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Point Breeze: Pittsburgh's artsy, earth-friendly neighborhood

The Henry Clay Frick Home

Susan Regan and her partner of more than 30 years are both from Lawrenceville, but returned to Pittsburgh after spending 10 years in New York City and San Francisco. They decided to settle down in a house on South Lang Avenue in Point Breeze. They’ve now called Point Breeze home for nearly 20 years. They share the home with their two children, a Gordon Setter mix, two cats and three fish.
“I think the thing I enjoy most is that we have just a bit more room than you do in Lawrenceville, Bloomfield or the truly urban areas of the city,” says Regan. “I love the old houses in the neighborhood, and we love Frick Park. Also, the neighborhood had lots of 'Burghers like us—but also tons of folks from all over the country and other countries.”
Homes in Point Breeze span the spectrum from modest and affordable to extremely expensive and opulent -- ranging from $130,000 to upwards of $1.25 million. As of May 2014, single-family homes on the market are listed for the average price of $437,000.
The neighborhood borders Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, North Point Breeze, Regent Square and Wilkinsburg. With a quaint business district ideal for brunch enthusiasts, lots of parks, and arts and cultural gems, this neighborhood is the perfect spot to settle down or spend the day.
Parks and Rec
There are so many options in Point Breeze for recreation and culture – the neighborhood is surrounded by great green spaces including Frick and Mellon Parks, both of which offer free Shakespeare in the Park performances each fall. Mellon Park also offers Bach, Beethoven and Brunch, a Citiparks series that mounts free classical music performances on Sunday mornings from mid-June through mid-August.
The parks are great for getting in shape, but fitness enthusiasts won’t want to miss the Climbing Wall and Inner Hearth Yoga.
Arts abound
Point Breeze also has many options for art and history enthusiasts. The Frick Art & Historical Center is the impeccably maintained former estate of Henry Clay Frick and his family. The estate is open to the public and offers tours and an impressive art collection. The Café at The Frick offers award-winning cuisine and a panoramic view of the grounds. Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, which recently merged with Pittsburgh Filmmakers, is a non-profit community arts campus that offers arts education programs and contemporary art exhibitions, providing services and resources for individual artists throughout Western Pennsylvania.
There are also ways to take in some performance art in the neighborhood. Point Breeze can be found at The Space Upstairs on N. Lexington Street, which features The Pillow Project, a contemporary improvisational dance and performance group. And PearlArt Studios on Braddock Avenue features the Staycee Pearl Dance Project, which interprets and mirrors the human condition through dance and dance centered multi-media experiences.
Kids love Gemini Children’s Theater, an interactive, musical children’s theater on Penn Avenue.
Earth-friendly ethos
Just around the corner from the Climbing Wall is the East End Food Co-op, established in 1980 as Pittsburgh’s only member-owned, natural and organic food market. It supports local, sustainable food, environmental responsibility and the community.
The Co-op Café is a great place to enjoy organic juices and smoothies, a fair trade coffee bar, and every weekend, its famous vegetarian brunch that offers eats such as whole grain pancakes, a tofu veggie scrambler and frittata with fresh, local eggs and herbs. Membership is not required to shop at the co-op, though members receive discounts and other benefits.
The Co-op is in good company when it comes to looking out for the environment. Just down the street, you’ll find Construction Junction, a reuse center for building materials and fixtures; FreeRide, a non-profit recycled bike shop that enables people of all ages to obtain, repair and maintain bicycles, and the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, which promotes resource conservation, creativity and community engagement through material reuse.
Brunch your heart out
In addition to the cafes at the Co-op and The Frick, there are lots of great places to grab a bite in Point Breeze. Point Brugge Café serves up Belgian-inspired fare and is consistently rated as one of Pittsburgh’s top restaurants and is a favorite spot for brunch. Just down the street from Point Brugge is Pino’s Contemporary Italian Restaurant and Wine Bar, a small eatery that features an Italian and Mediterranean menu. During the warmer months, both Point Brugge and Pino’s offer patio seating, where dogs are welcome.
Point Breeze is accessible via the 61 A North Braddock, 61 B Braddock-Swissvale, 67 Monroeville, 69 Trafford, and 71 C Point Breeze.
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