2009 Fall

Square Café

There are two features that are essential before any establishment can become a neighborhood joint, and Square Café in Regent Square has both. The first is a counter or bar. A raised countertop and stools will anchor a place. In this case, size is not important. The Square has just nine stools, enough to do …

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Full Circle for the Square

At noontime on a summer’s friday, Mellon Square—the green public space that lashes together so many of Downtown Pittsburgh’s office buildings, hotels, and businesses—is bustling. Ties loosen, heels are exchanged for sneakers and brown bags and sidewalk-stand hot dogs come out as office workers begin the brisk business of a respite from the cubicle by …

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Art & Aluminum

I want to make a comfortable environment, not change the way people live,” architect Edward Grenzbach told John Loring when he was interviewed for a 1977 article in Architectural Digest on the house he had just designed for Alfred Hunt. “I’m an environmentalist, not a psychiatrist. I put giraffes among tall trees and polar bears …

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You’ll Manage – Fall 2009

Sabatino “Sam” DiBattista dreamed of revitalizing sleepy little Bellevue as a means of improving not only the  business at his Bellevue restaurant, Vivo, but the merchants around him on Lincoln Avenue. His dream slowly became a crucible as the forces of easy money and lax lending practices converged against him just when he thought he …

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Of Untimely Corpses

Surely one of our region’s most colorful anomalies is the phenomenon of a celebrity coroner. Where else but in Pittsburgh would proximity to corpses carry such cachet? Of course, these corpses are media sensations, and the high-profile pathologist who enjoys their reflected glory is rather sensational himself. Former Allegheny County Coroner and sometime politician Cyril …

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Your One and Only

2009 has been a trying year for media organizations across the country. Several local magazines have folded; Pittsburgh magazine has been sold to a Colorado company. Let me assure you, however, that Pittsburgh Quarterly remains strong and committed to bringing the very best in magazine journalism to this region. In that regard, Pittsburgh Quarterly has …

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A Dance to Remember

A series of events this fall observe the Holocaust by Reid Frazier // Fall 2009 On September 12, 2001, Steven Mills, the artistic director of Ballet Austin, staggered into work with a cup of coffee in hand, and, like most of America, began talking about the national calamity he’d watched on television the previous day. Mills …

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Why Pittsburgh?

When it was announced that the G-20 summit would be held in Pittsburgh, some in the national press corps chuckled; others raised their brows. It’s the first time the summit has not been held in a capital city. Why? On one hand, with the world’s economy in turmoil, it would seem to make perfect sense …

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Thelma Williams Lovette, Social Worker and Community Leader

I was born in Pittsburgh on Feb. 28, 1916, the fifth of 11 children. My family and I lived at 1520 Wylie Ave. in the Hill District. And we all looked out for each other. In 1925, when I was just a girl, Mama and Papa took us to the opening of the Centre Avenue …

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Mike Benedum: A Character portrait in Oil

Pittsburgh and steel are virtually synonymous. Less well known is Pittsburgh’s rich heritage in the oil business. In 1854, inventor and businessman Samuel L. Kier built the nation’s first oil refinery as a crude, five-barrel still 100 feet from today’s U.S. Steel Building. In 1859, Colonel Edwin L. Drake drilled the first oil well and …

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Zelevansky, Frantz, Boyd, Tuan, Johnson, Fleurov, Harris, Jesse

Lynn Zelevansky is director of the Carnegie Museum of Art. She was most recently curator and department head of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Prior to her work in Los Angeles, she spent seven years in the department of painting and sculpture at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. A …

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Mays, Kelly, Scalo, Bennington, Connelly, Byron

Billy Mays, 50   Billy Mays was the consummate pitchman, famous to television watchers across the continent for his booming voice, black beard and persuasive infomercials. He believed in his products, such as OxyClean and Mighty Putty, and it showed. The McKees Rocks native got started on the career path that would make him famous …

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The End of Smallpox

There are a lot of reasons why people believe Dr. D.A. Henderson was the best person to lead the successful effort to eradicate smallpox from the planet in the 1960s and 1970s. Usually they revolve around his intellect (unquestionably world class), his training (schooled in “shoe leather epidemiology” by his mentor) or his style of …

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What Cork?

Patrons who arrive at our restaurant after dark, or are focused on prime rib, may not notice the unusual mulch out front. It’s cork, or more specifically, corks, from the dozens of wine bottles we open every night. These souvenirs of pinot noirs and viogniers gone by rest at the base of our birches, over …

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The Business of Retirement Living

Five years ago, a senior citizen wanting to move into a stately retirement community would typically put his name on a list and wait, sometimes for a year or two. Today he would have little trouble finding an apartment in a community that boasts such amenities as indoor pools and spas, a golf simulator and …

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Song of Shadyside

The word “trendy” has been surgically attached to the word  “Shadyside” since days of yore—far more yore than you think. That most elegant and affluent neighborhood in Pittsburgh’s East End is home to what Andy Warhol dubbed the Beautiful People, and the upscale shops that cater to their needs. In search of a certain high-end luxury item? You can find …

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Energy & Pittsburgh

Beginning in this issue and then picking up steam over the next three, Pittsburgh Quarterly is publishing a series examining Pittsburgh’s contributions to and potential in the realm of energy. Few regions in the world are as well prepared as greater Pittsburgh to play a key role in a variety of different energy sectors. When you …

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Eins, Zwei, G’suffa!

Turning leaves are a sure harbinger of Oktoberfest! If you can’t make it to Germany, several local options may do. Grab your designated driver and hit the road for a tour of western Pennsylvania’s microbreweries, each of which offers a twist on the annual tradition. East End Brewing Company is the only true microbrewery in …

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You’ve come a long way, city

The 2009 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Pittsburgh 52nd in the world. This annual report aims at an international business audience and compares 215 cities based on 39 criteria. Among the most important are: Political/economic stability, safety, education, hygiene, recreation and transportation. Each city is indexed against New York (100). The top five cities …

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To Do List … Pittsburgh

From Rafael Viñoly’s green Convention Center, head to Grant Street, the traditional seat of Pittsburgh government and corporate power. You’ll see the enormous U.S. Steel building, now with UPMC on top. U.S. Steel remains the largest tenant, but the University of Pittsburgh Medical  Center is the region’s biggest employer. On the right is the Gulf Tower, former …

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Personal Investment

As a Pittsburgh police commander, Gwen Elliott knew the struggles of girls in the city’s toughest neighborhoods. When she retired in 2002, she founded Gwen’s Girls, a nonprofit that would look out for them. But from the beginning, Elliott knew it needed to grow. That’s where Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners came in. Operating on the idea …

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Greening the Region

The G-20 Summit provides southwestern Pennsylvania with an unprecedented opportunity to share its compelling story with the world. Ours is the tale of a region dramatically transformed by foresight and innovation, which have led to a remarkable economic and environmental revival. After the collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s, our region worked hard …

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