2019 Winter

The Migrations of Hunting

“Nature is a wet place where large numbers of ducks fly around uncooked.” —Oscar Wilde I didn’t grow up in a hunting family. When it came to wild animals, we enjoyed simply seeing them, not killing them. And the least likely kind of hunting for me might have been ducks. I liked the book “Make …

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Be Alert for a Fast and Active Winter Visitor

I was walking where the paved road turns to dirt at Hartwood Acres one winter day. The trees were creaking with cold. Dry leaves were tinged with a dusting of snow. The sky, all gray. Suddenly, there was a bird, small, moving fast. It landed on a sapling no more than 10 feet away and …

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The Tionesta Natural Areas

The largest remaining uncut forest in Pennsylvania is the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania. This remote 4,000-acre area is almost equally divided between the Tionesta Research Natural Area and adjoining Tionesta Scenic Natural Area, which are managed for science and aesthetic values. Situated along creeks at the top of the 2,000-foot-high Allegheny High Plateau, …

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Wild Bones

My daughter brings home bones and piles them on the driveway: femur, rib, jawbone with a few flat teeth attached, dozens of thin arced parts. —from “My Daughter Brings Home Bones” by Jennifer Richter The American photographer Sally Mann, controversial in the 1990s for the photos she took of her naked children, has a fascination …

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Short Takes: “Thank Your Lucky Stars” “Asia Ascending”

The pleasures of “Thank Your Lucky Stars” are doubled in the re-reading. The 50 stories tucked into 189 pages encourage a binge. Most are short short, sometimes just a few paragraphs; about 10 are traditional-length short stories (if size matters). But when you return to browse through the collection, images and phrases bust out like …

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The Bad Old Days

You won’t get depressed by reading Richard Gazarik’s “Wicked Pittsburgh.” The retired Tribune-Review reporter does not seek to darken the name of our fair city. He merely wants to gather, in one handy and readable volume, key stories of corruption, crime and skulduggery stretching back to the turn of the 20th century. The cumulative effect …

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Making a Splash

More than a century ago, scientists figured out how to deploy sound waves to locate the position and distance of enemy submarines. This discovery would also lay the groundwork for using high-frequency sound waves to peer inside the human body and usher in the age of ultrasound. Today, ultrasound (or sonography) is the most widely …

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Consensus Builder

Mark Nordenberg’s cell phone lights up. He smiles to see a call from Herb Douglas, the oldest living African-American Olympic medalist and a University of Pittsburgh alum. Douglas hails from Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood, where some community advocates raise questions about how residents will fare amidst the mammoth Hazelwood Green development project currently under construction. “Are …

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New and Noteworthy: LeoGreta, Fish nor Fowl

Longtime Pittsburgh chef Greg Alauzen has opened his own restaurant in Carnegie paying homage to his parents, Leon and Greta with his homemade Italian cuisine. His enthusiasm as chef/owner is palpable. Firmly at the helm in the kitchen; he takes time to visit his guests. His menu is straightforward featuring Italian classics made from scratch. …

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Essential Dining: Winter

While Pittsburgh winters often begin with sparkling lights, a gentle first snow and holiday splendor, they can quickly become slush and ice. The constant threat of the wintry mix, the steady stream of gray days, and scattered plastic chairs reserving parking on snowy streets can wear down the most pleasant among us. Confronting the cold …

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Introducing the Pittsburgh Quarterly Restaurant Review Board

Pittsburgh Quarterly is happy to introduce a major new food and dining section, featuring Pittsburgh’s leading food experts–a group that for the past 25 years has chosen the region’s best restaurants. We’re honored that they’ve decided to join Pittsburgh Quarterly. And our readers are literally in for a treat as they bring their expertise to …

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On a Pedestal: Pittsburgh Playhouse, Literacy Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Playhouse at Point Park University made its debut Oct. 11, opening its doors to a new era for the school, its students, theatergoers and the city. It’s built to impress. From its three-story-wide lobby bathed in natural light to a 550-seat theater designed to give passersby outside a glimpse of backstage workings and …

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Enter Stage Left

Prior to her first directorial effort with the Pittsburgh Public Theater (“The Tempest”: Jan. 24­–Feb. 24), Pittsburgh Quarterly posed a few questions for artistic director Marya Sea Kaminski. Q. First, welcome to Pittsburgh. Why “The Tempest” for your first Pittsburgh show? A. I wanted to have something that was a little bit of a celebration …

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The Peak of Its Powers

The No. 1 seat in the grand stage box is the best place to be at Heinz Hall. And that’s exactly where I sit with my noiseless camera. All the other seats in the concert hall are empty. On stage, the musicians are tuning their instruments as conductor Manfred Honeck makes his entrance. I’ll be …

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Ross, Vandermade, Limbach, Brinkman, Colville, Fisher, Watson, Lexie, Russell, Gorman, Capobianco

Eunice Mercedes Latshaw Ross, 94: Blazing a trail for women in the field of law wasn’t easy for Ross. She became an Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas judge in 1972, when few women held such positions. She was an expert in probate law whose opinions were considered masterful. But when she reported that soon-to-be …

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The Dangerous Necessity of Beauty

At one time I took for granted the traditional definition of beauty—id quod visum placet—that which when seen pleases. Eventually I came to see that this was much too narrow a definition. It did not include what could be called beautiful when heard, touched, tasted, felt or otherwise experienced. That is why Robert Frost’s saying …

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The Quality of Life Survey Results Are In

Allegheny County residents say their quality of life has improved since they were last surveyed seven years ago, with more of them reporting rising incomes and expressing greater confidence in the local economy. Pittsburgh’s bid to become Amazon’s new headquarters gets a thumbs-up from a majority of county residents, who also favor loosening the reins …

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Green Acres

We used to have 20 chickens. Now we have two!” laments the lady of the house, citing coyotes and foxes as the culprits. “We did have two mini attack donkeys that were supposed to keep the predators away from the chickens, and they did a good job. But when they were out to pasture the …

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Art or Fashion?

The Frick Pittsburgh continues its recent foray into fashion with exuberance, exhibiting a group of contemporary paper recreations of iconic outfits from the past. Ranging from the era of the Medici to the early 20th century with costumes from the Ballets Russes, “Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art From Paper” though (January 6, 2019) seems tailormade …

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John Kasich, Government Leader

I was born and raised in Mckees Rocks, Pennsylvania, not far from Pittsburgh. It was a working-class, blue-collar town, but it was a positive place. I loved it there. As a kid, I played a lot of sports, and learned a great deal from that, about working together and trying hard. I was also blessed …

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The 57th Carnegie International: Looking Forward While Mindful of the Past

The Carnegie International is here again, the 57th in the series inaugurated by founder Andrew Carnegie in 1896. While international exhibitions have proliferated in the last 50 years, the Carnegie International remains one of the few based in a museum with its own identity—one rich with diverse offerings ranging from a museum of art to …

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A Turning Point for Troubled Times

By almost any objective measure, life in America has never been better. We’re not at war. Poverty is low, unemployment’s even lower, and stocks are sky high. Homicide rates are about where they were in 1950 and half of what they were in 1980. And medical care is better than ever with dramatic breakthroughs occurring …

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