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Although it is based out of Ohio, to a Pittsburgh resident, The Exchange might as well be a local institution, with a number of stores scattered about the region: there are stores located in the North Hills, Squirrel Hill, Dormont, Monroeville, Robinson Towne Center, and downtown Pittsburgh (actually, two locations downtown, not far from each other). In my opinion, the Monroeville location is tops in all regards; it has the largest selection, easiest parking, and space to move around (some stores, particularly the location downtown by Market Square, are slightly cramped).
The procedure at… Read the rest
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Physical record stores or online music retailers? The primary argument in favor of the former, and it’s a good one, is the simple pleasure that mindless browsing can bring. Paul’s CD’s, in Bloomfield, is a wonderful demonstration of this, and a trip to this store is an excellent means of emphasizing the joys of being able to sift through an impressive collection of music without the need to click hyperlinks or to have a decent sound card..
First, the bad news; the prices are not all that hot, even in the used CD section. In my one-hundred-plus… Read the rest
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The Allegheny County library system is, in this writer’s humble opinion, the greatest single asset the Pittsburgh region can boast of. The libraries are an inexhaustible source of entertainment, knowledge, and wisdom, and because all of the libraries are now connected and materials can be requested from any library within the system, travel expenditures are limited to the library that is most convenient for one to access.
I would estimate that 99% of the novels I have attempted to seek out are contained within the system. With non-fiction, excepting extremely “niche” and academic publications, the rate would… Read the rest
Although Cook Forest is definitely one of the better-known recreation areas in western Pennsylvania, it’s always good to remember those sorts of places and then actually make the effort to visit them; it’s too easy to take institutions for granted (a perfect example is the Allegheny County library system, but more on that in a future post).
The fire tower is probably the best-known sight at Cook Forest; off or Rt. 36, there is a one-way loop that leads to the parking area. The walk to the tower is not very long, and the tower can be climbed, offering a… Read the rest
A recreation area headed up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers might not seem to demand a particularly high spot in one’s personal pantheon of places to picnic, walk, or swim. However, Crooked Creek, located a few minutes south of Ford City, is one of this writer’s all-time favorite places to spend an afternoon, regardless of the season. Picnic groves, playgrounds, and baseball fields abound, as do shelters and isolated benches positioned to offer picturesque views of the lake.… Read the rest