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

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

You'll have to work hard to make it through the 'Burgh Bucket List — but every entry is more than worth the effort.
Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won Over Troy Polamalu

Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won Over Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu came to Pittsburgh craving the California sun. Nearly a dozen years later, he shares a rare glimpse of the relationships he developed here — with his God, the Steelers Nation and the city he and his family now call home. One thing is certain: he never wants to leave.
Granting the Perfect Wish

Granting the Perfect Wish

By fulfilling the wish of a 12-year-old boy, PittGirl learns that you don't always need a lot of money to grant the perfect wish.
Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Try an updated take on traditional trends with these winter must-haves for men.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Two Cameras to Keep an Eye on Pittsburgh’s Bald Eagles

Two Cameras to Keep an Eye on Pittsburgh’s Bald Eagles

A Murrysville security company plans to install the new cameras, which should provide high-definition of the Hays eagles.
Pittsburgh Offers Free Holiday Parking

Pittsburgh Offers Free Holiday Parking

The city hopes that offering free parking to shoppers on some of the busiest commercial days of the year will give small businesses a lift.
Photo Gallery: Andy Warhol Bridge Yarn Bombing Wins Public Art Award

Photo Gallery: Andy Warhol Bridge Yarn Bombing Wins Public Art Award

The bridge was covered in more than 3,000 feet of colorful, hand-knit blankets in honor of the late pop artist’s 85th birthday.
Pittsburgh-Area Native Advances to Next Round on ‘The Voice’

Pittsburgh-Area Native Advances to Next Round on ‘The Voice’

Chris Jamison, 20, of Ross Township, is a 2012 graduate of North Hills High School.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

Bucket List: 25 Don't-Miss Experiences for the Yinzer in All of Us

You'll have to work hard to make it through the 'Burgh Bucket List — but every entry is more than worth the effort.
Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won Over Troy Polamalu

Finally Home: How Pittsburgh Won Over Troy Polamalu

Troy Polamalu came to Pittsburgh craving the California sun. Nearly a dozen years later, he shares a rare glimpse of the relationships he developed here — with his God, the Steelers Nation and the city he and his family now call home. One thing is certain: he never wants to leave.
Granting the Perfect Wish

Granting the Perfect Wish

By fulfilling the wish of a 12-year-old boy, PittGirl learns that you don't always need a lot of money to grant the perfect wish.
Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Men's Winter Fashion: Season for Swagger

Try an updated take on traditional trends with these winter must-haves for men.
Review: Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar

Review: Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar

Farm-to-table restaurant Eighty Acres brings food prepared with finesse to Plum.
Pittsburgh's Top 10: November 2014

Pittsburgh's Top 10: November 2014

Here are the 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this month.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags