2015 Summer

Best-case scenario

1985 was a grim year for Pittsburgh. The region, reeling from a historic collapse of its industry, was hemorrhaging people, mostly young adults leaving for job opportunities that had evaporated in their hometown. The air was bad, worse than it is today. Even the beloved Steelers failed to offer solace, finishing with seven wins against …

Best-case scenario Read More »

Pittsburgh & Diversity

Recently, in my “other” job with Pittsburgh Today, we published a report on racial and ethnic diversity in the regional workforce. Given that Pittsburgh is the whitest (86 percent) of the 15 benchmark regions we examine, it wasn’t a shock to learn that we have the lowest percentage of minority workers—11 percent compared with the …

Pittsburgh & Diversity Read More »

An outside view

“Embedded” is a strange word, which we have come to recognize nowadays as the term used for journalists and photographers permitted to report in war zones under military protection and some limitation. That was the experience of British photographer Mark Neville working in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan in 2011 as an official war artist, …

An outside view Read More »

Pittsburgh’s tiny troubles

“Tiny houses” are a hot trend on the Internet and occasionally in real life. The widespread but not entirely formal movement includes residences of between 100 and 400 square feet, depending who is counting. They come from builders and owners who want to live more economical and less complicated lives by getting rid of possessions, …

Pittsburgh’s tiny troubles Read More »

The Curated Condo

When Karen and Jim Johnson decided to downsize, what they had in mind was not a smaller version of their large property in Churchill. The couple wanted a complete change, from traditional with antiques to contemporary with all new furnishings.   “We only brought three pieces from our other home – the piano, a marble-topped …

The Curated Condo Read More »

Patrick D. Gallagher, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor

I don’t recollect ever wanting to manage a large organization. But I’ve always enjoyed managing things. In fact, my management experience started when I was very young. As a junior in high school, I joined a volunteer organization called Amigos de las Americas [Friends of the Americas], which was a non-denominational, youth-based organization modeled after …

Patrick D. Gallagher, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Read More »

In a class of her own

Just behind the first tee of the legendary Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, looms a brooding stone edifice of baffling architectural lineage. Call it Ponderous Nondescript. This is the clubhouse of the famous and historic Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, hulking guardian of golf. A big brass telescope sits on the …

In a class of her own Read More »

Elk on the Alleghenies

Benezette, Pennsylvania is not a place you happen upon en route to somewhere else. There are easier ways across the Allegheny Plateau than to snake eastward in Elk County from Weedville along Rte. 555, with the Bennett Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek gnawing at the south berm while pine-studded Allegheny crests soar across the windshield. Benezette, …

Elk on the Alleghenies Read More »

Plastic Surgery on Your Wish List?

In Los Angeles, it’s not uncommon to hear someone boasting about her plastic surgeon. In Miami, people don’t brag so much but definitely don’t hide cosmetic work. In these parts, plastic surgery is rarely a topic of conversation but is thriving. “One of the charming things about Pittsburgh is that plastic surgery is done here …

Plastic Surgery on Your Wish List? Read More »

Start Your Engines

Pittsburgh’s Vintage Grand Prix is celebrating its 33rd year, making it the longest-continually-running vintage road race in America. The 10-day event attracts some 250,000 visitors to Schenley Park, and, since it began in 1983, the Grand Prix has donated more than $3.5 million to the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School. From …

Start Your Engines Read More »

Barbara Baker

2015 marks the 25th anniversary of Barbara Baker’s leadership as president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. On this occasion, Pittsburgh Quarterly posed a series of questions to Baker, a doctor of veterinary medicine with an MBA, about her tenure and the future of the zoo. What brought you to Pittsburgh and …

Barbara Baker Read More »

The Interest Rate Dilemma

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. Their answers follow in reverse alphabetical order. If you were the Federal Reserve Board Chair, when and how would you raise interest rates (if at all), and …

The Interest Rate Dilemma Read More »

Heinz, 1903

The H.J. Heinz company was founded in 1888, and by the turn of the century had a vast processing plant on Pittsburgh’s North Side. Known for progressive employee benefits—especially those for women—Heinz offered free medical care, a swimming pool and gymnasium, weekly manicures, a reading room, classes and lectures. Occasionally, workers enjoyed carriage rides through …

Heinz, 1903 Read More »

Murray, Alexander, Wolfenstein, Mickle, Levin, Legato, Gordon, Snyder, Pavlovich, Dauler, Anderson

John Murray Jr., 82 From 1988 to 2001, Murray was the high-profile President of Duquesne University, who led the Catholic institution through a major revitalization, raising more than $200 million during his tenure. The former dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Murray was Duquesne’s first lay president and continued teaching in Duquesne’s …

Murray, Alexander, Wolfenstein, Mickle, Levin, Legato, Gordon, Snyder, Pavlovich, Dauler, Anderson Read More »

The New Marcellus Debate

It has become the new flash point in the battle over the development of the Marcellus, with advocates for development facing off against opponents, not in remote fields in rural Pennsylvania, but all over the region. And it’s not just about drilling anymore. The new battle over the Marcellus is being fought over hundreds of …

The New Marcellus Debate Read More »

A Call from Campus

Diligent MBA students mine their schools’ alumni databases for possible internships and jobs. The value of networking and information gathering is a given. I’m sure they frequently contact alumni from investment banks, management consultancies and Fortune 500 companies, but as the owner of a retail bakery in Pittsburgh, I am blissfully unencumbered by such requests. …

A Call from Campus Read More »

The Bulldog Pub

This place has roots. decades before it became the Bulldog Pub, the little neighborhood joint on Morningside Avenue was Petrilli’s Tavern. Opened during Prohibition, it was a basement speakeasy while groceries were sold in the upstairs storefront. After the scourge, the grocery became a proper barroom. The men of Morningside worked tough, physical jobs in …

The Bulldog Pub Read More »

Still Life

Each day, I post at least one photograph on Instagram. Most of my postings are of food or cocktails: my oatmeal highlighted by the morning light through my kitchen window, a beautiful loaf of sourdough bread from a local bakery, tomatoes perfectly ripened from my garden, a cocktail on my deck with the Pittsburgh skyline …

Still Life Read More »

Days of Wine and Music

There are few things more enjoyable during beautiful weather than sitting outside with family or friends, listening to live music while sipping on wine. Fortunately, there is a charming, local, Tuscan-themed venue where one can do just that. Narcisi Winery, on route 910 in Gibsonia, is a family-owned endeavor that began in Italy generations ago. …

Days of Wine and Music Read More »

Timeless & Unremembered

Gladys Schmitt is a wonderful Pittsburgh writer you have probably not read. If so, the time has come for that to change. “The Collected Stories of Gladys Schmitt,” assembled with care by Carnegie Mellon University Press, presents 20 stories that she published in popular and literary journals, mainly between the early 1930s and late 1950s. …

Timeless & Unremembered Read More »

Enlow Fork

Tucked away 40 miles southwest of Pittsburgh is a stream called Enlow Fork, a tributary of Wheeling Creek, on the circuitous border of Washington and Greene counties. Enlow Fork flows nearly 20 miles east to west, before entering West Virginia’s northern panhandle to later join the Ohio River at Wheeling. This corner of Pennsylvania is …

Enlow Fork Read More »

A Flash of Blue

A ratchety, staccato rattle announces the arrival of a Belted Kingfisher along one of Pittsburgh’s riverbanks, over a stream, or across a pond. I love the sound of the bird, so distinctive, as I scan for it in the sky. And I’m not alone. The great English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote of this dashing …

A Flash of Blue Read More »

Top