South Hills' street has mom-and-pop feel
In just a few blocks on Brownsville Road, straddling the line between the city's Carrick neighborhood and the suburb of Brentwood, you'll find a "Main Street, U.S.A."-type corridor, where several mom-and-pop shops carry collectible treasures. Wear good walking shoes and bring your appetite for your outing, because you'll be taking a scenic stroll and having a big lunch.
Park somewhere along Brownsville Road, between Birmingham Cemetery and Stewart Avenue, where the Burger King stands. Start your day off with a nice, filling meal. What kind of food are you craving• Within just three blocks, you've got about a half-dozen choices. If you want Chinese food, try Bai Ling Chinese Restaurant. For deli-type chow, check out Sam's Sun Sandwiches. For steaks and such, hit the Brownsville Inn. For casual dining, there's Gary's Restaurant; and for pizza, there's Italian Village Pizza. Or, if you want to celebrate the coming St. Patrick's Day, try Mooney's Place, an Irish pub and grill. All of these eateries are located on Brownsville Road. Have a nice, long talk with your companion, as you enjoy a leisurely meal, and look forward to your afternoon.
Now, it's time to go shopping. You might be surprised at what you end up finding and purchasing at these places.
You can start by treasure-hunting at Dreamline Hauling (412-722-5560), where owner Dan Rolland brings household items from estate sales and sells them for negotiable prices. You can find everything from antique furniture to kitchen appliances, televisions, glassware, dolls, photos, books and more.
"I take just about whatever people don't want," Rolland says. His dog -- Diamond, a boxer mix -- will keep you entertained as you hunt through the old items.
Now, you might find something next door at the Cash Flow Shop (412-207-7302), where you can find secondhand goods that people sold to the shop. The store has a big DVD selection, along with some big items, like televisions, computers and more.
Do you need some simple household items like groceries and kitchen supplies• Pop in at Pennie's Dollar Store, a rare indie dollar store in a chain industry.
Now may be a good time to walk to your car, and put whatever you've bought into the trunk. We've only hit one side of the street.
Cross the street, and check out Millaa Boutique (412-973-8252), which carries retro items from estate sales, consignment, the Internet and trade by artisans. The quaint shop carries items like hand-painted handbags, funky artisan jewelry, vintage clothing and jewelry and more.
Now, walk down a block or so, and you're in Brentwood. Here, you stop at the Brentwood Gold Exchange (412-882-5520) and buy some nice used jewelry for your sweetie. The store specializes in sterling silver, and has everything from rings to necklaces and earrings. It's not just expensive stuff: you can buy a pair of earrings for as low as $10.
Next door, at A. Siegel Jewelers (412-882-2111), the store isn't selling gold at the moment, but it does carry some antique jewelry, toys, glassware and more.
Now, it's time to get whimsical. Walk down the street and check out Brentwood Station Trains & Landscaping (412-885-1723), which will delight toy train enthusiasts.
Then, you can go to the Lilliput stores (412-884-4202) with "The Original 5 & 10" toy store on one side, and "Lilliput Doll Hospital," which both sells and repairs dolls and teddy bears, on the other. These adorable, retro stores evoke feelings of nostalgia from a simpler time. You can find toys -- like figurines and cars -- along with candy, dolls, comic books and more from both your childhood, and your parents'. Nothing costs more than $10 at this store. Lilliput also has a resident canine: Baby, a miniature Beagle that owner Lilly Andrews calls the "princess of Brentwood."
Now, drop the rest of your stuff off in the car. It's time to burn off those calories from lunch.
Walk down the street to the Birmingham Cemetery, on Brownsville Road. Get a good, brisk walk through several acres of the pretty cemetery. Enjoy the fresh air, and the views of the house-topped hills surrounding you. Stroll among the many century-old tombstones, and talk to your companion about what life might have been like back in those days.
The Birmingham Cemetery is located at 2511 Brownsville Road, Carrick. Details: 412-881-2201.