Monday, January 31, 2011

National Veterans Wheelchair Games Coming To Pittsburgh

Registration is now open for the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world, which will be held in Pittsburgh this summer. More than 500 veterans from the United States, Puerto Rico and Great Britain are expected to participate in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, which will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and other locations Aug. 1-6.

The games are sponsored jointly by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. They are open to all U.S. military veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, neurological conditions, amputations or other mobility impairments.  There also will be a "Kids Day at the Games" on Aug. 5 for children with disabilities.

To compete, register on the Games' website or call Chad Evans, athlete recruitment chairman, at 412-954-4741. Application deadline is April 15. If you'd like to sign up your child for the Kids Day activities, call Kyra Kotec at 412-822-3200. Thousands of volunteers are needed; for more information, contact Richard Kiehn at 412-954-4582.

National Veterans Wheelchair Games
Department of Veterans Affairs
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ohiopyle Winterfest 2010

Ohiopyle's Winterfest 2010 will take place this Saturday, February 6th, from 11am to 4pm.  Sponsored each year by Friends of Ohiopyle and Venture Outdoors, area folks are invited to enjoy the popular park during winter and to learn to be comfortable with winter sports that may be new to them. This year's fifth annual Winterfest offers free introductions to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sled dog demonstrations, sledding, horse-drawn sleigh rides, refreshments, a kids' zone and, oh yes, a warming hut.

A new "event" this year is the Human Sled Dog Race. You get a big cardboard box, someone sits inside and you tie a rope around the box. Four people pull the box sled, racing against other teams. Race participants will not have to bring their own cardboard box as all the outdoor-gear outfitters in Ohiopyle have been saving their cardboard boxes for this event.

Ohiopyle is just 1½ hours from Pittsburgh and the day should prove to be immense fun for the whole family.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Dining Out: Mallorca Restaurant on the South Side

Paella served at Mallorca

Mallorca Restaurant on the South Side has been winning awards ever since it opened in 1992. One of the most notable is from Wine Spectator magazine, who gave the Spanish restaurant its Award of Excellence for its collection of more than 300 kinds of wine.. .Mallorca is best known for paella, the popular Spanish dish of saffron-seasoned rice and seafood. The kitchen turns out the best seafood and beef dishes in town.

Mallorca's architecture boasts Iberian panache: Portuguese tile everywhere and an outdoor terrace that provides diners with starry views.  There are always blue flames of brandy afire, glasses clinking in a toast, and doting, dark-suited Latin men rolling their r's and performing multiple tableside acts, as good waiters should. It has earned its place as one of Pittsburgh's most popular restaurants, anchoring a restaurant boom that became today's multiethnic, mosaic South Side dining scene.

Mallorca Restaurant 
South Side
Wine Spectator
Metro Pittsburgh

Friday, January 28, 2011

5th Annual Irwin Chili Cook Off & Wing Thing Crawl Set For Thursday

Irwin's "hottest" event .... Its annual "Chili Cook Off & Wing Thing Crawl" ..... is set for Thursday, Feb 3rd, from 5 to 10pm. This will be a "crawl" where you walk around town sampling chili and wings at participaing restaurants and also Covenant Hall where other non-Irwin restaurants will present their best.

Gary Santimyer, owner of Colonial Grille & Taproom is the reigning wing champion, says his wings are not only the best in Irwin, but also the best in the world. Cafe Supreme took home the honors for best chili.  About 700 people came to the event last year and the event sponsors, the Irwin Business and Professionals Assoc, hope to top that figure this year.

Chili samples are free at all participating stops, and wings will be served for 50 cents each.  Check out the Cook Off web site for a list of participating restaurants.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hollywood On The Mon?

Pittsburgh is slowly but steadily becoming quite the shooting location for many major motion pictures and films.  And many of us think this is a new trend.  But if you check your film history, you'll find that The Perils of Pauline (1914), Angels In The Outfield (1951), The Rat Race (1960), Night Of The Living Dead (1968), Slap Shot (1977), and Flashdance (1982) were all shot in the Pittsburgh area ..... just to name a few.  In 2010 we had Mafia, A New York Heartbeat, River of Darkness, One for the Money, Abduction, I am Number 4, Sibling and Riddle.  But, are we living up to our full potential?

The Pittsburgh Technology Council, Idea Foundry, Pittsburgh Film Office and Carnegie Mellon University obviously think not because they are partnering in the Pittsburgh Entertainment Technology Project -- An organization designed to find businesses that ought to be in pictures, and put them in touch with Hollywood.

Schell Games, Inc. on the South Side is an example.  They already have 50-plus people working for some of the largest entertainment companies in the world. Schell created "Pixie Hollow," an online game featuring Tinkerbell of Disney's "Peter Pan" fame. And this summer, Schell plans to release "Jelly Kingdoms," an iPad application, or "app" game with jellybean warrior

Schell along with DeepLocal Inc. of East Liberty and interactive technology developer Evil Genius Designs Inc. of the South Side -- will be making presentations at the Entertainment Technology Center in South Oakland where about 100 representatives of entertainment technology companies, plus suppliers and funding organizations, are expected to attend.   The partnership will develop a marketing initiative aimed at Hollywood decision-makers, along with a contest to identify top arts and technology companies and will hopefully educate the studios on the West Coast about the technology pool here in Pittsburgh.

For instance, a Hollywood-based entertainment company recently licensed Evil Genius's technology to augment games that are played on Blu-ray movies at home. That technology can turn a landline or mobile phone and tablet devices into game controllers. Pittsburgh also has companies that do animation, lighting, film editing and trailers.

The hope is that the partnership will bring more movie projects here, while stabilizing the region's entertainment companies and preventing them from heading for bigger markets.

Pittsburgh Film Office
The Pittsburgh Technology Council
Idea Foundry
Carnegie Mellon University
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Cirque du Soleil Coming To Pittsburgh

Cirque du Soleil returns to Pittsburgh May 12-29 with a brand new production called “Totem.”  The production will take place in Cirque’s trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau – its version of a circus big top.  The raising of the big top tent for Totem will be the first time Cirque has done so in six years.

The fun will take place at 20th Street and the Allegheny Valley Railroad in the Strip District, behind the Pittsburgh Public Market. “Totem,” which had its premiere in April in Montreal, traces the journey of man species from its amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. Inspired by many creation myths, the “Totem” illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.
Tickets go on sale Sunday — $45 to $250; $28.50 to $175 for ages 2 to 12.  

Cirque du Soleil
The Strip District
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Free People Store At Bakery Square

Bakery Square in East Liberty

Free People will open at Bakery Square in East Liberty on Friday, featuring an assortment of fashions and accessories for young women. Many wintry items that have sold out in other locations were reserved for the Pittsburgh store, and they will join trendier spring fashions, such as the maxi dress, cropped shirts, bright bralettes, special knits and a range of slips.

The Free People demographic is described as age 26 through mid-30's.  Both Free People and Anthropologie are owned by Urban Outfitters, a company started by Pittsburgh native Dick Hayne. His first store, opened in Philadelphia in the 1970s, was called Free People, but the name was later changed to Urban Outfitters. Free People became the wholesale supplier to Urban, Anthropologie and more than 1,000 specialty stores worldwide including Nordstrom. The Pittsburgh store is the 42nd in the chain and, like the others, will offer the complete line.

Bakery Square is a perfect match for Free People as the 1,330-square-foot store is infused with natural materials and playful accents. Beneath a decorative stencil overlay on the brick facade, the storefront is framed with reclaimed timbers painted white. The same white timbers are used as columns and beams throughout the interior, with recycled thrashing-floor planks on the floor, reflecting the combination of modern and rustic.

Free People is at 6425 Penn Ave., Larimer, near East Liberty. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Information: 412-665-4680

Free People
Bakery Square
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Monday, January 24, 2011

Unleash The Inner-Artist Inside You

If you have an untapped creative side waiting to come out ..... or even if you don't ..... Spending some of your leisure time indoors in these frigid temps creating a mug, collage or sketching might be a fun thing to do.  There are a surprising number of creative opportunities for the novice in the Pittsburgh Area:

4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.  412-622-3288
-  Creating Wildlife Art (Collage)   Participants will create a mixed-media collage of insect or bird illustrations.  Feb 19th, Noon to 3 p.m. $35; $30 for members (includes materials).
-  Pastel Painting   Participants will create fantastical pastel paintings using museum artifacts for inspiration, such as specimen butterflies.  Learning how to combine pastels with tempera, charcoal and watercolor. March 6th & 13th, April 3rd, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $48; $40 for members.
-  Drawing Wildlife Class   Participants will practice their mammal-drawing skills in the Hall of North American Wildlife with scientific illustrator Mark Klingler.  April 7th, 14th & 21st, 6 to 9 p.m.  $50; $40 for members.

Sweetwater Center for the Arts
200 Broad St., Sewickley.  412-741-4405
-  Photographic Lighting Workshop  Instructor is commercial photographer David Cooper. Feb 5th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $60; $45 for nonmembers.
-  Acrylic Painting Techniques, Faux Woodblock Prints  Instructor is Tara Zalewskiy-Nease, who has a master of fine arts degree in painting from the University of New Mexico. Participants will use watercolor masking flue to create a bold image, similar to a wood block carving print. Feb 19th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  $60; $45 for members.
-  Collage and Assemblage Art  Instructor is Carnegie Mellon University School of Art graduate, Danielle Worst.  Participants will create a work that combines two-dimensional images and three-dimensional forms.  March 5th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  $60; $45 for nonmembers.

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
1047 Shady Ave., Shadyside.  412-361-0455 -  Mosaics    Participants will make a small, decorative square with instructor Rachael Cooper.  Feb 6th, noon to 1 p.m., 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.  $10.
-  Ceramic Mugs  Participants will make a decorative, greenware mug with instructor Rachael Cooper. March 6th, noon to 1 p.m., 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m.  $10.
-  Arts Crash Course   Participants will work with instructors in the center's printmaking, ceramics and jewelry studios to create take-home works of art.  March 19th, noon to 4 p.m.  $60; $35 for members.
-  Anatomy of the Figure   Participants will study anatomy and the human form while making drawings and sculpture with Italian artist and art professor, Eva Rorandelli.  March 20th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $100; $75 for members.
-  Introduction to Precious Metal Clay Jewelry  Participants will make silver pendants and charms with instructor Donna Penoyer.  March 26th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  $95; $70 for members.

230 Todd School Road, Hempfield.  724-837-6791-  Learning to Throw a Pot  Participants will explore ceramics with with instructor Ann Gravelle.  Fridays, 7 to 10 p.m. $50 per couple, or $25 per couple for two couples. The fee includes materials.
Still Life Drawing & Painting   Drop-in still-life sessions. Wednesdays, 7 to 9:30 p.m.  Drop-in sessions with model in pose.  4th Monday of each month, 7 to 9:30 p.m.   $3 per person.
5472 Penn Ave, Friendship.  412-365-2145
A number of introductory workshops and classes offered are listed in their online catalog.
2100 Smallman St., Strip District.  412-261-1941
A number of introductory workshops and classes offered are listed in their online catalog.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Day In The Life Of A Zoo Vet

Vet Weighs A Tiger Cub

The Pittsburgh Zoo will host a really fun and educational event for kids aged 13 and up.  "A Day In The Life Of A Zoo Vet" will highlight how keeping all the Zoo animals healthy is an enormous and challenging task. Kids will find out what a work day is like for Associate Veterinarian, Dr. Ginger Takle. Plans for the zoo’s new Animal Health Center will be discussed and everyone will get to go behind the scenes in one of the animal areas.

Sound like a blast, so hurry to sign up.  The event is Sunday, Jan 30th, from 1:30 - 3:30 pm.  The cost is $22 for members and $26 for non-members.

Pittsburgh Zoo
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hidden Valley's 3rd Annual Family Snow Blast Underway

Ski Lift at Hidden Valley

The third annual Family SnowBlast, a 10-day celebration of on- and off-snow activities, is under way at  Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort.  Festivities during the event will include:

• Free Learn-to-Ski/Snowboard lessons at 2 p.m. Sunday and at 2 p.m. next Sunday.
• A snow-tubing party from 5 p.m. to 7 next Friday and Saturday.
• Free snow-rafting on the Thunderbird slope from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. next Saturday and Sunday.
• The FunZone, which includes games, crafts, washable tattoos, face-painting, legos and other activities, will be held in the rear of the cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and next Saturday and Sunday.
• The FoodZone, located in the Southridge Room, will offer cookie decorating, popcorn and smoothies and an "incredible basket raffle" from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m today and tomorrow and next Saturday and Sunday.

Other activities today include a Pizza Hut "Digging for Dough" contest at noon outside the Main Lodge, and a Family Obstacle Course at 4 p.m. Weekday activities include a Snow Boot Bounce, Snowman Scavenger Hunt, Carnival Games, Snowball Race, a 30-Second Race and a family movie in the Yukon Room.

Hidden Valley Resort
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Friday, January 21, 2011

Dining Out: Point Brugge in Pointe Breeze

Chef Kevin Hunninen of Point Brugge Cafe
If you haven't tried Point Brugge in Point Breeze ..... You just gotta!  Crowds of steady customers, often lining up to get in before the restaurant is even open, just can't be wrong.

What makes this neighborhood restaurant so successful? The location certainly doesn't hurt -- Point Brugge is in the heart of residential Point Breeze, with very few competing restaurants and no competing liquor licenses in the immediate vicinity. But while many diners live in the neighborhood, just as many don't.

The restaurant also prepares the kind of straightforward, flavorful food that demands merely an appetite -- no dress shoes or culinary dictionaries necessary. A combination of American and European flavors makes this restaurant both homey and out-of-the ordinary. The focus on Belgian beer helps cement this restaurant in diners' minds as a "Belgian bistro," and the Belgian dishes are the highlight of the menu.

Their "Moules", or mussels, are to die for and available in a generous appetizer portion (about one pound, $11) or in a larger size with frites (one and a half pounds, $17).  Rather than serving the mussels swimming in broth, their mussels are dressed in a choice of sauces:  A classic white wine sauce with garlic and light cream.  A red curry sauce with coconut creme, cilantro and lime. A zesty tomato-seafood broth with garlic and fresh herbs.

And their "frites" or fries?  Simply heaven.  Cut thin so that the crispy edges dominate and served with basil mayonnaise in the Belgian style.

So get on over to Point Brugge and prepare yourself to be wowed!

Point Brugge Cafe
Point Breeze
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Vaccine Factory in Hazelwood?

A long-proposed vaccine factory championed by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center may have found a home on the site of the former LTV steel mill in Hazelwood.  Congressional leaders and UPMC officials said the facility is well suited for Hazelwood because it is close to academic institutions, tech companies and researchers.

The government has considered the project for four years. If built in Pittsburgh, the facility would cost $600 million to $800 million. UPMC would pay 51 percent.  At least three institutions elsewhere in the country are likely to submit bids to the Department of Health and Human Services, which set aside more than $12 billion to improve vaccine production.  It is unclear how much support UPMC's proposal has, but a federal official called UPMC's ideas impressive during a 2009 congressional hearing.

Read More ....
DHHS Vaccines
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

911 Sounded For Our Trees!

Emerald Ash Borer

A type of Asian beetle that first appeared in Pennsylvania three years ago has made its way to Pittsburgh, a sign that the death of about 14 percent of the trees in the city's public parks is near.  The Emerald Ash Borer will likely kill as many as 45,000 ash trees in the city's parks within the next three to five years. 

The exotic beetles, with their metallic green wings and copper-colored abdomens, have been ravaging trees in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois since the late 1990s. Because the borer invades a tree from the top and remains hidden inside the bark for most of the year, the tree's fate can be sealed long before any symptoms show. An infestation will kill a tree within three years.  While North American ash trees have no immunity to infestations, insecticides are available but expensive .... about $8 per inch of tree thickness.
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Emerald Ash Borer 
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Its Spring At The Phipps

Phipps Conservatory in Schenley Park

Tired of the snow?  Well, its spring at the Phipps as their Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show opens today and runs through March 13.  Colorful orchids and plants from Phipp's tropical bonsai collection will be displayed throughout the historic glass house. The collection includes a Japanese Pittosporum which has been in training since 1991. The garden railroad will also be on display in the South Conservatory throughout the show.

Conservatory hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and until 10 p.m. Fridays. Admission is $12 for adults; $11 for seniors, 62 and older, and students with a valid I.D.; $9 for children 2-18; children under 2 are free.

Phipps Conservatory
Schenley Park
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Monday, January 17, 2011

Apollo-Ridge School District To Celebrate 40th Anniversary

Apollo Town Square

The Apollo-Ridge School District plans and old-fashioned scavenger hunt to celebrate its 40th anniversary in May. The hunt will begin in March and a festival will be held in May.  Participating businesses will offer prizes that, collectively, will serve as the scavenger hunt's grand prize. Each business would have clues that lead to the prize.

The goal is to get 40 businesses to become sites where people have to go to get information for the clues and the winner of the 40-day hunt will be announced in May during the anniversary festival.  The festival event will feature local bands, local vendors and athletic events throughout the day.

Apollo-Ridge School District
Apollo Borough
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Fox Chapel Libraray Opens Late Spring

Fox Chapel Park Map
The new Cooper-Siegel Community Library in Fox Chapel is slated open its doors in May. The $6 million facility sits alongside the Fox Chapel Municipal Building and has at least $1 million backing in borough money. The project got underway last summer, after several years of fund raising by the Community Center and Library Association. Plans call for a 24,000-square-foot facility that will triple the size of the current site, housed inside the Boyd Community Center in O'Hara.

The borough is sprucing itself up in other ways as well.  It is in the final stage of a five-year plan to upgrade borough recreation facilities. New playground equipment has been installed at McCahill Park, and signs were erected along Trillium Trail to educate visitors on the variety of native plants. The $300,000 project also included the rejuvenation of native wildflowers throughout the borough parks.

Fox Chapel Borough
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Saturday, January 15, 2011

West Penn Medical School In Works

West Penn Hospital in Bloomfield
West Penn Allegheny Health System's plan to start a four-year medical school will succeed this year. Officials have been working to expand to a full medical school for nearly a decade, talking with various schools along the way.  West Penn Allegheny, the region's No. 2 health system, will be moving key services to Allegheny General Hospital in the North Side and placing emphasis on care delivered outside its hospitals.

The medical school would be Pittsburgh's second, in addition to the University of Pittsburgh's.  West Penn Allegheny could fill a niche educating physicians to remain in the region. The University of Pittsburgh medical school has became so competitive that Pennsylvania residents comprise only 26 percent of the freshman class.  West Penn's medical school could fill the gap by educating doctors from the local area so they could practice in and serve the medical needs of the local community.

Allegheny General Hospital
West Penn Hospital
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Friday, January 14, 2011

$10 million Grant To Rehab Former Sony Site

Former Sony Site
Westmoreland County has received a $10 million state grant to rehabilitate the former Sony plant for new tenants at the 43-year-old factory that sits in East Huntingdon and Hempfield townships.  The grant will be used to replace a steam plant that heated the facility and to install a new venting system.

Prior to Sony, the 2.8-million-square-foot facility housed a Volkswagen auto assembly plant. Sony then took over a decade ago but halted its television assembly operations last October  Officials have determined a better strategy would be for several different businesses to use the property rather than one large entity.

The county has already inked deals with two new tenants, Solar Power Industries, which makes solar energy panels, and a former division of Sony called DNP that makes magnetic ribbons.  These two companies will take over about 500,000 square feet in the facility.  Westmoreland County Community College will also use a portion of the facility to house a work force technology training program. That $7 million project is expected to be ready for students this fall.

Westmoreland County
 Hempfield Township
Solar Power Industries
Westmoreland Community College
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pittsburgh Marathon Alters Course

Pittsburgh Marathon Course

There are new starting and finish lines for the Pittsburgh Marathon.  Scheduled for May 15th, this year's race will have a registration cap of 18,000, but the new course could one day accomodate as many as 35,000 runners.

The starting line has been moved from Smallman Street in the Strip District to Liberty and Sixth avenues Downtown.  This will allow the field to back into historic Point State Park and give runners a long, wide straightaway to begin the race.  The finish line will shift to the North Shore near Heinz Field, an area better equipped to handle the high volume of runners and spectators than the blocks near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, where the race ended in past years. USA Track & Field has approved the course, which will be an Olympic trials and Boston Marathon qualifier.

Pittsburgh Marathon
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Get Your Homestead Property Tax Exemption!

Resaca St, Mexican War Streets
Homeowners have until March 1 to apply for a reduction in their property taxes through the state gaming revenue fund, and the office of the auditor general is prepared to help with applications.  Auditor General Jack Wagner released a report a year ago finding that hundreds of thousands of eligible homeowners were missing out on the tax relief because they weren't aware they were eligible.

The reduction is known as a homestead exemption and applies to homeowners' permanent residences. It is available to homeowners of all ages and income levels.  Information, including a report "Five Steps to Get Property Tax Relief from Legalized Gambling Revenues," is available online at Help is also available by calling 1-800-922-8477.

Last year, more than 2.6 million homeowners received an average property tax reduction of about $200.

Monday, January 10, 2011

National Aviary Gets A Face-Lift

The National Aviary on Pittburgh's North Side has been undergoing an $18.5 million dollar expansion and renovation for the last three years.  Final touches should be completed next month with the official opening of the expansion on October 9th.  "Wings!", the first show in the new theater, will debut at that time.  Read more ...

Visit My Web Site ...

Iovino's Cafe in Mt Lebanon Worth A Try

Mt Lebanon native, Jeff Iovino, gave his award-winning cafe his family name as a tribute to his immigrant Italian grandparents who instilled in him a love of cooking and fresh, good food.  Jeff was the opening chef at Olive or Twist, Downtown and worked at trendy Soba in Shadyside for four years before opening his own restaurant. Iovino's is known for two signature dishes.  Read More .....

Visit My Web Site ...

Westinghouse "Atom Smasher" Gets Historical Marker

Westinghouse Atom Smasher
A historical marker for the Westinghouse Atom Smasher has been placed at the corner of West St & North Ave in Forest Hills.  The "Atom Smasher" was the nation’s first industrial Van de Graaff generator, built by Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company in 1937, in an effort to conduct research into nuclear physics. It was designed to create nuclear reactions by bombarding target atoms with a beam of high-energy
particles. The unusual 65-foot high, pear-shaped structure was intended to seek out the secrets of nuclear energy as a source of practical power. It became fully operational in 1937 and the “Atom Smasher” remained in use until 1958 when it was replaced by a more modern Van de Graaff Generator.

Research with the Atom Smasher in 1940 led to the discovery of the photo-fission of uranium, part of the process involved in the generation of nuclear power. In 1987, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) designated the “Atom Smasher” as an Electrical Engineering Milestone. Today, the pear-shaped structure remains and, not far from it, the historic marker telling of its historic importance from Westinghouse’s ongoing involvement in the nuclear power industry.

Forest Hills Borough
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rivers Casino Hiring More Dealers

Rivers Casino

Rivers Casino will be hiring an additional 100 table game dealers in the coming weeks.  Experience dealing table games is not a requirement, but job finalists must complete a dealer school, undergo an audition and be licensed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to be considered for employment.  Rivers' new dealer school begins Jan 19th.

Rivers held its first dealer school in the spring and trained and hired more than 350 people for the start of table games in July. The North Shore casino recently filed a petition with the Gaming Control Board to add 19 table games to the current 86 tables.

Rivers Casino ....
 Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate ....

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Google Presence at Bakery Square

Google Offices at Bakery Square

Google is planning a bigger presence at Bakery Square in East Liberty, where commercial development is thriving.  The California-based internet search engine company leased offices at Bakery Square in December but are now wanting an additional 70,000 sq ft.  With the additional space, Google will occupy almost half of Bakery Square's 250,000 sq ft office space and will have about 500 employees at the site.

The retail component of Bakery Square is moving along nicely as well.  Companies like Anthropologie and Free People (trendy woman's botique) already have storefronts.  Google's growing presence has already bolstered interest from other retailers and the project looks like a definite success.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Friday, January 7, 2011

Area Projects Funded By Penn-DOT

Main Street in Saxonburg
Penn-DOT announced $4.1 million in grants to "smart transportation" projects in the region that promote biking and walking and systems:

Getting more than $1.4 million toward its historic Main Street revitalization. The grant will provide new curbing, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and improvements to fire hydrants, sewers and utility lines along Main Street from Pittsburgh and State streets to Rebecca Street.

Will get $1.3 million to make a commercial area on Route 8 more pedestrian-friendly and improve traffic flow.
Left-turn lanes and new traffic signals on Route 8 at Ewalt Road will be added as will pedestrian access from the Orchard Park neighborhood to the Route 8 commercial district.

The Airport Corridor Transportation Association will get $700,000 to make pedestrian, bicycle and transit improvements in the shopping complexes in Robinson and North Fayette.  The grant will pay for sidewalks along Park Manor Boulevard, a striped bike lane from the Montour Trail to a bus stop near IKEA and a pedestrian crossing and "super" shelter at the bus stop.

Washington County
Will get $443,500 for completing nine miles of the Panhandle Trail.  The Panhandle Trail stretches from Carnegie to near Weirton, W.Va., crossing through the Washington County towns of Midway and Burgettstown.

Pittsburgh will get $280,000 to advance its plan for a multimodal transportation corridor in the Strip District and Lawrenceville.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Got A Sweet Tooth? Check These Bakeries Out ....

Bakery Goodies
Pittsburgh has an amazing number of stand-alone bakeries with an incredible variety of sweet and savory treats. In fact, the Steel City has so many bakeries that it's impossible to mention them all.  Here are a few that are delightful:

Better-Maid Donuts, West End
1178 Steuben St
Pittsburgh, PA 15220
(412) 921-9526
Old-school cake-like doughnuts, some filled with cream, others topped with various glazes. Plain doughnuts are light on the sugar and taste almost savory, which makes them a pleasant contrast to a sweet glaze. Seasonal doughnuts like pumpkin. The shop opens at 6 a.m. daily, but closes as soon as they're sold out -- often as early as 9 a.m.

Food Glorious Food, Highland Park
5606 Bryant St
Pittsburgh, PA  15206
A Saturday-only bakery with an incredible array of pies, cakes and dessert like the over-the-top marjolaine, a flourless hazelnut and almond cake layered with chocolate, praline and vanilla buttercreams and covered in a thin layer of ganache. Savory favorites include thick focaccia topped with artichoke hearts or whole black olives.  The bakery opens at 10 a.m.; go early for the best selection and prepare to wait in line.
During the rest of the week, they run a cooking school. Check out the class schedule on their website.

Jean-Marc Chatellier's French Bakery, Millvale
213 North Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412) 821-8533
Try a sweet brioche in the morning, an intricate slice of opera cake for an indulgent afternoon snack or a family-sized quiche for a light, easy supper. Trendy and traditional go hand-in-hand like the variety of of-the-moment macaroons.

Vanilla Pastry Studio, East Liberty
6014 Penn Circle South
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(412) 361-2306
Watching the bakers at work through a large glass window as you survey the goodies before you:  Granola, scones, muffins and, of course, cupcakes. Don't miss the lemon, which manages to capture the flavor and brightness of the whole fruit. Also wonderful .....The pineapple quick bread has chunks of roasted pineapple infused in the cake.

La Gourmandine, Lawrenceville
4605 Butler St
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 682-2210
An incredible variety of traditional French pastries, chocolate eclairs and lemon tarts.  La Gourmandine also offers a number of lunch options, including sandwiches on crusty baguette, individual quiches, and, more recently, soup with a freshly baked roll.

Sustenance Rustic Craft Bakery, Strip District 
Pittsburgh Public Market
Smallman and 17th Street
Pittsburgh PA 15222
A healthier spin on sweets (whole grain flours, etc) that taste as delicious as their less-healthy counterparts.  Maple shortbread, fig bars, grains of paradise cookies and coconut cashew cookies made with cashew butter, quinoa flour and agave nectar. According to Ms. Lewis, some people love it, others take one bite and know it's not for them. The Sustenance booth at the Pittsburgh Public Market is open during all market hours.

Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

McArdle Roadway To Be Repaired

Bridge Span on Lower McArdle Roadway
The lower section of McArdle Roadway which leads to Pittsburgh's Southside from the mouth of the Liberty Tunnels will be closed for a year while much-needed repairs are made.  The bridge span, called Viaduct No. 1, will be replaced at a cost of $7 million.  The bridge was built in 1933, spans 540 ft and stretches over Norfolk Southern railway tracks which run parallel to the base of the slopes on the Southside.

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McArdle Roadway Viaduct
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Changing Downtown

Downtown Along The Mon
A new Downtown Partnership study shows very positive changes for Downtown ....

-  Peak age for Downtown Residents is 25 - 29.
-  A third of Downtown residents have incomes of $100,000 or more.
-  Two thirds of Downtown workers have jobs in the service or financial sectors.
-  Students comprise 13% of residents, up from 4% in 2003.
-  53% of Downtown commuters use public transportation, up from 48% in 2003.
-  The average commute to Downtown is 13 miles which is about 38 minutes.
-  4 in 10 commuters are 35 years old or younger.
-  More people are coming Downtown on weekends just to exercise.
-  Office space occupancy is 90%, the highest in 20 years.
-  Hotel occupancy is 65%, higher than the national average.
-  Average household size is 1.5 people

Read more ....
Downtown Partnership Website ...
Metro Pittsburgh Real Estate ....