CSVFD Annual Carnival

Next week is the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department’s annual carnival.

Funnel cake 20040821 172200 1.1655x1275
Funnel cake is our favorite carnival food. What’s yours? Tell us in the comments below an share where in Pittsburgh you’ve had the best!

 

It’s not too late to get your $1 ticket for the car raffle and enter for your chance to win a Chevy, up to a $30,000 value.

The carnival starts at 7 p.m. each night and runs from Monday the 25th to Saturday the 30th. Closing times of the carnival will depend on attendance and the weather each night. The carnival takes place at the CSVFD, right off the Memorial Hall stop on the Blue Line of the “T”, and walking distance from Place Seville Apartments and Alvern Gardens Apartments.

Ride tickets can be bought for $2.50 at the ticket booth at the carnival. The typical carnival games of chance are also featured at the event, including poker tables and a duck pond.

There will be delicious carnival food: hot dogs, hamburgers, nachos, hot sausage sandwiches, cheese sticks, french fries, funnel cake, ice cream, cotton candy, snow cones, and more.

This carnival is a key fundraiser for the Volunteer Fire Department, so we hope lots of people turn out to play games, ride rides, and enjoy tasty food. And, of course, one lucky visitor will drive home in a new Chevy!

Parking is free, but limited, so if you can take the “T” or walk, we don’t recommend driving to the carnival.

 

Phote by Lorax at en.wikipedia. Later version(s) were uploaded by Pd THOR at en.wikipedia. (Taken by user Lorax and released under the GNU FDL) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

Things to do for free: Rooftop Shindig

Have you been to a Rooftop Shindig before? If you haven’t, we’re here to tell you you should go. There are two more slated for this season, so you can take your pick (or go to both!).

What’s cool about these events? For starters, admission is free, and if you bring your own seating for the movie screening, you won’t even have to pay for a seat. Though you can buy a folding chair at the event for $12. When we were there last month, the chairs were those snazzy camping chairs complete with a cup holder in the arm rest and a pouch for convenient carrying.

Now, these events offer more than just excellent live music and outdoor film screenings. There’s also a giant chess board and a giant Connect Four to kill time before the show starts.

At the June 3rd event, Fireball Whiskey had a booth of free samples set up. Patrons 21 and over were able to sample 3 different mixed drinks made with Fireball Whiskey that were available for purchase at the next booth over. They were also handing out free Fireball Whiskey swag.

In addition to drinks, there were some seriously good eats for sale (hello bacon wrapped hot dog!) from pulled pork sandwiches to vegetarian egg rolls and fried rice. The Chicken on a Stick stand was also selling some delicious lemonade squeezed from real lemons for anyone not up for (or old enough for) alcohol.

It gets cold up on the roof after sunset, so bring a blanket as well as sweatshirts and windbreakers for layering. If you’re bringing little ones (or if you’re an adult with sensitive hearing) bring ear plugs, because the volume of the movie will be cranked up full blast to reach the back row.

If you’re worried about parking, put your mind at ease and take the T or bus instead: the Theater Square Garage is just a short walk from Wood Street Station.

The next Shindig is at 6 p.m. on August 26. Bastard Bearded Irishmen will be playing, followed by a screening of The Warriors.

Bacon Festival coming to Pittsburgh next month

Do you love bacon? Lots of people do. So many people love bacon that there’s a traveling bacon festival, and it’s coming to Pittsburgh on May 16th.

The America Loves Bacon Festival Tour is making its stop from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Station Square, with a VIP sampling starting at 11:30 a.m.

Bacon Festival
Do you love bacon? Consider attending the Bacon Festival at Station Square next month. By cyclonebill (Bacon) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
So what can you expect at a bacon festival? Well, bacon, of course. Lots of it. Both from the ALB touring menu and from local vendors. There will also be live music, comedians, cooking demonstrations, and vendors selling all things bacon, including apparel. Plus, the Children’s Zone will have bacon-themed fun for the little ones.

The event website for the Pittsburgh stop isn’t fully updated yet, but it looks like there will be a full service bar inside the festival for the 21 and over crowd. No specific information about vendors or live acts is available yet.

Tickets are on sale now for $15 general admission, and children 12 and under receive free admission. If you’re a true bacon lover, you could splurge on a $60 VIP ticket and get swag along with access to the VIP sampling before the festival opens for general admission.

The nice thing about the festival’s location is that it’s right on the T and both Red and Blue Line trolleys stop at Station Square. So if the T is convenient for you, you can skip driving and trying to find parking in Station Square.

Roundup: public transportation

We’ve featured several posts in the past regarding public transportation in Pittsburgh. We’ve rounded them up here in one convenient spot just for you!

Keep these tips and tricks in mind, and you’ll find it much easier to find a new home in a neighborhood you love with full access to all Steel City has to offer.

Why and where to take public transportation in Pittsburgh

For the past two weeks, we’ve been focusing on public transportation and the where and how of finding a rental close to public transportation. This week, let’s talk about why using public transportation can be useful, and how to take full advantage of it.

Pittsburgh has fun events all the time, especially downtown and in the cultural district—First Night, Light Up Night, and that time a giant rubber ducky floated down the Allegheny River, to name a few. For events like that, parking can be expensive and hard to find. The easiest solution is to take the bus or the “T” (the city’s light rail system) instead of driving.

Here’s a (non-comprehensive) list of places you can reach via the “T” and the stops that are closest to them (listed north to south):

St. Anne's T stop
With a T coming by every 15 minutes or so, you’ll never be stuck waiting for long. But with gorgeous scenery like this, who’s complaining?
  • Heinz Field: Allegheny
  • PNC Park: North Side
  • The Andy Warhol Museum: North Side
  • Point State Park: Gateway
  • Market Square: Gateway
  • Cultural District: Wood Street
  • David L. Lawrence Convention Center: Wood Street
  • Console Energy Center: Steel Plaza
  • Duquesne University: Steel Plaza/First Avenue
  • Art Institute of Pittsburgh: First Avenue
  • Station Square: Station Square
  • Monongahela Incline: Station Square
  • The Ice Castle: Overbrook Junction
  • Someone Else’s Bar: Willow
  • South Hills Village Mall: South Hills Village

It would be insane to try listing all the places you can reach with the bus system, but suffice it to say that the Strip District, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Morningside, South Side, etc. are all well connected. In fact, lots of T stops are also major bus hubs or have a bus stop right around the corner (South Hills Junction, Steel Plaza, and Wood Street, for example).

No matter where you’re trying to go, it’s much less headache (no traffic, no parking) to take public transportation if possible. Sometimes it does take longer than driving because you’d have to transfer, but it’s easy to weigh your options before leaving home. Just look up the drive in Google Maps where you can also look up the public transportation route. It’s also a good idea to look up the route in Allegheny County Port Authority’s Trip Planner, and generally familiarize yourself with the bus and/or T schedule in your neighborhood.

If you live a bit farther than walking distance from the closest T stop, you can drive there, leave your car in the adjacent Park & Ride lot, and then walk to the station.

If you’re new to public transportation, don’t fear, the drivers are all very nice, and Pittsburghers (yinzers, if you will) are helpful and friendly. To make taking public transportation as easy as possible, pick up a ConnectCard at a Giant Eagle or at the Port Authority Service Center on Smithfield St. (right around the corner from Wood Street Station). A ConnectCard saves you the trouble of providing exact change in quarters and one-dollar bills. You can load a cash amount onto the card, or buy a pass. All you do is tap the card to pay.

So the next time you go to a sporting event, a concert, a play, or any other event in the city, consider taking public transportation.

Looking for an apartment close to public transportation? Contact Prudential Realty Company for our availability at a variety of locations throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Apartments near public transportation in Pittsburgh

Last week, we offered advice on how to find an apartment near public transportation in Pittsburgh. This week, we’re featuring the Prudential Realty communities close to bus and T stops. If you’re on the hunt for a new place, one of these might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

pet friendly apartments
Alvern Gardens has all the amenities you need, including a dog park and a T stop close by.

Alvern Gardens Apartments

Looking for an affordable home for yourself, and maybe for a small pet? Not only is Alvern Gardens mere blocks from the St. Anne’s T stop, it also welcomes cats and dogs under 40 lbs. There’s even a dog park on site as well as a pool. If you’re interesting in Alvern Gardens, email alverngardens@yahoo.com or call 412-561-4663.

The Brett Apartments

The Brett Apartments in Shadyside are close to several bus stops that will take you to Oakland, South Side Works, and beyond. Plus, if you have a car, you could park it in the garage. Call 412-722-8546 for the current availability at the Brett Apartments.

free parking
In addition to its garage, Place Seville has a free, first come, first serve parking lot for its residents.

Cornell Place

For an apartment in a beautiful building complete with stained glass windows close to shopping and dining in Mt. Lebanon, Cornell Place is just what you’re looking for. Located about 10 minutes walk from several bus and T stops, you have plenty of options for getting where you need to go. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Cornell Place.

Place Seville Apartments

covered parking
Some of the Sleepy Hollow Townhouses have a little deck over the garage entrance, so a second car in the driveway can be partially covered as well.

If you’d like to live at the heart of Castle Shannon, Place Seville is the place for you. Located steps from the Overbrook Junction T stop, Place Seville offers 1 and 2 bedroom apartments as well as covered parking for those who have cars. Call 412-563-7256 for the current availability at Place Seville.

Sleepy Hollow Townhouses and Apartments

From 1 bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom townhouses, Sleepy Hollow has the right size home for you. Plus, the Memorial Hall T stop is right down the road. Call 412-401-9848 for the current availability at Sleepy Hollow.

No car? No problem! Here’s how to find a home close to public transportation

Whether you’re moving to Steel City for the first time or you’ve been in Pittsburgh for a while, it pays to familiarize yourself with the Allegheny County Port Authority system and take public transportation into your calculations as you look for an apartment.

Even if you have a car, public transportation is a wonderful thing:

  • It gives people without a car a way to get around, particularly over less than walk-able distances.
  • It’s a safe way to get home after you’ve had a few drinks.
  • If the weather’s bad and you don’t feel comfortable driving, public transportation can get you where you need to go.
  • Not only does it let you avoid traffic (Hello busway!), more people taking public transportation leads to fewer vehicles on the road, which in turn leads to less traffic.
  • It’s good for the environment: using public transportation reduces your carbon footprint.
  • It gives you down time to read, study, browse social media, play games on your phone, etc.
  • Texting and driving is illegal in Pennsylvania, and talking on the phone is dangerous, but you can do both of those things legally and safely while taking public transportation.

Don’t live close to public transportation? Maybe it’s time to move. Consider the following:

  • After reading the above list, do you think public transportation would make your daily commute easier?
  • Would visiting friends and family (and them visiting you) be easier if you lived closer to public transportation?
  • Do you have kids who don’t have licenses or cars but are old enough to strike out on their own?
  • Do you or your spouse ever get stranded because the other person has the car?
  • Do you dread going out on the town because it requires finding parking?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you stand to benefit from moving to a place close to public transportation. Read on to learn how to find your new place.

  1. When you’re on the hunt, include access to public transportation high on your list of desired amenities and consider the various financial pros and cons of potentially paying a little more rent to live that much closer to a stop.
  2. As you scour the web and rental magazines, map each property’s location using Google Maps, which can give you public transportation directions as well as driving directions. Take advantage of satellite view and street view. Make note of the points of interest that appear on the map, such as grocery stores, vet clinics, and anything else important to you.
  3. While touring a property, don’t look just at the house/apartment, look at the neighborhood. How far of a walk is it to the closest bus or “T” stop? Is it a pleasant walk through a nice neighborhood with well maintained sidewalks and ample street lighting? Drive or even walk around a bit to get a feel for the place. If you can, return at night and see how you feel about it then.
  4. Once you’ve seen some of your options in person, it might help your decision making process to get back online. For example, Port Authority’s Trip Planner works beautifully for seeing exactly how to get from A to B in Pittsburgh. But don’t look just at the route you’ll need to get to and from work. Look at the full schedule so you know how late everything runs and how early it starts. Look up how you might get to your best friend’s house or your favorite restaurant. As you map various routes, you’ll get to know the neighborhood and see if it works for you.
  5. Make decision, apply for the place you want, and prepare to move.

Stay tuned for next week’s post highlighting Prudential Realty communities close to public transportation. We might just have the new home you’re looking for!

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Not too shabby for our first full year of blogging. Here’s to further success in 2015!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Heading downtown for First Night? Here’s what you need to know about public transportation

Last week we told you all about Highmark First Night and how to plan your visit. Now it’s time to talk about your transportation options on the big night. Because it’s New Year’s Eve on Wednesday, we’re posting early this week to give you all the info you need for attending the festivities in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

Pittsburgh First Night
Pittsburgh’s First Night celebration features not one, but two fireworks displays, plus so much more.

First of all, it’s a good idea to take public transportation into the city, as parking will be hard to find and many streets will be closed for the celebration. But be warned: lots of people will be using public transportation, so plan to leave early and weigh your options toward the end of the night: head home early to beat the crowd, or stay for the fireworks at midnight and join the crush. Either way, you’re better off than those who decided to drive. They had to pay an arm and a leg for parking and are still facing the same timing dilemma.

In any case, take note that the Port Authority is running special hours for New Year’s Eve, and the usual holiday hours for New Year’s Day. Plus, kids under 12 accompanied by an adult wearing a First Night button ride for free starting at 4 p.m. If you don’t have a ConnectCard already, consider getting one for each member of the household and loading it up with a value or a pass. The cards are easier and faster than providing correct change. You can get cards at most Giant Eagle stores around Pittsburgh.

Be sure to use the Port Authority trip planner to schedule your ride so you know when to arrive at the stop.

It’s a good idea to check the weather before you head out as well. It’s been an unseasonably warm winter in the area, but it looks like it’s getting colder just in time for New Year’s. Bundle up in layers before you head out for the night, and bring cash for hot beverages.

Don’t live close to public transportation? Consider moving to a Prudential Realty Community like Alvern Gardens, Place Seville, or Sleepy Hollow in 2015.

First Night in Pittsburgh: something for everyone

Young and old are sure to love a trip to Pittsburgh’s Cultural District for First Night. With tons of indoor and outdoor events book-ended by fireworks, Steel City will celebrate the slide from 2014 into 2015 with non-stop fun.

With so much to do, it’s important to plan ahead.For starters, if you’re planning on going, buy your buttons ahead of time for $8 instead of $10 at the door. Your buttons give you access to all the festivities, so you don’t want to forget that detail.

Got your buttons? Great! Now it’s time to check out the schedule of events from visual art to music and dance and even crafts workshops. There are 18 visual art exhibits, all of them open 6 p.m.-11 p.m. so leave time to check those out between attending shows.

Happy anniversary!
Pittsburgh’s First Night celebration features not one, but two fireworks displays, plus so much more.

Can’t decide what shows to attend? River City Brass really is “a blast.” Last year’s show included singing, dancing, silly costumes, and audience participation in a rendition of The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”. Their only show this year is at 7 p.m., so add that to your agenda first, and then consider the acts offering multiple showings throughout the night, like Cello Fury and Texture Contemporary Ballet or Arcade Comedy Theater. Want to squeeze in a third show? Consider any one of the 3 featured magicians, they all have 10 p.m. shows. Once you’ve decided which show to attend, you need to reserve seat vouchers. If they’re all gone for the show you really wanted to see, don’t fret, there’s still plenty of other stuff to do.

As you walk around the Cultural District, definitely stop by Steel Town Fire & Ice Creations in the Fire & Ice Plaza. Last year, half of the stage was devoted to fire dancing/eating while on the other half, an ice sculpture of a motorcycle was carved. With a chainsaw.

Curious about the year to come? Get a palm and angel card reading between 6:30 and 10:30 at Urban Pathways Charter School. But be warned, the line last year was very long.

If you have little ones that need to be in bed well before midnight, be sure to arrive on time for the opening children’s fireworks display at 6 p.m. so they don’t have to miss out on the pyrotechnics.

On top of all these shows and sights to see, there are also interactive activities for all ages. There’s giant jenga, chess, and checkers, a pinball lounge, and a kazoo making workshop hosted by Carnegie Science Center. Plus, don’t forget about face painting, caricatures, balloon animals, and meeting the local sports mascots.

Finally: Do you love ice skating? The Massmutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink at PPG Place will be open 11 a.m.-midnight.

As always with big events like this, it’s best to take public transportation into the city instead of giving yourself a headache trying to find parking. Wood Street, the “T” stop in the heart of the Cultural District will be bustling all night, so consider heading into the city early and be prepared for a crush at the end of the celebration.