photo essay

Pittsburgh in Crisis

Editor’s note: 2020 has been full of calamity and adversity and it’s only June. Whether the pandemic and unprecedented economic shutdown or the more recent protests that have erupted here and across the world, the ordeals have ushered in a year that’s been unrecognizable from any that preceded it.  Photographer John Beale has captured images …

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Strolling the Streets of Classic Pittsburgh

Take a walk around the Pittsburgh of yesteryear in this photo collection by David Aschkenas. Although the photographs were taken between 1978 and 1982, some look like they could fit into the 1940s with old neighborhood storefronts and hints of the city’s ethic roots. View more of David Aschkenas’s work at www.daschkenasphoto.com.

A Pittsburgher Goes to Florence

Take a quick international trip to Florence, Italy with Pittsburgh photographer David Aschkenas. In this photo collection, Aschkenas explores the Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens, the eclectic La Specola natural history museum as well as a few churches, including Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella and the Duomo. View more of David Aschkenas’s work at www.daschkenasphoto.com.

Carnegie International Opening Weekend Through the Lens of an Outsider

Though my visits to Pittsburgh have been few and far between, I’ve always known that my family had deep roots in the Iron City. Along with that came a vague whisper of prominence verbally imparted by my grandparents. But until my visit to the opening weekend of the Carnegie International in October, I had no …

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Indiana County Tree Farmers Keep the Green in Christmas

When your friends in Florida or your relatives in Virginia gather around their live Christmas tree this season, there’s a chance the evergreen was grown and harvested from a hillside in Indiana County, Pa. Flemings Christmas Tree Farm in Indiana is just one of 20 tree farms in the county that claims to be “The …

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Painting Pittsburgh’s Ice

This is how it all begins: a man, a stencil, a crayon, and of course a bed of ice. Total time for the crew to paint the ice: about 8 hours. Follow the mesmerizing process of decorating the ice of the Pittsburgh Penguins in this photo collection by David Aschkenas. View more of David Aschkenas’s …

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Highland Park: When Ordinary Becomes Dramatic

Photographer David Aschkenas has been walking through East End’s Highland Park for many years. When visiting the same area on a daily basis, you begin to see dramatic changes in the same landscape due to the changing of the seasons and weather changes. As Aschkenas shows in this hauntingly beautiful photo collection, something that looks …

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Pittsburgh at Twilight

Some cities are known for spectacular sunsets. Photographer David Aschkenas finds that, in Pittsburgh, the most interesting light is just before sunrise. Experience Pittsburgh at twilight in this collection of intriguing photographs. View more of David Aschkenas’s work at www.daschkenasphoto.com.

Synagogues Around the World

For the past seven years, a Pittsburgh photographer has been working on a personal project: Capturing the beauty of synagogues in Europe. Experience the architecture and history of synagogues from Prague, Budapest, Kracow, Amsterdam, Venice, and Florence in this photo collection by David Aschkenas. View more of David Aschkenas’s work at www.daschkenasphoto.com.

A Summer Sampling: Southwestern Pennsylvania’s County Fairs

For many Pittsburghers, summer memories include fun days—and nights—at county fairs. In this collection of images, photographer David Aschkenas captures the spirit and fascinating culture of the region’s fairs over the past decade. The Big Butler Fair has already come and gone, but get your fill of country concerts and contests at these other fairs …

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A Look Inside Google’s Unconventional Bakery Square Offices

What is really behind the brick walls of that redeveloped Nabisco cookie factory building in Bakery Square, labelled with Google’s colorful logo? Think: hammocks, coffee shops, dining rooms, gaming rooms and pool tables. Created in collaboration with local architecture firm Strada, Google’s office space in Pittsburgh’s East End is playful, unconventional and inspiring with many …

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America in a Trance: An Observation of the Fading American Dream

About two decades ago, my father moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, which was my second experience with the United States. In the late 70s, he journeyed from Greece to New York City to work on his post-graduate studies, which evidently led him to the Keystone State. Living in Pennsylvania and traveling through its cities and towns, …

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Leading Lines

The photography of Emmanuel Panagiotakis reveals a love of light and form. With technical intricacy, he captures images that transform spaces. Panagiotakis is a native of Chios, Greece, but has called Pittsburgh home for almost 30 years. His photography takes him all over the world, yet it’s the beauty of his adopted city that never …

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Fleeting Blossoms of the ’Burgh

April showers bring May flowers, but May showers can quickly destroy the delicate blossoms on flowering trees. Sometimes the blooms only last a few days before a sudden downpour—of which Pittsburgh has been experiencing often these days—washes them away. In this collection of images, Pittsburgh photographer David Aschkenas captures the fleeting beauty by lighting the …

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A Peek Inside the Pittsburgh Playhouse

The Pittsburgh Playhouse building in Oakland, which serves as the performing arts center of Point Park University and the Conservatory of Performing Arts, is nearing its end, as a new state-of-the-art theatre complex is set to open on Forbes Avenue in downtown later this year. Photographer David Aschkenas documented the Playhouse in its final phase …

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Saying Goodbye

As a child, my mother often reminded me that we all enter and leave this world the same way. It’s what we do between those two events that will define our lives. It’s likely that my mother, Edith Beale, wasn’t much different than other mothers raising families in and around towns lining the valleys of …

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Winter Patterns

“Where, twisted round the barren oak, The summer vine in beauty clung, And summer winds the stillness broke, The crystal icicle is hung.” —From “Woods in Winter,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Walking our woods in winter, I see the natural world differently than in the warmer months. Distracted by neither color nor blossom, I instead …

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On the Road to Prosperity

Prosperity means different things to different people. But to the residents of a village by that name in Washington County that’s been significantly affected by fluctuations in the coal and Marcellus Shale gas industries, Prosperity is home. Some of the 1,105 residents have made a lot of money. Some are working hard to just get …

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Life on the Monongahela

In the last Ice Age—10,000 to 110,000 years ago—what is now the Monongahela River flowed north across Pennsylvania into the St. Lawrence watershed. At some point, an ice dam gave rise to Lake Monongahela, which was 200 miles long, 100 miles wide and hundreds of feet deep. Now, a series of locks and dams largely …

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Start Your Engines

Pittsburgh’s Vintage Grand Prix is celebrating its 33rd year, making it the longest-continually-running vintage road race in America. The 10-day event attracts some 250,000 visitors to Schenley Park, and, since it began in 1983, the Grand Prix has donated more than $3.5 million to the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School. From …

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Faces of the Marcellus Shale

In the past several years, ancient organic matter trapped more than a mile beneath the surface of the earth has changed life in Greater Pittsburgh. The vast deposits of natural gas deep in rock are known collectively as the Marcellus Shale. The Marcellus has softened the Great Recession and brought a cash infusion to previously …

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Bridges of Allegheny County

Whether they’re crossing chasms, spanning rivers or connecting communities, bridges have always been the metaphoric heart of Pittsburgh. Their architects and builders— from 18th-century military pragmatists to the best design firms in the world—have expanded the art of the possible, from the humble to the magnificent, from arch to suspension to truss. Presented here is …

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