PDP Intern Marissa
As a new intern at the PDP, I had my first Project Pop-Up: Night Market experience this past Friday, July 12, 2013. I brought along my friend, Monica, visiting from Florida, who thankfully, was a pretty good sport about coming to work with me on a Friday night. The Night Market took place in an empty parking lot on the corner of Eight Street and Penn Avenue and ran from 5:30 to 11:00 p.m. As to be expected of Pittsburgh weather, it was drizzling when I arrived around 4:00 p.m., but the rain did not seem to affect the select local food, craft, and handmade goods vendors that were happily setting up their booths. A few other PDP staff members and I set up our information booth equipped with handouts such as our Downtown Made Easy Guide, a guide to the Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl, and our Proud to go Downtown t-shirts on sale for $15.00 (and are still available at our weekly Farmers Market!).
By the time 5:30 rolled around, the music was pumping, the smell of the food from the vendors of various Pittsburgh restaurants was making my mouth water, and the rain was tapering off. The people started filing in, dozens of them, enjoying the laid-back and fun atmosphere that the Night Market possessed. My co-workers Jack and Mairin joined Monica and I for a game of corn hole coordinated by our friends from PUMP that lasted almost 45 minutes. I am proud to say that Jack and I won the match, 21 to 18; a close and very intense game. At this point I was having so much fun that I completely forgot that I was actually at work.
After our round of corn hole, I could not handle the amazing smells coming from the food vendors anymore, and decided to browse each to find which I wanted to dig into first. There were so many tasty options: gazpacho from Soup Nancy’s, handcrafted burgers from BRGR, several pastas from Del’s Restaurant, grape leaves and gyros from Café Byblos, and so much more. Considering the fact that a 21-year old girl can only each so much, you can see my dilemma. I decided on a smoked brisket sandwich from Meat & Potatoes topped with Korean BBQ sauce, beer sauerkraut, and pickled cabbage. Needless to say, I was afraid for the cleanliness of my white shirt, but dug right in. The warm, tender beef paired with the perfect toppings was literally the best brisket I have ever had. No exaggeration necessary. It didn’t take me long to devour the entire sandwich, which left me very full and very satisfied.
For the rest of my shift, which went very quickly, I worked the PDP booth selling t-shirts and spreading information about the Gallery Crawl. It was great to hear that so many people were enjoying the market as much as I was, and were so eager to learn more about the PDP! As 8:00 approached, my shift was over, and Monica and I made a lap around the market vendors. The handmade items for sale were incredible, such as the Pittsburgh architecture-inspired steel jewelry from Audra Azoury Jewerly, and the robot sculptures created from recycled objects by Jones Robo-Works, as well as all of the other artists’ works, which were truly one-of-a-kind. I bought a shirt from DeadBuryDead, which makes both signature and classic designed t-shirts. I decided to end the night with a scrumptious oatmeal raisin cookie from Fabulous Homemade Cookies, and mango sorbet from Lascola’s Italian Ice. I would give my first experience at the Night Market two thumbs up, and I cannot wait until the next one, happening September 27, 2013!