(1) Commissary Kitchens help mobile food companies.
The number of food trucks, pop-ups and direct order grocery sellers in Pittsburgh is growing, thanks in part to the expansion of local commissioners who prepare the offerings in the health department-controlled commercial kitchens. Pittsburgh’s first commissioner, La Dorita (opened in 2013), was upgraded to 4,000 square feet in 2019 and added spacious Fulton Commons and a smaller Oasis Community Kitchen last year. – HBK
(2) Vital public art under the Fort Duquesne Bridge.
An extensive mural with a rainbow of familiar faces lives under the Fort Duquesne Bridge. “These are 12 underrepresented black faces from Pittsburgh,” says artist Camer “Camo” Nesbit, a native of Homewood from Pittsburgh. “Of course there are hundreds of faces that could also be on the wall. I just felt it was a good start. ”A section of the mural honors actor Billy Porter, who visited and praised the site in October. – first floor
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(3) Josh Gibson’s lasting legacy.
Not many baseball players get a mural and opera dedicated to them in a few years. But Josh Gibson, considered one of the greatest players of all time, wasn’t just any baseball player. In 2017 “The Summer King” premiered in Pittsburgh; Gibson’s great-grandson, Sean Gibson, was an adviser and executive director of the Josh Gibson Foundation. Gibson was also commemorated with a Jeremy Raymer mural in Homestead in May. – LD
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(4) Insight into rare artifacts in an expanded science center.
Just as the Carnegie Science Center’s PPG Science Pavilion, a new home for traveling exhibits, got underway, its high-profile display of mummified artifacts from around the world was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, this exhibition continued after the institution reopened – and now a breathtaking exploration of the lost city of Pompeii has arrived. – SC
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(5) Make movies more accessible in Sewickley.
Sewickley’s Tull Family Theater is one of the few cinemas in the country that dedicates one day per week to audiences with hearing problems. Every “Open Caption Wednesday” offers subtitles – like the subtitles on your television – for all available programs. This is a boon not only for guests with hearing problems, but also for those learning the English language. – SC
(6) Rise of the #notwhitecollective.
The #notwhitecollective – a group of 13 artists founded in 2016 who identify as bi / multi-racial / cultural, immigrants or descendants of immigrants, reopened the space gallery this summer with an impressive show called “We Are the Global Majority” . Next up? You lead a monthly series with City of Asylum; “In-Dialogue” invites colored artists to talk about their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. – LD
(7) Pittsburgh Botanic Garden is growing and thriving.
The region’s first large public garden, built on a troubled coal mine in Oakdale, continues to flourish. In April 2021, the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden opened a 7,500-square-foot Welcome Center that features 460 acres of gardens and woodland, as well as a central study space that has programs for all ages. The center also houses a cafe, gift shop, and offices, as well as function rooms. – JS
(8) From golf to a green wonderland.
When the Churchill Valley Country Club closed in 2013, its sprawling golf course lay fallow. It is now a nature lover’s wonderland with its tall grass, blooming goldenrod, and blooming wildlife – easily accessible via paved golf cart paths. In July, the Allegheny Land Trust acquired the 150 acres between Churchill and Penn Hills, securing its future as a protected green space. – VL
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(9) Green growth on the banks of the Mon.
Maybe it’s the scenery, maybe it’s impressive post-industrial structures, or just because Pittsburgh is generally beautiful – but there are few stretches more picturesque than the burgeoning Hazelwood Green development. The city’s cultural organizations are paying attention; Groups like City Theater and OpenStreetsPGH have hosted events in this peaceful location. – SC
(10) Row House Cinema’s pop-up drive-in.
A drive-in cinema in the city? Yes, it’s possible. For the past two years, Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville has partnered with The Terminal to offer a pop-up drive-in experience in October that shows a favorite movie every Friday and Saturday night. Held in the parking lot at 21st and Smallman Streets in the Strip District, the event also features beers from a rotating selection of local breweries. – JS
(11) Hello neighbors extension.
Hello Neighbor, a nonprofit to help local refugees founded in 2017, recently began relocating people from other countries so they can support these new Pittsburgh residents from day one. Over the next year, Hello Neighbor expects to help at least 250 people from war-torn countries like Myanmar, Syria and Afghanistan with housing, access to basic food and necessities, mentoring and more. – LD
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(12) Wine shops in restaurants.
Although ACT 39, the law that allowed certain Pennsylvania restaurants to sell take-away bottles of wine, was signed in 2016, few Pittsburgh establishments took advantage of the provision until the coronavirus pandemic. Now companies like Apteka, Tina’s and Nine O’Clock Wines (in Bar Marco) are joining established locations like the store in Penn Cove Eatery to offer bottles that are usually geared towards natural and biodynamic selections. – HBK
(13) Thunderbird? More like the phoenix.
After a long shutdown for renovation work, the Thunderbird concert venue in Lawrenceville reopened in 2019 – and then closed again due to the pandemic. Fortunately, the bar and its two stages stayed and resumed, offering an eclectic line-up of live music. At the end of the bar, a small stage welcomes solo artists to casual performances; Beyond is an impressive, intimate venue for shows with tickets. – SC
Photo courtesy of RIVERS OF STEEL HERITAGE CORP.
(14) Fresh, floating views of the city.
City views from the water always offer a new perspective, and Rivers of Steel’s Uniquely Pittsburgh Sightseeing Tour recontextualizes the history of Pittsburgh itself. Yes, you will learn more about the stadiums and the North Side, but also hidden ones Personalities in history and the neighborhoods that make up Pittsburgh’s lifeblood. The tours are scheduled to resume in May 2022. – SC
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(15) New excavations for contemporary craft.
Contemporary Craft got out of the pandemic to open its $ 5.5 million, 13,000-square-foot permanent home in Upper Lawrenceville in September 2020. The new building for the 50-year-old organization of handicraft artists offers light-flooded exhibition and studio rooms and a beautiful gift shop. And entry is still free. – VL
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(16) Walks on the Wild Side.
The isolating lockdown during the pandemic drew many of us outside and gave us the opportunity to explore more of our area’s parks. And what treasures they are. Further improvements are planned for Allegheny County’s nine parks and Pittsburgh’s 165 parks, as well as the newest, Hays Woods Park. – VL
(17) Pittsburgh’s bike lanes roll forward.
With its roller coaster hills, blind intersections, and car-lined narrow streets, Pittsburgh isn’t the easiest place to navigate a bike. We applaud the City’s Bicycle (+) Master Plan, updated last year for the first time since 1999, which plans to add 250 miles of bike lanes and off-road routes over the next decade, bringing the city’s total to 243 protected miles becomes easier and safer to drive. – VL
(18) A shared dream on the Allegheny.
Aspinwall Riverfront Park celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2021 under a new name, Allegheny RiverTrail Park. The nonprofit leadership also bought 6 acres and plans to purchase a vacant railroad bridge across the river to create a 4 mile pedestrian / bike path from the park to Pittsburgh’s East End. What began as a community dream of gaining access to the Allegheny River now features a fishing dock, playground, dog park, walking paths, event space, and more. – VL
(19) Dragon hunt in Homestead.
An expansive high ropes course, 160 foot zip line, and strong community spirit now occupy Homestead’s former St. Mary Magdalene Church in the form of Dragon’s Den. The youth center opened its doors in September 2020 after lengthy repairs and renovations. The church closed in 2009 and remained deserted until founder and general manager Giulia Lozza Petrucci and her husband bought the property in 2016. – first floor
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(20) More to satisfy the sweet tooth.
In the past five years, family-owned bakeries have sprung up or grown across the region. Oakmont Bakery more than quadrupled when it opened a new 18,000-square-foot facility near Hulton Bridge in February 2019. Lebanon, to name a few, spreads its joy with artisanal breads, European pastries and hearty foods. – VL
(21) Bloomfield Saturday Market is in bloom.
For the past two seasons, the seven-year-old Bloomfield Saturday Market has blossomed into a culinary destination. Every Saturday from May to November you will find beautiful products from farms like be.wild.er., Bitter Ends Farm Co., Tiny Seed Farm and Who Cooks For You, spicy pasture meat from breeders like Fallen Aspen Farm and Old Time Farm and deliciously prepared Food from vendors such as Cafe Agnes, Fet Fisk, ShadoBeni and The Thyme Machine. – HBK