Pittsburgh Quarterly Contributors
Kate Benz, photography by John Altdorfer

Kate Benz, photography by John Altdorfer

Anne and the Album

She could sit here all day, really. On the upholstered, wooden chair without wheels that she’ll push from keyboard to keyboard while she’s creating songs in the studio she has set up in her living room.

Relentless Russ and the Virtue of a Work Ethic

Russ has been at the gym for like, 31 years. “Since 1987,” he says. White New Balance sneakers. Red track suit jacket with the words PERSONAL TRAINER written across the back. Handing people the kettle bells and the medicine balls and the 10-​pound weights and the resistance bands and asking for one, come…

Ten Minutes of Lovely

“Okay, so I’ll do two hundred of the Hey Rosemary,” Samantha says, tying a white, plastic apron around her waist before opening two, overflowing three-​ring binders. “Wait… three hundred Hey Rosemary. We are really low on Hey Rosemary. I need to make Lady Macbeth again… and I’m out of Gertrude! I’m completely out…

The Singing Barista

No one complains when they come into Jitters Café in Shadyside for their frappuccinos and cappuccinos and caffeinated hot/​iced whatevers and barista Liz starts singing.

Bob and Fritz Together

Fritz is wearing a contraption. Two black, rubber wheels attached to a harness that allows him to bark and roll and bark and roll his way across the grass. He’s been wearing it for four years. Ever since he jumped and missed and fell off one of the concrete steps in the back…

Rocky’s World Behind the Diner Counter

Where’s Apollo Creed? Oh, hardy, har, har. Like he hasn’t heard that one like, ten thousand times before.

Donna’s Dream and a Life of Roller Skating

Donna’s knee has been bothering her lately. Which is why she isn’t lacing up her white roller skates right now, the pair her late husband bought for her in 1963 for, geez, it must have been five hundred dollars. The same pair she was wearing 10 years ago when she was 71 and…

An Antique Point of View

Someday, Jim Barricella will retire from antiquing. Well, maybe not retire literally, but definitely do something else with his life. Something other than the never-​ending hours he spends at his antique shop, Off the Avenue.

Nate and His Bees

The bees arrived yesterday, via Two Day Priority, from an apiary in Ohio. Three pounds of them. Five thousand bees and one queen buzzing around in a wooden crate made of scrap wood kinda stapled together. There are screens on either side so that you can actually see the bees. And hear them.…

The Gowns She’s Known

There’s less than a month left to liquidate, oh geez, like, 1,000 gowns. Rows and rows of them. Satin and lace all hanging pretty in clear garment bags with a hand-​written tag attached: 60% off!
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