a mini-vacation

tony and i took a couple of days off this week to go to pittsburgh and do a little sightseeing. after attending two different barbecues on the fourth, we dragged ourselves out of bed at dawn’s crack and hit the road early on the fifth. a stop at bob evan’s filled us up big-time and the next thing we knew, we were at kennywood! regular readers know this is an annual pilgrimage for us. this experience was similar to the last ones. we had perfect weather; the park was not too crowded; and the super bonus was that this was a special price day. instead of the usual $28.95 per person entry fee, the discounted price was just $12.95!!! we rode our traditional round of rides and attractions, ate ice cream and gyros and french fries with cheese sauce, and watched the all-american high-diving show. you can click on the arrow to see a video preview.
we left around 4pm and checked in at the hotel. we found a funky little local restaurant and had a butterflied shrimp dinner. then we made a stop at gabriel bros., where i found some eclectic goodies. checking out at stores like this drives me nuts! there is the incompetent help, the incessant pricechecks and the annoying shoppers. the flipside of this is that the shoppers can form an entertaining sideshow and the help can be inept in ways that benefit YOU….such as only charging you for one item when you buy two!

the next morning, we headed into the city and our next destination: the andy warhol museum. this is the largest single artist museum in the world, according to the website. i have always been a fan of his, having seen shows of his work at the museum of modern art in nyc, grey art gallery at nyu and in koenigswinter, germany. we toured the permanent collection and spent a big chunk of time looking at the current exhibition called the downtown show: the new york art scene, 1974-84. i arrived in nyc in the spring of 1983 and had several friends who were involved in the art world at that time. names that were familiar included jean-michel basquiat, francesco clemente, kenny scharf, annie sprinkle, karen findlay, kim hastreiter, ethyl eichelberger, gracie mansion, john sex and diane brill. i never really MET any of these folks, but went to their shows or saw them out drinking and dancing. it was fun to see this stuff codified into one exhibition.

our next stop was the outlet mall at grove city. although it’s always tony’s idea to go on these shopping treks, it’s always me who ends up laden with shopping bags! good thing he likes to do bargain hunting and not rodeo drive, madison avenue or rue cambon. on top of the necessary socks, jeans and work shoes, i also splurged on a new overnight bag at the coach factory store. as near as i can tell from the website, i saved forty percent off regular retail. thank you, tony!

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