My Love Letter to Pittsburgh

We have found 21 things to love about Pittsburgh right now – what would you add to our list?

Img 3981

On my early morning runs through Wilkinsburg years ago, I used to pass a cream-colored building with beautiful arched windows tucked on the edge of an apartment complex. It had looked empty for a while.

Then in 2017, the lights were on when I passed by. Words appeared on the arched windows: Madeleine Bakery Cafe. Authentic French cafe chairs and tables popped up on the adjacent patio. The opening of this little family-owned bakery — with its delicious ham and butter baguette sandwiches, soups, croissants, macarons and other pastries and breads — started drawing folks from all over the area to this block on South Trenton Avenue. I love having Madeleine in my neighborhood and how it quickly became a gathering place for residents, friends, dog walkers and even running groups. The owners, Andrew and Abigail Stump, say they source their fruits and vegetables from local farms and coffee from local roasters. They’ve imported butter from Normandy and chocolate from Belgium.

During the height of the pandemic, Madeleine closed at times and then offered a sampling of products from an outside cart. Then customers were allowed inside, one at a time. Many contributed to a public investment campaign the owners launched through Honeycomb Credit to get through the pandemic and to keep their business on solid financial footing.

This bistro and the neighborhood support around it are the little gems that make Pittsburgh just a better place in which to live.

Pghmag Virginial Dsc 3971rAs normalcy slowly returns (maybe, hopefully, not soon enough), the Pittsburgh Magazine staff has chosen 21 new reasons to love Pittsburgh right now — 21 of them for 2021 (or to honor Roberto Clemente, whichever you prefer). The list includes some discoveries people made during the last tough 19 months, the resilience and grit that businesses displayed in getting through the pandemic and the vast creativity the city showed in using outdoor spaces in different ways.

What would you add to our list? Please email me to share your thoughts.

Virginia Linn can be reached at

Categories: Editor