Thursday, July 12, 2012

PGH CHEAP: Spending Little to Stay Cool

My. It's been hot, huh? As has been the case in most places across the U.S., Pittsburgh has been riding a heat wave. I'm writing this on Sunday, and our high is only expected to be 89 degrees. As Eric said while we walked back toward our apartment building this morning, "I never thought I'd be excited about temps in the high 80s."

I try not to complain about the heat. But Saturday it was brutal. I spent as much time as I could tolerate in my apartment reading and writing, but eventually I needed to seek out ways to beat the heat. So I made a list of inexpensive ways to cool off around town and set off by bike to the Carnegie Museum.

If this heat keeps up throughout July and August, I think I'll be using my Museum membership more and more for quick spells in air conditioning. I only had an hour to kill before I was expected at the pool, so I decided to check out the coolest exhibits I could think of.

First I spent a good chunk of time walking around in the cool darkness of the Hillman Hall of Minerals and Gems.

Glow in the dark rocks!

As might be expected, the orange gems and minerals were my favorite.

Gemstone dino!

The second stop on my visit was the most obvious choice of all:

Yes. To beat the heat, I spent some time pretending I was in the Arctic. Genius, I know.

On a day when it feels like it's over 100 degrees outside, it was easy to feel incredible jealousy of this scene.

Just in case on one of my wintertime Canada journeys I need to know how to build a shelter out of snow, I watched this video about building snowhouses.

Jealous of how cool these dogs must be feeling in the snow.

After the museum I pedaled over to the Highland Park pool for a few hours of swimming and sunning. Entry also free; Pittsburgh pool passes are a beautiful thing. I passed out on my couch for a couple hours before meeting up with Ross to walk down to 36th and Butler for a pop-up beer garden, Tapped. We had a whiskey drink from Wigle Whiskey and an IPA from Full Pint. Cost $10. I had a hot dog from the Franktuary. Cost $3. It was all the money I'd spent all day, and I felt good about staying cool while keeping costs low. 

These pop-up beer gardens will be going on throughout the summer, and I will be making an effort to go to many of them. Such a nice (and relatively cheap) way to spend a hot summer night.

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