Questyinz: Where can dogs swim in Pittsburgh?

A Portuguese water dog competes during a water...
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Alona asked, “We just got a new puppy! He’s a black lab mix – and boy is this heat getting to him. Where’s a good place in or around Pittsburgh to take a dog for a swim? Thanks!”

So glad that Alona asked “in or around” as the following places are scattered all over the Pittsburgh metro area.  The good news is that there are a lot of different options to try – check out each of these until you find one that your new puppy wants to call his swimming hole of choice.  Anyone else know a great spot?  Please add your recommendations in Comments.

45 minutes from the city is Lucky Paws Pet Resort, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2009 pick for “Best Dog Pool.”  It’s $10 for a visit or $175 for an annual pass.  Check out the website, they aren’t kidding when they say “resort,” its like the Four Seasons of dog pools.

Another park that is in a league of their own is Misty Pines Dog Park Co. in Sewickley.  The pond that they have closes to the public when they have their dog swim classes (no joke, they have “Dock Diving”) so you will want to check the website for times.

As for parks that have pet friendly waters, there are several.  Lower Frick Park has a small fenced off area with a water feature.  It’s right off Tranquil trail.   They call it “Hot Dog Dam,” tee hee.  It’s very shady down there, so that helps too.

Northmoreland Lake in Northmoreland County Park is another option, although it’s closer to Greensburg, so it’s 25 minutes out of town.  It’s not a dog swimming hole by definition, more like they don’t oppose it.

The following article from last fall’s Post-Gazette covers two great events for dog swimming at area pools that are usually for humans. At the end of the season, Sandcastle and the Dormont Pool allow dogs to swim for a day.  See the article for more details.

I hope this gives you and your pup some direction.  If you are lucky, maybe he’ll learn the Triple Lindy in dock diving school!  If so, please send video.

Artichoke Fest, Kaya Fest, Restaurant Week – Radio Round Up – May 27, 2010

Castroville's nickname celebrates its status a...
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We are kicking off the weekend a day earlier this weekend. As we were putting this list together we came across an old article about snomageddon – and it is so great to see Pittsburgh emerging from the long, cold winter nap.  Here are just a handful of events to get you out of the house this weekend.

1st Annual Pittsburgh Artichoke Festival

  • Thursday, May 27, 2010, 5:30-7pm @ Elisco Advertising, 3711 Butler St.
  • All things artichoke – appetizers, pizza from Piccolo Forno, and desserts from Dozen Bake shop
  • FYI – Castroville, CA is the artichoke capital of the world – located just north of Monteray – you can stop and have some fried artichokes at the Giant Artichoke restaurant.

Local Restaurant Week – May 25-30

  • enjoy some of the best food in town
  • huge list of Pittsburgh restaurants are offering 3 course specials for just $20.10 and other specials too
  • A few on our list to check out – Vivo in Bellvue, Riverview Cafe in Lawrenceville, The Mighty Oak Barrel in Oakmont, and the Square Cafe in Regent Square.
Mount Washington Art Marketplacemtwasartistsmarketplace2010

  • Starting Saturday, May 29 and every Saturday in the summer from 11am-5pm
  • Head up to Mt. Washington for a weekly artists market.
  • Saturday, May 29 – 12pm-3pm
  • Kingsley Association Community Center, 6435 Frankstown Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206
  • The event is sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
  • Healthy snacks will be provided by Whole Foods.  For more information, visit or call 412.255.0564.
  • Saturday, May 29, 2010 3-:430pm
  • Offered in conjunction with Car Free Fridays and BikePGH!
  • Meeting Location: The clock on Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon (at the stair entrance to the “T”), across the street from Aladdin’s Eatery (630 Washington Road).
  • Tour Highlights: Karen Cahall, PHLF’s education coordinator and a Mt. Lebanon resident, will share information about significant historical events and current developments along Washington Road. You’ll tour the Mt. Lebanon Municipal Building and Public Safety Building and peek into lots of main street businesses. And, if you want, you’ll be able to climb the winding stairs up into the bell-tower of Southminster Presbyterian Church–and you’ll be able to find an image of a Bessemer Converter in the stained-glass windows. Mt. Lebanon was incorporated as a township in 1912, but the history of this South Hills community stretches back to the 1770s.
  • Fee: Free for everyone. The tour is limited to the first 25 people who RSVP by May 27.  RSVP: 412-471-5808, ext. 527, or

Wed. May 26 – Knitting for Absolute Beginnger (Free class and dinner)

A little dexterity is helpful in working with ...
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Always wanted to learn to knit? Here is your chance to get a free lesson (and some free dinner) and to check out the Fe gallery in Lawrenceville.

CommuniTeach is a website that is co-founded by a Pittsburgher one of his friends in Chicago.  The idea is to create a website where people can share their skills and learn new things.  Communiteach offers Learn-its on all kinds of things from guitar lessons, yoga, cooking, knitting and more.

This Wednesday, CommuniTeach will host scarf knitting for absolute beginners – the class is free and includes supplies and dinner.  This is the last chance to see the current exhibition, “Scissors,” which closes right after the knitting.

Scarf knitting for absolute beginners
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Fe Gallery in Lawrenceville
Sign up online here –

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Links Worth a Look – May 19th

Here are some links/articles/blog posts that are worth a look:

  • Great Lakes Urban Exchange Conference 2010 – Urban Laboratories – Join other city lovers to share ideas and discuss issues. This years conference is in Cleveland – July 15-17, 2010. We were lucky enough to attend last years conference in Milwaukee and would highly recommend this to anyone interested in urban issues of mid-west cities
  • Coffee, record and comic book shops to open all in one building in Polish Hill – More great reasons to love Polish Hill. 3 story building in Polish Hill will have a coffee shop, record shop and independent book store.
  • Miller Gallery now has an online Store – The Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University has just launched an online store. Through the magic of the internet you can now purchase past catalogs, books, post cards, t-shirts and other items from exhibits at the gallery. Check out the Yes Men activity book – and if you haven't seen the movie The Yes Men – add that to your cart too. There are a number of books here that I am adding to my reading list.

Follow IheartPGH on Twitter – we share more links there almost daily!

What Do Tequila, Yard Sales, Lawn Bowling Have in Common? (Radio Round Up – May 14, 2010)

phipps agave plant
Image by marshlight via Flickr
You can sample all of these and more in Pittsburgh this weekend – This is the weekend when Pittsburgh wakes up from its long winter nap. Lots of great reasons to get outside and check out the neighborhoods!  Lots of good – free (and low costs) ways to check out the city.

Agave Nights @ Phipps Conservatory

  • The agave plant at phipps is blooming – the agave plant can live for 100 years and only blooms once in its lifetime, currently the plant is growing 12 inches a day
  • Tequila is made from agave, Phipps is showing off the agave plant on Friday nights 5-9pm – the cafe will be serving margaritas and appetizers made with tequila

East End Brewing Keg Ride

  • Each year the folks at East End Brewing invite the community out to literally bike the first keg (or kegs) of pedal pale ale to the bar.
  • Friday, May 14, 2010, Meet @ the Brewery in Homewood at 6pm. Bike ride will be accessible for all levels of cyclist
  • Last year 500+ cyclists helped to bike the first kegs.
  • $10 to participate – the keg ride supports cycling charities – and your ride includes your first beer at the keg destination

    East end brew + bikes

    Image by michael and anna via Flickr

Regent Square Yard Sale Day

  • Saturday, May 15, 2010 – Neighborhood wide yard sale
  • Book sale at the Wilkins School Community Center
  • While you are in the neighboorhood – stop by the Frick Park Lawn Bowling courts on Reynolds St for the Frick Park Lawn Bowling Club open house