Photo by Toby Fraley
Visit Fraley’s Robot Repair, an installation by Toby Fraley, on the A concourse between gates A10 and A12, to see how Pittsburgh positions itself at the intersections of art and technology (as well as the homespun and the avant-garde). You can also see Arch, Glenn Kaino’s transformer/robot homage to Pittsburgh’s bridges landside, near the ticketing counters.
While at the airport, look down to see The Sky Beneath Our Feet, Clayton Merrell’s 69,000 square foot terrazzo artwork (in the central area airside), and Jackie Ferrara’s mosaic floor tile installation, Paths (landside, on the ticketing level). Upon arrival, before heading down the escalators, look up to see Alexander Calder’s Pittsburgh, which was originally created for a 1958 Carnegie Institute exhibition.
Those wanting to shop should note that there is no sales tax on clothing in Pittsburgh. While the cheapest bottled water is at Rite Aid (central core), there are a few shops unique to Pittsburgh at the airport. You’ve made it through security, so you could purchase rye-based spirits, distilled in a former bakery in historic Carnegie, at Quantum Spirits (beginning of concourse B), or visit the airport branch of Wigle Whiskey (concourse A), a James Beard semi-finalist award-winning small craft whiskey distillery. (Products from these distilleries and more, including Maggie’s Farm Rum, are available at Pennsylvania Libations in the Strip District, within walking distance of the convention center.)
Gaby et Jules offers French macarons and confitures (beginning of concourse A). Other local products are available at Pittsburgh Exchange and The Strip Market, including locally made chocolates, while Sportzburgh offers everything black and gold.
By the way, if you get stuck at the airport, bellfarm Kitchen | Bar (in the pre-security Hyatt airport hotel) is a farm-to-table restaurant, though its vegetarian options are more woods-to-table, i.e., dominated by mushrooms, except for the salads.
Other “dining” options at the airport include branches of Penn Brewery (between gates A6 and A8) , Primanti Brothers (where they put the fries inside the sandwich, between concourses B and C), and a Greek diner called Marathon Diner (center core), as well as the usual airport fare and the non-food court / non-fast food Bar Symon.