Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pasa/
There’s so much to be said about Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The city, once a spark of itself compliments of the steel mills that went under in the early 80’s, has seen a revitalization in recent years in nearly all of its boroughs due to a booming economy, technological stability, and a foodie scene that would give NYC a run for its money. When you think of Pittsburgh, I bet the first things that come to your mind are bridges, rivers, and sports teams, right? After you’ve seen these, that’s when you need to begin looking beyond the obvious attractions and start digging deeper.
With all of its new-found glory (the city was named one of the world’s most livable cities in 2015 by Metropolis Magazine and Travel + Leisure named it a Top Place to Travel in 2016), there are still spots in the city that highlight beauty of days gone by, quirky, kooky spots that the locals love, and beautiful architecture that both tourists and city folk love to photograph. So, if you really want stories to tell your friends about your visit to Pittsburgh, these are the seven spots you need to hit; spots in Pittsburgh that you didn’t know existed- but totally do.
Cathedral of Learning
In Oakland, one of Pittsburgh’s icons stands tall and true. The Cathedral of Learning, located on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Oakland, has 29 classrooms decorated in the style of 29 different countries. During the holiday season, many of the rooms get their hall’s decked in its country’s traditional style. Cost to visit? Free, although you may take a guided tour for a couple of dollars.
It’s claim to fame? Trundle Manor is the most bizarre private collection of oddities on display. So odd, in fact, that’s it’s been featured on a special edition of MTV’s Cribs. Whatever its means of stardom, the manor is headquarters for the Secret Society of Odd Aquisition. Built in 1910, the massive house is the home to odd collectibles including jarred animals and taxidermy, and don’t be surprised if you end up sitting in coffin for no good reason.
Andy Warhol’s Grave Live Video Feed
Andy Warhol, one of Pittsburgh’s shining artistic stars and famous for giving Campbell’s Soup labels a bit more color, buried at St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, owned and operated by St. John the Baptist Church in Pittsburgh. Still celebrating the life and fame of Warhol, you can actually go and visit his grave- and get your 15 minutes of fame by appearing on its webcam. If you’re not into that, you can head to the Andy Warhol Museum on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
Largest Plushie Furry Convention in the World
This one is a hoot. Anthrocon, the largest Plushie Furry Convention in the world, brings, you guessed it, folks that love to dress up in animal costumes from all over the world. Once a year, David L. Lawrence Convention Center is packed to the hilts with the furries and their handlers (some of the costumes have limited sight), and the streets are alive with cats. And Bears. And dogs. We crashed last year’s party and I can honestly say it was all good fun.
Robot Hall of Fame
Carnegie Science Center on Pittsburgh’s North Shore is an educational mecca, but one of my favorite spots to check out is the Robot Hall of Fame. Favorites like C3PO and R2D2 are on display and interactive stations throughout the museum give you a behind the scenes look at how robots work.
Heaven Sent Artifacts
Outside of the Vatican, there’s only one other home that has 5,000 Christian relics: St. Anthony’s Chapel in Troy Hill. The relics include fragments of bone and clothing from canonized saints, and it is believed that these relics hold and retain the holiness of their former owners. The chapel’s patron saint, St. Anthony of Padua, has a statue in his honor- and one of his teeth in a small case below it.
A little bit quirky, a whole lot colorful, Randyland, home of artist Randy Gilson, on Pittsburgh’s Northside is the perfect melding of both. The Randyland courtyard is open almost everyday between the hours of 1:00pm and 5:30pm, and both tourists and locals love taking photos in front of the whimsical decorations.