Memorial Day Pool Openings in Pittsburgh

Memorial Day weekend is, of course, America’s unofficial pool opening weekend, and there are some great options available around Pittsburgh.

pool
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, and it’s a great way to stay cool on a hot day. (Residents of Alvern Gardens Apartments can enjoy their summer poolside for a $10 season pass.)

Sandcastle is opening its gates for the 2016 season at 11 a.m. on Saturday. There are a variety of ticket options, so check their website for details.

The Mt. Lebanon Swim Center opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday for an hour long adult swim before opening to the general public for the season. Season passes are available, but admission at the gate is also an option.

The Dormont Pool is slightly less expensive than the Mt. Lebanon Swim Center, and people living in the Keystone Oaks School District enjoy resident pricing. The Dormont Pool opens at noon on Saturday. Daily hours start on June 11, after school lets out for the summer.

The Alvern Gardens pool will open for the season at noon on June 11. Season passes for residents are available now at the leasing office.

Update: Farmers’ Markets

As promised, we have an update on the start dates for this season’s farmers’ markets.

Mt. Lebanon Partnership’s Uptown Farmers’ Market opens its season at 9 a.m. tomorrow. It takes place around 710 Washington Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15228, by WesBanco and the Mt. Lebanon Municipal Building, just a couple blocks down from the Mt. Lebanon T station (Red Line) and walking distance from Prudential’s own Cornell Place Apartments. The market runs 9 a.m.-noon every Saturday through November 19th. On the second Saturday of each month, the market will include live music and other special activities. The first Second Saturday will take place on May 14th and will feature music from local bluegrass band The Mackin Family.

The twelfth season of the Market Square Farmers Market starts at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 12. This downtown event is just a short walk from the Gateway T Station. The event runs 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Thursday through October 27th and coincides with free outdoor concerts from 11:30 to 1:30. Special events like Christmas in July and Navy Week will take place throughout the season.

The Mt. Lebanon Lions Club Farmers’ Market won’t open until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1. This one takes place 4-7 p.m. every Wednesday (no end date listed) at the Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church (975 Washington Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15228)

Winter is coming (again): Is your home ready?

We’ve done quite a few posts now about energy conservation, spring cleaning, winterizing, and general home care stuff. As temperatures continue to drop in the Pittsburgh area, we thought we’d round up some of our past posts on staying warm, conserving energy, and preparing for winter.

Pittsburgh in Autumn
While we enjoy the gorgeous fall foliage, it’s also time to start preparing for winter.
By John [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Winter is around the corner

Pittsburgh’s cold winters call for special precautions

Snow is falling on Pittsburgh

Easy ways to conserve energy and save money

The good news for residents of Prudential Realty Communities like Alvern Gardens, Cornell Place, and Garden Villa is that the heat systems have been turned on for the season. Everyone should be warm and cozy even as outdoor temperatures drop.

FAQ: Do you have a gym?

Here at Alvern Gardens, visitors frequently ask if we have a gym. We don’t, but we do have a pool and a dog park. We’re also close to several gyms and yoga studios. So for the convenience of current and prospective residents, we’ve rounded up a list of places close by where our residents can get their exercise.

Gyms

fitness
Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, but if you’re looking for something more, there are plenty of gyms and yoga studios to choose from in the area. (Residents of Alvern Gardens Apartments can enjoy their summer poolside for a $10 season pass.)

Fitness 19 seems to be one of the most affordable gyms in the area, and Alvern Gardens residents frequently receive mailers with special offers.

Healthtrax is an affordable gym in Bethel Park, and based on their website, a friendly place for people of all  fitness levels who are looking to get healthy and stay healthy.

We have not one, but two LA Fitness clubs close by. One is in Bethel Park, and the other is in Bridgeville. Both offer a variety of amenities for about $30/month.

Club One Fitness, reportedly the best gym in Pittsburgh, has a South Hills location on Castle Shannon Blvd. They’re pricier but it looks like they might be worth it.

If you’re looking for a 24-hour gym, consider Snap Fitness in South Park. If you join before the end of the month, you’ll get 50% off!

Yoga

Because there are quite a few places to do yoga around here, we thought we’d round up some of the most affordable, convenient options.

The Mt. Lebanon Public Library hosts a free weekly yoga class Wednesday evenings. Participants don’t have to register, but they do have to bring all their own equipment.

Health Thru Yoga is the closest studio to Alvern Gardens (walking distance!). There are discounts for seniors and T riders as well as free classes for military families. You can even schedule a private session if you’d like.

Yoga Innovations is a little yoga studio in Bethel Park. They offer kids yoga and Mommy and Me Yoga, as well as a pay what you can class for adults every Wednesday evening. The studio welcomes walk-ins, and they even rent mats if you don’t have your own.

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.

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.

Happy anniversary to us!

Happy first anniversary to us! Prudential Realty’s blog has officially been around for a whole year. In honor of this milestone, we’ve rounded up our top 5 posts. These are the posts that have gotten the most views/visitors.

  1. How to decorate a 2 bedroom apartment on a budget kicked off our series on decorating the 2 bedroom model at Alvern Gardens. This first post focuses on the living room. Check out the rest of the series for posts about the dining room, master bedroom, and home office.

    Happy anniversary!
    We’re celebrating 1 year online with (virtual) fireworks. Here’s to another year of fun and informative posts!
  2. More grilled cheese contenders is a follow-up to our countdown of the best grilled cheese in Pittsburgh.Read both posts, try the contenders for yourself, and let us know what you think: who does serve the best grilled cheese?
  3. Happy Thanksgiving! Look at last week’s post for things to do this week while your family’s in town.
  4. Dog park safety and etiquette have become important to us ever since Alvern Gardens opened its very own dog park for its resident pooches.
  5. Bado’s is a favorite local eatery of ours. Situated in the middle of the picturesque Shops on Beverly in Mt. Lebanon, the self-described pizza grill and alehouse has something on the menu for everyone.

Have your own favorite Prudential Realty post? Let us know, and you might see follow-up posts in the coming year!

Where should I park? A guide to parking from the apartment hunt to coming home

Finding parking in the city can be challenging and expensive, and if you’re new in town, the old Pittsburgh trick of reserving your spot with a chair looks downright outlandish. So what’s an apartment hunter to do?

First things first, when you schedule an appointment to tour an apartment or house, ask where you should park when you get there. While large complexes with private parking lots might have “Future Resident” parking, plenty of places don’t have the space to offer that convenience. So unless you’re visiting a gated community, you’ll probably have to park on the street.

Be warned: rules for street parking vary from one municipality to the next. Mt. Lebanon, for example, has permit parking zones, and violators will be ticketed. In adjacent Castle Shannon, however, street parking tends to be less restricted. While all of Sleepy Hollow Road is no parking, Vermont Avenue and Greenridge Road are fair game.

Find a place to park before winter hits
Steel City will be covered in a blanket of white soon enough. Do you have covered parking?

So this is why you ask where to park when you schedule your tour, to let the local experts steer you in the right direction.

If you arrive at your destination and feel confused about how the parking works, read any signs carefully and follow your gut. If a curb is yellow or you see a hydrant,  don’t park there. If you read a sign that says “Permit Parking Only,” don’t park there. Don’t be afraid to ask when you meet up with your appointment, “I parked over there, is that OK?” That’s always a good question to ask.

Questions about parking are among the most important to ask when looking for a new home. You might be dazzled by low rent, but don’t forget to consider any additional costs for a parking permit or covered parking. Survey the area and ask how hard it is to find a spot on the street. Ask where your guests are allowed to park. You might find that comparing parking situations can help you choose between prospective apartments. It’s also a good idea at this time to ask where you’d be allowed to park a moving van and for how long. In Castle Shannon, for example, street parking of trailers is prohibited.

Once you’re officially a resident in your new home, your landlord will most likely give you instructions for where to park. If not, be sure to ask for clarification. Always remember to follow the parking guidelines set out by your landlord and municipality. Breaking the rules could lead to tickets, tow trucks, and angry neighbors. Here are a few no-no’s to keep in mind:

  • Never block a dumpster
  • Don’t let your guests park in permit only spots
  • Never take a neighbor’s assigned spot
  • Don’t block in another car
  • Don’t block a driveway or garage

Additionally, if your landlord issued you a parking permit—even if it was free—keep it up-to-date. If you replace your car, make sure your landlord updates their records and gives you a new permit if necessary. If you get an additional vehicle, get that on file and permitted as well. If your landlord only issues one permit per apartment, find alternate parking for your second vehicle to avoid inconveniencing your neighbors and getting ticketed, or worse, towed.

More fall fun: things to do in the South Hills this weekend

We’ve told you about places to go to celebrate fall as well as a few places to get decent scares, but we’re not done yet. As long as the season continues, a gorgeous one thanks to the area’s changing foliage, we’ll dig up new things to do this Autumn in Pittsburgh.

Pumpkin Patch Parade in Mt. Lebanon

Pittsburgh in Autumn
In addition to enjoying the gorgeous fall foliage, there are plenty of autumn activities to keep Pittsburgh residents busy throughout the season.
By John [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
If your kids love Halloween, consider taking them to the Pumpkin Patch Parade this Saturday in Mt. Lebanon. The parade will take place no matter the weather and will start at 11 a.m. from the Mt. Lebanon Cemetery and head down Washington Road all the way to Lebanon Avenue. Kids (accompanied by parents) may join the parade after The Great Pumpkin passes. After the parade, local businesses with special orange signs will open their doors to trick-or-treaters.

Oktoberfest Menu at Atria’s

Can’t get enough German cuisine? Atria’s in Mt. Lebanon—the original Atria’s, by the way—is still serving Oktoberfest fare. You can be sure that the official caterer of The National Aviary serves good food. Chi Quach, assistant property manager of Alvern Gardens Apartments, recommends the pork shank, a true classic and perfectly hearty for a chilly fall day. He adds that the Mt. Lebanon location is the only one that serves free chips. While you’re in the swing of fall, consider booking a Thanksgiving reservation, they’re accepting them now.

Goblins! Ghosts! Ghouls! Haunted houses in the Pittsburgh area

BOO!

No, that wasn’t very scary, but read on if you dare for places where you can get some serious frights in the Pittsburgh area this Halloween season.

Phantom Fright Nights

Happy Halloween
Visit the haunted houses of the Pittsburgh area if you dare.
Source: By Cindy (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Kennywood’s 13th annual Phantom Fright Nights kicked off on Sept. 26th and run 7 p.m.-1 a.m. every Friday and Saturday through Nov. 1. Bonus: Fright Nights will also be open 7-11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 12.

Tickets are available at the gate for $32.99, for a discount of $3 online, and for a discount of $5 at Giant Eagle stores. If you’re serious about your scares, you can get a Phantom’s Fright Pass, granting you unlimited visits for the 2014 Fright Nights.

On Oct. 12 and 31 and Nov. 1 tickets are half price for season pass holders and college students.

If you’d like your scares to be preceded by a ghoulish feast, you might want to attend the Phantom’s Pre-Scare Dinner at 5:45 p.m. on Oct. 10 and 11. But be warned: the menu includes “Succulent Rat Ribs, Haunted Bell Tower Squab, Graveyard Stuffed Cabbage,” and more.

Hundred Acres Manor

Located in South Park, Hundred Acres Manor is close to several Prudential Realty Communities. If you’ve ever dreamed of shooting zombies with paintball guns, their new attraction this year lets you do just that. Plus, there’s going to be a Halloween party this year (check their website for updates). On top of it all, this place is touted as one of the best haunted houses in the entire United States.

Considering the high accolades, the price of admission isn’t the least bit scary. It’s $10 per “victim” for Zombie Paintball on its own, but you can add it to general admission for the Manor itself: general admission $18, $25 if you add Zombie Paintball. There are also various VIP tickets available online: for $20 you can skip the general admission line at the Manor any day except Fridays and Saturdays ($27 if you add Zombie Paintball), for $25 you can skip the general admission line any day ($30 if you add Zombie Paintball), and for $35 you get to skip the line, take advantage of preferred parking, and you get a T-shirt ($40 if you add Zombie Paintball).

On Wicked Wednesday College Nights, presenting your student ID at the door gets you into the Manor for just $10. Students also get $3 off general admission on Thursdays and Sundays. On Military Mayhem Thursdays, presenting your military ID makes general admission just $10. On Wednesdays and Sundays, there’s a $3 military discount.

There’s also a few places in the Pittsburgh area that sell tickets for a discount of $3-$5.

The Scarehouse

Looking for frightening fun just north of the city? Check out the Scarehouse in Etna, PA. This one is so terrifying, Guillermo del Toro said he could live there. The spookiest part? The Scarehouse has two levels: the regular haunted house, and the basement. The basement is a place you may only enter after signing a waiver. Why? Because the actors down there are allowed to touch you.