Category Archives: Local

Pittsburgh Street Art

There is a hefty handful of really cool gals in Blog World/Instagram Land who have perfected the art of Wall Crawling. Although it may sound silly to some people, I believe that street art makes our world a better (i.e. more colorful) place, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in my way of thinking. Imagine you’re walking down the street and after seeing nothing but bland buildings one after the other, you look up and see a mural that sticks out like a sore, beautiful thumb. You can’t help but smile and appreciate the fact that there is art running wild in the real world, not stuck in a museum with a partition and no flash photography.

As far as cataloging murals around the country goes.. Jen has San Antonio, Bianca has Austin, Rosemary has Philly, Baltimore, LA, Vegas, and D.C. totally covered, but what about Pittsburgh?! Yinz guyz know we got cool murals n’at?! Technically, someone already made an extremely detailed website with the addresses of literally every single mural in town, but I thought I’d add to it by making an Instagram account (@PittsburghMurals) for the same thing… just because it didn’t exist.

Actual murals aside, finding a wall to have my picture taken in front of that is a solid color and coordinates with my outfit is not only my specialty, but what I get asked most about via email or direct messaging on IG. So Anyway, these are a few of my favorite walls:

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Best Mural In Town, 5482 Penn Ave
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Lavender Wall, Highland and Penn intersection
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YELLOW AF WALL, Gas Station where Butler and Penn Ave intersect
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Pink Wall, Hamilton Ave
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Chartreuse + Gray color block wall, Liberty Ave and Main St
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Swoops There It Is Wall, Smallman St and 29th
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Green Stuff Wall, Butler and 57th
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RIP Skull Mural (it has since been painted over)
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Cool Wall On The Way To Kish House, Address Forgotten

 

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Rainbow Crosswalk, Ellsworth Ave

Even if you’re not a blogger who favors ridiculously colorful photos to accompany your posts, murals could still be part of your life. My DIY/Travel Blogging friends, Sarah and Nick, took their engagement photos in front of Pittsburgh’s Pink Wall and how cute would it be to find the best blue wall for a photo shoot with your newborn baby boy?! Whatever the occasion, there’s probably a wall for you!

I think I said “wall” too many times and now it doesn’t sound like a real word anymore.  GOTTA GO. BYEEE.

Mrs. Steel Yo POPS

I know where your brain is going. No, I’m not referring to your “Pops” as in your father! I’m talking about “Pops” as in POPSICLES!

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I met up with my friend Jadie for lunch today and we both had our toddlers with us. If any of you have kids, you know going to a restaurant with kids that isn’t a Chick-Fil-A is a huge stress. There is only a certain amount of time a kid can handle coloring on the same paper with only a 2-color crayon choice. If you add on a popular restaurant during lunch hours, you’re looking at spending a good 45-60min. For a toddler, that time is an eternity.

Not too much time passes before bribes are made and 2 magical words slowly exit your lips. “I C E – C R E A M”. Bam. Automatic 5-10 minutes of decent behavior added to your meal.

I’m not one to not follow through with a promise. After we left the restaurant, we looked up nearby ice cream shops and came across Steel City Pops around the corner. Jadie and I were both immediately impressed with the atmosphere and vibe of the shop. Steel City specializes in gourmet Mexican Paletas, commonly known as “pops”. As I was struggling to decide on the perfect flavor, I asked the cashier about the company. She told me the story of how it was started by a husband and father from Alabama who followed his dreams to own a restaurant. Today, that 1 restaurant has turned into over 20 locations and continuing to spread through the United States.

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Finally, I made my decision. Are you ready? Might want to loosen your belt buckle and let out that top button on your pants. Cookies & Cream Cookie Pop dipped in dark chocolate, drizzled with fresh caramel and toasted coconut, and dredged with sea salt. I can get pretty vocal when I eat something satisfying and to be clear, I was NOT silent. Treating yourself once in a while is a must. Do yourself a FLAVOR and don’t waste that “treat” on something that won’t fully satisfy you. Take the plunge and go for it all. Your heart will thank you… but your slim fitted jeans might react a little differently.

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All in all, if you’ve never had a paleta, I encourage you to try one out. Follow your heart.

 

 

Thoroughly Modern Vintage

Modern vintage? Talk about an oxymoron.

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I may be late to the game, but wearing vintage dresses is my new thing. For some reason in the past I assumed that if one was to wear vintage anything, one would have to match everything else to the vintage piece. Oh, you found a fifties housewife dress and you want to wear it? You have to wear your hair in a 50s style too, dumb dumb. And don’t even think about stepping out in anything other than shoes of the era. You may end up leaving the house looking exactly like June Cleaver.

Not that all of that is necessarily a bad thing. We’ve all seen 1940s pin-up styled gals on the more hipster side of town or in tattoo shops and they are pulling off the look, complete with victory rolls, effortlessly. God knows that people keep trying to bring back 90s fashion, so there’s that too. But something about wearing a head to toe look from a different time feels a little too costumey.

I had what I refer to as a “dumb blonde epiphany” a few months back when shopping at a local vintage fair: What if I bought this 1960s maxi dress and wore it just how I wear everything else? Then, when people inevitably ask where I got such a lovely garment, I can answer elusively with my nose up in the air: “oh, it’s vintage“. Sounds like an all around win to me.

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I don’t have the contact info of the vendor who sold me this blue maxi, but I did get three colorful, loud dresses from this shop that I looooove. This weekend a giant vintage event will take place here in Pittsburgh, and I can’t wait to see what I can score.

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¡Viva Fiesta!

Fiesta originated 125 years ago when citizens of San Antonio wanted to celebrate the heroes of the Alamo with what they named The Battle of Flowers. It became a tradition and is now ingrained in San Antonio’s culture. And get this, it is the only parade in the country to be planned and directed completely by women! GO GIRLS! When I was a kid, I was in synchronized swimming and our team, The Cygnets (baby swans), got to participate in the parade and had our own float. Being super clumsy, I was never allowed to go on the float so I had to walk. We were told to just throw candy at kids whenever we walked by them, which could be a little dangerous. When you think about it, the parade is a ton of giant piñatas spewing candy all over the place. No baseball bats or blindfolds involved so all the hard work is done.

source: walkerreport.blogspot.com
Photo: TOM REEL, Staff / San Antonio Express-Newsimg_1936

Being born and raised in San Antonio, I have a deep respect and appreciation for my city. When Fiesta comes around each year, I am again reminded of the history and culture of this beautiful city. N.I.O.S.A which stands for Night In Old San Antonio is where the party is at. Every year Sarah’s Dad, my uncle, volunteers and usually always asks for help. He works at the “Ranch Steak” tent. Ranch Steaks are a thin slice of chuck on a tortilla. Can’t get much simpler than that!

If a Ranch Steak doesn’t peak your interest, you could also try the infamous Chicken on a stick, or Steer on a stick, Elote (corn on the cob), or anything fried you can think of. Being a volunteer, you get all the sweet perks. Early entry, private bathrooms, air conditioned lobby, and free food. Whenever I had the chance to help out with my cousins, we would always be the ones taking tickets and banging the cow bell saying “RANCH STEAKS! GET YOUR RANCH STEAKS!” Then when 10pm came around (closing time) all the hungry drunks rush to your booth to get their greasy fill. Things can get a little crazy but overall, it’s a grand time.

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The whole month of April has Fiesta-related events going on, but the main events are from April 20th – April 30th. If you plan on making a trip, I would suggest coming for N.I.O.S.A., you will experience everything “Fiesta” in a span of 4-5 hours from good food, drinks, music, and partying. If you plan on bringing kids, I would recommend the Fiesta Carnival or one of the many parades. All information about the events and details can be found here.
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If you’re ever planning to visit San Antonio, come in mid-April and party like a local!

xoxo,
Christina

Coffee Shop Soundtrack

It’s been so difficult to keep this a secret, but….

WE’RE OPENING A COFFEE SHOP! For locals and anyone interested in visiting the ‘Burg in the near future, Cup Of JoeL Is now open in the trendy neighborhood of Lawrenceville! Do you love specialty lattes with pictures of flowers in the cream, European-style espresso, and organic ingredients? If so, this is not the place for you. Are you craving a crappy cup of coffee that you could probably just make yourself at home? Well, crave no longer, Cup Of JoeL totally has that! Here, it’s okay if you want call it “expresso”, because that’s not on our menu anyway!

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Seriously, this April Fools joke has been sitting in my list of drafts for months now. NO, we are not actually opening a coffee shop, but whatever… Joel’s getting really good at photoshop!

P Is For Pizza

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Pizza and Friday go together like, well, pizza and freaking Friday. I double-dog-dare you to name a better combination! Pizza is universally good (so is Friday).

Anyway, we The Blumers have been working very hard and doing a lot of exhausting and extensive research in order to bring this post to the ole blog. We’ve rounded up our top 5 favorite pizza places in Pittsburgh (UM YOU’RE WELCOME!), but first let’s just talk about pizza, K? Our love for this stuff goes deep.

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I didn’t realize until I moved up north that the pizza in Texas kind of…. I HATE TO SAY IT… sucks. Okay, maybe that’s being harsh (Big Lou’s, Ray’s, and Dough are all excellent pizza places in San Antonio), but the pizza I grew up eating can’t hold a candle to the pizza I eat now (that being said, I’m still very much #TexasForever and it’s a fact the north will NEVER, EVER be able to figure out Tex-Mex, in my totally biased un-humble opinion). If you’re reading from my home state with a slice in hand, please carry on. It’s called blissful ignorance.

We spent 4 days in Italy on our honeymoon and we literally ate pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus the occasional midnight snack. You know what they say, “when in Rome… eat pizza as the Romans do…”*

It’s been an unspoken tradition to have pizza in some way, shape, or form on Friday nights here at the Blumer Haus. It’s been especially nice lately because I’m trying to not eat carbs during the week (ya know, gettin’ back to my fighting weight), but on Fridays I go ham on some pepperoni. It’s what I most look forward to during the week!

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Alright, alright, alright. I’ll quit my jibber jabbering and get down to business. Without further ado, our favorite pizza in Pittsburgh:

  1. Mama Lucia’s NUMBER FREAKING ONE FOR A REASON. THIS PIZZA IS SO GOOD I HAVE TO WRITE THIS IN ALL CAPS TO GET MY POINT ACROSS. WE DON’T CARE THAT IT’S A PAIN IN THE ASS TO DRIVE TO EITHER. THEIR PEPPERONI WINS AT LIFE.
  2. Luciano’s  I can’t believe there was a time in my life when I hadn’t experienced Buffalo Chicken Pizza! Luciano’s makes the best! And they’ll make you a heart shaped pizza if you ask nicely enough!
  3. Pizza Grande the pepperonis are all like little pools filled with grease that I just want to dive into. Sound gross? It’s not, YOU’RE GROSS.
  4. Italian Village Pizza best, most convenient pizza by the slice.
  5. Two-way pizza tie between LaNova Pizza because they provided the pizza for our wedding after reception after party (we had leftovers for days too!) and Pizza Perfecta because their pizza is, um, perfecta?

If you’re a local and you’re reading this and you’re thinking “hey this b-word left out S___ Bro__” well, I did it on purpose. Broaden your horizons. Also, their service sucks. K BYEEE.

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Pizza Tank/TATY, Pizza Float/Ban.do (sold out, similar)

*funny, we actually did not go to Rome.

Night At The (Warhol) Museum

I love going to art museums. I especially love going to art museums when they have free admission (bonus points if they serve wine). Every Friday night, throughout the month of January, the Andy Warhol museum (here in Pittsburgh, Andy’s hometown) offers just that!

Unlike the shit show you might meet when visiting most museums on a free night, the layout of the seven story museum does a pretty good job preventing big hoards of people from congregating in front of one piece of art. We’ve been paying tribute to the King of Pop Art for three years in a row now, and we never get tired of seeing his work. As of recently, you are now allowed to take photos inside of the museum, so grab your camera man and have him capture you looking at art. If anyone ever doubts how cultured you are, just whip out those pics!

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Dancing at the Warhol 2014
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Twinning with Andy 2015

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Some of my favorite Warhol quotes:

“Art is what you can get away with”

“One’s company, two’s a crowd, three’s a party”

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The floating silver balloons are my second favorite installation. It’s a lot of fun to play with those things, but be gentle or you’ll get yelled at.

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Some of the rooms have parachute lined seating areas where you can sit and pose and pretend to look at art.

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The skull/Mao room is my number one favorite! When I first visited Pittsburgh in 2011, Joel took me here and we sat in this room for a long time talking about art and making out and stuff.

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The museum has a stuffed lion as well as a stuffed Great Dane. Taxidermy FTW. I wish I would have thought to stuff my Great Dane, Samson.

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It’s advised to start at the 7th floor and work your way down, which we did last Friday even though I was wearing new shoes and the elevators were out of order. The photo booth in the basement of the museum is the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. AND they have a play area for kids complete with a copy of Where’s Andy, a spinoff of Where’s Waldo that’s fun for people of all ages to play. Also, don’t even get me started on how they have the best gift shop of any museum ever (you can buy your own copy of Where’s Andy)!

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Tomorrow night is the last night to visit the Warhol Museum fo free, but if you can’t make it this place is worth the price of admission!