Opinion

The Seeming Vastness of Summer

During a 15-​minute break from a recent Friday night poker game, a friend and I were discussing medical things when the question arose: What would you do if you found out you had two years to live and would be in basically good health until the end?

Reeling in the Big One

by Greg Curtis
AONE made a grandiloquent gesture with his arm, saying, “These are all my paintings.” They were hung around the four walls of the giant loft and it looked to me like there might be a thousand of them.

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…

A Tale of Two Lofts

by Greg Curtis
The Exotic Eastern European Film Director (EEEFD) and I climbed out of our cab and rang the bell at the studio of the Internationally Famous Artist (IFA).

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…

Batting Her Eyelashes

As never happens, I was invited to a black-​tie charity event. Already possessing a fetching black ball gown, I thought I was sufficiently prepared. A close friend, however, said I just MUST get eyelash extensions for that “little extra pizzazz.” Maybe I would finally make the P-​G “Seen” column!

Why China Is Ready to Fall Apart

In the 1980s, almost four decades into Cold War I, President Reagan dramatically ratcheted up the pressure on the Soviet Union by expanding and modernizing the U.S. military and launching his famous “Star Wars” (Strategic Defense) Initiative.

Fairy Tale or Future: The Choice Is Ours

The Amazon HQ2 spectacle was a grand 21st Century fairy tale. It had everything: the world’s richest company promising happily-​ever-​after status to the city that would win its second headquarters, $5 billion in investment and 50,000 jobs.

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…

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…

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…

Redemption, Wilford Brimley and Walmart

The shopping cart wasn’t going that fast. For once, I wasn’t careening through Walmart like a contestant on Guy Fieri’s “Grocery Games,” simply because my cart was weighted down with two large cases of water, two big containers of clothes detergent (so much cheaper in the 255 ounce unliftable bottles),…

The Really Horrible Versus the Ordinarily Horrible

By “PVCs” I don’t mean the stuff they make pipes out of. I mean “premature ventricular contractions.” When people have heart attacks, especially serious ones, heart muscle dies and turns into useless, deadweight scar tissue. To make matters worse, hearts that are pocked by scar tissue conduct electrical waves very…

A Day of Reflection

It was a warm, clear, sunny, wonderful day with a deep blue sky, so untypical for Pittsburgh. I remember it like it was yesterday, although some three-​plus decades have since passed. The city is noted for being one of the cloudiest in the US, ranking up there with Seattle and…

What’s Right, What’s Left?

by Samuel Hazo
So much of modern culture seems bent on eliminating humanity from life itself. In many instances, this is identified as progress. But is it?
Close Window Welcome to Pittsburgh Quarterly
Keep up with the latest

Sign up for our Newsletter, Pittsburgh Quarterly This Week.

We’ll keep in touch, but only when we think there’s something worth sharing. To receive exclusive Pittsburgh Quarterly news and stories, please fill out the form below. Be sure to check your email for a link to confirm your subscription!

View past newsletters here.

Don’t miss a story! Sign up for our newsletter to receive award-​winning journalism in your inbox.

Please let us know your name.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.
Invalid Input