Short Stay in Pittsburgh
January 25, 2018 12:58 AM   Subscribe

I will be staying in Pittsburgh from this Saturday Morning to Sunday Evening, and I would like to see some nice things.

After WV trip I still like most of the same things, but this time, I am traveling with a high schooler who is interested in visiting U of Pittsburgh as she likely to attend, and two visiting Polish Graduate students.

Are there any food or culture events this weekend? I am planning to hit the Fritz and at least two other art venues.

Is there a thriftstore where I can get Pittsburgh gear (with a PA on it), or a small art shop where i can meet other PA artists?

Help me make my short stay in Pittsburgh as interesting as possible!
posted by tedious to Travel & Transportation around Pittsburgh, PA (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
People watching and food: The Strip District. Best on a Saturday morning. Stop by S&D Polish Deli for some delicious fresh pierogi.

412 for Pittsburgh gear.

Other delicious food places: Zenith brunch on Sunday, Apetka for vegan and delicious polish food.

There are a lot of cute shops in Lawrenceville neighborhood. Where are you staying?
posted by pumpkinlatte at 6:18 AM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Saturday morning - It sounds like you might like the Strip District for walking and shopping and eating and buying local gear at the street vendors. There is at least one small art shop with pottery that is run by the artists so the person working. The Strip District sites are mostly located along one street that you can walk up and down perhaps peeking down side streets. Go as early as you can. On preview, yes, to pumpkinlatte.

Pitt, as U of Pittsburgh is called locally, is located in Oakland, a walkable and people-watching neighborhood. Phipps Conservatory has an outdoor garden area, cute cafe, and nice typical giftshop - all accessible without paying entry. The Carnegie Art (and History) Museum is in Oakland.
posted by RoadScholar at 6:25 AM on January 25, 2018

hit the Fritz

Do you mean the Frick?

There's no guarantee that any particular thrift store is going to have Pittsburgh-related items. I'd say Thriftsburgh but it's closed on weekends (it's student-run).

You might be interested in Wild Card in Lawrenceville. They sell a lot of locally-themed art and goods made by local artists.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:42 AM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Any interest in visiting the Warhol museum?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:14 AM on January 25, 2018

I am a bit of a thrifting expert and when I lived in Pittsburgh, the best thrift stores were the two Red White & Blue locations (closed Sundays).
posted by jabes at 7:22 AM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Pumpkinlatte: I'm staying near the airport.
Chesty: Im all pop-art'd. I'd rather see what's in the other collections in town.

What are the thrift collections like in the goodwills/salvations in town?
posted by tedious at 9:00 AM on January 25, 2018

If you’re near the airport, getting to downtown, Pitt/CMU, qor the Strip will take a while (up to an hour in bad traffic). You can do it by bus (the 28X is the one that’s most likely to go close to where you’re staying) or by car.

If you want to go to Primanti Brothers, which is an iconic Pittsburgh restaurant (they serve sandwiches with fries in the sandwich), there is one on University Boulevard in Moon, which is near the airport. Pamela’s, another famous Pittsburgh restaurant, is only downtown or east of downtown (the airport is west of downtown). Pamela’s is cash only.

Sidewalk vendors in the Strip will have reasonably priced Pittsburgh shirts.

If you’re driving, know that there are a LOT of one way streets, especially near Pitt. Fifth Avenue near campus is one way, but the far left lane is a bus lane going the opposite direction. You can’t drive in that lane, you’ll have to go down the hill and take Forbes to go the other direction.

If you park in a city garage (they’re cheaper than the UPMC garages, especially the rip-off that is the UPMC garage just off Forbes in Oakland), don’t back into your space- that’s not allowed in city garages. Multi space parking meters and parking garages generally take credit cards.
posted by Anne Neville at 10:42 AM on January 25, 2018

If you want to combine the art shop and thrift shop vibes, check out the Center for Creative Reuse.
posted by moonmilk at 11:22 AM on January 25, 2018

The Red, White and Blue stores are great, but if you can't make it out there on Saturday and still wanted to thrift it up, I've had great luck at both of the Community Thrift Center locations as well. They're open Sundays and take credit cards--RWB is cash-only last I checked. Also: neither of these places have changing rooms, so choose your thrifting outfit carefully.

The Salvation Army on the South Side has pretty good prices, and the Goodwill down there is huge and has a pretty good book section. However, I've never really been wowed by the selection at the South Side Goodwill. The Lawrenceville Goodwill is smaller, but I have occasionally had some very lucky finds there (Doc Martens in my size!), so it has a special place in my heart. The L'ville Goodwill is also right next to the Thriftique, which is a wonderfully curated thrift shop with, alas, correspondingly higher prices.

Around Pitt, S. Craig Street is kind of a cool drag. There's a game store, comics store, awesome used bookstore, and a couple of decent restaurants (Crepes Parisienne, Yuva India, EatUnique--but don't go to Lulu's Noodles, they're TERRIBLE now). If you're down around that part of Oakland anyway it might be worth it to check and see what's on at the Miller Gallery at CMU campus--they've had some really rad exhibitions there in the past.

As far as neat weekend events, I checked my Facebook events calendar and here were some of the things that sounded the neatest:
-Wonder Woman: Visions of Truth at the ToonSeum downtown on Saturday. It says 21+ recommended, but I think that's because the cost of admission includes refreshments which likely include alcohol.
-The Flea-for-All Flea Market at Spirit in Lawrenceville is on Sunday morning. BONUS: Spirit has an amazing pizza and brunch buffet on Sundays starting at like 11am. They are cash-only, but they have ATMs there.
-Laugh Riot: Vol. 1 at Roboto Project (an all ages venue) in Garfield on Saturday night. It's billed as a punk stand up comedy show, so that's fun and different!

Also: HEARTILY recommend the Center for Creative Reuse if you like arts and crafts, as moonmilk suggested. It also shares a building with Construction Junction, which is also cool enough to warrant a quick look. Bonus, it is really close to the Frick.

Have fun!
posted by helloimjennsco at 12:12 PM on January 25, 2018

Oh man, I spoke too soon and then thought of more stuff.

The Strip District is a great place to find tasty food and Steelers gear, but it's MEGA crowded on the weekends. If you don't want to deal with crowds, I'd steer clear. If you're around that area anyway though, you may want to check out the Heinz History Center's gift shop for Pittsburgh goodies. It'll be fancy museum prices, but they do have some really cool Pittsburgh paraphernalia, as does Wild Card in Lawrenceville and Commonwealth Press in Mt. Lebanon (and also the Pgh Airport, apparently?)

I'm not sure if your plans include a ride up one of the inclines to Mt. Washington, but if you're up there, Love, Pittsburgh is also a Pgh-themed gift shop featuring local Pgh artists and the cool stuff they make.
posted by helloimjennsco at 12:21 PM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I find the Strip is manageable Sunday mornings. Most places are open on Sundays (Sunseri's and Parma Sausage are the only places I can think of that aren't) starting at 9 AM. Breakfast at Pamela's on 21st St. opens at 8 AM, you can enjoy some hotcakes, then peruse the rest of the strip as everything else opens at 9.
posted by soren_lorensen at 1:17 PM on January 25, 2018

The incline!
posted by Don Pepino at 2:49 PM on January 25, 2018

Thanks y'all for all the great suggestions, especially for the saturday and sunday evening activity plans helloimjennsco!

I've made a Route Planner map for the next person who has this question~
posted by tedious at 2:07 AM on January 26, 2018

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