I never got around to blogging about the Pittsburgh trip because, frankly, it was so terrific I didn't quite know where to start. Pittsburgh is as close as Columbus and yet, for some reason, I just don't think of going very often. Nancy theorises that there is something about crossing a state line that makes the trip seem 'so far'. She may have something there.
Hampton Inn on Smallman Street that sits directly across from the John Heinz History Center and is well situated between The Strip and the downtown Cultural District - both within easy walking distance.
Feel free to browse my photo album of Pittsburgh here.
Permanti Brothers which is well known for their huge sandwiches piled with cole slaw and french fries. We shared a sandwich and some cheesy fries and while I can see where really hungry guys and kids might like the novelty of all that stuff in between two slices of bread, it was lost on me. I didn't find it that tasty, but we didn't leave hungry.
This part of Pittsburgh is littered with bars, so take your pick when visiting the city. Crystal's was nice simply because it was not fancy and made no bones about just being a nice bar. If you want fancy - walk a bit further into the Cultural District, there are lots of nice places there for a drink or two.
A FULL DAY ON SATURDAY
Public Market. Literally we found things from Soup to Nuts - prepared foods, clothing, crafts, handmade pastas and even a booth with Kent purveyor Lucky Penny Creamery.
We wandered the shops along Smallman and then made our way up to Penn Avenue. In and out of shops we checked out fabrics, books, candy stores, trinkets and food galore. Lynn and Grant liked the book shops and the Mexican market. Nancy got lost in the fabric shops and I liked the Chocolate store and the Italian market where you can buy olive oil in whatever containers you bring in.
Roland's Seafood Grill where we dined on pizza from their wood fired oven and local beer. This was a great vantage point to watch the people and the traffic along Penn Avenue. The pizza was good, the beer was good and the weather was perfect for al fresco dining.
After lunch we walked back to the hotel and hopped in the car to go out to the Phipps Conservatory. We got lost (of course), but the drive into the city was worth the trip.
I took a ton of photos at The Phipps, feel free to browse my album here.
|Pittsburgh skyline at dusk|
After dinner, we left the car in their parking lot and walked to the overlook to watch the sunset over Pittsburgh. This spot overlooks the rivers and the ballpark which was lit up for the Pirates game that night. We decided to take a trip on the Incline and as we stepped in, fireworks lit up the sky from the baseball game, it was very beautiful and I wish I had the expertise to have gotten photos of that.
WAY BACK SUNDAY
|Photo from the Warhol website|
The Warhol is a 6 story block building filled with art of all mediums. In addition to the thousands of paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, sculptures, films, and videos in the permanent collection, the Warhol Museum houses Andy Warhol’s archives. By exhibiting this archival material with Warhol’s artwork, the Museum provides a unique museum experience.
After our trip through the art world, we set out for home by way of The Church Brew Works. I'd heard about this place from my co-workers who have been here and I'm really glad we made the trek for brunch.
On June 1, 1902 the cornerstone of St. John the Baptist Church on Liberty Avenue was laid. The church saw its congregation through fires, floods, world wars and the eventual deterioration of the great Iron City. By August 1993, the church was put under an act of suppression by the Bishop of Pittsburgh and its doors were closed.
Almost three years to the day, The Church Brew Works reopened the doors of St. John the Baptist for business in August 1996.
Attention to detail and the reuse of existing fixtures create a spectacular atmosphere. Original pews were hand cut from 24' length and hand finished to the present 54" lengths. These "mini pews" were intentionally designed to be longer than the tables to facilitate ease of entry. The bar has been built from the oak planks salvaged from the shortening of the pews.
The reddish orange hue of the flooring comes from the original Douglas Fir floors. These floors were uncovered and meticulously restored after lying dormant under plywood for 50 years. The original eight lanterns in the center bay were removed, repainted gold and reinstalled after complete refurbishment. The lanterns now illuminate the detailing of the ceiling.
The former confessional in the dining room was removed to provide a necessary link to the kitchen. The bricks salvaged from the removal of the confessional have been reused for the pillars on the outdoor sign, the facade on the outdoor ramp and the facade of the new kitchen link. The other confessional remains intact behind the bar and houses "The Church Brew Works" merchandise counter. Attention to detail and the integrative reuse of existing fixtures all help to enhance the brewpub experience. By far, the most interesting element is the position of the brew house on the altar. Because the altar was built as a centerpiece of the church, the steel and copper tanks gleaming with the celestial blue stained glass windows behind is nothing less than captivating.
I wanted to try their new beer - it was described as being "wine-like" but they had it stuck in the tank because their bottles hadn't arrived yet. I suppose this means I'll have to come back again when it's available.