Walls Are Bad

After a harsh winter, it's time to embark on an urban adventure during Great Outdoors Week.



Photo Courtesy: Cara Rufenacht/Venture Outdoors

After being holed up in our houses and cooped up in our pothole-ravaged cars all winter long, it’s high time to embrace the great outdoors. One way is through the ninth annual Great Outdoors Week in Southwestern Pennsylvania, which kicks off on Fri., May 14. This 10-day ode to the outdoors features tons of fun, physically challenging and environmentally friendly activities—from cleanups along some of the region’s best trails to rowing lessons and almost everything in between.

ROW YOUR BOAT
Want to impress your co-workers with your weekend plans? Two words: dragon boats. The Three Rivers Rowing Association is offering free rowing lessons on Fri., May 14, at the Millvale Boathouse training facility. Anyone older than age 12 is invited to learn how to sweep (single-oar rowing), scull (double-oar) and dragon boat (think: collaborative kayaking), or just to learn what those terms mean. Participants can get comfortable with paddling techniques on rowing machines and indoor tanks before moving out onto the water. Bring sunscreen, or since this is the ‘Burgh, possibly an umbrella. Info: threeriversrowing.org, 412/231-8772.

PEDAL PITTSBURGH
Attracting more than 2,000 cyclists every year, Pedal Pittsburgh starts at South Side Works on Sun., May 16, and takes riders on tours of the neighborhoods and design landmarks that make our city unique, like the Morningside business district, East Liberty’s historic enclave and the Mt. Washington rain garden. Participants can choose from six courses—ranging from 6 to 60 miles—so a good ride is guaranteed whether your interests are casual or competitive. Registration is $25, but a T-shirt is included, and all proceeds benefit the Community Design Center for Pittsburgh, a nonprofit organization that “promotes quality of life through good design of the built environment.” Info: cdcp.org, 412/232-3545.

VENTURE OUTDOORS
The following weekend, be sure to check out the Venture Outdoors Festival on Sat., May 22, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Point State Park. Here you can warm up with a yoga session, work up a sweat by kayaking or scaling a rock-climbing wall and then cool down by fishing at the newly renovated Monongahela Wharf. Best of all, it’s free. Info: ventureoutdoors.org, 412/255-0564.

Hot Reads

Review: Sienna Mercato

Review: Sienna Mercato

Matthew Porco, one of our Chefs of the Year, designs the menus at Sienna Mercato's downtown establishments.
An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

PittGirl has had enough of the criticism of fanatics and asks the media to stop labeling everyone.
Film Noir Fall Fashion

Film Noir Fall Fashion

Fall into autumn with a fashion landscape awash in black, white and nifty shades of gray.
8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

Hoping to take a leaf-peeping road trip? Keep food at the top of your priority list and consult our lineup of eight destinations, most within 150 miles of the city.

The 412

Awesome Hyperlapse Video Takes You Through Pittsburgh at Warp Speed

Awesome Hyperlapse Video Takes You Through Pittsburgh at Warp Speed

Instagram’s new Hyperlapse technology was made for Pittsburgh.
The 10 Most Important Concerts in Pittsburgh History

The 10 Most Important Concerts in Pittsburgh History

We went one on one with legendary promoter Rich Engler to get the scoop on which shows have stood out over time.
8 Photos That Best Capture Summer in Pittsburgh

8 Photos That Best Capture Summer in Pittsburgh

Just because the season's winding down doesn't mean you have to be glum. Savor these images that capture all that you love about the city.
Pittsburgh: America's Most Livable City ... Again?

Pittsburgh: America's Most Livable City ... Again?

It feels good to be at the very top of The Economist's list of high-ranking metropolises in the continental U.S.

Hot Reads

Review: Sienna Mercato

Review: Sienna Mercato

Matthew Porco, one of our Chefs of the Year, designs the menus at Sienna Mercato's downtown establishments.
Film Noir Fall Fashion

Film Noir Fall Fashion

Fall into autumn with a fashion landscape awash in black, white and nifty shades of gray.
An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

PittGirl has had enough of the criticism of fanatics and asks the media to stop labeling everyone.
8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

Hoping to take a leaf-peeping road trip? Keep food at the top of your priority list and consult our lineup of eight destinations, most within 150 miles of the city.
From Field to Fork

From Field to Fork

We put together this dynamic guide to help you find and engage with the region’s sustainable producers of meat, honey, alcohol, fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

PittGirl wonders if it's still possible to raise kids to be big-hearted people in an age of self-obsession.