2014 Summer

Welcoming Midsummer’s Eve

At the end of may last year, my son and I drove into Groningen—the Netherlands’ northernmost city. By chance, we arrived on the first warm, sunny day they’d had after an unusually long, cold and dark winter. By early afternoon, business stopped, and everywhere, jubilant people of all ages poured into the parks and outdoor …

Welcoming Midsummer’s Eve Read More »

Stocks & Pedestal, Summer 2014

When the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians started seeing an increasing number of empty seats in Heinz Hall during their concerts for students, a group of them started making inquiries. They learned that, because of funding cuts, a number of schools could no longer afford to hire the buses to bring youngsters Downtown for the concert. …

Stocks & Pedestal, Summer 2014 Read More »

Gallagher, Fernandes, Barron, Finger, Suzik, Wilmer, Carey

Patrick D. Gallagher will become the 18th chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh on Aug. 1. A native of Albuquerque, N.M., he comes to Pittsburgh from the greater Washington, D.C., area, where he has been serving as acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce and director of the National Institute of Standards and …

Gallagher, Fernandes, Barron, Finger, Suzik, Wilmer, Carey Read More »

Richard V. Piacentini, Botanist and Innovator

I was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island, practically across the street from a several-thousand-acre state park in which we played all the time. I loved being in the woods as a kid. I was always interested in plants and animals—mostly plants, to be honest—during my early years. I used …

Richard V. Piacentini, Botanist and Innovator Read More »

The Greatest Sport?

As far as I’m concerned, the summer of 2013 was a bust. It was supposed to be the summer of the 17-year cicada, humming with a biblical infestation of the things. But there wasn’t so much as a chirp or whirr, and not one gawking husk on a fence post. And I waited 17 years …

The Greatest Sport? Read More »

Bend of the ‘burgh

Pittsburgh has enjoyed some nice national media buzz in recent years. We’re so livable, we’re hipper than Portland, we’re the next foodie destination. But Pittsburgher Jacob Bacharach’s debut novel could blast the city’s profile into an otherworldly dimension. “The Bend of the World”—a highly enjoyable comedy of modern manners—imagines our cozy town as the fulcrum …

Bend of the ‘burgh Read More »

The house finch

It’s no surprise that a city defined by former immigrant neighborhoods would be the gateway for yet another group of newcomers forced to gain a foothold in unfamiliar terrain. Such is the case with Carpodacus mexicanus—the house finch—which was often called the California linnet and the Hollywood finch before it was smuggled to the eastern …

The house finch Read More »

Berry Bounty

It’s an early spring morning and my neighbor mike and I work in our gardens, just a shaky chain-link fence between us. We garden for a while as if we’re both alone, just grunting and digging and pulling at weeds as the birds sing their heads off. Every so often one of us starts a …

Berry Bounty Read More »

Di’s Korner Stone Diner

Diane Elias never gives up. When she was 41, the McKeesport eatery where she waitressed was suddenly shuttered, leaving her and her friends out of work and short on hope, a common refrain in the old mill towns around Pittsburgh. Amid abandoned factories, shops and homes, and too many broken spirits, Di could have called …

Di’s Korner Stone Diner Read More »

From drab to daring

You could easily miss the Sharpsburg Community Library, even at its Main Street location next to the post office. This is not a Beaux Arts gem of the Carnegie system. Rather, it is 1,300 square feet in a one-story concrete-block former Indian restaurant. The little facility is well used and beloved, but we are lucky …

From drab to daring Read More »

Captivating collections

There’s a luminescent quality to the face, with its pale, translucent skin and eyes lost in thought and in time. Made of wax and preserved for a century, the doll sits on a shelf surrounded by hundreds of others. Each has a story that began somewhere but continued when Barbara Luderowski found it and added …

Captivating collections Read More »

New and newer

The founding director of the Andy Warhol Museum, Mark Francis, recounts this story: A few weeks before the museum opened, Francis had taken the distinguished curator, Walter Hopps, on an advance tour of the completed building. (Hopps was instrumental in putting on Warhol’s first Pop Art show, in June 1962 at the Ferus Gallery in …

New and newer Read More »

Learning by the lake

The motto painted on the wall of Chautauqua Institution’s outdoor amphitheater exhorts the audience to “Share Your Light.” It’s a message that Chautauquans take seriously, returning annually to the lakeshore community to debate, learn and generally immerse themselves in ethics, arts, music and current events. But as the lakeside institution just over the New York …

Learning by the lake Read More »

North by northwest

Summer has finally arrived, and there is no better time for a weekend (or mid-week) getaway. McKean County is a few hours from Pittsburgh and a great area to explore, play, relax and have fun. Whether your interests are historic, outdoorsy, culinary or sporty, you will find no lack of things to do. For the …

North by northwest Read More »

A Calling on Campus

When Kathy Humphrey was born, she was already an aunt, part of a family of 11 siblings and, now, 86 nieces and nephews. As a girl, she not only loved school, she played school outside of classroom hours with her hometown friends in Kansas City, Mo. And when she couldn’t find friends to join her, …

A Calling on Campus Read More »

The Little Block House That Could

The first question a visitor usually asks is: “So… what was this place?” As curator of the 250-year-old Fort Pitt Block House, sometimes I feel that I have the most interesting job in the world. I get to take care of the only structure left of Fort Pitt and the oldest building in Pittsburgh. The …

The Little Block House That Could Read More »

Opening Day, Minus One

Dunbar creek runs into the Youghiogheny River just north of South Connellsville in Fayette County. Vestiges of the interurban streetcar lines are all over. A massive stone arch that was once part of a bridge crossing the Dunbar Creek valley stands like an ancient Roman aqueduct by the coke oven complex near Wheeler. I grew …

Opening Day, Minus One Read More »

Three Percent of You Isn’t You

Susan Lambie was desperate. It was the summer of 2009 and her mother’s health was deteriorating rapidly. What began as a cold turned into pneumonia. Then her mom developed Clostridium difficile—a nasty bacterium that causes severe diarrhea. Each year, C. diff strikes more than a half million people, especially the elderly after taking antibiotics, as …

Three Percent of You Isn’t You Read More »

Kissing My Privacy Goodbye

I first became aware that my online privacy wasn’t nearly as confidential as I thought while shopping online with my sister who lives in Florida. Separated by 1,000 miles, phones pressed to our ears, eyes glued to computer screens, my price for a particular web cam was a bargain at $3.37; hers was $4.66, over …

Kissing My Privacy Goodbye Read More »

The Equilibrium Illusion

Balance, n., a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. What an elusive state. Just the constant weighing and evaluating required to attempt balance is exhausting. My mind races: I should be working on improving the bakery’s website… no, I should be at my kids’ soccer game… wait, I really …

The Equilibrium Illusion Read More »

Passing the test

Think you’d like to be CEO of a major corporation? Best get ready for this test: The employer informs you that over the next day and a half, you’re the leader of a hypothetical company. You prepare by reading reams of hypothetical reports generated by your hypothetical company. As you arrive at your computer, you’re assaulted …

Passing the test Read More »

Zero Interest Rate Zone

Each year in our summer issue, we ask a group of the region’s leading wealth managers to help our readers navigate financial waters by responding to a question. This year, the question is: In your opinion, what will be the ultimate impact of the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy in the short term and …

Zero Interest Rate Zone Read More »

Top