The accidental theme of the day about two weeks ago was “places that used to be churches.”
About two weeks prior to that, Brandon had tagged me in a Facebook post about David Duchovny playing a show in Pittsburgh. He recently released an album, and I found out later–when it was too late, actually–that he was also appearing at a convention, so my guess is he either had the convention scheduled and decided to toss in a show or vice versa. As a huge X-Files fan, I had to go, even though I’d only heard the album’s single one time. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. Doesn’t matter when you get to see Fox Mulder.
The interesting thing, though, was seeing where people know him from as I posted my pictures over the next few days. Some people know him as Mulder, others know him from Californication, which I have yet to watch.
I’ve mentioned before how the apartment is packed with recycling. It’s tough to get rid of around here–the building doesn’t collect it and I can’t bring myself to just throw it all away, and the place I used to take it between home and work cracked down on non-township residents using the place. Whenever I go somewhere, I look up if there’s a nearby drop-off. If we’re going to Terra’s, I put some in her bin. If we’re going back to Fayette County, I take it to the local Penn State campus. If we’re going to the city, I take it to a big drop-off spot, so we grabbed a couple bags to take. And then when we were on our way, I thought maybe I’d better double-check the hours. And of course, that’s the one weekend when they were closed to hold a big fundraiser. Of all weekends we were actually heading there with a car full of recycling.
I didn’t want to just not take anything–we’ve done that way too many times, normally because we can’t make it in time because of traffic or something, hence the overload. So I started looking for somewhere else we could take it, and I found one.
Turns out it’s actually better than our original place. It’s much easier to get to–it’s only a few minutes off the parkway, instead of having to cut through the city and backtrack to wherever we were going in the first place. So it’s gonna be our new spot, hopefully saving us time. I’m planning to take more today.
It was actually so easy to get to that we were ahead of schedule. Whenever I eat before a concert or something, I like to go two hours in advance–it allows you plenty of time to get there, park, eat, then get to your next destination. We had maybe a full extra half-hour, and we set of for Church Brew Works, which we’ve been meaning to try ever since Paul and his dad had some of their beer at a Geibel auction a few years ago.
It’s a really neat place. It used to be a church, obviously, and in some ways, it’s still set up like on–the center aisle is clear, and big, wooden tables and chairs flank the sides, plus a full bar on the left. In front, where the altar would’ve been, is where they brew the beer.
I wasn’t really hungry–I think we’d eaten leftover pizza for lunch or something, I don’t remember. But I was conflicted over whether or not to order pasta, since it’s my weakness, but I made a smarter decision and went with their Veggie Spaghetti. It’s zucchini “noodles” in a beet marinara with vegetarian mushroom and lentil “meatballs.” And it was awesome. It’s kind of exactly what I need out of a meal–vegetarian-friendly and enough like pasta that I feel like I’m eating pasta when I’m really just eating vegetables and therefore eating healthier.
Paul had pumpkin soup and Oktoberfest pierogies with bratwurst and sauerkraut in them, and we ended with a tiramisu dessert. He had a couple of their beers, I had the Oktoberfest special German sangria that was pink and delicious. It tasted like sweet white wine and peaches.
The thing is, it’s what some would call frou-frou food–delicious but in expensive, small portions. Now, this is actually fine with me because I’m quite willing to pay a lot for something really good, and I prefer more reasonable portion sizes. But when you’re Paul, who’s 6’5″ with a huge appetite, it just doesn’t work unless you order a lot of stuff or eat before you go out to eat. Which, admittedly, he probably should eat more anyway. He liked the food, but because of the price and portion sizes, I don’t think he was too happy. And then there’s me, who’s been kind of craving that Veggie Spaghetti the last few days.
We were still really ahead of schedule. I had to drive since Paul was a little drunk (plus in a bit of a mood, not related to the restaurant or me), and we drove the few minutes from Lawrenceville to the Strip District, found parking, and walked around to kill some time. Unfortunately, not too much, since most of the stores close around 5 or earlier and we walked about as far as we reasonably could–we got to a point where we were almost beyond the string of restaurants and stores.
We stopped at McDonald’s, in part because I really had to pee and in part because Paul was still hungry and wanted a burger. And then we waited in line for a while, then we stood around Altar Bar–a church turned concert venue criticized for its poor sound system–and then David Duchovny came on and we had a good time for a little while.