On this episode of Yinzer Backstage Pass, I discovered some surprises at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Tim Muldoon, the property’s general manager, took us up a series of escalators and finally into a glass elevator that opened onto the roof of the building. We’ve visited a number of Downtown rooftops on Yinzer Backstage Pass, but this rooftop didn’t look like any of those other ones. No faux cathedrals or 1970s-era helipads up here. Instead, this roof is covered with greenery. There is an array of native and sustainable plants that not only support local wildlife, but also absorb a lot of potential roof runoff.

My favorite part of the roof is the set of nine raised beds created by students at Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability & Environment. Each raised bed is curated by a different student and features plantings organized around a different theme. It was wild to take in views of the Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson bridges framed by a towering crop of corn or to see PNC Park peeking out from a sea of lush herbs.

Tim also pointed out the planters full of hops, which go to the folks at North Country Brewing for a signature beer dubbed Rooftop Hops. The American-style IPA is served exclusively at the convention center. Tim offered me a can at the end of our visit — and I didn’t turn him down.

If you want more Yinzer Backstage Pass, check out last week’s episode — we visited a robotics lab and met a menagerie of robots in the basement of CMU’s Robotics Institute.

Boaz is the host of NEXTpittsburgh's Yinzer Backstage Pass video series. He is also an author, filmmaker, advertising copywriter, teacher, experiential storyteller, talk show host, gardener, kazoo museum curator and so much more.