Lisa Schroeder is president and CEO of Riverlife, a nonprofit organization that works to reclaim, restore and promote Pittsburgh’s riverfronts as an environmental, recreational, cultural and economic hub for both residents and visitors. Under Lisa’s leadership, A Vision Plan for Pittsburgh’s Riverfronts won the 2002 AIA Honor Award in Urban Planning and Design and the 2002 Merit Award in Planning from the International Downtown Association. Lisa is not just passionate about Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. Find out why she loves city living, from shopping in Aspinwall to dog-friendly beer drinking in Millvale.
Monday, November 17th
Determined to shake off the chill of the coming winter, I start off the week with a spin class at my gym at Bakery Square and a training session with Sam, who always inspires me. This place feels like the crossroads of the East End, which can be fun if you don’t mind running into neighbors and board members while in your workout clothes.
Up next is a quick briefing with the team at Riverlife at our Downtown offices, where each staff member gives updates on the current state of riverfront development throughout the city: the Strip District, North Shore, Mon Wharf, South Side Works, Lawrenceville . . . 2015 is shaping up to be a very active year!
That evening I’ll head over to Global Solutions Pittsburgh’s Fall Social at Wigle Whiskey in the Strip. How can you beat munching on appetizers from Bar Marco while enjoying live music and a fascinating conversation about international relations by Dr. Carolyn Ban of the University of Pittsburgh?
Tuesday, November 18th
A lunch date at Franco’s in Aspinwall provides the perfect opportunity to stop in at One Brilliant and Rosie’s boutiques to pick up a few new accessories which I *might* give as holiday gifts or end up keeping for myself. Later that night I aim to check out the latest offering of the ongoing My People film series at The Alloy Studios on Penn Ave.
Wednesday, November 19th
The New Colossus, a historical fiction mystery about well-known Pittsburghers, sounds too intriguing to pass up. The author, Marshall Goldberg, is a lawyer and TV sitcom writer and will be reading from the new book at 7:30 p.m. at Rodef Shalom in Oakland (I’ll have to skip Banjo Night at the Elks Lodge on the North Side this week).
Thursday, November 20th
It’s the last farmer’s market on Ross Avenue in Wilkinsburg (3 to 6 p.m.) where I’ll stop on the way home to pick up seasonal produce and baked goods.
Have you tried mead yet? One of the oldest beverages in the world, it’s made out of fermented honey, water and yeast and is downright delicious. Apis Mead & Winery in Carnegie is open Thursdays through Saturdays, and is a must-visit if you’re looking to try something beyond your average wine tasting or cocktail hour.
Friday, November 21st
I’ll be swinging through Lawrenceville on my way to a meeting and have to stop at Franktuary on Butler Street for some of the chicest hot dogs in town.
I know the holiday season has officially kicked into gear when I see the greenery and garlands going up around Downtown in preparation for Pittsburgh’s 54th Annual Light Up Night. The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership always knocks it out of the park by creating the most festive atmosphere imaginable, and I’ll be there, bundled up enjoying the fun no matter what the weather brings.
Saturday, November 22nd
Weekends are time to catch up with Tillie, my four-month-old yellow Lab puppy who is falling in love with long walks along the North Shore riverfront. If we head upriver, we can meet up with friends at the dog-friendly Grist House Brewery in Millvale, which is the perfect combo of grit, friendly owners (Kyle and Brian), cute dogs and excellent locally brewed beer.
When a Duane Michals’ photography retrospective opens at Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland, you make time to check it out (if you need more convincing, check out The New York Times’ recent profile of the show). The McKeesport native’s work is at turns hilarious, bizarre and poignant.
Sunday, November 23rd
After such an active week, I’ll try to sleep in a bit until Tillie wakes me up. Then it’s off for a leisurely brunch at Round Corner Cantina in Lawrenceville with huevos rancheros and micheladas, followed by some browsing of the galleries and Eons Fashion Antique vintage store on Ellsworth Ave. in Shadyside. On weekends, there are always spontaneous, multi-generational gatherings and pick-up ball games on my block in Point Breeze: one of the things I love most about Pittsburgh city living.
Next week brings Thanksgiving, and I’m headed to Colorado for the holiday, so I’ll need to stock up on gifts of local fare, like coffee and biscotti from the Strip District, artisan oils from Olive & Marlowe in East Liberty, and special treats from Le Petit Chocolat on Carson Street. So much local talent . . . so little time!
Photo by Brian Cohen