From the Publisher, Spring/Summer 2006

Before we get to the second issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly, I’d like to thank the many people who have passed along ideas and kind words either in person or in letters or e-mail about the first issue. All considered, we couldn’t have been happier with it and with the response. The magazine is resonating with …

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Three Places That Found Redemption

A story of redemption is a story of profound change that we make ourselves. Time won’t redeem us, nor will promises or fond memories. When our cherished world has collapsed in front of us and we stare into the abyss, the choices are stark: keep walking straight ahead and fall into oblivion, take one tentative …

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The Pace of Progress

In the game of Monopoly, sometimes you land on Community Chest. If fate smiles, you draw a little yellow card that says “Advance to Go” or “Bank error in your favor,” and you collect $200. The worst card shows the mustachioed Monopoly man stooped over, carrying a pick and shovel with the words “You are …

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Andy Russell, Businessman and Former Steeler

I grew up with a father who had come over on the boat from Scotland. We moved around a lot. My parents convinced me that every move presented an opportunity to meet new and different people. By the time I entered college in 1959, my father was running Monsanto in Europe.I got a B.S. in …

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An Experience

Inside a red brick Victorian in Aspinwall, on computer hard drives and forms stacked high on the desks of the Tickets For Kids Foundation staff, opportunities are gathered daily that will transport the region’s neediest children to places never seen and worlds never experienced. The Grand Lobby of Heinz Hall. A summer camp in the …

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Whatever Happened to the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit?

In 1955, Sloan Wilson wrote a groundbreaking novel on the trials of working in the 1950s. “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit” became a hit film starring Gregory Peck and tells the story of how a young executive works tirelessly in what would become known as the white-collar world. Wilson’s protagonists are Tom and …

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Creative Dinners and More

With careers, carpooling and volunteer work, making dinner can be a challenge for busy families! If Stouffer’s is “home cooking” and at tax time you can claim the pizza deliveryman as a dependant, it might be time for a change. Enter a new concept in cooking — meal preparation centers. Creative Dinners and More provides …

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Song of Squirrel Hill

“Jews are just like everybody else, only more so,” Wyoming Benjamin Paris* liked to say. He was an authority on the subject of chutzpah, and the star of his Hill District basketball team — a team with no uniforms or name. In 1919, the year of his bar mitzvah, he hopped a streetcar from Downtown to …

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The Story of Society

“What rage for fame attends both great and small. Better be damned than mentioned not at all!” So noted John Wolcott in the mid 1800s, and not much has changed since. But today Wolcott might wonder what rage for society news has taken the nation by storm. One is hard pressed to open a newspaper or …

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Ukiah: In Pittsburgh!

Of the thousands of materials that fill the Pennsylvania Room of the Carnegie Library in Oakland, all are of local interest, being by or about Pennsylvanians. Hundreds of these are works of fiction; nearly a third of which take place in Pittsburgh. A surprisingly high percentage of the same are mysteries.

Art Collector G. David Thompson

What might be described as the great collections built up by Pittsburghers — those of, say, Henry Clay Frick, Gertrude and Leo Stein, Duncan Phillips, Andrew and Paul Mellon respectively, and Walter Arensberg — are perhaps best understood as being financed by Pittsburgh. The actual collections were built up elsewhere. That is not true of …

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The Tracy Method

On the afternoon of Sept. 21, 1980, a rookie outfielder for the Chicago Cubs cracked his first major league home run over the centerfield wall at Wrigley Field. Four days later, he hit his second homer, and two days after that, a third. “I was on pace,” said Jim Tracy, laughing the knowing baseball laugh …

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Smith, Detre, Ringer, Marshall, Hodges, White, Kerr, Patrick, Halpern, Hazo, Stautner, Lowenthal, Irvis, Hodges, Walton, Turner

James Ignatius Smith III, 74: Smith became the first executive director of the Allegheny County Bar Association and built it into one of the most vital in the country. He was in charge from 1963 until 2001 and built membership from 1,900 to 6,500 and staff from seven to 70.Smith was dedicated to the association …

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Pittsburgh’s Claim to Fame

In honor of the midsummer classic’s July reappearance in Pittsburgh, I pulled out some interviews I did years ago with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Dan Fitzpatrick got many new ones of great National Leaguers of the past and their recollections of the Pirates and Pittsburgh. Many remember the eccentricities of old Forbes Field. Some recall …

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George Westinghouse: The Mystery

It was a dreary fall day when, on a friend’s suggestion, I visited the George Westinghouse Museum in Wilmerding. It is housed inside the former Westinghouse Air Brake offices, a gray stone building with a hint of the medieval, appropriately named “the Castle.” The edifice was built by a man who lived 68 years and …

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Last of the Romantics

Maybe there never was anything even remotely innocent about football, and to be clear, that’s just an introductory reflection, not a lament on any recent spasm of cheerleader high jinks, or low jinks as the case may be. But if football ever had an age of innocence, it’s ancient enough to have ended prior to …

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Stocks & Pedestal, Winter 2006

The dubious distinction of being the first to be placed in the rusty, old Pittsburgh Quarterly stockade goes to the local Republican Party. We’re putting the party in the pillory for essentially being a no-show in city politics. If ever there were a time when the Republicans should have recognized and seized an opportunity, it …

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Welcome to the First Issue

Pittsburgh is a major industrial, cultural and intellectual center. Thick with history, it is both the home and the exporter of great Americans and great ideas. Pittsburgh Quarterly will be the magazine for people who know this city and for those seeking to know it better. It will be the magazine about the myth and …

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Conventional Wisdom of City is Not So Wise

They were by reputation and position an informed group of citizens. All were guests at a November coming-out party of a new consortium promoting “Pittsburgh Regional Indicators.” The question put to them was a simple one: Commuters in which of these cities face the most traffic congestion going to and from work? St. Louis. Indianapolis. …

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Uncharted Territory

Science and technology march along, year after year, making gradual progress in transforming our lives. Every now and again, however, a public event is staged—the moon landing, a computer playing a chess champion, decoding the human genome—that gives the public the appearance of a breakthrough. Just such an event happened in October, when a group …

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An American Lawyer in China

Twenty years ago I visited China for the first time, and my view of the world changed forever. This took me by surprise. I had studied China at the University of Virginia as part of a lifelong fascination with the country and its people, and I mistakenly thought I “understood” China. I came to realize …

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Hero worship

In his 1889 essay, “The Gospel of Wealth,” Andrew Carnegie gave what is considered to be the first public airing of the idea that the rich have a moral duty to return wealth to the community. That and his subsequent deeds are credited with giving rise to modern philanthropy. On the occasion of the first …

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