Market Square is a Movie Star!

Back in the spring of 2008 some of you may recall a film was shot in Market Square.

Dreamworks Pictures converted the Market Square stage into an elegant outdoor restaurant for a few nights to film a scene in "She's Out of My League."

They put tables and chairs under our bright yellow awning with soft yellow tablecloths, flowers and lighting.  Ivy trailed off the railings with flower boxes and they used a beautiful flower-trimmed arbor as the entrance.

They even spruced up some of the building facades they thought they might be visible in the background.

Dunkin' Donuts and Moe's Southwest Grill weren't even open then, they were under construction, so the film crew turned Dunkin' Donuts into the French restaurant that serves the outdoor diners and Moe's became a pizzeria.

They did all their filming at night.  One of my favorite Market Square pictures was taken at night after some rain because you see the neon signs and streetlights reflected all over the cobblestones.

Well, apparently that's a common movie trick.  They brought in a giant water buffalo and sprayed down the street between takes. 

I remember one night was so windy they had to stop filming for a time, but there was still a huge pile of people standing in the PPG arcade behind barricades and Police to watch!

The result looks fantastic!

Click here to watch the movie trailer
and see the old Market Square as a star!


Pie Fight in Market Square!

John Manders is an illustrator that lives in Pittsburgh.  As a result, you may find that distant friends and relatives are already familiar with some Pittsburgh landmarks, including this one:

John drew on his experiences here in Pittsburgh to help with this book project.  If you look closely you can see the photos of Market Square he used to help him paint the scene.

Click here for John's blog. We just showed you the beginning and the end but you can see all the steps he went through to create a pie fight in Market Square. You can also see how he develops the characters, scenes and props in his other work.

To learn more about John Manders, his school visits, the work he has for sale, etc. you can visit his website John Manders.com.

For more Downtown resources on illustration you can check out the Toonseum which recently opened on Liberty Ave across from the August Wilson Center, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where John honed the skills you see today.  During the warm weather you may see the occasional student, quiet and focused amid the swirl of activity in Market Square, transferring the scene on a sketch pad, or the photography and video students from Ai or Point Park capturing life in the Square.

But don't you go getting ideas now! Don't spit seeds at your neighbor in Market Square or we could end up with a big pie fight!


What's with the Tent?

Glad you asked!

It's the road!  They are laying the belgian block for the roadway!

They laid the sub-base of concrete over the past few weeks, now they are covering that with sand and setting the stones in it.  It's good to see our old stone again after its vacation to the warehouse and its cleaning!

The tent is to protect the workers and the work area from the rain, snow, wind, cold, and whatever else nature decides to drop on us.  As they lay the block they will move the tent around the Square.

This is how they are laying the granite curb. 

Heavy machines do the lifting, people manage the placement and small adjustments based on previously set guide wires and boards to ensure perfect placement.  Go check out the new curb to see how wide the new sidewalk area will be.  The weather is so mild compared to the way we started the year you almost wish the street cafes were already there!

If you haven't been to the Square since it was covered in snow, you should go see.  It's really starting to look the Square as we'll be using it (instead of imaging how high the ground will be based on manholes and fire hydrants!).

After the belgian block work, the crew will begin on the sidewalk.  Most of the sidewalks will remain as they are with an extension added to the material already in use but the PPG sidewalk needs to be re-graded to that the angle matches that of the rest of the Square.  They also hooked up the electric utilities on Friday so once the light pole shipment arrives and the brickwork by PPG is completed, we'll be able to switch from the string of temporary lights to the real lamp posts. 

We're getting there folks!

PS I'd like to point out that thanks to one of our previous commenters, I can now tell the difference between cement and concrete. Cement is an element in concrete, but the final mixture that gets laid is concrete. The stuff you will see when you visit the Square today is concrete. Thanks to our commenter for the education!




GNC Helps You Keep Resolutions!

Keep those New Year's resolutions with help from a Pittsburgh-based company, with a convenient location right in Market Square! (see coupon link at the bottom of this post)

Here is a peak at the info on their website: GNC.com Or you can just pop over to Market Square and see them in person.  (And don't forget to bring your coupon located at the bottom of this post! It's only good Jan 11 - 13.)

GNC, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is the largest global specialty retailer of nutritional products; including vitamin, mineral, herbal and other specialty supplements and sports nutrition, diet and energy products. GNC has more than 4,800 retail locations throughout the United States and franchise operations in 48 international markets.

Our sales associates participate in ongoing training programs, so they’re ready to answer your questions and help you reach your nutritional goals.

Our commitment to educating employees inspired us to start GNC University – an e-learning solution for expanding sales associates' knowledge in the areas of nutrition and fitness.

We are serious about customer satisfaction and helping you find the products that best suit your needs. For that reason, every GNC product is backed by a money-back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with a GNC product, simply bring back the unused portion and your receipt within 30 days of the purchase for a full refund or exchange. No questions asked!

Not only do they help you care for your own body, they support the Pittsburgh community through their Foundation and Corporate Giving...
Thanks to support from the GNC Live Well Foundation, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC was able to open a state-of-the-art fitness center for its caregivers. "The HB4Life Center supports Children's caregivers in a tangible way that addresses the stress of caring for sick children. In doing so, this facility also provides a world-class facility to help attract and retain the very best team for this important Pittsburgh institution." - Joe Fortunato, CEO of General Nutrition Centers, Inc. The center will be managed by the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh (which will have a location on Market Square not too long from now!)

Local business doesn't have to equal small business, so grab your coupon, head to Market Square and support a local Pittsburgh business!

20% off coupon


No fun in the snow...

And we thought the snow made our lives tough!

My fingers almost froze off just taking a couple pictures, but this team is out there working all day! 

They have to take special precautions to keep the the site protected, add elements to lower the freezing temperature of materials, and of course they need to keep themselves safe from exposure in below-freezing temperatures.

(I know you can't tell from here, but he's smiling in this picture!)

So this summer, when you're enjoying a concert or a quiet lunch with friends, under the trees with the sun dancing on the flowers... remember what we had to experience to get the great new space.  Think about the crew that was out in the snow... Think about the merchants that had to deal with road closures, delivery changes, decreased foot traffic... 

If you want to enjoy that moment this summer, maybe take a little time this month to make a special trip out in the snow to tell the construction crew their work is appreciated and to support all those locally owned businesses!  I know they'll appreciate your effort!


Subway Helps You Keep Your Year's Resolutions

At $5 for a foot of sandwich, you can't ask for a better way to save on money, save on time, and save some calories.  Six of their sandwiches have 6 grams of fat or less.  And if you walk down the office stairs, a few blocks to Market Square, then back up the office stairs, you've just raised your metabolism right before eating.  Maybe keeping those resolutions won't be so hard after all.

If you're looking for a way to change-up your Subway experience, you can get your sandwich on their new flatbread or get a FUZE iced tea, brewed fresh everyday and full of antioxidants, Vitamin C and other essential vitamins.  And you can always add on a cup of soup to keep you warm in these cold temperatures!

So put your pedometer on and get moving outside to Market Square.  If the construction crew is out there working you can do it to!  Go give them a cheer when you pass by!