Shopping Around the Square

Everyone has a favorite holiday song. Whether it's "Jingle Bells," "Frosty the Snowman," or "The Dreidel Song" they're the tunes that we just can't get out our heads during this time of the year. But when it comes to the soundtrack that we hear while we search for the perfect present for everyone on our gift list, we can't stop humming "You Better Shop Around." And we're here to tell you that shopping around Market Square strikes exactly the right chord during the holiday season.

Now we really don't need to tell you that the Square is one of the hottest dining destinations in the city these days. Honestly, it seems as though another great restaurant opens its doors in the Square every week. But we want to let you in on a really big secret — the Square is the perfect place to start your shopping spree. To make sure you put your best foot forward, there's no better place to start than the Nettleton Shop, where you'll discover some of the finest mens' shoes, boots and leather goods from around the world. Just across the street from the Mancini's/Prantl's shop, the Nettleton Shop's been a family-owned favorite of well-shod Pittsburgh gents since 1927.

For the ladies on your list, WEAR and Serendipity carry some of the trendiest, chicest and most affordable handbags, sunglasses, jeans, hats and other oh-so-cool accessories. Tucked away on Graeme Street, one of Downtown's shortest throughways, WEAR packs a lot of attitude and style into its tiny storefront that's easy to spot from the second floor perch of the new La Cucina Flegrea Italian restaurant across the way. On the other corner, Serendipity fills its spacious showroom in PPG Place with the hippest gear, across from Fat Tommy's Pizzeria.

These days, we're usually in a Market Square state of mind expansion, which means our shopping excursions take us a bit beyond the Square's boundaries. You won't need border crossing papers, though, to visit Heinz-Healy's menswear emporium. From casual to formal, Heinz-Healy's got something for every occasion this holiday season. In fact, this place is so classy that Tony Bennett dropped in to buy a new tie for his recent appearance at Heinz Hall.

You'll want to head up Fifth Avenue for men's clothing at the newly relocated JoS. A. Banks.. For great bargains on quality clothing that looks great at the country club or the executive suite, you can bank on JoS. A. Banks. It's extra helpful if you're shopping for someone who might need to exchange a size in another city.  Just across Fifth, Larrimor's has been outfitting the city's celebs, politicians and everyday people for 70 years. With a large selection of women's and men's apparel, Larrimor's is "one of life's pleasures" during the holiday season.  And if a custom-tailored suit is not on your list this year, do as mom's across the nation - socks and underwear but witha  touch of luxury!

Circling back to the Square, a trip along Wood Street leads to Boutique la Passerelle for women's clothing with a European flair. For a continental look without ever leaving Downtown, Boutique la Passerelle brings the latest fashions from Paris, Milan and other Euro fashion capitals to our fair city at a variety of price points. And J.R. Weldin's, right next door, is the answer for unique paper goods or treats for the knitter in your life.  After a short walk along Forbes, it's back to Square One for some much needed R & R at Zhang's Massage above NOLA with a short neck or foot massage after your day of shopping. And if you realize you've missed some stocking stuffers, or little gifts to make each day of Hanukah special, pop into Nicholas Coffee.  Or rejuvenate yourself at, oh, let's say Bella Sera, Las Velas, Wingharts... or you could just shop around for your favorite dining destination as the Eat'n Park Season of Lights display dances all around you.

Happy Holidays.

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