Browsing articles tagged with " city"
Jul
30

MISSION: North Shore Flying Pigs

Now that I’ve revealed my identity, I’m going to be relying heavily on my amazing Affiliated Agents to help keep the secret part of the project going. Needless to say, I’m still getting loads of emails from wonderful people who want to participate. Affiliated Agent K is one of those people She just completed her first mission this week! Congrats, Affiliated Agent K!

Date: Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Time: 7:00 a.m.

Location: North Shore office building, women’s restroom, Pittsburgh, PA

Affiliated Agent K states:

Today, I completed my first mission! I grabbed a cute gift at Pier 1 for $3. It was a tiny glass pig with wings that read “Next time someone tells you to do something that you don’t want to do just look at this little guy and laugh,” creating the joke of “when pigs fly”. I just thought it was something cute for someone to keep on their desk.

I wrapped the gift with the hot pink paper and green ribbon and left my little note along with the Secret Agent L card.

I come into work earlier than most people so I was able to go into the spot to take my photos. I left the gift in the stall of the bathroom for a surprised person to find. Time passed and I checked on the gift a few hours later. It was still there.

A short time later I needed to go wash my hands. I just happened to walk in as my friend and co-worker discovered the gift. She loved it! Luckily, I was able to keep a straight face long enough for her not to suspect anything.

Next time, I think I’ll hind it in a place where there isn’t a chance of me discovering the finder of the gift!

Well done, Affiliated Agent K! Thanks for making the world a kinder, more smiley place!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Jul
20

MISSION: Chocolate in Spain.

You know what I love? When kindness goes international.

My Affiliated Agent J in Spain came through, as he promised he would.

Date: 16 July 2010

Time: midnight

Location: classroom, Madrid, Spain

Affiliated Agent J’s report is as follows:

I am an ESL teacher in Spain now, although next year I will be moving to Budapest. I think that teaching is amazing and you get to learn so much about yourself and another culture. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep spreading random acts of kindness throughout the world!

My first mission was tonight. I am working at a summer camp, and it is tough! The kids are in school from 8:00 – 5:00 PM and receive instructions all in English. Directly following camp, they have sports practice and then stay up until 11:30 at night with mandatory fun activities. Everyone is tired already—the students, the monitors (Spanairds) and the English teachers. I decided that I would hopefully make someone’s day a bit brighter.

I bought two huge chocolate bars which were large enough for an entire class or dorm group, and then snuck one into a classroom where the teacher is having a ton of problems with her students and a dorm group located near my room.



Let’s hope that they enjoy it and are able to share! Also, if you notice in the second photo, there is a long message in Spanish, sadly English would not work for this country…and I had to remind kids not to eat it if they had allergies. (Always the teacher; I know!)

Affiliated Agent J, well done! I’m happy to report that you’re our first male international agent! Keep it up!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Jul
2

MISSION: Mount Veron (a.k.a. We Heart George Washington)


I love when things come full circle. I have Affiliated Agent K to thank for allowing that to happen. When she emailed me and told me she’d completed a mission in Washington, D.C. at Mount Vernon (George Washington’s estate and gardens), I almost fell out of my chair.

My mom was there visiting only TWO DAYS after Affiliated Agent K’s mission! What a small world!



Date: Saturday, 26 June 2010



Location: Mount Vernon, Washington, D.C.

Time: not specified

Gifts: Two Starbucks Gift Cards

Let’s see what Affiliated Agent K experienced!





Well, Secret Agent L, I did it! I completed my first mission.

Last Saturday (6/26) I went to Washington DC for the day to play tourist and I thought, where better to leave my little packages of kindness than Mount Vernon. It was a very hot day and many people there had traveled a great distance.

So I set out with my two little gifts consisting of a 5 dollar Starbucks card in an envelope wrapped in tissue paper (because, really, who doesn’t love unwrapping!)


Once I arrived I realized that this was going to be much trickier than I thought as it was a very crowded attraction and whenever I found what I thought was a good spot, it seemed as though there were too many people around.



I finally settled on a little nook underneath a bust in the education center for my first drop as it was readily visible but not too busy at the time.






I left my second card in the interactive museum area, under one of the question flaps about George Washington. The next person who wondered how many schools are named after George Washington hopefully found a little more than the answer.




After going through the museum, I made sure to walk past the bust where I left the first card, and sure enough… someone found it!!!

What great fun this mission was, I can’t wait to do another!

Thanks so much, Affiliated Agent K! We can’t wait to get your next mission’s stats!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Jun
18

MISSION: Boring Pittsburgh, Troy Polamalu, and Things That Go VROOM!

{Why yes, that IS Troy Polamalu!}
When my friends at Boring Pittsburgh contacted me and suggested we work on a collaborative mission, I immediately said, “YES!” The more people in the world who want to combine forces for good, the happier this secret agent is.

The collaborative mission began with instructions for me to retrieve the mission materials at a super secret location. I, of course, complied.
exhibit a:

Upon retrieving the “top secret mission materials,” I opened the container to find 1) said materials {Hairy Helmets} and 2) a memo from my co-conspirators.

exhibit b:

The memo instructed me to place the contents of the tube on unsuspecting individuals’ car attenae. And the only special request indicated in the memo was to include the co-conspirator’s logo.

exhibit c:

I love a good mission, and I love collaborating, so the obvious next step was to tell myself,
“Let’s do this.”
I typed up a happy note for my recipients…

…and made sure to include my co-conspirator’s logo, as requested:

Location: Shadyside neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: Thursday, 17 June 2010

Time: between 5:43 p.m. and 8:27 p.m.

I gotta admit: messing around with people’s cars isn’t something I enjoy doing. Which is why this was probably the hardest mission I’ve completed yet. And in broad daylight? Yikes! I worried about not only being seen but also setting off potential car alarms. Can you imagine that? I can just see the headlines now:

“Secret Agent L Nabbed by Police as She Vandalizes Neighborhood Cars with Steelers Paraphenalia.”
Nonetheless, I bucked up and began on Alder Street.

After walking around and looking for cars and trucks that showed the owners’ obvious love for the Steelers, I stumbled upon a grey pick-up truck that had a Steelers sticker on the back window.

Target #1 acquired:


Next stop, Shady Avenue and Howe Street:

Target #2 acquired:

Final stop? Shady Avenue and Walnut Street:

Target #3 acquired:

I gotta tell ya, this was a rough mission for more than just the fear I felt because of messing around with people’s cars. You’d think, after completing over 100 missions, that I’d remember to WEAR SENSIBLE SHOES.
Needless to say, these–


–were barking by the end of the mission.

But on my way back to Command Central, I ran into a beautiful display of flashing flourescent lights in front of me. Nothing like lightning bugs to remind you just how beautiful this world is, even if your feet hurt.

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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Jun
10

MISSION: Late-Night Ninja-Style

Secret Agent L here! Well, it’s no secret that I love everything from Quotable Cards. I mean, they are IT for me. So when they so generously sent to me a box filled with all manner of goodies, I knew right away that I wanted to do this particular mission I’m about to share with you here.

We all know that the work week can feel a million years long sometimes. And we all know that some days, we just need to know that we’re doin’ okay, that we’re worth so much more than just our job titles.

So, tonight, I decided I’d take some of these inspirational cards from Quotable and leave them somewhere I knew they’d be seen right before the workday begins tomorrow.

And I wanted to make sure that everyone who saw the mission knew that I completed it just because. Because I love and believe in kindness.

Location: Craig Street and Fifth Avenue, bus stop across from St. Paul’s Cathedral, Oakland neighborhood

Date: Thursday, 10 June 2010

Time: 9:58 p.m.

Thanks to my friends at Dunkin Donuts, I had some cards for free iced coffees to give out. Who wouldn’t like one of those to start their Friday with?

I attached my business card to each of the free iced coffee cards…


…put them in an envelope…

…and attached a little note to make sure people knew to take one.


Secret Agent Boyfriend graciously helped me out with tonight’s mission. We hopped in the Secret Agent Mobile (otherwise known as my Chevy) and made our way into the Oakland neighborhood.

We pulled up near the intersection of Craig Street and Fifth Avenue…


…right across from none other than my church: St. Paul’s Cathedral.

There’s a bus stop across the street from my church, and every day when I pass it on my way to work, there are always a lot of people at it.

The pole on which the bus stop sign hangs was the spot I knew I wanted to do my mission. So, with the amazing tape-rolling skills of one Secret Agent Boyfriend, I attached the Quotable Cards to each side of the pole.

I’m a little unclear about what the other stuff was that was already posted on the pole, but I tried to be courteous and not post over any of it. I’m a big believer in the freedom of speech, and I wanted to respect what others had already posted there.

It took a few moments to get it all on there, because we had a couple of instances of people walking by (yikes!) and, wouldn’t you know, AN ACTUAL BUS STOPPING RIGHT AT THE STOP WHILE I WAS COMPLETING THE MISSION! Luckily, my back was to the bus, so nobody could see my face.

Other than that, we didn’t have too much trouble. Traffic wasn’t too heavy, so there weren’t a lot of cars driving by as we worked.

There was, however, a security guard approaching me just as I was finishing up. I simply turned and walked towards my car as if I was just taking a nice evening walk. No harm, no foul.

But I can’t say I blame the security guard for approaching me. I mean, I was dressed like a ninja after all.

Yup. That’s me, everyone. I wore all black and covered my head so nobody would recognize me. Let’s hope it worked!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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May
31

MISSION: Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day I, Secret Agent L, take very seriously. Both of my grandfathers served in the Army during WWII, and while neither were killed in combat, their memories are both deeply ingrained in my heart and mind for the sacrifices they made to ensure my freedom. So to think of those who did make the ultimate sacrifice–giving their lives–to ensure my freedom is not something I take lightly. On this Memorial Day, I wanted to make sure that my actions reflected that sentiment.

Secret Agent Boyfriend was a tremendous help in making the two missions of the day go off smoothly. I thank him here publicly. His presence made today’s missions all the more special for me.

I picked up some sunflowers from Trader Joe’s, divided them into two bunches, and put each bunch in pink plastic bin. I laminated my business card (because I knew it’d rain today), along with a message, and attached them to the flowers and the bin.





MISSION #1: Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Greenfield Neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: Monday, 31 May 2010

Time: 1:32 p.m.

Our first stop was the Calvary Catholic Cemetery in the city’s Greenfield neighborhood, right on Hazelwood Avenue. Secret Agent Boyfriend was ready to go:

We drove in to the cemetery, passing by the large stone pillars at the front gate.

At first, we thought we’d leave the bucket of sunflowers by the cemetery’s sign.

Secret Agent Boyfriend captured some video of our covert operation:

MISSION: Memorial Day from secret agent on Vimeo.

But after we saw several cars drive right by without slowing down or stopping, we thought it might be best to move the sunflowers to a more prominent–and stop-worthy–location:

Much to our delight, we saw several cars slow down, roll down their windows, and even get out of their cars to see what the sign said. We didn’t see anybody take any of the flowers while we were there, but we only stayed for about 10 minutes after placing them on the side of the road near a little intersection in the cemetery, so we bet at least one or two people eventually “took the bait.”

The service members’ area of the cemetery is simply gorgeous:

The flags, which seemed to stretch on forever, really made the sacredness of the holiday hit home. I got teary-eyed more than once, and I couldn’t help but get goosebumps while standing amidst such heroes.


MISSION #2: Squirrel Hill Neighborhood, Corner of Forbes and Shady Avenues

Date: 31 May 2010, Monday

Time: 2:02 p.m.

Next up, we decided to hit the street corner. We’d originally wanted to go to Soldiers and Sailors Museum in Oakland, but they were going to close soon, and we weren’t sure we’d get enough people to see the flowers. Thus, the busy street corner near–where else?–Dunkin Donuts.


Only moments after we placed the bin of flowers on the street corner, next to the walk button, it started to pour. And I do mean pour. But, flowers love water, and my business cards were laminated, so all was well.

We figured that we’d get lots of foot traffic on that street, despite the momentary downpour. I hope the flowers, and the message, made the passers-by smile.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

And thank you to all the brave men and women who gave their lives so that we could be here today, enjoying our freedom…and each other.

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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May
29

MISSION: Highland Park

Secret Agent L loves going to the park. Especially Highland Park here in Pittsburgh. It’s filled with gorgeous flowers, wonderful trails, a huge reservoir, a pool, and a fun fountain right in the middle. So many people go there to walk, lay out in the sun, sit under a tree and read, play with their dogs, and have fun with kids.

Since the weather was so beautiful today, Secret Agent L decided to join her friend J (and J’s darling little companion–a Corgie named Corky) for a walk. And a mission, of course!

Date: Saturday, 29 May 2010

Location: Highland Park, the large fountain

Time: 12:51 p.m.

Secret Agent L thought it’d be nice to leave a little something appropriate to outdoor activities. With the generosity of a fellow Twitter friend, who donated several fun journals to the Secret Agent L project, Secret Agent L was able to include this environmentally friendly journal in her mission today.

She thought it’d be nice for someone to find in case that person wanted to sit under a tree and write down all of the things on his or her mind so that he or she could enjoy the beautiful day with a clear, peaceful mind.

Secret Agent L also had some sunflower seeds to include in her mission. Also donated by a fellow Twitter friend, these seeds could be eaten straight away or planted later for tall, bright sunflowers.


Can you imagine standing next to a 7′ sunflower? Sure to bring instant happiness!

And what day at the park is complete without bubbles? No day, that’s what! So Secret Agent L made sure to include this little bottle of fun for her unsuspecting recipient.

It even has two wands so that more than one person can get in on the fun! Besides, sharing is the kindest way to play, right?

Secret Agent L attached her signature note, of course:



And she headed off to the park.

The entrance to Highland Park is gorgeous: two tall pillars, complete with bronze statues tarnished by years’ of the elements.

If you’ve never been to Highland Park, you simply must go! Just follow Highland Avenue until you can’t go any further, and there you’ll be.

The park has a beautiful sitting area, around a large fountain, where there are wrought-iron benches inscribed with the park’s name:

And the flowers! Oh, the flowers! They took Secret Agent L’s breath away.

She made her way towards the fountain and found an empty bench on which to sit while waiting for her friend. It also gave her a few minutes to prepare her mission.

When nobody was around, Secret Agent L left her gifts, snapped some photos, and met up with J and Corky.

The group of three walked the entire way around the park, and when they arrived back at their starting place, they noticed that the gifts were gone.

Much to their delight, the empty bench signified that someone had stumbled upon the treasure and took it with them to enjoy while spending the day at the park.

And once the Italian Ice vendor makes his appearance at the park like he always does, Secret Agent L will be right back there, leaving some coins for someone to find so they can enjoy a nice, cool treat!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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May
24

MISSION: Giant Eagle

Hello, All!

Secret Agent L here. Well, it’s been quite a while since I did a mission. I apologize! Life got kinda busy, but today I swore up and down that I’d do a couple of missions.

And I did!

I actually did three missions, but was only able to take photos of two of them. So, here they are!

For those of you not familiar with the Pittsburgh area, we have a grocery store chain here called Giant Eagle. There’s a really nice one in my neighborhood (Shadyside). Giant Eagle also has a gas station called Get Go, where you can get money taken off each gallon of gas when you use your Advantage Card at the store. It’s a great place. My parents have gotten whole tanks of gas for free sometimes!

Today I thought I’d complete my missions in complete Giant Eagle fashion: at the gas station and at the store.

MISSION #1: Quote card

Location: Get Go gas station, corner of Baum Blvd. and Morewood Ave., Shadyside neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: Monday, 24 May 2010

Time: 5:11 p.m.

I’m a big fan of quotes. I came across these lovely free downloads over at Kind Over Matter, and I thought to myself, These would be perfect to leave all over town!

I printed out several of my favorites, put a Secret Agent L sticker on the back of each one, and I was ready to go.

Luckily, this wasn’t too difficult of a mission. Despite the fact that every pump at the station was in use, my car and I were positioned such that nobody could really see what I was doing.

I filled up the ol’ tank ($0.20 off a gallon!), put the gift in place, snapped some pictures, and was on my way.




Next up on my list of missions was a mission I was really excited to do. Don’t get me wrong: every mission I do excites me. But this one felt extra special.


MISSION #2: Beautiful necklace from Antique Renewal

Location: Women’s restroom, third stall, Giant Eagle, Shadyside neighborhood, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: Monday, 24 May 2010

Time: 5:23 p.m.

A few days ago, I got a beautiful necklace in the mail from the woman who runs Antique Renewal on Etsy. She explained to me that she’d been going through a really rough time lately, and that she’d wanted to send more jewelry for me to use in my missions, but that she couldn’t right now. Instead, she mailed a beautiful necklace to me. I assumed it was for me personally, since she mentioned in her note that she wasn’t sure if it was my style or if I even wore things like it. I was so touched that I decided I couldn’t possibly keep it. I had to pass on the kindness. For her to offer something to me during a difficult time in her life touched my heart. And I knew that I had to continue spreading that kindness.

So, I printed out my explanation card, complete with a “P.S.” at the bottom explaining just how special this particular gift was, and got to work.

My friend explained that the particular stone used in this necklace is thought to bring healing.


I think it also brings kindness. :)

I had to go to the grocery store anyway to pick up some necesseties (ice cream and hot fudge, of course, for tonight’s season finale of Chuck).

Because the store is so large and such a priceless gift could get lost or overlooked on one of the shelves, I opted for one of my favorite hiding places:

I walked in, chose the only empty stall there was, and got down to business. Well, not that kind of business!

I hope that the woman who finds this beautiful necklace will always remember how extraordinary the simple act of kindness really is.


My third mission, which I didn’t get to photograph, was another quote card, which I left in the shopping basket on the floor near the checkout counter. I think an employee found it moments later when I saw him walking towards the lane with other shopping baskets, as if he was making his rounds and collecting them. I hope it made him smile!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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May
8

MISSION: A Giveaway!

If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that Secret Agent L did a mission involving free tickets to the Pittsburgh Playhouse’s Playhouse Jr. production of Seussical. Well, Secret Agent L would like to offer her Pittsburgh readers a chance to win 4 free tickets to the production!

Do you have kids? Or are you a kid at heart? If you live in or near Pittsburgh (or are willing to drive here) and would like the chance to win 4 free tickets to see Seussical, then all you have to do is leave a comment in the comments section and tell us your favorite Secret Agent L mission so far and why, and Secret Agent L will select a winner using a random interger selector.

The production runs weekends only May 7-23, 2010, so if you win, you’ll have your pick of which night you’d like to go. The voucher for the 4 free tickets will be mailed to the winner in time to attend the May 14th production if preferred.

This giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, and the winner will be announced the morning of Wednesday, May 12, 2010, so be sure to check back then!

Good luck!

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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May
6

MISSION: Mega Mission Follow-Up

Last week, Secret Agent L posted about an email she received from one of her trusty Affiliated Agents regarding an upcoming mission of Significant Size and put a call out for all those interested in participating in this Flash Mob of Kindness. Well, she recently received another email from that same Affiliated Agent in which more details about said mission were revealed. Here are the details from Affiliated Agent M’s latest email:

“From the looks of it, SAL, it sounds like there’s a lot of interest. If people want to get a hold of me at affiliatedAgentM@gmail.com or DM me on Twitter, I can start sharing the details for this mission.

“If people are wondering, it will take place somewhere in downtown Pittsburgh. If people are still interested in helping out and being a part of something awesome but don’t think they’d be able to be “dahntahn” for what ever reason, they can still get a hold of me.

“The plan is for this mission to cheer up some people in downtown Pittsburgh, but the doesn’t mean there can’t be small armies of people all over the place doing synchronized acts of kindness…anyone interested regardless of location can e-mail me, and I’ll swing through the comments of the first post and poke some of the people there as well.

“Thanks for helping out with this, SAL. It’s gonna be awesome!”

Yes, yes it is, Affiliated Agent M. Secret Agent L can hardly wait.

Secret Agent L

Secret Agent L says, "Be Kind. No Exceptions."

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