Between the Issues

Latin Mass

A hawk taloned to a light post above the frozen pond. Two boys shovel a rink.

From Pittsburgh to Venice, Through the Looking Glass

Maybe my 6th or 7th Biennale. I can’t remember anymore. The art, the parties, the timeless beauty of this most impractical, magical city blurs my vision, my memories.

Mattress Factory Celebrates 40th Anniversary

A party 40 years in the making drew a sell-​out crowd of 1,400 to the Mattress Factory on June 16, during which founder Barbara Luderowski offered a good-​natured response to whether she ever expected reaching such a milestone when the museum first opened in 1977.

Explaining Donald Trump, Part V

Donald Trump has been such a disruptive agent during his first few months as President that it’s easy to dismiss him as hopelessly incompetent. That would be a mistake: one common way MEPs (mega-​entrepreneurial personalities) prevail is because other people write them off as unhinged lunatics. I’ll get to the…

Three Simple Questions on the Markets, Part III

We asked a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to pen a response to three questions about the markets and how they approach current conditions. Here are their responses to the final question: If you had to put all your money in one asset class today and couldn’t sell…

Explaining Donald Trump, Part IV

There is so much emotionalism about Donald Trump — both pro and con — that I’m trying to explain his behavior by looking at issues outside the man himself. I’m looking at how people behave who have very similar personality types (i. e., mega entrepreneurial personalities, or MEPs) and at how people are likely…

Aaron Smith Takes on Big Issues in Readable “Primer”

Dualism, a philosophical concept, asks thinkers to consider the relationship between mind and body, often leading to inquiries such as: What is the self? What is consciousness? Do the physical and mental influence one another? Plato and Aristotle pondered the topic centuries ago, their questions often leading to more questions…

Walking the Dog with Dave

Dave has his boss’s dog on a leash. A yippy little black and brown dog the size of a football that is completely oblivious to its unimpressive size, snorting and slobbering its way down the sidewalk near its home on Observatory Hill.

Explaining Donald Trump, Part III

I’m claiming to be able to explain Donald Trump — and predict his actions as President — by reference to only two of his characteristics. The first is that he’s what I’ve called a Mega Entrepreneurial Personality, a trait he shares with an infinitesimally small group of Americans.

Rich Performances Buoy City Theatre’s “Ironbound”

Imagine “Waiting for Godot” set in a New Jersey bus stop. It’s hardly a rarefied trope, as I’m sure many of us have thought we might as well be waiting for Godot while marooned in some cold, lonely place, praying for a bus to appear. Playwright Martyna Majok has taken…

Explaining Donald Trump, Part II

I’m determined to explain Donald Trump by referring to merely two of his traits, the first of which I’ve dubbed the Mega Entrepreneurial Personality, or MEP. Here are a few more examples of MEP characteristics we’ll need to consider as we try to understand the 45th President of the United…

Three Simple Questions on the Markets, Part II

We asked a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to pen a response to three questions about the markets and how they approach current conditions. Below are their answers to the second question: The Fed is working to “normalize” interest rates over the course of 2017. What impact will…

Explaining Donald Trump

If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, then explaining about Trump is like sneezing about hermeneutics.

The Corner Barber Shop

The guy currently occupying the Emil C. Paidar barber chair circa 1932 showed up at 11:30 a.m., half an hour before the Humble Barber Co. opened for the day. He thought he’d be the first in line. Turns out, he’s second.
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