Get out of the office and enjoy Oakland this summer

Claude Monet, Waterloo Bridge, London, 1903,


The dog days of summer are officially here and, at least in some departments, the pace of work has slowed down a bit

It’s a great time to get out during your lunch hour and explore something new in and around Oakland. And we have some suggestions.

Get an art fix: “Monet and the Modern City,” which opened in May at the Carnegie Museum of Art, runs through Sept. 2 in Gallery One.  The exhibit, according to the museum, “contextualizes Monet’s famous ‘Waterloo Bridge’ series with other artists’ work from the time, exploring Monet’s process of serial painting and the enduring theme of industry in art.” There’s a drop-in art chat from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. daily, included with admission. The museum is open daily during the summer. And if you want to go for a late lunch, admission is 50 percent off weekdays after 3 p.m. Details:

See nature at its finest: Phipps Conservatory’s summer flower show has a unique twist this year. “Van Gogh in Bloom” reimagines Vincent Van Gogh’s acclaimed works, including “Starry Night,” “Sunflowers” and “Wheat Field with Cypresses,” using vibrant blooms, majestic trees and hand-crafted props. The show will run daily throughout the summer. Details:

Chairs outside UPMC Presby

Pull up a chair: If it’s not too hot, the wooden chaise lounge chairs on the Fifth Avenue lawn of UPMC Presbyterian are a great place to relax.

Check out a few new joints:

  • Mario’s Oakland Saloon, a sister to the South Side mainstay, opened in May on Oakland Avenue.

  • TW Kitchen, a Taiwanese restaurant, is now open for lunch and dinner at 192 N. Craig St.

  • Malaxiangguo, a pay-by-weight hot-pot restaurant, is in a small storefront at 3608 Fifth Ave.

Take a walk: The Roc Route, created by the Office of Business and Operations Emerging Leader Program, highlights 10 locations on campus, using QR codes that when scanned give historical and current data on each. The full trail from the Eureka Building on Forbes Avenue to Craig Hall and back is nearly 2 miles.

Go for a ride:

  • Like daffodils in the spring, Scoobi scooters started popping up in Oakland as soon as the weather got warm. There are 100 in the Pittsburgh area. They go about 30 mph and cost $2 to unlock, and 30 cents per minute while moving and 15 cents per minute while the ride is paused.

  • If you’re looking for something slower and cheaper, Healthy Ride Pittsburgh has bikes throughout the city you can rent for $2 per 30 minutes.

Booths on Bouquet Street

Pop-up shops: Booths on Bouquet, sponsored by Only in Oakland, brought a variety of vendors to the block between Fifth and Forbes Avenue in June. There are two more outdoor vendor events planned there — from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 26 and Aug. 23.

Dine with a view:

  • Stack’d Burgers, on the corner of Forbes and Oakland avenues, recently opened a rooftop dining area with 10 tables covered by big umbrellas. The restaurants full menu is available on the roof.

  • The Oaklander Hotel has been open a few months, but if you haven’t made it to the top floor restaurant/lounge, Spirit & Tales, it’s well worth a trip. Windows on three sides allow for views of almost all of Oakland, and there’s a small outdoor patio as well.

Get fit and have fun:

  • The BeFitPitt $5 Fridays summer group exercise classes run from noon to 12:45 p.m. each Friday through Aug. 23 at the Trees Hall Fitness Center. Tomorrow’s class focuses on kettleball and conditioning. Other classes in the series include total body training and indoor cycling. They’ll be a new round of classes in the fall.

  • Staff Council is sponsoring Yoga on the Lawn at the Cathedral of Learning at noon on July 25. The free 60-minute class is open to all Pitt staff and will focus on yoga basics along with a short, guided meditation. BYOM (Bring Your Own Mat, if possible).

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 412-648-4294.