Barebones’ “American Buffalo” is Stunning and Revelatory Theater

In trying to describe the essence of strong writing – and ultimately, all art — the poet Wallace Stevens said, “A grandiose subject is not an assurance of a grandiose effect, but most likely, the opposite.”  What we have in David Mamet’s “American Buffalo” (1975) is the embodiment of this ethos, as the play brings …

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Face the Facts About a “Multipolar” World

“It is simply a myth that the world is anywhere close to multipolar.” — Jo Inge Bekkevold, Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies Previously in this series: Europe’s Shrinking RelevanceWhy is it that so many commentators insist that we live in a multipolar world? Part of it is simply ideological blindness. The university community, like it …

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An Evening with Rosalynn Carter

It was December 9,1979.  The White House was decorated for Christmas, with its majestic, towering Christmas Tree, all ready for the annual lighting that day. What a great welcoming sight.  How could this be happening to us? We were there to film First Lady Rosalynn Carter.  She had agreed to do some public service commercials for …

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What Would Rachel Carson Say?

On a Tuesday morning late last August, I turned out of my driveway onto Route 711 to drive into Ligonier. Route 711 is a two-lane state road, a main north-south corridor, designated as the Laurel Highlands Scenic Byway. I passed, heading in the other direction, two large white trucks, one of which had a long …

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Europe’s Shrinking Relevance

“As a result of the accelerating decline in Europe’s global influence and reach … the overrepresentation of Europeans in global institutions is the greatest flaw in the international architecture.”Walter Russell Mead Previously in this series: Failing to Get Rich Before They Get too Old“The EU is a construct perfectly adept at standardizing phone chargers … but …

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Turner, Loevner, Fisher, Benedum, Wishart, Savran, Harrell

Tracey Turner, 60 Turner was artistic director of I Dream A World, taught at Point Park University and was the director of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company’s Black and White Festival and various productions at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Turner was especially fond of Shakespeare, receiving praise for her portrayal of the traditionally …

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Failing to Get Rich Before They Get Old

As we saw last week, President Xi understood (as observers in the West did not) that China’s growth model was exhausted and that the only known strategy for continued growth was to transition to a Western-style consumer-led economy. That had been the strategy used by other now-wealthy Asian societies. But Xi knew more than that …

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Machamer, Introcaso, Murphy, Botos, Lagattuta, Nelson, Frank

Peter Machamer, 80 A dedicated oenophile who penned a wine column for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 14 years, Machamer was a professor and chair of the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Pitt for almost 40 years and the author of more than 100 publications and books. A Galileo Galilei and René Descartes scholar, …

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The Summer 2023 issue:

The Broken Politics of Allegheny County

A couple of weeks ago, I was on vacation in Michigan, walking down a path to collect my dog, when two old friends said hello from a cottage porch. One, from Cincinnati, gets the magazine and asked what the subject of my next column would be. I told him I was writing about the November …

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Noteworthy, Fall 2023

A Pittsburgh Great for 140 yearsIt was all the way back in 1883 that captain john B. Ford and John Pitcairn started the first commercially successful plate glass factory in the U.S., in Creighton. By the early 1900s, the company was expanding into paint, because paint and glass reached customers through the same distribution channels. …

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The Common Snapping Turtle

Each spring before my first real swim, I stand at the house and gaze downhill to the pond. (I have dipped every month of the year, but that doesn’t count as a real swim.) I scan the water’s surface, looking for snapping turtles. I see them when they come up for air — their little …

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The Game Plan

“Anything is possible when imagination and will coincide.” Imagine Pittsburgh in 10 years as a vibrant, multi-cultural hub that has become a beacon for immigrants eager to start a new life in America, work hard, raise a family and get ahead. Imagine if we harness the Pittsburgh diaspora and Pittsburgh becomes the dynamic nexus of …

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A Second Chapter

When most people become empty-nesters, they think about downsizing, buying a vacation home, perhaps, or seeing the world with their newfound freedom. But one Fox Chapel couple decided to pursue a different dream — staying home and making the renovations to their 1965 Colonial that years spent traveling with two children active in sports had …

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Wake Up!

On a warm April evening, my son and I went Downtown to meet a friend who is alarmed by what Downtown is becoming. Before dinner, we walked around one block, essentially Sixth Avenue to Wood Street to Liberty Avenue to Smithfield Street and back down Sixth Avenue. On Liberty, a group of young people in …

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The Great Chocolate Eating Contest of Kathmandu

Rhododendrons blazed scarlet on the trail to Mt. Everest Base Camp, and the snow-capped Himalayas pierced the sky like Bowie blades. I was hiking in Nepal with my friend David Edgerton of Erie in the time before Covid. On such adventures, my guides and I often open our souls. On this occasion I found that …

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Hardy, Cashman, Pearlstein, Thomas, Donahue, Berger

Joe Hardy, 100 He went out the way he lived, dying on his 100th birthday, still smoking his cigar. Everything Hardy did was marked by flamboyance and an enormous appetite for life. He had eight children and five wives. He founded the billion-dollar 84 Lumber, the world’s largest privately owned building materials supplier with stores in 34 states …

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Design Happy

As a child, Betsy Wentz had the best playroom — the carriage house her mother Kay Wiegand used as the office for her interior design firm. It was packed with color, wallpaper, fabrics and furniture, instilling in Wentz a passion that guided her years later when she decided to switch careers. She had been a …

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PQ Leads All Magazines for 17th Year

For the 17th straight year, Pittsburgh Quarterly has won the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania’s Golden Quill Awards.   Photographer John Beale led the field with three Golden Quills, including the Ed Romano Memorial Award for best in show. Pittsburgh Quarterly journalists won award in the following categories (click on the italicized link to see …

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