Thursday, June 28, 2012


(includes Braddock)


Jean-Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery – 213 North Avenue; 412-821-8533;; must visit; macarons.
Enrico’s Biscotti – 2022 Penn Avenue; 412-281-2602;; bread and cookies.
Leaf & Bean – 2200 Penn Avenue (Strip District); 412-434-1480;; coffee & cigars.
Peace Love & Little Donuts – 2018 Smallman Street; 412-489-7693;

Bar Marco – 2216 Penn Avenue; 412-471-1900;; great cocktails & amazing tapas.
Brew Gentlemen – 512 Braddock Avenue (Braddock); 412-871-5075;; serious beer.
Butcher & Rye – 212 6th Street (Downtown); 412-391-2752;; trendy outpost & cocktail destination in rustic environment.
Butterjoint – 214 North Craig Street (Oakland); 412-621-2700;; Legume’s full-service bar; beloved.
Livermore – 124 South Highland Avenue (East Liberty); 412-361-0600;; cocktails.
Meat & Potatoes – 649 Pennsylvania Avenue (Downtown); 412-325-7007;; gastropub.
Root 174 – 1113 South Braddock Avenue (Regent Square); 412-243-4348;; cocktails.

Fairmont Pittsburgh – 510 Market Street; 412-773-8800 or 888-270-6647;; best for business travelers because pricey (for Pittsburgh); cool, high-minded style.

Bar Marco – 2216 Penn Avenue; 412-471-1900;; great cocktails & amazing tapas.
Butcher & Rye – 212 6th Street (Downtown); 412-391-2752;; trendy outpost & cocktail destination in rustic environment.
Cantina – .
Conflict Kitchen – 221 Schenley Drive; 412-802-8417;; take-out restaurant that serves only ethnic foods from states with which US is in conflict; serves food from 1 nation at time, changing every 6 months.
Cure – 5336 Butler Street (Lawrenceville); 412-252-2595;; best place for foodies.
Elements – 4 Gateway Center, 444 Liberty Avenue; 412-251-0168;; sprawling, 289-seat restaurant; locally-sourced cheeses and meats; Mediterranean food.
Fukuda – 4770 Liberty Avenue (East Bloomfield); 412-377-0916;; izakaya.
Habitat – 510 Market Street (at Fairmont Pittsburgh); 412-773-8848;; global fusion menu that uses locally-sourced ingredients.
Legume – 1113 South Braddock Avenue (Oakland); 412-371-1815;; local food focus.
Meat & Potatoes – 649 Pennsylvania Avenue (Downtown); 412-325-7007;; gastropub.
Notion – 128 South Highland Avenue (East Liberty); 412-361-1188;; fine dining.
Pamela’s Diner – 3703 Forbes Avenue; 412-683-4066;
Pamela’s P&G Diner – 60 21st Street; 412-281-6366;
Pamela’s P&G Diner – 5527 Walnut Street (Shadyside); 412-683-1003;
Penn Avenue Fish Company – 2208 Penn Avenue (Strip District); 412-434-7200;; informal seafood restaurant in loft-like, vibrant setup; sushi & daily catches.
Primanti Bros. – 46 Primanti Way; 412-263-2142;; tradition since 1933; sandwiches have french fries on inside.
Primanti Bros. – 411 Cherry Way; 412-566-8051;
Primanti Bros. – 3803 Forbes Avenue; 412-621-4444;
Primanti Bros. – 4501 Steubenville Pike; 412-921-6677;
Primanti Bros. – 6 Anchor Drive (Hamarville); 412-826-9680;
Primanti Bros. – 1832 East Carson Street; 412-381-2583;
Primanti Bros. – 2 South Market Square; 412-261-1599;
Root 174 – 1113 South Braddock Avenue (Regent Square); 412-243-4348;; very highly regarded; contemporary destination.
Round Corner Cantina – 3720 Butler Street (Lawrenceville); 412-904-2279;; Mexican food; shows soccer.
Salt of Earth – 5523 Penn Avenue; 412-441-7258;; loft-like space packed nightly; deconstructed, farm-to-table dishes; sturgeon with cauliflower puree, chamomile-infused buckwheat, and Swiss chard.
Spice Island Tea House – 253 Atwood Street; 412-687-8821;; unassuming, highly regarded Burmese restaurant; make sure to have semolina cake for dessert.
Spoon – 134 South Highland Avenue (East Liberty); 412-362-6001;; local ingredients in modern American dishes; upscale decor & plush seating.

Attic Records – 513 Grant Avenue; 412-821-8484;
BeerHive – 2117 Penn Avenue (Strip District); 412-904-4502;; beer and bottle shop.
Crested Duck Charcuterie – 1603 Broadway Avenue; 412-892-9983;; meats and pates.
Crested Duck Charcuterie – 2100 Smallman Street (at 16th Street); 412-322-2670;; meats and pates.
Farmers @ Firehouse – 2216 Pennsylvania Avenue (Strip District); 412-471-1900;;‎ Pittsburgh’s 1st & largest mostly organic (or certified-naturally-grown) farmers’ market.
Librairie Les Idees – 42 Grant Avenue (Millvale); 412-780-7190;; French books.
Pennsylvania Macaroni Company – 2010 Penn Avenue; 412-471-8330;; Italian import store.
Pennsylvania Macaroni Company – 650 Mansfield Avenue; 412-919-0444;; Italian import store.
Pittsburgh Public Market – 2100 Smallman Street (at 17th Street); 412-281-4504;; open on weekends; in historic Fruit and Auction Building; 10K square feet of craft, flower, and food stalls.

Allegheny County Courthouse & Jail – 436 Grant Street; 412-350-6490;; architect Henry Hobson Richardson designed; Richardson considered this to be his finest work; innovative in that built around interior courtyard, thus allowing natural light and fresh air to reach most of building; courtyard surrounded by 4 stories on 3 sides; tower rises 5 stories from courtyard’s open side; connected to jail via “Bridge of Sighs“ (based on same in Venice).
Carnegie Museum of Art – 4400 Forbes Avenue; 412-622-3131;; internationally and nationally recognized for distinguished American and European collection, with works from 16th Century to present.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History – 4400 Forbes Avenue; 412-622-3131;; exhibits on botany, dinosaurs, fossils, gems, geology, insects, mammals, minerals, and several anthropology areas.
City of Asylum – 330 Sampsonia Way; 412-321-2190;; for 2 years, provides furnished house, living stipend, medical coverage, and help in transitioning to potentially permanent exile; check website for events, such as readings.
Roberto Clemente Museum – 3339 Penn Avenue; 412-621-1268;; baseball great museum in old firehouse.
East Liberty Neighborhood – bordered by Highland Park, Morningside, Stanton Heights, Garfield, Friendship, Shadyside & Larimer;; culturally diverse neighborhood.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church – 957 West North Avenue (Northside); 412-231-0454;; designed by Henry Hobson Richardson; nicknamed “Bake Oven Church“ because squat, rounded shape and brick construction; National Historic Landmark since 2000; brick patterning gives finely woven fabric impression; repetitive triangular pattern at roofline called “mousetooth”; among best known features is mistake: side wall lower section intended to slope inward as it rises (called “battering“); upper wall outward slope starts developing shortly after construction; when parish house added to church’s far side, slope stopped increasing; Tiffany glass is in entrance gable’s triple lights; interior looks like ship’s hull turned inside-out.
Fallingwater – 1491 Mill Run Road (Mill Run); 724-329-8501;; designed by Frank Lloyd Wright; hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.
Frick Art & Historical Center – 7227 Reynolds Street (East End); 412-371-0600;; located on beautifully landscaped gardens; museum and multiple collections are Helen Clay Frick’s (Henry Clay Frick’s daughter, among America’s greatest industrialists and art collectors); make sure to tour their home, Clayton House.
Frick Park – 2005 Beechwood Boulevard; 412-422-6538;; adjacent to Clayton House (Frick Art & Historical Center).
Mattress Factory Art Museum – 500 Sampsonia Way (North Side); 412-231-3169;; contemporary art that fits room-sized environments, created by in-residence artists.
Mount Washington – south city neighborhood; known for steep hill overlooking Pittsburgh skyline; funiculars; Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines are oldest continuous inclines in world; upscale restaurants parallel crest.
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens – 1 Schenley Park; 412-622-6914;; Victorian glasshouse conservatory (Industrial Revolution relic) transformed into pace-setting model for advanced green building practices, sustainable development, and environmental awareness; hailed as among world’s greenest public gardens.
Pittsburgh Glass Center – 5472 Penn Avenue; 412-365-2145;; among top glass facilities in US; world-renowned glass artists work and teach in studios.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – 600 Penn Avenue, Suite 1; 412-392-4900;
Point State Park – 3 Rivers Heritage Trail System (Downtown); 412-471-0235;; for picnics; at Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers’ confluence, forming Ohio River; iconic fountain; park includes city’s 2 oldest buildings’ outlines and remains; Fort Pitt Museum, housed in Fort Pitt Monongahela Bastion, commemorates French and Indian War.
St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church – 24 Maryland Avenue; 412-821-3438;; allegorical murals by Maxo Vanka.
Shadyside – east city end; named for 19th Century Pennsylvania Railroad station in area; home to many upscale boutiques and stores; Victorian houses.
Andy Warhol Museum – 117 Sandusky Street; 412-237-8300;; provides full overview of creative range.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


(includes Egypt, Israel, Jordan & Saudi Arabia)

Port Ghalib
Palace Port Ghalib Resort – Marsa Alam; 011-20-65-336-0000 or 877-859-5095;
Sights & Sites
Elphinstone Reef – offshore coral reef; dive with gray and hammerhead sharks.

Sharm El Sheikh
Anemone City.
Dunraven – south of Beacon Rock (at south end Ras Mohammed National Park); sunk in 1876.
Gordon, Jackson, Thomas & Woodhouse Reefs – entrance to Straits of Tiran; barracuda, sharks, and tuna; these reefs stand on top of deep water ridge dividing east African and Asian continental plates, which are slowly separating.
Jackson Alley.
Ras Mohammed National Park – excellent snorkeling in Aqaba Gulf, coral formations and marine life; best spot for diving at Sharm-al Sheikh.
Rosalie Moller – off Hurghada; sunk by Germans in WWII; sits on seabed on even keel with bow sitting at around 40-meters; stern, rudder, and propeller sitting slightly deeper at 45 meters; much deck equipment still in place, as are handrails and ladders; bridge easily penetrated although equipment and helm long since removed.
Sha’ab Abu Nuhas – northwest of Shadwan Island; coral reef; navigation hazard because projects into shipping channel; (at least) 7 shipwrecks, including Carnatic, Kimon M, Chrisola K, and Ghiannis D.
Shark Reef.
Temple – west of Ras Umm Sid, at Sharm El Moya entrance; flat, sloping reef with 2 major, and few minor, pinnacles (largest being "Tower"); surprisingly rich reef animal variety; soft and hard corals, fan corals and reef fish; truly amazing range of fish species colonizing reef; lionfish all about, as well as stonefish that do not move and are camouflaged; popular night-dive site; at night, basket stars create illusion of curtain in light current as they feed.
Thistlegorm – near Ras Muhammad; British armed Merchant Navy ship built in 1940 and sunk on October 6, 1941.
Four Seasons – 1 Four Seasons Boulevard; 011-20-69-360-3555 or 800-819-5053;; interesting hodgepodge of villas spread over hillside that looks over Sinai Peninsula and sea; spa.
Desert Tours & Diving – Diaa Shawki Mikhail (provides these services for Diane Von Furstenburg); 011-20-10-570-2119;
Sights & Sites
Al Bagawat Cemetery – among oldest Coptic cemeteries in world.
Colored Canyon – wadi (dry riverbed) walled by dramatically striated copper and pink cliffs.
Al Kharijah – desert; hike Abu Minqar dunes; visit Kharqa Oasis; see Qasr Labekha Roman fortress (built on slave road from Sudan to Nile).
Mount Sinai – highest peak on peninsula; try to be atop for sunrise.
St. Catherine’s Monastery – thought to be oldest monastery in world; where Moses saw burning bush.

Hilton Eilat Queen of Sheba Resort – 8 Antib Road, North Shore; 011-972-8-630-6666;; lagoon, mountains, and Red Sea views; parasailing and water-skiing; average food.
Rimonim Hotel Eilat – North Beach; 011-972-3-675-4591;

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – Al-Hammamat Al-Tunisyya Street; 011-962-3-209-3209;; overlooks Red Sea’s Aqaba Gulf (on Jordan’s southern coastal tip); full-service, upscale hotel in business district; short walk to sea shore and all major shopping areas; near airport.
Sights & Sites
Wadi Rum – Desert Highway;; UNESCO World Heritage Site; also known as “Valley of Moon”; largest wadi in Jordan; best known for connection with T.E. Lawrence, who based his operations here during Arab Revolt (1917-1918); home to Zalabia Bedouin who, working with climbers and trekkers, participate in eco-adventure tourism; Khaz’ali Canyon is petroglyph (etched into cave walls) site, depicting antelopes and humans; Jabal Rum is Jordan’s 2nd highest peak, covered with snow; highest peak is south of Rum, close to Saudi border, Jebel um Adaami (popular trek from Rum village).

Friday, June 15, 2012


Arpent Bakeri – 87 Maridalsveien; 011-47-22-049-667;; best bread in town; several other locations.
Fuglen – 2 Universitetsgata; 011-47-22-200-880;; stylish coffee shop; opened in 1960s and nothing much changed since then.
Tim Wendelboe – 1 Grunersgate; 011-47-40-004-062;; coffee pilgrimage site.

Fuglen – 2 Universitetsgata; 011-47-22-200-880;; stylish coffee shop; opened in 1960s and nothing much changed since then; Thurs-Sat nights, becomes speakeasy-style bar with cocktails.
Lekter’n – Stranden 3 (Akker Brygge); 011-47-22-830-060; barge-like.
Onkel Donald – Universitetsgata 26; 011-47-23-356-310;; open-air café opposite National Theater.
No. 19 Bar – 23 Møllergata (Youngstorget); 011-47-48-020-625;; near former jail; attentive service & dim lighting, pleasant place to savor concoction like Violet Hands, made with Throndhjems Aquavit, Martini Rosato, Grand Marnier, Campari & flambée of rosemary and Ardbeg Uigeadail whiskey; expensive.
Parkteatret – 11 Olaf Ryes Plass; 011-47-22-356-300;; former cinema, now music club with great bar.
Villa – 23-25 Mollergata; 011-47-93-255-745;; popular, sweaty house club in hipster burger joint’s basement.

Hotel Continental – 24-26 Stortingsgaten; 011-47-22-824-000;; as stately as Grand with Munch lithographs.
First Hotel Grims Grenka – 5 Kongens Gate; 011-47-23-107-200;; modern, sleek hotel in city center, right next to National Museum of Architecture.
Grand Hotel – 31 Karl Johans Gate; 011-47-23-212-000;; open since 1874; where Nobel laureates stay.
Thief – 1 Landgangen (Tjuvholmen); 011-47-24-004-000;; designer-friendly boutique hotel; 120 rooms in downtown, near waterfront; name rooted in 18th Century Oslo history, when criminals brought to island hotel now on, Tjuvholmen (“Thief Island,” now recognized as peninsula); just steps from car-free streets, art galleries, bars, cafes, restaurants, and eclectic shops; next door to Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, designed by Renzo Piano; hotel decorated with original art carefully chosen by curator Sune Nordgren; each room has flat-screen television, free WiFi, down duvets and pillows by Høie, custom-made blankets from L&J (Røros Tweed), wool slippers designed by Runa Clocke, bathrobes fashioned by Maggie Wonka, Nespresso machine, Geneva sound system for iPod docking station, and in-room refrigerator stocked with “best of” refreshments; spacious bathrooms feature corian sink basins and rain-showers; rooftop terrace wine bar and brasserie-style restaurant specializing in Norwegian fare; beach is just 100 meters away.
Thon Hotel Opera – 5 Christian Frederiksplass; 011-47-24-103-000;; part of popular, mid-range Norwegian change.

Engebret Café – 1 Bankplassen; 011-47-22-822-525; engebret-café.no; quietly elegant restaurant in low-slung, 17th Century building; outdoor seating when weather nice.
Lofoten Fiskerestaurant – 75 Stranden; 011-47-22-830-808;; snag outdoor table for lunch; try baked sea pike with lemon risotto.
Maaemo – 15b Schweigaards Gate; 011-47-91-994-805;; Oslo’s answer to Noma; 2 Michelin stars.
Onkel Donald – 26 Universitetsgata; 011-47-23-356-310;; open-air café opposite National Theater.
Oscarsgate – 63 Inngang Pilestredet; 011-47-22-465-906;; French-Scandinavian fusion; 1 Michelin star.
Smalhans – Waldemar Thranes Gate 10; 011-47-22-696-000;; laid-back eatery with eclectic decor, exposed bricks & long bar, for burgers, salads & small plates.
Solsiden – 34 Sondre Akershus Kai; 011-47-22-333-630;; dinner only, May to September; seafood; great fjord views.
Villa – 23-25 Mollergata; 011-47-93-255-745;; popular, sweaty house club in hipster burger joint’s basement.
Ylajali – 2 St. Olavs Plass; 011-47-22-206-486;; French; named after Knut Hamsun novel character (Hunger).

Boat Trips – 3 Radhusbrygge; 011-47-23-356-890;; tours fjord.
Ziniry – 6 Johannes Bruns (Oslo); 011-47-41-82-3150 or 011-47-9952-2990;; tours; excels at getting visitors deep into scenery.

Illums Bolighus – 36 Ruseløkkveien, House of Oslo; 011-47-22-015-510;; homewares.
Kitch’n – 3 Stranden; 011-47-22-834-520; stylish Scandinavian housewares.

Aker Brygge – 3 Stranden; 011-47-22-832-680; lively, waterfront development.
Akershus Castle – Akershus festning; 011-47-23-093-553;; guided tours May through August.
Birkelunden Flea Market – Birkelunden Park (Grunerlokka);; Sundays 12-8, or sundown.
Ethnographic Museum (Museum of History) – 2 Frederiks Gate; 011-47-22-859-912;
Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art – 2 Strandpromenaden; 011-47-22-936-060;; privately owned Contemporary Art gallery; main focus is American appropriation artists from 1980s, currently developing towards international contemporary art scene, with artists like Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney, Tom Sachs, Doug Aitken, Olafur Eliasson, and Cai Guo-Qiang; 2 new buildings by Renzo Piano.
Ibsen Museum – 26 Henrik Ibsen’s Gate; 011-47-22-123-550;
Islands – Gressholmen, Hovedoya, and Langoyene;; take ferry from Vippetangen to these islands for swimming.
Karl Johans Gate – Oslo’s main drag.
Kon-Tiki Museum – 36 Bygdøynesveien (Bygdøy); 011-47-23-086-767;
Munch Museum – Tøyengata; 011-47-23-493-500;
National Gallery – 2 Universitetsgata; 011-47-21-982-000;; make sure to see “Scream.”
National Museum of Architecture – 3 Bankplassen; 011-47-21-982-000;; main building, designed by Christian Heinrich Grosch (1801-1865) completed in 1830 as Norges Bank division office; adapted & extended by Sverre Fehn (1924-2009), awarded Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1997; building juxtaposes classicism & modernist architecture; collection includes drawings and photographic material, in addition to models and other objects.
Nobel Museum – 2 Stortorget (Gamla Stan); 011-47-232-506;
Nobel Peace Center – 1 Brynjulf Bulls Plass, City Hall Square; 011-47-48-301-000;
Nordmarka – outside Oslo;; mostly forested region that makes up Oslo’s northern part; forests are popular sites for hiking and skiing; several lakes; cozy, quaint cabins where you can hole up.
Norwegian Museum of Cultural History – 10 Museumsveien (Bygdøy); 011-47-22-123-700;; large open air museum.
Oslo Opera House – 1 Kirsten Flagstad Plass; 011-47-21-422-100;; think of as cultural institution and jungle gym made from Italian marble.
Oslo University Great Hall – 47 Karl Johans Gate; 011-47-22-859-555 or 011-47-22-859-530;; 11 large scale canvas paintings by Edvard Munch, painted in oil between 1909-1916, and constitutes only room decoration by artist preserved in original context.
Oslo Vinterpark Ski Trails – 64 Tryvannsveien; 011-47-40-462-700;; 20 minutes from downtown Oslo; 14 runs & 7 ski-lifts, including 2 4-seat chairlifts.
Rakni’s Mound – Akershus (take E6 north to Jessheim (Trondheimsvegen) exit, exit and then follow Road #178 (Gardermoen road), left on to Krokfoss Road after 3-4 kms, park by Hovin School, follow farm track to Ljøgodt (private road); 011-47-22-055-612;; 77 ms in diameter and more than 15 ms high; largest barrow in Northern Europe; during Roman Iron Age and Migration Period, several small kingdoms developed in Scandinavia, as reflected in this particular area’s name, Romerike (from Norse raumaricii, meaning “Rauma people’s Kingdom”); landscape around mound has had historical strategic importance; riding-track from Nannestad meets with ancient road between Lake Mjøsa and Oslo Fjord in area; ancient road towards farm of Haug is among finest examples known of hollow road in Romerike area.
Royal Palace – 1 Henrik Ibsen Vei; 011-47-22-048-700;; Norwegian royal family’s residence.
Vigeland Sculpture Park – 32 Nobelsgata; 011-47-23-493-700; covers 80 acres; 212 sculptures; Gustav Vigeland designed architectural setting and grounds’ layout; sculptures placed on an 850 meter long axis divided into 5 main units: Main Entrance; Bridge (with children’s playground); Fountain; Monolith Plateau; and Wheel of Life; sculptures in bronze and granite and several wrought iron gates.
Viking Ship Museum – 35 Aveny; 011-47-22-135-280;

Oslo to Bergen – “Bergen Railway”; 011-472-315-1515;; from Oslo, scenic, 7-hour journey ascends to mountain resort towns (Geilo, Gol, and Nesbyen) and across vast Hardanger plateau on way to charming port city, Bergen.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Central Coast Birding Trail – 916-481-5332 (Audubon California);; sites in 4 counties: Monterrey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara & Ventura; Black Oystercatcher, Heerman's Gull, Elegant Tern, Nuttall's Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Magpie, Chestnut-backed Chickadee & California Thrasher.
Route 1 – starts at Interstate 5 (I-5, near Dana Point (Orange County)) and runs north to US Highway 101 (US 101, near Leggett (Mendocino County)); or; does not run over California’s entire Pacific coastline; also, at times, runs concurrently with US 101, most notably through 54-mile (87 km) stretch in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, and across Golden Gate Bridge; also serves as scenic alternative in several locations and as major thoroughfare in Greater Los Angeles Area, San Francisco Bay Area, and other coastal urban areas along its route; often called “Highway 1”; has several portions designated as either Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), Cabrillo Highway, Shoreline Highway, or Coast Highway; worthwhile stops include Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Point Dume State Beach, El Matador Beach.
Route 395 – runs from Pasadena to Laurier (WA); runs along east side Cascade Range.
Route 23 – through Santa Monica Mountains; 14 miles long, ending on Highway 101.