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A Peaceable Kingdom

A flock of picturesque suffolk sheep graze in the verdant pastures, and a bit farther down the long, empty road, a herd of Red Angus cattle stands lazily in the hot sun. Miles of split-rail fencing continues once you turn onto a drive that meanders uphill. Here there are horses, as if placed by a …

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The Box is Back

This was the first good sign: When I asked a group of friends to join me for a tasting of boxed wines, everyone thought it would be fun to participate. No “Ugh, boxed wines!” No questioning of my sanity. Once upon a time, these friends—wine aficionados all—would have been right to turn up their noses. …

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New Country Classic

Half of the charm of a new home in Sarver is getting there—it’s a 25-minute drive north from Fox Chapel, where the owners used to live. This stretch of Route 28 is downright bucolic, with hilly vistas, pretty pastures and none of the traffic that has given other parts of the highway a bad reputation. …

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Sit, Stay, Play

The “dog days of summer” means exceptionally steamy temperatures for us, but for our canine friends, every day is a “dog day.” Now, however, pet owners can give that phrase new meaning by paying a visit to Misty Pines Dog Park Company in Franklin Park. The son of a veterinarian, owner Jeff Woods made his …

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Hyeholde

The goddess Diana plays many roles. She is goddess of the moon and the likely source of the name of Moon Township, which sits along a crescent-shaped bend in the Ohio River. Here, English settlers farmed the land after the French and Indian War, following the signs of the moon, as farmers have done since …

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Judging the Best

Say “state fair” or “county fair” and most folks picture themselves under the summer sun, snacking on corn dogs and deep-fried Twinkies. It’s a summertime tradition across the country. My state fair routine is a little different. Maybe I’ll be in a conference room sorting through dozens of chardonnays or debating the merits of one merlot …

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A Southern Patina

The homes on this leafy street are quintessentially Shadyside, which means an eclectic mix of periods and styles. Though all are grand, one stands apart from the rest with quiet dignity. Painted white from top to bottom, the pristine exterior accentuates the symmetrical lines of its columned entrance, the three sets of French doors, and …

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Take a Turn…

Does the end of gray winter days remind you how it felt to get your bike back out of the garage and cruise the streets with your friends after school? With a visit to Bicycle Heaven, you can rekindle that excitement on a trip down memory lane. After overexposure to paint fumes forced Craig Morrow …

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Anna’s Cucina Rustica

When she was a little girl, Anna Malvone would finish her classes and rush the few blocks to the neighborhood orphanage in Pianura, Naples. There, she helped the nuns in the kitchen, preparing simple meals with ingredients that were plentiful and cheap—tomatoes, garlic, basil and other staples of Italian life from the nearby fields. It …

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The virtues of varietals

Good old Gallo hearty burgundy. Are you old enough to remember when that was the go-to wine for every dinner party? Lord knows what was in that jug, but it always tasted the same—red fruit, easy-drinking, probably sweeter than we’re used to these days. It was a blend of numerous grapes (including, reportedly, zinfandel and …

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For the holiday table

What do you do when someone arrives on your doorstep with a slab of homemade duck pastrami? At my house, we shout thanks and reach for a corkscrew. It’s a holiday tradition. Each winter, we set aside one evening at home when my foodie friends gather with us, bringing their special dishes to add to …

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Hough’s

You can’t go home again, Thomas Wolfe’s 1940 novel about moving on in life, would have you believe that once you leave the nurturing familiarity of the old neighborhood, you can never return or recapture the magic of your youth. Wolfe should have spent a little time in Greenfield or checked with Barb and Johnny …

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Painting with Light

What price beauty? When one lives in a house designed by Richard Meier, the costs are as monumental as the Pritzker-Prize-winning architect’s international reputation. They aren’t measured in terms of dollars, but rather in a commitment to the ideals and vision that have driven Meier to create stark, modern structures of every size for more …

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Retail Report: Holiday 2011

The holidays traditionally represent a key time for retail businesses. However, in Pittsburgh and across the country, retailers face an increasingly challenging atmosphere as shopping habits continue to change and a sputtering economy persists. In this context, we asked leading local retailers a handful of questions: What percent of sales occur during the holidays? What …

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Shopping in WashPa

With the holidays’ approach, a visit to The Shoppes at Quail Acres in Washington, Pa. will help you get presents, hostess gifts and decorations under control. Half a mile from The Meadows Casino & Racetrack and the Tanger Outlets, The Shoppes are on the grounds of the former Quail Acres estate, featuring the beautifully restored …

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City Chic

Like many diamonds, the house that sits discreetly back on one of the most beautiful streets in the city was in the rough when the owner first saw it. “I walked through the front door and immediately loved the home, but envisioned five or six changes I would make,” she recalls. Standing in the entrance …

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Road Trip

In May, my wife, Cindy, and I became the first Americans to drive from coast-to-coast in a natural-gas-powered vehicle. The idea first occurred to me last fall after retiring from EQT. I had the time, and the project intrigued me. First, I’m a believer in energy independence for America. We import more than 65 percent of …

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The Jewels of Grove City

Say “grove city,” and most people think outlet shopping or the college. Few are aware that it is also the location of an outstanding jewelry store. Joden World Resources features a staggering array of antique, estate, and modern jewelry, tucked into an unassuming shop on South Broad Street. In the late 1960s, Joe Murawski was …

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Muscat Love

Mankind has been making wine for millennia, so it’s rare to find a wine that’s truly new. But sometimes we see a grape that’s ripe for a comeback. Consider the Muscat family of grapes: Muscat Blanc and its many mutations, including Muscat Ottonel and Black Muscat. Muscat Blanc is one of the oldest grape varieties …

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Jim’s Famous Sauce

Alex Damianos awakened from a troubled sleep at 3 a.m. on a hot July night in 1959 to find his smiling father standing at the foot of his bed, staring down at him. “Alex, I told you to learn how to make the sauce,” Jim said playfully to his oldest son. “Now, think about the …

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Cool It This Summer

Some guys will always go for the blockbuster red wine: the high-alcohol zinfandel or inky shiraz. I can appreciate those big reds, too, if conditions are right (snow, cigars, a two-inch-thick porterhouse). But when summer mercifully comes to Pittsburgh, those monster reds are as out of place as a woolen overcoat worn poolside. It’s time …

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Buon Giorno Café

When austrian native Gustav Lindenthal designed and built the current Smithfield Street Bridge, he placed it on the stone piers originally laid by Prussian-born John A. Roebling for the previous bridge at this site. Roebling, the renowned designer of the Brooklyn Bridge, had built a foundation over the Mon that was too perfect for Lindenthal …

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