• Issue Archive for
  • Aug 23-29, 2007
  • Vol. 17, No. 34

News+Features

  • Grill Fire
  • Grill Fire

    The Harris Grill, a popular Shadyside bar and restaurant, caught fire on Sat., Aug. 11, while a night of revelry was in full swing. All the patrons -- reports vary from 50 to 200 people in the bar -- and employees were safely evacuated. The only injuries reported from the three-alarm fire were two firefighters with minor complaints. The report from the fire bureau says that the building and its contents suffered half a million dollars in damages. It also lists the "presence of [smoke] detectors" as "undetermined." The blaze was confined to the office space on the third floor and the roof. The damage to the rest of the building -- the only places customers would be -- was mostly from water. The first calls about the fire were at 10:13 p.m. and the first trucks arrived three minutes later, despite another big fire nearby on Negley Avenue.
  • Merton Center Faces Financial Crisis

    "The Merton Center is broke," says Kevin Amos, communications director for the TMC. "Summertime is traditionally a hard time for nonprofits, they're all struggling. Because of some emergency building repairs and numerous other repairs that have fallen through the cracks we are really struggling." The problems started, Amos says, when the center had to go into its general fund to replace a rickety fire escape that was beyond repair on the building it owns at 5125 Penn Ave. Demolition of the old structure cost $6,000 and the new one cost $22,000 -- $11,000 of which is still owed.
  • Plan of Attack
  • Plan of Attack

    There are many problems in the 9th District, which encompasses the mostly-black neighborhoods in the city's East End. But Dave Adams says there's one that has to be the main priority: "I want to stop politicizing the violence going on in this city's black neighborhoods and give the people of the 9th District unconditional safety," he says.
  • Just Harvest hires food-stamp specialist

    With Eugenia Mosby's hiring, Just Harvest plans to offer eligible applicants the convenience of applying at the organization's office. In the meantime, she will reach out to those who could use the aid by telling them that it's simply smart to do so. "If you don't use it, you'd lose it," says Mosby, "and give the government the reason to drastically cut services."

Pittsburgh Dining

Music

On Screen

  • This Is England
  • This Is England

    A painful coming-of-age forms the core of Shane Meadows' period drama that combines a splash of early '80s pop-culture nostalgia with its darker political and social corollaries
  • Interview
  • Interview

    In one corner we have Steve Buscemi and Sienna Miller riffing on the characters they're most often playing; in another, the endless collusion of media and entertainment.

Arts

Views

Specials & Guides

  • Downtown: Where it all starts ... and starts over
  • Downtown: Where it all starts ... and starts over

    A city's downtown often symbolizes the self-image of the people who live there. Pittsburgh's Downtown -- known to locals as the Golden Triangle -- suggests the triumph and despair of a place that has undergone repeated makeovers ... some more successful than others.
  • Bellevue: Taking the long vue
  • Bellevue: Taking the long vue

    Not unlike several other neighborhoods that have turned into arts havens in recent years, Bellevue is in flux. There are some vacant storefronts, to be sure, and the Family Dollar discount store on Lincoln does as much business as anyone in town. A few art galleries and a perch above Ohio River Boulevard do not a Sewickley make, the more affluent might sniff ... but then, perhaps Bellevue doesn't envy Sewickley.
  • East Liberty: No longer going in circles
  • East Liberty: No longer going in circles

    Prosperity began draining away in the '60s due to white flight compounded by bad urban-planning decisions. But the tide is changing, thanks in part to creative types and homeowners taking advantage of housing prices that are depressed (though perhaps not for much longer). Spots like the Shadow Lounge put 'Sliberty on the map as a destination for entertainment and culture seekers.
  • Dormont: The Golden Mean
  • Dormont: The Golden Mean

    Sometimes you wonder why Dormont hasn't been colonized by cash-strapped hipsters. Access to transit is better than in many city neighborhoods, and much of the housing stock is charming, reasonably priced and well maintained. As importantly, Dormont is just old enough to seem new again ... just genuine enough to attract the hipster's ironic, devouring gaze. Although maybe the best thing about Dormont is that this hasn't happened.
  • Millvale: True Grit
  • Millvale: True Grit

    Millvale is hardly a fashionable address. Like many Pittsburgh-area mill towns, it remains a humble, down-to-earth community amid the shadows of its industrial past. But it offers a set of seemingly incongruous characteristics: a gritty history and a beyond-unpretentious present, coupled with a few pop-cultural destinations and convenience to Downtown.
  • Oakmont: It fits to a tee
  • Oakmont: It fits to a tee

    Oakmont's leafy, brick-paved main drag is filled with high-end boutiques with unusual dresses, glam shoes and distinctive jewels. If the goal of your shopping trips is to end up pictured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Seen column, this quaint riverside town may be the destination for you. And if shopping's not your bag, you can see a movie, browse books or eat, fancy or casual.
  • Lawrenceville: You Can't Keep a Good Community Down
  • Lawrenceville: You Can't Keep a Good Community Down

    Even as heavy industry left the region a century after its commercial heyday, the neighborhood held on. Today, with an infusion of young progressives drawn by the neighborhood's proximity to Downtown and its affordable housing, Lawrenceville is busily reinventing itself while still keeping its blue-collar roots.
  • North Side: Making Connections
  • North Side: Making Connections

    Many of the changes taking place here are happening along the "North Shore," a name that refers to the sliver of land that runs alongside the Allegheny River. The name is also, obviously, a commercial tool, hoping to encourage visitors and investment by distancing the area from the rest of the more hardscrabble neighborhood. But the rest of the North Side has plenty for those willing to explore.
  • Shadyside: Under no one else's shadow
  • Shadyside: Under no one else's shadow

    You can't throw a brick around here (and believe us, we've tried) without hitting a yuppie, a professional, or a grad student trying to become one or the other. Still, much of the neighborhood retains a village feel, with wide streets and plenty of charming, unostentatious homes mixing with apartment buildings and the occasional manse. There's much to be said for a walk or bike ride through the area's quiet streets, and Shadyside is convenient to the East Busway: Commuting Downtown by bus from here is faster than driving by car.
  • South Side: Clearing the Bar
  • South Side: Clearing the Bar

    During its working-class heyday in the mid-1900s, the South Side reputedly had the area's largest number of bars per capita. Today, it indisputably does. But the more things stay the same, the more they change: The shot-and-beer bars have given way to microbrew-friendly taverns, gourmet restaurants, boutiques and nightclubs. Longtime residents have made room (grudgingly) for student housing, as well as riverfront townhouses going for $300,000 and up. But the 5,700 residents notwithstanding, the South Side is better known as a place to play and shop.
  • Squirrel Hill: Pittsburgh's Promised Land
  • Squirrel Hill: Pittsburgh's Promised Land

    If you're coming to Pittsburgh from a more cosmopolitan area, and find the rest of the city just too damn Pittsburgh (and Shadyside just too damn Shadyside), Squirrel Hill is arguably as vibrant a melting pot as you'll find. You'll stumble across large, beautiful homes on quiet streets (with large, beautiful price tags to match); you'll also find warrens jammed with college students, starving artists and trustifarians.
  • Musician David Bernabo
  • Musician David Bernabo

    What is constant -- aside from his wavering, evocative voice -- is Bernabo's self-imposed workload. Over the last six months, Bernabo has released a solo EP and a full-length album on Sort-Of Records. He's also curated "Woodlab," a bi-weekly showcase that results in a monthly compilation CD, which often features Bernabo's production skills, compositions and the odd sideman credit. And then there's his other projects: a new revolving band called the Ninth Ward, and his new improvisational group DBL D. Which also just put out an album.
  • Boxing instructor Jimmy Cvetic
  • Boxing instructor Jimmy Cvetic

    Whatever else the kids get from Cvetic, they get a shot at greatness, however fleeting. "I don't care how tough the kid is or how bad he is," Cvetic says. "When he puts on those trunks and those gloves and steps into that ring under the lights, it's a moment he's going to carry with him the rest of his life."
  • Filmmaker Chris Ivey
  • Filmmaker Chris Ivey

    The North Carolina native came to study at Pittsburgh Filmmakers in 1995, when he was in his early 20s. He found freelance work on local television-commercial productions, and by 2000 was doing more on his own, including award-winning ads for Jones Soda. He's also made numerous music videos, including two for noted underground rapper J-Live. Ivey describes his style as "in-your-face, humorous, maybe a little dark or edgy -- but not real dark."
  • Visual Artist Tim Kaulen
  • Visual Artist Tim Kaulen

    Kaulen is a co-founder of the Industrial Arts Co-Op, a seminal local group that in the mid-1990s began creating large experimental sculptures in Pittsburgh's abandoned mills, factories and warehouses. Mostly using materials found on site, the group has built a reputation around several high-profile efforts. There's "Space Monkey," a cartoonish simian which railroad authorities once removed from a prominent Downtown trestle bridge; a giant owl, hung inside a shuttered Monongahela Valley steel mill; and, at the same site, a stunning, 30-foot-tall deer head now featured on official tours of the site.
  • Chef Kevin Sousa
  • Chef Kevin Sousa

    Sousa and his transformative cuisine have successfully turned Pittsburgh's meat-and-potatoes dining scene into a beacon of avant-garde cuisine. "We take a lot of local and seasonal product just like other restaurants do, but treat it differently," Sousa explains. "We might take English peas and turn them into a hot jelly or a warm foam."
  • Stage Performer Robin Walsh
  • Stage Performer Robin Walsh

    Actors are supposed to be chameleons. But Walsh transforms much more convincingly than most. "If you had to name the leading lady of Pittsburgh, I think it has to be her," says director Karla Boos. "You can't cast her in anything other than the leading role because you can't take your eyes off her."
  • Family Planning: What to do with kids in town?

    As a rule, City Paper staffers don't reproduce: The only thing we're interested in breeding is contempt. But even we have the occasional nephew to babysit, the wayward foundling to care for. So what do we do when the little blighters are left in our charge?
  • Feet First: A guide to Pittsburgh hiking opportunities

    This is a city graced with expansive city parks, organizations committed to showing off the region's rich history and diverse charms, and a surprising amount of flat terrain. It all adds up to a great town to enjoy on foot, whether one is walking for exercise, fun, edification, or all combined.

On Stage

  • Greater Tuna

    Lowe excels at the broad humor (pun incidental) of the more extreme zanies, especially when in drag. Gmys, on the other hand, can bring out more nuance, from the characters' creepiness to their charm.

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