Japanese garden a bust… but good day anyway

5/11/22

Well, I finally did make my way to Phipps Conservatory today. I took a different route—via the East End Co-op, Pittsburgh’s only remaining co-op grocery, of the original four from the ‘70s—and it was a pleasant ride. (More of those gorgeous yellow bridges!)

Much to my consternation, though, when I toured the conservatory, I discovered that the Japanese garden was closed for repairs. I was disappointed, since this garden was built by Hoichi Kurisu, of Kurisu International, the same master who designed and co-built (with prisoners) the Japanese healing garden inside the Oregon State Penitentiary, a project I worked closely with for five years. I had really hoped to see this garden in person.

It was not to be, but the rest of the conservatory was enjoyable, including a great desert/cactus garden and some creative art-inspired exhibits. There were also Chihuly glass sculptures throughout, which was really cool.

The rest of the day I spent leisurely cycling around the city and resting in beautiful, leafy parks. I took dinner in that same park from last night (and got a few photos this time!) The meal came from a new, all vegan Trinidadian restaurant, Shado Beni. Spinach, squash, and okra with rice and tamarind sauce—good stuff!

Tomorrow, I plan to ride several miles out of town on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) rail-trail. It’s a very popular trail, and I’m excited to experience it!

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