Just a Quick Sip

One of the newest crazes in the city is rooftop bars. With the sun making it’s debut for what seems like the first time this summer I ventured out of the house down to Picklesburgh on the Rachel Carson Bridge. It was the perfect day to hang out around the city and see some new sites.

After we walked through Picklesburgh and saw Kings Ransom play we walked along the shore and then headed to dinner at Bill’s Bar and Burger. (We reviewed them in issue 13) While we were finishing our meal I looked down Strawberry Way and saw Hotel Monaco just a few blocks away. I had want to check out the rooftop bar since they opened and figured what a great place to grab a cool drink.


Since we just ate we weren’t interested in any food so we ordered just drinks. Everything works on a tab system so be prepared with a credit card or remember a number. I ordered the Die Traube Weinen which was their version of a Sangria.


Steve ordered the Truthahan Mule; a Moscow Mule made with Ginger Beer.

Part of the charm of the rooftop bar is the view. However I would have enjoyed it more if it was a few blocks over or closer to Point State Park. But it is still pretty and this was still a perfect day to sit outside and enjoy a beverage.


Another bonus was the adult size games. They had Jenga, Connect Four, and a skill game for not getting a ball stuck in the hole. The whole rooftop was filled with people laughing and talking. It was as if the entire heart of the city was on the roof of Hotel Monaco.

So next time you are spending sometime Downtown and need a quick drink and bite to eat give the Biergarten at Hotel Monaco a try.

amanda tag


Vintage Fashion Swimwear

It’s pool party season.  What’s in your swimwear bag?  If you’re a fan of vintage style, here’s one of my favorites.

Vintage Swimwear

Photo Courtesy: Unique Vintage

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‘Murica Summer Fashion

I am usually not the one to get on board with style things.  I practically live my life in jeans and t-shirts.  A lot of my rationale behind that is my size.  As a girl who’s been a size 16/18 for the better part of the last decade, finding something I actually like can be difficult.

With the advent of Pinterest however, my style options have opened.  Take this outfit, for instance:

Summer Ensemble

*Photo from Plus Model Magazine

This outfit could easily work as a work outfit, or a cute party outfit (maybe without the jacket).  You can dress it up or down with accessories to fit your needs.  I really have to admit I’m all about the strappy sandals.  They’re totes adorbs.

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Nelly and TLC and New Kids, Oh My

We’ve all had a favorite band.  Actually, we’ve all had a few favorite bands over the years.  Musical groups form and break up.  Our musical preferences evolve and change.  As a young girl, I joined the multitude of other girls – ages ten to sixteen in my love of all things New Kids on the Block.   With the variety afforded by Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, Donnie, and Danny it didn’t matter whether you were into bad boys or the boy next door.  NKOTB had it all.
When the group made their comeback in 2011 with a tour with the Backstreet Boys, the group’s fans found themselves a little bit older, but still just as in love with the group as ever.  This year’s “Main Event” tour finds fans still just as in love with America’s favorite boys from Boston.  Touring with Nelly and TLC, it was another trip down memory lane as the masses poured into Consol Arena for the show.
Nelly opened the night.  He looks a little older than we all remember, but it was still a great set.  It was definitely a good warm-up for, well, the Main Event.
Truthfully, I was curious to see how the TLC performance was going to go.  After the loss of Left Eye a few years ago, I wasn’t sure if/how it would be addressed.  The first thing I noticed – as did the group of friends I was with, was how amazing Chilli looks!  She doesn’t look much different than she did when the group originally toured.  And, talk about how in-shape she is!  My friend, Katie, even tweeted about how amazing Chilli looked at the show.  Overall, Chilli and T-Boz held the fort down.  Although Left Eye was not there, she was on all our minds, especially during the performance of “Waterfalls” which was a tribute the crowd became part of – both singing along and waving those magical, lighter replacement cellphones throughout the arena.
Then it was time for the Main Event.  With an audio/video introduction a la a professional sporting event, NKOTB was announced as if they were making their way to the ring for a boxing match – ring robes included.  The intro included a three-minute voice over formally announcing the “undisputed, heavyweight champions of the boy band world.”  The shrieks, screams, and general crowd clamor was a testament as to how excited everyone was for the show.  And, it certainly did not disappoint.
Thankfully, the jumbotron screen in the center of the arena reminded us all of exactly how old we are when it took us back in time to particular highlight points of the band’s musical career, including a video screen announcing the year *cough*1990*cough*.  (For those keeping record, 1990 was 25 years ago.  I was in elementary school.)  They played a variety of classic NKOTB songs, as well as some new material.  With a set full of choreography, lights, and confetti (ZOMG SO MUCH CONFETTI) we were signing and dancing along with our favorite songs.
Quick Change Cam
It was certainly a grown-up show, too.  The language coming out of those mouths at the show would have required a “Mature Language” sticker if it would have been included on on a copy of “Hangin’ Tough” back in 1988.  Add to that the sexual overtones of an open/no-shirted cover of “Sweet Dreams” and it was clear to see that the group was certainly playing to their more matured crowd.  They also included a “Quick Change Cam” that covered their mid-performance costume change.  The live view action camera – set up in what was presumably to be like a security camera placed in the corner of the dressing area under the stage, inspired all sorts of wolf whistles and cat calls.  However, my group was not as keen on that apparent intent.  We observed the spot with some head scratching and laughter at how over-the-top it was – a peek at the boys in varying states of undress, a cameo shot of a Penguins jersey to play to the Pittsburgh crowd, and even a smooch to the camera by Donnie.
NKOTB Confetti2
All in all, it was a great girls’ night out event among friends and a trip down memory lane as we revisited our youth.  But, I realized our youth was not as revisited as the ladies who sat in the Consol Loge seating at the end of our section – the ladies who wore what appeared to be original NKOTB t-shirts that they likely wore in Jr. High School back in the 90s.  Their dedication to the comeback tour was most certainly to be applauded.
Missy tag

Jenny Lewis-Opening Night of Three Rivers Arts Festival

On the opening night of the Three Rivers Arts Festival we were blessed with the lyrical stylings of Jenny Lewis.

Child star gone rocker her voice is as strong as an ax and her ability to play the guitar stands above all. Her set list included old songs and songs off of her newest album “Lullaby”.

If you missed her set check out the pics below and short video. Check out Three Rivers Arts Festival for the rest of the live free concerts now until Sunday.

Jenny 5 Jenny 1 jenny 2

Quick Bite-Perry Perk


You wold never know it is there unless you walk by and notice the fountain outside. Tucked into a strip of stores sits Perry Perk a small coffee shop with breakfast and sandwiches.

I stopped in for lunch when I was working nearby. I decided on the Cranberry Twisted Turkey Sandwich. On a croissant is turkey slices and swiss cheese; topped with a mayo that is mixed with walnuts and cranberries. I thought the combo was interesting and to my delight it was delicious.


To drink I got a Iced Tea with a Passion Fruit sweetened syrup. It was sweet and tasty.

Looking around the shop waiting for my sandwich it was small, probably seats about fifteen people. It has free wifi and also sells homemade goods along the shelves.

They had breakfast items too and according to their YELP reviews their coffee can’t be beat. So next time you need a quick bite and your in North Hills check out Perry Perk.

Perry Perk • 1012 Perry Highway • 412-348-0079

amanda tag

Smokin Sweet Betties!

Back in Issue 10 we had the pleasure to meet the sweet ladies of the Smokin Bettie’s Burlesque. Since then they have been in high gear to produce their next show which took place on May 30th at 10PM at Club Cafe on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

To say there was a lot of high energy in the venue was un understatement, this girl is horse from cheering. The evening was hosted by the divarific Lillith DeVille. Her outstanding comedy and flair for the fun left me in stitches.


The Betties: Lucy La Bam, Violet Corbeau, Demdare Eyes, Sueno Del Mar, Luna La Creme, Gigi Coudray and Midnight Mame all lit up the stage with new routines and new sexy costumes. From a Beetlejuice theme to Black Eye Peas to a little bit of naughty teacher was included. I could tell the ladies had practiced for months and each girl was flawless and beautiful.


There was three special guest performers included. They were: Lita D Vargas, Penny De La Poison and Viva Valezz.

Overall the entire night was a blast and we look forward to seeing them live again.

Like them at Smokin Betties Burlesque of Facebook and follow them @smokinbetties for updates on their next show.

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