Yinz ain’t from around here, is ya?
Nope, not a typo. Yinz is Pittsburgh’s ya’ll.
I didn’t know that either.
We spent the last week of June in Pittsburgh, the Steel City. We really enjoyed our brief stay in the Steel City, and we learned a lot!
Here’s a quick rundown of our tourist takeaways.
The city is an absolute maze of bridges and tunnels. You may need to take two or three bridges or tunnels to get to your destination. Makes sense as Pittsburgh is located at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers.
Two words: balloon room. The Andy Warhol museum is here, and it is awesome. Warhol, formerly Warhola, was a visionary when it comes to pop art. From the famed cans of soup and Marilyn Monroe paintings to audiovisual presentations and silk screen prints, Andy Warhol explored a multitude of art forms.
Take a seven-floor tour of Warhol’s visual experiments. The hours are a bit limited, so definitely check before you go. On this particular visit, they were also showcasing Ai Weiwei’s work.
Italian Bread + Medium Rare Steak + French Fries + Onions + Cole Slaw. Not what one would expect to be an absolutely delicious sandwich for $8, but it is. Primanti Bros has locations all around the city. It’s cheap, comes out a piece of parchment paper and doesn’t look like much, but looks can be deceiving. Definitely find one in the whichever Pittsburgh neighborhood you’re in, pull up a stool and order a sandwich off their “Almost Famous” menu.
Underwear bike rides are a thing. While Josh and I did not participate in this weekly affair, we were invited. If you happen by The Strip on a Thursday, you can take a moment to strip down to your skivvies, rent a bike, and ride around town with 100+ other bare-cycling enthusiasts. But really, definitely go check out The Strip. We found this funky little section of town on our last day in the city, and I wish I had spent more time there. Cheap prices, interesting bars and restaurants, and obviously, super biker friendly. We saw folks playing beach volley ball and bicycle polo up at the park. I feel like this would be our borough if we ever live in Pittsburgh. But as we walked around the city in summery evenings, we kept trying to imagine each street with a foot of snow on it.
The incline is a thingy that slides up and down the slope. Seriously, we had to just drive down to go see what the Incline actually was. We didn’t find the parking, though, so we just drove to the top of Mt. Washington (we found the parking once we reached the higher perspective). So we didn’t actually ride the incline up, but we did get to see some pretty amazing views of the city.
You can grab a pint in a Roman Catholic Church. Imagine opening the doors to an historic Roman Catholic church and as you look down the aisle, you see it is lined with pirate and brewery flags. And instead of the traditional ecountrements adorning the altar, there are steel and copper brewing tanks. The bar is set against a backdrop of stained glass. It might sound a little sacriligous, but it certainly is delicious. The Church Brew Works is built inside of an historic Roman Catholic Church in the Strip. We slid into a pew and ordered two pints: the ThunderHop, IPA and the Cucumber Falls. We added some nontraditional perogies to mix, since this unique establishment is super close to Pittsburgh’s Polish Hill. There’s also a new Abbey pub that is not far from here, if you want to have a thematic evening.
All of the sports teams have the same colors. They’re also pretty close to each other. The Pirates and the Steelers stadiums are walking distance of each other, and the Penguins arena is not too far (across some bridges, of course).
The city is brimming with art installations. We went on a few bike rides and runs around the city, exploring different sections of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. It made for interesting glimpses of the city. Here’s a few views from our treks along the trail.
After a week of tasty eats and artful wanderings, we packed up the BeepJeep and headed northwest toward Cuyahoga Valley National Park.