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Pittsburgh: You Are Long Overdue For Showing Us a Good Time

Pittsburgh, PA: 58 square miles of snow, rain, and misery… Or so they say. It’s time to suck up our pride, admit to our wrongdoings, and stop giving Pittsburgh a bad rep. Because, girls, let’s be real: Pittsburgh isn’t the one who doesn’t know how to have a good time—we are. Her Campus is here to show the way.
 
You might be thinking, This city gave me 5 months of snow, freezing wind chills, and price hikes for fro-yo at Razzy Fresh; what good thing could I say about this place? Others, however, have endless goods words for our city.

 
In his visit to Wiegand last June (seriously, Dr. Cohen, Wiegand?), President Obama said, “It is great to be back at Carnegie Mellon, and in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh. I love visiting a good sports town.” I don’t know about you, but I want to make sure I don’t discourage Barack Obama, or Ke$ha, or the The Dark Knight Rises film crew (What?! Joseph Gordon-Levitt will be in town?!) from visiting The Steel City.
 
Not yet convinced? Just try one or two of the ideas on our list of Pittsburgh’s not-so-hidden secrets (they just seem to be hidden from students), and then see how you feel about this Steelers-crazed city.
 
1) Warning: may cause addiction the likes of Razzy Fresh
South Side is more than just American Eagle headquarters and a place to buy great cheesecake. Take a walk down East Carson and, among loads of great food and bars, you may just find The Milkshake Factory. This hidden treasure boasts 55, yes, 55 homemade flavors of ice cream. I do not lie. Nor will I tell you were you can find it… I will tell you, though, it involves passing through a store full of tantalizing chocolate candy.
 
2) Let’s get out and dance
If you haven’t already experienced it, Hispanic culture in Pittsburgh is as vibrant as Express’s new spring line, and their clubs are fun. Show up to Seviche for an entertaining Monday night out and enjoy free salsa lessons, no cover. Or visit Mexico City Wednesdays and Saturdays for lessons and dancing—cover ranges between $3 and $5.
 
3) Spend money with no guilt
I know someone has told you to get to the Strip District one Saturday morning. But maybe you didn’t realize they meant it. The Strip is one of the most culturally diverse areas in Pittsburgh, and, when shops are open, it is always brimming with vendors to bargain with, shoppers carrying fresh produce, and food. Tons of mouth-watering food you can’t get anywhere else in Pittsburgh. And don’t worry—you don’t need to get up early on a Saturday to experience the Strip.
 
4) There’s nature in Pittsburgh, too
Venture Outdoors is a Pittsburgh group that connects you to adventure sport organizations in Pittsburgh—my favorite? Kayak Pittsburgh, but more on that later. What you need to know is that this company offers many ways for you to escape the congested streets of Pittsburgh. Like the sound of coffee-tasting hikes and kayaking classes? Check out their website.
 
At Kayak Pittsburgh, you can hop in a tandem kayak with a friend and, for just $10 each, you can paddle your way through the rivers Downtown. Ever wanted to see what Heinz Field looks like from the river? Forget Clipper and let Kayak Pittsburgh lend you a vest. They open for business May 1st.
 
Maybe the best part of Kayak Pittsburgh, though, besides their free rentals on student day, is that you have to walk to it. Located under the 6th St. Bridge, the best way to access Kayak Pittsburgh Downtown is to walk on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. You’ll see statues, murals, and a whole side of Pittsburgh you’ve never experienced before (unless, of course, you spend your life in the rivers like our dedicated Crew team). And just so you know, PNC Park and the Andy Worhol are located steps away from Kayak Pittsburgh.
 
5) Stuck for ideas on where to go out tonight?
Lucky for us, several websites have dedicated themselves to posting all the fun stuff they know about Pittsburgh, so you don’t just have to take our word for it. LivingPittsburgh.com is by far the best for finding something great, and cheap, to do any night of the week. I especially like their Free and Affordable Events list, which highlights events and deals like weekly free sushi bar at Blue and restaurants with Friday wing specials. Following iheartpgh on Twitter is great way to stay up to date on interesting events. And Eventful for the Pittsburgh metro area lists great concerts and festivals.
 
Now, one item left on the agenda: Obama, is it too much to ask for a 2011 return visit? 

Lauren Mobertz studies Professional Writing and Hispanic Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, and will graduate in May 2012. To fuel her interest in urban studies, Lauren interned at Oakland Planning and Development Corporation in fall 2010. Since she received her passport, Lauren has not spent more than 7 consecutive months in the US. She spent spring 2011 in Santiago, Chile, translating documents for Educación 2020 and practicing her salsa; summer 2010 in Durban, South Africa, studying the social and economic impacts of the FIFA World Cup and volunteering for WhizzKids United; and spring break 2010 hosting art workshops in Siuna, Nicaragua. Somehow, she always manages to keep up with How I Met Your Mother and a little bit of running, no matter what city she's based in. Lauren hopes to settle down in the East Coast and enter education administration.
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