90 Neighborhoods and What We Love About Them
Explore the ins and outs of Pittsburgh’s incredible, diverse neighborhoods with fun things to do in every part of town.
(page 9 of 10)
For 23 years, Pittsburgh Musical Theater has trained young pupils in the art of performance. The company produces pro-grade Broadway shows at the Byham Theater, but students begin their training at PMT headquarters, a vintage brick building in Elliott. (Most people assume it’s a West End institution, but it actually lies just over the border.) Within its classrooms, teenaged thespians take dance, vocal and acting lessons, hoping to bring their newfound razzle-dazzle to the Cultural District and beyond. Academy founder Ken Gargaro has seen alumni crisscross the country, starring on stage and screen. Now that’s show business. — Robert Isenberg
[327 S. Main St.; pittsburghmusicals.com, 412/539-0900]
The red cars of the Duquesne Incline connect Mount Washington to downtown Pittsburgh and serve as an icon of the cityscape. Behind the scenes, a team of about two dozen workers makes sure they scale the mountain all day, every day. Chuck Massey mans the controls from an office atop the track, between the east and west cars. He operates the doors, bells and when the cars stop and go. When he’s not running the incline, he also gives tours to community groups. “I enjoy talking to people and meeting people,” he says. “I get to find out where they’re from. It’s really nice to hear what other people think about the incline and Pittsburgh. And the view — they say — is spectacular.” — Elizabeth Speed Kabus
[1197 W. Carson St.; duquesneincline.org, 412/381-1665]
Venture to Shiloh Grill, the Harris Grill’s sister restaurant atop Mount Washington, where intrepid travelers who make it up the hill are amply rewarded with a piping-hot block of lasagna. — Jilly MacDowell
Thanks to PNC Park, we’ve gotten used to live sports with a dramatic view. Now that Highmark Stadium — home of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the USL Pro soccer league and women’s football team the Pittsburgh Passion — has opened, local sports fans have the chance to take in a dramatic cityscape from the South Shore, too. After a soft introduction hosting the annual Penguins Pond ice-skating rink, the Passion faced off against the D.C. Divas in the stadium’s debut game April 6, 2013. The Riverhounds followed a week later, welcoming the Harrisburg City Islanders April 13. The intimate, 3,000-plus seat stadium boasts an up-close view of the action that will remind ’Burghers of a high school football game — but with the city skyline and the Fort Pitt Bridge towering above the pitch. Diehards, meanwhile, are advised to grab a ticket in the Supporter Section behind the east goal, where Euro-style fanaticism is not only permitted but encouraged (time to break out the noisemakers and body paint!). After the game, you can head to Station Square. Fortunately, you’ll have cash left to go out, as ’Hounds tickets start at just $9.50. Can’t get enough of this brand-new spot? The stadium plans to start opening for concerts (fitting because the field sits on the site of the former amphitheatre at Station Square) and other events. Or rent it out yourself for a party of your own. — Sean Collier
[510 W. Station Square Drive; highmarkstadium.com]
Since 1981, James Gallery has exhibited a wide variety of work from artists both local and global. The Gallery — which bills itself as “New Gallery New Ideas in the West End” — is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. The staff at the gallery works through discussion: the consumer’s taste, the space the piece will inhabit, any other pieces in the consumer’s collection and both parties’ love of art. The gallery has in-house pieces, as well as networks, to help acquire art old and new, from paintings to photographs to carvings to lithographs as well as posters and reproductions. Gallery founder James Frederick started with a framing business in 1976 and, to this day, the gallery provides custom framing and preservation services for previously purchased art or family treasures. The gallery also values collections, gives instruction in art care and insurance, and assists when art owners wish to sell or donate. You might recognize the gallery’s efforts at local hospitals including Allegheny General, St. Clair, UPMC Shadyside, UPMC Montefiore and UPMC Magee-Womens. Through these partnerships, the gallery staff aims to be “aware and sensitive to patient needs, family comfort, hospital staff, spirit and public perception of the healing environment.” James Gallery’s space, as well as its 1,200-square-foot sculpture garden, can be reserved for meetings and social functions. —Amy Whipple
[413 S. Main St.; jamesgallery.net, 412/922-9800]
This is no ordinary distributor — this is Beer World, Westwood's warehouse of snacks and suds.
Crafton Heights’ Open Door Youth Outreach Center celebrated its 25th birthday in 2012. In addition to after-school, weekend and youth group activities for kids, grown-ups are invited on Wednesday evenings for pick-up volleyball games. — Sean Collier
We can’t confirm this using science, but we’re pretty sure it’s impossible to be bored at AMF Noble Manor Lanes. Competitive types will dig this Oakwood spot, with bowling, billiards, darts and a full-service grill. — Sean Collier
Sheraden Park is a sprawling urban oasis, offering playgrounds, trails and plenty of shade.
There’s a vision of the perfect summer night that sticks in people’s minds: Strolling down a tranquil neighborhood street. Passing a Little League game under the lights. Ordering ice cream through the window of a corner shop. In most places, this is a bygone fantasy; in Windgap, it happens every night, thanks to Remember When Ice Cream. The store was built in 1960 as a barbershop; before the first hairs could be trimmed, though, a rival opened down the street. The owner called an audible and converted the small building into a place for frozen treats. Current owner Mary Gettel bought the store in 1991, renaming it Remember When after one of her children uttered the phrase in passing. Gettel decided to play up the nostalgic theme, painting the exterior pink and white. “If we were going to do the ’50s theme,” she says, “we were going to do it all the way.” That extends to weekly oldies nights courtesy of Doo Wop Dan, a local DJ with encyclopedic knowledge of early hits; residents tote lawn chairs, order one of Gettel’s original-recipe hard ice cream flavors and listen until after dark. While the theme is decidedly old-fashioned, that doesn’t mean the choices are. The extensive menu not only features a wide variety of shakes, sundaes, cones and hot food, but also boasts health-conscious choices such as gluten-free Dole Whip and pure cane-sugar sodas. “I’ve added all these things to make it a one-stop shop,” says Gettel, who is getting ready to retire and is, at press time, looking for Remember When’s next owner. Particularly ambitious visitors can opt for “Pittsburgh’s Largest Ice Cream Cone,” a mammoth creation so big it won’t fit through the store’s front window. (You can pick it up at the side door.) — Sean Collier
[3860 Chartiers Ave.; rememberwhenicecream.com, 412/331-2234]
Inaccessible Brunot Island rises out of the Ohio River as a lush forest, creeping up opposite West Carson Street. From the edge of Esplen, you can see the island’s only tenant: a rusting though active power plant, minimally staffed and accessible only by a small footbridge running along the railroad tracks. That footbridge is meant solely for employees, so local explorers hoping for a closer look at the largely wooded island will need a boat. It’s a lonely sight now, but this island was once home to a popular racetrack. Much earlier, it served as the first stop on the transcontinental journey of Meriwether Lewis. Technically, the whole island is private property; curious ’Burghers will have to find a convenient spot to investigate with their eyes. — Sean Collier
We’re betting on an underdog: Parkway Center Mall is down but not out — a ready-made shopping center minutes from downtown? We hope to see a swanky development in the not-too-distant future. — Sean Collier
The features that make Sharp Edge Creekhouse an essential stop: the ultra-affordable daily “mystery brew,” mind-blowing appetizers (especially the chicken bites), the array of Belgians on tap and the hundreds of bottles from around the world. — Sean Collier
As with so many of Pittsburgh’s finest traditions, Cellone’s Bakery began in “the old country” — in this case, Torino, Italy. Members of the Cellone family left Italy in 1911 to make a home in Pittsburgh. When they arrived, they baked breads at home and went door-to-door with a horse-drawn wagon. And as do all great Pittsburgh legends, they grew and grew until today. Cellone’s fresh breads are available in grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, with 49 locations alone in Pittsburgh (to which they deliver daily). Local restaurants offering Cellone’s breads also get the personal touch, with daily drop-offs the norm. Cellone’s frozen products have national distribution. The company, in the family for four generations, also boasts of its status as the first bakery in the United States to produce the egg bun, that yellow hamburger favorite. — Amy Whipple
If you pass by the unassuming White Lily Baptist Church in Chartiers, you might spy the hefty anchor leaning on a boulder — a reference to a pair of Bible passages — in front of the building. It’s a striking visual, but the story of this congregation is even more remarkable. The beginnings of White Lily Baptist reach back to 1918, when members began meeting in the basement of a row house; the only decoration was a painting of white lilies. As the church approaches its 100th birthday, its congregants hope to open a community center. — Sean Collier
[3621 Chartiers Ave.; whitelilybc.org, 412/771-2533]