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!

Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park

[ad#right]The other day I went for a walk in Schenley Park and realized that I had taken photos there last fall and never put them up! I actually meant to do a whole blog post on the park but I never happened so here it is now! If you live in Pittsburgh there is a good chance you have been to Schenley Park or at least have heard about it. I had heard about it before I moved into the city, but never actually went to it till last fall. One thing that I’ve learned about living in the city is that there are actually a lot of parks located in the city, which is really nice for people that live in the city. That way we don’t have to drive 30 minutes out of the city to feel like we are out of the city in a nice park.

Schenley Park is located in the heart of Oakland and is really easy to find. It is actually quite a large park, made up of 456 acres! What’s crazy is that many people don’t even know its there! The park was actually founded in 1889, so it’s been there for quite a while. The annual Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix and the Komen Pittsburgh Race for the Cure are held at Schenley Park every year. I actually haven’t even been through the entire park but it is filled with trails, a huge lake, golf course, pool and an ice skating rink.

I usually go to Schenley Park to just relax and get a good walk in and take some photos. Also Schenley Park is right next to Schenley Plaza so some days I will go to the park then head over to the Plaza to use the free WiFi to get some work done. Here are some photos I look last fall at the park.

You can see all of the photos I took here in my Flickr set. Schenley Park is a really great park and even better that its located right in the city! If you are ever in Pittsburgh make sure you take a stroll though Schenley Park you won’t be disappointed!

Things I Hate About Pittsburgh

[ad#right]Well if you didn’t know I’ve been living in Pittsburgh all my life. I’ve live in the suburbs most of my life but I moved closer into the city about a year ago. You really learn a lot about a city when you live in it. I’ve learned even more since living closer to the city and going out more. I originally got the idea for this post from Michael Kwan who did 2 posts about the things he likes and dislikes about Vancouver. So I figured I know a lot about Pittsburgh I should let you know the things I like and dislike about Pittsburgh. This post is the things I hate about Pittsburgh, last month I posted the things I love about Pittsburgh.

The Weather
Sometimes when I’m sitting here working and I look out the window and see rain or snow I think to myself, “Why am I living here?”. The weather can be pretty brutal here, especially in the winter. This year we got one of the worst winter storms in recent memory, because of that I was snowed in! Even if its not raining or snowing there are so many days when the sun just does not come out, it’s pretty depressing.

The Roads
I don’t know if there is not enough funding for road improvement or what but the roads are horrible around here. I’ve had people who do not live in PA say they know when they enter the state because of how bad the roads are, that’s pretty bad! Roads get even worse after snow storms, the salt that they put down destroys the roads. After the big storm this year there were pot holes that took up entire lanes of traffic! And most of these potholes were not even covered for weeks, some are still there! It seems if there is ever an issue with a road it takes forever for them to fit it as well.

I know I might get some flack for this, but it really drives me crazy because when I say I’m from Pittsburgh some people think I’m a hick. Pittsburghese is an accent or dialect that many people around here speak. Instead of staying “downtown” they say “dahntahn” instead of “You Guys” its “Yinz”. I honestly cannot stand anyone that talks like that, it just makes you sound stupid! There is even a Pittsburghese translator!

Small City
Now in my things I love article I did say I liked Pittsburgh because it was a small city, but I also don’t like it because it is one too. First it seems that if you go out whether it be the southside, station square, the strip etc on a friday or saturday night you are bound to run into someone you know. And if you meet someone it is likely they know someone you do, things like this are annoying to me. Also since this is a small city there are very few new companies that decide to put up a store in Pittsburgh. There are so many retail shops and restaurants that I would love to see in Pittsburgh, but they just are not here!