Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
What area of Pittsburgh do you live?
What day is it?
Talk to me about your morning routine.
My Day begins around 7:00am. My Alarm goes off and the television goes on! I love to hear the traffic and weather report from the news team on WPXI! I am out the door by 8:30.
Do you commute to work? Do you drive or use public transportation. If this isn’t a work day – what are your plans for the day?
I work downtown so I usually take the bus to work, unless I have a meeting somewhere outside the city.
If you would like to disclose - where do you work? What do you like about your workplace? Is it close to where you live?
I work for an organization called Smart Futures. Our mission is to provide Career Education programs for High School Students across the state of Pennsylvania. We are home of the PA eMentoring program. PA eMentoring provides a rewarding experience for mentors to help high school kids get real about their future: who they are, where they want go, and how they can get there. From stay at home parents, mature college students to corporate workers, mentors volunteer less than 20 minutes a week with a high school student, using a 10 week curriculum that is structured, convenient, easy to use and done completely online. It’s the perfect way for someone with very little time to give back to our community -- and its fun! Check us out! www.pa-ementor.org
Now let’s break things down by hour – give a brief update on what you are doing and where you are at the following times:
I am hosting webinars, scheduling school trainings and catching up on email. I am enjoying a cup of coffee from Mocha Marianne’s (412 Wood St.) Great Coffee, Tea and pastries!
I am thinking about where to eat lunch! So many great place to eat downtown. You can usually find me eating lunch at Madonna’s, Mexico City, Landmark Tavern (1902), Easy Street, Six Penn Kitchen, The Lemon Grass Café or Mandarin Gourmet. If there is time, a stop at Macy’s to check out the shoes!
My afternoon is filled with staff meetings, strategic planning, school outreach and maybe a walk to Prantl’s Bakery for a cookie or two!
Wrapping up the day and catching the bus home to the Southside (10 minute commute!)
Talk to me about your plans. Anything exciting planned for this evening? Where are your favorite places in your area to spend a night out?
One of my favorite things to do in Pittsburgh is try new Restaurants and explore the city. My favorite places to eat are 17th Street Café, Café Dujor, La Tavola, Mojo Bistro, Dish Osteria Bar, Mallorca, Little Toyko, Milkshake Factory and Dozen. My favorite places to grab a drink are The Library, The Bar, The Doublewide Grill and Fat Heads.
As for Entertainment, I love the Steelers, the Penguins, the Pirates and the Pitt Panthers. It is fun to check out a game or two each season. I love to go to the movie, I love to shop! My favorite malls are Ross Park and the South Hills Village. I am a member of Phipps , I love the Carnegie Museums, and I enjoy catching a show at the CLO or the Benedum.
During the summer, I love to sit on my deck, BBQ with friends and enjoy the city skyline!
Are you a night owl, or are you early to bed early to rise?
I am an early riser! I love to get up, complete my ‘To Do’ list, and have the rest of the day to explore my city!
What does tomorrow bring?
Friday! A weekend to myself! Maybe a movie, Happy hour, shopping, a new restaurant! Oh the possibilities!
Why Pittsburgh for you?
Pittsburgh is a great city! I moved here from a small rural town about 7 years ago. It finally feels like home. Pittsburgh has so much to offer to a young professional! Cost of living allows you to explore the city and live in great neighborhoods.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
What day is it?
The morning routine is pretty much the drive to work past downtown into the North Hills. The only interesting thing about the morning is when I drive by way of Grandview Avenue. It really is a beautiful sight and a much better start to the day than the Liberty Tunnel.
Today was just a regular commute to work, but the warming of the weather made it a good Friday commute.
10am – Work and finishing coffee
2pm – Conduct a Training with Users across the country
4pm – Wrap up Training and wind down for the work day
My plans for tonight include Family. Most typically, a Friday night out for me and my boyfriend would include pre-night cocktails at my place. Then, it depends on the mood.
Low-key=St. James Place (Best little dive bar in the South Side) for wings and Stella on draft
Cheap and hungry=India Garden for the nightly special and Yuenglings
Coffee=Bee-Hive – while not the best place to get coffee, offers a nice atmosphere to do art
Every day is different. I try to sleep in on the weekends, but when it is nice out, I have to get out and hit the Strip District, Whole Foods, or Michael’s just to start the day right.
What does tomorrow bring?
Tomorrow will likely bring a trip to Michael’s followed by some long overdue studio work.
My commute is not fun, but at the end of the day, I have Wendy Bell and the crew of KDKA to perk me up.
Why Pittsburgh for you?
I’m a West Virginia small-town girl. A bigger city was always in the works for me. Pittsburgh offers a large town with a small-town feel. Not too large or expensive to live in, but not so small that you don’t have a thousand things you could be doing at any minute.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thanks cousin (?) Patrick!
Of course, if you are not of the crazy dog lady variety, then there are certainly loads of other distractions to keep you busy in the Square. Primarily, some excellent local businesses and restaurants that line bustling Braddock Avenue.
My favorite is D's Six Pax & Dogz. If you can put aside the unfortunate spelling and walk through the front doors of this locally owned establishment, I guarantee you will leave a new person, thanks due mostly to the breathtaking "Beer Cave" housed in the back of the restaurant. I prefer to call it "Beer Heaven". Practically any obscure brew you can imagine has graced the shelves of the cave at one point or another. Most significant, is an impressive selection of Belgians and specialty Magnums. I can report that a purchase of an Anchor Steam Christmas Ale Magnum from D's certainly made my holidays a little brighter! An extensive menu also offers some tasty selections, but I always find myself returning to a D's classic: The Chicago Style Hot Dog. Recently, D's expanded into a neighboring location, and opened "The Loft", which boasts a full bar. Surprisingly sophisticated, the knowledgeable bartenders and servers were eager to offer up suggestions and quick to serve.
A hop, skip and jump down the street from D's was my choice of venue for a night of studying, Katerbean. In a world of mass-marketed, chain coffee shops, Katerbean is a breath of fresh air. I would camp out at the Bean for hours with text books open, and drink their delicious cold chai by the gallon. My love of Katerbean Chai has remained, although the knowledge I gleaned from those textbooks is, unfortunately, a casualty of an aging mind.......
Regent Square Theater is another landmark here, and their selection of movies are generally not screened elsewhere in the 'Burgh. Owned by Pittsburgh Filmakers, the theater plays both local and national independent films.
Regent Square is so called, because each of its corners inhabit a different local municipality; the City of Pittsburgh, Swissvale, Edgewood and Wilkinsburg respectively. Square traditionalists will tell you however, the the "true" Regent Square is that portion occupying the City of Pittsburgh alone. Regardless of where you draw the line, it is a community of charming, craftsman bungalows, originally inhabited by the first Westinghouse employees. The architectural history of Regent Square is rich, and if gorgeous woodwork, built-ins, and stained glass windows are your cup of chai, then the Square is the place you should call home.
For more information on Regent Square, its businesses and its history, please click here to visit the neighborhood website.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Did I hear a collective yawn? Do I need to put a little "grrrrr" in your green outlook?
Well, meet Mike Embrescia, the Manager of Education and Membership for the Green Building Alliance here in the 'Burgh. Talking to Mike was like talking to a breath of fresh air. He has an enthusiasm for the city that needs to be bottled by the Natrona Bottling Company and sold on the shelves right next to Pennsylvania Punch. Guess what, he is not a born and 'Burgher (gasp!). He is from that same place up north that I am from and he loves hockey just as much as I do. In fact, he is taking his dad to his very first hockey game this Tuesday. Go Pens!!
Often, amidst the talk about greening the 'Burgh, we loose the trees for the forest. It is individuals like Mike, with their unbridled enthusiasm and positive attitude, that are brave enough to take the first small steps that result in the sweeping and dramatic changes seen in our city. The organization that Mike joined in 2009, the Green Building Alliance, started this same way. A small group of individuals who were forward thinking enough to see the huge impact their efforts could make. This parallel is not lost on Mike. He realizes that he and the GBA are match made in heaven. It is the perfect place for him to flex his innovative muscles.
Mike's first foray in the 'Burgh began in 2004, when he managed an office of investment brokers. He left the city for a few brief years, but Pittsburgh never left his heart. He comments that he can almost remember the exact moment that he knew he loved the 'Burgh. At the end of his first month here he was almost "caught by surprise" by how attached he had become to his new hometown. He says, "It is the largest intimate city I have ever been in. In such a short time here, I found connections being drawn everywhere". So, in 2007 he returned to Duquesne University to get his Masters degree in their newly minted Sustainability Program, and a Green Champion was born.
Mike's business background puts a new perspective on the answers to "Why Pittsburgh?". he could see the direction the city was moving in early on (there's that "forward thinking" thing). He says, "If you have business sense, it doesn't take much to realize that our city, once an economic and manufacturing mecca.....has the capability to reach that point again. I want to be a part of that growth, and see tremendous opportunity."
One of Mike's newest discoveries in the 'Burgh (and it may not be new to you) is the infamous "Jail Trail". So called because the Downtown starting point of the trail is marked by the Allegheny county jail, Mike was surprised to see the trail packed with bikers and joggers recently, and has vowed to make good use of the trail himself. "I feel like I have just begun to scratch the surface of the city. Every week I find something new, a restaurant, a neighborhood I haven't driven through.....I experience something new every week."
Keep reading the 'Burgh Living Blog Mike! We'll keep you on the road to discovery!
To soak up some more of that positive Pittsburgh mojo, I recommend attending Pittsburgh's "Green Drinks", a great networking and learning event held monthly at various locations in the 'Burgh. The next event is this Friday at Conservation Consultants in the South Side. For more information, click here.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
If you missed Part One of the Best of 'Burgh Eats, you can catch up here. Not surprisingly, this post ended up being my most popular of 2009. I have bid "Adieu" to carbs until vacation in April, so please, dear readers, feel my pain as I share these forbidden favorites with you! We 'Burghers love our food, and are also pretty passionate about our faves, so we shall start with a suggestion from the Pittsburgh Personality himself, 'Burgh's Eye View (you can follow him on twitter here).
1. Best Hoagie: Angelo's Italian (with hot peppers) -According to Wikipedia, the hoagie is the official sandwich of Philadelphia, but cities across the county have adopted it as their own and stamped their own monikers onto the enigmatic sandwich ("hero", "blimpie", "bomber", "spuckie", "grinder", and the very uninteresting "Sub"). But, is it still a Hoagie by any other name? According to BEV, Angelo's has the best, so we are all better off to listen to the man and go try one for ourselves! (As a side note, I am also a big fan of the "Wedgie" from Angelo's, trust me, it is much more enjoyable than the other connotation)
2. Best Mussels: Point Brugge Cafe - I know, Hoagies to Mussels is a little bit of a stretch, but I have dreams about these little delicacies! The "Moules" come with three choices of sauce (I recommend the Zesty Tomato), and are served with a side of "Frites" (not your average fries), with a Basil Mayonnaise dipping sauce (which I have tried, unsuccessfully, to duplicate at home). The cafe gets a little cozy as the night goes on, so if you like your elbow room, try an earlier visit.
3. Best Sushi: Umi, Plum - I didn't include sushi in my last post, because I quite frankly could not decide between the two. Survey says it is a toss up. At Umi, I recommend Omakase, a multi-course chef's selection, where you are guaranteed to get the best and freshest made sushi of the day. Along with a Sake flight, it is the perfect night out for a special occasion (big, fat hint to the BF). Plum is slightly less formal, but has a cozy sushi bar and lively chefs. My favorite here? The Evel Knievel Roll, yum!
4. Best Pizza: Pizza Sola - This comes at you with some trepidation, because if there is one food that we all have our opinions on, it is Pizza. Your choice of pizza I would guess gives some insight into your personality. For whatever it says about me, Pizza Sola is my personal fave, and being right down the street, is a great nightcap to an evening at my beloved Kelly's Bar. The tomato and mozzarella is 2am bliss (and I always throw in a handful of banana pepper rings for a little kick). Please feel free to fire back with some of your faves, perhaps your pizza soul mate is different than mine. Be nice and remember that as my carb-less days wear on I get a little more ornery....
5. Best Crepes: Crepes Parisiennes - worry not crepe fans - I give props to another 'Burgh Creperie below! Do Crepe's have carbs? Because the most missed food of my self-induced torture will be the Nutella Crepe (with extra Whipped of course!) from Crepes Parisiennes in Oakland. (They also have a location in Shadyside if that is more convenient). Did I mention I also gave up sugar? Am I insane?
6. Best New Restuarant: Paris 66 - The popularity of this restaurant in the East End has decidedly overtaken most of the last several years. I truly wish I could speak from experience, but my attempts to get a table on a rare Sunday off have been to no avail! It is the place to be for Sunday brunch, so I say three cheers to the owners for establishing such a successful business in the 'Burgh. Their mission statement? "Bringing Paris to Pittsburgh With Everyday French Cuisine". Success! The atmosphere is unparallelled, you will feel like you have stepped off of Penn Circle, into a quaint French Creperie in the motherland. Bravo! (could someone please save me a table next Sunday?)
There you have it! I am spent and very hungry - but would love some reader supplied ideas for Part Three, so get to it and comment on your faves below!