2019 Summer

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2019 Summer

Survival of the Fittest

Fran and Steve are hiding in the Monroeville Mall, spying on its creepy patrons — gray-​skinned zombies who’d once been suburbanites, judging from their apparel. One of the walking dead, a woman, staggers from an appliance store mindlessly dragging a new toaster by the cord. “What are they doing? Why do they…

King of the Woodpeckers

The pileated woodpecker burst out of nowhere just as I thought my students’ field exam was over. As soon as we were aware of it materializing from the canopy of a tree on a green at the Pittsburgh Field Club, it flew like a black bolt into denser woods and…

Bell, Link, Bachar, Logue, Gould, Dressel, Koverola

Maurice Bell is chief of operations at the Port Authority of Allegheny County. His public and private sector transportation career spans more than 25 years and includes work in fixed route, paratransit operations, airport shuttle management, and shipping and delivery logistics.

The Fly Fisherman’s Workout

Big-​woods trout fishing takes the fisherman to spectacular natural places. Wild brook trout, in particular, demand we hike deep into the forest, improving our physical and mental health by walking long distances, relaxing our minds and feasting our eyes on one beautiful vision after another.

Bringing Back Pittsburgh’s Steps

Along Schenley Drive in Oakland, the Frick Fine Arts building looks like a Renaissance villa, well suited to the grandeur of the adjacent Carnegie Museums and Library in the cultural part of Oakland. At the parking lot in back, though, you find the public steps down to Joncaire Street, a…

Short Takes: “Imagining the Modern,” “The Best Seven Years of My Life”

“Imagining the Modern” is a gorgeous book about a period that not everyone thinks is beautiful: the postwar design of Pittsburgh. It is a truth universally acknowledged that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, and the popular consensus holds that East Liberty, the Hill District and a…

A Meditation of Life in Twilight

Certain Pittsburghers could read Stewart O’Nan’s “Henry, Himself” just for the satisfaction of having their world described by a masterful writer. The Pittsburgh native’s novel, his 17th, takes place largely in the pleasant precincts of the East End, from well-​tended houses in Highland Park to the Phipps Conservatory Flower Show…

History, Charm and Vitality

Saxonburg was founded as a German farming settlement in 1832 by brothers Friedrich C. and John A. Roebling, immigrants from Mühlhausen, Prussia, who purchased 1,582 acres. Destined to become history’s most famous Saxonburg resident, John had studied surveying, engineering, architecture and hydraulics in Europe. He soon lost interest in farming…

The Next Five Years and Beyond

For this special feature, we invited the presidents of the region’s leading institutions of higher education to respond to the following: What will be your strategy in the next five years to address the needs of students in the future? Their responses follow.

Beavers Don’t Get Headaches

“A beaver sits on the riverbank watching all of this unfold.” —from “Cairo” by Sara Miller

The Joshua C. Whetzel, Jr., Trail

There is a beautiful new trail to hike, just outside Confluence, a quaint town in the Laurel Highlands situated at the confluence of the Casselman River, Laurel Hill Creek and the Youghiogheny River, in Somerset County.

Lisa Schroeder, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation

I was born and raised in Baltimore and lived in Pittsburgh, twice. The first time was in the 1980s, for just a few years. It was a challenging time for the city.

Crown Jewels of the Commonwealth

A stand of old-​growth hemlocks with trunks nearly four feet in diameter towers over a trail cut along a creek shrouded in mountain laurel that ripples through Laurel Hill State Park, part of one of the largest state park systems in the nation. It rose from a Depression-​era work program…

Famous Last Words…

Editor’s note: Oil and gas man Michael L. Benedum and his wife Sarah created the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation in memory of their only child who died in 1918 at the age of 20. On the anniversary of the Foundation, which has distributed more than $500 million in philanthropy to…

An All-​American Tradition

Everyone has their favorite hot dog shop, the ones they swear by because they spent their youth eating there. Western Pennsylvania has a number of them. In a culinary landscape dominated by high-​profile chefs, these nostalgic hot dog counters remind people of the type of food their ancestors ate while…
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