Virtual Race” with Gone for a Run. But, I’ll be honest, I felt kind of stupid doing it. I ran on my own for 5 miles and then gave myself a medal. It had a shark on it, which was pretty sweet (also, the tshirt is super comfortable), but that was the only redeeming aspect. I think I’m going to keep my medal-earning to actual events with other people.

2.  Vacation.

No, I’m not going on one anytime soon. WE JUST GOT BACK. But I’m always thinking about vacation.  We have been talking about taking a trip to the Florida Keys when it’s winter time. Anyone been? Any thoughts or recs?

Baby Beez apparently has the travel bug. In between her going to the JCC camp and watching Home (over and over), she is constantly asking to either go to Israel or Paris. I would love to take her to either one, but it’s not like we can just up and go. I wish.


3. Back to School.

Baby Beez doesn’t start kindergarten til next year, but it was nice for her to return to her Pre-K school after a summer full of swimming, hiking and playing Ga-Ga at summer camp.  We start back up with ballet class, swim lessons and Sunday School soon. I love back to school season. It’s full of excitement and new beginnings and promise.  So many friends have been posting their kids’ first day of school pictures online, and I just love it.

4. Fall festivities

With fall comes all kinds of fall festivities! Mr. Beez LOVES Oktoberfest but I hate crowds. I have flat-out refused to go to his favorite event of the year, Penn Brewery’s Oktoberfest, for the past several years, because I hate it so much.  This year, they have rolled out a VIP Option, which means an area WITHOUT CROWDS! So I’m in and looking forward to us having a nice time.

Even though facebook is all whiny about everything-pumpkin coming back soon, I love it and I’m excited for it. I won’t be able to go to Hough’s Drunkin Punkin this year, because I’ll be in New York for the aforesaid Wineglass half marathon, but Blue Dust also has a Pumpkin Beer festival that I’d like to check out.


4 Things for Wednesday.

Numbered lists are doing it for me right now, so I’m gonna go with it.

1. New hair.

new Hair

I’ve been free-agenting it with hairdressers lately. I was going to one for a while, but then she had my trainee do most of my color and blowout (which made me look like a poodle, and had to be redone), and then charged me her full price. No. The next one I went to was OK but not anything impressive. I went to another one today, and I really do like the color, cut and price, but it took FIVE hours. 10am-3pm. I don’t know what to think. It might have just been a bad day, so I will probably try her again, but if my next appointment takes nearly my entire workday, I am going to be on the prowl again. I feel like finding a hairdresser who has talent AND good chair-side manner is like finding a contractor who is actually skilled at the trade AND shows up when he says he will. Meaning, virtually impossible. And the last time we needed a good contractor, we just threw in the towel and bought a new house. It’s not like I can throw in the towel on hairstylists and buy a new head.

2. Goddess Dressing

Goddess Dressing

Why am I incapable of pouring any less than 1/2 a bottle of this stuff on my salad. That picture is of the bottle after 2 salads. I like it, but wow, way too much, and after eating a big ol salad now I am feeling a little sick.

3. Horns

Horns is the most recent book that I read and really, really enjoyed. It’s classified as “horror,” but like Joe Hill’s dad, Stephen King, Hill is the most skilled and the most scary exploring human cruelty.

4. Big Sour Patch Kids


Yes. Bigger is Better.


Little Blessings with @RowHouseCinema

Yesterday was, by far, the worst day I’ve had with Baby Beez. She was a monster. She was screaming, thrashing, hitting, basically any terrible 4 year old behavior, she shared with the world. Mr. Beez has been stuck at work pretty much ’round the clock, and he knew her behavior was bad enough that he had to come home a little earlier than planned yesterday. She absolutely drove me to a breaking point.

I was extra-upset about her terrible behavior, because yesterday was one of those lovely summer Pittsburgh days where there are tons of fun activities to choose from. I was hoping to go on the Manchester House and Garden Tour. Baby Beez asked to go to play in the water steps, and I was inclined to say yes.  We had to get through a few chores, and then the afternoon would be ours to play.

Except she was a monster.

I don’t know what it was about yesterday, but her behavior was completely, demonically unhinged. The chores ended up taking all day, with plenty of screaming fits and time outs. We couldn’t do anything fun. Doing fun things would reward her bad behavior, and she was in no condition to be out amongst civilized people anyway. It was a disappointing end to what could have been a wonderful weekend.

This morning was a new week. Baby Beez promised me that she would do better. I dropped her off at camp this morning and said “So long!” And I was still a little sad that we missed out on fun over the weekend.

I checked out the Row House Cinema listings for the week, and of course, one of my childhood favorite movies– Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Is playing this week. Baby Beez is really into old cartoons. She is watching Tom & Jerry as I type this. She also loves Bugs Bunny and all the Looney Tunes, and she watches Scooby Doo every morning. I had an inkling that she would love Roger Rabbit as much as I did.


I had a client meeting at 2 and the movie started at 5. I was out of the office by 4:10, which meant I had to pick Baby Beez up from camp in Squirrel Hill and then get to the theater in Lawrenceville. 50 minutes to get from downtown to Squirrel Hill to Lawrenceville. I knew I could make it, but just barely.

And then as soon as I pulled out of the parking garage, I got stuck in traffic for a motorcade for fifteen minutes because the Attorney General was in town today. My confidence in making this happen was wavering. I FINALLY got to Squirrel Hill, whisked Baby Beez into the car, put the pedal to the floor, hauled it across town. And the nav system said I’d make it to the theater at 5:00.

Then I got stuck on Penn Avenue behind a bus.

5:00 arrival time changed to 5:03.

Then turned to 5:05.

Then 5:07.

I called RowHouse to see how long the previews (IF there were even any previews) would last. I asked if there was any hope that we could even make it. They said we might miss a couple minutes, but it should be OK.

We got there. We parked. We dashed into the theater around 5:09.

They held the movie for us.

They held the movie for us!

It’s such a little thing, but it was so wonderful. I had pinned a lot of hopes on having one nice little outing with my kid after a rotten weekend. I was afraid that things were not going to work out, and we would miss the movie, and it would be one more ruined plan to tack on to a weekend of ruined plans. But instead they held the movie for us. We even got to grab a bag of popcorn and drinks (when you’re there, get the popcorn. It’s excellent). That little kindness turned it all around for us.

Baby Beez sat on my lap for most of the movie. It was a little scary for her at the end, but she loved it. She loved it just as much as I loved it when I was a kid. And her behavior was good. Even good enough for us to come home and make dinner together tonight.


Thanks Row House for holding that movie for us. We were happy to see that film, but even more importantly, that little kindness turned around a whole rotten weekend into an amazing, memorable Monday.


Thoughts on a Friday (There’s a trend here, let’s see if you can spot it…)

1.  I worked from home two days this week. My usual M.O. for working at home is that I set up 2 laptops at the dining room table. I work on one and stream movies on the other. It may sound ridiculous, but I can be incredibly efficient when I’ve got a movie on and no one interrupting me. I caught up on some of last year’s Oscar nominees, and have to say, that Birdman and The Judge were both exceptional.


Ed Norton steals the show in Birdman. Then again, I'd probably watch Ed Norton read a phone book to a brick wall.

Ed Norton steals the show in Birdman. Then again, I’d probably watch Ed Norton read a phone book to a brick wall.


I often do not watch movies about the law, because I spend all day living the law, and I don’t want it creeping into the minimal recreational time I have. Also, law movies also sexy-up the law beyond recognition and it is just silly. Law isn’t all that exciting, unless you are a super-nerd. (Admittedly, I am sometimes a super-nerd and get SUPER EXCITED when I think up some killer line of reasoning to argue in a brief.)  The Judge isn’t all about the courtroom. It’s about family and drama and some of those very stressful and overwhelming ways all those things connect. Also, Robert Downey, Jr. Pretty much anything with Robert Downey, Jr. in it is worth a watch.

2. Speaking of delicious gentlemen, Ewan McGregor is in Pittsburgh filming a movie right now.


Come what may, Ewan McGregor, I will love you until my dyyyyyying day.

3. Also, Southpaw. Omg.


I think I had other things to say in this blog post, but I can’t even remember them anymore.