Avoid the Hill District, in or outside your car
I was visiting a friend for the first time in a Hill District house that he's moving from. As I crested a hill a rock thrown by a young black boy pelted the side of my car. I backed up, watched him and a friend climb a fence. I kept them in view and caught up with them on another street, where they lumbered over another fence into what was probably their low-income apartment building. I engaged them in conversation to implore them to not damage someone else's property for sport. They were so young and stupid. They clearly need something to do and parental guidance. I wasn't about to ask them to introduce me to their parents for a proper apology or to get contact info for the damage to my car. But in conversation w/my friend, I learned that kids throw rocks at houses, too. They are screaming for attention...probably some bizarre cry for help. I will never return to this neighborhood on my numerous visits to PGH. Whatever draw they may be trying to sell you, I would avoid it like the plague. If I had my kids along and glass broke, we'd be talking an entirely different story. Bad people here...in my experience. Stay the **** away from the Hill!
Unique Suggestions: Strip District on a Sat or Sun morning. Great to get breakfast or lunch and just walk the shops and street vendors.
- Family Travel
- Historical Travel
Harmony was an attempt to create an earthly, socialist utopia. If this sounds like a pipe dream, that's because it was. In time, this noble experiment failed, as socialism always has.
I visited the museum, during the posted hours of operation. No one answered the door. There are a few shops around, selling the usual tourist stuff. Not socialism!
Unique Suggestions: Hope that the museum is open. Maybe there's something worth seeing inside. The website is: http://www.harmonymuseum.org/.
Fun Alternatives: Keep driving. Whether you're heading north toward Erie or south toward Pittsburgh, you'll surely find something better.
- Historical Travel
The zoo is a great place to take kids, bring your own food if you can. It is expensive. It gets hot in the summer too. The Andy Warhold Musuem: GO! Definetly worth the 10$.
Unique Suggestions: Parking is terribly expensive. Downtown, southside, and other 'hip' areas of Pittsburgh you will hear of are absolutely dying for parking. Park in a garage, at a meter, or at a place where you know your car is safe and the meter is not going to go out. On weekdays from 9-5 metermaids ARE OUT and they WILL give you a ticket!! On weekends after 6, your good to go on the streets.
ps: stay away from station square. The only good thing there is fright nights on halloween (:
Fun Alternatives: Station Square is expensive, and there isn't much to do there (especially for children.) If you are in the area, I would definetly check out Downtown Pittsburgh, and South Side. E.Carson st. is filled with things to do.
- Museum Visits
pricing ...see below...
Unique Suggestions: Make sure that you ask for a round trip fare on either of the inclines. Otherwise, they will charge you for two fares. It is $1.75 for a one-way trip.
If you go up the Mon Incline (at the base is Station Square), be sure to walk to Shiloh street and check out the shops. The ice cream shop is really good, as well as the pizza place on the corner. (Get the cheesecake if you can - the owner's mother makes it at home, and it is way better than that factory place)
- Family Travel
Yes Virginia - There is a Starbucks!
PLEASE do not be a patron of Starbucks on the Southside. Don't get me wrong, I like Starbucks but I like The Beehive and Tuscany Coffee Shop sooo much more. They are locally owned and operated. Leave McStarbucks to Seattle please!
Unique Suggestions: Look inside and then turn around. The other coffee shops are right across the street! Resist the urge and try something new. The coffee and the atmosphere is much better at the Beehive and Tuscany - I promise!!
Fun Alternatives: See above
The Zoo, it lures you in with...
The Zoo, it lures you in with its giant escalators but its all down hill from there the workers were so rude I still remember it even though it was several years ago, also the train ride isnt even worth the 1 dollar it cost. Still if you try hard enough you can have fun.
Andy Warhol Museum
I feel really bad about putting the Andy Warhol Museum under the 'tourist trap' catagory. I'll be the first to admit, that I am probably wrong in doing this and that perhaps I simply just don't "get" it. So, having said that, let me explain myself.
For an adult, $10 will get you admission. Be sure to check for parking on Sandusky Street before forking over $6 at the Museum Parking lot.
The staff are very kind and funky, although I felt very out of place in my jeans and sweatshirt. I wanted to dye my hair green or get a tattoo after leaving as I felt very, very plain!
Andy Warhol is Pittsburghs' darling and he was truly a unique man, I have nothing bad to say about him or his art work. I'm sorry, I'm not 'critiquing' , I just wasn't "feeling" the place for some reason.
Unique Suggestions: The "Love" exhibit was a favourite, as was "Silver Clouds" - a room filled with large, silver helium-filled pillows that float about you. The neon cow wallpaper was interesting, but the Jackie O and the JFK Assasination Conspiracy was a little too shoved down your throat. I like the idea of the 'Flashbulb Memory' as well. The artwork where he urinated on it - left me scratching my head and wondering why?
Open 6 days a week from 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays & Holidays.
117 Sandusky Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212-5890
Telephone: (412) 237-8300
Fun Alternatives: You should go, but you can download a coupon on-line by visiting the Pittsburgh Tourism Website and saving $4 per adult admission.
While it remains a popular destination, Station Square may very well be Pittsburgh's only 'tourist trap'. It's a historical site and it's a nice place to see but the stores and restaurants are the same ones you'll see in other tourist haunts in other cities. Bucco di Beppos, Sam's Crab Shack, Hooters, Hard Rock, etc.. etc... This isn't Pittsburgh-food. None of the stores are particular 'burgh stores.
There are reasons to go there. The Gateway Clipper docks there, the inclines up Mt. Washington are there, it is lively but it is not going to give you any better feel for the city.
Unique Suggestions: ditch the 'mall' aspect and get outside by the river. There are some great views of the city across the water and you can also walk to the incline buildings (there are two of them).
Fun Alternatives: The Southside is but a few short miles down the street. Grab a taxi and head that way for more traditional 'burgh grub and a bit more eclectic shopping.
Station Square. Everything is...
Station Square. Everything is overpriced, mediocre resteraunts, poor concert venue. Possibly popular because it is indoors, almost like a mall. Someone will INVARIABLY want you to visit. Resist. Choose the minutes-away South Side.
Fort Pitt Museum. It looks...
Fort Pitt Museum. It looks like it has not been maintained for a long time. When I visited almost none of the exhibits worked and almost all were badly neglected/damaged. Lights were broken, walls were cracked, sections were roped off as unsafe, etc.
The Fort Pitt Blockhouse is a small retail outlet. Nothing worth seeing. (Look at the picture and save yourself a visit)
Parking is very high.
UPDATE: THE MUSEUM WILL BE RENOVATED & REOPENED SOON- I WILL KEEP THIS LOCATION LISTING UNTIL THE 'CHANGES' ARE SEEN. Also note: The blockhouse and museum are two different places, which have different owners/operators.