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Free jazz pops ups in unexpected hot spots

Pittsburgh's summer jazz scene just got a whole lot hotter -- and it won't cost listeners a cent.

A few surprising venues are popping up in Pittsburgh to draw jazz aficianados outdoors during July, August and September. 

Pittsburgh's Smallest Jazz Club was installed at a bus shelter on Liberty Avenue across from 9th Street in Downtown Pittsburgh on July 6 thanks to a $1,000 grant from Awesome Pittsburgh last year. 

MCG Jazz, which is a music program of the nonprofit Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, dreamed up Pittsburgh's Smallest Jazz Club as a bus shelter on Liberty Avenue across from 9th Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. Thanks to a $1,000 grant from Awesome Pittsburgh, the project was installed on July 6 and will run through the end of September. The shelter's interior walls feature photos of Pittsburgh's jazz legends, while speakers pump out a Grammy Award-winning recordings from MCG Jazz, which has hosted luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams and Stanley Turrentine through the years.

"The intent is to promote jazz music as Pittsburgh's greatest arts export, and to remind people that jazz music -- and art -- is fun, familiar, and everywhere," Kline says. 

A patron waiting in the bus shelter simply pushes a button, which connects to an iPod playing the songs. Lamar Outdoor, which owns the bus shelters in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, helped to put the idea into action. MCG Jazz, whose mission is to preserve, present and promote jazz, aims to introduce both national and international audiences to Pittsburgh's jazz legends.  

Meanwhile, across the Allegheny River on the North Side, City Of Asylum is introducing a series of free concerts from local jazz icon Roger Humphries and RH Factor every Wednesday from now through Sept. 16. 

Jazz Wednesdays are part of Summer on Sampsonia, the summer programming series from exiled writers sanctuary City of Asylum. The events will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Wednesday at the City of Asylum's pop-up venue, the Alphabet City Tent, at 318 Sampsonia Way in the North Side. 

The free tickets for Jazz Wednesdays are available online.

To learn more about Pittsburgh’s Smallest Jazz Club, visit the project’s Facebook page.

NPR guides listeners through in-depth tour of the Mattress Factory

NPR reporter Bob Mondello recently visited the Mattress Factory on the North Side and described the unforgettable experience, installation piece by installation piece, for radio listeners. As a museum that hosts installation art designed to be not only seen, but experienced, the Mattress Factory received a surprisingly comprehensive review from Mondello's words-only report.

Free from visual cues, let alone experiential samples, the story, "Find Unforgettable Art In A Most Unlikely Place: A Pittsburgh Mattress Factory," tested the limits of listeners' imaginations. 

"Filled not with paintings or sculpture -- and certainly not with mattresses -- it is now four stories of ... well, of stories in a way," Mondello reports. "Installations that take you places you don't expect to go in an art museum."

Any visitor to the Mattress Factory can attest to the remarkable experience housed in an unlikely place. Now NPR listeners near and far can get an earful -- if not the experience itself -- of our most surprising museum.

Listen to the full NPR story here.

It's camo time: Upcoming events honor hometown heroes

As summer's patriotic holidays approach, the iconic camo print that's synonymous with U.S. soldiers is flexing its muscle at special local sporting events honoring veterans.

To commemorate Flag Day on June 14, the Veterans Leadership Program (VLP) invites veterans and the public to attend the Kids & Camo 5K / Family Fun Day in White Oak Park. The 5K Run/Walk begins at 10 a.m., with a BBQ lunch after the race. Those not participating in the 5K are also invited to enjoy the BBQ lunch and festivities including a three-legged race, sack race, arts and crafts, volleyball, horseshoes and a corn hole competition.

Participants can register for the 5K or one-mile run/walk at www.vlpwpa.org/5k.  Registration is requested for the free lunch and activities.

In addition, the Pittsburgh Brewing Company (PBC) just released a second Pirates Collector Series beer can -- the “Camo” can -- to its 2015 lineup through select distributors. To tie in to the Pirates camo jerseys worn at Thursday home games and to pay tribute to local vets, PBC will donate tickets and camo merchandise to area VFWs for every Thursday home game.

Proceeds from each case of IC Light camo cans sold through July 5 will benefit the local It’s About the Warrior Foundation and will be presented at the Pirates game on July 9. The evening ends with a stadium-wide salute to the veterans and troops.

National pancreas nonprofit matures from local origins

If you or a loved one had pancreatic cancer 18 years ago, little information was available to help, and only a limited amount of research funding existed for the physicians and caregivers treating the disease.

Consequently, the very first chapter now known as The National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) started here in Pittsburgh in 1997. 

Today, the NPF advocates for research and therapies for pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer and has given more than $2.5 million toward groundbreaking research. The foundation has grown to 22 chapters nationwide thanks to volunteers and doctors around the country who donate their time and talents to raise money through events each year. So far, 2015 festivities have included a family bowling night, followed by the summertime gala on June 19 and a Pancreatic Awareness Walk on Aug. 16. Funds raised support patient care, along with education and research for healthcare providers in the form of one-year grants of up to $25,000 toward local research.
For more information about the Foundation, visit http://www.pancreasfoundation.org/. To purchase tickets for the Courage for a Cure Gala on June 19 at the Heinz Field East Lounge, go to http://bidpal.net/npfgala2015.

Pittsburgh parks curator receives national honor

Thanks to her role as parks curator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Susan Rademacher will receive one of the highest national honors from the American Society of Landscape Architects. 

The ASLA bestows the honorary member title on those who've provided notable service to the profession of landscape architecture. Since its founding the 1899, the society has granted honorary membership to only 176 recipients, including former President Jimmy Carter, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Robert Redford and Ladybird Johnson. 

Since joining the conservancy in 2007, Rademacher has served as the project leader for the recent renovation of Downtown's Mellon Square and wrote the 2014 Princeton Architectural Press book Mellon Square: Discovering a Modernist Masterpiece.

Rademacher was editor in chief of Landscape Architecture magazine from 1984 to 1987 and was a founding editor of Garden Design magazine. She served as both president of Louisville's Olmsted Parks Conservancy and assistant director of Louisville's Metro Parks Department from 1991 to 2007. 

As parks curator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Rademacher has completed master planning and project design for the Walled Garden in Mellon Park and Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain. She is currently working on Cliffside Park renovations; master plans for Arsenal Park, Leslie Park, and McKinley Park; Heth's Run in Highland Park; and the Northeast Fountain in Allegheny Commons.

Satisfaction: The Rolling Stones come to Heinz Field

The Rolling Stones have announced a round of tour dates, and they include a stop in the Steel City. The British legends will hit Heinz Field on June 20.

The Zip Code tour will once again reunite singer Mick Jagger, drummer Charlie Watts and guitarists Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood.

The last time the Rolling Stones played North American stadiums was during their "A Bigger Bang Tour" in 2006. They opted for arena venues for their "50 & Counting" tour in 2012 and 2013.

"We love being out on the road and it is great to come back to North America," said Richards in a statement. "I can't wait to get back on the stage!"

And quite the stage it will be, including a section that juts far into the crowd, allowing the Stones to interact with fans. As is the band's practice, the stage design will employ cutting-edge technology to enhance the performance, including video screens and special effects.

Check out the complete list of tour dates here.

Original source: The New York Times

New York Times spotlights Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

The New York Times credits the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh for leading a current movement among U.S. museums.  

The trend originated when the museum moved to its current location on the North Side to accommodate the ever-growing number of visitors in the late 1990s. Once the museum moved, however, a surplus of space existed with a shortage of content to exhibit. The need to fill the space prompted museum leaders to lease it in order to generate income outside of the typical exhibits and special events. 

Over time, museums across the country with similar concerns took notice and followed the lead of the Children's Museum. Now the museum administrators offer consultations on how to expand revenue opportunities to institutions across the country.

More details in the full article here.

Zipping through grit to find a renaissance of reuse

Zipcar’s online magazine zips through several Pittsburgh landmarks and discovers a story of grit-turned-grandeur.

In the article “How Gritty, Industrial Pittsburgh is Leading a Renaissance of Reuse,” Ziptopia writer Jeffrey Tanenhaus explains the evolution of local fixtures including the Grand Concourse Restaurant, Church Brew Works and The Andy Warhol Museum.

“Factories and warehouses still populate the riverbanks, but urban renewal – fueled by artistic initiatives and gastronomic growth starting in the 1970s – is turning Pittsburgh into a laid-back post-industrial playground,” Tanenhaus writes.

Tour Pittsburgh through Ziptopia’s lens here.

The Atlantic profiles exiled writers in City of Asylum

Following its 10-year anniversary, City of Asylum on the North Side is featured in an in-depth profile in a recent issue of The Atlantic magazine.

Along with the exiled writers who have found refuge in Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum, Atlantic reporter Deborah Fallows tells the story of Henry Reese and Diane Samuels, founders of the City of Asylum on Sampsonia Way.

“The lane feels like a Midwest version of a hutong in old Beijing,” Fallows writes about the former crack house where Reese, Samuels and the writers they harbor now live. “It sits in the close-in north side section of Pittsburgh known as the Mexican War Streets (with street names from battles and generals from the Mexican American War), a kind of gentrified Bohemian row-house neighborhood with many writers, artists, eclectic personalities and interesting people.”

The article goes on to describe the evolution of Sampsonia Way’s homes, painted with text-based art and reflecting the dreams of the neighborhood.

Curl up with this yarn of a story here.

Buzzfeed names Pittsburgh No. 9 most incredible, most underrated

In its top 10 list of America’s most incredible and underrated cities, Buzzfeed ranked Pittsburgh No. 9, just ahead of Ft. Worth, Texas, but behind Baltimore, Portland and Milwaukee.

High-quality and high-quantity bars, sports, and hangouts lend Pittsburgh this special place of honor on the Buzzfeed list. The website also notes that Pittsburgh’s beer prices are 12.2% lower than the rest of the United States.

“This city’s also got a quirkier side, with the many used bookstores of the South Side and the Andy Warhol Museum located on the North Shore,” offers the article.

Get a load of the full list here.

Dead bees, nail clippings, and priceless art in Warhol's 'Time Capsules'

NPR covers the slow process of uncovering the past of Pittsburgh's favorite Pop artist by dissecting hundreds of his old personal items, stored in cardboard boxes and saved with the intent of someday being an art piece.

"Marie Elia likes to describe her job this way: She is the secretary to a dead man. As one of two catalogers for Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, it's her job to go through the 610 boxes he left after his death in 1987. In one box she found a mysterious small tin. 'I opened it and it was full of fingernail clippings, dead bees and those little holes that come from a hole punch,' she says. The fingernail clippings weren't Warhol's. They were sent to him by a fan. 'I don't know why. Somebody mailed that to him. Somebody thought that he would like it.'"

Some of the boxes are even opened in front of a live audience on a small stage inside the Warhol Museum.

To read more about the Time Capsules exhibit, click here.

How Randyland revived a street and more

The happy-go-lucky renaissance man and proprietor of Randyland is featured in RoadsideAmerica.com.

"Lack of forethought has never bothered Randy, who told us repeatedly that he knows nothing about painting, art, or gardening. He has nonetheless used all three to transform the formerly derelict street corner into a showcase of outsider art, although he insists that it's merely proof that anyone can do anything if they just give it a try."

To read more about Randyland and how it helped revive a community, click here.

Pittsburgh and Its beautiful one-of-a-kind ballpark

"Of all the new/old ballparks, PNC is the best," writes this blogger.

"I always was a little wary of Camden Yards in Baltimore. Maybe it was because it was the first of the retro parks, and it was celebrated so wildly that it got turned into a cathedral almost overnight. But there is something merrily organic about the park in Pittsburgh, not least because it fits so generally into the old brick neighborhood around it. There’s also something giddily irregular about its bends and angles, and it’s designed so that the outfield bleachers are low, and the view is dominated by the long stretch of the Allegheny and the skyline rising off the other bank."

To read more of this ode to PNC Park, click here.

100 Museums to visit before you die features Mattress Factory and the Warhol

Save yourself the task of toggling through 100 pages to find them. Here's what they had to say about the two museums from Pittsburgh included in the list of 100 Museums to Visit Before You Die,

"The Andy Warhol Museum is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist. Paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and films fill the museum's seven floors and endlessly innovative exhibitions. Their rich collection and archives shed light not only on the Pittsburgh-born pop art icon, but include other influential artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Robert Mapplethorpe. With a room full of silver balloons and excellent cupcakes in the cafe, this museum's fame will far exceed 15 minutes."

To see the Warhol Museum, click here.

"The name is deceiving—the Mattress Factory is less of an industrial establishment, and more of a cultural one. The Factory was founded in 1977 in two refurbished buildings on Pittsburgh's historic North Side and boasts that it "is one of few museums of its kind anywhere." The Mattress Factory is home to a number of room-sized installation works created on site by American as well as international artists. The installations at the Mattress Factory range from a one-story high teddy bear head to room-size architectural projections and fully immersive environments. The nature of the Mattress Factory sets itself apart in its form and specificity. The museum is striving and attempting to activate more than just the audience's sense of sight. Among the museum's diverse programming is a growing permanent collection that includes artists such as James Turrell, Winnifred Lutz, and Yayoi Kusama, among others."

To see the Mattress Factory, click here.

Pittsburgh with kids: an education in fun

How much fun is Kidsburgh for kids?

Read the story here.

Pittsburgh seeks to expand riverfront access to the public

"Pittsburgh exists for three reasons: the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio," writes Pittsburgh-based writer Christine O'Toole in the New York Times. "In the 20th century, the banks of those rivers were controlled by industrial behemoths. They largely lost that identity after the waning of the steel industry in the 1980s. Over the last two decades, however, the city’s progress in clearing and cleaning its waterfront has created 12 miles of recreational trails, three professional sports stadiums, several boat landings and an influx of nearly 2,000 new downtown residents.

"The city has managed to leverage a $124 million investment in publicly accessible riverfront into $4 billion in corporate, public, nonprofit and entertainment development downtown.

"That success has renewed a debate that would have been unthinkable in Pittsburgh’s polluted industrial heyday: how best to expand public access to the shorelines of the three rivers. Projects proposed for two of the largest tracts left to be developed on the downtown fringe illustrate the opportunities and limits of public-private partnerships..."

Read the full story here.

Pittsburgh named as Under the Radar Cultural Destination

The Scene: Struggling industrial center turned cultural breeding ground.

The Signature: Museums. Visit the iconic Andy Warhol Museum (117 Sandusky St.; warhol.org) for an infusion of pop art, the Carnegie Museum of Art (4400 Forbes Ave.; cmoa.org) for an upcoming exhibit on modern decorative arts and the Mattress Factory (500 Sampsonia Way; mattress.org) for “room-sized” installations of contemporary art. 

Insider Knowledge: While Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (fallingwater.org) is the city’s most famous architectural landmark, H. H. Richardson’s Emmanuel Episcopal Church (emmanuelpgh.org) is worth a visit. The building features Tiffany windows and a wood interior reminiscent of an inverted ship’s hull.

Don’t Miss: The Pittsburgh Glass Center (5472 Penn Ave.; pittsburghglasscenter.org), where visitors can tour galleries of ornate glasswork or take a glassblowing class themselves.

Read the Pittsburgh and other blurbs here.

PNC Park noted for best ball park food for Primanti's and Iron City

Travel and Leisure magazine cites PNC Park, along with 11 other stadiums, as having some of the best ball park food in the country, recognizing--what else?--the classic Primanti Brothers sandwiches and Iron City beer.

Read the full story here.

So that's why they call it Kidsburgh

When this vacation blogger came to Pittsburgh, she wondered why they called it Kidsburgh. After her family visit, which included the Aviary, Primanti's and the Science Center, she knew why.

Read the full story here.

Children's Museum MakeShop featured in makezine.com

The Children's museum is becoming a community hub for making, reports make online. Read about one family's very happy experience with MakeShop here.

City of Asylum: A refuge for writers, catalyst for North Side revitalization

City of Asylum is highlighted by The New Yorker as a leader in the North Side's renewal.

"In 1980, when [City of Asylum founder Ralph Henry] Reese bought his house, the North Side was a blighted district, in a city whose name stood for deindustrialization and urban decay. It was a strange place for the owner of a successful telemarketing firm to live--but Reese, who wears a bow tie and unkempt hair, is an unusual man," the New Yorker post by George Packer reads. "Three decades later, Pittsburgh has stabilized its decline (attention should be paid by Detroit, Cleveland, and other urban apocalypses), and the North Side is enjoying a modest renewal, thanks in part to Reese and his wife, Diane Samuels, an artist, who bought four other row houses on their block of Sampsonia Way."

The homes in which the organization's persecuted international writers find refuge are marked by unique facades that brighten Sampsonia Way with Chinese calligraphy, Burmese script and a cityscape mural.

Click here to read the complete New Yorker article.

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Strike a pose: Warhol's Shephard Fairey exhibit in Italian Vogue

Italian Vogue did a stunning multi-page spread on street artist Shepard Fairey and its November 2009 issue, and the full-page scans now viewable online. The article is translated into English for those whose Italian is limited to ordering cappuccinos, and the photos will look familiar to anyone who's visited the Andy Warhol Museum recently. The pictures were taken while Fairey was at the Warhol for the opening of his current exhibit, Supply & Demand, which runs until Jan. 31, 2010.

Click here to see the full scans of the Vogue Italia article.

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Cover girls and boys: Aviary feathered friends featured in new Bird book

A group of the National Aviary's birds are starring in the recently released book Bird (Chronicle Books, $60).

The book, by photographer and filmmaker Andrew Zuckerman, contains more than 200 photographs of nearly 75 species. Among the National Aviary's birds featured in the book are African penguins, scarlet macaw, Eurasian eagle owl, American kestrel, green aracari, military macaw, call duck, spectacled owl, hyacinth macaw and a blue-fronted Amazon parrot. Approximately half the birds in the book were photographed at the Aviary last fall. The birds were photographed during a multi-day shoot that involved a team of Aviary trainers.

Click here to purchase the book and view a behind-the-scenes video on Pop City.

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Mattress Factory among top 10 most powerful museums on Twitter

The North Side's Mattress Factory is currently ranked as one of the most powerful museum accounts on Twitter, according to Twitter Grader, a tool that looks at factors including the number of followers, the power of those followers and the level to which those followers are engaged.

Other top museum accounts include the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian, the U.S. Holocaust Museum and the Whitney Museum.

Click here to see the complete Twitter Grader report.
Click here to follow Pop City on Twitter.

Dozen Bake Shop: America's best cupcakes in your own backyard

Dozen Bake Shop has made Forbes Traveler's roundup of the best cupcakes in America, sharing the honor with New York's famed Magnolia Bakery, among others. Getting special attention is Dozen's "delectable" Cosmo cupcake, which is "made with dried cranberries soaked in vodka and lime juice with a tangy lime buttercream spread on top, inspired, of course, by the popular cocktail the Cosmopolitan."

"People are drawn to cupcakes because of their versatility, uniqueness, and convenience," says James Gray, owner and head baker for Dozen Bake Shop. "Cupcakes are so easy to eat and don't require plates or utensils."

Dozen has locations in Squirrel Hill, Lawrenceville, Downtown and the North Side, and recently announced a South Side spot

Click here to read the complete Forbes Traveler article.

Charming Pittsburgh shines in full facelift-mode

The Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, gives Pittsburgh the "most livable city in the U.S." treatment by calling attention to its popular tourist attractions and lesser-known charms.

There's the vista of the Golden Triangle from Mt. Washington, the North Side's National Aviary, the "often overlooked" Frick Art & Historical Center (a "true gem"), the South Side's Victorian architecture and Lawrenceville's Church Brew Works, where crowds wait hours to worship at the altar of beer.

To read the complete Toronto Star article, click here.

Weekend getaway: Pittsburgh neighborhoods are clean, green fun

Christine O'Toole, a contributor at Pop City's sister publication Keystone Edge, writes a lively travel piece for the Washington Post that highlight's three of Pittsburgh's standout neighborhoods--the North Side, Oakland and Lawrenceville.

O'Toole grumbles, "Though you've heard the buzz about the city's selection as host of the G-20 summit this week and its recent rankings as the nation's 'most livable' city, you privately assume that if it's livable, it's lame."

As she proves, Pittsburgh is far from lame.

The article provides a rollicking exploration of the North Side's North Shore (pop art! kayaking! activities for the kids!), Oakland (amazing architecture, world-class universities and some cool green spaces) and Lawrenceville (the Brooklyn of the Steel City).

We'll forgive O'Toole for starting on the defense, but only 'cause it's clear she loves this city as much as we do. (But seriously, enough with the self-loathing "you may think Pittsburgh sucks, but we're actually surprisingly awesome" stuff, okay? It's not a surprise anymore. We are awesome, thank you very much.)

To read the complete Washington Post article, click here.

Pittsburgh: A global leader and a taste bud pleaser

Los Angeles Times did a fun travel feature focused on Pittsburgh's food, specifically the grub G-20 summiters should seek out.

"Short of attending a Steelers game (alas, they're away next weekend), there's no better way to see the real 'Burgh than to visit one of these generations-old, family-run German, Polish, red sauce Italian and sandwich spots," writes Andrew Bender.

Among Benders' recommendations: a Primanti Brothers sandwich topped with slaw and fries; a Devonshire sandwich and French fry-topped salad at the Union Grill in Oakland; pirogues and stuffed cabbage at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern; the best burgers in the Burgh at Tessaro's; and schnitzel and spaetzle at Max's Allegheny Tavern on the North Side.

To read the complete Los Angeles Times article, click here.

Videos highlight Pittsburgh's gems from the arts to the green

Brady Communications, a Downtown-based strategic marketing company, has produced a series of videos called "Pittsburgh's G-20 Gems." The videos, available on YouTube, provide informational tours of various areas and themes, including the North Side's Charm Bracelet Project venues, the city's green buildings, and dining and entertainment options around town.

The videos, which could be useful for visiting delegates and media, are also available on Brady Communications' website, which provides printable PDFs for out-of-towners with all of the information featured in the videos.

To view the "Pittsburgh's G-20 Gems" videos, click here.

Last-minute vacation deal: A weekend of culture in Pittsburgh

Looking for a last-minute escape before the air cools, the leaves fall and the bikinis are stashed in favor of plaid and wool? Redbook recommends Pittsburgh as an easy-to-plan and affordable weekend vacation. The magazine suggests couples check out the Andy Warhol Museum, the Duquesne Incline, the gardens at Phipps and more. Plus, there's a hot tip about logging onto visitpittsburgh.com to earn a $20 gas card from GetGo for every night booked when you add attraction tickets to your hotel stay. Sounds like the perfect excuse--even for Pittsburgh-based folks--to get in some downtime before football season sets in.

To read the complete article click here.

World-class Pittsburgh an easy on-the-road exploration stop

The Washington Post touts Pittsburgh as an interesting stop for travelers passing along the Pennsylvania and Ohio turnpikes. The article suggests visits to the National Aviary and the Monongahela Incline, as well as the Strip District for De Luca's diner grub, Primanti Brothers sandwiches and all the fresh biscotti and pulled pork you can fit in before getting back on the road.

To read the complete article go here.

Art, history and neighborhoods highlighted in city travel feature

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun, a weekly African American paper, explores Pittsburgh's rich history and arts communities in a feature-length piece on the city.

The paper discusses the MLK Mural Arts Program as one of the state's largest employers of artists. About 23 murals are completed annually around the city, and the 2009 projects will be showcased in an innovative video mural at Downtown's new August Wilson Center for African American Culture. The Center, designed by African American architect Allison G. Williams, is scheduled to host its grand opening in September

Other leaders in the arts community include the North Side's Mattress Factory, which houses sculptures by neighborhood resident Thaddeus Mosley, and the Andy Warhol Museum, which gets hailed as "the most comprehensive solo artist museum in the world."

Foodie spots include Pamela's in the Strip District, where President Obama stopped for pancakes, and the Church Brew Works in Lawrenceville, which was the first brew pub inside an historic church in the country.

To read the complete article go here.

The Steel City a top national arts destination

Pittsburgh has been named a Top 25 Arts Destination by American Style Magazine.

It ranked No. 3 in the Mid-Size Cities category. A report by Pittsburgh Today finds that--amazingly--more people attend art events than sporting events in the city each year. The magazine recommends stopping by the Andy Warhol Museum for half-price admission on Friday evenings (and wine tastings the last Friday of each month), and the Three Rivers Arts Festival for annual outdoor art perusing.

To read the complete article go here.

Pittsburgh impresses G-20 planners

Last week, some 200 representatives of countries invited to September's G-20 summit scoped out the city's sites--and reportedly liked what they saw.

The representatives were giving a tour of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the Pittsburgh Public Schools Creative and Performing Arts magnet school Downtown, the Andy Warhol Museum on the North Side, Phipps Conservatory in Oakland and the Rosemont Farm in Fox Chapel, owned by Teresa Heinz Kerry.

To read the complete article go here.

"The City of Bridges" a top urban kayaking destination

National Geographic Adventure named Pittsburgh one of the best cities in which to kayak, thanks to our three rivers, historic bridges and Kayak Pittsburgh's conveniently located rental centers Downtown, on the North Side and in North Park.

Pittsburgh also made Away.com's list of urban kayaking hot spots.

To read the complete National Geographic blog post go here. To read the complete Away.com feature, go here.

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Travel destination: "Renaissance City" Pittsburgh's got pizzazz

A travel feature in the Miami Herald marvels at Pittsburgh's museums, riverfront trails, ethnic neighborhoods, championship sports arenas, restaurants and condos.

Traditional favorites--like the Incline and Andy Warhol Museum--are visited. And off-radar treasures--like Lawrenceville's 16:62 Design Zone and the North Side's Mattress Factory and City of Asylum organization--get some adoring national attention.

To read the complete article go here.

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From the Chesapeake Bay to the three rivers: Eco-friendly fun for the whole family

Pittsburgh is an eco-friendly hot spot with history, art and animals galore, says The Baltimore Sun, which revels in the National Aviary's penguin exhibit, the bustling Cultural District and the sensory-rich Children's Museum. Penn Avenue's Glass Center finds its place among the area's more established destinations, such as the Carnegie Museum of Art.

To read the complete article go here.

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James Wolcott falls in love with Pittsburgh's architecture, generosity and banana creme pie

James Walcott, a leading American journalist who's a regular at Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, visited Pittsburgh, and after a few days of event and exhibit-hopping, proclaims "I--we--loved Pittsburgh."

Walcott's a fan of not only the obvious--the Warhol, the Aviary--but also the hanging flowers on the bridges, the kayakers on the rivers and the banana creme pie at the Strip District's Eleven.

To read the complete blog post go here.

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Latest PBS documentary focuses on Muslim rapper in Pittsburgh

PBS's latest nationally aired documentary has not just a Pittsburgh connection or two, but a profound Pittsburgh focus.

New Muslim Cool, a film by Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, follows a young Puerto Rican-American man, Hamza, as he explores his identity as a rapper, a former drug dealer, a divorced dad, a newlywed and a Muslim convert, all within the landscape of Pittsburgh's North Side. Hamza, who approaches every human encounter as an opportunity to get closer to God, must confront the prejudices of a post-9/11 world when the FBI raids his mosque.

The 90-minute film, which is part of PBS's "P.O.V.," series aired locally at 10 p.m. Tues., June 23 on WQED.

To read the complete article go here.

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World-famous wire-walker to attempt river crossing at Regatta

There are many ways to cross Pittsburgh's rivers. By car, by bike, by foot. Or in Nik Wallenda's case, by highwire.

As part of the 32nd annual Three Rivers Regatta, the Guinness Book world-record holder will walk across the Allegheny River on a 1,000-foot long wire suspended 200 feet in the air. Without a safety net.

Other events at the Regatta, which occurs July 4th weekend, include include fireworks, live music, climbing walls, jets ski shows, a bass tournament, free kayaking and a national dragon boat championship.

To read the complete article go here.

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