New to the Burgh

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

Open Streets Pittsburgh’s second season ends Sunday with a new route.

This weekend’s territory spans 3.5 miles through Downtown, the North Side and West End, closing vehicle traffic along part of Penn Avenue, the Roberto Clemente Bridge, Western Avenue and the West End Bridge between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

“The idea is really catching on here in Pittsburgh, and it’s quickly being adopted as kind of a tradition,” said Ngani Ndimbie, communications manager for Bike Pittsburgh, which hosts the event. 

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

In its second year running, Picklesburgh attracted new visitors and vendors to its celebration on the Rachel Carson Bridge on Friday, July 15, 2016.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Children have encountered a curious pair of miniature doors in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Birds for decades.

“People were constantly turning those doorknobs,” said Becca Shreckengast, the museum’s director of exhibition experience. “They are very attractive doors. They are small, hobbit-sized doors, child-sized doors, so there was already this built-in mystery, like, ‘Why is there this little door?’”

John Marino / Flickr

Most of the people running the Pittsburgh Marathon this weekend don’t know who Jimi Miller is. But for some, he provides a much-needed boost of energy along the route.

Guster / Facebook

It was love at first tweet.

At the request of the band, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto joined 91.3 WYEP's Brian Siewiorek on Wednesday to announce the headlining act for this year's Three Rivers Arts Festival.

Guster will take the stage Friday, June 10. 

The band, which hails from Boston, Mass. requested an introduction by the mayor after Guster played a short acoustic set in front of dumpster on the North Side earlier this year.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Ellen Gozion of Pittsburgh folk band The Early Mays saw her first crankie at a music festival in West Virginia.

“As soon as I saw them, I fell in love with them and I decided I would make one,” she said. “I knew that there had been scattered crankie (festivals) throughout the country, so I immediately thought we’re going to do that in Pittsburgh.”

It took several years, but the first ever Pittsburgh Crankie Fest is this weekend at the Wilkins School Community Center in Regent Square.

AdamL212 / Flickr

On October 21, Marty McFly will arrive from 1985 and witness hover boards and flying cars, purchase a sports almanac, and experience the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series for the first time since 1908.

In honor of the date, Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville will be hosting “Back to the Future Day Celebration.”

David Bernabo

Pittsburgh's restaurant scene has evolved dramatically over the past 40 years, and the documentary Food Systems, Chapter 1: A Night Out, explores the transformation. Director and Pittsburgh native David Bernabo said the films touch on different parts of the restaurant industry.

British-American Connections Pittsburgh

  Dust off your finest tea service. Queen Elizabeth II will become Great Britain's longest reigning monarch Sept. 9, and Pittsburgh's never been one to snub a good soiree.

“Britsburgh: A Festival of Britain in Pittsburgh” runs through Sept. 14 featuring a variety of food, drinks, music and activities from across the pond.

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

The world’s largest convention for furries, those fascinated with anthropomorphics, returns to Pittsburgh this weekend joining thousands of attendees Downtown in custom fursuits, ears, tails and everything in between.

“We’re expecting a little over 6,000 this year,” said Samuel Conway, convention chair and chief executive of Anthrocon Inc. “It’s had fairly steady and fairly sharp growth ever since we started.”

Adam Jette

The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association is tackling the task of renovating one of Pittsburgh’s community steps through a neighborhood-driven public art project titled “The Oakley Street Mosaic Steps.”

“Mosaic steps” are much more common in Europe and California and are seen by countless passers-by every day. The South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association wanted to create a similar, yet unique to Pittsburgh effect, on a few sets of city steps.

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The 2015 Three Rivers Arts Festival officially got underway at noon Friday in Point State Park.

Art and music lovers were already milling about even before 12 p.m., as the festival’s first band, locals Black Little Birds, sound checked.

pittonkatonk.com

Pittonkatonk, Pittsburgh’s “May Day Brass Bar-B-Que” steps off Saturday in the Veteran’s Pavilion in Schenley Park.

Rich Randall, co-director of Pittonkatonk, describes the free event as a cross between a festival, and a family reunion. He and co-director Pete Spynda came up with the idea a couple years ago, and it's since taken off.

Pittonkatonk takes place from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week - Social Club, April 17

Apr 16, 2015

 It’s Josh’s favorite time of year …

Happy Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week!

This week, Rachel and Josh interview Mike Pound, host of the Post-Gazette’s Beer Me blog, about several keynote events during Pittsburgh’s Beer Week (April 17 – 25).

With an abundance of established local breweries and new ones popping up every day, Pittsburgh residents can spend the next week purveying the regions’ craft beer culture, learning about home brewing, and – of course – sample great beer.

Highlighted events include:

Friday, 4/18: The Unofficial Kickoff of PCBW (With All Collaboration Beers)
Monday, 4/20: Point Brugge Strolling Happy Hour and 4/20 Beer Dinner
Wednesday, 4/22: The Imperial Breakfast @ Pipers Pub
Sunday, 4/25: East End Pedal Pale Ale Keg Ride 

Other Events:
Saturday, 4/18: Hops for HEARTH 
Sunday, 4/19: I Made It! Healthy    

Mushing: A Winter Sport for People and Pups

Mar 5, 2015
Kara Holsopple / The Allegheny Front

It's a snowy Saturday in Laurel Mountain State Park in Westmoreland County. Matt Philips and Sarah White are unloading precious cargo—their dogs—from the backseat of a black hatchback.

They’ve driven 50 miles from Pittsburgh to get in a couple of hours of practice. This is only their second winter mushing with their dogs.

Philips fell into mushing by accident.

Listen to the full story at the website of our partner The Allegheny Front.

President's Day Weekend Getaways

Feb 13, 2015
Esther Dyson / Flickr

President’s Day weekend is upon us which means a three-day weekend for some. If you plan to get out of town, contributor Elaine Labalme who tweets about food and travel under the twitter handle New Girl In Town, is here with a few travel suggestions.

Being Busy is So 2015: Social Club, Jan. 9

Jan 8, 2015

Let’s talk about New Years Resolutions.  

Want a new hobby? Sip beer and learn about the brewing process while meeting brewing experts at Pittsburgh Brew N Chew!

Perhaps your goal is to try new things. Schedule a reservation for that so-hip dining spot during Pittsburgh Restaurant Week.

How about the old classic: “This year, I’ll get in shape!” Grab a kettlebell and get ready to pump some iron at a free class at Get Fit at Stout Training Pittsburgh.

Or, maybe you just want to enjoy life a bit more: prepare your best belly laugh for Second City’s N’Ats All Folks show – a comedic act making fun of everything Pittsburgh.

A New Venue For Storytelling in Pittsburgh

Dec 15, 2014
Lisa Kirchner

Chicago has its 2nd Story, Baltimore has the Stoop and public radio has The Moth. They’re all storytelling series where everyday citizens relate a true-life story.

The Pittsburgh Story Syndicate became the latest venue for people to connect and share their stories after holding several events in the city earlier this month. Bringing her storytelling skills back to Pittsburgh was author Lisa Kirchner who joined us in Studio A to discuss her creation.

Kirchner, who lives in New York City, was involved with the Moth as a story coach and traveled to places such as schools and rehab centers to encourage people to share their stories.

“To be able to tell your story is a way to connect more deeply with other humans… going onstage can be a lot of fun and a great motivator of people to hone their skills,” she said.

On Mondays at Cannon Coffee in Brookline, all participants put their name into a hat. When a name is drawn, that person comes up on stage and has five minutes to tell a true story- with a beginning, middle, and end. Other than that, Kirchner says there are no rules.

Brook Ward / flickr

The holidays are rapidly approaching, so of course you’ve definitely started your gift shopping, right?

Never you fear, as the shopping season kicks off on Black Friday we’ve put together a list of the best local pop-up markets as part of our New to the ‘Burgh series. From the artisanal to the seasonal, to the brand-spanking-new, here’s a rundown of the most interesting markets gracing the Steel City with their presence over the next few months.

I Made It! Market

Photo courtesy of the Heinz History Center Library and Archives

Sports teams enjoy an intense amount of popularity in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers hold more Super Bowl victories than any other franchise, the Penguins enjoy the highest TV ratings for any NHL team since 2000 and the Pirates are experiencing a surge in popularity following their first winning season in 21 years.

Even college teams like the Pitt Panthers or the Duquesne Dukes hold strong followings.

So why doesn’t Pittsburgh, with its avid sports fans, have a major league basketball team? And will we ever get one?

Flickr user jmd41280

Now that we’re three weeks into the new year, it might be a good time to evaluate your progress on your new year's resolution.

Or, if you’re in the market for a new goal, try ours: Here’s a list of 51 things that every Pittsburgher should do at least once. Try to cross all 51 off the list before you, ahem, before 2014 kicks the bucket.

(Have your own ideas for must-do Pittsburgh activities? Share your own Pittsburgh Bucket List with us on Twitter and Facebook: #PghBucketList.)

2011 photo courtesy Flickr user jiuguangw

The winter season in Pittsburgh offers plenty of opportunities to discover the city — or, for you native Pittsburghers — to remember why you love your city. Here’s our rundown of seasonal festivities to get you out the door and fill you with holiday spirit.

Newcomers Invited to City-Wide Dine Around

Oct 24, 2013
Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

New to the ‘Burgh? Enjoy great food, socialize with other newcomers and form networks throughout Pittsburgh at one of the city-wide Dine Around events. Vibrant Pittsburgh, established to grow the diversity of the region, has been instrumental in organizing these dinners.

Vibrant Pittsburgh CEO Melanie Harrington and Community outreach and inclusion manager Adriana Dobrzycka use a three-pronged approach to bring in and keep diverse families, and say these dinners are an excellent step in helping these newcomers feel welcome.

Wikimedia Commons

Finding a good movie theater is like falling in love.

The match between theater and audience-member is an important one; lifelong bonds can be formed if the connection resonates, and viewing a movie in the right venue can mean the difference between a relaxing day off and a bitter drive home.

Each person has their own needs for a theater, be them movie selection, general size or atmosphere. If you’re new in town, how could you be expected to choose an afternoon sanctuary when you can barely find your way around the city?

Flickr user Dougtone

Finding things to do on a Friday night in Pittsburgh isn't tough.

One might visit the bars on Carson Street or head downtown or to the North Shore for some fancy cuisine. And on any given Friday there are gallery crawls, concerts and movie showings to keep people of all cultural persuasions entertained.
 
But what about the morning after?
 

Flickr user daveynin

The reach of the Pittsburgh community is expansive, so it should be no surprise that the city’s online community is just as vast.

For those New to the ‘Burgh, here’s a rundown of some blogs that will help you figure out where to go, what to do, and — perhaps most importantly — what to eat.

Haldan Kirsch / 90.5 WESA

The identity of Pittsburgh is synonymous with the steel industry. The city’s largest skyscraper is the U.S. Steel Tower. Its football team is the Steelers, and to the nation, it's the Steel City.

But what about the city’s other industries? Before the rise of steel businesses in the region, western Pennsylvania was the center of glass sales in the United States.

Flickr user wildcellist

It can be hard to jump into a new location without understanding the local customs, and Pittsburgh, friendly as it might be, is wrapped in layers of seemingly impenetrable culture.

But do not fret: As part of our, well, new web series, "New to the 'Burgh," here’s a handy guide to circumventing the trap doors and pitfalls of life in Pittsburgh.

1. DO be aware of the Pittsburgh Left