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Travel

A Gilded Age Holiday

In 1882, Henry Clay Frick purchased an Italianate-style mansion on Penn Avenue in Point Breeze. The “Coke King” named it Clayton, commissioning two major renovations for his growing family. Within 10 years, though, Frick and his wife, Adelaide, suffered the loss of two of their four children, 8-year-old Martha and infant Henry Clay Frick, Jr., …

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A Gordian Knot: Haiti

Port au Prince, Haiti — A band playing Carribean music greeted us as we entered Toussaint Louverture International Airport. Quite a change from our last trip five years ago, when twin SUVs with dark-tinted windows met us at a special airport door and armed guards hustled us into the vehicles. On that trip, returning to the …

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An Autumn Excursion to Bedford Springs

Nothing screams ”road trip” like a crisp autumn day, and nothing whispers “history” like the Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa in Bedford, Pa. Combine them, and you have a fabulous getaway 90 minutes from Pittsburgh. Drawn to its mineral springs and their healing properties, Dr. John Anderson purchased the 2,200-acre property in 1796. Guest …

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All for Fun

If summer in the city has lost its luster, and you are ready to ditch that hot suit or itchy hose for some fresh country air, Butler County has just the ticket—the 155th Big Butler Fair, July 2–10 at the fairgrounds in Prospect. While there are loads of county fairs, fire department carnivals and church …

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Howard Hanna: Buy and sell with confidence.

Pen to Paper

In this age of emailing, texting, and tweeting, the art of letter writing could be lost. Fortunately, many people still enjoy holding a real book or magazine in their hands—and putting pen to paper for correspondence. Anyone who has ever packed up the belongings of an elderly relative or friend has likely found a pile …

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Eins, Zwei, G’suffa!

Turning leaves are a sure harbinger of Oktoberfest! If you can’t make it to Germany, several local options may do. Grab your designated driver and hit the road for a tour of western Pennsylvania’s microbreweries, each of which offers a twist on the annual tradition. East End Brewing Company is the only true microbrewery in …

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To Do List … Pittsburgh

From Rafael Viñoly’s green Convention Center, head to Grant Street, the traditional seat of Pittsburgh government and corporate power. You’ll see the enormous U.S. Steel building, now with UPMC on top. U.S. Steel remains the largest tenant, but the University of Pittsburgh Medical  Center is the region’s biggest employer. On the right is the Gulf Tower, former …

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Close Getaway: Sharon, Pa.

Sharon, Pa is a “winner” of a place. Instead of being devastated by the demise of its primary industry (in this case, steel), Sharon thrives, largely due to Jim and Donna Winner. Winner invented the auto anti-theft device, The Club, and the couple has made major investments in their native Mercer County. Among them are …

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Touring the Finger Lakes of New York

New York’s Finger Lakes region looks at first glance like a slice of Americana: small towns, white clapboard and main streets. Almost 200 years ago, however, upstate New York was a hotbed of social experimentation and religious reform. Residents grappled with the sudden transformation of their farming communities by the commercial success sparked by the …

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Nemacolin Woodlands

The bear market might have you reconsidering a spring-break trip to Vail or Aruba, and you might forgo that trip just to avoid the painful wait at the airport. In less time than you have to wait for a plane, you could drive to the perfect getaway—Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa in Fayette County. The …

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Magnificence in Montana

When his six boys were young, Jim Dolan and his wife Patty took the family every spring break on a ski trip, each time to a different location. They went to Aspen, Vail, Steamboat, Jackson Hole—you name it. Each year, the boys said, “This is great, let’s come back here next year.”   And each …

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Smicksburg, Pa.

Soaring gas prices might have you reconsidering autumn travel, but much of it can be duplicated within an hour’s drive of Pittsburgh. If you are yearning for New England’s fall colors, Lancaster’s Amish countryside, a vineyard’s fall glory or a small town’s welcome, try a visit to Smicksburg, in northern Indiana County. The drive to …

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Klavon’s

Nothing says summer like a classic banana split. For some of us, it recalls going to the neighborhood drug store/soda fountain with no thought of caloric intake or cholesterol levels. For a step back in time to that more innocent — and way better — era, visit Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor in the Strip District. …

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Take Five

A recent Gallup poll revealed that up to 44 percent of us are frequently stressed, and 55 percent of us feel we do not have enough time to do the things we want. That’s 130 million anxious people, give or take a few basket cases. A little over an hour from Downtown lies an antidote. …

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Moundsville, W. Va.

As the holidays approach, frantic parents stand in endless lines or buy online, getting the hottest high-tech “made in China” toys. If that seems overwhelming, try visiting the Official Marx Toy Museum of Glen Dale, W.Va. Located in Moundsville, just south of Wheeling, the museum takes visitors down memory lane as they enjoy Louis Marx …

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Putnam Place

Few things satisfy more on a warm summer day than strolling through a beautiful garden and then selecting and cutting flowers for a perfect arrangement. If you don’t have the time, space or talent to cultivate and tend a cutting garden, The Putnam Place, about a mile from Bakersfield (in the Laurel Highlands), is a …

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Fire & Ice Festival, Laurel Highlands Model Railroad Club

For those who enjoy the kinship, shopping and food at community celebrations, summer brings the mother lode with its county fairs, pie eating contests, town carnivals, cotton candy and dunk tanks. Fall brings harvest celebrations with apple cider, pumpkin picking, hayrides and candy apples. Even March and April have their Friday fish fries at churches …

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Haiti: In Search of Hope

Deschapelles, Haiti – From the window of a small, private plane, the island of Hispaniola came into view in the middle of the vast, blue Caribbean. Haiti and its neighbor on the island, the Dominican Republic, looked like two countries on a globe in a library, set apart by two different colors. The Dominican Republic was …

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