2010 Winter

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2010 Winter

Oxymoron or Opportunity?

From Pittsburgh to the hills of West Virginia, a small army of scientists is racing to tame the billions of tons of carbon vented from coal-​burning power plants, working with data sets, computer models, cost analyses and other such tools that belie the drama of their high-​stakes investigation.

Robert Qualters, Artist

What’s it like to be 75? Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve had two knee replacements. I’ve had back surgery. I keep falling down and breaking things: my fingers, my skull.

Behold the Crow

On winter afternoons, thin inky streaks flow across Pittsburgh skies. They follow invisible channels leading over leafless hillsides, empty schoolyards and ice-​strewn rivers. They drift, break apart and reconstitute, often in the city’s East End in great airborne swirls. They are the crows of Pittsburgh.

A Reporter’s Carol

When Clark Kent awoke, he felt the cold in his bones. He fumbled for his glasses and put them on his now-​bulbous nose. The clock said 8 a.m. “Humbug,” he muttered. Another depressing day at The Daily Planet. Kent had long since ceased complaining about the new management and staffing…

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund & Our State Leaders

Long involved in charitable giving, East End residents Jacqui and Jeff Morby wanted to do more. They wanted to affect the lives of others for the better. So five years ago, they created the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.

The City Revisited

After a year-​long anniversary celebration in 2008 and two national championships and a global summit in 2009, one might think that the city’s appetite for tributes would be pretty well sated. But there is always room for a little something more, particularly when the fare is as lovingly prepared and…

Portrait of Penn Avenue

Whether the cultural district or the Strip District, Garfield, Point Breeze or Wilkinsburg, Pittsburghers know Penn Avenue as the heart of every neighborhood that grew up along it.

Coming Home

My mother would busily get the house ready. One of my jobs was to check the colored Christmas lights on the white pine that towered over our white frame house. We left the lights in all year. The tree kept growing, so every December I would add extra strands as…

Risking Women’s Health

If I told you that breast cancer kills Pittsburgh women at a higher rate than women in other cities, and that Pittsburgh women die of heart attacks at a higher rate than women in other cities, what would you say? And what if I compounded the negativity by telling you…

I, Teacher

Early in Isaac Asimov’s speculative fiction classic “I, Robot,” a little girl named Gloria becomes more attached to a robot named Robbie than to her own parents. Originally wary of Robbie, Gloria’s parents grow to love and respect the tin man after it saves their little munchkin’s life by sweeping…

The Short, Happy Life of the WASP ascendancy

Once upon a time in America, when the going was good, there emerged what looked like a ruling class. We’ll call it the WASP Ascendancy. Standing for White Anglo-​Saxon Protestant, WASP was coined by University of Pennsylvania sociologist E. Digby Baltzell (19161996).

Choose Wisely

by Cristina Rouvalis
For Dee Strunk, it came down to the screened-​in porch. She was touring retirement communities when she saw a charming porch in a carriage house at The Woodlands at St. Barnabus, and she knew this was it.

Word Brains

No two games of Scrabble are ever the same. But when the Pittsburgh Scrabble Club convenes on Wednesday nights, there’s a scene that replays itself over and over again. “Someone will show up for the first time and say ‘I’m here because nobody in my family wants to play me.…

Enrico’s Café

Chuck DiNardo, legendary food and drink impresario, operated the Hollywood Social Club in Shadyside into the 1970s. The haunt of politicians, every old mustache in the region and visiting celebrities, the “Sosh” was accessed through an unmarked narrow walkway, easily missed, between what is now The Pottery Barn and Kards…

Pen to Paper

by Barbara Eichenlaub
In this age of emailing, texting, and tweeting, the art of letter writing could be lost. Fortunately, many people still enjoy holding a real book or magazine in their hands — and putting pen to paper for correspondence. Anyone who has ever packed up the belongings of an elderly relative or friend…
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