Perfect Pittsburgh Saturday – Summer Edition

Perfect Pittsburgh Saturday

I’ve collaborated with a slew of super-powered Pittsburgh bloggers to put together our version of a “Perfect Pittsburgh Saturday ”. Each of us were assigned a two hour block, and I drew the 2-4 PM slot You can follow the fun on Twitter at #PghSummer

12-2 was occupied by Stylish White Female. Did you have fun? Here’s what I propose next:


Saturday afternoon in the summertime means we head to Riverview Park for a dip in the Citipool. Riverview Park is located in the Observatory Hill neighborhood of the Northside so we jump in our car and start the slow wind up the hills, enjoying the cool breeze of the “green” streets leading into the park. We buy family passes every year and go to pool as often as we can, right up to Labor Day.

The Park is a loop that begins at Allegheny Observatory so we have a chance to enjoy a little bit of forest time. We park, trot up the recently installed wooden steps, show our passes to the guards and head for the pool.

Riverview Pool Photo: CitiParks
Riverview Pool Photo: CitiParks


Because this is inside a park, it is rarely crowded except on Saturdays when family reunion attendees join in the pool fun. We find a corner to tuck away our towels and shoes then slip into the water. The City replaced the pool liner in 2012 so its in great shape. The water is cold this early in the season so I ease in via the ladder. Ledcat jumps in with all her might then surfaces sputtering like a stunned duckling.

Eventually, we adjust to the water and begin moving around the pool. We don’t swim so much as move – I tread water (great exercise) and we walk for the resistance. On a crowded Saturday, we get some agility practice in as we duck around the kids and the beach balls and the chattering adults.

The guards keep a close eye on this pool – a few are high school students and the captain is a high school teacher. J is a college sophomore – his father works with Ledcat so we’ve watched him grow up at this pool.

After an hour or so, we realize our teeth are chattering and decide to head out. Wrapped in our towels, we say our farewells to the guards and other pool regulars – knowing that we’ll probably meet again the next day – and drip our way back down the steps to the car.

It is really nice to drive off on even the hottest summer day with the windows open to dry our bodies and our hair. I feel that drowsy ache that comes from 40ish minutes of exercise (try treading water for 40 minutes to see what I mean) as we head down Perrysville Avenue to the lower North Side.

Our plan is to drive down Federal Street, cross into West Park and make a stop at a beloved local institution – Gus and Yia Yia’s Ice Balls stand. Their famous orange cart is located on Western Avenue near the Tennis Courts. We slip into a parking space and make our way up to the orange stand, the scent of movie theater type popcorn mixing with the chlorine from our skin and swimming suits. I know Ledcat is eying the popcorn – her weakness – but I opt for a cold grape ice ball.

Photo: Northside Chronicle
Photo: Northside Chronicle


We find an empty bench in the sun and slurp and snack our way through this treat. The park is busy – the largest park in the City FWIW – filled with family reunions, dogs walking their humans, joggers tempting the heat of the midday and the gentle “thwump” of the tennis balls lazily making their way back and forth over the nets.

Suddenly, an energy fills the air and most of us know what’s about to happen – TRAIN!. Sure enough, a locomotive and freight cars makes its way up the line which runs underneath the park. Kids and adults cling to the fence peering over to catch a glimpse because a train sighting never grows old. As the locomotion sound disappears, the buzz of summer activity picks up again.

The Pirates are away tonight so the street is fairly empty. The park is huge – largest in the City – and across the street I notice a family reunion going on as people mill about the shaded green grounds. Squirrels frolic about hoping to find a nugget of popcorn.

We need to get home to dry off, change into clothes and see what our next summer’s day adventure holds for us.

OK, maybe one ice ball for the road.


The next leg of your journey takes you to jelly jars – we are off to Oakland!


The Complete Lineup for the Perfect Pittsburgh Saturday Crossover Event (Summer Edition)
8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m. everybody loves you
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Food Collage 
12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. Stylish White Female
2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents
4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. jelly jars
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. Yum Yum
8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. Mary vs. Food and D & T in the Burgh
10:00 p.m.–12:00 a.m. The Steel Trap
12:00 a.m.–2:00 a.m. prettyburgh

(Thanks to Food Collage for putting the complete list together.)



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