A little over a year ago, on a frigid Saturday in January, I had what you might call a date with destiny. I’d agreed to meet three men in a bar in East Liberty. I’d never been there, but I’d read about the place. As I looked for the street and then the number, I considered what I really knew about these men. Very little. All three, however, had developed a reputation in certain circles for their “activities.”
I got out of the car and walked quickly to the door. I hesitated, then took a deep breath and walked in. I quickly glanced around the place. The front room was empty with a faint smell of old cigarettes. Around the corner, I heard laughter, and there they were — all three of them just sitting there — bloggers.
Yes, bloggers — those flouters of journalistic tradition. Well, we had a great talk, and an idea began to emerge. And as the months rolled by, the group grew and the idea did too. The idea is simple: build a bridge between Pittsburgh and Pittsburghers everywhere. Connect Pittsburghers far and wide with this city and region. Welcome their input and effort in the ever- evolving quest to build the greatest city in the world. That’s my version of it at least.
The effort now has a name — Into Pittsburgh — and you can see an early version of the logo on this page. You’ll hear more about Into Pittsburgh as time goes by. For now, you can start to get involved in the dialogue by going to Pittsburghquarterly.com. We have a growing community of bloggers represented, many of them writers whose work you’ve seen in the magazine.
Pittsburghquarterly.com is undergoing its own renaissance, changing from a sleepy little site to one that we hope you agree has a lot to offer. We have a weekly report from web editor and veteran Pittsburgh journalist Jeffery Fraser. If you want an excellent writer’s report on the most interesting and pertinent events of the week, try Jeff’s blog.
If you’re looking for ideas on what to do and where to go, check out the online version of The Haute List, our guide to the best of Pittsburgh’s restaurants, galleries, museums, boutiques, performances, salons, spas and more.
Finally, take in our slide shows or, if you’ve missed an issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly, our library. All of our past issues are now online as well.
As to the current issue, it’s a great lineup.
An early version of the Into Pittsburgh logo emphasizes a new dawn of Pittsburghers’ global presence and their efforts to bridge connections with one another. The Pittsburgh Promise and the ambitious plan to help fund college educations for city students. You haven’t read the inside story of the personalities and people who made it happen and why. Look for that on page 35.
There’s a lot more: the region’s first five-star hotel; why India’s more important to Pittsburgh than China; how an orphaned Chicago teen came to Pittsburgh and became a Goldwater scholar — and about 20 other stories.
Finally, I hope you enjoy Tim Menees’ cover illustration of an artsy, edgy Andrew Carnegie circa 2008, returning to Pittsburgh to see his Carnegie International, which opens May 3.
Happy spring! We’ve earned it.