Frick greenhouse in winter

Get into the Holiday Spirit at The Frick Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is home to many winter traditions. One local favorite and our must-do winter tradition is visiting The Frick Pittsburgh. From the historic home of the Frick family and the 5 plus acres of gorgeous gardens to the truly awe-worthy art exhibitions, The Frick is absolutely Pittsburgh’s hidden gem!

The Frick’s Clayton Holiday tours are such a site to see! The Clayton Mansion is lavishly decorated with holiday splendor that is reminiscent of the 1900s. General admission is only $15 and the celebrations last up until January 6th.

Plus, every Friday evening, The Frick hosts Holiday Harmonies! A trio of carolers strolls through the Frick grounds singing traditional holiday songs up until the last Friday of the month. The wonderful carols paired with brilliantly decorated lights, it’s a wonderful way to get into the holiday spirit!

Click here for The Frick’s calendar of events and to purchase tickets!

While you’re enjoying the Clayton Home, The Frick is also showcasing the amazing Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper during the winter season. You haven’t seen paper like this before.

Borchgrave’s breathtaking work reflects Renaissance Italian gowns and modernist costumes of the Ballet Russes. Her life-size, works of art is completely made of painted and manipulated paper. That’s right, simple paper.

Watch a quick video and hear from the artist herself!

On Fridays starting at 2 pm The Frick hosts Gallery Talks. Join art admirers in a conversation on Borchgrave’s work. This week, the conversation will focus on Succès de Scandale: Picasso, Satie, and the Ballets Russes.

Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper exhibit is open to the public from now until January 6th. If you have a love for fashion or art, we can’t recommend this exhibit enough. Want to learn more about Isabelle de Borchgrave’s process? You can find a short excerpt about her and her amazing art here.  

*All photos were found on The Frick’s Facebook page.

gift bags

The Best Small Business Saturday Bargains You Need to Know About

Is there anything better than shopping for bargains and supporting local business? We couldn’t think of anything either.

Small Business Saturday is on November 24th this year and we’re very excited! In case you didn’t know, Shadyside is home to over 80 independent and national businesses. Oh, the treasures you will find!

During the biggest shopping season of the year, we decided to handpick a few of our favorite local shops to help you with your gift search. Plus, Think Shadyside is giving us the insights on which small businesses are having the biggest sales!

Image from Think Shadyside via Facebook events

Him and Her Clothing

There are plenty of clothing boutiques and shops around the Shadyside area. Each just as unique as the next. Here are some of our favorites:

When you visit E.B. Pepper this weekend, take 20% off all regular priced items. We like that kind of bargain!

Roberta Weissburg Leathers has something big in store for Small Business Saturday. If you donate a gently used jacket or coat on Saturday, Leathers will gift it in your name to The Clothing Line, which benefits the Magee Hospital and you’ll receive a discount on any new outerwear!


If you’re looking to treat yourself or your significant other, look no further than the gorgeous jewelry from these local stores.

Kid’s Favorites

For kids, this time of the year means it’s time to start scouting out the best toys and getting that list together. These two local shops are a child’s favorite in Shadyside, so be sure to stop!

While you’re out shopping for the kiddies, don’t miss Santa. That’s right, Santa Claus himself will be visiting Walnut Street, Shadyside between 1 to 3 pm during Small Business Saturday! Santa will have treats for the kids and shopping discounts for the moms and dads.


Our pets are family and Petagogy is the local place to go for your beloved pet! On Small Business Saturday, you will receive 10% off your total purchase (minus gift cards) and they are running a contest too.

When you shop in-store, snap a quick selfie, post it on Instagram, and use #PetagogyShopSmall in the post. Petagogy will then select a winner at random from those who participated and give a gift bag filled with holiday goodies!

Head on over to 5880 Ellsworth Avenue and visit Petagogy!


“I hate shopping for shoes.” Said no one ever. Shadyside is home to a handful of fabulous shoe shops. Up until Monday, you can get $50 off any order over $150 when shopping at Footloose.


If you’re looking for a practical, but out of the ordinary gift, something for the home can be a timeless treasure.

By the way, you’ll find Feathers offering up to 25% off select beds and bath linens plus up to 20% off more select styles from brands like Sferra, Matouk and so much more!


There are a few stores in Shadyside that’s fully dedicated to specialty gifts. Eureka Gifts is starting their celebration on Friday, November 23rd with chocolate treats and wine to kick off the season! When you visit Kards Unlimited you will get 10% off ornaments.

One last thing before we go. Have you heard of Museum Store Sunday? We’ve all done Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it’s time to experience a new kind of shopping. Museum Store Sunday means all the museums in Pittsburgh will have special events and sales happening in their stores on Sunday, November 25th!

All four Carnegie museums, The Frick, Phipps Conservatory and so many more Pittsburgh museums are participating. If you’re looking to give a loved one a unique gift this year, you have to check out Pittsburgh’s museums. Get more information here!

view of pittsburgh skyline

7 Local Ways to Volunteer this Year

Pittsburgh is a community of hard-working and wildly supportive people. You’ll see us come together, wearing our black & gold, screaming with pride for our Steelers, Penguins, and yes, even our beloved Pirates! As Mister Rogers taught us, we’ll be the first to help out a neighbor.

When tragedy strikes or our neighbors are in need, that’s when the Pittsburgh community stands together. At Franklin West, we embrace our Pittsburgh roots and share that commitment. With this spirit, we’re sharing the ways Pittsburghers are pulling together to have an impact on those in need.

Where should you begin? Decide how you want to make a difference — whether it’s a monetary donation or lending a hand. Here are a few local options for you to get started.

Stronger Than Hate

After the truly heartbreaking attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue, the community of Pittsburgh has relentlessly shown strength and support for the survivors and victims. You can still help by donating to the verified GoFundMe page. All money raised will go to the survivors and families of the victims, and it will also help with repairing damages to the building. Funds will be sent directly to the Tree of Life Congregation.

photo from Meadville Tribune

A little uncomfortable with online crowdfunding? Here are some direct options:

The Pittsburgh Foundation, through Pittsburgh Gives is also running a #LoveisStronger campaign to raise money toward eight organizations that were directly affected by the attack.

Identified in The Pittsburgh Foundation’s #LoveisStronger Critical Need Alert, these organizations are:

  1. Dor Hadash Congregation of Tree of Life Synagogue
  2. Fraternal Order of Police for the Injured Officers Fund
  3. Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (or HIAS), which assists refugees around the world
  4. Jewish Community Center, which is offering crisis assistance for the families and the community
  5. Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS), is leading the community effort to provide emotional and therapeutic support to the bereaved and injured families and the wider community
  6. Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh Victims of Terror Fund to help the families of the victims
  7. New Light Congregation of Tree of Life Synagogue
  8. Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Congregation of Tree of Life Synagogue

Among those listed above, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) was specifically referenced online by the shooter. Initially started to help Jewish refugees, HIAS, one of nine national refugee resettlement organizations,  helps all refugees worldwide guided by a singular mission:  “Welcome the Stranger. Protect the Refugee.” HIAS stands for a world in which refugees find welcome, safety, and freedom. Guided by Jewish values and history, HIAS rescues people whose lives are in danger for being who they are.


This is an organization that supports people with disabilities, and two of the victims of the shooting, brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, received services from Achieva. In lieu of flowers, the family asked for donations to Tree of Life and/or Achieva.

Best Buddies.

This non-profit is on the move to create better opportunities like friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their vision is to be so successful that the services become unnecessary.

Read about the Best Buddies 2020 Initiative.  Best Buddies offers several ways to get involved too through donation or events. Take the initiative and sign up for the Spring 2019 Best Buddies Friendship Walk!

There are so many ways that you can get directly and meaningfully involved in the community around you…

Big Brothers. Big Sisters.

Growing up, there’s nothing more special than having someone you can look up to. Whether it means having someone to hang out with or someone to help with life’s challenges. BBBG of Greater Pittsburgh vows that all children achieve success in life through meaningful mentorship.


Photos from @bbbspgh via Instagram

Headquartered on Centre near S. Highland, Big Brothers. Big Sisters. is located within just a block or two of all of Franklin West’s Shadyside apartments.  Have some time to spare? Walk over and see how you can help!  You can either make a donation or become a Big Brother or Big Sister!

Veteran’s Place 

Dedicated to ending homelessness among veterans in the Pittsburgh region, Veteran’s Place offers homeless veterans a safe, supportive and regenerative environment as they gain the necessary skills to face real-life challenges, secure permanent housing and lead productive and self-sufficient lives.

Located only a few blocks away from Franklin West, we and the Apartment Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh have long supported Veteran’s Place.  The renovations we referenced in our article last November are currently underway and the organization could really use your help!  From cleaning supplies, clothing, toiletries, and food bank donations, to volunteer assistance, the options are endless.

412 Food Rescue

Does it make you cringe hearing that humans waste up to 40% of our food globally? That’s over 1.3 billion tons annually. If so, you have to get involved with 412 Food Rescue! The organization’s sole mission is, “to prevent perfectly good food from entering the waste stream.”  You can take action by volunteering, donating food and/or money, and so much more!

Photo from @412foodrescue via Instagram

Literacy Pittsburgh

Education is the power no one can take away and everyone should have the right to it. Literacy Pittsburgh sees a world with, “more inclusion and productive communities driven by access to education.” Last year, this team helped over 4,500 people reach their full potential by teaching reading, writing, math, English language, computer, and workforce skills. Literacy Pittsburgh is always welcoming new volunteers to tutor, aide, mentor, and many other opportunities. You can also help by making a donation, which you can learn more about here.


This season, do more than giving thanks around a table. Spend time volunteering instead of skimming through social media. It’s a lot easier, less time consuming, and much more fulfilling than you’d think.

Join the Franklin West team and the Pittsburgh community in helping the people who need it most. Because when we stand together and stand together for the long haul, real differences can happen.


Header image from Wikipedia: Pittsburgh Skyline