2007 Summer

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2007 Summer

A Cottage Charmer

The before pictures of the house in Fox Chapel would send a chill through the heart of even the most accomplished renovator. An 1870s cottage married to a 1950s ranch created a charmless union, to say the least.

Lane, Meachem, Anderson, Keeler, LaCasse, Gleason, Gunther, Howard

Linda S. Lane is the deputy superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. A 2003 classmate of Superintendent Mark Roosevelt at Broad Superintendents Academy, she comes to Pittsburgh from Des Moines, Iowa, where she was deputy superintendent of the Des Moines Public Schools.She was the first female and minority to serve…

Song of Canonsburg

The bustling borough of Canonsburg, 20 miles due south of Pittsburgh, was incorporated Feb. 22, 1802, on what Mother always called George Birthington’s Washday. Yes, it was a bit disrespectful. But so was Mother. And so, for that matter, was George.

Bickel, Nickel, Magobern, Rhoades, Elmer, Lerner, Anderson

Minnette Bickel, 85: A national award-​winning portrait artist, Bickel painted hundreds of portraits of notable Pittsburghers and national figures. She would get a feel for the subject and then be guided by intuition. She was among the founders of Carnegie Museum’s Women’s Committee and was known as a charming, friendly…

Putnam Place

Few things satisfy more on a warm summer day than strolling through a beautiful garden and then selecting and cutting flowers for a perfect arrangement. If you don’t have the time, space or talent to cultivate and tend a cutting garden, The Putnam Place, about a mile from Bakersfield (in…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Give me a “P“

By 1995, a dark cloud had settled over the University of Pittsburgh. It was taking a beating in the press as it struggled to deal with one controversy after another.

Raging Grannies

Sometimes we Raging Grannies create quite a stir. Being of a “certain age,” none of us ever expected to find ourselves before an audience, let alone exiting to applause. But there we are, clambering up on stages and platforms, wearing outrageous hats and running shoes, singing like canaries and loving…

Cut Me, Mick!

Right about when I purchased new 36-​inch-​waist pants and my self-​loathing reached a peak, the new Sylvester Stallone film, “Rocky Balboa” opened.

Job Health Not So Simple

If you read the daily newspaper, listen to news radio or watch the local TV news, you’ll get a report in the first week of every month on the latest Pittsburgh unemployment rate. It is a news tradition of decades. The data come from the state Dept. of Labor and…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

No cubicles

If any company represents creativity, success and a new paradigm, it’s Google. With an Internet advertising model that’s revolutionizing the industry and racking up money click by click, Google’s methods and its market cap represent a wish list for many companies. Its recent opening of an office in Pittsburgh was…

Can Video Games Save the World?

The main entrance to the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center off Second Avenue looks like the inside of a space ship. Neon blue and purple lamps wash the corridor with cool, luminescent hues, like a Death Star antechamber, and trapezoidal wall moldings recall Star Trek interiors. “Blast door” portcullises, complete…

Andrew Carnegie: The Black and the white

Andrew Carnegie was America’s first great industrialist, the nation’s quintessential philanthropist, and, closer to home, Pittsburgh’s favorite son. He was also, however, a man of startling ethical and moral contrasts, and those paradoxes threaten his reputation.

The Course Loved ‘Round the World

The U.S. Golf Association began staging the U.S. Open — the ultimate national championship — in 1895, and moves it year to year around the country. The USGA requires, first of all, a golf course that offers a stiff challenge, where the rough is deep, the greens fast and par…

The Revelation of China

To be in China now must be like witnessing the construction of the pyramids. In Beijing, the world’s most powerful totalitarian regime is preparing for next year’s Olympics. Shanghai, a garden of skyscrapers, is getting ready for the 2010 World’s Fair. New highways, airports, power plants, dams and towers are…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

No regrets

When I drove my 22-​year-​old son from our home in Los Angeles to his new life in San Francisco, I didn’t realize I, too, was starting off on a new road. I used the six-​hour drive to deliver last-​minute motherly advice. He wanted to talk about his dream of becoming…
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