Day Camps in Our Neighborhood
Going off to day camp is a rite of passage for many children.
For children who live at Summerset at Frick Park, there are many close-to-home options that provide a wide variety of activities and experiences. Here are just a few of the many choices nearby:
The Frick Environmental Center’s Nature Camps, which have been run by the City of Pittsburgh for more than 25 years and are now under the auspices of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, give city children from age 3 through 7th grade a chance to get outside and explore nature. In fact, unless there is severe weather, campers spend the entire day outside! “We are so lucky in the city to have so many parks set aside,” says Lydia Konecky, a Naturalist Educator who has been involved with the camps for many years. “We have hawks and owls to see, and streams and woodlands that the kids have fun exploring, right in our city, neighborhoods and back yards.” Younger campers are given many opportunities to explore and learn about stewardship while older campers have adventurous weeks learning how to survive in the woods. Because the camps are so popular and registration fills up quickly, campers are limited to one session during the summer. Ms. Konecky recommends registering as soon as possible.
The Chatham Music and Arts Day Camp is located on the campus of Chatham University, 2 1/2 miles from Summerset at Frick Park. Founded in 1956, the camp focuses on its music and arts programs. “Our greatest strength is that still to this day, we stick to our own role,” says camp director Alicia Darenberg. Quality instructruction is paramount. All of the arts and music instructors are both professional educators and practicing artists, most either holding or seeking master’s degrees. “Our choir teacher also teaches piano, choir and musical theater in a local school district during the year,” says Ms. Darenberg. “She brings back new and exciting pieces to share with the kids.” The students get to see their teachers in action at the end of camp, when the instructors “all get on stage and perform for the kids,” Darenberg adds. In addition to music and arts, the camp offers environmental activities, language instruction including sign language, sports and swimming. Private music lessons, private swim lessons and before and after care are also available.
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts offers a variety of camps focusing on digital and studio arts. From fiber arts, clay and paint to Photoshop, filmmaking and animation, campers can choose from many art forms for campers to explore. Art camps give children more than just new skills in an art form. “Working with professional artists, our campers are able to practice self-expression, critical thinking, creative inquiry and problem-solving in a fun and creative environment,” says Claire Marcus, PCA’s Director of Education.” Many of the camps are collaborations with Pittsburgh Filmakers. For children age 4 through entering 8th grade, full day and half day options are available at PCA’s Shadyside location 3 miles from Summerset at Frick Park. High School students can attend immersion weeks in a wide variety of art forms, either at PCA or at Pittsburgh Filmakers in Oakland.
The JCC of Greater Pittsburgh has so many day camp options that they have an entire website dedicated to their camps. “What sets JCC camps apart is that we build relationships year-round,” says Liza Baron, Director, James & Rachel Levinson Day Camp and Director, Children/Teen/Family Division. Many of the camp counselors work at the JCC through the school year in the afterschool and other programs, and there are full-time, year-round staff dedicated to day camps. You may have seen the J & R Day Camp bus picking up campers last summer. J & R campers are picked up every morning to spend a fun day of swimming, arts and crafts, music, nature and sports at the JCC’s facility in Monroeville. The JCC also offers a wide range of specialty camps at their Squirrel Hill location, just 2 miles from Summerset at Frick Park. From sports to science to performing arts, whatever your child’s interests, you can find a camp experience they will enjoy. All lifeguards and swimming instructors are certified by the American Red Cross, and the JCC is accredited by the American Camp Association Camps are available by session or week, and full-day camps include lunch.
The Community Pool is Open!
Last Saturday Summerset at Frick Park kicked off the warm weather season with our yearly pool party sponsored by the Summerset Neighborhood Association and the Summerset Land Development Association.
Over 200 residents attended for great food, live music by South Side Jerry and Friends, and time with neighbors and family. The best takeaway? The pool is open all summer. Take a peaceful morning swim in the heated pool or jump in and cool off as the days get hotter.
Check out the Summerset at Frick Park website for more information!
Outdoor Dining Around Summerset
Now that the weather is beautiful and evenings are warm enough to eat outside, the time is ripe for a review of the best outdoor dining in Pittsburgh’s eastern neighborhoods. At Summerset, nothing is too far from home.
Sun Penang has delicious Thai food with lots of outdoor seating. With front windows that open completely and slide away, there are open air seating options both inside the restaurant and in the patio area outside. Plus, Sun Penang’s location on the main drag of Forbes Avenue allows for great people watching.
The 61C is a great coffee place with delicious signature drinks and delectable pastries. It has a great patio area to the side surrounded by bushes where you can sip your drink and relax.
Beloved around Pittsburgh, Pamela’s has a few locations around the city, but their Squirrel Hill location has the best outdoor dining in close proximity to Summerset. They have lots of patio seating, and provide a fantastic brunch menu with favorites like their famous crepe hotcakes and Lyonnaise potatoes.
If you’re looking for a tranquil, delicious lunch destination, the Cafe at the Frick is a great option. They are open for lunch and tea service, and they’ll even serve your tea iced on a hot day! Their outdoor atmosphere is unbeatable with patio tables surrounded by the beautifully-kept Frick gardens.
Point Brugge is Point Breeze’s favorite neighborhood spot. Their Belgian-inspired food and beer menu offers great options, and the front of the restaurant opens completely to let outside air in. Along with patio seating and great people watching, Point Brugge is a fun, casual dinner spot.
Root 174’s inventive menu and cocktails paired with its interesting decor and hip atmosphere make it a great place for a date night. Sit at one of the tables out front and enjoy the bustle of Braddock Avenue while sipping a Pickle Me Root, one of the restaurant’s many one-of-a-kind cocktails.
This neighborhood coffee shop has great signature beverages, as well as light food options. Biddle’s brings in a different food truck every Wednesday, and customers can enjoy their food and drinks on their outdoor patio.
The Square Cafe is a huge hit in Regent Square, bringing the neighborhood fresh local food with a menu that changes seasonally. Open every day for breakfast and lunch, the diner-like decor creates a fun atmosphere that you can’t help but love.
e2 restaurant is a community-focused restaurant that uses local ingredients and aims to create a strong culture around sustainable, locally-produced, delicious food. They’re also BYOB and have outdoor seating for a fresh and sustainable evening out.
This hip, upscale burger joint has lots of outdoor seating and tasty burgers, sandwiches, and salads. The restaurant uses NoWait, an app that enables you to get updates on when your table will be ready, allowing you to have a drink at nearby destinations The Livermore or Harvard and Highland while you wait.
With its Latin-inspired decor, great happy hour specials, and upper floor that functions as an outdoor deck in the summer, the Steel Cactus is a great place to have a drink and stay for dinner. Enjoy the view of Walnut Street below from the open-air roof patio while sipping a refreshing margarita.
Located on the edge of Schenley Park in Oakland, The Porch has delicious pizzas, salads, and cocktails. If you go at lunch, expect to order at the front counter, but at dinner, The Porch functions as a full-service restaurant. Enjoy comfortable outdoor seating surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Oakland that is tempered by the relaxed vibe of Schenley Park.
Seasonal Tips: Spring Cleaning!
Now that April is upon us–and with it the first warm weather we’ve seen in months–it’s time to open up the windows, clean the house from top to bottom, and let in some fresh air!
Even though new homes collect much less dust and grime over the winter than older ones, it’s likely that every home needs a bit of cleaning and upkeep to welcome the spring.
1. Kitchen upkeep
Start a great new habit of spraying your stainless steel appliances with a wax-based aerosol spray once or twice a week. This will keep your appliances looking great and prevent stains and spills from sticking to surfaces.
2. Painted walls
Start with a clean cloth or a sponge and water and wipe down the walls. For more persistent stains, dip your sponge into water mixed with a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid. If the stain still won’t go away, apply a few drops of soap directly onto the sponge you’re using, or even right onto the stain. Keep in mind that if you use products like Fantastik or Formula 409, they might soften the paint surface. After you’ve removed the stain, rinse the wall with water.
3. Ceiling fans
After dusting them off, make sure you change the direction of your ceiling fans. For warm months, fans should run counter-clockwise to create a breeze. When temperatures drop, run fans clockwise to redistribute warm air and keep your rooms warmer.
In general, stains set less in cold water than in warm water. Martha Stewart provides a great list of how to remove stains from various household fabrics like tablecloths, napkins, and upholstered furniture.
5. Wood furniture
Dust and polish wood furniture with a homemade all-natural cleaner and polish. Mix ½ teaspoon of olive oil with ½ cup of vinegar or lemon juice in a plastic spray bottle. Shake well and spray onto a microfiber cloth to polish your wooden furniture.
6. Tile floors
For bathroom and kitchen tile floors, use a cleaner with a neutral pH level. To clean small sections of grout, use a pencil eraser until the stain is removed. Be sure to use a clean pink or white eraser.
7. Homemade all-natural cleaning products
Sparkpeople has recipes for environmentally-safe, homemade cleaning products for everything from glass to wood to air fresheners, as well as tips to help you go green while you clean.
8. Clean the air
To clean the air in your house, consider using an all-natural beeswax candle rather than a traditional air freshener.
Carson Cottage Home Just Listed!
Don’t miss out on this meticulously maintained, light and bright Cottage Carson located in the heart of Summerset at Frick Park. Situated on a private lot surrounded by greenery and mature trees, the cottage’s open floor plan, high ceilings, and top-to-bottom storage make this home perfect for any family.
The home is adjacent to Frick Park and close to schools, universities, prime shopping, and downtown. Access to the Community Center, swimming pools, fitness room, playground, parks, and basketball court is included in the low HOA fee.
Please call or email Melissa Reich to schedule your private showing at (412) 215-8056 or email at email@example.com.
It’s Time for Spring Cleaning: What to do with all that STUFF
It’s been a long, cold winter. Between the Polar vortex, spring snows, and the potholes, spring has never been so welcome. It’s finally time to throw open the windows, let in the fresh air and put away all that wool and polar fleece.
It feels great to get rid of things you don’t need any more. What feels even better is keeping it out of landfills by giving your old stuff to someone who could use it.
Squirrel Hill is home to two consignment resale boutiques that benefit those in need in our city. Designer Days Boutique on Forbes Ave, which is run by the National Council of Jewish Women, collects designer and boutique clothing. While the Designer Days Boutique is more selective in what it accepts, the NCJW Thriftique shop in Swissvale is grateful for any donation of clothing, especially mall and department store brands such as Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Jones New York.
Ambiance Boutique on Murray Ave, which benefits Bethlehem Haven’s programs for homeless women and children, also sells designer clothing. Consignors can choose to collect 50% of the sale price of the clothing, or donate the entire value for a tax benefit.
The Center for Creative Reuse accepts a wide array of materials, from craft supplies to old trophies to other things you might not even realize are useful. They accept pre-approved donations by appointment only, and ask that donors read their guide when considering what to donate.
Bikes and Building Materials
Located in Point Breeze, Construction Junction sells reused building materials. They accept various used household and office materials, as well as hardware like appliances, windows, countertops, tile and glass.
Free Ride Pittsburgh, which provides workshop space where people can repair and learn about bikes, as well as receive a free bike by donating their time to the shop, is always in need of bikes, parts, and tools. Plus, spending time at the shop is a great way to meet other biking enthusiasts!
Trees and Pizza: Arbor Day at Summerset
Last Saturday at Summerset tree hugging was rampant as 150 Summerset residents attended the Summerset Neighborhood Association Arbor Day event at the Community Center to plant trees, taste local pizzas, and make a commitment to value the trees around Summerset.
The event kicked off with a presentation by Brenda Smith of the Nine Mile Run Watershed on how to identify and care for the trees found in Summerset and Frick Park.
Allderdice art teacher Julie Farber and her student Brandon Sacca, both residents of Summerset, led an activity where attendees made and decorated copper plates that will serve as reminders to water and care for trees and plants.
Then the pizza tasting began.
Aiello’s, Mineo’s, and Napoli’s pizzas–all located nearby in Squirrel Hill–squared off in a tasting contest to determine Summerset’s favorite pizza, with the winning pizza being served at Summerset’s yearly pool party. Tasters entered their name and telephone number to enter for a chance to win a gift certificate to their pizza place of choice. Mineo’s came out on top with 22 votes, and Aiello’s and Napoli’s tied at 15 votes each.
Here are the pizza contest winners:
Aiello’s: Ishika Arora
Mineo’s: Harold Blumenfeld
Napoli’s: Vega Mahi
Winners can pick up their gift certificates at the Summerset Sales Center located next to the Community Center.
It was a proud day for Pittsburgh pizza, and a prouder day for Summerset’s trees.
Don Smith on Great Golfing around Summerset
Don Smith–President of RIDC, resident of Summerset and avid golfer–moved to Summerset when he wanted the convenience of living in the city with more space.
RIDC is a major economic engine behind land development for businesses in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The organization is responsible for redeveloping Hazelwood’s Almono site, the former Sony plant in Westmoreland County, and other business parks in the region with a goal of bringing the economic growth to the region.
Don grew up outside of Scranton in the Poconos, and moved to Pittsburgh in 1988 to attend graduate school at CMU. Before moving to Summerset, he lived in Shadyside for fourteen years. When he began to search Pittsburgh for a convenient location with more space, he couldn’t find anything that fit all of his needs. “I like three-pronged outlets, level floors, and a garage that you can actually pull your car into.”
Don began to think about moving to Summerset. “I knew the builders, so I knew that they did quality work, and I had a few friends who already lived there and their experiences had been good.” Coming from a background in real estate, he also liked Summerset’s layout. “I like the new urbanist plan: the density of the neighborhood, the sidewalks, the front porches. You can have a traditional home here that has a modern functionality and flow.”
Don loves living in Summerset now, and one of his favorite aspects of the community is its proximity to other locations around the city. “The no tunnel lifestyle is a key factor,” he commented. Don can easily travel to the Waterfront, downtown, or the Edgewood Country Club, his home golf course. “On Saturday mornings, I can get to the golf course in 12.5 minutes without breaking any laws.”
Don is a Pittsburgh golf course connoisseur, and he’s played just about all of the courses in the region. “Edgewood is my home course, and since ‘96 that’s where I’ve played most of my golf.” When he’s not playing golf, he likes to spend time in Frick Park with his fiancee Nicole and her daughter Ava.
“Fox Chapel Golf Club and Nevillewood are probably my favorites,” he confided. “Oakmont and Laurel Valley are also great courses.” Oakmont is one of the top five courses in the world, having hosted more U.S. Opens than any other course. Fox Chapel and Laurel Valley are both often ranked in the top 100 courses in the U.S., and Wildwood, Treesdale and Shannopin are all convenient to Pittsburgh.
But the best part of living at Summerset is the ease of getting to so many different courses. “Longvue, the Field Club, and Edgewood are all twenty minutes or less to get to, and that’s great.” Plus, if you only have a little time, the Bob O’Connor course at Schenley Park is close by, inexpensive and boasts great views of the city. “You can get your golf fix pretty easily from Summerset.”