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5 Fun, Not-Evil Things to Do During DrupalCon Pittsburgh

The Kalamuna Team
| June 1, 2023



What do you do when you’re not Drupal keynoting, paneling, summiting, or birds-of-a-feathering? And what do you do in Pittsburgh when you want to do good and not be an obnoxious tourist? We might have some answers.

Every year, we use our DrupalCon booth to do the usual touching-of-bases with Drupal peeps, but we also use it to promote a local nonprofit. We do this because improving people’s lives is at the heart of everything we do—even building Drupal modules. This year, we’ve decided to support Grounded Strategies, a local nonprofit that reclaims vacant lots and helps communities turn them into greenspaces. While learning about this organization, we discovered so many other people, places and businesses doing great things for the city and that offer Drupalistas a view of Pittsburgh beyond the made-for-tourists bar and restaurant scene. So without further ado, here’s our list of un-corporate things to do in Pittsburgh that help line the pockets of people adding to the city’s flavor—and just making Pittsburgh a great place to be. Let’s help ‘em out. After all, as visitors, we have the opportunity to leave Pittsburgh a bit better than we found it.

1. Amazing Books and Records, 929 Liberty Ave

Distance from Pittsburgh Convention Center: 5 min. walk

Image of the front of Pittsburgh Store, Amazing Books and Records

If you’re like a lot of us who go to developer conferences, you might feel the need to take a break from the bustle of keynotes, panels and impromptu chats. Lucky for you, Amazing Books and Records is just a moment’s jaunt from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Run by a chatty bibliophile, this independently-owned store is the only place to get used books and records in downtown Pittsburgh. If you stop in, you might see our Senior Architect, Aaron Feledy, trolling the sci-fi stacks.

2.Cobbler World, 1059 Penn Ave. 

Distance from Pittsburgh Convention Center: 4 min. walk

Image of the dessert, cobbler.

You’ll find us here getting our mid-panel sugar fix while supporting an independent, Black, woman-owned business. Cobbler World is the place to get your cookies, cakes, breads—and yes, cobblers—for your whole team. When you get your sweet potato cheesecake from Cobbler World, you’re supporting founder and entrepreneur Terina J. Hicks, who got her start and love of baking from her mother, who made amazing peach cobblers every holiday.

3. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, 1 Schenley Dr. 

Distance from Pittsburgh Convention Center: 11 min. drive

Image of the front of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Anytime is time for a nature bath. We’re excited to blaze our senses at this massive 1893 glasshouse conservatory filled with exotic plants, elaborate gardens, and sophisticated glass and metalwork characteristic of Victorian-era greenhouse architecture. When you buy a ticket to Phipps, your money supports a building that makes its own energy and a nonprofit dedicated to advancing sustainability and promoting human and environmental well-being.

4. Gasoline Street Coffee Company, 643 First Avenue

Distance from Pittsburgh Convention Center: 7 min. drive

The logo of Gasoline Street Coffee Company. A circle, red, yellow, and black, with a coffee cup that has wings attached.

Most of us are coffee aficionados, and there’s no time like a conference to try out the local jitters purveyors. Sure, we’ll be able to get coffee at the convention center, but we want to see the local environs and support an independent family-owned coffee shop with a mission to build community. Apparently, the owner buys beans from a roaster in Pittsburgh’s East End and baked goods from a place on the South Side, and each month invites a local guest roaster. And with signature drinks called the Turbo Diesel, Pour Over Petro, and the Chai Charger, we’re excited to hand over a few dollars for the local stimulants.

5. Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St.

Distance from Pittsburgh Convention Center: 6 min. walk

Image of the outside of the Heinz History Center Building

We put Pennsylvania’s largest history museum on our A-list, partly because we want to learn about the place, but also because we’re interested in their current exhibition, The Negro Motorist Green Book. Presented in partnership with the Smithsonian, it offers an immersive look at the reality of travel for African Americans in mid-century America. Started in 1936 by a Harlem postman “The Negro Motorist Green Book” was a guide published over three decades that helped African Americans travel the country safely, and with dignity, during the time of segregation. This is the kind of experience that helps people understand the underpinnings of current race relations. We are for it.

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The Kalamuna Team

Save the World

Kalamuna partners with socially impactful institutions, associations, agencies, and governments to help them solve today’s most pressing problems. We do this by empowering them with the research, strategy, design, and technology that will transform their organizations so they can better serve the needs of their audiences and communities.