Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pittsburgh Picture of the Day

This is the Mezzanine level of the stacks section of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main Library. There are eleven floors of stacks and the shelves are the entire support for this section of the building! The aisles inside each book stack (the shades of green you see on the right and the left) are made of glass while the main center aisle is marble. On this level, which is open to the public, you'll find books in the A-L sections of the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. Yes, they use LC instead of the more public library-popular Dewey Decimal system here and I'm lost without consulting a guide. Only three of the stacks are open to the public: third stack (which is level with the first floor of the library), fourth stack (which is called the Mezzanine because it's between the first and second floors of the library), and fifth stack (which is level with the second floor). 8th stack is only open to the public with a staff member and that stack is level with the third floor. The rest of the stacks (including 1st and 2nd stacks which are in the basement) hold serials, music folios, engineering standards and codes, government documents, and reference, circulating, and oversized Dewey Decimal system books (from before they switched to LC) and LC books. 

Oh, and lots of old coal dust. Really.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pittsburgh Picture of the Day

Today's picture is of a beautiful Pittsburgh monument but which currently is in a sad state. The Christopher Lyman Magee Memorial fountain stands right outside the front doors of the Main Library of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, overlooking Schenley Plaza in Oakland. It was designed by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a well-known and accomplished sculptor.

What makes the situation sad is that this fountain does not work at this time. The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has it on their repair list but, right now, it is used as a gathering place for smokers, some who have no respect for the area and litter it with cigarette butts. Littering is bad enough but, around a work of gorgeous art, it's a sacrilege. I hope the parks department fixes it very soon!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pittsburgh Picture of the Day

I live less than three miles from downtown Pittsburgh (and most of it is vertical!) and it's that time of year again in this sports-loving town.* Steelers' games have begun and, with it, all the advertising planes and blimps. Unlike others, this one was actually quiet! Sometimes, if the wind is a certain direction, we can even hear the roar of the crowd at Heinz Field. As I'm not a sports' fan at all, this is my time to take advantage of quiet and empty stores and neighborhoods if I want to take a walk as everyone else is watching the game.

*It's so sports-loving that, when there's a game, everybody but everybody wears black & gold apparel, from shirts to hats to scarves. It's an obsession here. They even dress up statues around town, including the dinosaur by the Museum of Natural History.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pittsburgh Picture of the Day

I walk a lot. Even if I can't realize my dream of actually walking to work, I manage at least two walks per day, even on the weekends. This shot was taken on a walk along Bigham Street in Mount Washington. I couldn't believe the size of the heads on these sunflowers! As large as dinner plates! As you can see, the other flowers (in pink) are just as pretty and I see that hummingbird feeder on the left, too. Nature lovers. Like me. I can tell.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pittsburgh Picture of the Day

This is Mellon Institute, part of both Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh in the neighborhood known in Pittsburgh as Oakland. It might be famous for other reasons but, for me, since moving to Pittsburgh in 2010, it's the site for the latest Batman movie. It also filmed downtown (about 4 miles away) and Jim was able to watch filming on his breaks. Mellon Institute served as Gotham's City Hall in the film.* On this lovely almost-fall day, however, it was the site for what I like to call "parades," aka ridiculously large, garish, and showy bridal parties. I guess it's a popular photo spot for weddings much like Grandview Avenue is with its panoramic views of downtown from Mount Washington. 

*I have not seen the movie; I'm just taking information from this news article.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pittsburgh Picture of the Day

This fountain is in the courtyard area of the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History which is right next to the Main Library in Oakland where I work. As you can see to the right of the fountain (and also the picture below), there are tables so that you can eat outside; I like to do this on Monday evenings when the museum is closed.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pittsburgh Picture of the Day

Today's picture is actually two pictures. This is my branch library, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Mount Washington. It's about half a mile from my house, an easy 10 minute walk. This building was built in 1901 and, while it looks impressive on the outside (lovely stained glass over the entrance, wood doors, pretty front garden), inside it needs some improvement. We're hoping it will soon get air conditioning,--right now, when the temperatures are too hot in summer, they have to close early--a new roof, and other aesthetic improvements. The staff is very friendly and welcoming and, as it sits right on Pittsburgh's front porch, the panoramic view of the city from the front doors on Grandview Avenue can't be beat. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pittsburgh Picture of the Day

This is Clayton, Henry Clay Frick's Victorian mansion. It's so beautiful and it's only about 7.5 miles from our house in Mount Washington.

About 90% of the possessions & decor are original to the house fully restored through the donation of Frick's daughter, Helen in 1986. A good friend from Michigan is visiting and he loves history as much as we do so he just loved this place. We strolled the grounds after the tour, enjoyed some cool drinks on the patio at the cafe, and then visited the Frick Art Museum also on the grounds (which is Helen's private art collection). It's an amazing place. Read more about Clayton & the Fricks here.