Anything Else Would Be Wrong

Black and gold is what they choose to wear – from babies with bottles to grandmas who holler. Game day colors are always the same in Pittsburgh, no matter the season, no matter the team. The city is unique in that way – one of the only in the country where all major league teams sport the same colors. Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers, or Penguins fans all look the same, inside and out. Outside they wear yellow shirts, black hats, and any combination of black and gold they can get their hands on. Inside, they bleed black and gold.

The city’s shield – which predates the teams by a few hundred years, set the standard.

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The city’s anthem continued that theme.

But apparently, some people don’t honor and respect us and our colors choices. The Three Sisters Bridges, those iconic 6th, 7th, and 9th street wonders, are up for a paint job. Their signature Pittsburgh Yellow color has dimmed, so the time has come to brighten them up. Some jokesters in the county think that a color other than yellow is an option. So now, it’s up to you to save the day and keep the city shining in all it’s gold-toned glory.

Vote to make it happen.

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As every Pittsburgher knows, anything else would be wrong.

Outside Opinion: Fruit Selection

Grocery shoppers in New York City are not very chatty. At least, they aren’t talkative when it comes to other customers. They talk on their cellphones, and yell loud enough to corral their kids from across the store, but they avoid eye contact with other shoppers at all possible costs. At least, most of them do.

A rare exception to the rule approached me the other day as I was weighing cantaloupes with my hands, sniffing each in turn, while also side-stepping other customers going through the outdoor fruit bins. It is, as you know, the very beginning of cantaloupe season. It’s a time of year when you either arrive home with a perfect cantaloupe or one that’s so far from ripe, it would be best to return it to the fields so that the field mice eat it and end their crop-eating career early. So, I was not surprised when my fellow shopper asked how the cantaloupe were.

“I’m not sure,” I told him. “I don’t think this one -” holding my the one in my left hand “- is quite ripe yet, but I’m pretty sure that this one -” nodding toward the one in my right hand “-could be by tomorrow.”

“They’re not ripe,” he told me. “Don’t get them. You should go inside; there are more there.”

This shopper had shot past the normal behavior of grocery store regulars. He went beyond acknowledging my presence to critiquing my fruit-selection savvy. I was so surprised, all I could do was nod.

But I could not agree. The cantaloupe inside did not appear any further along in their development, though they were higher up in the price scale. So I gambled on my fruit-picking expertise and went with the outside melon. And I won big.

New York shoppers, you’re welcome to interrupt my shopping anytime. Fee free to ask for my advice. But don’t try to disturb my fruit picking process. I’ve got Zaidy’s system in place and there’s no proof it can be beat.

Lost & Found: Street Fair Edition

My mom once lost my sister. She somehow made it through a decade of parenting without misplacing one, or both, of her off-spring. But one day at Target, she walked away, turned around, and my sister wasn’t there anymore. She retraced her steps. She walked through every aisle. She called her name. Then she began to panic. Mom has a cool head in tight situations, so her panic took her straight to customer service where she had them page my sister over the loudspeakers. Within minutes, they were reunited.

Though my mom never lost me, Special Correspondent Yaelle did. We were out at a street fair when she spotted someone she knew in the band. As soon as the talented group took a break from enticing people to dance in the street, Yaelle went over to say hi. I walked off to find a seat, keeping an eye on Yaelle’s head through the crowd. I found a seat and pulled out my book; I read while keeping one eye on Yaelle. Or so I thought. The next thing I knew, my phone was buzzing with messages from Yaelle – and I couldn’t see her anywhere. Thankfully, like my mom, we kept out cool. I got to high ground and spotted Yaelle by the pickle booth, half a block away from where she’d been talking to the band. Moments later, we were together again.

I was glad to have found her, but couldn’t understand why Yaelle had walked away from the band. “I couldn’t see you,” she informed me. “I asked myself where you could be. The pickle booth was the only logical place.”

Pickle booth: the home base of street fairs. Yaelle, as usual, was right. It was the only logical place to be. I highly recommend the half-sour. Yaelle quite liked the spicy.

“Attack the question,” was my father’s advice when it came to writing essays for school.

It was excellent advice in terms of fulfilling the word-count requirement. It was not as good when it came to winning over the teacher. Thankfully, my teachers always believed that my attacks on their questions were due to my creativity and ingenuity; none of them wanted to quash that. My grades reflected their approval. Effectively, I was rewarded for not answering the essay question.

That may be why, when I’m asked for tips on how to manage a schedule like mine – work all day, school all night, and everything else in between – I attack the question.

“What’s there to manage?” is my standard response. “I just don’t think about it. If you don’t realize that there’s something to manage it all seems to work out fine. As long as you show up where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there. And there’s no management there at all – set a Google event and you’ll know where you need to be next with plenty of time to get there.”

Attack the question. Works like a charm.