2011 Spring

A different Jonas

Well, it’s official: the end is near. Whether or not the dire Mayan predictions for the future of mankind come to pass in 2012, it is clear that time is running out for books.The sad inevitability of this is demonstrated both by the ascendancy of electronic readers and the proliferation of materials promoting new uses for …

A different Jonas Read More »

Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow Report 2011

In January 1983, unemployment in metropolitan Pittsburgh reached 17.1 percent as deep recession and structural change rocked the region. Steel strikes raged, and famous mills went cold. In time, an unwelcome realization settled in: Pittsburgh would never be the city it had been. As the Bruce Springsteen lyrics went, “Foreman says these jobs are going, …

Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow Report 2011 Read More »

A Touch of Gray

A thick report called “Boomers in the ’Burgh” arrived the other day, proposing that the city pitch AARP candidates on retiring here. The newest twist on the most-livable-city theme rang a bell. Back in the day, I wrote copy for a local inventions marketing firm, detailing the vast potential for improbable new ideas at $25 …

A Touch of Gray Read More »

Literary Pittsburgh

Kathleen “kit” McCafferty, a victim of childhood sexual abuse, has never discussed her trauma with anyone, and its residual rage and pain have left her estranged from her shell-shocked husband and grown children. Now approaching death, Kit is determined to complete and bequeath to her family a series of confessional notebooks, in order to break …

Literary Pittsburgh Read More »

Rossi, Cotter, Beyer, Graham, Have, Hassenzahl, Berg, Wetenhall

Daniel Rossi is executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania. A Pittsburgh native, Rossi was most recently in Phoenix, Ariz., where he was executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona. A 22-year veteran of the nonprofit sector, Rossi has a B.S. in administration and management science/economics from Carnegie Mellon University …

Rossi, Cotter, Beyer, Graham, Have, Hassenzahl, Berg, Wetenhall Read More »

Prepping for Summer

Crocuses are peeking through the soil and the snow has melted, meaning just one thing—it’s finally spring! Those who love the outside might have spent the winter poring over seed catalogs and making big plans for their gardens. But for many, reemerging to the outdoors can be challenging. You can use the best landscape architects, …

Prepping for Summer Read More »

David M. Matter

If there’s one thread that runs through my life, it’s the importance of mentorship. I was born in 1946, which makes me a baby-boomer—barely—and grew up in Carrick. Overall, I had a pretty normal upbringing.My first mentor was a high school teacher named Bob Hickey. I had him for German, and he became a dear friend …

David M. Matter Read More »

Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2011

In the 2011 Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow report, readers can assess where Pittsburgh stands compared with 14 other benchmark regions in 10 categories: Arts, Demographics, Economy, Education, Environment, Government, Health, Housing, Public Safety and Transportation. The Regional Indicators considers Greater Pittsburgh to be a 22-county region, including eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia. And as …

Pittsburgh Today and Tomorrow 2011 Read More »

La Petite Maison

Unlike most of the homes designed by architect Brandon Smith, the stucco, brick and limestone residence in Squirrel Hill isn’t large or imposing. It was built in 1948 for a retired couple who were downsizing, but who wanted an elegant and formal town house. The result is something rare—a small home that boasts the structure …

La Petite Maison Read More »

Politics and the Marcellus Shale

It was Nov. 3, one day after the stunning midterm elections that had routed the Democrats and left the party in disarray both nationally and in Pennsylvania. The political landscape was still smoldering when Karl Rove, one of the key architects of that Republican victory, stepped to the podium in a Pittsburgh conference center and …

Politics and the Marcellus Shale Read More »

Taking Wing

Not all the thousands of people who regularly pass beneath her glance up, but occasionally, one will stop for a better look. She hangs from the ceiling of the Landside Terminal at Pittsburgh International Airport with her name, Miss Pittsburgh, written on her nose. Further back, on the fuselage of this very old airplane, are …

Taking Wing Read More »

Valliant’s Diner

Pete Valliant arrived in America in 1950 with $20 in his pocket, no English, and a vague notion that he had relatives near Pittsburgh. The Greek merchant sea captain thought he would give the mainland a try, leaving behind his island home on Cephalonia, where Louis de Bernières set his 1994 novel, “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.” …

Valliant’s Diner Read More »

Chimney Swifts

Chimney swifts twitter, but they do not tweet. These are creatures not of the virtual world, but of our vernal skies. When warm weather returns to Pittsburgh and the new green of spring washes over the hills, Chimney Swifts will soon appear. The bird itself is unfamiliar to most, for it never comes close to …

Chimney Swifts Read More »

Thoughts of Spring

It’s been another long winter in Pittsburgh. Snow, ice and cold, mixed with work, responsibility and deadlines. So what’s the best thing about a Pittsburgh winter and its low, gray skies? Perhaps that it makes the coming of spring a gift from God. In the spring, as Tennyson said, a young man turns his thoughts …

Thoughts of Spring Read More »

Stocks & Pedestal, Spring 2011

Medrad: Top manufacturing, again If there is one economic sector that lives in the minds of Americans when they consider Pittsburgh, it’s manufacturing. And excellence in manufacturing is not just in the pages of the region’s history. For the second time in eight years, Medrad has won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, given …

Stocks & Pedestal, Spring 2011 Read More »

Money, Power & Purpose

Harvard played its final game of the 1911 baseball season the day after graduation. With Harvard up 4-1 and one out to go, team captain and star pitcher Charles B. “Chick” McLaughlin called time, for a substitution at first base. A lanky redhead came off the Harvard bench. He had failed to make the team …

Money, Power & Purpose Read More »

Finding New Ways

It’s around noon, and the winter sun shines on Fanny Edel Falk Elementary School at the top of the hilly University of Pittsburgh campus. Through a window facing southeast from one of Falk’s language arts classrooms, it looks as if you can see forever—toward Pittsburgh’s east suburbs and beyond. Many of the students seem keenly …

Finding New Ways Read More »

Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.

My mother and father were immigrants who had a mom-and-pop grocery store, and they worked hard. I was an only child—born March 20, 1931—and, from the beginning, my father told me that I was going to be a doctor. I was an obedient child, so I never questioned it. Then as I moved through high …

Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D. Read More »

Gilechrist, Warhola, Tanner, Thunhurst, Pellegrini, Chosky, Keidan, Hoerth

Carlton “Cookie” Gilchrist, 75 Gilchrist was a 250-pound running back, considered by many to be the greatest ever to play pro football. The Brackenridge native dominated defenses in the Canadian Football League and later in the American Football League, where he was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.He also was an early civil rights crusader, leading …

Gilechrist, Warhola, Tanner, Thunhurst, Pellegrini, Chosky, Keidan, Hoerth Read More »

Quality Close to Home

I enjoy being a wine contrarian—advocating for delicious white wines when people are conditioned to order red, and pouring domestic for customers who wouldn’t dream of drinking anything but an import. On the question of wines from the eastern United States, however, I went along with the conventional wisdom for a long time. Wines from …

Quality Close to Home Read More »

Top