The local chronicler of all things Pittsburgh (past, present and deep-fried) is frequently out and about, and judging by the tags on social media, is generous with his snap-happy fans. Nothing says “Rick Sebak is my homeboy” quite like your beaming mug paired with his.
2nd: Pittsburgh Dad
3rd: Sally Wiggin
412-235-1997 or www.hellobully.com
Hello Bully is a pit-bull-terrier rescue group that hopes to educate the public and repair the dogs’ reputation. This nonprofit relies on volunteers to help them in their operations. It offers classes, adoptions, a fostering program and a halfway house for homeless pit bulls.
2nd: Animal Friends
3rd: Biggies Bullies
Keep Pittsburgh Dope
Chancelor Humphrey uses his Keep Pittsburgh Dope account to showcase the people and vibe of Pittsburgh. With clean, bright portraits, he tells an individual’s story. His subjects range from adorable children to chic twentysomethings to elders in the community.
2nd: Steel City Grammers, @steelcitygrammers
3rd: Rick Sebak, @ricksebak
Curt Wooton and Chris Preksta are the co-creators of Pittsburgh Dad. The Twitter account offers a sitcom-style portrayal of the typical yinzer. The feed keeps fans abreast of new videos, comments on daily news and the continuing adventures of this well-known character.
2nd: Bill Peduto, @billpeduto
3rd: Mark Madden, @MarkMaddenX
Born and raised in West Mifflin, Sue Kerr has been blogging since 2005. She founded Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents and serves as its editor-in-chief. She also blogs for The Bilerico Project and BlogHer, and has begun a new project, Amplify, to document LGBT voices in Western Pennsylvania.
3rd: Ya Jagoff
With a just-chillin’ vibe, and a stash of craft beers and spirits, local comics Ed Bailey and Day Bracey have chatted up everyone from local comedians to Mayor Bill Peduto. Now they’re a virtual institution themselves, with their 100th episode due in November.
2nd: Marta on the Move
3rd: Ya Jagoff
She’s only in her mid-20s, but Johnson’s passion for community organizing has made her, for many, the face of activism in Pittsburgh. Last year, she told City Paper: “It’s important for me to do my best, and to fight, not only for myself, but for others around me, and to leave a better world for the next generation.”
2nd: Jia Ji
3rd: Jasiri X
Mark Madden, WXDX
Being loud and occasionally obnoxious isn’t usually a recipe for success, but WXDX’s Mark Madden has turned that combo into a winning talk-radio formula. His no-nonsense conversations with listeners, even when he’s hitting them with verbal roundhouses, have made him a favorite.
2nd: Mikey and Big Bob, KISS FM
3rd: Randy Baumann, WDVE
Mark Madden, WXDX
Yes, he’s gruff and loud, and yeah, he can be meaner than a shithouse rat, but WXDX’s Mark Madden knows his sports. He talks football and baseball with ease, and he’s maybe the best guy in the city on Penguins hockey.
2nd: Mike Lange, Penguins Radio Broadcast
3rd: Bob Pompeani, KDKA
With his Best of the Batch Foundation, the Homestead-born former QB now spends his post-NFL career improving the lives of underserved youth in Pittsburgh, with a focus on reading, computer literacy, sportsmanship and athletic facilities.
2nd: Franco Harris
3rd: Troy Polamalu
Best Philanthropic Pittsburgh Pirate
It might be easier to name causes the Pirates centerfielder doesn’t give to or raise money for. McCutchen and his Cutch’s Crew foundation provide money for Make-a-Wish, Children’s Hospital and many other charities. He raises money annually for the youth baseball league where he got his start. And most importantly, he’s always willing to give his time.
2nd: Josh Harrison
3rd: Starling Marte
Lemieux was stricken by Hodgkin’s lymphona in 1993, the prime of his career. He has been cancer-free for more than two decades, but he still raises funds through his Mario Lemieux Foundation to help find a cure for cancer.
2nd: Sidney Crosby
3rd: Pascal Dupuis
Great Allegheny Passage
Affectionately known as the GAP trail, this paved/gravel path starts at Point State Park and traverses the Appalachian Mountains all the way to Cumberland, Md., car-free. Sections within the city offer stunning glimpses of the Monongahela River and former and still-operating steel mills.
2nd: Montour Trail
3rd: Three Rivers Heritage Trail
One Wild Place, Highland Park
412-665-3640 or www.pittsburghzoo.org
Hard to imagine that penguins were beat out in a town where they’re the mascots of hockey champions, but Pittsburgh’s polar bears, the world’s largest carnivorous land mammal, do wow zoo visitors. The bears frequently dive in the blue water of their exhibit, giving zoo-goers a cool underwater view.
Stephen Cropper, WPXI
For nearly two decades, the amiable Cropper has been the voice of calm in the frequent storms of local weather hysteria. The chief meteorologist at WPXI keeps it steady and upbeat: If it’s raining tonight, well, it should be sunny by tomorrow.
2nd: Scott Harbaugh, WPXI
3rd: Ron Smiley, KDKA
Ken Rice, KDKA
Longtime news anchor Ken Rice is a reliable guide to newsworthy happenings of “KD Country.” If you’re a super newsie, you might also know Rice as a moderator of local political debates. If you’re a super Pittburgher, you treasure his appearance in Striking Distance, a.k.a. the best Pittsburgh movie ever.
2nd: Mike Clark, WTAE
3rd: David Johnson, WPXI
Adam and Nicole Kulik
Owners of Lawrenceville bar The Goldmark, the newlywed couple has given Pittsburghers a new favorite late-night hang-out. Adam, a.k.a. DJ Nugget, has created a space for local DJs to spin, and Nicole helped design the lounge so dancers feel comfortable when the beat drops.
2nd: Jeffrey Parke and Lindsey Marie
3rd: John and Gisele Fetterman
Frick Park, Point Breeze
Abundant green space is one of Pittsburgh’s best attributes. But at 644 acres — the first 151 of which were bequeathed by Henry Clay Frick in 1919 — this is the largest of our historic regional parks. Hit the expansive and varied wooded trails, and forget you’re in the middle of the city.
2nd: Rachel Carson Trails
3rd: Montour Trail
Point State Park
Located along the popular biking/running/strolling route (and most importantly, yards away from the potentially bladder-inspiring Point State Park fountain), it’s no surprise this is a reader favorite. The facilities are clean and spacious, and it’s a heck of a lot easier than pretending to buy something at Starbucks.
3rd: Rivers Casino
John Fetterman Bridge Ad
Long before Pittsburghers were hit with the unexpected closure of the Liberty Bridge, this ad by Braddock Mayor John Fetterman — then running for U.S. Senate — highlighted the disparity between funding for infrastructure repairs like bridges and the big money that goes into political campaigns.
2nd: Bill Peduto for Mayor “Our Pittsburgh” ad
3rd: Katie McGinty energy tax ad
1501 Arch St., North Side
412-342-8152 or randy.land
It’s technically private art that is free and open to the public, but the vibe is absolutely welcoming. Randy Gilson has turned the courtyard of his North Side home into a crazy-collage display of colorful art and fun objects. Even after hours, you can admire the art-packed fence along the sidewalk.
2nd: “Feel The Bern” Mural
3rd: Strawberry Way Mural
Roberto Clemente Bridge
No disrespect to its (nearly identical) neighbors, but there’s just something immensely satisfying about taking the Roberto Clemente Bridge on foot to PNC Park to see the baseball team he represented so well for more than 15 years.
2nd: Smithfield Street Bridge
3rd: Fort Pitt Bridge
South Side Slopes
The hill above East Carson Street is a step-trekker’s dream, its steep slopes offering sets of steps from as few as two to as many as a couple hundred. This is urban hiking at its best, and the views of Downtown and beyond make the burning calves worth every step.
2nd: The Water Steps
3rd: Cathedral of Learning
Grandview Avenue, Mount Washington
Be careful driving, as you are likely to be distracted by the postcard views of Downtown Pittsburgh and the North Side hills. So once there, why not park and walk? Stop at either of the two historic inclines, and hop on a down-bound funicular to complete the viewing experience.
2nd: Schenley Park
3rd: North Park
Whatever the qualifiers for this category, the density of schools, food, culture and green space in this neighborhood is a big plus. With a leafy suburban vibe and a short shot to Downtown, Squirrel Hill offers the best of both worlds.
3rd: Highland Park
The first stop for visiting travel writers looking to make their bones, Lawrenceville is home to some of Pittsburgh’s trendiest restaurants, bars and shops. Coffee shops with WiFi are stationed every few blocks for getting work done, and the sprawling Allegheny Cemetery offers quality outdoors time for when you’re done.