Rediscover Pittsburgh with Nicole

Born and raised in Maryland, I fell in love with Pittsburgh back in 2012 after a college tour at Duquesne University.

As soon as I became a student there the following year, Pittsburgh became my home away from home. Pittsburgh’s character, charm, food, nightlife, art, culture, and jaw-dropping scenic views were a part of why I chose to officially move here after graduation in 2017. I have spent the past four years since building a life here and exploring the hidden gems in this beautiful city of bridges. 

Prior to COVID-19, I became a dog mom to my Morkiepom puppy, Luna. Staying in has been a challenge with an energetic and playful puppy. In recent months, I have been rediscovering Pittsburgh outdoors where there is lower transmission of the virus and social distancing protocols are in place. 

Luna and I frequent Allegheny Commons Park in the North Side. This park is great for a stroll with your furry friend! All the pet parents and dogs you will meet in the park are super friendly and each morning you will be amused by the flock of geese that waddle around or swim in the fountain. After your stroll, be sure to stop by the original Commonplace Coffee on Buena Vista Street in the Mexican War Streets. Their breakfast burrito and an iced Lavender Vanilla latte always makes my day as I take in more of Pittsburgh’s historic charm in the Mexican War Streets! 

For a beautiful city view, I highly recommend biking, running or walking along the North Shore Riverfront Trail. If you like to picnic, Schenley Park or Grandview Park (a section of Emerald View Park) around sunset are perfect for a captivating view of the city! This summer The City of Pittsburgh is offering drive-in movie nights at the local parks. I am looking forward to checking out Dollar Bank Cinema In the Park’s drive-in movie nights before the summer ends. 

I plan to continue exploring the great outdoors and finding seasonal activities to cross off my “Things I Must Do In Pittsburgh” bucket list before winter’s inevitable arrival. A friend and I recently went to Schwirian Farm where we spent the day getting lost in a field of sunflowers. It was an activity that made my heart and inner child so happy after being cooped up in the house for months. 

This Fall, I look forward to going to Soergel’s Orchard, where you can visit their country store and market, apple orchard, pumpkin patch, Arsenal Cider House and so much more. This orchard is family-friendly with a variety of activities for kids as well. Soergel’s Orchard has become a Fall tradition since I was in college, and I now have a deeper appreciation for this place filled with all of my favorite outdoor fall activities.

One of my favorite hidden gems is Row House Cinema, a charming little movie theatre located in a historic row house in Lawrenceville. Row House Cinema is the perfect night out! They play new, old, popular, weird, amazing and obscure movies and offer a concession stand where you’ll find popcorn, candy, soda and beer. Currently, Row House At Home is an available option where you can watch the films playing online. I cannot wait for my next movie night with friends at Row House Cinema! I am planning to indulge myself sooner rather than later with a Row House At Home experience with some goodies from their Curbside Concession Pick-Up.  

The art scene has always been my jam here! Whether it’s the Downtown Cultural District Gallery Crawl, the Unblurred Gallery Crawl on Penn Avenue in Garfield, a Good Friday at the Andy Warhol Museum on the North Shore, a unique happy-hour event at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland or the Mattress Factory on the North Side, you will find me in the neighborhoods where art and culture are thriving. Revisiting all of these places and participating in gallery crawls and events are things I intend to do soon.