#UheartPGH- You told us what U “heart” about Pittsburgh, now it is time to vote!

Last week we wanted to know what you love about Pittsburgh and took nominations for our first ever #UheartPGH. Now it is time to vote! Below we have listed the nominees and the polls for you to vote for what you think is Pittsburgh’s best.

Voting ends Friday August 9th. Winners will then be announce and profiled next week.

Best Happy Hour Draft Special
Church Brew Works
 – Located in Lawrenceville, ½ off drafts from 4:30 to 6:30 Monday through Friday.
The Library
 – Near the Southside Works, their special boasts $3 drafts from 5 to 7 and 9 to 11 everyday.
Mad Mex
 – Get ½ off draft beers from 4:30 to 6:30 Monday through Friday at any of their locations.
The Sharp Edge
 – On Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30, you can get ½ off Belgian drafts and $1 off large drafts.
Fox and the Hound
 – Get ½ off drafts from 5 to 7.

Best Day Trip
Ohiopyle State Park
 – Enjoy hiking, biking, rafting, fishing, and camping. There are even restaurant options.
North Country Brewing
 – Located in Slippery Rock, this brewery offers food, music, and even community service.
Fallingwater
 – Designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is found in Stewart Township, Fayette County. Is on the    Smithsonian’s list of places “to visit before you die”.
North Park
 – This county park boasts a golf course, ice skating rink, swimming pool, and tennis courts. Located  north of Pittsburgh in Allison Park.
Volant, Lawrence County
 – Come here to see the Amish country of western Pennsylvania!

Coolest Bathroom
Jerome Bettis’ Grill
 – One-way mirrors above the urinals allow guests to look out into the bar.
The Mattress Factory
 – Found in the basement of the museum, it certainly is interesting.
North Country Brewing
 – The faucets have a unique design of a wooden arm holding a watering can.
Harris Grill
 – The men’s bathroom has a urinal that looks like the Rolling Stones lip logo.
Oh Yeah! Ice Cream and Coffee
 – The door to this restroom is a one-way mirror so that outside guests can’t see in.

Best Neighborhood Festival
St. Malachy Nationality Food Festival
 – In Kennedy Township, this festivals features food from Italy, Germany, Poland, Mexico, and Greece,  as well as carnival games for the kids. Takes place in October.
South Park Rib Fest
 – Takes place Labor Day Weekend
Bloomfield Italian Days
 – In the streets of Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, enjoy food, music, sidewalk sales, giveaways, and more.
Southside Works I Made It! Market
 – This festival features over 65 local artisans as well as music, food and drink, sidewalk sales, and  kids activities.

Best Pierogi
Pierogi Plus
 – In McKees Rocks, these pierogies are self-proclaimed to be the most authentic, next to going to  Warsaw or Krakow.
Forgotten Taste
 – With three locations in Moon Township, Wexford, and Cranberry, there are many varieties, both hot  and ready or frozen for later.
Church Brew Works
 – Try their pierogi pizza!
Gosia’s
 – You can purchase these handmade, authentic pierogies at a variety of farmer’s markets in the  Pittsburgh area.
The Pierogi Truck
 – These pierogies are on wheels!

Best Thrift Store
All of these nominees have unique finds that change everyday. Where have you had the most successes?
Goodwill, Lawrenceville
Goodwill, Monroeville
Goodwill, Banksville Rd.
Goodwill, Southside
Red, White & Blue, Saw Mill Run
Red, White & Blue, Ohio River Blvd

Get on Board with Port Authority’s ConnectCard

These ConenctCard machines can be found at all T Stations and at the major stops along the East and West Busways. Use them to add passes or value to your card.

These ConenctCard machines can be found at all T Stations and at the major stops along the East and West Busways. Use them to add passes or value to your card.

Port Authority of Allegheny County has begun its transition of using ConnectCards for 10-trip, weekly, monthly, and yearly passes, as well as stored value. As a college student, intern, and part-time captive to the restaurant service industry, I have become a frequent user of public transportation here in Pittsburgh. And while I definitely find the ConnectCard to have its share of hiccups, it is definitely a step in the right direction. Whether you use the bus daily or once in a blue moon, I recommend picking one up.

Clueless on how to get started? Here are the basics of the ConnectCard:

What is it?
A blue, plastic, reloadable card which you can purchase and store your transit passes and store value on.

Where do I get one?
You can get one at the Port Authority Service Center downtown (534 Smithfield Street from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or at any of these Giant Eagle locations.

How do I use it?
When getting on or off the bus, T, or incline, tap your ConnectCard on the orange target on the farebox. A beep will signal that your pass has been accepted. The farebox will read your remaining balance if you are using stored value.

How do I another pass or store more value on it?
You can go to any ConnectCard machine, located at all T Stations and major stops along the East and West Busways. You can also go to the Service Center or any of the previously-mentioned Giant Eagles. All you need to do is tap your ConnectCard on the orange target (similar to the ones on the fareboxes) on the machine, select the type of pass or value using the touch screen, and pay using cash or credit/debit.

What if I lose or damage it?
Approximately 48 hours after you first purchase your ConnectCard, call Port Authority Customer Service at 412-442-2000. You can register your card so that if anything were to happen to it, you will still have your passes and value on a replacement card. Unfortunately, Port Authority hasn’t made registering for this service online or electronically, however a customer service representative said that it will be in place in the future.

Knit the Bridge is still looking for neighborhoods! Are you one of them?

Knit the Bridge has been mapping out all it's participants.

Knit the Bridge has been mapping out all of its participants.

Knit the Bridge has been hard at work prepping to yarn bomb the Andy Warhol Bridge starting August 10th until September 8th. According to their website, “Knit the Bridge is a vision for a grassroots, community-led arts project that would bring the many diverse communities of Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania together to create a large-scale, aesthetically stunning, fiberarts installation on a bridge in downtown Pittsburgh.”

As of right now, Pittsburgh neighborhoods are at 80% participation and Allegheny County’s municipalities are at 82%. KTB wants 100% participation in both of these categories and needs your help to do so! Do you or an organization you know of from any of the following neighborhoods or municipalities want to help? Here are three ways you can:

Donate

KTB wants to raise $35,000 by July 12 at midnight through their Indiegogo campaign. There are also some perks that come along with set donation amounts. If you donate $60, not only will you be helping out, but you get an awesome t-shirt!

Donate here!

Make a Railing

KTB still needs railing covers made from black acrylic yarn. They can be knitted (stockinette stitch) or crocheted (double crocheted) and need to be either 9” x 105” or 15” x 80”. Completed railing covers can then be dropped off at any of the drop-off points listed here by July 31st.

Install

If you are 18 years or older and want to help install the panels and railings when the project goes up starting August 10th, sign up here or email at knitthebridge@gmail.com.  You must commit to at least one 3-hour shift and attend a training session. Training days are required and are scheduled for the following dates:

Thursday July 25 7-8pm

Saturday July 27, 11-noon

Sunday July 28, 1-2pm

Wednesday July 31st, 1-2pm

Missing Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

Fairywood
Windgap
East Carnegie
Westwood
Ridgemont
Duquesne Heights
Esplen
South Shore
Bon Air
Arlington
Arlington Heights
Hays
New Homestead
Glen Hazel
Spring Garden

Black railings that will be used on the Andy Warhol Bridge.

Black railings that will be used on the Andy Warhol Bridge.

Missing Allegheny County Municipalities
East Deer Township
Borough of Springdale
Springdale Township
Frazer Township
Kennedy Township
Borough of White Oak
Borough of Versailles
South Versailles Township
Borough of Wall
Borough of Trafford
Stowe Township
Borough of Leetsdale
Borough of Rosslyn Farms
Neville Township
Borough of Glenfield
Borough of Haysville
Borough of Liberty
Borough of Lincoln
Borough of Pitcairn
Borough of West Homestead
City of Duquesne
Borough of Dravosburg
Borough of West Elizabeth

The Beginner’s Guide to Port Authority: Using the Bus

Whether you are someone who just moved to the ‘Burgh, a first year student at one of the city’s colleges or universities, just visiting for a day, or your car broke down and the bus is your last resort, here are a couple of things to know to handle your Port Authority of Allegheny County experience like a pro.

The Bus Stop and Boarding

A typical bus stop sign in Allegheny County.

A typical bus stop sign in Allegheny County. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To makes sure you are at the right stop, each stop can be identified by the blue sign that says “Bus Stop”. Under most of these signs, there is a list of the bus routes that  belong to that stop. Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop and let all of the passengers that are exiting off first. Need to know what bus to take? Use Port Authority’s Trip Planner to find buses and times.

Cost

One way fare within Zone-One is $2.50 and Zone-Two is $3.75. Need a transfer? Just let the bus driver know before you pay, it’s only a dollar more. Make sure you have exact change, too. The bus drivers and fare-boxes do not give change. If you are paying with bills, check that they are as flat as possible. A crumpled dollar bill can jam the fare box and also makes for a grumpy bus driver.

Don’t forget, service within Pittsburgh’s Gold Triangle (Downtown Business District and the Cultural District) is free!

When to Pay

Knowing when to pay your fare is important, too! Before 7 p.m., if you are getting on a bus headed outbound, pay when getting off the bus. If you are on a bus headed in-bound, pay when getting on. After 7 p.m., always pay when boarding.

While Riding

Once you board, find yourself a seat. For some, sitting by a stranger can feel awkward, but that is part of the fun of public transit! Don’t be a seat hog either. If you have an open seat beside you, move closest to the window and make sure you do not place your belongings there so someone else can sit down. When there are no open seats, go as far back as you can on the bus and hold on to a rail. During busy hours, chances are you will be smushed with fellow passengers.

Most times at the front of the bus, an illuminated signed will read the stops as they are being approached (some older buses do not have these unfortunately). When you see your stop approaching, pull the yellow cord to signal your stop.

Exiting

After you have signaled your stop, wait for the bus to come to a complete stop. Pay your fare if the bus is headed outbound before 7 p.m. Finally, don’t forget to thank the bus driver!