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The independent shops of Walnut Street organize an electric evening of shopping and socializing.

When I was a college student living two blocks off of Walnut Street in Shadyside, I had a date pick me up early on one summer evening. The first thing he said when he greeted me at my door, after walking along Walnut Street was, “Wow, it’s like everyone’s in a movie out there!”

I love the glamour of Walnut Street: The businesses that make up this particular shopping district in Shadyside give the neighborhood a unique allure. As a high school student, I got my first taste of Walnut Street’s upscale fashions, and I knew exactly where I would live when I got my first college apartment. As a University of Pittsburgh student, I worked a summer job at Schiller’s Pharmacy, and my sister worked at Shadyside Market. I’ve bought dresses for special events from e.b. Pepper. I’ve hunted the country for a specific pair of sandals that I finally found at Footloose. I’ve picked up a memorable gift for my mother from The Picket Fence, and the first time I visited my boyfriend’s parents, I bought them special tea towels from Feathers. And of course, my work as an editor of WHIRL is intertwined with the stores that make up the distinct fiber of the street.

On May 7, the walk that you can take down Walnut Street will be extra-special. The independent merchants are organizing a “Shadyside Spring Style Walk” to emphasize the one-of-a-kind qualities of their business district, their individual businesses, and the high-end fashions — for home and self — that they offer.

The independent store owners have organized to create the walk as a way of promoting the street and providing more exposure. “We want to wave the flag of the independent shops on Walnut Street that make the area unique,” says Jeff Mulert, owner of Feathers. Mulert, along with Michael Barone, owner of men’s store Moda, and Caesar Azzam, owner of jewelry store Caesar’s Designs, are among the shop owners organizing the Style Walk.

Mulert characterizes the Style Walk as a “grassroots” effort among the independent merchants. Jill  Rubinstein, owner of Footloose, says, “I think this initiative is fabulous; it groups together the Shadyside independent merchants.”

At each stop — 30 different businesses will participate — each store will provide complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres along with another attraction, some themed to a certain country or culture. “Everyone will do something different,” says Roberta Weissburg,

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