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Painting Pittsburgh's neighborhoods

Written by Heather Schmelzlen on .

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Painting of Pittsburgh's Central Business District by Ron Donoughe
 
 
Ron Donoughe has been painting for 25 years, and much of his work involves Pittsburgh.
 
But his most recent project is different, he said. 
 
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"It involves all 90 neighborhoods. Most folks don't realize there are that many. I know I was surprised when I saw a map, which listed them all. That's what sparked the idea. I actually thought I knew Pittsburgh until now."

Ron, 55, of Lawrenceville, is painting each and every one of the neighborhoods -- in alphabetical order -- and posting the paintings, along with the stories behind them, on his blog. So far, he's up to 25. He explained his process for choosing his spots:

"Sometimes it takes a couple days to know what and where I should paint. Other times I ask neighbors what they think is unique. That is always interesting because you find out what they consider special."

When he gets behind his easel to paint, palette in hand, his work frequently draws spectators. At first, he said, passersby are usually a bit confused, "but after I get something started, curiosity gets the best of them and we meet."

"I think of this as an opportunity to get to know the people of Pittsburgh and it is almost always enjoyable. They get to see something familiar through my eyes. People love it because the ordinary can suddenly become special."

His twin brother and technological consultant, Don, talked him into blogging as a way to keep the project together and allow others to follow along. Ron said it has also encouraged him to meet people while painting and get their story.

One of his favorite encounters, he said, was with a man on the Bluff who approached to admire his work.

"He was raised there and was obviously very proud of the neighborhood. Althought homeless and struggling with serious addictions, he shared some real insight to the place I was painting. He offered me a blessing when we parted.

"Those experiences cannot happen in the studio," Ron said.

 
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Ken, who owns a donut shop in Elliott, with the painting of his shop.
 
He has also learned that Pittsburghers don't always agree on neighborhood boundaries.
 
"I'll say, 'So how do you like East Hills?' The response is, 'This is Homewood! East Hills is up there.'"
 
The ultimate goal of the project is "to create a visual time capsule of the 90 neighborhoods that reflects the character of the city over an entire year," he said. The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts will show the paintings in an exhibition once the project is completed, and Ron said there is also the possibility of a book.

But, he added, "right now, this is so interesting, I don't want it to end."

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CentralNorthside smCentral North Side (Mexican War Streets)

 

 

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Sidney Crosby named one of NHL's best dressed

Written by Heather Schmelzlen on .

We're used to seeing them in oversized jerseys, their faces obscured by helmets and masks, but NHL hockey players know how to dress off the ice. Today, Vanity Fair recognized the 10 best dressed, and guess who made the list?

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Lookin' good, Sid. The Penguins captain comes in at No. 6. (and his hands aren't in his pockets!). Who's No. 1? Well, according to Vanity Fair, that would be New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, pictured below.

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Do you agree with the rankings? Who would you add to the list?

(Photos by Getty Images)

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Petition to keep the duck in Pittsburgh

Written by Heather Schmelzlen on .

If you haven't yet made it to Point State Park to see the giant rubber duck, you better get quackin'. Its last day is slated for this Sunday, Oct. 20 -- that is, unless some Pittsburghers have a say in it.

Earlier today, Twittsburgh started a petition on change.org to keep Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's work of art in the Steel City.

 

 

Among the "million" reasons to keep it, the petition lists "buoyed civic pride," "the local resurgence of ornithology," "improved FB/Twitter header pics" and "finally, a reason to try stand-up paddling." The petition had more than 200 signatures by 4 p.m. Wednesday.

What do you think? Has the duck overstayed its welcome? Should we keep it forever -- or maybe just through Ducktober?

 

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Photo by Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette

 

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Pittsburgh Dad gets Smiley Cookie

Written by Kim Lyons on .

"Pittsburgh Dad gets his own Eat n' Park Smiley Cookie" might be the most Pittsburgh sentence that ever Pittsburghed.

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The iconic Pittsburgh restaurant and the Internet star are combining their yinz power to benefit Eat 'n Park's "Caring for Kids" campaign for Children's Hospital. 

Unfamiliar with Pittsburgh Dad? (Really?) In a 2011 article, the Post-Gazette described Pittsburgh Dad as "an online series of shorts by creators Chris Preksta and Curt Wootton about a blue-collar Everyman with that unmistakably local, vocal inflection who vents his frustrations and world-weariness about the mysteries of Pittsburgh."

Pittsburgh Dad's YouTube channel now has over 44,000 subscribers. Check out the latest episode, below, with the Eat 'n Park announcement at the end.

 

 

(Photo via Eat 'n Park)

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Pittsburgher wins women's marathon in Baltimore

Written by A Pittsblogher on .

In keeping with the rivalry established by the Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens, a Pittsburgher won the women's division of the Baltimore marathon this weekend.
According to the Baltimore Sun:

 

Elizabeth Perry, 36, of Pittsburgh, won the women's marathon in 2:58:01... Perry edged out second-place finisher Julia Roman-Duval, 31, of Columbia, (Maryland), by less than three minutes.

“I definitely went out a little faster than I had planned, but I felt good, so I just tried to go with it for as long as I could,” Perry said. “There was a lot of support out there, and it helped me a lot."

 

The very idea of running a marathon is exhausting for the Pittsbloghers. But a Pittsburgher winning in Baltimore is a concept we can get on board with.

We had a hard time finding a photo of Ms. Perry from the race we could use on the Pittsblogh. If any of our readers know her, let her know we'd love to talk to her, and, to get a picture of her and her medal.

 

 

 

 

 

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