Final Thoughts | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Final Thoughts

Five quick hits worthy of consideration

Turn the Clemente Bridge into a Park

Pittsburgh is the city of bridges, yet there's no single attraction that celebrates that fact. A community park and greenspace over the Allegheny River would be the perfect showpiece for our city. The park would be open to the public but could also be a source of revenue and rented out for special events. Imagine what folks might pay to have their wedding and reception on one of Pittsburgh's famous bridges. The view is incredible, and we already know we can survive without it as a motor bridge because we do it for Pirates home games.

More boat rentals

It's time we take better advantage of our natural resources. Plenty of people boat and kayak on the three rivers, but there are very few places that actually rent watercraft for a day on the water. The sky is the limit on the type of rental — from pontoon boats to paddle boats to jet skis. People might not come Downtown just to rent a boat for the day, but having another draw for visitors can't be a bad thing.

Promote Pop-up businesses on Penn Avenue near the convention center

Every year the David L. Lawrence Convention Center draws more people Downtown for conventions and conferences. And while Penn Avenue leading to the Convention Center houses some businesses, there are also an awful lot of street-side empty storefronts in the center itself. Instead of covering the windows with "decorative" blinds, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and city officials should provide grants and promote pop-up businesses in those spaces. These types of enterprises have been successful across the city and would be a perfect way to keep a steady stream of rotating businesses in those storefronts. A lot of people have great business ideas; this would provide, literally, an avenue to showcase them and at the same time provide some life to a street that sees a lot of visitors.

Upscale Donut Shops

They go by many names — fancy donuts, artisanal donuts, gourmet donuts. But regardless of what you call them, it's one of the hottest new food trends of 2012, according to the all-knowing food gods at the James Beard Foundation. The elevated donuts come in a variety of new flavors: According to Portland Monthly, for example, that city's Blue Star Donuts offers maple-glazed and bacon, as well as fried chicken and honey butter. The shops are popping up in major cities across the country and while they're not cheap, they're extremely popular. Hopefully it's just a matter of time before they fill this hole.

Make the Point Park fountain voice-activated 

Why be content with just watching the fountain at Point Park when you can control it with your voice? The louder you yell, the higher the water shoots into the air. It would be fun for children and late-night drunks alike.

— Charlie Deitch, AmyJo Brown and Al Hoff

Hands off Rafah protest in East Liberty
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Hands off Rafah protest in East Liberty

By Mars Johnson