Stripping

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Don’t be confused by the headline. I don’t have a new part-time job. I just came from the Strip District and had such a wonderful time that I wanted to share.

DebbieNorrellBox

We have a new Public Market in the Strip. The grand opening was actually on Sept. 10 but the market was open to the public on Saturday, with a soft opening. If there is shopping and browsing to be done, I’m in.

At the Public Market I met several artisans with beautiful wares to sell, mostly for humans and even a few stalls for pets. There was home-made fudge, olive oils, balsamics, jewelry and knitted items. There will be about 40 vendors in the Public Market, it is located in the Produce Terminal Building on Smallman Street. It reminds me of markets that I have visited in Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia.

Since I paid $5 to park I felt I should get my money’s worth for the day. I love the atmosphere in the Strip and it was a perfect weather day for a stroll. Due to the holiday weekend Pittsburghers were out in full force. The lines coming out of some of the Strip’s popular restaurants were crazy. Deluca’s had a line that spilled out on the sidewalk. I wondered would those people actually have breakfast or lunch? Deluca’s serves great pancakes and is open every day of the year except Christmas.

There are so many great stores to stop in, for the ice cream lover check out Klavon’s Ice Cream. This shop is really closer to CJ‘s, and they serve milk shakes and ice cream treats from days gone by. Don’t forget Primanti Brothers, Benkovitz Seafood and PA Macaroni for homemade pasta.

Check out some very modern art at the Society for Contemporary Craft. One of the best museums is in the Strip, The Senator John Heinz History Center, is one you can spend the entire day there.

If you want fresh flowers at a reduced cost, the Strip is the place to go. The famous Wholey’s Fish Market is always busy. In the Strip you can eat indoors or out or buy chicken on a stick from a mobile food truck.

The best way to shop is to take your own reusable bags, some merchant’s bags are flimsy. Make sure your wallet isn’t in your back pocket for easy pickings. If it is in the back pocket make it a pocket with a button. Ladies, if you are carrying a shoulder bag, carry it messenger style, across your body. This is a safer way to carry your bag and it frees your hands to touch and feel merchandise.

The Strip is also a haven for Steeler merchandise. If you’re planning a party Mike Fineberg’s is one of the best stores for paper goods and souvenirs. I love fabrics and tassels, there is a beautiful textile store on Penn Avenue that made me weak.

It is so much fun to buy fresh items in the Strip and then come home and prepare and grill. Who says there is nothing to do in Pittsburgh?

*?*?*

If you’re looking to recycle some hard to recycle items on Sept. 18 at Monroeville Mall you can take paint products, batteries, aerosol cans and more from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. See http://www.swpa­hhw.org for details.

(E-mail the columnist at deb­bie­norrell@aol.com.)

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