Best places to beat the Pittsburgh heat waves


The Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain outside the Frick Fine Arts building is a popular place for students to take a quick dip. (Photo by Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor)

By Sarah Connor, Culture Editor

Though every syllabus handed out this week says “Fall Semester,” the weather is not very fall-like at the moment. With high temperatures in the low 90s and humidity making the air feel like soup, most students are looking for an escape from the heat wave — especially those doomed to live in Oakland’s many old dorms and apartments without the blessing of air-conditioning. We’ve assembled a list of some of the coolest places to hang out until the autumn gales come calling.

Dave and Andy’s Ice Cream

There’s no better way to avoid the heat than with an Oakland classic, a homemade ice-cream cone from Dave and Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream. Located on Atwood Street, the parlor is very close to campus and stays open until 10 p.m. — making it great for an evening snack.

So whether students are looking for a social outing or a pit stop after class, Dave and Andy’s — which boasts over 200 rotating flavors of ice cream and hand-rolled waffle cones — is the perfect option for a snack to keep cool. To complement the chilling treat, the shop also offers sufficient air-conditioning.

On-Campus Pools

Unfortunately, the Schenley Park pool will close on Labor Day, but thankfully there are other pools in the vicinity for students to take advantage of.

Despite the busy practice schedules of Pitt’s thriving swimming and diving teams, the pools at Bellefield Hall and Trees Hall are open to students who are not club or varsity athletes. Starting Tuesday, Sept. 4, all students are free to use the pool at Bellefield on weekdays from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m. and Saturdays noon through 5 p.m.

The Trees Hall pool, which is home to the Panthers’ varsity swimming and diving teams, is open to anyone with a valid Pitt ID Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m through 2:30 p.m. and again from 5 until 9 p.m. Fridays offer the same hours but close at 8 p.m. Trees pool remains open from noon through 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Milk Shake Factory

Pitt students can avoid the humidity with another favorite Pittsburgh venue for cold, sweet treats. The Milk Shake Factory has two locations and both are a short bus ride from campus. The Downtown location on Fifth Avenue is accessible via any of the 61 or 71 Port Authority buses, while the South Side location on East Carson Street is easily reachable on a 54 bus.

The Milk Shake Factory is obviously known for its decadent milkshakes, but there’s another delight for the tastebuds in its gourmet chocolates and root beer floats. Entering The Milk Shake Factory is like entering a cool, shiny wonderland. With bright white walls, air-conditioning on full blast and the constant aroma of chocolate syrup, The Milk Shake Factory is a dreamy, frosty location that should be on everyone’s list of places to go to beat the heat til the air cools.

Mary Schenley Memorial Fountain

Sure, it is frowned upon by most local law enforcement to enter any of the public fountains, but just take a look at the Mary Schenley Fountain after a class at Frick Fine Arts — it’s irresistible. The water shines as it trickles down into the pool and lucky passersby on these hot days get sprayed by water droplets as the wind blows the constant stream of flowing water.

Legend has it that the student loans of any Pitt student brave enough to jump into the Mary Schenley fountain will disappear and they will be blessed with a 4.0 GPA for the rest of college. So the next time you find yourself out with your friends, bored and sweaty, give it a go — jump on in and cool off just to see if the legend is real.