A beautiful day in the neighborhood…

I didn't get a chance to post a response to the VoxHunt a while back which asked for something we like about the place we live in, but yesterday was definitely a day to remind me…

It was an absolutely gorgeous day, especially for late November in Pittsburgh, and Nikki & I met Laura & Indigo at the Mattress Factory to see the new "Factory Installed" pieces. My favorite was the Ascheim work, I think because I can imagine the desire to create it. I especially liked the part of the work that isn't shown on the website, which involved her pasting photos and random thoughts on the walls of two rooms, and interconnecting/associating the thoughts with a network of lines.

We toured the rest of the exhibits too, of course; I hadn't seen a lot of the works in the annex building before, though Nikki had when she volunteered there over the summer. Of those, Laura and I were especially fascinated by a work called Persistence (I think, and unfortunately I can't recall the artist); it was two video displays (facing each other in a dark room) showing unfired ceramic sculptures dissolving in liquid, one a human head, and one a pair of hands, accompanied by tolls of some interesting sort of bells at one end of the room. It was hard to turn away from the fingers disintegrating particle by particle until they crumbled off.

We also toured the Tom Museum down the street,

which was quite a fun place, and we got to meet Tom, who was greeting at the front door. It's unfortunate there aren't photos online of things like the Organic Space Station (in progress), the wooden maze-y sort of entrance, the Earth Pond in the basement (but watch out for spiders!), the refrigerator magnet wall in the kitchen, and the little informative labels everywhere.

After a good bit of discussion, we decided to head to the Strip District for dinner. It was only 4:30 when we got over there though, so we strolled up Penn Avenue a bit waiting for restaurants to open. We were drawn into Wholey's Balcony cookware shop to look at cookie cutters, and as we were examining flour sifters, Robert Wholey himself came up to us, and seeing that I was still wearing a Mattress Factory admittance sticker, he invited us next door to his office to see a Tom Sarver work he had just acquired. After making our purchases, we did follow him into the adjacent storefront where they were selling Christmas greenery, and were rewarded by a personal viewing of  "Pittsburgh in the Year 2050", a huge and highly-detailed mural by the same Tom whose home/museum we had just toured! Quite an unexpected and fun experience, and one of the things I love about Pittsburgh, the way total strangers are never actually total strangers.

Then we had dinner at Lidia's, always a treat, but delicious Italian food and wine goes especially well with good conversation with people you love…

All in all, a great day in a great place with great people! Life is good!

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