Winter in Pittsburgh calls for some creative ways to get active outdoors and fool proof methods to fight the freeze. Winter can drag on, bringing rain, ice, and snow that seemingly lasts a lifetime. These conditions often force us into a winter long hibernation, and it is around this time of year where I really start itching to get outside again. If you, like me, have caught a case of the winter blues, it may be time to get outside and embrace the season. You won’t be sorry that you did!
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail offers many attractions, shopping, and dining along the way! I started my ride downtown where I picked up a Healthy Ride bike and got on my way in search of some comfort food to keep me warm from the inside out. I picked up the trail and made my way to the Strip District, where I knew I could find delicious and authentic food from all over the world.
Along the way, I stopped to enjoy a beautiful art exhibit taking place along the trail. Riverlife and the Office of Public Art offered Camerin “Camo” Nesbit residency to create a piece that both recognizes and extends the Black Lives Matter message by highlighting important activists and community leaders in the Pittsburgh area. His piece is coined “Black Flowers” and can be found under the Fort Duquesne bridge. (Read more about the art and artist at riverlifepgh.org)
After taking some time to enjoy the beautiful art along the trail, I continued my ride up to the Strip district. I love riding my bike along the river where I get to admire the beautiful scenery that makes Pittsburgh so unique. In the city of bridges, I couldn’t help but snag a photo of the awe-inspiring Andy Warhol bridge. I can ride down here a thousand times and still be hypnotized by the architecture and contrast of the north shore.
When I arrived in the Strip District, I was starting to feel a chill in my bones and decided a hot cup of coffee was in my future. I parked my bike at the Healthy Ride Station on the corner of 21st street and walked up a block to La Prima Espresso Company. This coffee shop has been around since the late 1980’s and is a very popular spot for an authentic Italian Espresso experience. I enjoyed my delicious latte outside at one of the many outdoor seating options provided by the shop.
After warming up a bit, I decided to take a look next door at Colangelo’s bakery where the line is long, and smiles are plentiful. Colangelo’s is a small, family-owned Italian Bakery and Strip District must, serving baked goods along with homemade pizza and pasta. Excited regulars waited patiently as their delicious lunches were being whipped up in the back. I decided to order a slice to see what all the fuss was about, and boy was that some good pizza.
Once I was happy and full of pizza I wanted to walk around and see what else I could find in the hopes of staying warm. If you’re looking for a liquid coat to warmup, checkout the local distilleries in the area, serving everything from whiskey to rum and vodka. You are certain to find something new to love. And if you are looking for a regular coat, you’re in luck, the Strip District is home to many shops featuring both local and cultural gifts.
After my fun afternoon shopping, eating, and drinking through the Strip, I decided to get back on my bike and turn towards home. Winter can be hard but getting outside and participating in things that make me feel like I’m a part of the community again is the highlight of my week. Hibernation season is almost over, so for the last few weeks of winter I challenge you to get outside and fight the freeze.