2006 Winter

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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The Dead of Winter

I have often tried to find the beauty in a frigid day. I have frequently searched for loveliness in a meadow swept bare and brown by icy winds. I have repeatedly tried to uncover elegance in snow-wrapped woodlands. My pursuits have always failed. I will always no more than tolerate winter. Each time I make …

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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Entrepreneur

Oscar Levant, pianist, composer, actor and native Pittsburgher, once quipped: “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.” You don’t need to spend a lot of time with entrepreneurs to realize that many of them have at least smudged the line. For every Willie Loman there are five Willy Wonkas. …

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Front and Center

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure to be with you (And if you knew how frightened I am of speaking in public you would have pity on this terrorstricken speaker).” The thought expressed above is an all too common phenomenon for many who find themselves standing before an audience of strangers, all …

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What is Pittsburgh?

Before Pittsburgh became a place, before it was an idea, before its stories, its heroes, its villains, its tales of exploration, adventure, discovery and struggle became part of the popular imagination and American life, it was a space defined only by the movement of water through mountains, valleys, forests and a dark wilderness. A young …

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There is Life Underground

On a recent Friday evening, the balcony in the South Side’s Rex Theater was at a near fever pitch. Amid a buzzing crowd, models were sipping cocktails and slipping into their custom-made outfits while a new rock band, Magdalene, jammed on the stage below. The evening was conceived as a debut concert for Magdalene, but …

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Destination of Choice?

Seemingly overnight, China has become the destination of choice for American companies looking to expand their operations overseas. In 2004, China surpassed the United States for the first time as the top worldwide destination for foreign direct investment. For 2005, that should equate to about $58 billion. In the western Pennsylvania region alone, there are …

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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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The Economic Forecast: U.S. and Pittsburgh to Expand

For 2006, the U.S. economy’s prospects remain favorable, along with those of Asia, North America and, to a lesser extent, Europe. One key assumption underlying our sanguine global economic outlook is that crude oil prices will fluctuate within a $45 to $70 per barrel range, but average close to $55 per barrel in 2006, down …

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Crossley, Ferris, Fogle, Gittes, Hillenbrand, Humphrey, Pape, Robinson

Mary Crossley is dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Crossley, 44, has focused on inequality in the financing and delivery of health care, including legal remedies for physician bias and examination of how trends in health insurance coverage discriminate against unhealthy people.She has published broadly in Columbia Law Review, Notre Dame Law …

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Rice, Adebimpe, Genge, Barnes, Tate, Wilson, Williams, Rockwell, Wile, Kidney

Charles Owen Rice, 96: Monsignor Rice was termed “The most important Catholic social activist in 20thcentury Pittsburgh.” Known as the “Labor Priest,” he was a fiery advocate of working people — a regular on picket lines and protests of many stripes from the 1930s until the end of the century. He delivered the invocation for …

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Secretary’s Treasure

When Paul O’Neill was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in 2001, he planned to secure a pied-á-terre in Washington, retain his main residence in Pittsburgh and, with his wife, Nancy, vacation at their Maryland beach house. But finding an acceptable home in the capital proved to be somewhat difficult. A quick trip to the famed …

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Mon Aimee Chocolate & CleanTown USA

Is winter getting to you? How about taking time for the perfect cup of hot chocolate? Drive to 2101 Penn Avenue in the Strip and enter Mon Aimee Chocolate, most simply described as the chocolate lover’s dream. What’s better than being a kid in a candy store? Being an adult in one, with no one …

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The Pennsylvania Society

The setting could hardly have been more festive: New York City at Christmas with its crowds, carols, shopping, bright lights and snow. No wonder then that Pennsylvania politicos and business seekers by the thousands tore themselves away for the 107th annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Society. As they roamed through the Waldorf-Astoria seeking the next …

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A Different School of Thought

Try to wrap your mind around this picture: Sara Pozonsky was born 37 years ago at home in an Eskimo village on Lake Iliamna in Alaska, while the village chief sat in her parents’ living room drinking coffee and eating cookies. Today, she drives a Buick Renegade SUV—”midsize,” she stresses—around the wilds of Washington County, …

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Head Honchos

For five years, Chet Mathis, fellow University of Pittsburgh scientist Dr. Bill Klunk and a team of chemists designed hundreds of chemical compounds looking for one that would open the door to the discovery of a drug capable of taming Alzheimer’s disease. For five years, their lab work and chalkboard theories bought them a few …

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The Two Sides of Jonas Salk

The recent celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the University of Pittsburgh’s polio vaccine recalled one of the great moments in Pittsburgh history. Led by Dr. Jonas Salk, the scientists were armed with expertise, belief and will. I got to know Salk just 11 years ago and wrote a three-part profile about him. But I …

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