The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s 51st Annual Nebula Conference was held in Pittsburgh, PA in 2017!
When: Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 1:00 PM – Sunday, May 21st, 2017 at 4:00 PM (EDT)
Where: Pittsburgh Marriott City Center – 112 Washington Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Please join us for a tour of Allegheny Observatory on Thursday night, May 18 from 9:30 to 10:30 pm. Allegheny Observatory (159 Riverview Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15214) belongs to the University of Pittsburgh and is over 100 years old. It houses three telescopes in white domes standing high on a hill in Riverview Park, 4.4 miles from the Marriott. Tours of the building include the three-floor, glass-roofed library and a crypt set in the sub-basement pier of one of the telescopes where the remains of former astronomers have been laid to rest.
Penguins Playoff Schedule
Yes, the Nebula Conference hotel is the closest hotel to the PPG Paints Arena, where the Pittsburgh Penguins will be playing the Ottawa Senators for the Eastern Conference of the NHL. The first two games will be in Pittsburgh just before the Nebula Conference. The next two will be in Ottawa on Wednesday May 17 & Friday May 19 at 8pm. Some playoff games have been broadcast on a big screen TV outside of PPG Paints Arena, which means possible traffic problems.
If there is a game 5, it’ll be Sunday, May 21, at 3pm. Washington Place will be partially closed and the big screen TV will definitely be up. You will be able to get in and out of the garage or get a cab but it will be challenging. Plan to take extra time to get out of downtown if you are leaving Sunday afternoon. But if you are staying Sunday night, go out and watch the game with thousands of Penguin hockey fans for free – it’s fun!
SFWA members and other individuals who are interested in the field of science fiction and fantasy are welcome to attend SFWA’s Nebula Conference. Attendees may participate in workshops, programming and special events throughout the weekend.
Focusing on three tracks relevant to professionals in the genre, attendees will be able to choose from career management, professional development, and expert knowledge panels and workshops throughout the weekend.
This conference is fully accessible and we will strive to make this event comfortable, safe, and engaging for all attendees.
Our policies on harassment and accessibility are located here:
- 2017 Conference Accessibility
- Nebula Conference Accessibility
- Understanding the Accessibility Checklist
- Harassment Policy
The Marriott City Center was the site of the 1999 Nebula Awards in Pittsburgh. Since then, the PPG Paints Arena was built across the street.
Pittsburgh Wheelchair Exchange ($40 a day)
Our site is fairly compact – restaurant/bar/Starbucks on 1st floor, function space on 2nd floor, hospitality on 21st floor – but if you want to rent a scooter or wheelchair, the Pittsburgh Wheelchair Exchange will deliver!
If you have any questions/concerns about Accessibility, please write to us.
Getting to the Marriott Pittsburgh City Center
Here are the general directions at the hotel’s website.
Airport to the Hotel
28X Airport Flyer Bus
Once you arrive at the airport and get your luggage, follow the signs that say “Ground Transportation.” You’ll see signs for 28X bus which goes right to the terminal. Here is the schedule and map for the 28X bus:
- Be sure to tell the bus driver you want the first Duquesne University stop. If you haven’t requested a stop, the bus can bypass the stop.
- The bus stops on Forbes Ave (and, confusingly,not on the Boulevard of the Allies), just across the street from Chatham Sq.
- Get off at the stop labeled Uptown Boulevard of the Allies at Duquesne University.
- The bus will leave you off 2 blocks from the hotel. However, you will not return to this bustop to get back to the airport – follow these directions to return to the airport via bus.
- You’ll also see a Barnes and Noble on that corner. Cross Forbes Ave., walk down Chatham Sq. cross Fifth Ave. where Chatham Sq. changes to Washington Pl.
- You’ll see PPG Paints Arena on the right. Walk about a block up Washington Pl. You’ll see a sign for the Marriott on your left, take a left into the driveway.
Taking the 28X from Hotel to the Airport | Map
To get back to the airport, don’t go back to the spot where you were dropped off (Forbes and Chatham Sq.). You need to go into downtown to get to the outbound 28X stop. The directions are a little tricky; the bus-stop is at 411 Seventh St. (in front of a Bruegger’s Bagels). If you have GPS on your phone, that’s the easiest way to find it. The outbound 28X stop is about .4 miles from the hotel.
- Exit the hotel lobby and turn left in the parking lot, away from Washington Place. Across from the left edge of the building, you’ll see a walkway over the highway that ends on Centre Ave.
- Take the walkway, then a left onto Centre, and cross Centre at the first crosswalk which takes you by the Doubletree Hotel.
- Walk down Chatham St. on the right side of the Doubletree, cross both lanes of Bigelow Boulevard. You’ll see the UPMC building (formerly Steel Tower) in front of you.
- Take the sidewalk that goes to the right of the UPMC building. This sidewalk ends near the intersection of Grant and Seventh. Cross Grant, then cross Seventh so you’re on the right-hand side of Seventh. Walk about two blocks on Seventh where you’ll see a series of bus-stops. Check for the one that says 28X, it’s roughly in front of a Bruegger’s Bagels.
- The fare for the bus back to the airport is $2.75 in cash.
Cabs, Uber and Lyft are available. While they don’t go to the airport, you can request an Uber autonomous vehicle for trips to certain Pittsburgh areas; check your Uber app for more information.
- Hotel self-parking, fee: 6 USD hourly, 22 USD daily with in & out privileges
- Hotel valet parking, fee: 26 USD daily
Closest cheaper option is 3 blocks away | MAP
Garage at Manor Complex
564 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
2-24 hours – $16
4:30pm-6am – $4
Sat/Sun – $4 (Saturday May 20 will probably cost $10 due to a scheduled Chance the Rapper Concert at PPG Paints Arena)
If you’re only parking temporarily at the hotel (under 2 hours), it’s cheaper to park down on 5th Ave. (1 block down Washington Pl from the hotel) during the week and Saturday until 6pm.
Note: Street parking in Pittsburgh, where permitted, is free after 6pm daily and all day Sunday.
While the hotel shuttle is not available for trips to/from the airport, it can take you to sites within three miles of the hotel, including Oakland, the South Side, the Strip District, Station Square and the North Side. Check with the concierge for availability.
Train Station to the Hotel | Image
If you’re arriving in Pittsburgh via Amtrak, the train station is about a half mile walk or cheap cab ride to the hotel:
Greyhound Station to the Hotel | Image
The Greyhound Station is across from the Amtrak station, and is also about a half mile walk or a cheap cab ride to the hotel:
MegaBus Dropoff to the Hotel | Image
MegaBus dropoff/pickup is at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, about .6 miles walk or a cheap cab ride to the hotel:
Other Things to Do in Pittsburgh
If family members are coming with you, or you just need a break, here are some places to go/things to do in Pittsburgh in mid-May:
The campus is just three blocks away and offers an interesting view of the area. There’s a classical music concert on Saturday, May 20 at 4:30.
Pittsburgh Pirates Games
PNC Park is a 1.2 mile walk from the hotel.
Tuesday, May 16, 7:05pm vs. Washington
Wednesday, May 17, 7:05pm vs. Washington
Thursday, May 18, 12:35pm vs. Washington
Friday, May 19, 7:05pm vs. Philadelphia
Saturday, May 20, 4:05pm vs. Philadelphia
Sunday, May 21, 1:35pm vs. Philadelphia
Events at Heinz Hall, home of the Pittsburgh Symphony
Heinz Hall is .6 miles from the hotel.
Wednesday, May 17 Stephen Kostyniak, Horn “Blowing My Own Horn” — A lunch time event from 12:30-1:30, admission is $2.
Thursday, May 18, 8pm : Comic Sebastian Maniscalco
Friday, May 19, 8pm & Sunday, May 21, 2:30pm
Sunday, May 21, 7pm Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, “City of Bridges” free concert, tickets required so check Website
Cabaret at Theater Sq.
.6 miles from hotel
Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage
Friday, May 19 at 7:30
Saturday, May 20 at 7:30
Pittsburgh Improv Comedy Jam
Thursday, May 18, 10pm
.6 miles from hotel
Sold out Wed & Thur, performing an additional evening on Tuesday
.6 miles from hotel
Death of a Salesman
Saturday, May 20 2pm
Sunday, May 21 2pm
(most other evenings, check site)
945 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
.5 mile walk from hotel
Admission: $8, kids 6-12 $4
Pittsburgh has a lot of mini-museums in the area. This is a museum of cartooning and comics.
117 Sandusky, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
1 mile walk from hotel
Admission: $20, $10 children, students and seniors over 65
Half price Friday 5pm-10pm (cash bar and snacks available)
This was one of the first single-artist museums in the world. In addition to the Warhol exhibits, this May you’ll see work by Jace Clayton and Firelei Báez.
Heinz History Center
1212 Smallman St., Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Admission: $16, kids 6-17: $6.50
History and sports history of Western Pennsylvania.
Carnegie Science Center
One Allegheny Ave.Pittsburgh, PA 15212
2 mile walk from hotel
Open 10-5 daily (until 7 on Saturday)
Museum with Bodyworks, RoboWorld and a WWII submarine that you can tour.
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Buses going to Oakland from the hotel area leave from Forbes and Washington Pl (2.5 blocks from hotel, where the 28X would have left you off)
Any 61 or 71 bus will get you to the Carnegie Music Hall stop (you’ll see a brontosaurus behind the bus stop). Entrance to the Natural History Museum is to the left of the Music Hall.
Monday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wednesday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday: noon–5 p.m.
The Natural History Museum has one of the best dinosaur exhibits in the country, along with exhibits
on geology, gems, animals and ancient Egypt. An art museum and library are adjacent.
777 Casino Dr., Pittsburgh, PA 1521
2.1 mile walk
Casino on the Northside just past Heinz Field
An excellent amusement park outside of Pittsburgh, especially great for coaster fans, car needed to get there, open every day but Sunday, May 21.
Medowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village
401 Meadowcroft Road, Avella, PA 15312, 724-587-3412
Admission: $18, kids 6-17: $7
About an hour southwest of Pittsburgh (by car ony), if you have any interest in one of the earliest archealogical sites in North America, this is fascinating and worth the trip.
Starbucks–off the lobby of the hotel.
6am – 5pm Mon-Fri
7am – 1pm Sat-Sun
Burgers, Cocktails, Craft Beer
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Restaurants | MAP
There are many restaurants within two blocks of the hotel. Pittsburgh has one of the best restaurant scenes in the country.
Zagat named Pittsburgh its top food city for 2015: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.
William Penn Hotel
This is a large old hotel within 3 blocks of the Marriott. It was the site of the 1960 Worldcon and it has a number of interesting spots to visit, including:
- Starbucks–with extended hours
- Wigle Whiskey Tasting Room
Taste our award-winning local whiskey, try a cocktail or buy a bottle to bring home.
In addition to the tasting room, the William Pnn has two bars: The Tap Room and Speakeasy
- Palm Court Traditional Afternoon Tea
The five downtown restaurants we’d particularly recommend for a fancy dinner are the Carlton (classic meat with an amazing wine list), Poros (Greek fish), Valozzi’s (upscale Italian with a mozarella bar), Six Penn (great Sunday brunch though), Nine on Nine (while a dinner-only spot most days, it’s open from 11am-3pm Sunday). Note that none of these restaurants are open for dinner on Sunday. Fine restaurants open for Sunday dinner in the downtown area include Lydia’s (great Lydia Bastianich Italian food), Nicky’s Thai Kitchen Downtown (great Thai) and Eleven (upscale American with a great bakery).
We’re sad to report that the Sonoma Grille, our favorite California wine bar has just closed. But the longtime chef at Sonoma Grille has opened a new casual French place in the same spot, Le Lyonnais.
One fine eating establishment is giving us a 10% discount – the Milkshake Factory, 314 Fifth Ave. (less than a half mile from the hotel). Just show your badge for a discount.
Pittsburgh has a reputaion as a “shot and a beer” town, though most of the restaurants and bars in downtoan have a variety of foods and drinks. But Pittsburgh has joined the upscale bar trend. Blend Bar has a variety of scotches and is one of the few bars where can buy a cigar and smoke it on site. It also has a dress code and it’s open Mon-Sat noon-midnight and Sun 3pm-10pm. Perle is a champagne bar in Market Sq. open Thur-Sat 8pm-2am ($5 service charge).
If you want restaurant or other recommendations for things to do in Pittsburgh, write to Nebula Conference Local Coordinator, Laurie Mann.
Additionally, click here for “The Ultimate Guide to America’s Most Underrated City” for further reading.
Mass Autographing, Friday, May 19
For more information, please visit: http://nebulas.sfwa.org/nebula-conference/2017-mass-autographing-event/