Every morning I bike through the Strip District on my way downtown for work. It's usually empty while I roll through, but on Saturdays and Sundays, everything in the Strip comes to life. The sidewalks are barely navigable and when I try to ride through on weekends, it's hell.
The strange thing is: I always - always! - forget about the Strip when it comes to the weekends and fun awesome Pittsburgh things to do. But I made it a point to go this weekend because I wanted to accomplish three things: 1. Go to the Pittsburgh Public Market, 2. Go to PennMac, 3. Take pictures of a couple of the murals. Check. Check. Check.
PennMac cheese counter is slightly intimidating, but wholly amazing. Intimidating because when I picked up my number, they were at 4; I was 28. But it moved quickly, and it gave me time to talk myself into buying a pound of Tillamook cheddar and a 1/2 pound ball of buffalo mozzarella. Both have already been put to very good use.
This was my second visit to the Pittsburgh Public Market. It has definitely grown a bit since my first visit, and I think it has the potential to be really insanely awesome. Maybe fewer arts & crafts and more typical market offerings? A good ol' fashioned butcher would be my request.
I picked up a growler of East End Brewery's Pedal Pale Ale. Will make good use of that this week when the temperature soars and I spend my nights reading on the balcony.
There are times when I really do wish the point would turn into a magical land of pizza. I didn't grab a slice, but I'll put in on my list of Pittsburgh things I want to do.
One thing that I believe truly separates Pittsburgh from other cities across the United States (of which I've been to many of various sizes and populations) is the abundance of public art, especially murals. This one is right in the heart of the Strip, and depicts life in the heart of the Strip.
This is not a mural (obviously), but I found it quite nice. Who wouldn't think that this utility box looks better with this nice little man with a suitcase and a sad sort of appeal?
This is a mural on the side of the WFH New Oriental Foods Market.
So far, I've used the Tillamook cheddar in my egg sammich for lunch and the buffalo mozzarella for a caprese sammich in the park. I also picked up some lemon garlic penne pasta and fancy marshmellows at the Public Market. I'm saving the penne for later this week, but have already sampled all three of the marshmallows (vanilla, malted vanilla, and pistachio). They are wonderful, and perhaps a new favorite Pittsburgh treat.
I'll have to push the Strip to the front of my mind more often on the weekends. Even though it means a long haul back up Penn with a bunch of awesome groceries, it's undoubtedly worth the trip.