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Plus, a pandemic boat finally gets to float.
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😝 or 😋: Tarchup, Hanch, and Wasabioli

Plus, a pandemic boat finally gets to float.

It’s Friday, friends!

I hope you get a chance to get outside and enjoy the sunshine this weekend. One of my favorite springtime activities is spending time in our city’s green spaces — especially when I stumble upon interesting stories while I’m there.

I’ve got one of those to share with you today. Keep on scrolling for the scoop on this ferry impressive story.

In today’s news: More people are getting vaccinated, but COVID-19 cases are rising too; a sweet birthday surprise for a local veteran; Heinz rolls out catchy new condiments; and yes, you can now “major” in beer.

And for our members: you get the heads up on a new Pittsburgh park collaboration that will really energize you. Bummed to miss out? Get in on the fun by becoming an Incline Insider today.

What Pittsburgh is talking about

West End sunset. | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @fort_frick_412)

4 things to know today

💉 Despite a vaccine push, Pennsylvania passed 1 million COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Here are the latest case numbers. (90.5 WESA / TribLIVE)

➡️ Related: Allegheny County will launch a new registration site next week that will allow residents to sign up for the vaccine and receive notifications when they become eligible. (TribLIVE)

🌈 Former Pennsylvania health secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has been confirmed as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health. Levine is the first transgender person ever confirmed for a White House cabinet position and holds the highest-ranking position of any out trans person to ever serve in the federal governement. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

Quotable: “At a time when hateful politicians are weaponizing trans lives for their own perceived political gain, Dr. Levine’s confirmation lends focus to the contributions trans people make to our nation and deflates absurd arguments calling for their exclusion.” — LGBTQ Victory Institute President Mayor Annise Parker 

📣 More than 400 people stood in solidarity in Oakland on Wednesday, the third protest in Pittsburgh since the attacks in Atlanta. Intersectionality of social justice movements was emphasized, as nine local organizations spoke at the protest and fourteen others helped to spread the word. Another rally against anti-Asian violence will take place this Saturday in Squirrel Hill. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

💃 The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is dancing again with its first live, in-person performance series in Schenley Park. “Open Air: A Series in Celebration of the Performing Arts,” will feature dance, music, and theater from more than 20 local arts groups. Performances will run May 18-31. (90.5 WESA)

4 things to make you smile

🎂 Big Ed gets a big birthday surprise. This local veteran just turned 90 and received cards from people all around the community. Plus, two Pittsburgh Symphony musicians played an impromptu “Happy Birthday” concert in his yard. (KDKA-TV)

🚗 Get aht of tahn! We’re not doing much traveling these days, but you can find your next day-trip destination for a weekend adventure with this list. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🏙️ A pop-up park is planned for Downtown, bringing food, drinks, art, and music to Fort Duquesne Boulevard along the Allegheny River. It’s a part of a list of initiatives by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to bring people back to the city center. (WPXI)

🍺 Is brewing beer your calling? Point Park University is now offering an eight-week course called Brewing Science Academy, the only program of its kind in Western Pennsylvania. Interested? You can register here. (Craft Brewing Business)

⛵A pandemic boat finally gets to float

Erin, Ace, and Red, the dog, rowing in Lake Elizabeth in Allegheny Commons. (📸: Erin Harper)

Allegheny Commons is my home away from home (but really, super close to my home). 

That’s why it caught my eye when I saw my neighbors floating in Lake Elizabeth, which was first created in 1868 as a place to swim, boat, and skate, but has been torn apart and renovated over the years. You can learn more about this history of the name in this article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“I have wanted to build a boat for years, but had a lot more time since I’ve been working from home for the past year,” Erin Harper said.

Erin started building this Fliptail 7 folding boat during quarantine, and when warm days started rolling around, it was finally time to set sail. She took her youngest child and their pup along (Although, she said their dog, Red, is not a huge fan of water but seemed to enjoy the ride once he settled in.)

“I wanted to make a folding boat so I could tow it behind my bicycle down to the river,” She said. “There’s also the possibility of attaching a 3 hp motor to the boat.”

Erin plans to try out the boat in the protected channel in the river by 3 Rivers Rowing next, but she couldn’t have picked a more perfect place to see if this pandemic project sinks or swims...literally.

By the way — this spot isn’t pretty all on its own. Year after year, volunteers clean up Lake Elizabeth to make it a shining spot in the city. If you’re feeling inspired, grab your gloves, boots, and masks for “What the Muck?!” on April 6.

Got weekend plans?

Help us help you! Today our members — a.k.a. Incline Insiders — are getting a weekend guide specially curated by us! It includes tips on a fun, socially distanced event (that will get you exercise and a drink), a new blend from a local coffee shop that you won’t want to miss, and the lowdown on a Pittsburgh podcast we love.

Get in on the fun by becoming an Incline Insider today.

Today

👩 Celebrate women composers at Pittsburgh Opera's free "Women's March" concert exploring 900 years of music (Online)

👗 Shop smart this spring – find everything business casual and professional at the Dress for Success Pittsburgh Fill a Bag (FAB) Presale (Bloomfield)

🍎 Tune in to this virtual event honoring Gisele Fetterman and Leah Lizarondo with the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership’s 2021 Exemplary Leader Award for their commitment to serving the community (Online)

🌱 Turn your kitchen scraps into a new garden with Venture Outdoors and Grow Pittsburgh (Virtual)

💡 Get inspired by women who are electrifying the neon industry and learn about their perspectives in a male-dominated field at a virtual artist talk with the Pittsburgh Glass Center and She Bends (Online)

Tomorrow

🦉 Take the family for a hike through Frick Park and end with bird-feeder crafting (Frick Park)

Monday

👗 Shop smart this spring – find everything business casual and professional at the Dress for Success Pittsburgh Fill a Bag (FAB) Sale — through Wednesday (Bloomfield)

Tuesday

🇮🇪 Dive into Irish genealogy in this workshop through Heinz History Center and get a chance to ask your questions of the experts (Online)

👗 Shop smart this spring – find everything business casual and professional at the Dress for Success Pittsburgh Fill a Bag (FAB) Presale (Shadyside) (Bloomfield)

Wednesday

🍷 Taste wine and nosh on rich and creamy light bites from the comfort of your own home (Online)

🏡 Tune in for tips from Pittsburgh's Cancer Caring Center on how to adjust your home in this workshop designed for cancer survivors and their loved ones (Online)

👗 Shop smart this spring – find everything business casual and professional at the Dress for Success Pittsburgh Fill a Bag (FAB) Sale (Bloomfield)

One more thing …

😝 or 😋: Tarchup, Hanch, and Wasabioli. Heinz has concocted some new condiments, but you’ll have to wait to give them a try. They’re currently only available in Canada. 

What’s your verdict? I’m sure they taste just fine, but I, personally, can’t look at new Heinz flavors without having flashbacks of the colorful ketchups from the 2000s. Please...never again!

Have a great weekend, readers. “Ketch” me in your inbox on Tuesday.

— Francesca at The Incline

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