The ’Burghy Father’s Day Gift Guide 2014
Vintage Kennywood T-shirts, local craft rum and a Star Wars card? Get ready to be a hero.
(Clemente 3,000 T-shirt by Commonwealth Press; $25)
Ah, dads. Loving us. Raising us. Storming through the house turning out electricity-draining lights. Having mini-heart attacks when the phone bill shows up. Teaching us the back ways through town. Happily accepting our crayon-written homemade coupon book gifts (“Good for one hug.” “Good for one bowl of cereal.” “Good for three minutes of absolute silence. Maybe not three. But at least two.”)
Look, we’re all grown-ups here. It’s time to put some real thought into honoring your Pittsburgh Dad this year. He doesn’t want another coupon for a hug. He doesn’t want another tie/handkerchief set. What he might want, though, is absolutely everything on this year’s ’Burghy Father’s Day Gift Guide.
Get to shopping, Yinz brats:
Vintage Kennywood shirts by Make Believe It screenprinters
Ah, Kennywood memories. Trying to figure out the physics of how your Racer car starts on the left side but ends up on the right. That time my hearing aid flew out of my ear while rounding a bend on the Thunderbolt (RIP, hearing aid of 1989). Or that loose leather strap they called a “seat belt” on the Jack Rabbit that did nothing to stop you from launching half-a-foot out of your seat on the double dip. Treat dad to one of three vintage Kennywood-themed shirts available from the Make Believe It shop. Designed and screenprinted right here in the ’Burgh, they’re incredibly soft and sure to become one of his favorite shirts.
($25 in store at WildCard or online at Commonwealth Press)
Maggie’s Farm Rum
Rum! It’s got the mmmm right in the name. Treat your spirit-loving father to a bottle of Pittsburgh-distilled Maggie’s Farm Rum. The craft rum is made from scratch in the Strip District. Choose from traditional white rum or a spiced rum that packs a bit more of a flavorful punch. Of-age Pennsylvania residents can purchase from the online shop or visit the distillery. Rummmm.
($28 to $29.90 at MaggiesFarmRum.com)
Moop + Thread waxed canvas messenger bag
Moop’s waxed canvas bags are a Pittsburgh treasure. Unmistakeable. Expertly and perfectly crafted in a studio in Carnegie, Moop bags are colorful, stylish and (most importantly) durable vehicles for carting your things around town. This year, Moop partnered with Pittsburgh’s Thread Intl. to bring you a bag featuring a green fabric lining made of recycled materials from Haiti. The unisex Messenger No. 1 features a 100 percent post-consumer weight fabric made from 16 recycled plastic bottles. It’s ideal for the dad who is regularly lugging around electronics, papers and books from work or school. Its water-resistant fabric even allows it to be a manly diaper bag for a new dad. Part Pittsburgh, part Haiti … it’s a perfect representation of our global do-gooding.
Commonplace Coffee Co. craft-roasted beans
Ah. Sweet, sweet coffee. Let’s pause in a moment of silent respect for the coffee bean. Giver of caffeine. Bringer of joy. Provider of mid-day withdrawal tremors (just me?). Good coffee is an art, and Commonplace Coffee Co. is a genius artist. Sourcing green, raw fair-trade coffee beans, the company is carefully roasting craft batches of flavors such as Burundi Gahaga and Tanzania Kiboko (which coincidentally is the name of one of my fake kung fu moves). Grab your coffee-worshipping dad a bag or two and pair the coffee with a custom mug designed by local artist Chris Mucci. You can even head to the Pittsburgh warehouse for tastings and browsing.
($12.50 to $18 per bag online or in their retail shops)
Officially licensed Forbes Field seat pen
My baseball memories begin with Three Rivers Stadium, but I bet many of you have fathers who grew up at Forbes Field. Those baseball-loving dads will flip for this MLB officially licensed pen crafted from the wood of a Forbes Field bleacher seat. Shipped with a card of authenticity, the pen uses both the wood and the paint from salvaged Forbes Field chairs. It’s a bit pricy at $180, but it truly is the kind of pen a father will one day hand off to a child or grandchild. (Hint hint, pops.) Get your siblings to pitch in and then you all can fight over who he will bequeath it to one day. Fun!
($180 at Tokens & Icons)
“You Are My Father” greeting card by Pound Designs
Young Jedi, I’m going to need you to put down that sappy, generic Father’s Day card you’re holding while standing at your local Walmart store (while also browsing this blog on your iPhone) … and slowly back away. Come to the Dark Side and snag this geeky “You Are My Father” Star Wars-themed card from local Pound Designs. Pair it with any gift on this list and you’re sure to get at least a solemn Yoda-esque nod of appreciative acknowledgment from ol’ dad. Good child, you are.
($4 on Etsy)
Locally-sourced meat selections from Crested Duck Charcuterie
Meat isn't murder. Meat is delicious, PETA. And what could be more delicious than treating dad to farm-raised, locally-sourced, locally-processed meats from the Crested Duck Charcuterie? Beef bresaola. Duck breast prosciutto. Pancetta. Salami. The list goes on. Visit the brick-and-mortar location in Beechview, or simply order from the online store. Dad will never look at a factory processed slice of meat again.
($6.50 to $12 for a variety of 4 oz. selections http://shop.crestedduck.com)
Camping mug from WildCard
Your dad doesn’t need to love the outdoors to fall in love with this camping-style mug from WildCard. It’s big, durable and full of awesome, especially when you fill it with freshly brewed coffee. Designed exclusively for WildCard, you won’t find this mug anywhere else but the Butler Street shop. Fill it with fishing lures and gift cards to places including Dick’s Sporting Goods or Cabela’s and watch dad’s eyes light up.
($10 at WildCard in Lawrenceville)
Pittsburgh Dad Basement Pencil Sharpener shirt
There are some things you’ll find in most Pittsburgh basements — if the house was built before the 1970s. You’ll find a Pittsburgh potty. You’ll find centipedes big enough to wrap around your neck and wear as a scarf in the winter. And you’ll probably find an old hand-cranked pencil sharpener mounted to a wall or shelf. No matter how many newfangled electric pencil sharpeners you buy, this is the one that really sharpens a pencil into a weapons-grade point. Leave it to Pittsburgh Dad to pay tribute to the basement pencil sharpener with the latest offering in the online shop. As the shirt says, “It’s dahn in the cellar.” And it will for sure give you pencil points that will put yer eye aht.
($18.99 at the Pittsburgh Dad Shop)
Big Ben/Pittsburgh Dad grilling sauces
A Father’s Day gift list without a Steelers item? Inconceivable! Your grill-master father will love this insulated black-and-gold cooler stocked with three of Ben Roethlisberger’s grilling and dipping sauces and three Pittsburgh Dad sauces. Add a six-pack of your dad’s favorite beer and you’ve already got the backyard party started. Hurry though. Supplies are limited.
($49.99 at BlackandGoldFan.com)