Were you like me when you were little and did you also look like Pocahontas because you always had your hair in braids?

That’s not what I meant to ask. Were you like me and thought the Strip District was a place for strippers?

My family was never big Strip District goers during my childhood, at least that I can recall. So it wasn’t until I was a preteen probably that I learned the Strip District was an awesome place for food and gifts and yinzer tchotchkes while Liberty Avenue was the place where all the strippers were.

Liberty Avenue has been cleaned up, but the Strip District remains a fantastic place to spend a Saturday morning/afternoon, which is what we did this weekend, showing my niece from Mexico our little slice of Pittsburgh heaven on Penn.

We took her to Buon Giorno cafe for pizza (delish!), marveled at the line at Primanti’s (I seriously considered yelling out, “PEOPLE, THERE’S ANOTHER ONE IN MARKET SQUARE!”), and then shopped the Strip.

First, I’m going to turn around so that you can pat me on the back that I walked past the tables near Penn Mac, with all the delicious Italian bakery items, and I did not purchase one fattening, ass-cottage-cheese depositing morsel.

In addition to fresh produce that I will use tonight to make Mexican Flatbread Pizza (I’m going to start my own cooking show in which a terrible cook like me attempts to bake/cook all manner of involved recipes. The show will wrap up each episode with me grabbing either the phone to call 911, or the fire extinguisher to put my hair out.), I found a few Steelers/Pirates items I just had to share with you in case they were new to you too:

Also, you can’t find a single negative Penguins item in the Strip.  What could they possibly say anyway? “My name Evgeni. I make terrible English.”

Actually, I’d totally buy that shirt.


  1. bluzdude
    July 19, 2010 10:34 am

    That reminds me… I gotta hit the Strip for some seriouis swag shopping when I’m in town in a couple weeks…

  2. troysussaves
    July 19, 2010 10:43 am

    this crap is actually quite disappointing to me.

    yeah, ben’s a douche-(what’s a bigger word for ‘bag?’ bucket?), and i’m certainly not saying we shouldn’t ship his sorry ass to dallas or somewhere equally insulting, BUT it makes me sad that in one year the swag at the strip went from: “holy lord look at how awesome the city of champions is” to “the only thing interesting around here is our perverted criminal quarterback.”


  3. BeauJacques
    July 19, 2010 10:45 am

    My friend’s father was a produce broker, so I knew it was fruit & vegetables, at least it used to be, hence the engraved
    Pennsylvania Railroad Fruit Auction on the end of the building.

    I didn’t know the naked women meaning of “strip” until I was at least…..11 ! :-)

  4. Sooska
    July 19, 2010 11:24 am

    In addition to fresh produce that I will use tonight to make Mexican Flatbread Pizza (I’m going to start my own cooking show in which a terrible cook like me attempts to bake/cook all manner of involved recipes.

    In my cooking phase I bought what was the definitive cookbook of Mexican cuisine – homemade corn torillas from masa harina and pineapple “beer.” The corn tortillas: took me months to find masa harina at that time and it cost me a fortune cause I bought an authentic tortilla press. Ended up tasting like sawdust and Elmer’s glue in a crispy, flat, “circle.” The pineapple beer was actually pretty good and potent for one damn day. Then it went nuts & and everyone had very bad emissions. That was the end of my experiment and I got rid of that cookbook in a yard sale.

    LOVE those Ben and Nutting things (stickers? coasters? magnets?) They totally asked for it.

  5. hello haha narf
    July 19, 2010 11:31 am

    LOVE the strip. just had by aunt’s boss in from hawaii for the week and sent her to the strip. she returned several times because she had so much fun.

    also, i’d rock a shirt that says “My name Evgeni. I make terrible English.” someone needs to get on creating one…

  6. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    July 19, 2010 11:58 am

    I had my college roomate convinced that in the Strip District people were allowed to walk around naked…until she came here for a visit in 1997 and learned the truth (sad).

    My husband and I just spent a Saturday in the Strip a couple weeks ago and felt like we were on vacation — sipping on iced coffee and eating a croissant watching the people go by. One of the many reasons I love the ‘Burgh!

  7. Charissa
    July 19, 2010 12:00 pm

    Tons of people had signs of encouragement to hold along the sidelines in every neighborhood during the Pittsburgh Marathon. My favorite was, “Run like you’re a college co-ed and Ben’s behind you.” I nearly tripped I was laughing so hard.

  8. Joe K.
    July 19, 2010 12:56 pm

    Capitalism at its finest!

  9. CrashJK
    July 19, 2010 1:00 pm

    LET’S GO PENS !!!!….ah, the golden (and black) boys on skates…

    I like the Ladies Room “Ben at Work” stuff…gotta get some of those for my Stiller Obsessed inlaws.

  10. SpudMom
    July 19, 2010 1:06 pm

    @troysussaves – I believe the word you’re looking for is “douchecanoe.”

  11. Ex-Pat Pittsburgh Girl
    July 19, 2010 1:13 pm

    There’s nothing like the original Primanti’s. The Market Square one is good, but for a first time Primanti’s experience, you have to go to the original. Plus, if I’m going to eat in Market Square, I’m going to the fabulous – so I’ve heard – Mexican place. What’s it called again? Los Vuvuzelas or something? :-)

  12. Shelly
    July 19, 2010 1:18 pm

    There actually is a t-shirt like that for Malkin. I saw a kid wearing one last week at Station Square. Not the exact words but the same idea.

  13. Baba Wawa
    July 19, 2010 2:04 pm

    when i was little my family was traveling in the eastern part of Pennsylvania and i saw a sign that said “Bethlehm” and i asked my parents if we were going to see where Jesus was born

  14. bucdaddy
    July 19, 2010 3:48 pm

    What’s Spanish for “jagoff”? Or is “jagoff” universal? I hope not, because then you can teach your niece to say “Taylor Lautner es un jagoff” and tell her it’s Pittsburghese for “muy handsome,” and she’ll go home and tell her Mexican girlfriends what a jagoff Taylor Lautner is, and they’ll be all “SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! Taylor es un jagoff! Taylor es un jagoff! Taylor es MUY jagoffy!” *swoon*

  15. Virginia
    July 19, 2010 3:52 pm

    Bucdaddy wins.

  16. Suz
    July 19, 2010 5:16 pm

    I grew up listening to my uncles talk about goin’ dahn’ ‘ah produce yahds. My kid-mind pictured huge backyards of green grass. It was years before I connected the produce yards to the Strip District.

  17. Magnus Patris
    July 19, 2010 5:34 pm

    I remember my first time to The Strip. I was about 10 (about ’73-’74) and I went with this old Greek produce seller and my older brother. We were there at about 4 or 5 a.m. I was amazed at the people who were there so early. I was told it was way past prime time, and we missed all the good stuff. But I will always remember walking into Primanti’s which looked kind of scary to me (and my folks owned a mill hunky bar!), but I had my first Primanti’s sandwich that morning. That’s a great memory.

  18. Leigh
    July 19, 2010 6:36 pm

    I absolutely LOVE the Strip! I remember my parents packing up the five of us in the wood paneled station wagon(think Brady Bunch) and loading up on fruits and veggies from the dock on Smallman. The Strip has changed a lot, but it is such an awesome place to spend a Saturday (great people watching!). My favorite street vendor is a woman (Global Girl Gifts)outside of Stamoolis Bros. by Penn Mac who sells really cool jewelry, purses, leather journals, etc. She shops roughly 3 months out of the year to bring this awesome stuff back to Pittsburgh.

  19. Steve B
    July 19, 2010 7:56 pm

    My cousin and her husband were visiting and it was his first trip to Pittsburgh. She suggested I take him to see the Strip District. He said, “Really!!!! I can go to the Strip District with Steve?!?!?!” She smiled. I smiled. The look on his face when we walked down Penn Ave. was truly memorable. There was some mumbling, we bought cheese and went home where my cousin’s smile had changed to outright laughter on seeing his expression.

  20. johnaz6312
    July 19, 2010 11:25 pm

    I went to the strip to pick up a empty Peach crate,so I had something to put my record albums in. Got it for free. Had it for years & years. Even brought it to Phx here with me!!! Had to been in the 70’s!!

  21. angelgirl8906
    July 20, 2010 10:41 am

    You forgot to mention that on Sunday you enjoyed the BEST Texas Sheet cake ever!!!

  22. bjnorthsidecobbs
    August 17, 2010 8:42 am

    two words………….ROBERT WHOLLEY’S

    That is good eating man where else can you watch how your dinner swims before you take it home and deep fry it.
    The smell well what you expect its live fish lol.

    Oh yeah I live in Columbus Ohio now so EVERY time I come home I load up on Steelers Nalia so that I can purposely piss off all CLEVELAND fans.
    For instance last time I was there I got a Shirt from the STRIP it says
    CLEVELAND STILL SUCKS (then some other stuff i never paid attention to) but needless to say that made erebody here mad lol

    I LOVE THE STRIP. (if only I could find somewhere to park)