My First Consol Energy Center Experience!

If you do not follow hockey or are not from Pittsburgh you might not even know what the Consol Energy Center is. It is a brand new arena that was built in downtown Pittsburgh and is the new home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens old building the Igloo has been there forever and was just not with the times. So many of the seats were bad, the scoreboard was not even digital and the place was falling apart. A couple of years ago Pittsburgh decided to build a new arena and last night I caught my first Pens game there!

I wasn’t even sure when I was going to see my first game at Consol Energy Center, but luckily my friend Nick had tickets to a pre-season game and didn’t want them. He offered them to me last minute and I gladly accepted. By the time I got down there and picked my girlfriend up it was towards the end of the second period. When we got in there the first thing I noticed was how nice it was. We walked in and someone with a barcode scanner scanned our tickets and we were in. None of those old turnstiles, which just got in the way.

We made our way up to our seats, which were in section 214. Which is basically the top of the building. One thing I really liked were all the escalators, no more walking up the long ramps. When we got to the top of the building the first thing I noticed was how open it really was. Before in the old building everything was closed off, all of the concessions were in a hallway behind the stands and you were really separated from everything. Now everything is open, there is per-say a hallway but it is all open now, which one makes you feel less cramped and two allows you to still catch the game if you are getting food.

Our seats were only 2 rows back from the last seats and to my surprise they were REALLY good seats. A few of my friends have season tickets say there is not a bad seat in the arena at all. From my experience last night I would have to agree with that statement! The arena is separated in to 2 main sections. The lower bowl and upper bowl, with 66 suites in between the 2 bowls. Also there is a good amount of “lodge seats” which I think replace the old “Gold Circle” seats. The Igloo club has been replaced with the First Niagara club if I’m not mistaken. As far as food and drinks go there is a lot! I first noticed a full bar up on our level, which was only available at the Igloo Club before. When it comes to food you have your typical concessions along with some local favorites like Nakama (sushi), and Primanti Bros. I didn’t get a chance to eat anything while I was there, but next time I’ll be sure to check one of the places out.

It was a pre-season game and the Pens played the Blackhawks. The Pens ended up winning 4-1. It was nice to see a digital scoreboard and a huge screen to watch replays on. As I said we were at the top of the building 2 rows back from the “worst” seats and I was impressed. There was no overhang or things blocking our view. We could see everything perfectly. The Pens ended up winning 4-1. Here is a video of some of the action from last night. I took it with my iPhone 4 and did the editing with iMovie, check back soon for an article on all that.

If you can manage to get tickets even the cheap seats are good seats at Consol. I will definitely be back for another Pens game soon!

Back Home and All Moved In!

Well I’m back from my vacation in Myrtle Beach and I’m all moved in to my new place! That’s right I’ve moved once again! Back in June I moved into my friends apartment, but that was only a temporary situation until the new place was ready. 2 days after I got back from vacation I was moving into the new place, so the past week has been quite hectic!

The new place is only 5 minutes from my old place so I’m back in the city! The big difference between this place and my old place is that this place is an actual apartment building, not an old house that has been converted into apartments. This is not only an apartment building, but a high-rise! I moved in with my friend Jeremy who I was already living with and our friend PJ. Both guys are pretty down to earth and most importantly CLEAN!

So about the new place, let’s just say it’s awesome! Its a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom 1900 Sq. Ft. penthouse! We are on the top floor which is the 23rd floor. The building is up on top of a hill so it seems like you are even up higher than what you really are! The best thing about the new place is the view. We have a patio that is on the roof of the building! The view is just amazing!

The main living room is HUGE! It is 40 feet long so we actually have 2 living rooms setup. We also have a fireplace, which is nice.

My room is the largest because I needed room for my “office”. I really like how I have things setup, but I still have a lot of unpacking and organizing to do.

It feels so good to have my office back and it is really going to help me get more work done! Also the large living room and outdoor patio are great for relaxing and getting my mind off things. Once we get everything setup I will make another post with updated photos.

The Clique Vodka Launch Party

Clique Vodka was recently released and it was actually started by a group of people here in Pittsburgh! A few of these guys actually happen to be friends of mine so they invited me to the launch party for the Vodka. The party was hosted at the PPG Aquarium, which was actually a very cool setting for a party.

Guests were able to check out all of the fish and other wildlife while enjoying Clique vodka cocktails. There was a great mix of people at the event. There was press, nightlife people, even the mayor showed up! Here is a video I made of some of the sights and sounds of the event.

This event was one of my favorite events that I’ve been to in the Pittsburgh area. The mix of people, networking, atmosphere and great drinks made for a really good time. Clique did a great job showing everyone they are not only a vodka company but a complete brand. I really like where they are headed and I wish them all the best luck!

Connecting with People in Your Area

One thing that I’ve always stressed to people when going to conferences is that you should always meet new people and network. I have met some great business partners and good friends at conferences and I would have never met them if I didn’t take the initiative and go up to them and introduce myself. You should always try and meet new people whether you are at a conference or if you are at a local event. Over the past few years I have really been able to connect with a lot of people in the Pittsburgh Area. This has not only done good things for my business, but I’ve met a lot of friends in the process. Here are the some of the people / groups I’ve been able to connect with lately.

Pittsburgh Podcamp
Pittsburgh Podcamp is a community UnConference for people who create, enjoy or are interested in learning more about blogs, vlogs, audio podcasts, web video, content networks and new media monetization. Last year was actually the first year that I went and it was a great experience. I met a lot of people and really was able to get people in the Pittsburgh area to know about ThinkComputers and this blog. Podcamps are held all over so you should really see if there is one in your area.

MidnightGuru is a website that a few of my friends started that is all about nightlife in Pittsburgh. It lists events, hotspots, bartenders, etc. It is basically like a facebook for nightlife in Pittsburgh. I have been to many of the MidnightGuru events over the past few months and have met some great people.

Pittsburgh Tweetup
If you have a Twitter account and are not part of a Tweetup group you really should be. A Tweetup is a meeting of Twitter users who are interested in the same things. The Pittsburgh Tweetup group has a simple ning website that lists events and anyone can create an event. I’ve got to go to quite a few of them and they are a lot of fun! I think the best was the NHL Tweetup.

Faded Industry
Faded Industry Entertainment is a Pittsburgh based company that that capitalizes on all aspects of the growing Entertainment Industry. Faded Industry’s culture of social networking through positive interaction fuses people together to achieve their entertainment needs by developing successful relationships and connections in a primarily divided industry. Faded throws very large events around Pittsburgh and I’ve been to quite a few of them. I have met many of the people who are part of Faded and they are great people. My favorite Faded event so far was the white party over memorial day weekend!

Pittco or Pittsburgh LAN Coalition is a group I actually helped start. They are an organization that hosts Local Area Network gaming parties (‘computer and console gaming convention’). They are comprised of several long-standing local LAN gaming organizations working cooperatively as one entity. They offer Pittsburgh’s premier LAN party experience and have had several large events over the past few years. If you like gaming and computers you should definitely check out one of their events. I’ve actually found some ThinkComputers staff members there!

A Fun Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend was Memorial Day and for most people it is a long weekend. Since I work from home it really was not a long weekend for me, but I did enjoy my weekend. As I said in an earlier in a post I have been getting out more and this past weekend was no exception. The weekend started on Saturday where we went to a party down in South Side. The party was at a Steelers House, but I can’t say who’s place it was. I was actually surprised when we got there because it is in the middle of South Side, but since it was on the river it really didn’t seem like you were in South Side at all.

The party was really fun and it was just great to relax and have fun. Most of our group showed up so it was really a good time.

After the party we all headed over to Diesel which is a club here in Pittsburgh. They were holding a “White Party”, which if you don’t know is where everyone wears white. It was actually really cool and it was the first time I’ve actually gone to the white party in Pittsburgh.

Finally on Sunday I went to a cookout / party at my friends house. That was also a lot of fun. There was a ton of food and it was nice to just relax. I really hope everyone had some time to relax over the holiday weekend I know I did!