3 Ways to Make a Difference on Earth Day 2018

Sunday, April 22 marks the day when people from all over the world focus on moving toward a healthy, sustainable environment. According to Earth Day’s official organization, “Earth Day has reached into its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.”

Like all movements, environmental awareness had to start somewhere.

It was started in the 1970’s by US Senator, Gaylord Nelson. For the US, the Vietnam War was an uproar, young people protested, and air pollution policy didn’t exist as industries spewed smoke and smog.

With that said, the goal became to push environmental protections into a political agenda. Nelson partnered with Pete McCloskey and recruited Denis Hayes to spearhead the mission. Soon their staff grew to 85 members and by April 22nd, 1970, 20 million American citizens demonstrated for environmental action.

All of which led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.  

Learn more about the history of Earth Day here.

Taking Action in the ‘Burgh

Let the Earth Day Festivities begin! Join many from our Pittsburgh community in celebration and learn how you can make an impact toward environmental sustainability on April 20th through April 21st.

Click here for more events happening in Pittsburgh.

The motivation behind Earth Day came from the relentless determination of students who fought for change. Want to put in your two cents into the world? Give back to the earth and future generations with your time. What kind of Earth do you want to have in fifty years? Because the time to do something is now.  

April Showers Sprout Gorgeous Flowers at Phipps Conservatory

Spring began in late March, yet rain showers are on the schedule for April. No need to get too distraught though, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has the remedy. 125 years in the making, Phipps gained its five-star reputation by awing guests with uniquely designed and expertly manicured garden scenes.  

Click here for the information you need to visit Phipps.

Tickets are reasonably priced under twenty dollars for adults. And when you purchase online, tickets are good for one day’s use within thirty days of the date of purchase. Plus, we’ll let you in on some secret perks: If you’re a lucky duck who is currently an undergrad at the University of Pittsburgh, we hear admission to Phipps is free during semesters! Not a Pitt student? No worries! Phipps offers a discount with a valid student ID.

Spending a Day at Phipps

Time to venture out into the wild! Well, sort of. Surround yourself with the exotic and natural beauty of floral and herb gardens. They’ll delight your senses with blissful fragrances and eye-catching colors. Here are the exhibits with open dates during April:

Now, with all this talk about things to do, we have to mention where to eat, too! Located inside the Conservatory, Cafe Phipps becomes an awesome place to relax and dine. Partnered with a vibrant environment, Phipps carries environmental stewardship throughout the establishment. This means, at the cafe specifically, they commit to the cleanest, freshest food available while focusing on organic or local produce. And a quick little tip: Phipps Splash, a fruity and healthy alternative to soda, has raving reviews on Yelp.

Classes for Adults

Phipps actually has classes available for children, educators, and communities, as well. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll stick with adults for now, but definitely, check out the classes page for more information on the other programs.

From floral design to culinary, Phipps offers several certificates so you have the ability to diversify in knowledge. Open to anyone, instructors are highly accomplished in their respected fields while encouraging a relaxing and learning-able environment.

Calling All Volunteers

Remember that “be a better person” resolution you made way back when. Well, Phipps has opportunities fitting any interest, from summer camp volunteers and garden guides to special events and horticulture volunteers.

Concerned about balancing volunteering with work/school priorities? Phipps asks for a minimum of three hours per week and at least two times per month. That’s 80 hours a year, which is on the minimal side while definitely still something to hang your hat on.  

For volunteers, Phipps has the mission, “To empower volunteers to contribute to the mission of Phipps while providing a rewarding and engaging experience in an environment where all contributions are valued and appreciated.”

It’s a fantastic way to meet new people with similar interests and contribute to one of Pittsburgh’s beloved landmarks. See where you fit. Plus, why not make the move toward a better you?

Time to Member Up

This isn’t your average whole store membership. Phipps offers one-of-a-kind experiences, event discounts, and exclusive insights. You’re essentially getting unlimited access! Plus, packages range from a year of free admission for one adult at $65 to a sustaining package with several perks at $500. To get specifics on membership perks, click here.

One of the best times to visit is during the spring. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a serene stroll through an exotic indoor/outdoor garden? We would definitely be there in a heartbeat!


The Frick: Pittsburgh’s Hidden Gem

Just a five-minute drive or a slightly longer leisurely walk from Franklin West apartments lies an extraordinary experience of art, history, nature, and delicious dining. Home to a cafe and several exhibits, The Frick Pittsburgh should certainly be on your must-do list as spring begins.

A unique, hidden gem of the Pittsburgh area, The Frick is actually multiple museums all rolled into one. Home to the Henry Clay Family, the Clayton Mansion features impressive fine art and gives tourists a better understanding of Pittsburgh during the Gilded Age. As it one of their most popular exhibits, reservations are strongly recommended. Admission to tour this one-of-a-kind home, as well as special exhibitions, is free for Frick members (non-member fees range from $8 – $15).  

As admission to the rest of the Frick’s abundant offerings — from the Frick art museum’s permanent collection to the Car and Carriage Museum is free, the Frick disrupts the norm. Every car lovers dream, the Car and Carriage Museum houses a collection of automobiles dated back to the turn of the 20th century. If cars aren’t your thing but have a calling for the outdoors, then explore the Greenhouse and Gardens. Its 5.5-acre site is lined with lush gardens and a plethora of diverse trees. Perfect for the sunny day in Pittsburgh.    

Don’t forget to complete — or maybe even start — your visit at The Cafe! Eat peacefully knowing this sublime dining experience prepares locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients to create delicious contemporary American cuisine. Plus, enjoy traditional English-style afternoon tea for those moments when you’re feeling exceptionally royal.

Last but certainly not least, the Frick Art Exhibitions feature greats from the Renaissance to today. Frick even partnered with Google Cultural Institute to present virtual exhibits. Below you’ll find a list of The Frick’s current art exhibitions and upcoming events:

Exhibits Currently Available:

  • Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
    • Due to the popularity of this exhibit, the museum will use timed ticketing. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.
  • Revive, Remix, Respond: Contemporary Ceramic Artists and The Frick Pittsburgh
    • Plus, admission to this exhibit is free!

Events to Note:

March 23, 2018 – Free with exhibit admission, Impressions Gallery Talks begins at 2:00 pm.

March 24, 2018 – Free with exhibit admission, The Frick Museum Docent Tours begin at 2:00 pm.

March 28, 2018 – Advanced registration and payment are required to join the Act 48 Teacher Workshop: Writing Through Impressionism, which begins at 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Many of these events have multiple dates, so click here to get further details about March events at The Frick. Considering how much The Frick can offer year-round, consider a membership!

Eat, Drink, and Be Social Business Mixer Featuring Pittsburgh’s Finest

Looking for something interesting to do tonight? No worries, we have you covered. East Liberty Chamber is partnering with local business owner Kiya Tomlin and  Kimberley Ashley Catering to host this month’s Eat Drink & Be Social Business Mixer.

Everyone is welcome and encouraged to connect while enjoying delicious hor d’oeuvres and cocktails. Today’s mixer will take place at Kiya Tomlin Boutique, which is located at 5983 Broad Street, Pittsburgh Pa 15206. Doors will open at 5:30 pm. Since this is only a two-hour event, the boutique will be closing at  7:30 pm.

Don’t forget, RSVP here: http://www.eastlibertychamber.org/mixer

“Dress for Comfort… and Style”

We love supporting local businesses, and Kiya Tomlin Boutique is right in our neck of the wood on Broad Street. Getting there is less than a 5-minute walk!

Here are some impressive facts about Kiya Tomlin Boutique:

  1. From mill to market, Kiya Tomlin clothes are made solely in the United States.
  1. Clothes made from bamboo? Yes, please! When compared to cotton, bamboo is actually softer, silkier, and dries faster. Plus, environmentally friendly as a high sustaining resource, bamboo clothing is 100% biodegradable. Need we say more?
  2. Kiya Tomlin makes online shopping a breeze. The site clearly identifies need-to-know information. Read about return policies, and get the most out of your clothes by checking out washing instructions.

Inspired by the modern women, Kiya first launched her collection in Fall 2014. Kiya has said, “My background in custom design inspires me to design for a variety of figures. My experience as a woman of many roles drives the direction and functionality of my designs. By combining these inspirations, I can create comfortable clothes that inspire confidence. That confidence is what makes a woman truly beautiful.”

Click here to discover Kiya Tomlin Boutique or find her on Instagram.

Paint the Town: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

Shadyside summers are bustling with life and bursting with color — just two of the many reasons the neighborhood is a focal point of Pittsburgh. When the pink and purple blossoms fall from the trees and green leaves replace the palette, new forms of colors spring to life. 

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, located right on 5th Avenue, features local artists who breathe energy into the space and the community year-round.

Starring 13 Pittsburgh-based artists, the current exhibition is brimming with vivid colors and unique forms, making summer in Shadyside all the more vibrant. Below are just a few of the works on display and a taste of the local talent that enlivens the walls. This exhibition lasts until July 23rd, but you can always expect something special to fill the space.

Beyond the inspiring galleries, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts offers in-depth classes and Summer Art Camps starting June 12th, for kids ages 4-12. If you’d like to know more about all that Pittsburgh Center for the Arts has to offer, visit center.pfpca.org.

Ready to explore Shadyside and paint the town colorful? 

Pittsburgh Marathon to Run Through Shadyside

Runners, take your marks! The annual DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is here once again, and this year’s race weekend is sure to be exciting.

On the morning of Sunday, May 7th, more than 20,000 of Pittsburgh’s most passionate athletes will be lining up to traverse 13 neighborhoods and race by PNC Park, Heinz Field and PPG Paints Arena. For all you enthusiastic supporters in the crowd, the day will also be packed with neighborhood festivals, 40 live bands, and more to enjoy.

Cheering in Shadyside? We’ve got the deets for the bands you’ll be near on race day! Hourglass will be playing at the corner of 5th and Shady — within 1 block of many of our Shady, Fifth Avenue, and Denniston Avenue apartments.

The band Sunburst Rocks will be playing at the corner of Fifth Avenue and South Highland, just outside of our 5945 5th Avenue apartment.

The marathon course itself goes through passes many Franklin West buildings. Specifically, 5945 Fifth Avenue, 6315 Fifth Avenue, 516 S. Highland, 509 S. Highland, and 6007-6009 Walnut. See the full course map here!

Pictured above: Runners will pass Franklin West’s 5945 Fifth Avenue and 6007 Walnut Street apartments, among others.

We’ll see you on the course, Shadyside — come out, cheer on the runners, and enjoy celebrating Pittsburgh runners’ joyful dedication!

5 Pittsburgh Events to Look Forward to This March

Welcome, March! With a new month’s arrival, we’re reminded once again that Pittsburgh has an event for everyone’s calendar. From DIY art nights at The Warhol to thriving gardening conventions, it’s lining up to be an amazing couple of weeks.

1. Sip & Sketch at the Andy Warhol Museum: March 8

Surround yourself with inspiring, painted portraits by Firelei Baez as you sip and sketch at the Andy Warhol Museum. Featuring a cash bar, Butterjoint cocktails, live models, and art teachers to guide you through the drawing process, this creative event is a can’t-miss.

Reserve Your Spot ›

2. Park on Tap Fundraiser for Allegheny Commons: March 10

If you’ve seen our Instagram feed, you know that we love our Pittsburgh Parks and the Conservancy that helps maintain them.

What better way to support their restoration of Pittsburgh’s oldest park than with bites and brews on one of North Side’s famous Mexican War Streets? Allegheny City Brewing, War Streets Brewery, and the band Brewer’s Row will be in attendance at this important fundraising event.

Reserve Your Spot ›

3. Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show: March 10 – 19

Thinking about making some upgrades around your apartment? If so, the Pittsburgh Home and Garden Show is the place for you.

The region’s top marketplace for home improvement needs is returning to the Convention Center for its 36th year. 1,700 vendors, a garden pavilion, and a Kitchen & Cooking Collection will all be available for all in attendance.

Get Tickets ›

4. Ace Hotel — Whitefield’s Sharing Knives: March 15th

Our neighbors over at Ace Hotel are returning with their third installment of Sharing Knives: a collaborative dinner series that hosts Pittsburgh’s top chefs in their Whitfield kitchen. Mellon Park that’s as pretty as it is peaceful. Rich in history and nestled in the heart of Shadyside, Mellon Park’s stunning Walled Garden has become a beloved community gathering place.

This month, they’re reuniting Whitfield’s Chef Beth, who cut her teeth at Strip District standard Eleven, and Executive Chef Derek Stevens, who recently opened Union Standard in downtown Pittsburgh’s historic Union Trust building. Bon appétit.

Reserve Your Spot ›

5. Carnegie Mellon University International Film Festival: March 23 — April 9

The Oscar’s may have just aired last week, but more must-see films are on the horizon thanks to Carnegie Mellon University’s International Film Festival.

Set to encourage and provoke contemporary conversations about race, sexuality, gender, and ethnicity through its theme, “Faces of Identity,” this annual festival remains one of Pittsburgh’s most interesting and exciting events.

Get Tickets ›