CULTURE

The Myriad Lives I Lead Inside My Own

Observe the day. Observe how it is spring warm in the middle of winter, the sky unclouded blue, the air full of undefined promise. Observe my daughter’s excitement at the prospect of a birthday party, running with arms flapping, singing for the joy of it, unbridled, unrestrained. Observe how picturesque…

Car Cathedral

Since its completion in 1931, the towering stone St. Helen’s Catholic Church has stood like a beacon atop Main Street in East Pittsburgh. Now it’s a car club and garage with country club perks.

An Ear for Music and Life

On a Tuesday morning in Squirrel Hill, Ceinwen (pronounced Kine-​Win) King-​Smith taps out notes on her piano. I stumble along, up and down the scale, straining my voice to match pitches.

Rob Ruck Examines Football the Samoan Way

The thing to understand about Rob Ruck is that he’s a runner — a distance runner and a daily runner. He’s the type of guy to run the Pittsburgh marathon a bunch of times, and when he is not running, he is at loose ends and out of sync. This devoted runner…

Naming It

There should be a name for it: driving into a spring storm with the sun behind you, the spray kicking up from the interstate, the stacked periwinkle clouds, the sunlight still glowing into the trees, finding the naked white birch, the new green of the underbrush. Light has a name…

Grit, Striving and Some Redemption Highlight Rust Belt Collection

A Pittsburgher’s first reaction upon completing the 24 essays in “Voices from the Rust Belt” is bound to be: Jeez-​o-​man, we’ve got it pretty good here.

The Man Who Took Away Snakes

No, he wasn’t always a plumber for the City of Pittsburgh, and he wasn’t always called Pupi either. His wife called him Andy. Pupi told me this story one day when we were hunting at “The Farm.” I was his hunting dog that day. My job was to kick brush…

The Spirit of Animals Glows in Robin Becker’s “The Black Bear Inside Me”

There’s a favorite scene in Don DeLillo’s sprawling masterpiece of a novel, “Underworld,” where a priest asks his student to name the parts of the boots the pupil’s wearing. The young man struggles with the assignment, allowing the priest to walk him through each aspect of this common accessory, an…

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.

O Say Can’t You See?

We shout when we should be discussing, and the country in chaos accepts it. We shoot when we should be disarming, and the country in chaos accepts it. We claim that the poor are just lazy, and the country in chaos accepts it. We budget to build bigger prisons, and…

“Galactic Get Down” Revels in Museum’s Vision of the Future

On Friday, June 15, the Mattress Factory museum of contemporary art welcomed a sold-​out crowd of over 1,300 people to its annual Urban Garden Party. This year’s theme, Galactic Get Down, took inspiration from the museum’s vision for 2058, 40 years in the future.

Everything Must Change

Everything must change. Nothing stays the same, and there aren’t too many things you can be sure of. At least that’s what George Benson says. It’s a heartbreaker of a song, but I think he’s right.

Leading Lines

The photography of Emmanuel Panagiotakis reveals a love of light and form. With technical intricacy, he captures images that transform spaces.

63rd Annual Pittsburgh CLO Guild Ball Features Samples from Upcoming Season

The 63rd Annual Pittsburgh CLO Guild Ball was held on Saturday, May 19 at the Westin Hotel. The evening’s theme, “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” saluted the Pittsburgh CLO summer season opener, ON YOUR FEET!

Still Life with Leg Brace & Pontiac

We’re standing next to my grandfather’s ‘73 Grand Prix — newly polished, royal blue — my mother, my grandmother and I. I’m five years old, dressed in a wide collar suit and plaid tie. Under my pants, my leg brace — with its cork lift, metal bars, and leather straps…
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