Hat Attack at The Mattress Factory and Randyland –
Over the Memorial Day Weekend my family and I visited two iconic Pittsburgh institutions for June’s Hat Attack at The Mattress Factory and Randyland. As it was super sultry weather I didn’t want to borrow a FeltHappiness shop hat. Instead, I wore my own vintage-inspired, Blue Bird of Happiness headband, which I made during my Bird Hat phase.
Here’s what it looks like on Goldie –
So far, all of my previous Hat Attacks have focused on the headgear, as that is my passion and hence is much more interesting than my lackluster wardrobe. However, seeing the interesting and elegant clothing worn by StyleCrone and her colleagues has inspired me — yes, to go shopping for this month’s Hat Attack! And while I love shopping for fruit and veg, I don’t like shopping for clothing. Does this have to do with a childhood experience or having had to be thrifty as an adult? Let’s not delve into the why. Buying used clothing started in art school and has continued on as an adult. Only nowadays, instead of looking for funky finds and statement pieces, I look for basic items that allow the wearer to blend into the background. Quite boring. There’s a Goodwill Store near my house in Gibsonia, PA. It’s not a quarter as nice as the lovely Sue Ryder charity shop in the Golden Triangle of Norwich, UK. In fact, my local Goodwill is a surprisingly depressing branch; there are cheerier ones in Pittsburgh. So, rather out of character, when encouraged by my spouse, I agreed to visit the sale rack at Macy’s. I tried a few things on which was amusing although not always flattering. And then I tried on the dress that called “I want to be this month’s Hat Attack!”
Here I am in the now beloved dress. It’s even the dreaded Dry Clean Only, but I liked it so much that I forgave it! Those pink blobs behind me are the peonies that march alongside our driveway. They came with our house and magically appear each spring. Hooray!
June’s Hat Attack at The Mattress Factory and Randyland
Dress: Anne Klein; Shoes: Timberland (from Ross); and Purse: from a vendor at the Knit & Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace. Have yet to visit the land of adding jewelry to my ensemble. Maybe in the future. Perhaps I shall make clothing shopping a monthly habit. It’s certainly cheering to buy something that makes one “feel pretty, witty and bright.” I twirl around in it almost as much as Maria in bridal dress shop scene in West Side Story!
To the big city – Pittsburgh
After standing on the driveway for a quick piccie, we drove to the city. Last summer I took my teen to The Mattress Factory, which is a contemporary art museum located in the Northside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He really, really enjoyed seeing and experiencing all the art installations and has been asking to return. So we did; this time with the whole family.
The exhibitions at The Mattress Factory change fairly often so we were a little disappointed not to see some of our ‘old’ favorites. (The spaceships made out of recycled Trader Joe packaging can be seen HERE). However, this installation of polka dots within a reflective chamber room is by Yayoi Kusama and is part of the museum’s permanent collection. My polka dots were quite happy.
If you visit Pittsburgh, do make the effort to visit The Mattress Factory. It was one of the top things to do according to our lovely realtor, Judy! By the by, if you go on Tuesdays, it’s half price which is something to think about as it’s a tad expensive.
Two blocks away there’s Randyland. What is Randyland? It’s an amazing, colorful space filled with public art created by Randy Gilson who bought buildings and lots in the 80’s when the Northside Mexican War Streets neighborhood was not so nice. He cleaned up the litter and transformed the space into an eclectic, but charming space. The process of creating his art, helped transform the neighborhood into a community. We were fortunate that Randy was about and he spoke to everyone on his background and how being ‘not smart’ wasn’t a hindrance to accomplishing what one sets out to do. He has a wall that says ‘Welcome’ in many languages.
He also has a table that seems designed for ‘Selfies.’ Here I am behind the mannequin heads.
A picture that gives one a sense of Randyland’s scale. How about those retro chairs?
And another view showing how the space has multi levels. The man in sunglasses with white-blonde hair is Randy. Randyland is Free but accepts donations from visitors. The woman with the wild hair in the foreground is me!
Anyway, glad that you could drop by for this month’s Hat Attack. While my mind is a-popping with ideas to make and write about, my time is a-shrinking with school holidays. So we’ll have to see how this evolves. My kids are 12 and 16 so they are, predictably, having a screen-time. For the eldest screen-time limiting is a challenge that will probably have to be done at the router level. sigh.
If you’ve enjoyed this month’s Hat Attack at The Mattress Factory and Randyland, or your town or city has an exciting and unique cultural gem, please share down below in the comments.