NEXT Up: Natalie Bencivenga

Twoday Magazine
As Seen editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Natalie Bencivenga writes about fabulous parties and hotspots around the city, so we’re happy she’s sharing her week with NEXT to kick off the New Year. Attention vegans: Natalie includes some great suggestions for local healthy dining below. Keep up with Natalie on Twitter @NBSeen and Instagram @NatalieBenci.

Monday, January 5:
My mornings usually start by taking Bikram yoga in Squirrel Hill. I love getting a good workout in to start my day right! After, I will stop by the East End Food Co-Op for a salad (yummy marinated tofu!) before heading to a meeting on the South Side with Mitch Zychowski. Mitch started an organization called “Feed My Sheep” and I’m interviewing him for an upcoming Seen column. Then, I am heading to Shadyside to have dinner at my friend Sarah Thomas’ house. I am making her this amazing cauliflower and peanut tofu dish that I’m obsessed with. Check it out.

Tuesday, January 6:
My colleague Sara Bauknecht and I are filming our weekly web show for the Post-Gazette, “Setting the SEEN,” that you can check out every Friday. This week we are checking out vintage fashion and learning more about the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s big event coming up over the weekend. After work, I am going to get acupuncture from Peter Braasch in Squirrel Hill. He is amazing!

Wednesday, January 7:
After yoga, I am meeting Ned Schano from the Heinz History Center for lunch at Eleven to learn more about what they have coming up this winter (I can’t wait for History Uncorked!). After work, I plan on meeting my boyfriend, David, for dinner at Istanbul Sofra in Regent Square. (Everyone keeps telling me they have great vegan options.).

Thursday, January 8:
Yoga and then a fresh juice from the East End Food Co-op before heading to see Bonnie Mangold for a lunch meeting at the Fairmont to discuss some of the charity events she is involved with this year. The Fairmont is a hidden gem downtown for lunch. After, I am heading to the Duquesne Club downtown to cover the 27th annual Cummerbund Society fundraiser which supports Magee Women’s Hospital. The guys get dressed in black tie to play pool … just a typical day in the life of the Seen columnist, ha ha!

Friday, January 9:
After yoga, I’m working on my column at Coffee Tree Roasters in Bakery Square before meeting councilman Tom Baker to discuss an event we are co-emceeing for Carlow University in March. So exciting! Then, I’m meeting my mom and sister, Mia, for dinner and drinks at Soba.

Saturday, January 10:
Really looking forward to meeting my friend, Alanna Sigut, for lunch on the South Side at Amazing Cafe before getting ready for Chatham Baroque’s 16th annual Twelfth Night Gala at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Arts Center. The dress code for the party reads “Funereal Cocktail Chic” so I may have to choose between several little black dresses from my closet … which could take a while.

Sunday, January 11:
I will probably sleep in a little, write my column piece from last night and then have breakfast with David before heading downtown to the Post-Gazette to lay out Monday’s Seen. After work, I may swing by Oakmont to visit my grandma, Carmy, before stopping by to see my brother and dad. Then, I plan on curling up on the couch with David and some tea to watch one of our fave shows, Downton Abbey. I’m so glad it’s back!