Between the Issues

Elie Wiesel and the one indestructible human quality

In each issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly, I write obituaries of notable Pittsburghers, and over the past 10-​plus years, the percentage of those whom I knew in life – some very well – has been growing.

The Basement of Precision

The fork brace will steady the custom-​built 1973 FXE that’s currently in progress. Right now, it’s sitting on a lift in the garage that sits in the alley behind Jeff’s house, sandwiched between single rows of towering red T&E tool chests and a ’75 Camaro waiting patiently for plates and…

Brexit Grexit Nexit Kerflop

The EU’s leaders “cling to the decaying corpse of a European super nation-​state with no clue as to what alternative other than breakup and secession there might be.– Philip Bobbitt, Stratfor I’m right in the middle of a series of posts on how best to navigate a new era of…

Jack Gilbert (19252012)

When I was 18 years old and knew next to nothing about poetry besides Bill Wordsworth and Ed Poe, my composition teacher passed a photocopy of one of your poems out to our class and it changed my life. I knew I hadn’t ever read a poem quite like it…

Getting Rich In a Poor Market, Part III

by Greg Curtis
We are speculating about possible strategies investors might use if, as seems likely, we find ourselves mired in a long period of unacceptably low investment returns.

The British Vote and Pittsburgh’s Demographics

We’re all trying to figure out the implications of the somewhat surprising news that UK voters decided by a comfortable majority to leave the European Union. No matter what side you identified with in this grand referendum, it’s always invigorating when democracy’s voices speak.

Getting Rich in a Poor Market, Part II

by Greg Curtis
If we are, in fact, facing a prolonged period of subpar returns in both stocks and bonds, as seems likely, there are almost limitless ways this future could play out. We might, for example, simply experience long years of generally positive – but low – returns, interspersed with down years.…

Pittsburgh Quarterly Turns 10

In early June, Pittsburgh Quarterly celebrated its 10th Anniversary with a cocktail reception for nearly 200 contributors, advertisers and friends at the Cultural Trust Cabaret Downtown.

Going Back in Time to Ambridge

Growing up in the early ‘80’s as a native-​son of a local borough named after a steel-​magnate, it’s easy to recall how mill closings affected my hometown. Layoffs were followed by hushed talk of unemployment checks, and later on, businesses shuttered leading to diaspora when folks looked to start fresh…

The City Should Welcome Shell to Downtown Pittsburgh

by Paul Scripko
In the current issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly, Publisher Doug Heuck notes the collaborative work of Pittsburgh civic leaders in helping Pittsburgh’s economic rebirth. The recent announcement that Shell is now committed to building an ethane “cracker” plant in Beaver County is an opportunity to increase that collaboration.

I Knew I Wasn’t Poor

I knew I wasn’t poor, because I had a choice: buy tampons or birth control pills. I shoplifted. When I opened the oven door, splitting the closet-​sized kitchen in half, my only plan was heat. The ice smooth on the inside of the windows, the no money to pay the…

Getting Rich In a Poor Market

by Greg Curtis
Virtually every thoughtful observer of the stock and bond markets has concluded that investment returns in the future are likely to be well below recent returns and even well below long-​term norms. This situation is reminiscent of the late 1990s. In 1999, following an almost uninterrupted 17-​year bull market, investors…

“It’s Bitcoin for Volunteers”

Dan Little has wanted to build the infrastructure of the future for a long time. So while he enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University to study architecture, he switched to civil engineering.

Offering a Way Out

There are about two dozen men — black, white, young, old — gathered in a well-​lit commercial space that occupies 704 Main Street, Sharpsburg. In the front window is a white cross with an orange life preserver draped over it that reads Jesus Saves Lives. Anchored against the interior wall, in front of floor-​to-​ceiling…

Why Are We So Afraid of Democracy? Part III

by Greg Curtis
I’m arguing that there are three main reasons why our faith in democracy has taken a hit in recent years. The first reason is the deadlock in Congress that has everybody so frustrated. But as I pointed out, this isn’t a US phenomenon, it’s a global phenomenon. And it’s persisted…
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