A Perfect Jewish Christmas

In 2012 we spent Christmas at the Revel Resort in Atlantic City. The resort was new and only lasted for a few years. It was a great place though while it lasted and this is a repeat of my post from 2012. Oh, and we didn’t win.
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It can be tough being a Jew around Christmas time unless you have a Christmas Family. I was fortunate growing up and we always had a family that we hung out with at Christmas. We would get a couple of gifts, and give some, share in the meal and have a some time around a brightly lit Christmas tree. However, it is well known that if you don’t have a Christmas family then you can do two things on Christmas if you are Jewish.

1) Attend the massive Jewish meeting to discuss how we will control the media for yet another year.
2) Go to a movie and eat Chinese food.

It used to be when I was a kid everything was closed on Christmas, even gas stations. Not any more. We decided this year to up the ante and instill a new tradition by going gambling and eating in a signature restaurant so we are off to Atlantic City to revel in the new Revel Resort. So I won’t be posting for a while and if I win BIG, maybe a long while. Whatever you do, have a great Christmas. That’s right I am Jewish but can still wish everybody a Merry Christmas.

Bask Spa at the Revel Resort

Bask Spa at the Revel Resort

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How to Identify Winter in Pittsburgh

In recent years it’s hard to know when it is actually winter in Pittsburgh. We have had 60 degree days in January and 20 degree days in November. Fortunately we have a fool proof system. If Dino has his scarf on, it’s cold enough to be winter!

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Pittsburgh Winter

Point Breeze Christmas Tree

I really love when neighborhoods decorate existing trees with lights> It doesn’t have to be a pine tree! I saw this the other night when going out to dinner in Point Breeze and love the non traditional tree. Point Breeze is a small neighborhood with two really good restaurants.
Point Brugge
Pino’s Contemporary Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar.

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Point Breeze Christmas Tree

Autumn in The Pocono Mountains

The fall foliage was really poor this year around Pittsburgh. It was too long too late and the fall colors were sporadic. So I had to return to the vault to find a good image of the Autumn. This was takn a few years ago in Pike County Pennsylvania.

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Pocono Wetlands

The Tropical Rain Forest at The National Aviary

Last week we visited the National Aviary and saw the remodel of the Tropical Rain Forest Exhibit. I first time i visited the Aviary was in the 1970’s but since returning to Pittsburgh we have become members and attend frequently. I have never seen the waterfall working in the Tropical Rainforest and the change in the exhibit was astounding. It now sounded and looked like a tropical jungle!

They also replaced all the 1952 plate glass with special LEED certified glass and the difference in light is transformative. The staff and birds seem to like it as much as the visitors. Well done Pittsburgh!

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The Tropical Rain Forrest

The Tropical Rain Forrest

Kristallnacht

Americans have some dates burned in their memory. September 11 and December 7 are two notorious dates where Americans were attacked, killed and suffered extreme hardships. It is important as Americans to remember these dates and honor the fallen. However, as citizens of the world we MUST remember today as well because it is the 76th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Tonight were the first attacks on Jewish homes in Germany. At least 91 Jews were killed in the attacks, and a further 30,000 arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps. Jewish homes, hospitals, and schools were ransacked, over 1,000 synagogues were burned and Jewish businesses destroyed or damaged. Millions of others experienced death and torture by the lunatic Hitler. We must never forget and always honor this day. Things are much better in Europe now for Jewish people that have remained or returned over all these years. However, recently when visiting Italy I saw it was still necessary for soldiers to guard the synagogue in Milan and heavy fences kept out even curious tourists like myself.

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Synagogue in Milan Italy

The Cathedral in Autumn

We live in Regent Square so we see this building regularly. It is easy to take it for granted. The Cathedral of Learning, is a Pittsburgh landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A gray day with a splash of color adds to the Cathedral’s magic.

It is 42 stories high and was construction was finished in 1934 although classes were first held their in 1931. It is the second tallest gothic style building in the world that is not a church. A proud symbol of the University of Pittsburgh and the city it represents.

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The Cathedral in Autumn