Saturday, September 29, 2007

Map; October edition

Stop #31; Upper Lawrenceville

Date: September 22, 2007
Neighborhood: Upper Lawrenceville
Pitt Stoppers: Jimmy D., Josh, Big All, Audrey, Francis, Kirsten, Magic (DBTM), Monkey, Rick, Jonathon, Andrew.
Bar: Remedy

Pluses: Great menu, great atmosphere, great beer selection, great bartenders.
Weirdness: Remedy serves the zestiest Bloody Mary in Pittsburgh. It's because the vodka for the drinks is infused with hot peppers for weeks beforehand.
Aside: The sand-filled footrest at the bar is all that remains from the olde Ray's Marlin Grill days.

The stare down over the last appetizer.

I sense trouble.

One false move and the strange monkey gets it.

Stop #30; Central Lawrenceville

Date: September 22, 2007
Neighborhood: Central Lawrenceville
Pitt Stoppers: Jimmy D., Wookie, Josh, Big Al, Josh S., Monkey, Magic, Kirsten, Audrey, Kirsten, Frances, Rick, Jonathan Andrew.
Bar: The Thunderbird Cafe

Pluses: Great place to see a band.
Weirdness: The Thunderbird is the sweetest three level bar in Pittsburgh.
Aside: Lawrenceville is named after Captain James Lawrence who, during the War of 1812, said, "Don't give up the ship." Unfortunately, he died as a result of the action and lost the ship to boot.

The T-bird. Making Lawrenceville cool again.

A poster from the Thunderbird. Notice a trend in Lawrenceville?

Stop #29B; Lower Lawrenceville

Date: September 22, 2007
Neighborhood: Lower Lawrenceville
Pitt Stoppers: Jimmy D., Melissa, Wookie, Josh, Laurel, Mindy, Bruce, Jim S., Richard, Al, Josh S., Monkey, Magic, Kirsten, Audrey (0.75), Kirsten, Frances, Holly, Hank, Rick.
Bar: Sufak's Round Corner Hotel

Pluses: The round corner. Becky the bartender's second day.
Weirdness: Horseshoes. There was a set of clay horseshoe pits in the backyard.
Aside: Sufak's also claims to be the oldest continuously operating tavern in Pittsburgh. Check out Stop #12. I sense a Bar Off coming.

It's friendly because they check the guns.

Josh explains how to win at Cherry Master.

Notice how we support Iron City.

Sufak's is a great place to enjoy a game, a beer, and a watermelon.

What's this? Horseshoes?

The pits (stop).

Good Form.

The result of Good Form.

Bad Form.

My hands got dirty from the clay. How to drink my beer?

Jim has the perfect idea.

The Round Corner itself.
I'm not sure what the three is about.

Stop #29A; Lower Lawrenceville

Date: September 22, 2007
Neighborhood: Lower Lawrenceville
Pitt Stoppers: Jimmy D., Melissa, Serah, Wookie, Josh, Laurel, Mindy, Bruce, Jim S., Richard, Al, Josh S.
Bar: The Iron City Brewery

Pluses: Getting the inside view from Jerry.
Weirdness: We were the very first tour for the recently renamed Iron City Brewing (formerly Pittsburgh Brewing Company).
Aside: Iron City has an awesome great hall where charity events are held. It houses lots of old IC paraphernalia (Remeber "Hey! Gimme an IC light!"?), Pirates schedules, a complete Iron City can collection, and a barber's chair.

Big Thanks to Jerry Lorenz who was a gracious host, tour guide, and bartender. We had a great time!

The IC beer can collection.

A close up of the early cans.

The well-decorated Great Hall.

Jerry explaining the intricacies of corn cracking.

The filters for the water that's piped from Aspinwall.

The outside of the 30,000 gallon mixing tank where the hops are added.

The inside of the same tank.

Anyone for a trim?

Ed and Melissa enjoying our free samples after the tour.

Wookie and Bruce after breaking into the safe.

The copper bar. Richard taking in the ceiling.

Did you leave the seat up, Ed?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Pitt Stops press

Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette joined our group during the Spring Garden/Troy Hill/Herr's Island outing. He wrote a great article detailing our evening and Pitt Stops generally. Here's the link.

Thanks to Colin. See you out there again soon.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Map; August edition

Stop #28; Swisshelm Park

Date: September 2

Neighborhood: Swisshelm Park
Pitt Stoppers: Mindy, The Bug, Jimmy D., Bobby D., Jim S., Jonathan, Carolyn, Lily, Lisa, BTBNL, Noreen, Gino, Kristin, Jim, Big Al, Noreen, Scotty, Kim, Rita, Todd, Wook, Rob, Deanna, Melissa, Lee.
Bar: Pub in the Park.

Pluses: Nice beer selection, incredible staff (Thanks, Maggie!) who kept up with the large group of us, events such as karaoke and trivia.
Weirdness: The kitchen is temporarily closed, so food orders are placed with a local pizza shop.
Swisshelm Park does not have a bar (Pub in the Park is technically in Swissvale), so we had a drink on the nearest corner in the
city limits to make the neighborhood official.

Aside: Like its neighbor Swissvale, Swisshelm Park is named after Jane Grey Swisshelm - a noted abolitionist and women's right advocate from the 1800's. The Swisshelm family home once was in the area.

The border.
Notice the two types of street signs.

Team Extremo finally reaches the goal.

The lovely interior of Pub in the Park.

Under the blue signs making the neighborhood official.

East side. SP.

Stop #27 and a half; Frick Park

Date: September 2
Frick Park
Pitt Stoppers:


Deanna, Scotty, Kim, Carolyn, Lily, Lisa, BTBNL.

Wook, Todd, Rita, Brendan, Bobby D., Jonathan yeaah.

Walkers (From Silky's to Commercial Ave.)
Rob, Lee, Melissa, Gino, Kristen (special award).

Team Extremo (From Silky's to Pub in the Park)

Jimmy D., Jim, Big Al, Noreen.

Bar: None.

Pluses: Frick Park has an extensive set of trails, tennis courts, playgrounds, bowling greens, great views of the Mon Valley, and an off-road BMX course (for the determined searchers).
Weirdness: The observation platforms that extend only 4 feet off of the path.

Aside: A group of us decided to take advantage of the weather and make the long walk from Silky's to Pub in the Park. Squirrel Hill South is home to the lion's share of the two biggest parks in the City of Pittsburgh - Schenley and Frick - so the obvious route was through Frick Park. Frick Park was initially a 150 acre area bequeathed by Henry Clay Frick in 1919. Using trust funds also from Frick, additional land was obtained to swell the park to its current size of 600 acres.

The walkers. Notice how Rob, Noreen, and Al are in motion.

Ravine Trail - so fantastic that Gino lost his head!

Buddy up, Walkers.

Rob is psyched after calling for transportation back-up.

The half completed bridge that was nearly our undoing.

The long hill on Commercial Ave.
Team Extremo conquered it.

Stop #27; Squirrel Hill South

Date: September 2

Neighborhood: Squirrel Hill South
Pitt Stoppers: Jimmy D., Jim S., Bobby D., Jonathan, Carolyn, Lily, Lisa, BTBNL, Anwar, Noreen, Gino, Kristin, Rich, Rob, Deanna, Bruce, Carol, Todd, Rita, Wook, Scotty, Kim, Brendan, Big Al, Lee, Melissa.
Bar: Silky's Sports Bar and Grill

Pluses: Shuffleboard, great pubgrub menu, lots of TVs.
Weirdness: The internal balcony.

Aside: Silky's is the archetypal Pittsburgh sports bar. Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins paraphernalia line the walls and the internal balcony means that there are many seats with views of a TV. It's a great place to watch a game.

The view from the balcony.

Lee is overwhelmed by how cool Silky's is.

You can't get food like this in Canada!

Wookie making a serious point.

Anyone for shuffleboard?

The Mouse on the Barroom Floor - one of my favorite bar wall decorations in Pittsburgh.

Jolly times at Silky's.