Print

The first time yinz, Primanti, slippy, n'at debuted on Pittsburgh Twitter

Written by Jacob Quinn Sanders on .

It didn’t take long for the friends who lived in my pocket to become my real friends. Twitter made that easier.

Even before moving to Pittsburgh four years ago, I started following some Pittsburgh people as preparation. Food people, networking people, journalism people, academic people, neighborhood people.

People.

I was going to be writing freelance, so finding people was critical to my livelihood and my sanity. They were welcoming and smart and curious and it didn’t take long to start meeting them in person. They wanted to be smarter about their city and more connected within it. Twitter made that easier.

This week, Twitter made it possible for the first time to search every tweet going back to the first one on March 21, 2006. I decided to take a look at how Pittsburgh began revealing itself, its idiosyncrasies, on what was then a very new platform.

My search idea was simple: the first mention of Pittsburghese words and Pittsburgh people in their proper context.

The word “Pittsburgh” first appeared Oct. 24, 2006. Fittingly, it was for networking. A guy in a web series called “Something To Be Desired” was looking for “cool bands” to be on the show.

The word “Steelers” appeared precisely a month earlier.

“N’at” and “yinz” beat “Primanti” to Twitter, which beat “yinzer.”

"Slippy" beat all of those.

“Jagoff” came later but beat “Primanti’s.”

“Gumband” beat “nebby” by a few months in 2008. “Nebby” somehow didn’t make an appearance until that July — in a tweet about cats, because this is the Internet — which seems odd given that four months or so earlier Twitter folks were already nebbing on Rick Sebak.

Not that Pittsburgh wasn’t voyeuristic about other people before that.

It seems a little funny now, with Bill Peduto being the established mayor of both Pittsburgh and its internets, but the first tweet mentioning him was about him dropping out of an election.

But this is what’s cool about Pittsburgh. The tweeters of those first tweets about Peduto and Ravenstahl — they know each other. They’re friends. Mr. Ravenstahl Tweet was one of the first people I met when I moved here. I’ve met the woman who first used “n’at” in a tweet. The first person to mention “jaggerbush” -- the South Side bar in this case, not the semi-aggressive flora, but that’s still pretty Pittsburghy -- is a friend.

And it was a way for people to reconnect, with those words reaching them wherever they went, even if it was a grudging fondness.

I read a lot about Pittsburgh before I moved here that suggested it was a closed society, hard to break into for new people. Cold, suspicious.

Not at all. I found quickly that if I accepted the premise that Pittsburgh could be cool, could be fascinating, people were warmer than family. What they were tired of, protecting themselves from, was uninformed or misinformed perception of what Pittsburgh was and what Pittsburgh was trying to become. Don’t talk if you don’t know. That kind of thing.

Twitter came along at a perfect time for Pittsburgh — collectively, piece by piece, word by word, the city wanted to share itself with the world.

About everything.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Pittsburgh artist uses coffee as an art form

Written by A Pittsblogher on .

For many of us, especially on a Monday morning, coffee is a definite need, not just a treat. For Pittsburgh artist Gerard Tonti, coffee and tea are his preferred medium:

 Mug2 EspressoDrip2

Those aren't just photos of tea and coffee, Tonti also uses them as paint, and says they give a rich color palette to his images. 

"There are a lot of good artists out there, but you have to find your own unique twist on things," Tonti said recently. "I remember reading about Asian cultures, how use coffees and teas for stains of fabrics and other materials. It took years of alchemy and trial and error to figure out how to get the right blend, to keep the colors from fading."

Gerard has a show opening tomorrow in the gallery space above the Lex & Lynne boutique in Sewickley, from 6 pm. to 9 p.m.  Check out more of Gerard's work here: http://www.gerardtonti.com/

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Pope's rep: Bishops must show gospel not just talk about it

Written by Peter Smith on .

 

Catholics Bishops need to show the gospel in their lives, not just talk about it, to combat the lure of everything from drugs to assisted suicide to Islamic State-like fanaticism, Pope Francis' diplomatic representative to the United States said Monday morning.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, meanwhile, asserted that the recently completed family synod at the Vatican laid the groundwork for affirming church teachings but called for more than a rules-oriented approach.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano wrapped recent news headlines into an address to American bishops in Baltimore. His address, while affirming church tradition, reprised his words from a year ago when he told bishops the pope was looking for shepherds not ideologues.

"As Pope Francis has repeated many times, it is not just by preaching or by words, but by example that people will grow in faith," he said.

The meeting comes just days after the news that Pope Francis had removed one of the most outspoken conservative American clerics, Cardinal Raymond Burke, from his post as head of the Vatican's top court. Cardinal Burke was instead assigned to a relatively ceremonial role.

Archbishop Vigano talked about how his dying mother took strength from his reading of the life of a saint to her. "What a contrast for someone who takes their own life into their hands, for example, through suicide and euthanasia," the archbishop said. His comments did not mention Brittany Maynard by name, but it came as the national debate continues over Ms. Maynard's decision to end her life rather than go through the full progression of her terminal cancer.

Archbishop Vigano also asked "why young people, submerged into the culture of these times, so often called the 'culture of death,' are searching among the most excessive and challenging experiences," including the murders organization calling itself Islamic State. 

Young people, he said, are searching "beyond just so-called 'happiness." They are searching for meaning and purpose."

He told of recently presiding at the funeral of an adolescent who overdosed on drugs while "fooling around" with friends.

"We have to let our young people know that their lives are worth living and that they were born for eternal glory, not for glamor, or guns or sensationalism."

Archbishop Vigano, admitting the church's credibility has been "deeply wounded" by the "deplorable actions" of some priests or bishops, but he said the church could restore credibility through the "shining example of so many saints in our very midst."

Bishops must both teach with confidence and listen to others, he said.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, president of the bishops conference, sounded a similar theme when he said that when he visits parishioners' homes, he doesn't start by "telling them how I'd rearrange their furniture. In the same way, I wouldn't begin by giving them a list of rules."

For those whose romantic and family arrangements don't fit the church teaching, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, "I'd first spend time with them, trying to appreciate the good that I saw in their hearts" and then "accompany them as we, together, follow the gospel invitation to turn from sin and journey along the way."

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Pittsburgh police chief nominee receives temporary state certification

Written by Liz Navratil on .

 

The nominee for Pittsburgh police chief received his temporary state officer certification effective today.
 
Cameron McLay's application for permanent officer certification is expected to be considered at a December meeting of the Municipal Police Officers' Education and Training Commission, according to Trooper Adam Reed.
 
Pennsylvania police officers are required to undergo Act 120 certification before they can legally arrest someone or receive authorization to carry a firearm. 
 
Acting Chief McLay began working for Pittsburgh in mid-September, after servings as a captain in Madison, Wisc.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Acting Pittsburgh police chief intends to hire at least two civilians

Written by Liz Navratil on .

Acting Pittsburgh police Chief Cameron McLay said he intends to hire at least two civilians for positions inside the police bureau.
One will be an outside consultant who can help create systems for tracking crime in the city; the other, the chief said, will be a civilian from outside the department who will have the title chief of staff.
Chief McLay made his comments while appearing alongside Mayor Bill Peduto to film a segment for the KD-PG Sunday edition, which aired on KDKA Sunday morning.
Mr. Peduto said he hopes new technology will provide officers with better tools to track the groups committing crimes, including killings, inside the city.
"We haven't upgraded and we are behind other urban police forces in the utilization of technology to be able to break up the networks," the mayor said.
Chief McLay said: "We've got some very robust capacity for analyzing crime in the bureau. What we don't have yet is the ability to take the data, make it real-time, and then diffuse it through the organization, so my commanders and supervisors use it to deploy their resources on a day-by-day basis."

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.