Rediscover Pittsburgh with Brenasia

​Life looks a little different with your partner by your side! The best part of my end to quarantine is having my boyfriend join me in the same city!

Throughout quarantine I have been super thankful to keep some normalcy and have the ability to transition into working from home full time. However, the downside of that, is trying to build a new schedule to help make each day feel different. My morning stops for coffee or my evening shopping trips came to a halt when having to quarantine. The last few months have been a mix of lots of board games and binging of Netflix shows and movies.

This August marks three years of living in Pittsburgh and I have been in a long-distance relationship for two of those years up until now! My boyfriend moved back to his hometown, Pittsburgh, a month or so ago and we have been having so much fun getting him reacclimated to a place that looks a little different since the last time he lived here.

I am a Shadyside resident, but he is now a Strip District resident and it's been a ton of fun exploring the Strip. Knowing that he was moving to the Strip, I was eager to try out the trail near his apartment known as the Three Rivers Heritage Trail! So, one morning, I rented a Healthy Ride Bike and headed straight down the trail. Due to some construction, I pedaled on and off the trail, but it felt so adventurous checking out this area that is new to me. As I neared the Point, I passed the most moving murals honoring the lives of some of the black people that have lost their lives to racial and social injustice. I always find that artwork can be something that brings people together and seeing those murals was a great way in honoring their memory as well as fighting for continual change. This little gem is perfect for a stop during your bike ride or walk to see some beautiful artwork and maybe even catch a sighting of the Gateway Clipper!

If you are like me and like sweet treats, well stopping at Peace, Love & Little Donuts after a little exercise is the perfect way to kickstart your morning. Here you can feed your sweet craving AND "feed your inner hippie." Located on 21st street in the Strip District is where you will find this slice of heaven. My partner and I tried six flavors and had a pretty hard time deciding which was our favorite!

In an effort to be safe and social distance, I've been on a hunt to find some new roof top bars. I stumbled upon Spirit & Tales, which is located on the roof of the Oaklander Hotel. I haven't been yet, but I am looking forward to sipping on a whiskey cocktail while overlooking the views of Oakland. These views include the Cathedral of Learning as well as the Soldiers and Sailors War Memorial. If you are a local, this place is a must try! Their Midnight Manhattan is something that certainly caught my eye. If you are not a local or a local looking for a staycation, the Oaklander Hotel would be a fabulous option. This hotel offers a mix of Pittsburgh's industrial history combined with the sultry edge of the innovation that flows along the rivers. The rooms are cozy, yet chic and you will find the hotel to be in a very walkable area for exploration! 

One of the weekend must do's that has been reoccurring on my list is heading over to the Squirrel Hill Sunday Farmers Market. Located right at the Beacon/Bartlett parking lot, between the hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from June to November, is where you'll find this pocket of local produce, poultry, seasonings, breads and more! My favorite stand is the Wise County Biscuits! Their biscuits are the freshest and most tasty. They also have a few surprises like seasonal jams depending on the time that you go. 

One of my favorite places that I am super happy to dine in is Acorn. Acorn is located right in the heart of Shadyside on Walnut street. Chef Scott Walton brought his talents from cooking in Chicago right here to Pittsburgh. What I love about this place, is the small but very well- designed menu where the spices and food and melded together to make a perfect dish each time. If you check them out for dinner, the Ribeye is always cooked to perfection. However, if you're more of a brunch guy or gal, the pancakes are out of the world! 

All in all, there is so much to Pittsburgh to explore aside from the popular South Side bars or our sports arenas and stadiums. Sure, those are the things that draw you in, but the things I discussed above are what keep me excited and happy staying in Pittsburgh.