Photo Essays

Pittsburgh in Crisis

Editor’s note: 2020 has been full of calamity and adversity and it’s only June. Whether the pandemic and unprecedented economic shutdown or the more recent protests that have erupted here and across the world, the ordeals have ushered in a year that’s been unrecognizable from any that preceded it.  Photographer John Beale has captured images …

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Signs of the Times

The coronavirus has posed problems for every corner of society, and as we saw over Easter weekend, churches have been no exception. Yet, whether blessing people in drive-through lines, using social media or the radio, during this Holy Week pastors have used every means at their disposal to keep close to their flocks. And as …

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The Deserted Streets of Pittsburgh 

In Downtown Pittsburgh, a beat cop checks the doors of businesses along Penn Avenue. The streets are empty except for the occasional person waiting at a bus stop. Market Square has an eerie feeling; eateries remain open for takeout, but few people pass through. On quiet Grant Street, an Allegheny County Sheriff’s Department vehicle passes …

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Best Stadium in Baseball

It was a bone chilling January afternoon when Kevin McClatchy climbed to the top of Three Rivers Stadium in 1996. McClatchy, the new owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, posed for some magazine photographs with the cavernous soup-bowl-shaped stadium that within two years would become rubble. He smiled frequently, shivering in the cold wind as he …

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Strolling the Streets of Classic Pittsburgh

Take a walk around the Pittsburgh of yesteryear in this photo collection by David Aschkenas. Although the photographs were taken between 1978 and 1982, some look like they could fit into the 1940s with old neighborhood storefronts and hints of the city’s ethic roots. View more of David Aschkenas’s work at www.daschkenasphoto.com.

Patterns at the Reservoir

With winter’s storms and frigid temperatures come delicate specimens of nature’s beauty, for those attentive enough to notice. Over several years, photographer David Aschkenas captured the natural art of ice patterns on the surface of the Highland Park Reservoir. Enjoy the beauty of freezing temperatures—without needing to bundle up—in this photo collection by Aschkenas. View …

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A Pittsburgher Goes to Florence

Take a quick international trip to Florence, Italy with Pittsburgh photographer David Aschkenas. In this photo collection, Aschkenas explores the Palazzo Pitti, the Boboli Gardens, the eclectic La Specola natural history museum as well as a few churches, including Santa Croce, Santa Maria Novella and the Duomo. View more of David Aschkenas’s work at www.daschkenasphoto.com.

Carnegie International Opening Weekend Through the Lens of an Outsider

Though my visits to Pittsburgh have been few and far between, I’ve always known that my family had deep roots in the Iron City. Along with that came a vague whisper of prominence verbally imparted by my grandparents. But until my visit to the opening weekend of the Carnegie International in October, I had no …

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Indiana County Tree Farmers Keep the Green in Christmas

When your friends in Florida or your relatives in Virginia gather around their live Christmas tree this season, there’s a chance the evergreen was grown and harvested from a hillside in Indiana County, Pa. Flemings Christmas Tree Farm in Indiana is just one of 20 tree farms in the county that claims to be “The …

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Painting Pittsburgh’s Ice

This is how it all begins: a man, a stencil, a crayon, and of course a bed of ice. Total time for the crew to paint the ice: about 8 hours. Follow the mesmerizing process of decorating the ice of the Pittsburgh Penguins in this photo collection by David Aschkenas. View more of David Aschkenas’s …

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Highland Park: When Ordinary Becomes Dramatic

Photographer David Aschkenas has been walking through East End’s Highland Park for many years. When visiting the same area on a daily basis, you begin to see dramatic changes in the same landscape due to the changing of the seasons and weather changes. As Aschkenas shows in this hauntingly beautiful photo collection, something that looks …

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Pittsburgh at Twilight

Some cities are known for spectacular sunsets. Photographer David Aschkenas finds that, in Pittsburgh, the most interesting light is just before sunrise. Experience Pittsburgh at twilight in this collection of intriguing photographs. View more of David Aschkenas’s work at www.daschkenasphoto.com.

Synagogues Around the World

For the past seven years, a Pittsburgh photographer has been working on a personal project: Capturing the beauty of synagogues in Europe. Experience the architecture and history of synagogues from Prague, Budapest, Kracow, Amsterdam, Venice, and Florence in this photo collection by David Aschkenas. View more of David Aschkenas’s work at www.daschkenasphoto.com.

A Summer Sampling: Southwestern Pennsylvania’s County Fairs

For many Pittsburghers, summer memories include fun days—and nights—at county fairs. In this collection of images, photographer David Aschkenas captures the spirit and fascinating culture of the region’s fairs over the past decade. The Big Butler Fair has already come and gone, but get your fill of country concerts and contests at these other fairs …

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A Look Inside Google’s Unconventional Bakery Square Offices

What is really behind the brick walls of that redeveloped Nabisco cookie factory building in Bakery Square, labelled with Google’s colorful logo? Think: hammocks, coffee shops, dining rooms, gaming rooms and pool tables. Created in collaboration with local architecture firm Strada, Google’s office space in Pittsburgh’s East End is playful, unconventional and inspiring with many …

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America in a Trance: An Observation of the Fading American Dream

About two decades ago, my father moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, which was my second experience with the United States. In the late 70s, he journeyed from Greece to New York City to work on his post-graduate studies, which evidently led him to the Keystone State. Living in Pennsylvania and traveling through its cities and towns, …

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Leading Lines

The photography of Emmanuel Panagiotakis reveals a love of light and form. With technical intricacy, he captures images that transform spaces. Panagiotakis is a native of Chios, Greece, but has called Pittsburgh home for almost 30 years. His photography takes him all over the world, yet it’s the beauty of his adopted city that never …

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Fleeting Blossoms of the ’Burgh

April showers bring May flowers, but May showers can quickly destroy the delicate blossoms on flowering trees. Sometimes the blooms only last a few days before a sudden downpour—of which Pittsburgh has been experiencing often these days—washes them away. In this collection of images, Pittsburgh photographer David Aschkenas captures the fleeting beauty by lighting the …

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A Peek Inside the Pittsburgh Playhouse

The Pittsburgh Playhouse building in Oakland, which serves as the performing arts center of Point Park University and the Conservatory of Performing Arts, is nearing its end, as a new state-of-the-art theatre complex is set to open on Forbes Avenue in downtown later this year. Photographer David Aschkenas documented the Playhouse in its final phase …

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Saying Goodbye

As a child, my mother often reminded me that we all enter and leave this world the same way. It’s what we do between those two events that will define our lives. It’s likely that my mother, Edith Beale, wasn’t much different than other mothers raising families in and around towns lining the valleys of …

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Winter Patterns

“Where, twisted round the barren oak, The summer vine in beauty clung, And summer winds the stillness broke, The crystal icicle is hung.” —From “Woods in Winter,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Walking our woods in winter, I see the natural world differently than in the warmer months. Distracted by neither color nor blossom, I instead …

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Song of the North Side

Take a look at Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood through the lens of David Aschkenas in this never-before published photo collection from our archives. Want to see more? Check out our archive for previously published installments of “Song of…” written by Barry Paris, photographs by David Aschkenas. Song of Kittanning Song of Weirton Song of Lawrenceville …

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