|(eljays books- flickr)|
I know, I've been MIA. I'm finally getting the hang of this new job, schedule, and lack of sleep (not to mention this crappy weather). But, I haven't forgotten you Pittsburgh! It's getting to that point where it's the end of Winter (or so it should be), everyone is getting antsy, and we all just want to shed our winter layers and get out and have fun! But don't forget, what comes after the snow and below freezing temperatures? RAIN! So what can we do to cure our cabin fever but keep warm and dry at the same time? Why not get lost in one of the city's eclectic little bookstores? Curl up on a bean bag chair, sip your latte and read something you haven't read in a while (today is National Children's Book Day), or perhaps something you've been wanting to read (I still haven't hopped on the "50 Shades Band Wagon"). Here are my top 5 favorite bookstores in the city!
Once located in the Southside (now in Dormont), Eljay's books is known for carrying some pretty weird stuff! They hold an interesting collection of horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and a variety of cookbooks. Come feed your inner geek! Hours and more HERE.
For all you Sherlocks and Nancy Drews, there's a special place just for you in Oakmont: the Mystery Lover's Bookstore!! They are one of the largest mystery book stores in the country and hold thousands of titles, authors and categories. Get your looking glasses out and sneek into Mystery Lover's Bookstore! Click HERE for hours and details!
"I'm just a little black rain cloud....." so the song goes, but The Rage of the Stage Players are here to add a little more doom and gloom to Hundred Acre Woods with "Winnie the Pooh and the Seven Deadly Sins." Opens this Friday March 22nd at Off The Wall Theater in Carnegie. Tickets are $15 at the door, but try to get them in advance as seats do fill up quickly! This is NOT a show you want to bring the kids to! Click HERE for more show dates and information.
Whether you're a complete media tech-geek or could care less about the rapid advances in media, this year's Carnegie International Film Festival: Faces of Media will give you the perfect opportunity to learn about globalized communication through film. Audiences will have the chance to see brand new and award winning shows from countries all over the world! Click HERE for more info!
It's time for the annual Record Fest! Dust off your vinyl and get down to Belvedere's to buy, sell or trade your records to the sound of live DJ's. You'd be amazed at what you can find there!! Click HERE for more info!
Put on your Sunday "Thriftiest" and get to the FukDat Party at Cavo this Sunday! Enjoy drinks and beats from various DJs. The best thrifted outfit wins $50! Click HERE for more info.
I pick up a guitar every once in a while - it relaxes me and happens to be one of my favorite things to do with some of my closest friends. I've even played a couple mics before (some more successful than others). I think I enjoy playing music because it's been a part of my life since I was young - my grandpa always kept a guitar in his garage and listened to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. And it just so happens to be Johnny Cash's birthday today. So strap on your guitars, dust off your music books, and get to one of these awesome open mics - or just attend one, you would be amazed at how talented people are! In light of Johnny's birthday, here are my top 5 favorite open mics:
Considered Pittsburgh's #1 Open Stage Club Cafe hosts their AcousticCafe's open stage with Mike Why. Fashioned after some of the high profile and wildly successful open stages in Nashville and New York City, AcoustiCafe's open stage intends to create a supportive environment for artists to network with their peers, test new music or haul out old favorites, and most importantly, extend their reach in the local scene. Every Monday at 7pm - No cover charge!
Bloomfield Bridge Tavern
Amazing Polish food, cold beer, and live music, what better way to spend your Tuesday night than at this "Polish Party House"? BBT hosts open mic every Tuesday at 9pm.
Papa Di Vinci
Located on Forbes Ave. near Duquesne University, Papa Di Vinci packs a full house every Tuesday from 9pm - 1am along with featured performers. Grab a slice of pizza and get ready to hear some amazing local talent.
Perfect for the bluesy - jazz guitar type! The Thunderbird Cafe is located in Lawrenceville and holds acoustic open mics hosted every Monday at 9:30pm by Craig King - No Cover Charge!!
Hey Pittsburgh! Have you gotten your Valentine's Day plans squared away yet? If not, then feast your eyes on my Top 5 Valentine's Day restaurants - perfect for any relationship status. Each of these restaurants promise interesting, mouth watering menu items, great settings (some more intimate than others), and good company! Hope your Valentine's Day is scrumptious!
|A sushi roll from Penn Ave. Fish Company|
Penn Avenue Fish Company
Penn Ave. Fish Company is one of my favorite places in the city for seafood! Served fresh everyday, they specialize in sushi, gigantic fish sandwiches (grilled or fried), fish soups, and daily specialty entrees. With locations in the Strip District and Downtown, it provides an upscale, trendy, yet comfortable environment with fun and interesting staff to talk to as they prepare your food. Here, you can literally get dinner, then buy fresh fish for later on in the weekend - market style- before you leave. Grab a bottle of wine and get ready to have some of the best seafood in Pittsburgh. They're planning a special menu for Valentine's Day that includes oysters on half shell! Find out more and make a reservation HERE.
|Pizza Del Rey from Mercurio's (foodspotting)|
You may be thinking, "Pizza? Seriously?" But quite the contrary, pizza can be very romantic (you can share it) especially in a place like Mercurio's. Mercurio's is a new hot spot on Walnut St. for Italian food. It's a family owned and operated restaurant specializing in fresh and authentic Italian dishes: oven roasted pizzas, anti-pasta, paninis, salads, and best of all - homemade artisan gelato in over 40 interesting flavors (stracciatella anyone?)! With a small bistro-like feel, Mercurio's is perfect for a romantic and relaxing Valentine's dinner. Share a pizza, some antipasti and a bottle of wine from their list, then finish it off with a decadent scoop of gelato. Buon Apetito! Find out more about Mercurio's HERE.
|Ethiopian Sampler Platter from Abay (foodspotting)|
Since sharing is caring on a day such as Valentine's Day, why not take it to the next level at a place that encourages sharing food and eating with your hands? Located at Penn Circle in East Liberty, Abay serves up authentic Ethiopian cuisine that begs to be shared and enjoyed with others. As you sit around the mesobs - traditional basket-like tables - you'll experience authentic Ethiopian culture, from everything to the art on the walls to their interesting menu. Each platter is served with injera - an Ethiopian flatbread - as a substitution for a plate, fork or spoon. Simply tear off a piece of injera and dunk it into one of their amazing, saucy dishes. Finish it off with an Ethiopian coffee and a dessert!. Don't worry, if you're scared to make a mess in front of your date, there is regular seating and utensils available upon request. Find out more about Abay HERE.
|Fire & Ice Seviche|
Headed for a night on the town - Downtown that is? Seviche is a perfect spot to take your sweetheart or a group of friends to for a spicy Valentine's Day treat. Seviche is Pittsburgh's hottest Spanish tapas restaurant with menu items perfect for a group tasting or a couple's feast in an order-as-you-go fashion. Seviche is a preparation of fresh seafood marinated in citrus juice and then consumed moments later - at Seviche they feature seven different preparations as well as other tapas style entrees - mini pork cubans, ahi tuna sliders, bistec and empanadas. It's a great place to go if you and your date are the indecisive kind who want to try a little bit of everything. This year, Seviche has a special Valentine's Day menu prepared for $80 a couple which features a three-course meal, dessert, and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. See the menu HERE and find out more about Seviche HERE.
|Hofbrauhaus Reuben Sandwich (facebook)|
Not into the whole fluff and frills of Valentine's Day, but still want to have an amazing dinner? Head down to Hofbrauhaus for some schnitzel and a stein! Hofbrahaus is a traditional German style beer hall featuring authentic German dishes - can you say Kartoffelpfannkuchen (aka potato pancakes), German beer which they brew on site (this month's specialty beer is a Dopplebock called "Adulterator" with hints of chocolate, coffee and caramel), live German music, and of course - shot skis!!!!! For Valentine's Day they have a special menu for $50 a couple that includes a choice of the house wine or of half liter of beer...I mean bier..Check out the Valentine's Day menu HERE and get more info on Hofbrauhaus HERE.