Opinion

The D.I.Y. dilemma

I am intrigued by my customers and their behavior. I watch as they choose between the red velvet and the tiramisu, their faces betraying them as they try to resist temptation. Their eyes scan the cases, and I wonder how much the display itself influences their decisions.

Big things for Pittsburgh

This fall is an exciting time at Pittsburgh Quarterly and in Pittsburgh. In its Golden Quill Awards in May, the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania judged PQ to be the region’s best magazine for the seventh straight year. And I believe that this issue contains the strongest combination of stories…

Credit card fraud

“Lara, I’m at the checkout at Restaurant Depot and my credit card has been declined,” says our delivery driver on the other end of the phone. Ugh. I know what this means. It’s not that the bakery is short on funds. It’s that one of our credit cards has been…

Gettysburg — the 150th anniversary

On a beautiful April Sunday, I got up early and drove to Gettysburg. July marks the battle’s 150th anniversary, and I had signed up for a two-​hour horseback battlefield tour.

Shale Agreement, Pittsburgh Dataworks, Air Quality, Mayor Ravenstahl

We all want abundant domestic energy, and we all want a healthy environment. For years, though, a reasonable middle ground has been absent from the Marcellus Shale debate. Finally, change is at hand, and Pittsburgh can be proud that it started here.

Choosing our city

We all have a unique personal introduction, the thing a friend always says to get the ball rolling. It’s the arms around the shoulders at the cocktail party followed by “Have you met Andy? He’s from Argentina.” Mine is “This is Lara. She’s one of the owners of Prantl’s Bakery.”…

Keep the home fires burning?

In our yard, there’s no shortage of trees that old age or wind bring crashing back to earth. I cut and split this wood the old-​fashioned way — with a wedge and a sledge. And as the old adage goes, “He who chops his own wood warms himself twice.” I work at…

Stocks & Pedestal

This summer, when Jared Cohon retires from the presidency of Carnegie Mellon University, he will leave enormous shoes to fill.

In Jeopardy

The final Jeopardy category: Phrase Origins. My wager: $6,999 — all I had. The clue: “This two-​word adjective for going against accepted speech or conduct first appeared in a 1933 translation from Izvestia.“

You’re not the boss of me

The sweatshirt is off-​pink. It has shoulder pads. “The shoulder pads make it slimming,” my mother says. “And it’s not pink. It’s burnt salmon.” We sit on my mother’s bed, two co-​eds at a sleepover. My mother is just back from a vacation she wasn’t well enough to go on.…

Stocks & Pedestal

There was a time when, if you said, “Pittsburgh is an insular city that’s not attractive to young people,” you would have been right. Not anymore.

E Pluribus Unum

This fall, Pittsburgh Quarterly had a subscription campaign. Along with many of the returned cards, a nice note accompanied the check. Three people, however, returned notes sans check, saying they wouldn’t subscribe to a magazine that supports Marcellus Shale drilling. One ended his letter: “You should be ashamed of yourself!“

Stocks & Pedestal, Fall 2012

Early four years ago, businessman and philanthropist Henry Hillman called Carnegie Mellon University President Jared Cohon with an idea. With the wealth of information technology experts at CMU, why not apply some of that brainpower to regional transportation issues? Improving transportation-​related technology could improve the lives of regional residents, build…

Billionaire by mistake

Thanks to a computer glitch in our online brokerage account, I knew what it felt like to be Mark Zuckerberg for a glorious few days.

The sky is falling

In June I bowed to the demands of my three college-​aged children and got the whole family smart phones. As I waited in line at the AT&T store, a guy behind me suggested I should get the “Siri” iPhone. “You can ask it anything, and it answers,” he said. Perhaps…
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