The World-Famous Yinzer Gift Guide: 2014
You can't miss with a gift from PittGirl’s list of 13 'Burgh-related must-haves.
It’s here, it’s here, it’s here! I have spent hours and hours digging, scraping and searching through the Web, local stores and markets to find 13 thoughtful gifts worth giving this holiday season. Most are made in Pittsburgh or by Pittsburghers, except for a few that were just too good to not list. Prices range from an affordable $5 to a set of rings for $140 (I don’t need to tell you that the woman in your life is worth every cent).
Put down the Kmart circular. Don’t even go to the mall. This is the gift guide full of goodies that will show your friends and family that you loved them enough to shop ’Burghy.
Commonwealth Press “99 problems, but a bridge ain’t one” T-shirt
Ah, Pittsburgh. Problems. Potholes. Pigeons. Politics. As fantastic as our city is, there’s no denying that like all locales, we’ve got problems. But a bridge? Nah. We’ve got plenty of those. More than any other city in the world. (Shut up, Venice, with your stupid little pedestrian walkways you try to call “bridges.”) This simple shirt from the esteemed Commonwealth Press is sure to garner a second look at anyone who dons it. Add it to your gift list for the ’Burgher in your life who appreciates a witty tee.
($25 by Commonwealth Press)
Peculiar Pittsburgh Parking Chair wood ornament
Parking Chair Law. It’s real. It matters. It’s as Pittsburgh as pierogies. The Pittsburgh lover in your life is going to flip over this wood ornament made in Pittsburgh by Bandy Woodworks and Peculiar Pittsburgh featuring a parking chair doing its job . . . protecting a freshly shoveled space. Defending the concrete. This ornament collection also has Mister Rogers, incline, skyline, stadium, Mister Yuk versions and more! Grab a bunch. Give them as neighbor gifts along with the unspoken yet implied message: “Respect mah parking chair’s authoritah.”
(1 for $15 or 3 for $40 on Etsy)
Audra Auzory Pittsburgh Bookmarks
Not everyone has embraced the e-reader. There still are huge numbers of bibliophiles who enjoy the heft of a good book. The sound of the pages turning. The visual reminder of how much of the story has passed and how much more still is left for YOU TO MAYBE WRAP IT UP IN A MORE CONCLUSIVE FASHION, GILLIAN FLYNN. Sorry for that “Gone Girl” rant. For the book lover in your life, grab this new item from Pittsburgh’s own Audra Auzory, made here in Pittsburgh. Choose from two designs.
($15 online or in local stores)
Pittsburgh neighborhoods print
Pittsburgh is the city of good neighbors and great neighborhoods. This print, which will arrive unframed, showcases 88 of our 90 neighborhoods, from Allegheny Center to Windgap, so there’s a good chance your neighborhood is represented. For $10 extra, the artist will customize it with your loved one’s neighborhood highlighted in a different color ink.
($34 for 18 x 24 unframed print on Etsy)
Stackable rings with 14k leaf
Every kiss does NOT begin with Kay. Not when there are talented jewelry designers producing high-quality pieces right here. Good luck choosing an item for your love from Aileen Lampman’s Ai Jewelry collection. She hand-fabricates her pieces out of metals while drawing inspiration from nature. Her items can be found in stores throughout Pittsburgh and once were gifted to Michelle Obama from the city. You can’t go wrong with these gorgeous stackable rings adorned with a gold leaf, but check out her pocket earrings and beautiful bracelet designs as well. And the best part? Getting to tell your love that her gift was made in Pittsburgh by a Pittsburgher.
($140 from Ai Jewelry)
“Yinzer on Board” vinyl decal
Not every gift has to make your wallet cry or your bank account shrivel up and die. Grab a bunch of these $5 window decals for all the yinzers in your life, especially the ex-pats. Flat enough to mail. Small enough to stuff in a stocking. Perfect enough to shout to passing motorists that your heart is in Pittsburgh, regardless of where your car may travel, n’at.
($5 on Etsy)
Global Girl Gifts Pittsburgh card case, wallet or wristlet
I know this is the age of online shopping, and you want me to give you a link to these gorgeous, perfect ’Burghy items, but I can’t do that. If you want to snag one of these wristlets, card cases or wallets adorned with the skyline, jagoff or yinz, you’re going to need to get your yinzer butt down to the holiday market in Market Square before Dec. 23 to visit the Global Girl Gifts hut. Global Girl Kelly Sobczak travels the world and works directly with artisans, families and fair trade groups to create unique, handmade jewelry, purses, scarves and accessories. This particular collection of items is handmade in Cambodia by a fair-trade organization and is selling like Pamela’s hotcakes. Girls will love the wristlets, and guys will love the card cases. Get out of the house and shop like they did in the old days.
($12 to $24 at Global Girl Gifts in Market Square’s holiday market)
8.5 x 11 print of the Cathedral of Learning eating pierogies
I almost can’t handle this. The Cathedral of Learning. Eating pierogies. The Cathedral of Learning. Being adorable. And eating pierogies. This affordable print from SmallTower on Etsy is great for Pitt alumni, Oakland dwellers or just about any ’Burgh lover in your life. Frame it. Stick a bow on it. Watch eyes light up. The Cathedral of Learning. Eating. Pierogies. (Be sure to check out the Steelers print, too. The USX Tower. Throwing a football. AHHHH.)
($20 for 8 x 10 print on Etsy)
Aluminum “Home” keychain
Here’s another gift that won’t break the bank but is still thoughtful and meaningful. This keychain is made in Clinton, Pa., and can be customized to showcase the location of any city you choose, so, of course, you should choose Pittsburgh because that’s where our hearts are. Great for a stocking stuffer or an easy-to-snail-mail gift for an ex-pat who still pines for the ’Burgh and its intangible treasures.
($12 on Etsy)
I Love Pittsburgh ECG-style iPhone case
Love for Pittsburgh expressed in an ECG-style design is a sure winner. The Zazzle shop will allow you to have the design printed on everything from coffee mugs to notebooks to T-shirts for men, women and children, but I am loving the simple design on an iPhone case. Perfect for the ’Burgher whose heart beats for the City of Steel.
($42.95 on Zazzle)
I don’t bike. I don’t run. But I covet this. Fiks:Reflective was born in Pittsburgh, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign by ’Burgher Nick Drombosky, who designs and distributes a wide variety of reflective gear out of his Point Breeze studio. With an eye on style, the entire line of reflective stickers, bike wheel strips and clothing is beautiful while serving an important purpose: nighttime visibility. With darkness coming earlier in the cold months, the biker, runner or walker in your life absolutely will love a Fiks:Reflective hoodie. If you’re looking for a more affordable gift, check out the entire line of stickers and gear.
($75 online at ridewithfiks.com)
Mario Zucca’s Illustrated Map of Pittsburgh
This might be the Pittsburgh print to end all Pittsburgh prints. Artist Mario Zucca’s latest illustration of the ’Burgh is a feast for the eyes. Find Dippy. Find Mister Rogers. Find the Kennywood arrow. The Cathedral. The zoo. The stadiums. It’s all in there. This big 24 x 36 print is available for preorder now and can be shipped in time for Christmas.
($30 for a poster-sized print on Etsy)
Pittsburgh Skyline Socks
Socks. The worst Christmas gift of all? Not so! These socks will be a welcomed gift and are perfect for showing off black and gold love, whether it be for the Pirates, Steelers, Penguins or the city as a whole. No, they’re not made in Pittsburgh, but that can be forgiven on account of how awesome — and affordable — they are.
($14.95 at ThePittsburghFan.com)