Friday, July 19, 2013

Night Market V

Night Market V
PDP Intern Marissa

As a new intern at the PDP, I had my first Project Pop-Up: Night Market experience this past Friday, July 12, 2013. I brought along my friend, Monica, visiting from Florida, who thankfully, was a pretty good sport about coming to work with me on a Friday night. The Night Market took place in an empty parking lot on the corner of Eight Street and Penn Avenue and ran from 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. As to be expected of Pittsburgh weather, it was drizzling when I arrived around 4:00 p.m., but the rain did not seem to affect the select local food, craft, and handmade goods vendors that were happily setting up their booths. A few other PDP staff members and I set up our information booth equipped with handouts such as our Downtown Made Easy Guide, a guide to the Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl, and our Proud to go Downtown t-shirts on sale for $15.00 (and are still available at our weekly Farmers Market!).

By the time 5:30 rolled around, the music was pumping, the smell of the food from the vendors of various Pittsburgh restaurants was making my mouth water, and the rain was tapering off. The people started filing in, dozens of them, enjoying the laid-back and fun atmosphere that the Night Market possessed. My co-workers Jack and Mairin joined Monica and I for a game of corn hole coordinated by our friends from PUMP that lasted almost 45 minutes. I am proud to say that Jack and I won the match, 21 to 18; a close and very intense game. At this point I was having so much fun that I completely forgot that I was actually at work.

After our round of corn hole, I could not handle the amazing smells coming from the food vendors anymore, and decided to browse each to find which I wanted to dig into first. There were so many tasty options: gazpacho from Soup Nancy’s, handcrafted burgers from BRGR, several pastas from Del’s Restaurant, grape leaves and gyros from CafĂ© Byblos, and so much more. Considering the fact that a 21-year old girl can only each so much, you can see my dilemma. I decided on a smoked brisket sandwich from Meat & Potatoes topped with Korean BBQ sauce, beer sauerkraut, and pickled cabbage. Needless to say, I was afraid for the cleanliness of my white shirt, but dug right in. The warm, tender beef paired with the perfect toppings was literally the best brisket I have ever had. No exaggeration necessary. It didn’t take me long to devour the entire sandwich, which left me very full and very satisfied.

For the rest of my shift, which went very quickly, I worked the PDP booth selling t-shirts and spreading information about the Gallery Crawl. It was great to hear that so many people were enjoying the market as much as I was, and were so eager to learn more about the PDP! As 8:00 approached, my shift was over, and Monica and I made a lap around the market vendors. The handmade items for sale were incredible, such as the Pittsburgh architecture-inspired steel jewelry from Audra Azoury Jewerly, and  the robot sculptures created from recycled objects by Jones Robo-Works, as well as all of the other artists’ works, which were truly one-of-a-kind. I bought a shirt from DeadBuryDead, which makes both signature and classic designed t-shirts. I decided to end the night with a scrumptious oatmeal raisin cookie from Fabulous Homemade Cookies, and mango sorbet from Lascola’s Italian Ice. I would give my first experience at the Night Market two thumbs up, and I cannot wait until the next one, happening September 27, 2013!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Erra Creations Loves the Night Market and wants to see you tonight!

by Nichole Bloch, Erra Creations

I love Downtown Pittsburgh! I used to work Downtown and now jump at every chance I can to go into town for music, food, theater, art and now shopping with the awesome start of Pop-Up shops like Boutique 208! Besides the art in the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's quarterly Gallery Crawl, has always been one of my favorite affairs to attend because of the vibrant people who light up our city at night.

It was only a year ago that Pittsburgh had not yet experienced a night market. And me? I'd never heard of such a thing. When I did learn of it, I'm pretty sure I squealed with excitement! An artisan and food market that takes over a parking lot in town after work hours- sign me up! 

I am the chick behind Erra Creations and I am a born and raised Pittsburgh artist. I love to tinker with just about anything and have become known for my wares from reclaimed bicycle parts! I do shows and events all over in the north east- and can honestly say the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's Pop-Up: Night Market is one of my 3 favorite events of all time! In addition to the artists who come to show their work, there is amazing food-music-people! Whenever I am asked why I love it so, I reply- It's the best parking lot party ever!

I am so honored that Erra Creations has been the only artist at every Night Market- and hope to see you this Friday night for Night Market V!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Learn about Night Market V from one of our vendors!

By Jennifer Robinson - Owner of The Hemp Butterfly

Pittsburgh’s Downtown Partnership Night Market gives artists in this city a great opportunity to get their name out there and meet new people. My name is Jennifer and I own The Hemp Butterfly, I specialize in fashionable, eco-conscious, organic, vintage, often one of a kind jewelry & accessories. All are handmade & hand knotted in Hemp by my own little fingers. Expect boho-chic mixed with creepy cool.  I will be a new vendor at the next Night Market being held on July 12. As a newcomer both to the Night Market as well as to the city of Pittsburgh I am most looking forward to the people. The smiling faces as they walk by, getting to meet other fellow artists, the great music and just the vibe in general.

Events like these are important to the development and enrichment of any town or city. It gives artists like me the opportunity to showcase our work and reach out to the public. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing their faces as they discover new artists, new crafts, and exciting music in a downtown environment like no other. The fact that they are held in vacant buildings and parking lots is just and added bonus. As an art collector I’m looking forward to what treasures I will find. What new artist will catch my eye. What new friends I will make and what new music I will discover.

Thank you PDP it is a privilege to be part of this vibrant event. I hope I get to participate and visit both as as a vendor and as a spectator in many more to come. In a city where art is art is becoming alive I could not be any happier. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Out and About: the Mattress Factory

Out & About: The Mattress Factory
By PDP Intern Marissa

For this week’s Out and About, I visited the Mattress Factory at 500 Sampsonia Way located on the North Shore. At first thought, and having never been to the Mattress Factory, I pictured the museum covered in wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling plush, cushiony mattresses that you were free to jump and play on. Who can blame me with a name like that? But in my delightful discovery, the Mattress Factory is so much more mentally and physically stimulating than a bunch of fluffy beds. The museum is made up of five floors, each holding several different room-sized works of contemporary art that totally envelop you.

Several exhibits throughout the Mattress Factory are a part of the Feminist and… exhibition, which presents new work by six women artists from around the world whose practices of feminism show that the issue is of many cultures, generations, and can be expressed in many ways. Upon walking out of the elevator on the fourth level, the first thing to catch my eye was an off-white room that had Arabic calligraphy writings covering the walls and floor. This is the work of Parastou Forouhar, an artist from Tehran, who expresses her critical attitude toward Iranian politics and Islamic Fundamentalism in this feminist piece entitled Written Room. After exploring this space, I found myself desperately wanting to know what the writings stated.

Another element of Feminist and… was the piece Active Energy: Pittsburgh, by local Ph.D visual artist Loraine Leeson. This project focused on regeneration of the urban environment, and how it affects both the general quality of life and personal identity. The six-point suspended projection composition is a collection of video interviews of residents of Pittsburgh who are affected by this issue, young and old, male and female. This work was my favorite of the entire gallery because it connects to the people of the Pittsburgh community, and gave them the opportunity for their voices to be heard. I loved hearing their stories and experiences relating to urban development.

One of the long-term exhibits at the Mattress Factory that I found remarkable yet simple, was a room filled with black light, mirrored ceilings and walls, and a white floor covered in brightly colored dots. This creation, which is rightfully named Infinity Dots Mirrored Room, is by Japanese born artist, Yayoi Kusama. When I closed the door to the exhibit, I was able to realize how brilliant yet terrifying this piece actually was. The infinite copies of myself and the room that the mirrors reflected left me with a feeling of emptiness. I could not figure out why this room made me feel so uneasy, until I later read this quote by Kusama: “A mirror is a device which obliterates everything including myself and others in the light of another world or a gallant apparatus which creates nothingness.”

In the basement of the museum I discovered two orange-red flower pots hanging a foot off the ground, suspended by wire from the ceiling. I stared at this display for about a minute, and was getting a little impatient waiting for it to do something, when a noise suddenly came from the two pots, making them vibrate slightly, and caused the cracked paint inside the pots to shake. After learning more about the two objects, I learned that the piece Ash, is by Rolf Julius, and that there are actually speakers inside the pots that are recordings of everyday sounds such as birds, radiators, and crickets, fixed together to make the collage of noise I heard.

After an hour and fifteen minutes of getting lost in the art of the museum, I returned to the main floor of the Mattress Factory where, I of course being the shopaholic that I am, was drawn to the gift shop. There were so many neat knickknacks, books, clothing, and other unique gifts inside, I would have bought one of each if I didn’t have a college student-sized wallet.  Overall, my trip to the Mattress Factory was inspiring and enlightening. I will definitely return to see new exhibits in the future, and I recommend it to any Pittsburgher or out-of-towner looking to satisfy their need for an extraordinary artistic experience.

To learn more about these and other current exhibitions and events, visit

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Get to Know the PDP Staff: Robyn Williams

Robyn Williams (center) receiving the President's Award at the 2013 Annual Meeting with PDP Chairman of the Board, Thomas J. Harrington (left) and PDP President & CEO, Jeremy Waldrup (right)

Name: Robyn Williams

Title of job: Director of Finance

What you do at the PDP?:  I am responsible for all financial aspects of the organization as well as the HR and IT functions.

How long have you been working for the PDP?:  Since November 2008 – 4 1/2 years

How long have you lived in Pittsburgh?:  It will be ten years in August 2013

What do you enjoy doing for relaxation? 
I love to read, do yoga and take walks with my husband and son.

What is your favorite Downtown restaurant? Why? What’s your favorite dish?  
My favorite restaurant is the Diamond Market Grill in Market Square.  They have such great food, service and the overall experience is always excellent!  My favorite dish is the potato and feta pierogies. They also make a fierce Moscow Mule!

What is your favorite book, movie or musician?  My favorite musicians – The Clarks (of course!).

Do you have a favorite movie made in Pittsburgh? If so what is it and why?  
It would definitely have to be The Dark Knight Rises because I was working Downtown while they were filming it and it was awesome to watch so many scenes as they were being filmed.  What was even better was seeing how wonderful Pittsburgh looked on the big screen when we saw the movie.

If you had $100 to spend in Downtown Pittsburgh, what would you spend it on? 
I would head to the Market Square Farmer's Market on a Thursday and stock up on fresh produce, beautiful flowers and awesome salsa!

What is your favorite piece of public art in Downtown? Why?  
Definitely the bronze magnolia trees in the parklet across from Katz Plaza.  Magnolias are my favorite and their blooms simply don’t last very long so to see the trees every single day is magical.

What do you like most about working at the PDP?  
The best part of working at the PDP is that I get to live out my passion of working in accounting and at the same time be involved in so many other aspects of the organization.  At the PDP you can be as involved as you want to be and having the opportunity to help plan, organize and execute great events for downtown is an honor!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Famous Burgher Blog - Fairmont Pittsburgh Executive Chef Jason Dalling

Name: Jason Dalling  

Job: Executive Chef, Fairmont Pittsburgh - Fairmont Pittsburgh is a Four Diamond, LEED Gold certified hotel in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh. In addition to luxurious guestrooms and meeting space, Fairmont Pittsburgh is home to Habitat restaurant and Andys Bar & Patio, as well as a health club and spa.

How long have you been doing what you do: 26 years

How long have you lived in Pittsburgh: 6 months

What is your favorite Downtown restaurant? Why? What’s your favorite dish?
For obvious reasons, Habitat. My favorite dish is our burger. It’s made with local grass-fed beef, bacon, and Pennsylvania white cheddar. I don't usually take too much time to eat, but when I do I like simple things that are made with really great ingredients. This burger fits the bill exactly.

I also like Sienna in Market Square for Italian.

Talk a bit about your favorite Downtown Pittsburgh Experience or Memory.
I haven’t been here that long and when I am downtown I’m usually working, but one of my favorite things to do after a long shift is go to Primanti’s in Market Square for a beer and just take in that whole “Pittsburgh experience.” It’s great to see such a different aspect of the restaurant industry. Plus it’s not me doing the cooking.  

Tell us one thing about Downtown that has surprised you.
People told me this would be the case before I came here, but I didn’t realize how true it is. It’s how caring the people of Pittsburgh are, even the people you meet on the street. 

What is the best thing for children to do downtown?
I definitely know this one! The Carnegie Science Center. My son Aidyn is 5 and loves the Science Center.

What is your favorite thing to do Downtown that costs nothing?
Our music series at the hotel, Jazz at Andys. We feature a variety of local musicians every Tuesday-Saturday in our lobby and there’s no cover charge. Just stop in, listen to some great music, and grab a cocktail if you want.

If you had $100 you had to spend in Downtown Pittsburgh, what would you spend it on?
I’d go around to some of the downtown restaurants I’ve been wanting to try and sample the beers.

What is your favorite piece of public art in Downtown? Why?
Fraley’s Robot Repair. I’m sad to see it go. It was just such a cool and unexpected piece of art. I’ve been following it since I moved to Pittsburgh.

What is your favorite public space in Downtown? Why?
Market Square. When I am able to escape the kitchen for a little bit, I enjoy heading over to Market Square to take in whatever event is happening, visit the restaurants and bar and just people watch.

Describe Downtown in 3 words.
Lots of bridges.

Do you have a favorite building Downtown? What is it? Why
PPG. It has such unique architectural and design elements. My son thinks Batman lives there.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Get To Know New PDP Intern Ellen Nash

Get to know our newest marketing intern at PDP- Ellen Nash

Ellen is a rising junior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Media & Communications. Born and raised in Sewickley, PA, Ellen now lives in the East End.

One of the events she is most looking forward to this summer is the Three Rivers Arts Festival in June. "Pittsburgh has an awesome art scene, and I love that during this festival it is all in one place to be seen and sold," she adds, "This year the Fountain will be running again, finally!" Two summers ago, Ellen spent an entire day at Heinz Field as an extra in the filming of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. After roasting in the July sun for 15 hours dressed in winter clothing, she, along with thousands of other Pittsburghers can now say they were in the blockbuster film...which still serves as a great conversation starter. And yes, she did see the movie at midnight when it opened.

A big sports fan, Ellen goes to as many Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers game she can. Her family has sat in the same seats in section 108 of Heinz Field since it opened in 2001. In addition to her favorite "Pittsburgher" sandwich from Primanti's, she loves to go to Nola in Market Square for her soul food cravings and Penn Avenue Fish Company on Forbes for their amazing "Jumbo Johnny" roll."Downtown has a great mix of restaurants. Just from PDP I am able to walk to get Indian, Italian, Greek, Mexican, or Chinese food for lunch," Ellen adds. In order to be able to enjoy all of these foods, and be guilt-free, she goes to any of the power yoga locations in Pittsburgh.

Ellen started her marketing internship with PDP in the beginning of May and has been involved with the social media accounts and the weekly e-newsletter.

Get to Know New PDP Intern Marissa Ghantous

Hello! My name is Marissa Ghantous and I am happy to be a new Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Marketing Intern! I was born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania; a small town about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. I am currently a senior at the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland, just a short bus ride away from the PDP office. I am majoring in Media and Professional Communications with a minor in Corporate and Community Relations. I learned about PDP through Pitt’s career services when I was looking for possible internships for the summer. I was so drawn to PDP because of all the work it does to help the Downtown Pittsburgh community grow and thrive, and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that effort too. Not to mention all of the amazing opportunities that come with working at PDP, like getting exposure to many downtown businesses and participating in events like Light Up Night and the Peoples Gas Holiday Market. 

Coming from such a small town, I appreciate all the opportunities, entertainment and other happenings Pittsburgh has to offer, especially the unique shopping and great places to eat. Growing up, I was lucky to have parents who brought me to Downtown Pittsburgh many times a year, and for me, summer means Pirates games; ball park hot dogs, and the excitement of raising the Jolly Roger on winning nights. Ice skating at PPG Place is one of my favorite activities to do in the winter with the giant, beautiful Christmas tree in the center illuminating the rosy cheeks of the skaters circling the rink. But perhaps what I love most about Pittsburgh is that even though it is a well-developed and busy urban atmosphere, it is warm, welcoming, clean, and friendly—it feels like home. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Pittsburgh City Council District 6 Candidate Questionnaires

We asked all District 6 Candidates to complete the following questionnaire. To date, we've heard from Tonya Payne, but hope to bring the other candidates responses when we receive them.

Tonya D. Payne

Background information: 
Safety Manager, Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority, BA Criminal Justice & Psychology

Why would you like to represent Council District 6?
Because District 6 needs a leader who shows up and stands up for the issues that residents of District 6 cares about.  Also, a true leader is someone with integrity who is open and honest and is not lead to do things that are illegal and unethical because everyone does it. I would like to work on reforming the Police Bureau with new policies & procedures.  I would also like to continue the work of eradiation of gun violence & homeless in the City of Pittsburgh

Downtown has seen a lot of investment and improvement over the past few years, yet challenges still remain. What do you view as the biggest challenge facing Downtown today and, if elected, how would you work towards addressing this challenge? 
Safety is a huge issue, I would first work with the Downtown Partnership to design a beat cops program or security patrols to walk the streets.  Also, I would work with Pittsburgh Public Schools and all other schools who use Downtown as a though fare for kids traveling to and from school to ensure that students are safely moving from one destination to the next without incidence

What plans do you have to make the growing Downtown residential population feel less like a commercial district and more like a cohesive neighborhood? 
Continue housing development, but ensuring a healthy balance between commercial & residential. The objective is to grow Downtown, however, one can’t survive without the other. Business needs people and people need business

Although crime has been steadily decreasing in Downtown over the past three years, several high-profile incidents have recent occurred Downtown.  What will you do to improve the perception of safety issues in Downtown? 
Downtown Partnership does an excellent job with promotion & marketing of Downtown.  I would assistance and support their efforts

There are an increasing number of both restaurants and residents; what strategies do you propose to keep both happy? 
Again, one can’t survive without the other. However, there has to be a healthy balance for either to survive. Working with community organizations, residents, and businesses will ensure that healthy balance
With 54% of the daily Downtown pedestrians (workers, students, visitors) utilizing public transportation, a strong and sustainable public transit system is essential to the vibrancy and growth of Downtown.  How will you work with county officials and the Port Authority to ensure adequate funding is available to address current needs, but also to plan for future necessary transportation infrastructure & improvements? Transportation is the key for residents of the District and the City.  It means their way to school, church, medical appointments, shopping, and family.  I will immediately begin to work with the State Legislature to develop a dedicated source of funding for transportation

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

National Bike Challenge

by Amanda Virbitsky of Bike Pittsburgh

Do you live in Allegheny County? Do you ride a bike (even just sometimes)? Great news -- the National Bike Challenge starts on May 1, and by joining at, you can track your miles, earn free drinks at OTB Bicycle Cafe, and be entered to win prizes!

As someone with a bit of a competitive streak, I’ve found that the Bike Challenge is a fun way to push myself to ride more miles and see how far I can climb up the local and national leaderboards. If you have a short commute to work or school, don’t worry -- the competition points heavily favor daily riders by awarding 20 points per day of cycling (at least 1 mile), plus 1 point per mile logged. It’s a good incentive to get yourself out the door on two wheels as often as possible, even if the forecast calls for “liquid sunshine.” The National Bike Challenge starts on May 1 and runs through September 30, and riders can join in at any time during the competition. Encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues to join, and even form a team together -- the challenge becomes more fun with familiar names on the leaderboard! If you have a smartphone, you can even download a free app to automatically track and log the mileage of your rides on the go. Every ride counts, whether you are commuting to work, biking to the grocery store, taking a leisurely spin around our wonderful riverfront trails, or tearing up the mountain bike trails in Frick Park.

Need more motivation to join? This year, Pittsburgh is going head-to-head with Cleveland for Rust Belt cycling supremacy! By registering for the Bike Challenge with a Pittsburgh zip code, and logging your miles during the competition period, you’ll help the Pittsburgh region bring another trophy home to the city of champions!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Get to know the newest member of the PDP Staff--Russell Howard

Russell Howard, Vice President of Special Events and Development, is the newest employee on board at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. Find out why he loves Pittsburgh and flea markets!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our 'Out and About' Goes Virtual!

See which pizza Allison chooses! PDP Intern, Allison Ziegler, does her weekly 'Out and About' run for  the newsletter to IL Pizzaiolo located Downtown in Market Square, and this week we filmed it.

Out and About, featuring Allison Ziegler from Anastasia Farmerie on Vimeo.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Q & A with Famous Pittsburgher - Barbara McNees

Famous Pittsburgher: Barbara McNees--new  Downtown resident!

Company & Role:
President, Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
What does your organization do?
The chamber advocates in Harrisburg and Washington DC for business climate improvements to enhance our region’s competitiveness, encouraging employers to invest and grow here.
How long have you been doing what you do?
I began my current position January 1997.
How long have you lived in Pittsburgh?
I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and left after college. I moved back to the region in 1980. We moved downtown in January.
What is your favorite thing to do in Downtown Pittsburgh? Why?
We enjoy all the activities in the cultural district and try to take advantage of all the performing arts. And, it goes without saying we attend the professional sporting events.

What is your favorite Downtown restaurant?
That’s a tough question. Depends on what we are in the mood for.  With all the new restaurants, we really like to make sure we try them all. Italian is usually our top choice and Valozzi’s is a great addition, but the diverse menus at Meat and Potatoes and Nine on Nine are favorites too.
At Valozzi's: Photo by, John Altdorfer
Talk a bit about your favorite Downtown Pittsburgh Experience or Memory.
I started coming to Downtown Pittsburgh from Rochester on the train with my Mother most Saturdays when I was growing up. We would go to all the department stores; pick a great place for lunch. I started at a young age really loving Pittsburgh. I feel truly blessed to be in a position to be part of the revitalization of the city and the region.

Tell us one thing about Downtown that has surprised you.
The new demand for residential living that has taken off in the last few years. It was always part of the plan to make Pittsburgh a vibrant downtown, but has happened much quicker than I would have imagined. The other thing that surprises others is that you can walk anywhere in downtown Pittsburgh in 10 or 15 minutes.  I really enjoy walking to work.

What is one great idea you have to make Downtown Pittsburgh better?
I would like to see smaller circulator buses as part of the transit system. We did a study a number of years ago on either electric or natural gas vehicles that provide linkages to bus stations. This would keep the larger buses on the outer rim of the city.

Describe Downtown in 3 words.
Beautiful, safe, and now vibrant.

Photo by, Anastasia Farmerie

Thursday, April 4, 2013

SMD Jewelry Shares Their Night Market Experiences

Pittsburgh’s Project Pop-Up Night Market III was my second experience with the Pop-Up Market, and despite the snowstorm it brought out quite the crowd.  I’m the owner of SMD Jewelry, I create hand-forged metal jewelry featuring gems and a wide range of other materials. I travel around to events all year long, and I’m always pleasantly surprised at how many people I meet, and how many new products find. Each market I vend with provides a different experience, and I think PDP has one of the most well rounded markets in Pittsburgh. At this last event with PDP I’m pretty sure I had the best cookie of my life from Bluebird Kitchen, creamy chai tea flavored filling between two chewy ginger cookies. Unforgettable. Everyone raved about the music that night--cover songs done by a string quartet—it was the perfect fit for a cold snowy evening in downtown Pittsburgh. On both occasions vending with Project Pop-Up I was fortunate to meet so many inspiring people, vendors and patrons alike.

I’m convinced markets that utilize otherwise vacant lots and buildings aren’t just putting on a fun event, with every market they are revitalizing those areas by helping to build a healthier local economy through encouraging consumers to purchase local and handcrafted. At the same time these events are bringing people from all walks of life together to enjoy live music, food, performances and an array of local artisanal goods.  I’m proud to be part of Downtown Pittsburgh’s Project Pop-Up movement because I know how much events like these enrich the community. Needless to say I’m looking forward to vending at the next Project Pop-Up Night Market, and hope to see you there!"

Night Market IV is scheduled for Friday, April 26. If you'd like to participate, Vendor Applications are being accepted until 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 5. Visit the PDP Website to download your application today!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pittsburgh Pie Guy Shares Why You Should be a Vendor at Night Market IV

For us at the Pittsburgh Pie Guy, the PDP Night Markets are our beginning as a business. It was at the second-ever Night Market that we got our start—our first chance to sell our pies to the public to see what they thought. It was a test run, so to speak, to see whether we had a viable product that people would be interested in buying. And boy, were they! The Night Market proved to be the best possible environment for first day, as it drew many hungry and curious passersby our way. That night was a huge success for us. Not only did we sell all of the pies we brought, but we had a constant queue going of eager customers who wanted to know why and how a new pie-baking business hit the scene in Pittsburgh. And all of that happened in an exciting atmosphere, with live music and energetic people wanting to do something more for their community.

That was all possible thanks to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, who gladly accepted us regardless of our lack of previous market experience. Now that we have participated in another Night Market since our first experience, we are more than ever looking forward to the next one in April! For us, these markets are a source of guaranteed customers, since they draw loads of people curious to see what all the hubbub is about, eager to see what’s for sale from the variety of vendors.

The Night Markets are the perfect place not only for people like us, new businesses, but also small, local artisans and craftsman looking for an outlet for their wares and art. People looking to become vendors who may not have the opportunity in bigger markets where there are long waiting lists should apply to become a vendor at the Night Market.

And for those looking for a place where they can support local businesses and artists, look no further than the Night Markets! All of the vendors are from Pittsburgh and are actively working towards making their community a better, more vibrant place, and need the support of customers to help them towards this goal! This makes the Night Markets an exciting, diverse place with many different things for sale, all made here in the ‘Burgh.

To say the least, we at Pittsburgh Pie Guy are looking forward to yet another chance for us to participate, to bake a bunch of delicious pies and offer them to people looking for a taste of something different in Pittsburgh. 

Night Market IV is scheduled for Friday, April 26, 2013.  If you would like to be a vendor, please visit the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's website for the application and complete details.

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Zany Umbrella Circus Takes Over Market Square!

By, Anastasia Farmerie

Zany Umbrella Circus in Market Square March 22-24, 2013. Presented by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership with assistance from the Office of Public Art and special thanks to the City of Pittsburgh.

The Zany Umbrella Circus from Anastasia Farmerie on Vimeo.

This street theatre circus who are originally from Pittsburgh, Zany Umbrella Circus, performed this past weekend for a free show of "Cake" in Market Square. Watch this video to see who they are, what they're about, and a brief recap to their latest show.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Q & A with Famous Pittsburghers

Famous Pittsburgher: Tim O' Brien

Owner, O’Brien Communications
Quick blurb about your company/organization:
O’Brien Communications is a corporate communications consultancy that was started in 2001.  It has served companies and organizations of all sizes.
How long have you been doing what you do:
I’ve run by business for the past 12 years.  I’ve been in the communications business for  30 years.
How long have you lived in Pittsburgh:
I’m a native Pittsburgher.
1.       What is your favorite thing to do in Downtown Pittsburgh? Why? 
a.       My favorite thing is the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  I’m on the committee and it’s one of the most fun groups to be around.   And on parade day, it’s great to see so many people “Irish for a day” come out rain or shine and put the city’s best foot forward.  It’s a great rite of Spring for Pittsburgh.

2.       What is your favorite Downtown restaurant? Why? What’s your favorite dish?
a.       My favorite Downtown restaurant is Ruth’s Chris.  Their steaks are the best.

3.       Where do you like to shop Downtown? Why?
a.       My favorite store is Macy’s.  I started going there when it was Kaufmann’s and it has always been a favorite place to shop Downtown.

4.       Talk a bit about your favorite Downtown Pittsburgh Experience or Memory.
a.       About one month after I got married, I organized the first luminaria display at PPG Place for Light Up Night.  There was something about that time and that night I will never forget.  I still have the photo in my office of the plaza glowing with 2,000 lit candles.

5.       What festival or major event do you like best in Downtown? Why?
a.       I mentioned the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is my favorite.  My other favorite event would be the Three Rivers Regatta, which uses all of Pittsburgh’s assets at one time, the parks the town and of course, the rivers.

6.       Tell us one thing about Downtown that has surprised you.
a.       Downtown is emerging as a residential option for many newcomers and long-time Pittsburghers.  I’ve read about it as an emerging trend over the years, but when you see it in person, it’s a pleasant surprise.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Meet Geof Comings...

By, Anastasia Farmerie--PDP Marketing Intern

Geof Comings, Economic and Development Manager for PDP, is responsible for the Market Square management and the Paris to Pittsburgh project but if you listen to this brief interview, you can find out why he fell in love with Market Square and so much more.

Friday, March 1, 2013

"That’s exactly how I see Downtown – a diverse group of people experiencing a diverse offering."

By, Brian Kurtz--Research and Economic Development Manager

After much anticipation I found myself in the Pierce Art Studio on Saturday with experts, innovators, entrepreneurs and generally gifted people for TEDxGrandviewAve, an event - in the words of event organizers - “here to give [innovators] the opportunity to showcase their efforts, share their realizations, and inspire those around them to develop ideas worth spreading.”

Photo by, Mike Woycheck
TEDx featured a total of nine speakers that were aimed at innovating oneself, one’s community, and one’s thoughts with topics that included stepping outside of the virtual realm, changing one’s brain in an effort to refresh the mind, redefining communities through space and grassroots efforts, being positive to promote good mental health, and moving quickly from words to accomplishments. The Pillow Project provided a thought provoking performance that is indescribable with words.

Photo by, Mike Woycheck
The whole day I continued to ask myself - how do I relate these topics and talks to what I do on a daily basis – how do I use these talks and connections to make a better Downtown? I hear too often “There’s nothing to do downtown” or “Everything closes at 5” and my favorite “Who would want to live ‘down there’”. So how do we take a lesson from Matthew Keener and “design” Downtown to change the brains of others? Maybe, to paraphrase Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, we reinvent what others perceive to be impossible, and redefine the Downtown community through better space planning as Christine Mondor models throughout the city. Don Charlton, founder and CEO of The Resumator – a Pittsburgh start-up – and his mantra of taking an idea from words to actions to accomplishments at a quick pace was energizing and noteworthy in that entrepreneurship is not just about starting a new business.I doubt I’m the first, but let me say that we would love to see Don’s business and his team call Downtown Pittsburgh home.

I don't have the space to talk about every speaker, but be sure to visit the TEDxGrandviewAve website to view videos of the fantastic talks!

As unintentional as it may have been, Downtown was the perfect setting for this conference. Just look at the progress made over the past six years. New skyscrapers, a plethora of new apartments and condos, a reinvented Market Square, new ideas and activities to establish Downtown as the top of mind place for living, business and pleasure in the region. Pittsburgh is lucky to have people who are committed enough to the city and enterprise to spend a Saturday listening to the bright ideas and actions of others. These are probably the same people that will continue to grow Downtown and our region over the next six years. 

Photo by, Brian Kurtz

The evening concluded with an after party at SPACE on Liberty Avenue that also acted as the official launch of Urbanist – the new go-to guide for what makes Pittsburgh Pittsburgh. The party featured some of our favorite Downtowner’s – Bluebird Kitchen, Franktuary, Marty’s Market, Bar Marco and Pittsburgh Winery – in addition to other hot Pittsburgh restaurants and thirst-quenchers. The Pillow Project continued their entertaining improvisational “FreeJazz” movement and music. I have a feeling you’ll be seeing them in Downtown very soon.
It was quite invigorating to walk around SPACE (featuring a new thought-provoking exhibit called “Mean Girls”) and see people from every age, race, social, economic and artistic realm all taking in the food, beverage, music, dance, and art choices the evening had to offer. That’s exactly how I see Downtown – a diverse group of people experiencing a diverse offering.

Photo by, Brian Kurtz
There’s plenty of room to go and grow, and we at the PDP are working hard on a daily basis to make Downtown a true 18 hour/day neighborhood. But that room for growth compounded with the energy and ideas at coming out of TEDxGrandviewAve is what makes me even more excited for what comes next.
P.S. Our upcoming Annual Meeting is a great opportunity to hear more about what we do to make Downtown a better place and what to expect in the next year. I hope to see you there.