Another glorious Monday, another busy week ahead. What about you? My weekends have been jammed lately as well, which has led to some stress but overall it has been teaching me valuable lessons in restraint and self-care. One thing I have found to be essential to my weekly well-being is to make time on the weekends to do some fun, new, stimulating activity, no matter how long my to-do list is. The goal is to instill motivation and a surge of positive affect, two worthy causes!
This weekend stimulating activity involved craft beer, fantastic food that I didn’t cook, sunshine, and some people I just adore to pieces. You can’t go wrong with any of those things, can you?
On Saturday I went to pop-up beer garden in Braddock. These events had been happening in Pittsburgh neighborhoods all summer and I kept missing them! Finally I heard about this one – only ten minutes from where I live – and it was like the stars had aligned. Off we went.
It was a gorgeous afternoon and the site (a large parking lot between a playground and a row of old red brick buildings that have been converted into townhouses) was filled with about two hundred ‘burgers ready to drink, eat, and listen to live reggae music. The beer was provided by The Brew Gentlemen Beer Co. and I cannot say enough good things about these guys – I can’t believe they are my age! They are onto something with their brews. I sampled a wheat beer with chai spices (truly inspired) and stood in line for a full red Solo cup of their amber ale. Yum.
There were a few well-known Pittsburgh food trucks there, and I sampled a fantastic grass-fed hot dog from Franktuary. But the best part of the event came when we spotted some young men with small plates of roasted pork and collard greens having a gay old time. My food radar peaked.
Where did you get that pork, young gentlemen? (No I did not actually say this – can you imagine?)
Why, between those two houses over there, young lass!
So we followed a path between two tall buildings covered in creeping green ivy. There were bright purple crocuses blooming along the walls and the sun could still be seen through the cracks between the houses. The air smelled of drying grass and smoky charcoal. At last we emerged from the alley into a beautiful courtyard, to find none other than Kevin Sousa roasting a pig over a make-shift brick barbecue! Now, picture this - a major player in Pittsburgh’s farm-to-table movement and one of my chef crushes cooking food
just for me in an enchanted botanic setting. I kid you not; it was a magical pig garden. Yeah that happened.
Content and full of pork and greens, I ventured back into the real world to finish my beer as the sun set.
In case you didn’t know before, I have a bit of a penchant for dramatic, fairytale-esque retellings. I’ve been watching a lot of Once Upon A Time lately, what can I say?
Now, with my spirit and palate stimulated, it’s onto the week and back to that to-do list. Cheers!
Jam of the day: Jack White “I’m Shakin’”
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