Mid-Century MODERNIZED

The house was unremarkable, a single-story, three-bedroom structure built in 1952 and designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, though who and exactly where the architect studied is unknown. What was remarkable, even extraordinary, was the setting. It abuts the Schenley Golf Course, with a sweeping view of the greens and beyond, to the …

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Dougherty’s Debut Highlights the Bonds Among Five Female Friends

Of her debut novel, Pittsburgh native Marianne Dougherty says it’s “about the power of female friendships to sustain us” — an accurate portrayal of what plays out over 380 brisk-reading pages. With a host of well-regarded freelance work in both local and national platforms, Dougherty has penned a tale about what bonds her strong feminine …

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Fond and Friendly

If any bird qualifies as the neighbor we’ve known our whole lives, it has to be the chickadee. Gregarious, sprightly, and fearless, chickadees can become so habituated to people and the offer of birdseed that they’ll literally eat out of your hand. They’re at our windows wherever a feeder goes up, finding the food within …

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Shaken not Stirred?  Tisk Tisk

The martini (continued) Global consternation erupted when, in Dr. No, James Bond ordered a Smirnoff vodka martini. He then compounded this felony by instructing that it be “shaken, not stirred.” Previously in this series: How Does a Cocktail Achieve “Classic” Status?Here is the original text of this unfortunate incident: [In the prior scene Bond ultimately wins …

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Fighting Through Tears

Grisell Espinoza was in limbo in 2014, wondering whether to stay in Pittsburgh or return to her native Venezuela where political turmoil was getting worse. Her only friend in town, a fellow Venezuelan, helped her get work at a restaurant until she could find a job in her profession as a civil engineer. But as …

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His Father’s Son

For the first 37 years following his 1945 birth, August Wilson was a Pittsburgh nobody, abandoned by his white German father, Frederick August Kittel, and disdained by his black mother, Daisy Wilson, once he dropped out of school in the ninth grade. Self-educated thanks to thousands of hours spent in multiple Carnegie Library branches, Freddy …

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How Does a Cocktail Achieve “Classic” Status?

The Daiquiri The Daiquiri is one of those terrific drinks that happened by accident. Around the turn of the twentieth century an American engineer named Cox, working in the small town of Daiquiri in Puerto Rico, was entertaining some American visitors. He was about to whip up some drinks but realized he was out of …

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Seven Questions for George Greer

Five years ago, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust named its Cabaret at Theater Square after philanthropic leader George C. Greer. The longtime executive of the H.J. Heinz Company has been perhaps the least known most effective civic leader in Pittsburgh over the past 30 years, eschewing the limelight as he led transformation of the Eden Hall …

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Conway, Buford, Oshry, Morby, Moriarity, O’Reilly, Nutting, Ochester, Eberle, Courtney

Tom Conway, 71 International president of United Steelworkers since 2019, Conway was committed to making things in America and remained unwilling to accept that globalization was better. He tried to make changes in manufacturing that would lead to a cleaner environment and worker health and safety. A legendary negotiator who believed in the union ideal of “stronger …

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Speaking of Drinks…

Tiki two As I mentioned, I came of legal drinking age at a time when you could only get tiki drinks at Chinese restaurants. The pioneering Don The Beachcomber was no more, and as far as I knew all the Trader Vic’s had closed, except for a few locations abroad. Previously in this series: The …

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Spring Blooming Plants Blooming in Fall

It’s the holiday season and my rural Pennsylvania town is bursting with the signs of Christmas: wreaths hung on doors, trees strung with colorful lights, a creche erected in the town square — and spring-flowering plants in bloom.  My forsythia is blooming a bright yellow. White lilac flowers are just dying back. Pink magnolia buds …

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Charitable Giving: Why Does it Matter?

Editor’s note: In this season of giving, we asked some of the region’s nonprofit leaders to answer a simple question: Why is charitable giving so important in our society?  Part II Laura Kelly. Brothers BrotherCharitable giving builds a foundation for a better future by promoting understanding, kindness, and collective efforts towards positive change. When members …

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The Tiki Phenomenon

I had the great misfortune to reach legal drinking age just as the tiki drink phenomenon was turning into a parody of itself. Formerly terrific drinks such as the Zombie, the Scorpion and the Rum Runner were now available only in Chinese restaurants and they all tasted exactly alike, being made by then out of …

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Noteworthy

Different Views of Christopher ColumbusOn Oct. 12, in Madrid, Spain, an enormous and colorful parade of national pride snaked its way through the streets of the Spanish capital. The “National Day of Spain” is the country’s biggest civic holiday, celebrating Spanish history and achievements and reconfirming Spaniards’ commitment to the nation’s future. The date commemorates …

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Charitable Giving: Why Does it Matter?

Editor’s note: In this season of giving, we asked some of the region’s nonprofit leaders to answer a simple question: Why is charitable giving so important in our society?  Part I Abigayle Tobia, VerlandCharitable giving is the lifeblood of a compassionate society. When we invest in the big ideas of nonprofits, our entire community becomes …

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Strange but True Tales from the Bottle

TOCSC pays for itself  I had barely dipped my toe into The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails (TOCSC) when the book paid for itself – which is saying something – because I found the guy I want to be in my next life. I was still early in the B’s (the TOCSC entries are alphabetical) when I came …

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Charitable Giving: Why Does it Matter?

Editor’s note: In this season of giving, we asked some of the region’s nonprofit leaders to answer a simple question: Why is charitable giving so important in our society?  Tim Parks, Life’sWork of Western Pa.I begin with another question: How can I, as an individual, make a positive difference in society? On reflection, I recall …

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Interstate Five

Interstate Five What remains of these lost deltasafter the mills shut down: an artof disappearing, black-windowed bars,the towers of a closed factorystill blinking their red lights to hideno work’s inside. For yearsI drove past these roadside dinerscarved out of rain, trailer parks linedwith European trees, the truck stopwhere cigarette smoke driftsinto the air like a …

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Pittsburgh Tomorrow

When I came to Pittsburgh in 1985, it was a great city — the late David McCullough called it “the essential American city.” But it was a great city in shock. The massive industrial economy had collapsed and 150,000 to 200,000 mainly young people were leaving for greener pastures. I expected to stay for my …

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The Oxford Companion  — a Drinker’s Bible

“What whiskey won’t cure there is no cure for.” — Irish proverb Maybe you’ve noticed those annoying people who conduct all their video calls in front of a carefully curated bookcase full of impossibly erudite volumes that no one – including them – ever actually reads. What you won’t find on those carefully curated bookcases …

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Warm the Cockles of Your Heart with Chestnut Soup

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” — it’s an image that instantly evokes crackling logs and the warmth and cheer of the holidays. But how often are chestnuts actually on the menu? In Italy, where many of the chestnuts sold in the U.S. are grown, they’re popular in the fall and early winter, roasted by …

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Combining the Political and Artistic

We live a media world, constantly bombarded with unprecedented information delivered on various platforms. It can be next to impossible to separate fact and from, but everyone has the right to an opinion.  Many still believe that the art museum, the so-called palace of culture, should remain steeped in the beautiful and provide an escape …

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