Opinion

Pittsburgh Quarterly — Five Years Old

On a frigid Saturday in Jan. 2006, I packed my three children — ages 12, 14 and 15 — into our family car, loaded to the axles with magazines. I’d mailed most of the 40,000 copies of our first issue, but to save money, I planned to distribute magazines door-​to-​door through Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.…

The Passing of the Editor

One day in the early 1990s, the Post-​Gazette newsroom was in an uproar because my wife, the society editor, had run a picture of the publisher and his brother with Jerry Springer at the Kentucky Derby. Connecting our enterprise with “Jer-​ry” was so alarming to the staff that a meeting…

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Entrepreneur

Oscar Levant, pianist, composer, actor and native Pittsburgher, once quipped: “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.”

The Art of the Haberdasher

It’s been almost six months since John Lohr, a salesman from Brooks Brothers, passed away, but I keep thinking about it.

Ben Roethlisberger, World Environment Day Leaders

Over the past several years, Pittsburgh has hosted one signature event each year — an event that’s drawn attention and visitors to our city: Pittsburgh Roars, Pittsburgh Celebrates Glass, Pittsburgh 250 and the G-​20 Summit. And now, this year, Pittsburgh is hosting World Environment Day in June. These major events don’t happen…

Cure Alzheimer’s Fund & Our State Leaders

Long involved in charitable giving, East End residents Jacqui and Jeff Morby wanted to do more. They wanted to affect the lives of others for the better. So five years ago, they created the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.

Our city, our water

An April 23 Forbes article describes “America’s 10 Thirstiest Cities,” and, of course, each is west of the Rockies and faces some degree of water crisis. Closer to home, the Great Lakes, which hold roughly 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, have dropped dramatically in the past decade. Explanations…

My Summer “Reading” list

The first time I listened to a book was after a cocktail party. For a variety of reasons, I couldn’t get out of the party. The trouble was, I also had to be in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a noon meeting the next day. So, while it was…

Retaking the Governor’s Mansion

For the past 40 years, there have been three salient facts about Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial elections. Each elected governor has won the limit of two terms (Mark Schweiker served 20 months after Tom Ridge left to lead homeland security). The office has rotated every eight years between Republicans and Democrats. And…

Fallow Ground

Do you have children?” a new acquaintance will ask, in a natural effort to prompt conversation. My grip tightens around my wine glass, and for an instant, I glance away.

Coming Home

My mother would busily get the house ready. One of my jobs was to check the colored Christmas lights on the white pine that towered over our white frame house. We left the lights in all year. The tree kept growing, so every December I would add extra strands as…

I, Teacher

Early in Isaac Asimov’s speculative fiction classic “I, Robot,” a little girl named Gloria becomes more attached to a robot named Robbie than to her own parents. Originally wary of Robbie, Gloria’s parents grow to love and respect the tin man after it saves their little munchkin’s life by sweeping…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

You’ll Manage — Fall 2009

Sabatino “Sam” DiBattista dreamed of revitalizing sleepy little Bellevue as a means of improving not only the business at his Bellevue restaurant, Vivo, but the merchants around him on Lincoln Avenue. His dream slowly became a crucible as the forces of easy money and lax lending practices converged against him…

The Pittsburgh Penguins & WQED

As America’s first public television station, WQED has a storied history. Unfortunately, it’s not living up to that legacy.

From the Publisher, Fall 2009

2009 has been a trying year for media organizations across the country. Several local magazines have folded; Pittsburgh magazine has been sold to a Colorado company.
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