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The Gypsy Strings are, from left, Steven Wagner, cousins Peter Kosovec and David Kosovec, Bob Sestili, George Batyi and Jerry Grcevich. The group plays Thursdays at Gypsy Café on the South Side.

Photo courtesy of Gypsy Cafe

The Gypsy Strings: Thursdays

Got a little gypsy in your soul? Let it loose any Thursday at the Gypsy Café. The Gypsy Strings is a tambura orchestra led by violinist George Batyi. Other members are Bob Sestili, David Kosovec, Peter Kosovec, Steven Wagner and Jerry Grcevich. Among other instruments, they sing and play the brac’, bugarija and tambura bass.

Music ranges from Hungarian and Romanian tunes to Brahms and traditional tambura, played on long-necked stringed instruments. The group plays “European style,” starting onstage and wending its way to your table for special requests. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a pan-European dinner, with entrees ranging from $14 to $21. (1330 Bingham St., South Side. Thursdays, 8 p.m. $10 cover if you’re not eating dinner. Reservations required. Reservations: 412/381-4977; info: gypsycafe.net)

New Year’s Resolution Hike: Jan. 1

So you decided to take better care of your body this year. Well then sign up for a moderate trek through South Park, where Venture Outdoors is leading a 5- to 7-mile hike over sometimes-hilly terrain. (Off Corrigan Drive, South Park. Fri., Jan. 1, 1-4 p.m. Members, $5; nonmembers, $8. Registration required. Registration: 412/255-0564, ext. 21; info: ventureoutdoors.org)

“Behind The Scenes With The Pittsburgh Steelers: Photographs By Mike Fabus”: Through Feb. 7

Can’t get enough of the black and gold? Then you have to see photographer Mike Fabus’ up-close-and-personal photos of your favorites in “Behind the Scenes With the Pittsburgh Steelers: Photographs by Mike Fabus.”

The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Sen. John Heinz History Center presents photos of the legendary teams of the 1970s as well as the pregame rituals and postgame celebrations of the team’s Super Bowl XL and XLIII wins. You’ll see players and team executives behind the scenes, and there are at least 40 never-before-seen photos. (1212 Smallman St., Strip District. Adults, $10; seniors, $9; children 4-17, $5. Through Feb. 7: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Info: 412/454-6000, heinzhistorycenter.org)

Pittsburgh Remodeling Expo: Jan. 8-10

Deep in the darkest days of winter, hordes of people and companies have their eyes on your house and how they can improve it—from a basic basement remodeling to a new roof, not to mention such assorted must-haves as new window treatments, new windows, flooring, hot tubs, landscaping, fencing and fireplaces. Just ask. They’re there waiting for you.
Some see the shows and booths at the Pittsburgh Remodeling Expo as dreamtime. Others go over the edge and decide they need a new house. (David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Duquesne Blvd., downtown. Jan. 8-10: Fri., 2-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults, $5; under 18, free. Info: 412/565-6000, homeshowcenter.com)

Pittsburgh RV Show: Jan. 9-17

OK, now that you have your first home under control, think about acquiring a second at the Pittsburgh RV Show. Or maybe you prefer a trailer or a tent—those are there too. Or how about another way to get about? Look at golf carts and motorcycles. Plus there are numerous basic necessities for life in the woods and on the road. Some 20,000 stopped by this popular show last year. Join the throng. (David L. Lawrence Convention Center, 1000 Duquesne Blvd., downtown. Jan. 9-17: Mon.-Fri., 5-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults, $10; 55 and older, $9; children 6-16, $5. Info: 412/565-6000, pittrvshow.com)

Mystery Book Discussion Group: Jan. 15

Whodunnit and why, and how much evidence did the culprit leave behind? Get to the bottom of it—whatever it is—with Carnegie Library’s Mystery Book Discussion Group, Fri., Jan. 15, at the main branch in Oakland. The group will look at Douglas Adams’ The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul in the Teen Meeting Room. This is an adult program that meets every third Friday of the month. (4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 1-2 p.m. Free. Info: 412/622-3151, clpgh.org)

Quilters’ Weekend: Jan. 23-24

Quilters will gather Sat., Jan. 23, and Sun., Jan. 24, at the Sen. John Heinz History Center for the third annual Quilters’ Weekend. The event will celebrate the history of quilting in the Western Pennsylvania region and offer hands-on quilting activities, demos and vendor displays. (1212 Smallman St., Strip District. Adults, $10; seniors, $9; children 4-17, $5. Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Info: 412/454-6411, heinzhistorycenter.org)

Cross-Country Ski & Snowshoe Weekend: Jan. 23-24

Go see the trees in their winter nakedness at Wilderness Lodge near Erie. Venture Outdoors will gather there for a Cross-Country Ski & Snowshoe Weekend, Sat., Jan. 23, and Sun., Jan. 24. The lodge “grooms” the snow for traditional striding and skating techniques but sets aside some areas for those who want to explore. Take your own skies.

Hate the big sticks and poles? Opt for snowshoes, free from Venture Outdoors. Registration includes trail passes and lodging Saturday night. (13448 Weeks Valley Road, Wattsburg. Sat., 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Venture Outdoors members, $110; nonmembers, $145. Registration required. Registration: ventureoutdoors.org; info: 412/255-0564)

Toast! To Literacy: Jan. 29

The Women’s Board of Pittsburgh, a charitable organization founded in 1991, selects a favorite cause each year and holds a benefit with all proceeds going to the chosen organization. This year’s party, a luncheon at Fox Chapel Golf Club, benefits The Family Literacy Center in Sharpsburg. Operated by the Fox Chapel Area School District, the center works with parents/caregivers of 3- and 4-year-olds preparing for kindergarten.

The event, on Fri., Jan. 29, starts at 10 a.m. with auctions and raffles followed by a cooking demo at 11 a.m. by Chet Garland, co-owner, with Paul Tebbets, of Toast! Kitchen & Wine Bar in Shadyside. PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE named Toast! “Best New Restaurant” last June in our annual “Best Restaurants” issue. The luncheon, which has raised more than $380,000 over the years, starts at 12:15 p.m. (426 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel. $60. Reservations required. Reservations: 412/963-0513; info: womensboardpittsburgh.org)
 

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