The Women in Film & Television International Summit is coming to Pittsburgh this spring. It'll be an interesting confab of industry professionals and professionals-to-be talking about current media trends, creative disruption, new distribution channels and using new media to your best advantage.
Sounds great, you may be thinking. But...Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh has been a fabulous city for ages. When out of towners who've never been to Pittsburgh come to visit, a common reaction is "Wow, this place is great." And it's only gotten better over the last few years.
Take getting in from the airport. Want to save a few bucks? You can jump on a 28X bus, pay $3.75 and be dropped off about 4 blocks from the Westin. There are also Super Shuttles, taxis or limo service that will take you straight to the hotel.
As you approach downtown Pittsburgh, you go through the Ft. Pitt tunnel and onto the Ft. Pitt Bridge and...voila...the money shot, an amazing view of downtown (and if you saw Perks of Being a Wallflower or Boys on the Side, you know exactly what I mean). On your left, the Ohio River and Point State Park with its fountain and walking trails. Across the river, Heinz Field where the Steelers play and PNC Park where the Pirates play. Straight ahead, downtown Pittsburgh, often called the Golden Triangle. On your right, the Monongehela River with Station Square across the river from downtown. And, behind you, Mt. Washington with a breathtaking view of downtown and two inclines to take you to the top. Check Google for "photos of Pittsburgh" if you need more convincing that Pittsburgh has become picturesque over the last 60 years.
Within a mile of the summit's convention hotel, the Westin, are over a hundred great restaurants and trendy bars, many galleries, and museums like the Andy Warhol. Sadly, the Pittsburgh Pirates are not in town during the Summit, but you can still visit PNC Park, a baseball park commonly called the best baseball park in the country. Besides the Summit, there are loads of cultural events going on in downtown in mid-May, including a Tony Bennett concert on Friday, May 17. And, if you want, you can take a tour of Pittsburgh, take a classic Ducky tour and Pittsburgh Pedal Power Tours, which will feature of movie tour of Pittsburgh on Thursday, May 15 (write to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Tours" in your Subject line if you're interested in Pedal Power Tours' downtown movie locations tour).
A short cab ride away from downtown Pittsburgh is Oakland with the Carnegie Museums of Natural History and Art, a must-stop spot for any museum-fan (and a great place to take your kids if they're visiting Pittsburgh with you).
The Women in Film and Television International Summit will open its Registration/Information table on the second floor of the Westin by noon on Thursday and will be ready to help you with suggestions of where to go and what to do. Meet back in the Westin's bar and between 6 and 7 to meet other summit attendees and get ideas about where to go to dinner.
Bon Appetit has listed Pittsburgh as the city where you need to eat now and everyone who's been here agrees!
Recommended restaurants within five blocks of the hotel include:
- Original Fish Market, Westin - Excellent, varied fish menu
- Tonic Bar & Grill, 971 Liberty - Small plates and big drinks
- Sonoma Grille, 947 Liberty - California-style food with a great wine list
- Emporio, 942 Penn - Meatball & beer spot is open now - rooftop beer garden due to open in May
- Sharp Edge, 922 Penn - Belgian food with an outstanding beer list
- Nicky's Thai Kitchen, 903 Penn - Huge selection of excellent Thai food, many vegetarian options
- Nine on Nine, 9th & Penn - Elegant small plates
- Sinful Sweets Chocolate, 901 Penn - Decadent candy shop
- Proper Brick Oven & Tap Room, 139 7th St. - Proper pizza!
- Meat & Potatoes, 649 Penn - All kinds of meat & cocktails
- Six Penn Kitchen, 6th & Penn - Best lamb Bolognese!
- Butcher & the Rye, 212 6th - 350+ kinds of whiskey/bourbon
- Eleven, 1150 Smallman - American upscale, great wine list and fabulous desserts
And even more recommended restaurants with about a mile of the hotel. Many of these are in the Strip District, a shopping area full of fresh produce and trendy art/antique spots.
- Lidia's Pittsburgh, 1400 Smallman - Lidia Bastianich's elegant home of upscale Italian food
- Rolands Seafood Grill, 1904 Penn - Large variety of seafood & beer
- Kaya, 2000 Smallman - Caribbean fusion, many vegetarian options
- Luke Wholley's, 2106 Penn - Excellent fish, great lobster bisque
Check out some other local restaurants on the Pittsburgh Magazine site.
So while you're meeting women from across the country and learning the latest about the film industry, you can indulge a little!