Constructed on the site of an abandoned gas station, The Urban Gardener flourishes year-round with inflorescence and an expansive selection items for gardens, porches, and patios. A sprawling oasis of annuals ($17/flat, $4–$8 for small pots), bamboo (starting at $30), shrubs (starting at $10), trees (starting at $50), and more than 300 types of perennials ($3–$30) cascade throughout the shop, providing the ideal environment for garden cultivation and ghillie-suit testing.
Museums typically showcase art in carefully curated rooms. At Mattress Factory, however, the room itself is the art. Since 1977, the museum's two buildings have housed a permanent collection of contemporary installation art—room-sized works that engulf the entire space. In Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Dots Mirrored Room, mirrored ceilings and walls infinitely reflect a trio of fluorescent dots painted on a white formica floor. In Greer Lankton's It's all about ME, Not You, astroturf lines a floor covered in artful arrangements of grotesque dolls that form shrines to artists such as Patti Smith and Candy Darling.
To further immerse guests, Mattress Factory's exhibitions are paired with educational programs that range from lectures to hands-on art projects. Along with stimulating the public, the museum stimulates the growth of artists through its residency program, which invites participants to create installations while living near the museum, a much more practical alternative to hiding a secret cot in the coatroom.
Pittsburgh Custom Darkroom's still-life specialists use digital technology to save vintage photographs that have been stained, spotted, torn, faded, cracked, and bleached. Picture fixers first consult with patrons to determine a restoration estimate and their favorite Civil War general. Snapshots return to their former glory with light (approximately $75–$100), medium (approximately $100–$150), medium/heavy (approximately $150–$200), and heavy (approximately $200–$300) restorations. During the process, a professional scans the image and produces up to an 8"x10" archival print (larger prints incur an additional cost), thus saving treasured memories of family vacations or alien abductions.
The Philly Team Store outfits Philadelphia sports fans with apparel, memorabilia, and souvenirs licensed by their favorite local franchises. Eagles, Phillies, and Flyers logos adorn hoodies and hats, and top players? names are emblazoned on authentic jerseys across the owners' backs or necks, depending on how they wear them. Other souvenir mainstays include autographed balls, watches, wall calendars, and bottle holders.
Between the pages of Edible Allegheny Magazine, readers find guides to local, seasonal eating alongside wisdom for healthy living and daily relaxation. The bimonthly publication hones in on eco-friendly developments in the culinary industry, ranging from wind and solar power to the sustainable practices of area farms. It also features recipes regularly submitted from notable chefs—recent entries have included chilled radish bisque and creamy potato gnocchi with pancetta and arugula. Additionally, it gives subscribers the chance to win over dinner guests or estranged tax consultants with elegant cocktail recipes. Its calendars also list events such as prix fixe dinners, cooking classes, and wine tastings. Readers can submit anecdotes related to sustainable cooking, farming, or gardening for publication.
The Penn Brewery’s restaurant menu features a wide selection of European dishes and German-style craft beers. Step into a dining room draped with flags, where you can enjoy foods such as traditional pierogi, schnitzel, and wurst, or try flatbreads and sandwiches. Their beer selection features 19 seasonally-rotating libations which have been honored at events like The Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup Alternatively, guests can sit amid the cobblestone walls of the biergarten to raise a few glasses of Penn Brewery’s signature beers and watch bottles of beer as they blossom on the vine.