A PITSburgh Partnership – The Cotton Factory and Hello Bully

When one hears “dog shirts”, the visual of a small dog gnawing at a tight knit sweater may come to mind, but CottonFactory.com and TeeRex Syndicate had something else planned when they partnered with Hello Bully to promote Pit Bull welfare in the Pittsburgh area.

In 2002, before she and her husband founded TeeRex Syndicate and purchased CottonFactory.com, Samantha Ginsburg was the proud owner of two rescue Pit Bulls from Animal friends and four cats. Samantha and Stephen then purchased the CottonFactory.com and founded TeeRex Syndicate, two companies that work together to sell specialty screen printed tee-shirts and clothing. TeeRex Syndicate and CottonFactory.com are “local Pittsburgh company[s] run by a group of obsessive designers, artists and printers” Samantha said. Based in 6000 square ft studio in the Friendship neighborhood, the Tee Rex team designs fun tee shirts, hoodies, aprons, tote bags, and scarves. Samantha said one of the reasons she and her husband enjoy owning their own company is “we like to do things with a cause”. Samantha has about as much Pittsburgh Pride as any local business owner, and proudly supports local designers and artists through the “Handmade Arcade” and “I Made It! Market”, as well as regularly partnering with local non-profits.

Samantha also has a special place in her heart for Pit Bulls. She is the proud owner of a Pit Bull and has seen the first hand the hardship these four legged friends of ours can go through. We this in mind, Samantha, TeeRex Syndicate and cottonfactory.com joined up with “Hello Bully” to produce a line of dog tee-shirts and aprons to support the organization. Hello Bully an all volunteer run 501(c)3 devoted to improving the welfare of Pit-Bulls. Hello Bully sponsors everything from Pit-Bull owner education, a half way home and rehabilitation for hurt Pit Bulls, and an aggressive spay and neuter campaign that has spayed or neutered at least one Pit Bull per day since 2009. Many Pit Bulls are used for dog fights, brandishing them with a rather unfortunate public image.

Samantha and Stephen “paired up once again [with Hello Bully] to bring back limited edition items for the month of May” she said. The “PITSburgh” line of tee shirts and aprons feature Samantha’s own Pit Bull, Tank Girl. The dog shirts are made for humans, not dogs, and the designs are currently up on www.cottonfactory.com. $3 of every apron sold and $5 of every Tee-Shirt sold go to support Hello Bully and advertise the nice side of the Pit Bulls.

The sale just has a few days left! Go to www.cottonfactory.com to see the PITSburgh line of shirts and aprons.

And if you’re looking for a furry companion to join your house go to http://www.hellobully.com/adopt.html to see the animals they have for adoption.

Some Hot Festivals to Kick-Off Summer (Radio Round Up)


While it is still technically spring, Memorial Day weekend feels like the official start to summer.   I’ll be honest – sometimes it is hard to find events for these 3 day weekends – but that is not the case for this one! This weekend there are a bunch of great free and affordable events to get you outdoors and enjoy this start to summer.  Here are our picks for this weekend that we shared on WDVE (if you are an early riser you can here me most Friday mornings talking about all things Pittsburgh – 6:45 am – 1025. FM).

One of the other things we talked about this morning was Banjo Night at the Elks Club.  Banjo Night is every Wednesday Night, 8pm, The Elks on the Northside (next to the Giant Eagle). – more info here.

Fri. May 25 Wexford Car Cruise

  • “a fantastic place for Hot Rodders, Gearheads, car crazy people as well as families”
  • First car cruise of the summer
  • Car Cruise is located at North Way Christian Community 12121 Perry Highway, Wexford, PA 15090
Fri. May 255-8:30pm Bakery Square BBQ & Craft Beer Festival

  • BBQ food, beer tasting
  • Outdoor activities
  • live music by Brennan Peirson & Coronado
  • Facebook Event Link


Sat. May 264-7pm Tugboat Print Shop Garden Party

  • to celebrate their latest print “Garden” Tugboat Print Shop is hosting a Garden Party
  • Stop by and check out their shop, see the new print and their entire collection
  • Music, beer and lots of super nice people
  • Click here to see photos of they created the woodblocks to create this print.
Sat. May 26 Parrots of the Caribean Opens at the Aviary

  • The new show at the Pittsburgh Aviary is all about Parrots
  • Show starts May 26 and runs daily (we’re still trying to figure out what times)
Sat. May 263pm – 11pm Pyro Fest

  • Hartwood Acres kicks off the summer concert season with America’s Largest Fireworks Fest
  • Fireworks (of course)
  • Live Music – Good Brother Earl, BE Taylor, The Gathering Field, and more
  • Tickets are $18 and available online here
  • Check out some of the set up photos on the Pryo Fest Facebook page here
Sun. May 275pm – 11pm Kaya Fest

Mon. May 2810am-4pm Memorial Day Celebration at Soldiers and Sailors Hall

  • Free event and admission to museum
  • Memorial Service
  • Cornerstone Rededication
  • Kids Activites
PGH Fact – Part of “Silence of the Lambs” was filmed at Soldier and Sailors Hall


A Merry May Weekend – Festivals for/about Kids, the Outdoors, Cars and Dracula


Happy Friday! It’s looking like another amazing weekend in Pittsburgh.  Here are the weekend events we talked about on WDVE this morning.  Per Randy’s request – we have dug up some info on Dracula-Con as well. If anyone has been to DraculaCon please let us know!  Scroll down for our listing of events around Pittsburgh this weekend.

If you are are looking for a darker festival in Windber, PA

The Grand Midway Hotel

Dracula-Con IV, Saurday, May 19, 2012

  • The Grand Midway Hotel
  • $6 at the door
  • Bands include: Devilz in the Detailz (coming in from Pittsburgh), Damien Youth (coming in from New Orleans),The Cadillac Creeps (coming in from Florida)
  • There will be Tarot Card Readings and Go Go Dancing Cage Girls as well


Wed May 16 – Sun May 20 Pittsburgh Internation Children’s Festival

  • Schenley Plaza and Pitt theaters
  • Lots of free events for kids of all ages
 Fri May 18 BikePGH Celebrates National Bike to Work Day

  • 14 Hydration Stations set up around Pittsburgh
  • Free Swag bag full of goodies for all who bike to work
  • Happy hours
Sat May 1911am-6pm Venture Outdoors Festival

  • Free outdoors festival at Point State Park
  • Climbing walls, kayaking, fishing and more
  • Suggested Parking – Mon Warf $5/Car
  • Facebook Event
Sat May 1911:30am – 3:30pm Taste of Oakland

  • $5 gets you discounts and samples at a ton of Oakland restaurants
  • you also get
  • Facebook Event
Sat May 192pm-5pm We Do (Take Too) Pop Up Pittsburgh

  • This year’s PopUp Pittsburgh heads to upper Lawrenceville for a wedding celebration (Lawrenceville Goodwill Parking Lot, 52nd Street)
  • Vow Renewal Ceremony
  • Rumor has it there will be a cookie table
  • Concert by Slim Forsythe and his New Payday Loners
Sat May 198pm – 12am Dirty Ball

  • Annual benefit for Attack Theater
  • Food, Music, Dancing and performances
  • 2401 Penn Ave in the Strip District
Sun May 201pm – 5pm Bellevue Classic Car Cruise

  • Classic, Vintage, Muscle Cars, Show Bikes welcome
  • Cars will be lined up along Lincoln Ave
 Sun May 20 Pittsburgh Dumpling Experiment 

  • Mr. Smalls
  • Pierogi Cook-off
  • You can sign up to compete or you can attend to watch the competition

Looking for more events in May? Click here to see our list of May events.

In Search of Croissants in Pittsburgh

Check out these 4 awesome places for a flaky, buttery snack in Pittsburgh – due to time and transit constraints the team didn’t make it to Jean-Marc Chatellier’s Bakery in Millvale – I promise you there will be a follow up on that.

(Beautiful pictures by Iva. Words by Sarah and Ray)

In order to bring you info on the best croissants in the city, the I Heart PGH gang went on a croissant tour, sampling four bakeries. (Eating delicious croissants all day was an enormous burden, but you’re welcome.) We chatted with the staff and rated each croissant by buttery-ness, flaky-ness and rip-ability.

La Gourmandine, Lawrenceville

This authentically French bakery has unique pastries and crazy buttery croissants. It’s owned and operated by a French couple who bring their recipes straight from the cafe of Paris. They make their own dough and bake each piece of buttery goodness fresh. They have a few different types of croissants, including a chocolate flavored morsel that perfectly blends cocoa, butter, and bread.

There’s a variety of pastries filled with the likes of pistachio and hazelnut cream and a basket of baguettes. But the real piece de resistance here is the croissants. Make sure the get there early if you want an almond croissant, they tend to sell out.

The space at La Gourmandine is also limited. There’s room to stand and eat your goodies at two tables, but if you’re with a big group, it’s maybe not the best hang-out space.

  • Price: $1.90
  • Buttery-ness: 8.5 (made with European butter)
  • Flaky-ness: 6
  • Rip-ability: 4

Crepes Parisiennes, Oakland

The croissants at Crepes Parisiennes are a delish, but a little more bread-y and dense. Their flaky and crisp outside are a nice contrast to some of the other croissants we tasted, especially when paired with a chocolate filing.

Crepes Parisiennes is a perfect place to meet a friend or two in Oakland. Its service was quite fast and its atmosphere was surprisingly relaxing for a busy cafe in the city. Anyone preparing for a French exam would be wise to study in Crepes Parisiennes for a few hours, so long as the delicious crepes don’t distract you.

  • Price: $1.75
  • Buttery-ness: 5
  • Flaky-ness: 6.5
  • Rip-ability: 6

Allegro Hearth Bakery, Squirrel Hill

Four words: bigger than your face. That’s how big these mega-croissants are at Allegro bakery. In addition to the lovely breads and pastries, there’s a small cheese case if you want to slap a savory topping onto your croissant.

Allegro is nicely situated in the heart of Squirrel Hill on Murray Ave next to the Pinskers Jewish book store. The staff is really friendly and the open space gives you a great view into the bakery. Anyone passing through Squirrel Hill should stop in to Allegro, even if its just to see the biggest Croissants in Pittsburgh.

Take your goodies to go though, this place doesn’t have anywhere to sit.

  • Price: $1.89
  • Buttery-ness: 8
  • Flaky-ness: 9
  • Rip-ability: 6

Paris 66, East Liberty

We all agreed that this was by far the best croissant that we tried all day. Although, we will admit, Paris 66 might have a slightly unfair advantage since they bake your croissants when your order them. Regardless, these babies are good. They’re aesthetically pleasing, in addition to having the most flaky crust and gooey inside we encountered all day.

Inside, the restaurant smells like heaven. Between the fresh bread baking filling the air, the authentic french cuisine, or the beautifully decorated walls, Paris 66 brings the full french cafe experience right to Shady side.  It’s more of a sit-down place, so it might be easier to plan on eating a meal rather than just a cup of coffee and croissant.

  • Price: $2.00
  • Buttery-ness: 7
  • Flaky-ness: 10
  • Rip-ability: 3 (it’s soo gooey)

La Gourmandine on Urbanspoon

Crepes Parisiennes on Urbanspoon

Allegro Hearth Bakery on Urbanspoon

Paris 66 on Urbanspoon