A beautiful blue, warm day, appreciated even more because the StormOfTheCentury (again, this time called Frankenstorm) is supposed to bring rain for the next week, starting tomorrow.
Started at the Bastille with S, rode the Ft. Duquesne and the Ft. Pitt Bridge, rode to Big Dog Coffee for my seventh Coffeeneuring trip to complete my 2012 series.
| ||drink: Mocha Bianca (a mocha with white chocolate) and a cranberry-oatmeal bar.|
coffee shop: Big Dog Coffee. I love this place.
location: 2717 Sarah Street, SouthSide, Pittsburgh PA
mileage: 50 miles
ride details: Rode with S. Went to Riverton Bridge, East Pittsburgh, Braddock, Regent Square, Wilkinsburg, did 50 miles. Completed my 2012 Coffeeneuring series today.
Departed SouthSide, rode past Keystone Metals, saw evidence of progress on the trail, was very pleased to see the man-gate open at Sandcastle (that's huge!), rode through the Waterfront. Observed progress on the new sidewalks, also noted that some people have carved initials in the new sidewalks.
At Pump House, saw a group of young kids lined up with a woman in drill-instructor fashion trying to get them to count off by fours, which I have not seen done in a very very long time, so we stopped to see what's up. It was a field trip from the Propel School called "$1.65 a day", in which the kids get to see what a steel worker did back in the day for their daily wage of $1.65. So the kids get to pump and carry water, shovel and move gravel, cut pipe, etc. I thought it was pretty cool and on such a pretty day I figure the kids must have been loving getting outside.
Rode past Kennywood, rode through Duquesne which brings to mind the new Bob Dylan song, Duquesne Whistle, which IMO is much better heard than watched.
Continued out to the Riverton Bridge, stopped for a drink, reversed course and rode back to Marcegalawhateva Metals, then departed the trail for Whitaker and the Rankin Bridge. Rode through Braddock to East Pittsburgh to get a photo of "Present Tense" for a online-bike-scavenger hunt S. is playing with the BikePgh folks.
Back into Braddock, stopped to take a picture of a few more murals, found more than I expected.
Braddock's Voluptuous Reclining Nude Mural by Lady Pink
This mural was done by LadyPink as part of the Points of Interest
Project. From a distance, this appears to be a voluptuous reclining female nude, but you never can see the whole picture because of the infrastructure - which is, perhaps, a feature not a bug, and a hint. Location: Braddock: Library St at Jones Ave.
Funny, but when you get close up, the body is a front for factories, the body is made of brick, the navel-umblical is a train track, and what you may have thought was Love, Mom, Comfort, Home, Sex (or any variation) is really Industry, Money, Extraction and Capitalism. Oh yeah, and there's a meat-eating Venus Flytrap between her legs. Just sayin'.
This is, of course, only what my shallow, insecure, and uneducated and frightened psyche projected upon the image; that the presentation of the industrial economy as normal, nurturing, and supportive is a Great Lie and that Truth and Happiness lie elsewhere. The Job in the Factory, the place in the socio-military-industrial-complex - it's a Trap
. But perhaps I'm over-reading the thing. Maybe she's a Job Creator and we should worship her. Comments are welcome.
That's why artists should explain these things, to prevent jerks like me from misinterpreting their work and to save me from externalizing (?) my internal conflicts.
Swoon's Braddock Underpass Murals
Wood and Franklin Street, Wilkinsburg: Pittsburgh's Mural Central
We rode across Swissvale, and Regent Square to Wilkinsburg where we came upon the greatest installation of murals I have ever seen. I would have thought that Gist Street was the most developed public art location in Pittsburgh, but Wood and Franklin in Wilkinsburg has more public art in one location than I've ever seen in the region. These murals are by Kyle Holbrook, George Gist, and Chris Savido, in 2005.
This is a mural along Wood Street at Franklin Avenue in Wilkinsburg:
This is a closeup of the angel depicted in that mural, to the right of the tree in the photo above.
There is a courtyard with murals on the left, rear, and right sides. The courtyard has a gazebo, and the roof inside the gazebo is a mural, and the floor of the gazebo is a tile mosaic. I don't know how to effectively take a photograph of them, they're quite complex.
A few blocks away, at the busway at Hay Street and South Avenue, there's a mural and a few columns with murals:
After that we rode Forbes Avenue back to Oakland, finally getting to climb uphill on a street I've only ever descended. It wasn't that bad. Went down Junction Hollow and S. and I split up at the Hot Metal Bridge.
I had volunteered to do a bike-counting exercise from 4pm to 6pm for BikePgh, so I set myself up with a chair and my tally-sheet and jotted down notes. When I add them up I'll present some numbers here.
Riding back to the Bastille I saw a few river patrol boats circling around a T-trolley bridge that some barges had rammed, and then on the North Side there was a gathering of Juggalo's outside of Stage-AE for a Insane Clown Posse show. You get to see a lot of things on a bicycle.