CULTURE

Bittersweet Heiress

One of the most interesting historical sites in the Laurel Highlands is the Fort Necessity National Battlefield. And a new destination for hiking and exploring in the region is a property currently owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and about to be added to Forbes State Forest, adjacent to the…

Song of Sewickley

Would you be shocked to learn that Sewickley — the patriotic, upper-​crust town just downriver of Pittsburgh — holds an annual American flag-​burning in broad daylight on public property?

Driven to Drink

We’ve been conditioned to think of beer as decision-making’s devoted contaminant, so when I tell you that beer almost single-​handedly explains Scott Smith’s current whereabouts, you might think this story won’t end well. Four years ago, Smith worked for a Fortune 500 company in a consumer products job.

A Frame to Conjure With

A few years ago, if you had the good fortune to work as a porter at one of the major auction houses in New York or London, you might have had the greater good fortune to be handed a picture frame, discarded by one of the purchasers of the painting.…

Song of Greensburg

A thousand feet up the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the beautiful Laurel Highlands lies the city of Greensburg, an hour southeast of downtown Pittsburgh. A major business and cultural center, its 16,000 population doubles during work hours, giving it one of highest daytime-​growth rates in the country.

The Pie Place

It’s a gift to be able to do one thing really well, and The Pie Place in the Norman Centre 2 in Bethel Park has that gift. The little shop is tucked in a strip mall dominated by Borders and Louis Anthony Jewelers. It’s been there for over four years,…

Bet the Farm

Selected by owners Jack and Dale Duff from a small field of candidates, they have been operating the venerable Blackberry Meadows Farm all summer under a lease/​purchase agreement.

Rich Engler, Music Promoter and Entrepreneur

by Jeff Sewald
I was born in New Kensington, Pa., and grew up in Creighton, across the river. My father was a glass worker at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. My mother worked for the county. I studied art education at Youngstown State, then at Carnegie Mellon.

It’s a Book Thing

Ten or 15 years ago, a story about Pittsburgh’s “independent” bookstores wouldn’t have made much sense. “When we opened in 1990, there was just the Borders in South Hills,” says Richard Goldman, co-​owner of Mystery Lovers’ Bookshop.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

When we get there

Now that Pittsburgh has washed the soot from its buildings and reinvented itself for the 21st century, it is often easy to forget that our fair city was once a coal town, sitting atopone of the oldest and richest mineral deposits in the world.

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.

The Oldest Trick in the Book

by Sandra Levis
With an estimated 2,000 new and reissued titles entering the book market each week, no one can read everything. Now, thanks to Pierre Bayard, a French critic and psychoanalyst, no one actually has to read anything. The author of How to Talk About Books One Hasn’t Read? (Comment Parler des…

Song of Lawrenceville

As a child growing up in Pittsburgh in the ‘50s, I thought that Lawrenceville was named for our mayor and that the soldier statue at Butler and 34th Street was David L. Lawrence as a young man.

Who is That Guy, Anyway?

Collecting is an addictive passion. My wife and I collect architect-​designed chairs, carved and inlaid wood items, textiles, bakelite dress clips, pre-​Revolutionary maps of New England, miniature hats and, perhaps the strangest, glass swizzle sticks with a Pittsburgh provenance.

Almost Human

Who says you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear?! In his new book, “Almost Human: Making Robots Think,” Lee Gutkind, the guru of creative nonfiction, does just that; using his literary skills to transform prosaic material about machines into an exuberant celebration of human creativity.
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