I am so ready for this weekend. I swear I work harder and longer at being a writer/blogger/mom/restaurant owner/ninja than I ever did as a 9 to 5 office bee.
Before we head into what should be a sunny, unseasonably warm weekend (suck it, Phil), there’s still a few things to share with you!
1. Fat, poor and angry. WINNERS.
Pittsburgh has made realage.com’s list of Top Cities for Aging Too Fast, coming it at number 12.
Once a booming steel town, Pittsburgh may be less than optimistic about its new identity in a down economy. Pittsburg citizens are stressed out, smoking, and even angry. Good thing they have a high rate of health insurance coverage. They might turn their health around by passing on the Pittsburgh Salad (steak salad topped with French fries) — quite possibly the culprit for the city’s high rate of diabetes.
“Less optimistic about its new identity in a down economy?!” Have they not read all the news reports about how Pittsburgh is one of the few cities in America thriving in this economy?
And if anything is to blame for our high level of diabetes, it’s not a high protein steak salad with a handful of french fries on it. It’s our obsession with Ho-Hos.
And if we’re angry, maybe it’s because YOU SPELLED OUR NAME WRONG, ASSHOLES.
(h/t my Dad who went ballistic over this study and I’m not going to be the one to point out the irony of his anger at a study that shows Pittsburghers are angry. You do it.)
2.Obsessed with the Mellons
I have a new post up at Pittsburgh Magazine, this one about how I have just learned about the old R.B. Mellon mansion, why it was torn down (not a clue), and what happened to the stones and woodwork after it was demolished.
Everything was velvety, expensive, plush, posh, polished, hand-painted and eminently BREAKABLE. I was afraid to even gaze at a gaudy Tiffany mantle clock for too long for fear my stare alone would cause it to fall to the floor and shatter.
You become very aware of how gangly and awkward the human body is when you’re surrounded by priceless artifacts.
The day after my tour, I was reading a book about art collecting in Pittsburgh during the Gilded Age when I stumbled upon something that, as our columnist Rick Sebak would say, isn’t there anymore.
And it took my breath away.
The 65-room mansion of Richard B. Mellon, brother of Andrew Mellon, built at 6500 Fifth Avenue in 1910:
You have to go look at that magnificent house. It was as big as a castle. Lush and glorious gardens. Amazing stained glass windows. And it’s gone. GONE! At thirty years of age.
Now, if anyone can help me learn WHY the house was razed, I would be most appreciative. So far I’ve come up empty, other than an indication that another Mellon house in Pittsburgh, the 45-room Ben Elm at 5340 Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill, was torn down the same year, 1941, due to tax increases, which MAKES NO SENSE. This was one of the richest families in America!
And if you can find me a picture of the Ben Elm mansion, I’ll probably self-unite to you like a boss.
Anyway, I’m now obsessed with Pittsburgh’s mansions.
Bail me out when Mario finds me hiding in his wine cellar.