All the Best of All Things Local

Cool Stuff

  1. Introducing The Mansions Collection

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    Mansions Logo cropped

    Local Goodness is thrilled to introduce The Mansions Collection — a stunning collection of items created by local artists inspired by the history, grandeur and artistry of The Mansions on Fifth.

    About the Mansions on Fifth

    Along a busy road in a Pittsburgh neighborhood are stunning remnants of the city’s gilded age.  In this stretch of Fifth Avenue, known as “Millionaires Row,” lie two homes that once housed the family of Willis F. McCook.  An industrialist and one of the nation’s first corporate lawyers, McCook was Henry Clay Frick’s attorney, representing him in Frick’s celebrated fight with Andrew Carnegie.  After the McCook family, the Mansions were home to the Bonavita family who, shortly after moving into the mansion, began renting rooms on the second and third floors to carefully screened university students from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Chatham. For more than 50 years, hundreds of students came to call the McCook Mansion home.

    In 2004, a fire broke out on the third floor of the McCook Mansion, causing substantial  damage to the third floor and the roof, rendering the building uninhabitable.  It sat vacant until Mary Del Brady and Richard Pearson embarked on a long journey to restore the property with an unwavering commitment to preserving as much of the historical detail and integrity of the Mansions as possible. In her new chapter as a luxury boutique hotel, the Mansions on Fifth is now available for all of us to experience the history, grandeur and artistry of this city’s rich industrial past.

    Mansions God of Fire

    God of Fire – adorns the Mansions’ dining room fireplace

    In 2015, Local Goodness joined forces with the Mansions to create a gift line of unique items created by  local artisans.  The Mansions Collection is the result of this effort and on November 29, 2015, the Mansions will unveil the inaugural artists and their exquisite items at a special shopping event.  All items in the collection are available on the Local Goodness Marketplace.  Proceeds support local artisans and historic preservation.


  2. All the best in the New Year!

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    Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year!

    As we enter into a new year…2014(!)…I recently came across the following that serves as a reminder of how we can choose (or not) to spend our time and energies.  Wishing you a bountiful and purposeful New Year!

    “The paradox of our time in history is that:

    We have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. 

    We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. 

    We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time.

    We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

    We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

    We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

    We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

    We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.

    We’ve added years to life not life to years.

    We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

    We conquered outer space but not inner space.

    We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

    We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

    We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.

    We write more, but learn less.

    We plan more, but accomplish less.

    We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

    We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

    These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships.

    These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes.

    These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.

    It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.

    A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

    Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

    Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. 

    Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

    Remember, to say, ‘I love you’ to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it.  A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

    Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

    Give time to love, give time to speak!

    And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

    And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.”

    ~the above is attributed to George Carlin.  Whether this is true, I don’t know, but the sentiments are worth sharing.  Life is short, make every moment matter!!

    All the best,


  3. Giving Local

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    Rhonda joined Paul Guggenheimer on Essential Pittsburgh (WESA 90.5 FM) to talk about the joys of Going Local with your holiday gift giving.


    WESA recently updated their website, so this link is currently not available…sorry!


  4. Foodie Gifts — Local Goodness Style!

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    Whether a stocking stuffer, host(ess) gift or THE BIG item, it’s easy to fill your foodie gift-giving needs from local sources — even at the grocery store!!  Had a blast finding items for all the foodies on my list.  Check out our finds in our Local Foodie Gifts Shopping List where we found tasty treats and gifts of good taste that are not onlyfabulous gifts, but support local farms, producers, merchants and companies.

    Happiest of Holidays … may the spirit of the season be with you now and throughout the New Year!

    Be sure to watch again on December 15 for a special Local Goodness segment on Gifts that Give Back!


    Our Shopping List & Links

    Gifts of Food

    Isadore Foods- Fresh from the Farm – gift of an Isadore Foods one-time box or CSA Subscription

    Pittsburgh Public Market

    Giant Eagle Market District – Robinson

    • Italian Dinner – Fede pasta, DelGrosso sauce, Mediterra bread and Delallo bruchetta spread

    Gifts of Good Taste

    Ceramic Grillworks:

    • Grillin’ & Chillin’ – Small Grill Dome, perfect for tailgating or steaks on the patio!  Medium and large sizes also available!

    CRATE Kitchen Store and Cooking School:

    • Kitchen Must-Haves – All Clad, USA Baking Pans, Fiesta tableware + gift certificate for a cooking class or other goodies

    TABLE Magazine:

    Check out our special segment from last year — Gifts from the Strip — for more tasty gift ideas!!!

  5. Field Trip — Telluride Festival of the Arts (including culinary arts!)

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    Summer 2009 — Telluride, Colorado

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    For me (and my family) out of town excursions are always enhanced by food.  But this year our end-of-summer Local Goodness adventure was actually planned around food.  We decided we should take our 8-year old son along with us to the mountains.  Making choices where to travel in this magnificent state can be difficult, with so much to do, see and experience.  The first half of our trip, however, was made easy because the Telluride Festival of the Arts (including culinary arts!) was the impetus for this trip.  Although both my husband and I had traveled to Colorado many times, I had never been to Telluride or the surrounding area.  What a beautiful place to experience in the summertime!  But as I said, the food was what brought us here…and it was incredible!  The art and food festival was a wonderfully contained event in Mountain Village, a gondola ride up from Telluride.  We watched cooking demonstrations by local chefs, met local artists (and Sophie the dog), and capped the experience with the main event  — an incredible evening eating and drinking our way around Mountain Village, indulging on sumptuous treats from area restaurants.  In Telluride and throughout our entire trip we visited local farmers’ markets, farm stands and enjoyed a bounty of treats — grass fed beef, artisan cheeses from grass fed Jersey cows, loads of organic goodies, fresh roasted peppers, red and green okra, and Poona (a native American cucumber). We cooked trout stream-side, ate Navajo tacos in Mesa Verde, drank micro-brewed beer at the highest brew pub in the United States, and noshed on local cheeses and jerky in Rocky Mountain National Park. Our decision to go to the mountains…in search of food…was rewarded greatly.  If possible, we’ll plan to go back for the Telluride Festival of the Arts very soon and once again, eat our way around the state.