2014 Summer

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2014 Summer

Welcoming midsummer’s eve

At the end of may last year, my son and I drove into Groningen — the Netherlands’ northernmost city. By chance, we arrived on the first warm, sunny day they’d had after an unusually long, cold and dark winter. By early afternoon, business stopped, and everywhere, jubilant people of all ages poured…

Stocks & Pedestal

When the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians started seeing an increasing number of empty seats in Heinz Hall during their concerts for students, a group of them started making inquiries.

Gallagher, Fernandes, Barron, Finger, Suzik, Wilmer, Carey

Patrick D. Gallagher will become the 18th chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh on Aug. 1. A native of Albuquerque, N.M., he comes to Pittsburgh from the greater Washington, D.C., area, where he has been serving as acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and director of the…

Richard V. Piacentini, Botanist and Innovator

I was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island, practically across the street from a several-​thousand-​acre state park in which we played all the time. I loved being in the woods as a kid. I was always interested in plants and animals — mostly plants, to be honest — during…

The Greatest Sport?

As far as I’m concerned, the summer of 2013 was a bust. It was supposed to be the summer of the 17-​year cicada, humming with a biblical infestation of the things. But there wasn’t so much as a chirp or whirr, and not one gawking husk on a fence post.…

Bend of the ‘burgh

Pittsburgh has enjoyed some nice national media buzz in recent years. We’re so livable, we’re hipper than Portland, we’re the next foodie destination. But Pittsburgher Jacob Bacharach’s debut novel could blast the city’s profile into an otherworldly dimension. “The Bend of the World” — a highly enjoyable comedy of modern manners — imagines our…

The house finch

It’s no surprise that a city defined by former immigrant neighborhoods would be the gateway for yet another group of newcomers forced to gain a foothold in unfamiliar terrain. Such is the case with Carpodacus mexicanus — the house finch — which was often called the California linnet and the Hollywood finch before it…

Berry bounty

It’s an early spring morning and my neighbor mike and I work in our gardens, just a shaky chain-​link fence between us. We garden for a while as if we’re both alone, just grunting and digging and pulling at weeds as the birds sing their heads off. Every so often…

Di’s Korner Stone Diner

Diane Elias never gives up. When she was 41, the McKeesport eatery where she waitressed was suddenly shuttered, leaving her and her friends out of work and short on hope, a common refrain in the old mill towns around Pittsburgh.

From drab to daring

You could easily miss the Sharpsburg Community Library, even at its Main Street location next to the post office. This is not a Beaux Arts gem of the Carnegie system. Rather, it is 1,300 square feet in a one-​story concrete-​block former Indian restaurant. The little facility is well used and…

Captivating collections

by Marylynn Uricchio
There’s a luminescent quality to the face, with its pale, translucent skin and eyes lost in thought and in time. Made of wax and preserved for a century, the doll sits on a shelf surrounded by hundreds of others. Each has a story that began somewhere but continued when Barbara…

New and newer

The founding director of the Andy Warhol Museum, Mark Francis, recounts this story: A few weeks before the museum opened, Francis had taken the distinguished curator, Walter Hopps, on an advance tour of the completed building. (Hopps was instrumental in putting on Warhol’s first Pop Art show, in June 1962

Learning by the lake

The motto painted on the wall of Chautauqua Institution’s outdoor amphitheater exhorts the audience to “Share Your Light.” It’s a message that Chautauquans take seriously, returning annually to the lakeshore community to debate, learn and generally immerse themselves in ethics, arts, music and current events. But as the lakeside institution…

North by northwest

by Barbara Eichenlaub
Summer has finally arrived, and there is no better time for a weekend (or mid-​week) getaway. McKean County is a few hours from Pittsburgh and a great area to explore, play, relax and have fun. Whether your interests are historic, outdoorsy, culinary or sporty, you will find no lack of…

A calling on campus

When Kathy Humphrey was born, she was already an aunt, part of a family of 11 siblings and, now, 86 nieces and nephews.
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