Valentine’s Day the Pittsburgh way

Written By JOUR 257 Feature Writing

This Valentine’s Day, The Globe partnered with Professor Helen Fallon’s Feature Writing class to both spread love and tell stories of love from all throughout Pittsburgh. 

How Downtown gears up for a sweet Valentine’s Day

By Emma Christley

There’s nothing like a little something sweet to surprise that special someone. Luckily, Downtown Pittsburgh is full of great local bakeries that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

La Gourmandine bakery has one of three locations right here in Downtown. Located off Wood Street on Forbes Avenue, this little taste of France has everything from traditional madeleines and macarons to flaky croissants and fresh baked baguettes.

Looking for something a little sweeter? Then Sinful Sweets on Liberty Avenue is the move. Aside from their edible cookie dough, they also have bon-bons, chocolate bars, baked chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough stuffed Oreos.

A list about sweets in Pittsburgh would not be complete without Prantl’s Bakery, located right off Market Square. In addition to their renowned Burnt Almond Torte and giant sticky buns, Prantl’s has lots of special goodies just in time for Valentine’s Day.

From heart-shaped cakes to red, white and pink iced thumbprints, it’s hard not to order one of everything.

Customers have been placing their Valentine’s Day orders for the past month, says Skye Galiardi, who has been working in the bakery for the past three years. The early influx of orders is pretty typical for this time of year, she explained.

The treats customers seem to be ordering most are cakes and cookies mostly, and lots of cupcakes.

“In addition to our usual cyclone [cupcakes], we also have red velvet and fudge-filled.” said Galiardi as she explained all the new treats available for the holiday.

University Alumni office celebrates Valentine’s Day with fundraiser

By Amanda Andrews

Valentine’s Day is a holiday most associated with love and the act of giving to demonstrate that love.

Point Park’s Office of Alumni Engagement and Giving embraced that spirit the day before Valentine’s with a pop-up table set up in Lawrence Hall lobby. Entitled “I Heart Point Park,” the event, now in its sixth year, encourages students to share what they personally love about the university and to donate to student causes.

Alumni engagement officer and graduate student Courtney List said that the event is entirely organized by students for students.

“With it being in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to showcase why we all love Point Park and why we can together over a common ground and to celebrate that with one another,” List said. “So, not only do we all love Point Park, but we also find out through that where there might be gaps and where we can fill those gaps.”

Some of those gaps include infrastructural concerns, such as lighting. That way, individual schools can focus more on student-focused programs like the Rowland School of Business’ Disney Semester internship program and the Fallon Travel Fund.

Student workers and volunteers asked those passing by for $1 in exchange for prizes. After donating, students could get their picture taken in a photo booth and have a chance to win a $10 gift card, Pittsburgh Popcorn and some Point Park “swag.”

According to List, the spare change quickly turned into a lot:

“Our on-campus goal was 50 donors, and we surpassed that already today. And we’re getting close to our $200 goal.”

The campaign for student funds started on Feb. 9 and will continue through Feb. 15.

“…most of these students have been here since 8:30 this morning with no obligation,” List said. “They just really like to be here and to meet other students and to celebrate the love they have for this place, so it’s been really moving.”

Pittsburghers not in Good Spirits about Valentine’s Day

By Cordell Conrad

The clientele at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits on Liberty Avenue is modest and apathetic on this cold, gray Valentine’s Day eve.  While most stores with a Valentine’s Day-related customer base usually reflect a certain eagerness for this most romantic of calendar dates, the few men and women perusing the contents of the state store aren’t as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Despite the uniformity of the collective lack of concern for Valentine’s Day among the liquor store’s early afternoon clientry, the individual rationales and levels of appreciation for the people that each person here associates with Valentine’s Day —that drives each customer’s unconcern for the big day—represents a lukewarm-at-best diversity.

“The thing I love most about my man on days like today and tomorrow —and all other made up,  Hallmark holidays like Valentines Day— is that there’s no real expectation in our relationship that him or I do anything out of the ordinary,” April Pierce said as she inserted and pulled her credit card from the holder.

Not every customer’s position on Valentine’s Day is as anodyne as Mrs. Pierce.

“Valentine’s Day might seriously be the day that I’m the least romantic about each year and I’m the holiday kind of guy,” Dave Pickering said as he surveyed the rum section. “I’m not married and I don’t have any special Valentine’s Day drama either to create my disregard for it—like many who agree with me do. It’s just so pointless and serves no purpose besides being a big deal to the candy, jewelry and flower industries.”

I guess you can say that there’s no love lost here on this Valentine’s Day eve.

Point Park couples celebrate Valentine’s Day downtown

By Tia Bailey

It’s Valentine’s Day, and couples, friends, family and everyone in between are planning what they are going to do this weekend. Traditionally, it is a couples’ holiday, and there are many couples in the city looking forward to what the weekend has to bring.

Point Park student Meghan Fitzsimmons and recent Point Park graduate Nick Horwat are celebrating the day in Pittsburgh together. The couple has plans that go through Friday and Saturday.

“We’re getting a quick dinner Friday night because I get off at 4 and he goes into work at 6,” Fitzsimmons said.

The majority of their date will take place on Saturday, when they have more time.

“Saturday we’re going ice skating at PPG Paints Arena,” Fitzsimmons said. “His step-mom has season tickets and they’re doing the season ticket-holder skate that day, and then he’s cooking dinner.”

She joked that they didn’t want to go out again, so Horwat is cooking for them Saturday night, which Fitzsimmons and Horwat are both excited for. This isn’t their first Valentine’s Day together, and they both look forward to spending time with each other.

“Even though I’m bad at ice skating, I’m really excited for it,” Fitzsimmons said.

As for Horwat, he is also excited to spend time with his girlfriend this weekend.

“I would say I’m most excited about just spending time with my girlfriend and just celebrating us and how happy we make each other,” Horwat said. “Our plans may not be the most romantic, but they are things that are enjoyable to us.”

Couples celebrate day of love with the Pittsburgh Penguins

By Mitchell Drake

On Valentine’s Day, February 14th, couples across Pittsburgh will spend their time together with romantic dinner and a fun night on the town – some couples will be spending the night with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Caleb Trey, 21, of New Kensington and Leon Harper, 20, of Mason, Ohio, are attending the Montreal Canadiens @ Pittsburgh Penguins game at the PPG Paints Arena at 7:00 p.m. Both Trey and Harper, who have been a couple for almost 10 months, are making use of Trey’s parents’ season tickets. Harper believes the idea is “a perfect way to spend the night”.

“My parents are out of town and we needed something fun to do on Friday, so they let us take their tickets because they know that we can’t miss a game,” Trey said.

They are attending a game on French Language Night, which will be presented by the Penguins’ corporate partner Duolingo, a Pittsburgh-based language learning app. Friday night’s game will be attended by 2009 Stanley Cup champion Max Talbot, who will serve as the Penguins’ “French Language Night Ambassador” in the team’s first bilingual presentation of a game.

French Night will also include Penguins defenseman Kris Letang presenting the “house rules” spoken in French on the arena video board, ushers greeting fans exclusively in French, goal announcements and video replays presented in French and English, and a story on how Letang learned to speak English in IceTime magazine.

Harper says he is “stoked” for the game, as he and his boyfriend were walking to The Pittsburgh Fan sportswear shop in North shore to find cheaper merch than what is sold at the arena.

“I don’t mind that we’re both going to be screaming at Carey Price when most couples are watching movies or chilling,” Harper said.

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra holds annual Valentine’s concert

By Hayley Farrell

The streets of downtown Pittsburgh frosted with the crisp remnants of an icy snow storm. People bundled up in layers of clothing to protect themselves from the frigid air are bustling with Valentine’s day preparation.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is holding an annual Valentines concert entitled Valentine’s Romance, at the Heinz Hall. According to Dennis, a representative for the Heinz Hall “the concert will be held at 8pm Friday the 14th, Saturday the 15th, and at 2:30 on Sunday
the 16th. Tickets are still on sale with a price range of 99 to 20 dollars depending on seating

Couples were rushing in and out of Heinz Hall to purchase last minute tickets. Young lovers John Webber, 20 and Shawnna Williams, 18 of The South Side bought tickets for the Friday night show. “I was glad to get out here at this time because I wanted to make sure I got our tickets before it sold out. I always like to go out and show my appreciation for her on Valentines Day,” John said.

His girlfriend of three years, Shawnna said, “I’m really excited, because I’ve never been to a show Downtown before, even though I’ve always lived in Pittsburgh. It should be a really cool and fun experience.”

The show will have Vasily Petrenko as the conductor, and Ray Chen on the Violin. The run time is approximately one hour and fifty five minutes including the intermission, and tickets can be purchased online on the Pittsburgh Symphony website.

Pittsburgh native sells flowers to people of downtown

By Andrew Otts

What’s a better way to signify the love and commitment you have for that special person in your life than some fresh flowers on Valentine’s Day? Widely sold and bought around Cupid’s holiday, flowers are easy to come by in the Downtown Pittsburgh area and are sold by some interesting characters on the street. On the corner of Penn Ave and 11th St., Nathan Thomas paces back and forth on the rain-drenched sidewalks. In his hand are bundles of flowers—a variety of roses, tulips, and lilacs—all of which Nate hopes will be gone by the end of the day. But standing on a busy street corner selling flowers isn’t Nate’s job, it’s more of his hobby.

“I come down here every year for Valentine’s Day…all these [flowers] I picked myself to make someone happy,” said Nate, who paused occasionally to yell “big man!” to grab some passing pedestrian’s attention.

Nate, a Wilkinsburg native, makes the commute every year into Downtown for the couple days leading up to Valentine’s Day. He passionately hollers from the sidewalk, trying to lure in anyone looking for that last-second gift they may or may not have forgotten. And for only ten dollars for a large bouquet, Nate seems to have an advantage over his competitors that line the city streets. But according to him, his happy customers are what makes it all worth it.

“I’m just tryna spread some love! People need it these days, and I know my flowers are gonna put a smile on your special lady’s face,” said Nate. “We need more love around here…I’m just doing my part and make a little money on the side, ya know?”

Braddock’s Rebellion booked for V-Day

By Nicole Ufheil

Braddock’s Rebellion is located downtown.

In the Renaissance hotel on sixth street. For Valentine’s Day this year they are offering dinner specials from 5-10pm.They are offering a live DJ and dance party in the Renaissance hotel from 9pm-1am.

Also, they are having prize giveaways. That is a special to get them in the door.

On the menu for dinner there is Squid, shrimp, steak, and quesadillas. Also, they offer many soups from the soup of the moment to sausage and escarole soup.

According to management, they are booked solid for Friday, February 14, Valentine’s Day.

What does Valentine’s Day mean to Pittsburghers?

By Marina Karis

Valentine’s day means many different things for many different people.

For some it’s to celebrate the love shared between them and their significant other, for others it’s a big girls night to celebrate the love shared between friends, and for others they show their love to their parents or other family members. The one thing all these people share is love and that is all it’s about.

As we approach the day when couples are walking hand in hand down the street, restaurants are booked up till closing time, and the wine shelves are empty I asked a few people what their big plans were for the night.

Lauren, a SAEM major excitedly told me her plans with her boyfriend for tomorrow night. Instead of going out to dinner on the busiest night of the year, they are instead staying in and cooking together. They’ve rented their favorite movies, snagged their favorite bottle of wine and are going to enjoy a relaxing and intimate night in.

Paula, a colleague at Pizzaiolo Primo is going out with a bunch of her single girlfriends for a margarita night. She wants to get out and have many laughs with her best friends.

Melanie, a dance major, told me about her and boyfriend of 3 years very strong love for each other that they share for hundreds of miles apart. Since they are doing long distance that have just planned to set aside a time that they will facetime each other and eat dinner together and open the gifts that they sent each other.

No matter who you are with or where you are in the world it is important to show the the people you love just how much you care and most importantly you are receiving that same love in return.

Dunkin’ celebrates love in Pittsburgh

By Jessica Dillon

Love is in the square this Valentines Day as Market Square’s favorite places gear up to celebrate the day of love. Sydney Smith, a sophomore at Point Park University has been a Dunkin’ Donuts employee for a year and a half. This year, Dunkin’ introduced a new flavor, pink velvet, available in lattes or macchiato.

“When you buy a dozen donuts, you get a pamphlet of ‘Dunkin-tines’, basically they’re a bunch of donut-themed Valentines”, Smith said. As far as flavors go, Dunkin’ has two Valentine’s Day donut classics. Heart shaped donuts filled with either brownie batter or sugar cookie cream, and topped with pink sprinkles, which are a huge hit this time of year.

“They’re definitely our top sellers this time of year. People will come in asking for a dozen of just those, so they sell out pretty quickly each day”. Smith says. There is no option to order ahead, so you have to be quick if you want to try out any of the new flavors. Market Square is already one of the busier locations for the beloved coffee shop, so popular flavors never last long.

s A new item this year is their pink velvet drink. Essentially, it is chocolate flavoring you can add to your coffee. The flavoring is colored pink to celebrate all things love. “It tastes exactly like a red velvet cake”, Smith says. This new edition to the holiday cheer has been a major hit at the Market Square location. These flavors will be available until they run out.

Baking up love

Winnie Bobbitt

Valentine’s Day is approaching and local businesses in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania are excited to celebrate all of the love this city has to offer. Incredibly popular and delicious, Prantl’s Bakery, located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh is full of treats for that someone special.

Retail manager, Angela Cardesella, who has worked there for three years now explained that although Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be the busiest times of the year at the bakery, there is still a strong sense of anticipation and excitement in the store.

“Each holiday is kind of different,” Cardesella said. “Valentine’s Day- people kind of forget because it’s after new year.”

Nevertheless, the bakery is celebrating with fun flavors for the sweetest of holidays.

“Our seasonal flavors are strawberry, cherry, tiramisu,” Cardesella said.

When asked what her personal favorite treat is this time of year, Cadesella answered, “For Valentines Day, I like the gems, which are basically just icing poured over any type of batter; vanilla, chocolate, white chocolate and red velvet. They are dipped in icing with a chocolate ganache on top. They are very delicious.”

While some dread the sappy holiday, the precious little bakery in Market Square loves it. Holidays can be scary and intimidating for small businesses, but not for Prantl’s Bakery.

Cardesella enthused that, “Holidays are cool because you get to celebrate with everybody coming in! Everybody has a unique story and situation, and is happy to pick up something sweet to share with somebody.”