Plus, reminisce with the McGinnis Sisters at tonight’s Heinz History Center virtual event.

🍰 Prantl’s famous Burnt Almond Torte cake is coming to the North Side

Plus, reminisce with the McGinnis Sisters at tonight’s Heinz History Center virtual event.

By Francesca Dabecco

It’s Tuesday, Pittsburgh.

Did yinz have a nice weekend? I got to catch up with an old friend at Phipps Conservatory’s Holiday Magic! Winter Flower Show and Light Garden. As always, the displays were as stunning as ever. There’s plenty of new sights to behold this year, including a nontraditional display with a color scheme inspired by iridescence in nature (pictured below). I especially appreciated the Duquesne Incline model in the “Bridges and Tunnels” Garden Railroad, of course.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the dazzling displays for yourself, don’t fret just yet — the exhibits will be open until Sunday, Jan 9.

Now, let’s take a look at today’s news...

What Pittsburgh is talking about


🎄 A kaleidoscope of colors at Phipps Conservatory. | Be sure to tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day (📸: @francesca_dabecco)

4 things to know today 

😷 The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the Wolf administration’s school mask mandate. The particulars on masking rules — or lack thereof — will now be left up to Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts to decide on independently. 

  • Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to put stress on the nation’s healthcare systems, and wait times are increasing at Pennsylvania hospitals. (90.5 WESA / Pittsburgh City Paper)

📚 The University of Pittsburgh is launching a new bachelor’s program in education beginning with the fall 2023 semester. The announcement comes amid a critical teacher shortage on both national and local levels. According to an article by reporter Deb Erdley, Pitt last offered a bachelor’s degree program like this roughly 30 years ago. (TribLIVE)

🗣️ Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg leaders are split on the potential annexation of Wilkinsburg. The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corp. gathered enough petition signatures supporting the city’s annexation to move the process forward, but residents have expressed concerns over its potential impacts on the community. As detailed by reporter Julia Felton, Wilkinsburg Councilman Andre Scott said that discussions of annexation should be put on hold while both communities transition to new mayoral administrations. (TribLIVE)

🚲 Pittsburgh’s bike-share nonprofit Healthy Ride is removing 50 stations throughout the city. The plan is to make room for electric-assist bicycles in 2022. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

4 things to make you smile

🍓 Tune in on Zoom tonight at 7 p.m. for “Remembering the McGinnis Sisters: Food & Family Stories a virtual talk presented by the Heinz History Center. The talk will be led by Ashley Rose Young, daughter of the late Sharon McGinnis Young and a food historian with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The event promises to share remarkable stories behind the beloved markets straight from the family. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🍰 Pittsburgh’s famous Burnt Almond Torte cake is coming to the North Side; Prantl’s Bakery is taking over the Priory Fine Pastries space on East Ohio Street. In addition to serving up “America’s Best Cake,” the new Prantl’s location will offer thumbprint cookies, cake bars, pepperoni rolls, and more. (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🍞 Read this heartwarming account of reporter Kristy Locklin’s walkthrough tour of Mancini’s Bakery, a Pittsburgh institution founded in 1926. The writer dives into the bakery’s history while sharing her own memories of breaking bread with her family, particularly those of her late grandmother who lived just a few blocks away from its location in McKees Rocks. (NEXTPittsburgh)

🍯 Keeping with the local business and bakery theme we’ve got going here, check out these five Pittsburgh restaurants serving delicious toasty treats. Among other options, Duncan Street Sandwich Shop in Millvale has a cranberry and cheese toast on sourdough and Cafe 412 on the West End serves a ricotta toast with pistachios and honey — head to the link to find more. 👉 (Pittsburgh City Paper)

🎁 Yinz could win…


It was difficult to put life’s challenging pieces together during the pandemic, so many of us hunkered down inside and dusted off the puzzles to keep ourselves entertained — including Puzz owner Ali Pokorny. It’s a more modern take on classic puzzles, featuring original art that captures favorite scenes like “Plant Lady,” “Wine Night,” “Taco Tuesday,” and of course, a love letter to her hometown, “Steel City.” 

All puzzles are $28, but Ali was generous enough to give away a Steel City puzzle to one lucky Incline reader in The Incline’s Holiday Gift-away!

🎉 There’s more where that came from. Over the next few weeks, you’ll also have the chance to win other prizes in our yinzerific grab bag from The Incline’s 2021 Local Holiday Gift Guide, like a mini-print of a Pittsburgh landmark by Buildings By Shane, Bath Salts and Body Buttah from Tonic and Sage, and a Seasonal Holiday Trio from Maple Street Jam including flavors like Winterberry, Gingerbread, and Figgy Pear Jam. Winners will be chosen at random and blindly matched with gifts — think of it like an exclusively Pittsburgh-themed White Elephant exchange!

🎁 What are yinz waiting for? Enter to win here.

The giveaway ends Tuesday, Dec. 21 at noon EST. Winners will be notified via the email they submitted their entry with — good luck!

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🍻Make a bud while sipping suds at Trace Brewing’s Pittsburgh Speed Friending (Bloomfield)

🎙️ Listen to White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor speak at August Wilson Center’s TRUTHSayers series (Downtown)

🍓Reminisce with the McGinnis Sisters at this free virtual event hosted by the Heinz History Center (Online)


🎄 Get in the holiday spirit with Prime Stage Theatre's streaming production of One Christmas Carol.(Online)

🎨Grab a glass and a paint brush at a Paint & Sip night at Threadbare Cider House (North Side)


🎉Celebrate the holiday at the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Out of the Office Party (Oakland)

🎸Learn about the life and career of Pittsburgh’s most prolific music promoter Rich Engler at The Oaklander Hotel (Oakland)

One more thing…

Chew on this: I published The Incline’s food and drink updates from December just last Friday, but unfortunately, there’s already another closure to add to the list. 

This one is a tad controversial — after only two months in operation, Mount Oliver Bodega has closed indefinitely. The decision comes after Chef Kevin Sousa — who has had a bit of a reputation for bouncing around different restaurant pursuits — abruptly exited earlier this month. Mount Oliver Bodega’s General Manager Chris Clark and Executive Chef Jonah Frazier are reportedly talking with building and business owner RE360 real estate to address next possible steps.

Were there any openings or closings I missed? Hit reply to this email to let me know, and I’ll add them to the list.

See yinz back here tomorrow.

— Francesca at The Incline

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