Thrive: Taking 10,000 Steps in Pittsburgh
You can get some exercise and learn about the city through five self-guided walking tours.
If you’re one of the folks who is responsible for the recent spike in the use of fitness wristbands and watches, you might be looking for ways to increase the number of steps you take without pacing around the house.
Get in your steps this month by looking up at Pittsburgh’s buildings while you follow a free self-guided walking tour.
The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation [phlf.org] offers five different tours, all of which lead you through a different section of downtown. You can download them from its website.
“The more that you know about what goes on in a building and the artistry involved and the ingenuity in terms of engineering and material, the more you admire them,” says PHLF Executive Director Louise Sturgess.
Here are a few of the fun facts you’ll learn on each of the tours:
- The Market Square Area Walking Tour takes you back in time and provides an appreciation for present-day development of the area. Who knew the CVS building on Forbes Avenue had Corinthian columns as well as a large “D” by its second-floor windows? The oversized letter referred to Donahoe’s Market and Cafeteria, which was open from 1923-1970.
- Another historical fact comes from the Grant Street Tour — the street is named for Grant’s Hill, which in turn got its name from British Maj. James Grant. A force of French soldiers and Native Americans defeated Grant on the hill in 1758. Two months later, British Gen. John Forbes reclaimed the hill.
- The Bridges and River Shores Walking Tour is packed with landmarks and information. For example: John Augustus Roebling — one of the builders of the second Smithfield Street Bridge over the Monongahela River and the second Sixth Street Bridge over the Allegheny River — also designed the Brooklyn Bridge.
- The tour through Fourth Avenue will take you down the street known as Pittsburgh’s “Wall Street” in the 19th and early-20th centuries — in 1908, records indicate that there were 102 chartered banks and trust companies in the city.
- The Penn-Liberty Walk will take you through the Cultural District downtown, where the Byham Theater opened on Halloween night in 1904 as a vaudeville house. Ethel Barrymore, Gertrude Lawrence and Helen Hayes all have performed there.
Also, mark your day planners — in May, PHLF plans to start free one-hour guided walking tours at noon on Fridays.
“It’s a really great way to spend an hour. People always tell us, ‘I never looked up before.’ By knowing all this stuff, you feel a greater sense of belonging to Pittsburgh, a greater sense of pride,” says Sturgess.
WHAT TO EAT
If you’re looking to pack a three-in-one punch, grab a head of cauliflower, says nutritionist Lauri Lang.
Cauliflower — and all other cruciferous vegetables — can help with detoxification, antioxidants and inflammatory-system support.
"People who say they hate vegetables have probably been exposed to poorly prepared and overcooked vegetables,” Lang says.
Ready to banish the rubbery, nuked-from-frozen cauliflower that you might remember? Lang has a new take on roasting cauliflower:
- Leave the head whole and trim the stem so it stands up.
- Stir together a mixture of plain Greek yogurt and curry spices, and dunk your head of cauliflower into the mixture.
- Roast the cauliflower for 40 minutes or until it’s brown.
- Take it to your next dinner party, and slice it like a pie.