Thursday, December 12, 2013

DEC 12, 2013 - My very small "Strip" of Heaven....

     *Song of the Day: Beck- Golden Age

        In a city estimated to be occupied by over 306,211 in 2012, containing the world's record breaking number of bridges (446), and using 32 total zip codes; I find my peace of mind in one- 15222, the Strip District.  

       I try to go once to twice a week to clear my head of poisons and ugliness the world and myself, gladly and steadily provide.  Sometimes I go with a friend, sometimes with a camera, but always with music.  

        Today I was accompanied by some of my favorite albums: Castaways and Cutouts, Sea Change, and Closing Time.  I start by parking at PennMac (The Pennsylvania Macaroni Company) and work my way down the alley to Penn Ave.  There is an alley on the left that always has something new for me to look at, even though I've literally walked down it a hundred times now. 

        I love differences between materials; brick and metal, paint chipping and block peaking beneath, and wood cracking exposing different grains are just some examples.   Here are shots depicting that dichotomy I so love and look for.

           After passing the alley, on my right I come to my first favorite store, The Pittsburgh Popcorn Company.  They have a Twitter @PghPopcornCo and Facebook account.  The nameless faces that are always friendly, smiling, and patient start my day off right.  My usual purchase is 1 large Brown Butter Caramel (however you want to pronounce it) and 4 small Peanut Butter Cups. 
       Here are some pictures from the store which they allowed taken today.  This popcorn you see is totally going to be half gone tonight. :)

        Once I leave here, my next stop is ususally PennMac, but today I skipped it and just took some pictures along the way to my next stop.

                Next stop- Parma Sausage.  They have both Twitter @Parma_Sausage, and Facebook accounts.  Again, the nameless faces here have been nothing but courteous, attentive, and always kind when waiting on customers.   My usual order here is 2-3 lbs of their amazing breakfast sausage (1lb wrapped individually),  1 lb of delicious sliced pepperoni, and 1-2 pepperoni sticks.  

            They also have really nice t-shirts for men and women if you are having a hard Christmas gift to buy (sshhhh... I bought one for my daughter who will love it.)

            I then crossed over Penn toward Wholey's.  Here there is another alley that also has some great objects to shoot, so I did and headed to my next stop.


            My final stop of the day is Penzeys Spices, whose Twitter is @PenzeysSpices. I may literally own over half this store.  

           Today's purchase, a Kind Heart gift box for a belated birthday, and a new spice Annatto Seeds.  They also permitted me to take some photos in their store today, and their customer service is also remarkable.  

          In the past 6 years I've gone in here, not once have I never been greeted upon entry, asked several times if I needed help, and also exited with a warm smile and comment.  Here you'll find a truly great experience for both shopping and the soul.  

                               Even though it's only about 8 blocks in a city of hundreds, 
                                           This is my sanctuary, my "Strip" of Heaven.

                                                      I go here with my earbuds in,
                                                                   my music on,
                                                              my camera in hand,
                                                            and my mind at peace.