Hit the Street: Oakland

Before the college students return from the holiday break, take advantage of all this diverse neighborhood has to offer.


Start at Maggie & Stella’s Cards & Gifts [209 Oakland Ave.] is an upscale gift shop with glassware, purses and much more. It’s affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh and named for the first two female graduates of the school.

You can find a variety of foods, from Italian to Indian to Korean, scattered throughout Oakland. One steady choice is family-owned Middle Eastern restaurant Ali Baba [404 S. Craig St.], which opened in 1972.

Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum [4141 Fifth Ave.] also is a popular event and concert space, but the exhibits it houses are worth your time. Uniforms and artifacts date back to the Civil War, and local heroes also receive their due.

Indulge your sense of nostalgia browsing the shelves at Caliban Book Shop [410 S. Craig St.], which houses a wide selection of used and rare tomes.

Pizza is a must at The Porch at Schenley [221 Schenley Drive], notably the Bianca, which comes with fig jam, goat cheese, arugula and black truffle oil. The bistro, which uses locally sourced ingredients, also operates an early-morning pickup window for coffee and baked goods Monday-Friday.

Enjoy some good, old-fashioned, outdoor ice-skating at Schenley Park Skating Rink [Overlook Drive].


While You’re There

Every Tuesday, Hot Metal Blues and anyone else who wants to join — the crowds can get quite large — gather at Peter’s Pub [116 Oakland Ave.] for brews and a blues dance lesson. No cover; no experience necessary.

Another memorable experience is the Phipps Winter Light Garden and Flower Show candlelight evenings [One Schenley Park]. The conservatory stays open until 11 p.m. with glowing candles and live music through Jan. 11. Make sure to walk through the outdoor Winter Light Garden while you’re there.


Categories: Arts & Entertainment