2014 Art All Night is coming to Pittsburgh this weekend

Art All Night, Pittsburgh’s annual free art event, pops up in Lawrenceville this weekend for its 17th year. The completely volunteer-run event is held non-stop from 4pm on Saturday, April 26, 2014 until 2pm on Sunday, April 27, 2014.

2014 Art All Night Lawrenceville

Never heard of Art All Night? The idea behind the censorship-free, non-juried event is to encourage participation from all types of artists. Everyone is welcome to come, share, and experience a variety of local art and activities.

Besides original artwork, Art All Night features a live auction, various participatory and collaborative activities, live entertainment, and on-site artwork. Children’s activities are available on 4-8pm Saturday and 10am-2pm Sunday.

All artists, regardless of age or skill-level, can submit one piece of artwork to the event. Art must be dropped off between 10am and 2pm on Saturday, April 26 and must be ready to hang or otherwise displayed. Photo ID is required for both drop off and pick up, which is on Sunday, April 27 from 2:30-5:30pm. More information and an online registration form can be found here.

Volunteers and donations are what make Art All Night happen each year, so both are encouraged! Each year, a dedicated and talented team of volunteers offers their free time to make the event as incredible and fun as possible. You can sign up for 2-hour shifts before, during, and after the event, for all sorts of tasks, so please do if you have the time!

Check out Art All Night on Facebook (including the official Facebook event), on Twitter at @ArtAllNight, and Instagram at ArtAllNightLawrenceville, and don’t forget to hashtag your posts with #ArtAllNight, #AAN17, and #ImAnArtAllNighter.

The event is held at 97 40th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201, which is a warehouse on the corner of 40th and Willow St in Lawrenceville. Parking might be tough so consider taking public transportation, car-pooling, or catching a Lyft (get $25 off your first ride with that link). Hope to see you there!

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E-waste, Jobs Creation & The Green Electronics Challenge

Since today is Earth Day, it is the perfect day for me to share a couple of green related things that I have been talking over the past month.  I hope you will take a moment to read through this post and learn more about the e-waste and Isidore recycling.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – TechShop will be hosting a launch party for the Green Electronics Challenge.  See below for the details on the Green Electronics Challenge Competition

Green Electronics Challenge Launch Party Details:

  • When: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 – 6:30-8:30pm
  • Where: TechShop Pittsburgh
  • Cost: FREE – but you must RSVP here.

I am excited to share this event with you for two reasons…

1. Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Demo

TechShop staff testing out the liquid nitrogen ice cream recipe

TechShop staff testing out the liquid nitrogen ice cream recipe

First – as part of the kickoff celebration, the TechShop team will be making and serving ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.  If you haven’t been over to TechShop, yet – you need to make a point of stopping by to see the space.  I wrote about TechShop last year before they opened.  TechShop has been in Pittsburgh for over a year and there is a great, often free, community event happening at the shop each week.  (I am such a fan of the place that I now work there as the social media coordinator for TechShop Pittsburgh).

I was at TechShop last night for a great event organized by the Pittsburgh health coaches at Sweat and Butter, and got a sneak peek at some of the projects that TechShop will be showing off this week and in the near future.  Keep an eye on @TechShopPGH and the TechShop Pittsburgh Facebook page for update.

2. E-waste Excitement (and Opportunity)

Last month, I attended a fellowship program in social entrepreneurship called StartingBloc in Los Angeles.  StartingBloc is a 5 day intensive workshop where people who are interested in building better communities come together to share ideas and listen to speakers from around the globe.  (I would LOVE to see more Pittsburghers participate in future StartingBloc programs!)

One of the speakers that I found most inspiring was Kabira Stokes who is the founder of Isidore Recycling.  Isidore Recycling is an e-waste recycling business located in Los Angeles.  Kabira’s talk was an eye opening lesson on the need for (and huge opportunity) in e-waste recycling.

Kabira showed me some of the more vintage electronics that Isidore recycles

Kabira shows off some of the items that are donated to Isidore Recycling

The short version of the story is that we have a lot of electronics that we aren’t using anymore, and these electronics are just being thrown in the trash.  Some of things in TVs, cell phones, and old computers are pretty toxic and should not be disposed of in landfills.   Aside from the environmental issues, many of the devices contain valuable materials that can be recycled and reclaimed.

Kabira started Isidore Recycling as a way to reclaim those valuable materials and create jobs for incarcerated Angelenos who face barriers to employment.  California has a a huge issue with  recidivism – in 2012, 65% of people who got out of prison ended up going back to prison with in 3 years.  Part of the reason that rate is so high is that is almost impossible for someone who has been incarcerated to find steady employment.

Kabira was kind enough to give me and some of the other StartingBloc participants a tour of the Isidore warehouse.  I left her warehouse and Los Angeles and returned to Pittsburgh with a great excitement for e-waste.  

I think this is an incredible business that not only addresses the challenge of what to do with old computers and cell phones, but also creates jobs in our community with out having to create more products to add to the waste stream.  I am very interested in creating a business like Isidore Recycling here in Pittsburgh and if you know anyone else who would like to help with that please send them my way.

What is the Green Electronics Challenge?

It would be great to have some ideas from Pittsburgh submitted to the challenge.  Please let us know if you are submitting an idea!

Huffington Post Best Cake in America – Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte

I was taking a brief break from work this morning to check the headlines on the Post-Gazette and Huffington Post.  Right below Don Draper and next to Bubba Watson is a picture of something that looks like it came from Pittsburgh….


I clicked through to find this post  – Thank You, Pittsburgh, For the Greatest Cake America Has Ever Made. 

But then we got our hands on a cake from Prantl’s Bakery in Pittsburgh and we realized that we couldn’t be more wrong. No cake made in any of the five boroughs of New York holds a candle to Prantl’s amazing burnt almond torte. It is probably the BEST cake America has to offer.

Yes, the rest of the world is discovering what Pittsburghers already know – Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte is something special.

Prantls is located in Shadyside on Walnut Street and is open 7 days a week.  They also have a location downtown.  And yes, Burnt Almond Tortes can be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the US.

You can like Prantl’s on Facebook here and follow @prantlsbakery on Twitter.

I am not crazy about the photos that Huffington Post used for this article, because they don’t really say anything about Pittsburgh or Prantls.  Here are a few more Prantl’s pictures.  Please add your own photos in the comments below.

Prantl's Bakery

Prantl’s Bakery (Photo credit: matt.mendick)

2012-12-24 08.51.08 Prantl's Burnt Almond Torte

2012-12-24 08.51.08 Prantl’s Burnt Almond Torte (Photo credit: CKeslar)

Here is a photo I took of some Easter cookies at Prantls a few years ago.  I have friends that when they come back to visit Pittsburgh, immediately head to Prantl’s for a cookie covered in icing.

Bakery Love - what is your favorite bakery?

Bakery Love – what is your favorite bakery? (Photo credit: IheartPGH)

Ben, Jerry, Dave & Andy – Let’s Talk Ice Cream

free cone day pittsburghToday, Tuesday, April 8, 2014 is free cone day at Ben 7 Jerry’s Scoop Shops across the country.

The Pittsburgh location of Ben & Jerry’s is located downtown at 936 Penn Ave.  This location is operated by the Pittsburgh non-profit Life’s Work and provides on-the-job training to youth who face employment barriers.

From the Life’s Work website:

Located at 936 Penn Avenue in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, Life’sWork’s Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShop is one of only three PartnerShops in the U.S. and is an important part of Ben & Jerry’s corporate social mission. The Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShop Training Program directly impacts the lives of youth with disabilities and at-risk youth and benefits the entire community.

By reducing the high school dropout rate, decreasing recidivism and providing an opportunity for youth to become wage-earning, tax-paying citizens, the Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShop Training Program has seen graduates who are more focused and have a higher self-esteem.

In addition, by identifying potential dropouts as early as possible and providing intensive intervention, the Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShop Training Program has helped to decrease the need for students to rely on public assistance and other social programs throughout their lives.

Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone Day in Pittsburgh

I’ve checked the free cone finder and the Facebook Page for the Pittsburgh Ben & Jerry’s location.  Stop by anytime between noon and 8pm on Tuesday, April 8, 2014 for a free ice cream cone.

Ben & Jerry's on Urbanspoon

What about Dave & Andy?

dave an andy's ice cream

A little pixelated – but one of my favorite IheartPGH photos

I don’t like to write about Pittsburgh ice cream with out mentioning Dave & Andy.  I usually skip the line for free cone day and head over to Oakland to buy an ice cream cone from Dave & Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Dave & Andy’s has been making ice cream in Pittsburgh since 1983.  They have incredible flavors in ice cream and frozen yogurt.

You can follow them on twitter @DaveandAndys

Dave & Andy's on Urbanspoon


But wait, there’s more … more free stuff in Pittsburgh

Looking for more free things to do in Pittsburgh – make sure you check out the Free and Almost Free in Pittsburgh MeetUp group.  

This MeetUp group currently has 50 upcoming events that are free (or almost free).  The organizers recently started  a Free and Almost Free in Pittsburgh Facebook group here.

One more free item to share – if you haven’t tried the ride-service Lyft yet – you can use this link to get a free Lyft ride upto $25.  That is more than enough to take a Lyft ride from anywhere in the city to Ben & Jerry’s or Dave & Andy’s.  I’m pretty sure your Lyft driver would be happy to join you for some ice cream.