2013 Fall

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2013 Fall

Big things for Pittsburgh

This fall is an exciting time at Pittsburgh Quarterly and in Pittsburgh. In its Golden Quill Awards in May, the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania judged PQ to be the region’s best magazine for the seventh straight year. And I believe that this issue contains the strongest combination of stories…

Keith, Viator, Mellon, Jacobsen, Beaupré, Clark Smith, Howard

John Keith is the inaugural R.K. Mellon Faculty Fellow in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering. He comes to Pittsburgh from Princeton, N.J., where he was an associate research scholar in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University. A native…

Sala Udin, Community Organizer

by Jeff Sewald
My mother and father came to Pittsburgh during the great black migration from the South in the 1920s. They met and married here and took up residence in the lower Hill District. I was raised on Fullerton Street, which was the main drag leading to Wiley Avenue, the cultural heart…

Remember the Tartans

by Marino Parascenzo
They ruined a perfectly good trophy case. It used to sit there, self-​consciously, in Carnegie Mellon University’s Skibo Gymnasium. The items in that case were pretty much the only tangible stuff that remained of the glory days of football, back when the school was Carnegie Tech. The main trophies were…

The Motel Era

It was then that began our extensive travels all over the states,” said Humbert Humbert in Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, “Lolita.” “To any other type of tourist accommodation I soon grew to prefer the Functional Motel — clean, neat, safe nooks, ideal places for sleep, argument, reconciliation, insatiable illicit love.“

The social wasteland

Themes of social, psychological and emotional isolation have been the stock in trade of American writers for as long as the concept of a national literature — and the elusive Great American Novel — have existed, variously attributed to religion, race, politics, drugs, wars, fragmented families, generation gaps and gender issues. Now Michael Bishop,…

The Brown Creeper

by David Liebmann
I was listening recently to an NPR interview about an elephant researcher in Africa. It was a story about the challenge of tracking a huge and relatively abundant mammal that has the tendency to disappear into the bush in the blink of an eye. While it’s hard to imagine, it’s…

Ode to Elegance

In 1872, when the residence of interior designer Louis Talotta was built, it was a grand place on a grand street in Oakland. But by the end of World War II, it had been carved up, much like the map of Europe, into many smaller pieces. The tall ceilings were…

Apple Obligations

There’s a point after leaving Pittsburgh, zipping in and out of lanes on Interstate 79, when you distinctly hit Country. Even the dog notices it, sticking his nose in the air, half-​closing his eyes in window-​seat joy. It’s the moment when the air rushing in smells sweet, like hay and…

Raising the Bar

The widely repeated story goes something like this: Gary Saulson, PNC’s senior vice president for real estate, would regularly have lunch at a certain restaurant, from which he would have a direct view toward the Liberty Travel Building, a billboard-​slathered misshapen lump, whose prominent location at the corner of Liberty…

Who is Bill Peduto?

For his first vacation after his victory in the May mayoral primary, Bill Peduto booked his own stops, packed his own bag and took only one close companion: his iPhone. Within 24 hours, traveling between Helsinki and Stockholm, he used it to tweet the following:

A purposeful re-​hang

A useful trick for carnegie museum of Art visitors is to read the label on the wall beside the art. In the lower corner is the accession number, for example, 96.1, which indicates the year in which the work was acquired, 1896, followed by the order in which the work…

The Steeler Way

by Ben Schmitt
Over the summer, news reports across the country have focused on the dramatic increase in NFL player arrests since the Feb. 4 Super Bowl. As of early July, the off-​season arrest rate has increased 75 percent over last year, according to one labor economist. And of the 31 arrests since…

La Prima Espresso

October 2, 1988, was a brisk Sunday in Pittsburgh’s Strip District — then more a collection of warehouses than a bustling foodies’ mecca — and Sam and Debbie Patti were hoping the naysayers had been wrong. With their 12-​year-​old daughter, Jamie, they sat bundled on a bench in the chilly storefront that had just…

Visions of Pittsburgh’s Future

Twenty-​five years ago, Pittsburgh hosted the Remaking Cities Conference, an international gathering of architects, visionaries and dignitaries, including England’s Prince Charles, the honorary co-​host and keynote speaker. This year, Oct. 15-​– 18, 2013, Carnegie Mellon University will host the Remaking Cities Congress, with 300 invited urbanists and thought leaders who will…
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