Wednesday, September 06, 2006

two more pittsburgh favorites

I've been working like the dickens lately and that takes me to two places (1) The University of Pittsburgh's Hillman Library and (2) Filene's Basement at the Waterfront.

The first has a great collection of film studies books (is it just a great library? or is it because of the strong film studies program at Pitt?) and right at the end of the stacks where they keep these books is a large bank of computers where one can word process and easily use all the library databases and so on . . . Say what you will about document delivery systems or full-text articles available on the internet, sometimes one needs to be able to pick up and discard a large number of books on a particular topic rather quickly. The summer was divinely quiet, but school has started and still very few students have found their way that deep into the library. Experience tells me they never will. I'm not sure they still use books at Pitt; the excellent collection never seem to leave the library and the books are almost always there when I need them.

Even when we didn't have a car (we've got one again) Filene's Basement was worth the bus trip to the Waterfront. I always find something (usually I find 3-4 things and spend about $60) and better still, I am always still wearing the clothes and shoes 3 months later. I kind of suspect this is the best shopping in Pittsburgh - better than the usual department stores, better than Marshalls and better than the Saks downtown, even with a sale on. And I'd be happy to add new destinations to the list if you have any suggestions . . .

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10 Comments:

Anonymous andyhorbal said...

It is a great collection, but I've been running into a lot of missing books lately. Stanley Kauffmann's American Film Criticism: From the Beginnings to Citizen Kane and Jonathan Rosenbaum's Moving Places most recently...

4:10 PM  
Anonymous andyhorbal said...

school has started and still very few students have found their way that deep into the library. Experience tells me they never will.

I worked at Hillman for about six years and every semester during finals week we'd get people asking for help with sheepish grins on their faces, explaining that they were seniors but they'd never used the library before...

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Leland said...

Filene's rules. It can be hard to find a size, but I do most of my shopping there.

11:24 PM  
Blogger zp said...

speaking of overwhelmed new employees (like that time i had lyme disease mid summer), i had to explain to 3 separate hillman microfilm staffers that they had an index to the motion picture world films.

the employees at filenes, however, are consistantly great.

12:52 AM  
Blogger zp said...

should be "they had an index to the motion picture world MICROfilms." hmm . . . perhaps that was what was so confusing all along. my lousy communication skills.

and since i cannot leave a comment at your blog, andy, and am i glad to see you have really taken to pauline kael i will just say so here. i am glad. i couldn't find where i once upon a time commented about her at your blog, but perhaps it got lost in the shuffle . . . i got a crazy jolt today when i was reading SOMETHING in the new yorker (a restaurant review?) and a woman was called out as an interior decorator . . . because of the pants she was wearing.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous andyhorbal said...

There's just no one else like her, is there? I've never encountered a critic I so relished disagreeing with. More than any writer I've discovered or any person that I've met she forces me to seriously consider and to rigorously defend my preferences, my tastes, my standards. And so by reading her I feel like I'm improving as a film writer and as a film watcher...

4:55 PM  
Blogger EL said...

Ahhhh Filene's. I just had my first experience there, so I could start to look a bit professorial ( a feat). I'm a fan already.

5:49 PM  
Blogger zp said...

you know what i love? i love the way kael so transparantly reveals that she feels deeply threatened by the chaos of the 1970s . . .

a productive disagreement? i think i know where you are coming from . . .

and please make sure you can wave those arms in whatever you buy, el. if you can't, it's not really professorial, is it?

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

The Filene's in New York is much better than the one here, except too crowded to get into the fitting rooms. But every time I go to Gabriel Brothers I say why do I ever go anywhere else; I can't believe the haul I got there the other day, including the greatest skinny black jeans for $8.00.

8:52 PM  
Blogger zp said...

This Gabriel Brothers sounds very promising. But all the stores are a little far . . . evidence (Maxi-Saver trip) to the contrary, I'm never out that way (or the other ways either), at least not alone, during business hours. But it sounds like it might be worth the effort.

9:41 AM  

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