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  • Shayna Bodi

June Happy Hour Recap

In an effort to slowly ease our way back to in-person Happy Hour events, the Women+ in Design PGH decided to have POP-UP PARK gatherings all around the city on June 8th, 2021. Feeling the need to reconnect with our communities, our neighbors, our friends, and our local environment, this event spontaneity sparked great conversations and an appreciation for keepin’ it close to home. Unfortunately, the evening sky decided to pour some rain on a few of our Pop-ups. However, showing our strength and perseverance as women, we powered through…

As a new model for community building, these Pop-up Park gatherings were unique! Each of the sites listed below were hosted by a Women+ in Design Board member living in that neighborhood:

1. Frick Park - Squirrel Hill - W+iD member: Melanie Como Harris

2. Arsenal Park - Lawrenceville - W+iD member: Laurie Butler

3. Mellon Square Park - Downtown Pittsburgh - W+iD member: Emily Pierson- Brown

4. Mt Lebanon Park - Main Pavilion - W+iD members: Shayna Bodi + Parva Markiw

5. Schenley Park - Squirrel Hill - W+iD member: Emily Rice

6. Aspinwall Riverfront Park - Aspinwall - W+iD member: Brenna Martin-Shaffer

A POP-UP spot was selected, anyone in the area was welcomed to join, and conversations ensued. This Happy Hour was a bit of a trial for our first in-person meetups since COVID-19 began. But, the feedback was extremely positive about the relaxed format. Craving interaction from a year in isolation, the smaller gatherings allowed those that felt rusty in the networking department to feel at ease and have the opportunity to connect on a deeper level. A few interesting insights emerged from these events.

Summary from Anastasia Markiw: "The Mt. Lebanon crew met at a pavilion and there were six of us with drinks and snacks. We talked through the rain and even came up a suggested addition for the newsletter!" To elaborate further, we came up with the idea that W+iD might start sharing more intellectually inspiring content in addition to books, such as favorite podcasts, people to follow on social media, workout classes and/or favorite eateries. We had such a nice exchange of ideas and thoughts and new online resources to explore. My personal favorite podcast that came out of our discussion was ‘A Sustainable Mind’ If you feel like being eco-inspired, check it out!

Summary from Brenna Martin-Shaffer: "At the Aspinwall Riverfront Park, the group somehow we avoided the rain! There were five of us who enjoyed conversation, drinks, and snacks on the river. We coincided with a local Pride Festival and had some awesome company, food trucks, and music to make the evening even more festive. It was nice to connect as a smaller group and to establish a neighborhood connection with others in W+ID."

The Frick Park group had the most challenging weather and after 40 minutes of hovering together under a tree, they decided to part ways.

The downtown group had the smartest idea - skip the park and head for a local bar!

THANK YOU to all that braved the rain and to the willing hosts for each location. If you were rained out or missed this one, join us for round two of the POP-UP style Happy Hours in late August. Date and Locations to be announced soon! As always, the planning team welcomes your thoughts, feedback, for future sessions, and continued participation.

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