2019 Spring

When Clocks Have No Hands

I am a returnee by nature. Over the years I have returned to neighborhoods where I once lived, to rooms in dormitories that were mine, to Mirror Lake in the Adirondacks where I caught my first trout and to a grade school playground where I competed in kickball (soccer), softball and football. Although I enjoyed …

When Clocks Have No Hands Read More »

To Bail or Not to Bail

The president of the Pennsylvania Bail Bond Association is not straight out of central casting. His wife and young daughters write children’s books, and he’s sipped a lot of tea at imaginary princess parties. Matter of fact, he looks more like an underwear model than a tough guy who meets criminals in the dead of …

To Bail or Not to Bail Read More »

Holland, Beltran, Lee, Hayes, Kiser, Welsch, Griffith

Michael Holland is vice chancellor for science policy and research strategies at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the first to hold the new appointment. His duties include developing and implementing university research policies and strategies to support collaborations across a range of disciplines. He also oversees the creation of major research initiatives. Holland, a …

Holland, Beltran, Lee, Hayes, Kiser, Welsch, Griffith Read More »

Hiking in Laurel Hill State Park

Second only to Alaska, Pennsylvania hosts more than 86,000 miles of streams and rivers. Our state also provides hundreds of hiking trails covering elevations from near sea level to the highest point in the state, Mount Davis. While ridgeline treks often offer sweeping vistas, Pennsylvania’s best hikes also include forested trails along our beautiful streams. …

Hiking in Laurel Hill State Park Read More »

Cigars With Wings

“But one day the swifts are back. Face to the sun like a child You shout, ‘The swifts are back!’ ” —from “Swifts,” by Anne Stevenson At first I thought they were bats, and I was thrilled because bats are nearly nonexistent on our farm now. But something wasn’t quite right. How high they flew. …

Cigars With Wings Read More »

More People Are Leaving the Region. Does It matter?

Sometime in 2008, more people began moving into the cities and suburbs of southwestern Pennsylvania from other parts of the country than were leaving for places and opportunities elsewhere. It was a watershed moment, the long-awaited reversal of a decades-long trend of being on the losing end of U.S. migration patterns. It proved to be …

More People Are Leaving the Region. Does It matter? Read More »

Look for the Canada Warbler

Imagine you’ve somehow found yourself in Ecuador. You desperately want to get to Pittsburgh. You weigh a third of an ounce. You can fly. You’re a Canada Warbler. Starting north on a spring night to avoid daytime predators and take advantage of cooler temperatures, you set out across the isthmus of Panama, over Costa Rica, …

Look for the Canada Warbler Read More »

Farnam Jahanian, President of Carnegie Mellon University

I am an immigrant. I left my family’s home in Iran, as so many immigrants have, to pursue an education. My family hails from Tehran, and all of my siblings—five in total, all older—went to college in either Europe or the U.S. But I decided to begin my journey at age 16, and traveled from …

Farnam Jahanian, President of Carnegie Mellon University Read More »

On a Pedestal: Clarion River, Innovation in Education

Western Pennsylvania is blessed with an abundance of water at a time when many places in the world find it increasingly scarce. But having ample water isn’t enough if it is tainted with pollutants. And the region long has been guilty of negligence when it comes to keeping its waterways clean and healthy. The Clarion …

On a Pedestal: Clarion River, Innovation in Education Read More »

A Period Piece

Perched on a hill in Oakland is a classic 1920s apartment building with spectacular views and a roster of illustrious residents. Many of them have undertaken renovations to bring their co-ops into this century, and the results are as varied as the inhabitants. But one particular resident split the difference by hundreds of years—she updated …

A Period Piece Read More »

A Different Kind of Pharmacy

Susan Merenstein tells people that she has “pharmacy” in her blood. Her late father ran Drug Lane, a Washington, D.C. drugstore, and she spent lots of time there, working the cigar and candy counter at age 10 and, ultimately, being a technician. She attended the University of Pittsburgh and became a registered pharmacist, working at …

A Different Kind of Pharmacy Read More »

The Pittsburgh Flip

Tom Maiden has been renting in the city of Pittsburgh for decades. He has a well-paid job as manager of user services at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and while he’s never shut the door on the idea of buying a home, the ease and convenience of renting is too compelling. “While renting might be slightly …

The Pittsburgh Flip Read More »

Never-Ending Gap

The wide gap between incomes earned by white and black workers is a national phenomenon that won’t go away. And it’s particularly severe in southwestern Pennsylvania. African Americans living in the seven-county Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area earn 48 percent less than white residents on average, 2017 U.S. Census Bureau median income data suggest. Income influences …

Never-Ending Gap Read More »

New Faces at the Westmoreland

With a renewed interest in what kinds of people are represented in art museums, a new exhibition at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art offers some rarely seen faces. “Mingled Visions: The Photographs of Edward S. Curtis and Will Wilson” (March 30–June 30) presents images of Native Americans taken a century apart and from different …

New Faces at the Westmoreland Read More »

Saving the Aging Brain

Think of all the products and promises for sale claiming to improve brain health. Mental-fitness games offer a gymnasium for the brain while one-a-day pills pledge a mental fountain of youth. Regardless of these claims, there may be no big secret to keeping the brain healthy and maintaining cognitive function. Rather, practicing all the components …

Saving the Aging Brain Read More »

Compassion, Mindfulness and Resilience

A native of California, Dr. Barry Kerzin is a Buddhist monk and the physician to the Dalai Lama. He sat down with Pittsburgh Quarterly to discuss his recent visit to Pittsburgh. Q. You’re here to work with many of UPMC’s 16,000 nurses for training in compassion, mindfulness and resilience. How do you do this? A. …

Compassion, Mindfulness and Resilience Read More »

Pittsburgh Quarterly Presents “The List” 2019

Pittsburgh Quarterly’s Restaurant review Board is pleased to present our list of favorite restaurants. The list was generated based on our preferences for memorable dishes, fresh ingredients, professional service, appropriate atmosphere and, most important, consistently delicious food. Through regular meetings, spirited conversations and intense reviews which detail our anonymous dining experiences, we voted to generate …

Pittsburgh Quarterly Presents “The List” 2019 Read More »

Short Takes: “Engineering Pittsburgh,” “American Dinosaur Abroad”

Without civil engineers, our world would fall apart. They are hidden brains behind what we civilians take for granted—all the marvelous methods for getting us from here to there, safe and sound. To observe its 100th anniversary, the Pittsburgh section of the American Society of Engineers has produced an indispensable survey of what has been …

Short Takes: “Engineering Pittsburgh,” “American Dinosaur Abroad” Read More »

An Eye-Opener About Living Black in Pittsburgh

Damon Young recently bought a rather nice house a block away from me. Yet I don’t expect to be invited over, although I am about to lavish praise on his brave, incisive and witty memoir about growing up and living while black in Pittsburgh. Even a blurb-ready assessment—Damon Young is not only the city’s most …

An Eye-Opener About Living Black in Pittsburgh Read More »

Chin Music

In late August 2018, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill peduto looked at his calendar and was pleased to notice a rarity—a nine-day break without a scheduled public appearance. He celebrated his unusually long vacation in an unusual way. “I didn’t shave during those nine days,” he recalls.“ I made a conscious decision that I wouldn’t go anywhere …

Chin Music Read More »

2019 Pittsburgh Tomorrow Contest: Have an Idea to Improve Pittsburgh?

The submission period for the Pittsburgh Tomorrow contest is now closed. We will notify the finalists once chosen. Thank you to all who participated! How would you like to have a private audience with the Mayor, County Executive and a group of potential funders to explain your idea to make Pittsburgh a better place? That’s …

2019 Pittsburgh Tomorrow Contest: Have an Idea to Improve Pittsburgh? Read More »

What’s the Big Idea?

As the kickoff to a region-wide competition, we asked a group of regional leaders to submit an idea, in 50 words or less, that, if enacted, would make Pittsburgh a better place to live. It could be something that wouldn’t cost a dime or it could be a multimillion-dollar public works campaign. Below are their …

What’s the Big Idea? Read More »

Top