What to Expect as Shadyside Goes Green

Have you noticed it? Our community is starting to flourish again as local businesses and eateries reopen to the public, and more people are out enjoying the days. All because earlier this month, Allegheny County entered the Green Phase of its COVID-19 response. 

Although this may not mean a complete return to the normalcy, it is an improvement that residents of the county have worked hard toward! These are some of the notable changes brought about by the Green Phase:

Sourced image from Pa Gov – Responding to COVID-19

Shop till You Drop

Many of your favorite businesses will be open with restrictions on occupancy. Be mindful of keeping an appropriate distance from staff and patrons, and wear a mask when required.

In-person by appointment

Footloose Shadyside

Rex Glass & Mirror (also curbside)

Penhollows (also online)

Walk-ins (with precautions)

e.b. Pepper 


Kards Unlimited


Pursuits Pittsburgh

Roberta Weissburg Leathers

Eons Fashion

Ten Toes

Dina Ellen

Shadyside Variety Store

Walk-ins + by appointment 

Picket Fence Shadyside

Shop Kawaii 

Caesar’s Designs (also online, curbside pick-up, or delivery)


Henne Jewelers (also online)

Where to Grab a Bite

Looking to get back to your favorite restaurants? They’ve been waiting for you. Check out what’s open and get your grub on. Many restaurants ask that you respect distancing guidelines and wear a mask, so keep this in mind before you go.




SenYai Thai Kitchen


The Fireside Public House


Urban Tap

East End Brewing

Cafe Zinho

Stack’d Burgers

Adda Coffee & Tea House

Cappy’s Cafe



Fujiya Ramen

Muddy Waters Oyster Bar

Bird On The Run

Kahuna Poke and Juice Bar

Pizza Taglio

Prantl’s Bakery

Point Brugge Cafe



Paris 66 Bistro

Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream

Keep in mind this list and details may change and does not reflect all information. Be patient with local businesses as they are working to keep you safe and offer the very best service!

Ensuring the health and safety of residents is the primary goal of Franklin West and its staff. We’re glad to see Allegheny County in this new phase. It’s worth keeping in mind, this was only possible due to the compliance of individuals throughout the state. 

There is still much to be done to combat COVID-19. Continue to be diligent in your efforts to closely follow guidelines and curb its spread. All of these changes reflect measures outlined on pa.gov.

Spend Fourth of July Weekend in Shadyside

Nothing says Happy Birthday America more than a weekend full of Yinzer-worthy Fourth of July celebration events like the annual Flashes of Freedom firework display! But who says the celebration stops after the grand finale?

We rounded up a few events that are taking place right here in our backyard in Shadyside this weekend. 

Whether you’re looking for a night out meeting new people and exploring Pittsburgh’s art scene or wanting to just enjoy spending time with loved ones for a Sunday brunch picnic in the park, here are three events you’ll want to go to this Fourth of July weekend. 

Red, White, and Blue Grass

Summer Fridays at The Frick are a community staple. It’s a relaxing scene of music, good food, and family. What better way can you enjoy the Fourth of July weekend? 

The Casual Hobos will take the stage on Friday, July 5th. Between 6:30 and 9 pm on the North Lawn, this group of Pittsburgh native musicians will play traditional bluegrass. The Casual Hobos thrill audiences and transcend you into simpler times with their sound performing lesser-known songs to new covers of old Bluegrass standards.

Food trucks like Cousins Maine Lobster, La Palapa, Lone Wolf Grill, BRGR, Sinkers & Suds, and Sticklers are expected to make an appearance during this week’s Summer Friday event as well. 

July Unblurred – Penn Ave Art Crawl

If you’re more into the art scene, join friends, neighbors, new visitors, and long-time residents for the July Unblurred Penn Ave Art Crawl. 

This Friday night between the 4800 and 5500 blocks on Penn Ave, artists, and local business owners will be out and about spreading creative energy into the streets of Shadyside. At July Unblurred you’ll experience art in every form from photography and dance to painting and performances. 

Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch

After a few nights of spectacular firework displays and hours of celebration, you may want to finish the weekend with a calm brunch. 

WQED’s Bach, Beethoven, and Brunch in Mellon Park is the perfect, relaxing way to end an event-filled weekend. Pack a picnic basket for Sunday morning and bring the family out from 10:30 and noon to enjoy the wonderful sound of Quinta Voce Wind Quartet.  

Looking for more events happening during the summer months? Fill up your calendar with more local events going into August and September.

While this is a weekend to celebrate. It’s important our Pittsburgh friends and neighbors stay safe this weekend. There are a ton of activities and events happening across the city, so be sure to prepare a reliable way home before going out. 

Happy Independence Day!

view of pittsburgh skyline

Jam on Walnut is Pittsburgh’s Best Outdoor Concert!

Pittsburgh’s best outdoor concert, Jam on Walnut, is back with 6 events this summer!

Start the afternoon browsing the many local shops and head over to Walnut Street for the biggest block party. Come out for live music from local Pittsburgh bands, food trucks like Rogue BBQ, and a good time in Pittsburgh. We can’t think of anything better.

Jam on Walnut benefits the Humane Animal Rescue. The Western Humane Society and the Animal Rescue League joined forces back in 2017 to care for our beloved furry friends both domestic and wild.

Here are the dates to mark on your calendar:

May 25 – Justin Fabus

The first live concert event with Jam on Walnut will feature Justin Fabus. An emerging country artist, Justin released his latest album called, “Remedy.”

Get ready for his performance, check out his music here.

Justin said, “To me, country is all about songwriting. It’s hard-working. It’s blue-collar. That’s Pittsburgh in a nutshell. I write what I live. When I sing my songs, I feel them, and I mean them.”

June 22 – Dancing Queen

For the second concert, Dancing Queen will be headlining the stage! Get your disco shoes ready, this band will play the best music from the ’70s and ’80s.   

July 20 – The Delaneys

Who’s ready to rock? The Delaneys are taking the stage on Saturday, July 20th. If you’re a fan of Foo Fighters or Pearl Jam, you’ll love this group! They have been bringing rock and roll to the Burgh for the past 21 years.

Listen to their recently released album here.

August 17 – My So-Called 90s Band

Jam on Walnut will feature My So-Called 90s Band on Saturday, August 17th. This band covers the greatest ‘90s hits like Buddy Holiday by Weezer, No Diggity, and many more. This one is going to be a good time for sure!

Check out their live concerts here.

September 21 – No Bad JuJu

Come September, get pumped for one of Pittsburgh’s most popular musical group, No Bad JuJu! This band’s sound is a mixture of classic R&B, soul, rock, and pop.

Click here to listen to their current hits.

October 26 – Velveeta

To close out the summer festivities, Jam on Walnut will feature Velveeta on Saturday, October 26th. This band has been performing a mix of pop and rock through Pittsburgh and the east coast since 1995.

Check out Velveeta!

Photo from Think Shadyside Facebook page.


OpenStreetsPGH is Inviting You to the Biggest Outdoor Party of the Year!

Ready to explore the streets of Pittsburgh and join a global phenomenon? Open Streets Pittsburgh invites locals, visitors, and everyone in between to embrace the Burgh with outdoor activities and community engagement.

What is Open Street Pittsburgh

Cars be gone! For one day each month during summer, chosen streets will be closed to cars and open to Pittsburghers. Walk, run, bike, and bask in the sunshine of Pittsburgh’s neighborhood streets!

Presented by UPMC Health Plan and hosted by BikePGH, this free event brings Pittsburghers together to enjoy the city we all love.

As you’re enjoying the day, you’ll come across live performances, giant board games, fitness activities, local food and shops, and so much more like Zumba in Mellon Park, hip hop dance in Homewood or family food prep in East Liberty. See the detailed schedule from 9 am to 1 pm here.

How do you get to Open Street Pittsburgh? Whether it’s on foot or using rideshare, here are the ways you can get there.

Mark these dates down on your calendar now because this is experiencing Pittsburgh like never before.

?️Saturday, May 25, 2019 | Pittsburgh’s East End

Lace up those hiking shoes for a whopping 4.4-mile loop through Homewood, Larimer, East Liberty, Point Breeze, and Shadyside.

?️Sunday, June 30, 2019 | Downtown and Strip District

At the end of June, peddle your way through Market Square, Strip District, and Lawrenceville. 

?️Sunday, July 28, 2019 | Uptown and South Side

To finish out Open Streets, explore classic Pittsburgh and make your way through Uptown including the Birmingham Bridge and South Side.

Visit Open StreetsPGH for the full route details including traffic crossings and Hub stations.

Photo provided by BikePGH and Photographer Murphy Moschetta.

Get Involved in OpenStreetsPGH

There are several ways to get involved with Open Streets. Help out as a volunteer, get your business involved, or reserve a space for a fitness class or performance. Visit the official website to get all of the details on how to get involved.

It’s exploring the outdoors in Pittsburgh. What could possibly make a day better?




* Header photo provided by BikePGH and Photographer Murphy Moschetta.
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

pumpkins in a field

4 Apartment Approved Ways For Beautiful Fall Decoration

The crisp cool air of Fall finally made its debut in Pittsburgh. It’s time to bring out the pumpkins and flannel blankets!

Decorating for everyone’s favorite season can be a little tricky when you live in an apartment. More times than not, there are restrictions on apartment decor. Things like limited space, nailing or taping items are a no-no because it pulls the paint off the wall, so on and so forth.  

What is the easiest way to get into the holiday spirit when apartment living leaves you a little restricted? We gathered a few Fall decor tips just for you and give a few Shadyside shops where you can find them.

1. Subtle Center Piece

You can’t go wrong with a centerpiece full of autumn flowers. Whether you do real flowers in a white vase or fake flowers in a pumpkin. Just make sure you stick to warm colored flowers like oranges, deep reds, purples, and yellows. So be on the lookout for Sunflowers, Asiatic lilies, Dahlias, Gerberas, Berry Branches, and even Wheat.

Toadflax is the place to go for unique items, home decor, and a wide variety of seasonal flowers. Just look at these gorgeous mums from last year’s fall inventory! Their orange color would add a pop of warmth to any room.

If you don’t want to go the flower route, you can’t go wrong with pumpkins and gourds. There are endless possibilities here. We’ll leave it to the professionals on this one. House Beautiful did a wonderful job of collecting 30 different ways to design a centerpiece for your dining table. Whether you have a table that sits 12 or 2, you’ll definitely get inspiration here.

It’s true you’ll find all sized pumpkins at any grocery stores including Trader Joe’s. Though if you’re looking to support local shops, head out to the Shadyside Nursery!

Another option is enjoying a Saturday morning shopping from the local farmers at the Farmer’s Market Coop. of East Liberty!. The vendors have it all including pumpkins, squash, corn stalks, Indian corn decor, fresh cider, and even a variety of Fall meat options.

2. Cozy Up with Patterns

Fall means the air starts to get a little chilly. Nothing beats curling up in a big woven blanket with hot chocolate in front of a fireplace. Here at Franklin West, a large number  of our character-filled  Victorian apartments even have fireplaces! Apartment managers encourage all residents to ask about fireplace safety before using.

Whether your living room is new or full of hand-me-down furniture, blankets and pillows are the perfect fall edition. Drape a hand weaved throw over your couch and pair it with a few plaid pillows.

Feathers located on Walnut Street in Shadyside holds all of your cozy home decor needs. They recently showcased a collection of Fall throws on Facebook!

3. Dress Your Door

From corn wreath to a wooden “Give Thanks” sign, DIYProjects has 21 awesome ways you can dress up your door during this Fall season!

Let’s get to how to hang these wreaths without damaging walls or leaving marks on your windows. You can get common adhesive hooks at your local retail store like Walmart. But sometimes those adhesive hooks don’t come off as easily as they are supposed to.

To hang an Autumn Wreath on your door, we recommend using an over the door, adjustable wreath hanger! They can be found on Amazon for no more than ten dollars. These hangers come in a variety of finishes so you’ll surely find one that looks best with your door.  

4. Nature’s Artwork

Our last apartment decor tip comes with bringing the outdoors in. If you’re into crafts, this is your section.

First, let’s talk about adding a little fall flair to your artwork. On your next walk through local parks, like Frick Park, snatch up a few colored leaves or pine cones. We know, we know.. it sounds weird but bear with us.

On a canvas or thin slab of wood, use the leaves you collected to create a beautiful fall art piece. Just a Girl blog has the tutorial. This one takes a little bit of dedication but it’s so worth it!

You know the pinecones in the store that smell wonderful but cost $30 for 10 little cones? Well, we have a debugging trick so you can decorate with pinecones while saving a ton! It’s as easy as going for a stroll during this lovely Fall weather and picking pine cones. Once you have all your pinecones, take these steps to get them decor ready:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  • Line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil
  • Spread pinecones on the sheet in a single layer
  • Put the cones in the oven for no longer than 30 minutes

You’ll want to keep a close eye on the pine cones if you decide to dry them using an oven. However, if using an oven makes you a little wary, you can wash them instead. Here’s how to do it:

  • Fill your sink with warm water and add 1/2 cup of vinegar
  • Let your pinecones soak between 20-30 minutes
  • After let the cones dry for 2 or 3 days
  • Rinse the cones with fresh water again
  • Finally, let the cones completely dry over 3 to 4 days


There you have it! From cozy blankets to pumpkin centerpieces and outdoor art, apartment decor may have a few restrictions but shouldn’t stop you from fully decorating your place!

bowl of popcorn

The Silk Screen Film Festival

Anyone with a love for feature films will surely enjoy this annual Pittsburgh event. Introducing the 2018 Silk Screen Film Festival! First created back in 2005, this nonprofit media arts organization showcases Asian Art through music, dance, and film.

The mission behind the Silk Screen is to, “celebrate diversity and multicultural appreciation of the Asian and Asian American experience through cultural events.”

We put a list together of “can’t miss” films happening this weekend! You’ll find a short movie description as well as when and where details. Plus, all theaters are only a 10-minute drive from Shadyside’s east end. 

Thursday, Sept. 27

  • Disappearance

“Disappearance follows a young couple, Sara and Hamed, who is caught between tradition and modernity….At the crossroads of personal morals and the ethics of the community, as they face their uncertain future, Sara and Hamed endure a struggle that couples around the world are still forced to confront.”

See Disappearance this Thursday at 7 pm in the Regent Square Theater.



Friday, Sept. 28

  • Alifu The Prince/ss

“Alifu is a Taiwanese-indigenous, twenty-something man who works at a salon in the city. He has a dream – to fully transition into a woman.”

Alifu the Prince/ss will start at 8:30 pm at the Frick Fine Arts.



Saturday, Sept. 29

  • Ava

“Sadaf Foroughi’s semi-autobiographical film debut focuses on teenager Ava’s coming of age in a strict, traditional society and an even more strict, traditional household.”

Beginning at 7 pm, Ava will show at the Frick Fine Arts.



Sunday, Sept. 30

  • Wrath of Silence

“On a chilly winter’s day in Northern China, a shepherd boy roams the mountains with his herd. Two days later, miner Zhang Baomin hurries back to his home – his son has disappeared in the mountains. Three days later, lawyer Xu Wenjie’s daughter disappears as well. Among the mountains and the wilderness, people lose themselves in a no man’s land in search of their blood in this award-winning film that keeps audiences at the edge of their seats”

Head out for the show that starts at 2:00 pm at the Regent Square Theater



Want to discover more movies? Click here for the full list of the 2018 festival films.

Get your friends, grab the popcorn, and enjoy the amazing feature films brought to Pittsburgh by the Silk Screen Festival.

Join Us in Celebrating the Beloved Legacy of Mister Rogers

“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…”

Everyone’s favorite neighbor is being celebrated this year on Wednesday, March 20 during Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day.

Fred Mcfeely Rogers made a lasting impact on the world, but ask any Pittsburgh native, and we’ll undoubtedly talk your ear off about his wonderful legacy.

Let’s not forget, production of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood happened right in our local area! Just imagine it, Mister Rogers strolling through Shadyside in his famous sneakers to take classes during his lunch break at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

Our property manager, a Pittsburgh native who has been with Franklin West for 20 years, even had the opportunity to meet Mister Rogers. She recalls, “One day, while showing apartments, I saw him strolling down Shady Avenue … I was so excited that I had to stop, apologize to the client,  and go introduce myself. It is “up there” as one of the most exciting moments of my life!”

Plus, over the years, cast and crew members even lived in Franklin West apartments. Oh, if only walls could talk, the stories they would tell.

His Kindness Legacy

Did you know Fred Rogers was also a composer and author? According to the Fred Rogers Company, Rogers wrote several children’s books. Publishers Weekly praised his last book, Mister Rogers Parenting Book for the “qualities of warmth and attentiveness that translate very well into this brief yet thorough parenting guide.” Also, a composer and lyricist of over 200 songs, he actually wrote all of the music for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Simply wanting to spread kindness, compassion, and learning, Rogers became an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, and producer. All of which he implemented through Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Using mass media to encourage his kindness message, Fred Rogers defended the $20 million federal funding for national public television in front of the Senate Commerce Committee, which was at risk of being cut in half. Watch Fred Rogers testify to Senate in May of 1961:

He graciously accepted several awards for his life’s work including two George Foster Peabody Awards, Emmys and others from special interest groups in education, communication, and early childhood. Rogers’ also notably received the TCA Career Achievement Award in 1997 for his inspiring work on television and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 recognizing his contribution to the well-being of children.

His life work and achievements stem from the idea that it continues to live on. In 1971, Fred Rogers created the Family Communications, Inc, a nonprofit company, which produced Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Today, this company has transitioned into The Fred Rogers Company and moved toward non-broadcast materials reflecting Rogers philosophy and purpose. That purpose remains to encourage the healthy emotional growth of children and their families.

Continue reading about Fred Rogers life accomplishments here.

Celebrations around Pittsburgh

Here’s how you can celebrate Mister Rogers legacy on what would be his 91st birthday, March 20, 2019!

Tune into WQED at 7 pm for Be My Neighbor day and become a volunteer to help families in need. Read more about the pledge here.

Admission to the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh will be free from 10 am to 5 pm today. Plus, CMOP will also host many programs to honor the great Fred Rogers including neighborly themed kindness activities! Get more details here.

Starting at 12 pm today, volunteers with Awesome Pittsburgh will hang around Downtown, Northside, and East End giving away $10 to Pittsburghers to encourage small acts of kindness. Read more here.

Don’t forget, Heinz History Center, located in the Strip District, has a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood display and has plans for a 50th-anniversary celebration during the month of March with special exhibitions and programs.

Want more ways to celebrate Mr. Rogers Birthday? Click here!

4 Ways to be a Good Neighbor:

Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of work or family needs that being neighborly may take a back seat. Especially if you live in apartments. But, while Mister Rogers kindness message in mind, here’s how little actions can have monumental outcomes.   

Simply be considerate. There are some obvious ones like not stomping or slamming doors. Sometimes though, you just can’t help it. Let’s say you’re in the mood to redecorate. Moving furniture or hanging pictures on the wall at 2 am may be something to avoid. However, if you’re doing it during the day, give those around you a quick visit to let them know and apologize if the noise is inconvenient. This also isn’t a bad way to meet your neighbors!

Keep in mind saying hello or giving a smile can go a long way. Mister Rogers once said, “Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”

Trade small favors. Have an elderly neighbor? Find out if he or she needs anything the next time you run to the store. Offer to share your umbrella when you and a neighbor head in the same direction on a rainy day. While winter months are coming to an end, Pennsylvania weather still likes to surprise us every now and then, so offer to help clean the snow off a neighbor’s car.   

Random acts of kindness. Buy a book of the Forever postage stamps honoring Mister Rogers and give one stamp to each of your neighbors.

Out of everything he accomplished, Fred Rogers made the choice to dedicate his life’s work for the benefit of children and their families. Whether you are new to Pittsburgh or not, get to know Fred Rogers and his legacy. We can learn a lot from him and his teachings.

“Won’t you please, please won’t you be my neighbor?”


Say Cheese! Celebrating National Pizza Day

National Pizza Day is on Saturday, Feb. 9th this year, and we’re celebrating the only way we know how—with a slice (or four), of course!


Pizza… Where would we be without that holy trinity of dough, cheese, and tomato sauce? If the tomato hadn’t been introduced to Naples in the 16th century, we might very well know the answer to that question.

Luckily, we don’t have to speculate. Since the addition of tomatoes to Italian flatbread, the history of pizza has only grown more colorful—literally! As legend has it, pizza maker Raffaele Esposito created the first Pizza Margherita in 1889 to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. The pizza was garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to represent the red, white, and green of the Italian flag. Whether fact or fiction, it is undoubtedly a delicious tale.

Pizza soon made its way across the pond in 1905 when Gennaro Lombardi established America’s first pizzeria, Lombardi’s, in New York City. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Today, pizza is so celebrated that it’s been awarded its own national holiday! Fortunately, there are countless places to grab a slice in the East End and Shadyside, many of which are within walking distance from Franklin West apartments!

In fact, if you take a short stroll from Centre Avenue to S. Highland Avenue, you’ll see that there are no fewer than five restaurants that primarily serve pizza, and each is different!

Here are a few to try if you haven’t already:

Slice on Broadway
Pizza Taglio
Capri Pizza
Vento’s Pizza
Pizza Parma
Pizza Perfectta

If you travel just a few blocks over to the Western end of Shadyside on Walnut Street, you’ll find several more top-notch pizza places, from Mercurio’s to Shady Grove and likely many more spots in between!

However you celebrate, we hope you find a slice that makes you smile!

Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History 2018: Free Museum Sundays & Much More

Pittsburgh’s contagious creativity is fed by its renowned cultural institutions, such as the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History.

As the snow flies, it’s good to be inside, and the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History just made it a bit easier. Throughout the year of 2018, the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History will be free to the public the third Sunday of each month.

If you’ve never visited the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA), it’s as expansive as it is inspiring. The art museum takes visitors through a comprehensive timeline, from ancient sculpture to contemporary installations. The permanent collection stars more than 30,000 visual art objects, from painting and sculpture to film and digital imagery.

Beyond touring the museum’s permanent collection, here are a few current exhibits you can explore this winter:

William Henry Fox Talbot & the Promise of Photography: This is the largest US exhibition of Talbot’s photography in the last 15 years and, due to the fragile nature of the photographs, exhibitions of Talbot’s work are rare.  Don’t delay, this first-ever opportunity to see these photographs will end on February 11, 2018.

Bradford Young: REkGONIZE: Through a three-channel video installation and a meditation on photography, memory, and movement, cinematographer Bradford Young finds inspiration in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood. During the early 20th Century Great Migration, African American culture and artistic development flourished in the Hill District, inspiring August Wilson, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Errol Garner, and many others. On display until March 4, this unique installation is not one to be missed!

Hot Metal Modern: Design in Pittsburgh and Beyond: On display through April 1, Hot Metal Modern is a showcase of great design objects from around Pittsburgh, and the stories of innovation and industry behind them.

Looking for an evening out that is a little different from the norm?  Well, you might want to put “Third Thursdays” on your radar. On February 15, not only will CMOA feature Valentine’s Day-focused fun, all CMOA exhibitions and collection galleries will be open to falling in love with all night long. This is not a “one-off.” On the third Thursday of every month, CMOA keeps the art galleries open late, turns up the volume, and welcomes partners throughout the city to create exciting one-of-a-kind programs. Explore the exhibitions, enjoy music, indulge in a late-night café menu, and more! Don’t forget to register online and get your tickets in advance!

To fully experience the breadth and diversity of the world-renowned Carnegie Museums, journey next door to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to discover an epic collection of artifacts, objects, and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity.

The museum is a marvel of halls ranging from botany and birds to African and Arctic wildlife to minerals, gems, and geology to prehistoric mammals and dinosaurs. “Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures.”

As you explore, check out the traveling exhibition Kwel’ Hoy: We Draw the Line!, which explores the struggle of Indigenous leadership to protect water, land, and our collective future. In Pittsburgh through March 28, the House of Tears Carvers and members of the Lummi Nation have traveled across North America with a hand-carved totem pole to raise awareness about threats to the environment and public health for the past five years.

There is truly something awe-inspiring for everyone. Within a stone’s throw of Franklin West’s Shadyside apartments, and perhaps on your way home from work or school, the Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History in Oakland are worth a pit-stop (hey, on weekdays after 3 pm, admission is half-price!). After you’ve been to these once, we’re sure you’ll want to become a member so that you can enjoy free admission to all of the Carnegie Museums—plus, the Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum—year round!