A Transformed Penn Avenue

A market and shopping place by day; a bustling creative gallery expo by night. Penn Avenue has transformed into a hub of creative energy through efforts by the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative.



(page 2 of 2)


At Unblurred, a dozen galleries open their doors; heavyweights like the Pittsburgh Glass Center and Dance Alloy Theater (both headquartered on Penn Avenue) hold interactive, participatory events; coffee shops like the ultra-popular Quiet Storm bring music and spoken word; restaurants and cafes offer tastes of their fare—and more.

Other than downtown’s Gallery Crawl, its the only regular neighborhood-wide arts event in town.

“There is a very, very wide range of art,” Morris says. “There is something for everyone. Every gallery has its own little following, and you get some spillage into the next gallery.”

At a recent Unblurred, a new neighbor got in the act: acclaimed restaurant Salt of the Earth. Since opening in the fall, Salt instantly became one of the most-talked-about spots in town; after being open for less than six months, the small restaurant on Penn Avenue attracted enough attention that Kevin Sousa, its chef and co-owner, was named a semifinalist in the prestigious James Beard Foundation Restaurant Awards.

Salt is, however, very much a part of the neighborhood. At April’s Unblurred, staff members hung out at the Glass Lofts and handed out samples. It’s not very surprising that they would get in on the act: Previously, Sousa was a member of the Friendship Development Associates board.

“He’s been a part of the process, and he’s been an asset to the community,” Morris says.

Within a few months, PAAI will decide what’s next, and development will continue along Penn Avenue (several properties available now are listed on the organization’s website) and in nearby East Liberty.

By rights, this should attract more than a fair share of new residents to one of Pittsburgh’s under-appreciated neighborhoods.

And with world-class food, an abundance of art, historic homes and so much more, it’s about time.

The next Unblurred event will be held the evening of June 3 on Penn Avenue. Info: friendship-pgh.org/paai.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Peers, players, and regular observers know him to be one of the best coaches — and people — in college basketball.
15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

From east to west — and north and south — these are the region’s salons and services that make our cut. Having a good hair day doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.
Home of the Year: 2015

Home of the Year: 2015

This year’s selections include a Richland Township house built to appreciate its 160-acre lot and Shadyside garage that was renovated into a stunning, modern dream home.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

See the Resume Tape That Landed Sally Wiggin in Pittsburgh

See the Resume Tape That Landed Sally Wiggin in Pittsburgh

Wiggin is celebrating 35 years on Pittsburgh television.
14 Life-Changing Home Products for 2015

14 Life-Changing Home Products for 2015

Home expert Boyce Thompson previews this year's Duquesne Light Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show and speculates on which products will become fully integrated into our homes soon.
How Big a Salary Do You Need to Own a Home In Pittsburgh?

How Big a Salary Do You Need to Own a Home In Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh tops nationwide list for home affordability.
Why the Browns Could Take a Few Social Media Tips from the Penguins

Why the Browns Could Take a Few Social Media Tips from the Penguins

It seems the 'Burgh's boys of winter are popping up everywhere on the Internet.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Pittsburgh's Top 10 Things to Do in March

Your 10 best bets for this month.
Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Jamie Dixon: Winning His Way

Peers, players, and regular observers know him to be one of the best coaches — and people — in college basketball.
15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

15 Buzzworthy Pittsburgh Salons

From east to west — and north and south — these are the region’s salons and services that make our cut. Having a good hair day doesn’t have to be so difficult after all.
Home of the Year: 2015

Home of the Year: 2015

This year’s selections include a Richland Township house built to appreciate its 160-acre lot and Shadyside garage that was renovated into a stunning, modern dream home.
Preserving August Wilson's Voice

Preserving August Wilson's Voice

Todd Kreidler, who helped to conceive the Pulitzer-Prize-winning playwright’s final written work, returns to Pittsburgh to direct that play, continuing his mission to keep the master’s words alive.
Review: Tender Bar + Kitchen

Review: Tender Bar + Kitchen

Lawrenceville hot spot Tender, once favored primarily for its libations, now is known as well for its culinary offerings.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module