Lawrenceville

Unique Boutiques

As the holidays approach, so does the need for presents and hostess gifts. While it may be tempting to get on your iPad at 2 a.m. and order mass-produced items that will show up on your doorstep in two days, there are unique or personalized options that support local businesses and make you look like …

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Sarah’s Wisdom Behind the Counter

“Okay, what’s today’s joke?” The guy at the counter orders his Americano, sits down, lets the anticipation build for a few seconds. His eyes are dancing behind thick black glasses, grinning like he’s about to bubble over into a thousand little joy bubbles, because he’s got a joke. Today’s joke. “Okay, ready? Why do restaurants …

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Sept. 17, 1862—The Day Pittsburgh Exploded

“Tread softly, this is consecrated dust. Forty five pure patriotic victims lie here, a sacrifice to freedom and civil liberty. A horrid memento of a most wicked rebellion. Patriots! These are patriots’ graves.” –Inscription on the memorial at Allegheny Cemetery The only trouble with the inscription is that the people who rest here weren’t “planning …

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Wabash Park ice skating, 1917

On the wintry afternoon of Jan. 20, 1917, pittsburghers of all ages enjoyed ice skating at Wabash Park in Pittsburgh’s West End. Regularly a grassy swath, it was apparently flooded and frozen for the season. The park is still there, as are a number of the park-facing homes along Wabash Street. An icy Sawmill Run …

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Hatfield and Home

At the corner of Hatfield and Home streets, lively currents in Lawrenceville’s past, present and future converge in vivid architecture. Historic rowhouses line the street in one direction, and in another are some of the remains of industrial infrastructure. The substantial remaining open space toward the river seems to ask almost vocally what to do …

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Nied’s

The orange neon fish sign at the corner of Butler & 55th in Lawrenceville is the gastronomic version of the beacon atop the Grant Building. Nied’s Hotel Bar has held this corner since 1941 and, like all great joints, it’s a neighborhood within a neighborhood. The starting point at Nied’s is the “world famous fish …

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Song of Lawrenceville

As a child growing up in Pittsburgh in the ’50s, I thought that Lawrenceville was named for our mayor and that the soldier statue at Butler and 34th Street was David L. Lawrence as a young man. Umm, wrong. The immortal soldier who guards “Larryville” from his circular pedestal at Doughboy Square is a World …

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