My dad and little sister, Nikki, visited Pittsburgh this past weekend. When they told me about the visit a few weeks ago, I immediately began mining the knowledge of this city I’ve gained over nine weeks here to come up with the perfect weekend plans.
I tailored the plans to my family’s preferences (our insatiable love for ice cream, for example). We didn’t take in any Pirates games. Still, I think I did a pretty good job, and we were all happy with the weekend.
Now I’m curious to hear how I did, from native Pittsburghers or other itinerants. What would you choose to include in a less-than-48 hour whirlwind Tour de Pittsburgh?
My dad and Nikki drove from Connecticut all day Friday, arriving in Pittsburgh around 5 p.m. They met me Downtown at the Post-Gazette building, where I presented my dad with a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cap and showed them around.
We grabbed dinner at Yo Rita in the South Side then went up Mount Washington, riding the Duquesne Incline, to show the out-of-towners the full Pittsburgh panorama. We finished the night with dessert at Oh Yeah! Ice Cream and Coffee Co. in Shadyside.
Late the next morning, we hit the Strip District and spent some time choosing the best possible lunch: baklava, fried plantains and a mango-ginger smoothie from stands at the Public Market, figs and a hunk of stinky Roquefort from the Pennsylvania Macaroni Co., and a lobster roll, roasted pecans and grilled tuna and shrimp (right) from the guy outside at Wholey’s.
Some of this, we saved to snack on later. But not much.
We returned to Oakland, where I’m staying this summer, to poke around the Pitt campus, taking in the Cathedral of Learning. We wanted to spend some time in Schenley Park, but it was too hot to stay outside for long. Instead, my dad retired to the hotel for a nap, and Nikki and I made a sisterly return to Oh Yeah!
Eventually, it was time to get ready for a delicious dinner at Spoon in East Liberty, at the recommendation of PG restaurant critic China Millman. Afterward, we walked next door to peer in the windows of CMU’s Waffle Shop, but they were still setting up the cameras for the nightly talk show there, and we were all too tired to wait another half hour for the place to open — not even if it meant getting on T.V.
After breakfast Sunday morning, we took a walk through Phipps Conservatory, then my dad and Nikki hit the road.
I was sad to see them go. Luckily, I still have some of Saturday’s cheese in the fridge.