One of a Kind Boutique Drops in Downtown

Plus, DIY holiday gifts in the Strip and the perfect party soundtrack.


UNIQUE GIFTS, PART ONE: ONE-OF-A-KIND BOUTIQUE DROPS IN DOWNTOWN
Finding a handmade gift in 2011 usually means one thing: calling up a website beginning with the letter “e”. (Etsy and eBay being the most obvious examples.) Fortunately, some local spots have made it their business to branch out beyond brands this holiday season. Drop by Fifth Avenue Place anytime between now and Christmas, and you can knock out most of your list at Adar & Mimi, a temporary boutique operated by two 'Burgh entrepreneurs.

Established to make custom purses by a mother-and-daughter duo, the previously web-only line has begun making semi-regular appearances in the Fifth Avenue Place shops around holidays. This season, they’re offering their signature fashion and accessories for women and kids, as well as wares from a dozen other local artists—from knitted wraps and felt purses to chocolate-covered marshmallows and locally sourced spaghetti sauce. And if you’ve got a tween to shop for, try Adar & Mimi’s signature: fashionable, everyday tutus. “Tutus aren't just for dance class anymore,” Mimi reports. “Girls are wearing them to school over jeans and leggings.” Who knew? You do, now. Head downtown to shop—maybe even make a night out of it with a cocktail or two at a nearby hot spot!

(120 Fifth Ave., downtown. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Info: adarandmimi.com)
—Sean Collier, PM Associate Editor
 


ALI SPAGNOLA'S PERFECT PARTY PLAN

At some point during her CMU career, Ali Spagnola noticed that many college parties began with a disorganized “Power Hour” —for the uninitiated, that’s taking a sip of your drink once a minute for an hour. Taking a step to turn the pre-game into the party, she wrote 60 one-minute songs to accompany the ritual—for every new song, take a drink. The ensuing concerts became legendary, and after years of honing, the Power Hour Album is now available—so you can play along at home. Tomorrow, though, is when Spagnola will celebrate the album's release at Diesel with the raucous live version. Get the full story in this week’s edition of After Dark!
 


UNIQUE GIFTS, PART TWO: MAKE YOUR OWN AT SCC

Going the D.I.Y. route with your presents can be tricky. While gifts with some personal effort involved are always appreciated, you have to be sure that the craft you produce actually looks professional and presentable! Luckily, the Society for Contemporary Craft wants to help. This month, it's offering drop-in gift-making classes on the weekends to walk you (or an enterprising little one) through the process of creating that unique present. Fashion a duct-tape masterpiece this weekend with artist Samantha Braga; next weekend, guest calligrapher Pam Morrison will help you make that card look extra fancy, and classes on hand-printed gift paper will make even your wrapping seem exciting.

(2100 Smallman St., Strip District. Dec. 10-11, 17-18: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $10 per gift. Info: contemporarycraft.org)
 


IN THEATERS THIS WEEKEND:
New films coming to Pittsburgh this weekend include madcap Jonah Hill comedy The Sitter, the unnecessary ensemble comedy New Year’s Eve and a return engagement of Three Rivers Film Fest fave Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. PM Film Editor Sean Collier will make his only December appearance on the 102.5 WDVE Morning Show Friday at 7:15 a.m. He’ll be launching into a whirlwind December roundup, reviewing New Year’s Eve and forthcoming flicks Young Adult and War Horse. Tune in Friday to get some holiday movie advice—or listen on DVE.com!

We've all had a meal with Santa Claus before, but not many of us have dined with him at the zoo.  Stop by the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium this Saturday for a scrumptious meal, and a chance to hang out with everyone's favorite bearded man in red—and maybe if you're lucky you might spot one of his reindeer. READ MORE.

Let your imagination run wild at the Attack Theatre's production of "Holiday Unwrapped."  Relive the memories of your childhood, as the performers take you on a fantastic journey.  Stick around after the show for a fun, old-fashioned game night. READ MORE.

The Three Rivers Ringers, Pittsburgh's premier community handbell ensemble, will perform arrangements of popular holiday songs such as “Deck the Halls,” “Silent Night” and “Sleigh Ride” at their Winter Concert Fri., Dec. 9 at the Bower Hill Community Church. READ MORE.
 

Categories: Things To Do