Old Economy Village and the Mattress Factory

So, you’re probably wondering what the title of this post means..

Well, last Wednesday Jay and I took the afternoon off to celebrate our anniversary. Being the general history nerds that he…er we are, we drove up to Ambridge to the site of the Harmonists’ Old Economy Village. The Harmonists were a religious group that fled persecution in Germany and came to Pennsylvania in early the 1800’s. From what I gathered, they functioned much like a communistic enclave but had capitalistic connections with the outside world. And they promoted celibacy (which, no surprise here, caused them to die out in the late 1800s). Sorry, just a bit weird in my opinion. Nonetheless, they were hard working folk, and they left some great buildings to explore.

Ok, history lesson is over. In the evening, Jay and I went to the Mattress Factory art museum on Pittsburgh’s North Side. I must say that this was one of the most fun art museums I’ve ever visited. It’s definitely off-the-wall and hands on. If you live in Pittsburgh and haven’t visited it yet, you should definitely see it.

Lastly, we dined at Bangkok Balcony in Squirrel Hill–yum!


Jay and I were definitely 20 years younger than the next person on the tour.

The Harmonists liked their wine and grew their own grapes on site. They still have some vines growing there.

Pretty amazing architecture for its time.

In the Mattress Factory museum.

And this was a 20 second exposure taken in a dark room where you are supposed to sit in for 15 minutes to see what is there. Hmm…interesting.

A crazy attack stapler.

All in all, a fun adventure.

Linda - I've been to Old Economy Village a couple times but I certainly didn't seen it like you captured it!! Wonderful!

I was surprised to read that the Harmonists had a love of wine…you would think that would have resulted in some posterity!!

Milla - Oohh very cool pics! I love the water coming out of the spout! And, we are also huge Thai fans! Can't wait to hang out Wednesday…

Rachel and Karl | Pittsburgh Wedding

For Rachel and Karl, one of the most important aspects of their wedding was their guests. Rachel explained to me before the wedding that she wanted a lot of pictures of people enjoying the reception, not shots of shoes or dresses. I believe that emphasis is just a reflection of Rachel and Karl’s genuine kindness and their caring personalities. Their wedding was truly a pleasure to photograph and a beautiful success in all regards.

Rachel and Karl exchanged vows at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Greentree. After stopping at the West End Overlook for some photos, they joined their guests for an intimate reception at the very lovely Morning Glory Inn in Pittsburgh’s South Side. I can’t say enough about this charming venue–great atmosphere, unique location, wonderful people. If you’re planning a smaller reception, you should definitely check it out.


These two flower girls/attendants were a lot of fun!

What a gorgeous dress.

This shot was taken by Jay–I love the joy it captures.

Well, for not being too focused on details, I have to say this bouquet is pretty lovely!

Quite handsome.

Simply BEAUTIFUL!

Love those red shoes…

One of the things Rachel really wanted was a group shot of all their guests. What a fun idea!

Congratulations Rachel and Karl!

Tomi Larson - Rachel and Karl Anderson had a wedding we are all still talking about! Beautiful day, unique reception, fantastic food and happy couple.

Patrick Pike Photos - Beautiful work all around! You really captured the open air feeling to an outdoor wedding very well.

Agnieszka - Aw!!! What a wonderful set!! I love the mirror shot, and the portrait of the 2 of them at the railing ++ you got some aawesome candids! WOW!!

Tara and Nate | Pittsburgh Engagement Pictures

They met as friends–and just began hanging out together. They were just that–friends.

And then Nate was going to move away–and suddenly they realized they didn’t want to live apart from each other. Their relationship had all of the deep roots of a good friendship, but it was obvious there was something more to it than just hanging out and going to concerts.

Fast forward to one pumpkin carving day, and Nate asked Tara to spend the rest of their lives together. She, obviously, said yes.

Last night I met up with Tara and Nate at Hartwood Acres in Pittsburgh, which is always a lovely spot for engagement photos. Due to it being a hectic day for them both (they’re moving in a few days!), we got there kind of late in the evening. But, I think it worked out just perfectly…as you will see.


Pittsburgh Engagement Photo

Yay for brave couples!

Kind of tricky getting down…

We found this awesome tree stump.

How incredible is this? A moon, barn, and a horse in a field!

Tara and Nate, I’m looking forward to your wedding next year!

Lingrow Farm Wedding Photography | Tara and Nate | Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Birchtree Photography Blog | One of Pittsburgh's Best Wedding Photographers - […] of last year. I loved the vision that she had for her wedding, and when I got to meet Nate at their Hartwood Acres Engagement session, I was even more excited for their […]

Love and Poetry

In keeping with tradition, Jay gave me a book of poetry for our anniversary. This is not because he’s a Romeo romantic, but rather because I really love poetry.

I remember the first poet I fell in love with. I was in 6th grade–he had long been dead. Nevertheless, I was quite smitten with Edgar Alan Poe–and not just because of his famous “The Raven” bit. I still have my first anthology of his work that my mother bought for me in Russia–I know because the price sticker is in rubles.

Now, I’m not any good at writing poetry, but that doesn’t stop me from trying my hand at a verse or two every now and then. But, most of the time I just stick to reading it…John Donne, Thomas Hardy, Emily Dickinson…and of course the Russian poets–Anna Akhmatova and Osip Mandelshtam (thanks college for exposing me to their talent).

This year Jay gave me Sylvia Plath’s “Ariel.” It’s probably about as far from romantic stuff as you can get. In fact, it’s downright depressing. Despite this fact, I’m quite amazed at her raw talent and deft use of the English language. Still, not exactly your snuggle-up with book.

Do you like poetry? Do you have any recommendations for next year?



Winter Reading List » Pittsburgh Wedding Photographers | Birchtree Photography Blog - […] of the stack is the complete collection of Anna Akhmatova’s poetry, translated into English. I love poetry, and Akhmatova is my favorite Russian poet, so this was an excellent birthday […]