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Unusual frames of Pittsburgh in color

Written by A Pittsblogher on .

Here is the latest entry in the  'Oh, Pittsburgh, you are so awesome' series: A video from Brandon Roudebush.

In this video, according to the description, Brandon sought "to create a bright and vibrant depiction of the area and focus on a few of the culturally significant locations of the city, including the Strip District, Point State Park, Station Square, Mount Washington and of course, the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. The film also features Heinz Field, Primanti Brothers, Market Square, the Steel Building, PPG Place, Duquesne University and the Monongahela Incline.”

Did Brandon do our fair city justice? Judge for yourselves! 

h/t Movoto

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Party on August Wilson's birthday

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

Wade AugustWilson 

 
August Wilson would have been 69 on Sunday, which would be young enough for him to still be, a realization that makes his age at death a hard fact to swallow considering how much writing there remains in a gifted 60 year old. He died in 2005 in Seattle, the home he had adopted after a childhood and young manhood in Pittsburgh.
 
His niece, Kimberly Ellis, had been planning a birthday party for her mother, Mr. Wilson’s sister, Freda, when Gab Cody, the Pittsburgh regional rep for the Dramatists Guild, asked her if they could throw a party celebrating Mr. Wilson's birthday.
 
“My mother’s birthday is April 17 and his is April 27; I remembered that ever since I was a little girl,” Ms. Ellis said. “With all the talk about the August Wilson Center, Gab approached me thinking about doing something to celebrate his birthday. We decided on a party to remind people about the person and why he is celebrated and respected, not the center debacle.”
 
The August Wilson Center is currently in the hands of a bankruptcy judge who recently had been parsing offers from suitors to buy it when it became apparent she had a favorite; the foundation group that had made an offer to buy it, restructure it and retain the mission of the center, bowed out. Read that story here.
 
The memorial birthday party for August Wilson is from 3-6p Sunday, April 27 at the Kaufmann Auditorium, 1835 Centre Ave.
 
The event is free but you need to register so the organizers can know how much cake they will need. You can also donate at that link to help them with the expenses of producing this party.
 
Besides cake, there will be live music, dramatic readings, birthday card readings and presentations of Wilson's monologues.
 
Ms. Cody said she presented the idea to the Dramatists Guild, "an idea of people from all over sending cards and celebrating August Wilson and they loved it. The guild works to promote in any way they can writers and playwrights by offering them opportunities to work on their craft or to learn more about what the guild offers, including rights writers have when they enter into contracts with theaters."
 
The guild also has fellowship and scholarship funds and emergency funds sometimes made available to writers in need.
 
"This event is a celebration of an author whose legacy has had a big impact on the region and the purpose is to bring a large group of people across the theater community and to strengthen and build rapport." But you don't have to be in theater to attend.
 
“I’ve never taken on the role of maintaining August Wilson’s legacy,” Ms. Ellis said. “But Pittsburgh is experiencing change, and I thought let’s do something that is unifying and fun, celebrates a great legacy and brings the figurative family together. The Dramatists Guild supports the idea and wants to see more inclusive projects.” 
 
In an email, Ms. Cody wrote of the opportunity “to bring folks of varied backgrounds together through this event, which we see as a community-building celebration.”
 
Pittsburgh was a disquieting hometown for the playwright. He told an interviewer once during a visit back:
 
“Like most people, I have this sort of love-hate relationship with Pittsburgh. This is my home and at times I miss it and find it tremendously exciting, and other times I want to catch the first thing out that has wheels.” 
 
Pittsburgh gave him deliciously and delightfully rich fodder for the 10 plays he wrote that cemented his legacy in American letters. Each play presented scenes of each decade of the 20th century, mostly portraying the life and characters of the Hill District. One of them, "Fences," won Pulitzer and Tony awards and "The Piano Lesson" also garnered a Pulitzer Prize.
 
Post Gazette photo by Bill Wade
 
 

 

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'When you're walking, you realize there's so much in Pittsburgh'

Written by Ethan Magoc on .

Two Point Park University freshmen woke up on Friday before dawn to properly capture Pittsburgh in its morning glory with a camera and smartphones in hand. Now that winter has finally loosened its grip, the day was promising to reveal Pittsburgh wide awake: sunny day, slightly chilly air. Good morning, Pittsburgh!

Victoria Mikula and Jake Owens, both 19, are photojournalism majors who often work on projects together. Mr. Owens has a final project due soon, and professor Chris Rolinson suggested he emulate New York Times photographer Todd Heisler’s “Once Around an Island.

Knowing Pittsburgh and its perimeter neighborhoods have plenty to offer visually, they set off on foot from Point State Park at 6:30 a.m.

From there, they went across the Smithfield Bridge and through the South Side.

 

“We realized we were starving, so we stopped at Nadine’s Diner and got breakfast,” Ms. Mikula said.

 

From there, it was across the Hot Metal Bridge to the most brutal hill they encountered that day: Bates Street up to Oakland.

 

Mr. Owens captured the day for his project with an actual camera, while Ms. Mikula shared the journey live through an Instagram hashtag.

 

Neither grew up here — she’s from Hershey, he from Red Lion — so the journey became a way to explore some of Pittsburgh's corners they hadn’t gotten to know yet: from Bates to Schenley Park to Flagstaff Hill, Carnegie Mellon’s campus and then Shadyside.

 

By the time they reached Allegheny Cemetery, they were exhausted.

 

Still, Ms. Mikula said, “I’ve never been to a cemetery that looks so beautiful. I know that sounds weird, but it’s breathtaking.”

 

Since Lyft and Uber now operate in Pittsburgh, the classmates opted against riding the bus back and instead called a ride-share service.

 

“When you drive through, you’re going too fast,” she said. “You don’t really get to stop and observe anything, but when you’re walking, you realize there’s so much in Pittsburgh.”

 

They plan to finish the walking and photographing with a return to the cemetery this week. From there, they’ll head toward the North Side.

 

A dog on Friday outside Starbucks on East Carson Street. “He was just hanging out at 7 a.m. and didn’t have a care in the world,” Ms. Mikula said.

 

A house in Shadyside with plenty of bird houses.

 

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Grocer's special: Music + Food

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .

musicatmartysfeb14 Marty’s Market in the Strip has a partner in the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council for its 2014 spring “Music at Marty’s” events, which create ensemble evenings of music and food (and grocery discounts).

 
Twenty-five bucks gets you in to hear an interview with and performance by a local musical act and dinner based on a menu designed by the musician(s). Visit this site for tickets and more information about this Friday’s featured artist, jazz singer Phat Man Dee (in photograph below by Adam Blai). Photo above was taken by Lawrence Capozzolo at February's concert featuring Judith Avers and Daniel Marcus, with Andy Mulkerin at right.) fat man d
 
The event starts at 6 p.m. Marty’s Market is at 2301 Smallman St.
 
The menu, to be prepared by Chef Ariel Alexander is as follows: curried pierogies, tomato stewed green beans, spicy house kielbasa and braised house kraut, with a cheese board. The cheese board has cheese on it, too.
 
Andy Mulkerin, the City Paper's music critic, conducts interviews and attendees are encouraged to interact. Attendees also get  a voucher for a discount on groceries at Marty’s.
 
If you bring your own wine, there will be a per-table corkage fee. If you take your own beer, you might be able to pop it on your own.
 
On May 16, the next event features members of the Boilermaker Jazz Band.
 

 

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New glimpse into a bureau's response to a K-9's death

Written by Liz Navratil on .

In the days following the stabbing of fallen Pittsburgh police K-9 Rocco, human K-9 handlers on the force stood vigil at the veterinary hospital that treated him and many rearranged their schedules to attend his Oakland funeral.

Records obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law show that acting Chief Regina McDonald gave each officer in the bureau's K-9 unit an extra approved pass day -- or day off -- for their efforts "from the hospital detail to the funeral."

Rocco's handler, Officer Phil Lerza, was given a week off.

The emails also offer a brief glimpses into officers' hopes in the hours after the stabbing that the 8-year-old German Shepherd would survive. 

Pittsburgh police have said that John Rush, a 21-year-old homeless fugitive formerly of McKees Rocks, stabbed the dog Jan. 28 while it was trying to help them apprehend Rush.

Early the next morning, acting K-9 Sgt. Danial Tice wrote an email to training academy Lt. Jennifer Ford updating her on the dog's condition. He wrote: "I met Phil and Rocco. He had two surgeries. They stopped the bleeding. Rocco lost a lot of blood and had blood infusions. They removed one kidney. He should recover 100 percent." 

Then, the sergeant proposed plans to have Officer Lerza assigned temporarily to bureau's training academy to help prepare the dog for his return to work. 

Rocco died the next day.

 

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