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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 9:00 AM

We're revealing the top 10 nominees for this year's Best of Pittsburgh reader's poll. Below are finalists for Best Burger. Check back August 8 to see who takes the top three spots, and click here to get your tickets to this year's Best of Party before it sells out!


Tessaro's sticks to the basics. Their burgers are no-frills, no-nonsense, fully delicious.


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You're definitely going to need two hands for this.


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No vowels needed, too busy devouring a melt-in-your-mouth burger.


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Feeling fancy? They'll stamp your burger. It's like a gold star, but better.


Want a half mushroom, half beef burger? Done. Chicken? Of course. The IMPOSSIBLE Burger? They have it. Who says one restaurant can't do it all AND brew their own beer?

Dad's Pub & Grub

Burgers taste better in a pub.

Stack'd Burgers & Beer

Create the burger of your dreams.

Over the Bar Bicycle Cafe

Biker, burgers, beer.

or, The Whale

This burger is worth a loooooong lunch.

Bier's Pub

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All streets lead to Bier's burgers. 

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 9:00 AM

We're revealing the top 10 nominees for this year's Best of Pittsburgh readers' poll. Below are finalists for Best Dance Company. Check back on August 8 to see who took the top three spots, and click here to get your tickets to this year's Best of Party before it sells out!

The Tamburtizans

The Tamburtizans are triple threats of international folk dance. The group often includes over 100 musical instruments in each show!

Attack Theatre
Attack Theatre seeks the unconvetional, taking their performances to bridges, abandoned buildings and more.

STAYCEE PEARL dance project

Founded in 2010, this dance project exposes global social and political issues through dance and multimedia.

Texture Contemporary Ballet

Based on classic ballet, Texture twists textbook basics into contemporary movement.

Conservatory Dance Company

Conservatory is Point Park University's dance company, consistently pushing the boundaries of Pittsburgh dance.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Possibly Pittsburgh's most well-known company, PBT has been a staple in the city for almost 50 years. The theater presents classics such as The Nutcracker, and also hosts a ballet school.


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Bodiography aims to promote love for the human body, through their poised, athletic choreography.

The Velvet Hearts

Love glitter? Then you'll love The Velvet Hearts, Pittsburgh's premiere Burlesque troop. 

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 11:20 AM

Pittsburgh's Mac Miller performs at Stage AE in 2016. - CP FILE PHOTO BY LUKE THOR TRAVIS
CP file photo by Luke Thor Travis
Pittsburgh's Mac Miller performs at Stage AE in 2016.
Mac is back.

OK, we could have done better than that beginning. Also, we're not sure how accurate it is to write "Mac is back" as it relates to Mac Miller, because it doesn't seem like the guy is ever gone from Pittsburgh for too long ... which isn't a bad thing. We dig Miller digging his hometown as deeply as he does.

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 1:22 PM

Carnegie Library Main Branch in Oakland - PHOTO COURTESY PIOTRUS, CREATIVE COMMONS
Photo courtesy Piotrus, Creative Commons
Carnegie Library Main Branch in Oakland
In 2017, the Allegheny County District Attorney began investigating a suspected theft from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Special Collections room. On Friday, two men were charged with multiple counts of theft, forgery and other related crimes. Greg Priore, a former librarian at CLP in charge of the Special Collections, did the smuggling. John Schulman, owner of Caliban Book Shop in Oakland, sold them at his store and on eBay. The total value of the theft was more than $8 million, accumulated over 20 years.

The crimes of bibliomaniacs often fly under the radar likely due to the decline of libraries’ popularity and infrastructure. Even so, book thieves can extract millions of dollars worth of material, especially when stealing libraries’ rarest books. With that in mine City Paper wanted to inform readers about some other interesting library thefts from around the world. One case even led to a law making library theft a criminal offense in Pennsylvania.

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 6:30 AM

click to enlarge Artist Julie Mallis at work on their new asphalt mural on Strawberry Way in Downtown Pittsburgh - CP PHOTO BY ANNIE BREWER
CP photo by Annie Brewer
Artist Julie Mallis at work on their new asphalt mural on Strawberry Way in Downtown Pittsburgh
Strawberry Way, a Downtown alley that stretches from Liberty Avenue to Grant Street, was selected the "Best Street Transformation, People's Choice" last year by national transit and urban planning news site Streetsblog USA.

Part of that was due to a street mural painted underfoot in 2016 by Deanna Mance. Her abstract and colorful mural was a backdrop for many selfies over the past few years, but the artwork — recently faded — was always meant to be temporary.

Pittsburgh artist Julie Mallis, creative director at BOOM Concepts and program manager for Bike PGH, began work this week on a new mural in the same location.
click to enlarge Julie Mallis - CP PHOTO BY ANNIE BREWER
CP photo by Annie Brewer
Julie Mallis

Fruit will stretch across the mural in the negative space. Mallis intentionally chose fruit local to Pittsburgh, introduced across the alleyway in the order they come into season: strawberries, cherries, peaches, watermelon, grapes, apples and pears.

Jump from fruit to fruit and count how many fruit you get without touching the purple paint as you play the game.

Mallis also wants the mural to be an educational experience. Questions are included throughout the mural to make people think beyond what's on the surface.

"Who gets to eat the most fruit?" has double meaning. Mallis says that's how you win the game, but it's also a question of power and resources. Mallis wants you to ask: "Who are the people who get us our fruit and what is happening to those people? Who are the people who get to eat the most fruit?"

Check out our video below as we visited Mallis at work on the mural on Thursday.

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 4:16 PM

click to enlarge Concept art for Kennywood's upcoming Steelers Country section and Steel Curtain roller coaster - PHOTO COURTESY OF KENNYWOOD
Photo courtesy of Kennywood
Concept art for Kennywood's upcoming Steelers Country section and Steel Curtain roller coaster
If you’ve been to Kennywood this summer, you probably noticed the empty spot next to the Racer where the Log Jammer once lived. It’s a little sad to look at the former location of a beloved ride. But Kennywood is filling that vacancy in the most Pittsburgh way possible: a Steelers-themed roller coaster named the Steel Curtain.

The Steel Curtain will be the centerpiece of the new Steelers Country area, which Kennywood unveiled at a press conference on Thursday afternoon. Steelers Country will also feature an interactive football experience, football midway games and a restaurant serving up stadium food. It’s expected to open for the 2019 season, though Nick Paradise, Kennywood’s director of public relations, did say that is subject to change.

Steelers Country was revealed by Paradise, several Steelers executives, former Steelers defensive lineman Chris Hoke and, of course, Steely McBeam, the mascot whose cold, unseeing eyes are pure nightmare fuel. Terrible Towels were twirled. “Renegade” was played twice. It was as purely Steelers as an 11-5 season and AFC North title followed by an AFC Championship loss to the New England Patriots.

The Steel Curtain will set three records when it opens, in 2019 or otherwise. At 220 feet tall, it’ll be the tallest coaster in the state. Its nine inversions will be the most in the country. And the tallest inversion, at 197 feet, will be the tallest in the world. Kennywood teased those over the past several weeks as part of what it called "Project 412."

When it opens, the Steel Curtain will join the Sky Rocket and the Black Widow in the Kennywood lexicon — impressive and fun, but lacking in the classic feel that sets Kennywood apart from other amusement parks. It’ll never quite have the same feel as the Log Jammer it replaces or the Racer, which it will soon neighbor.

But it’s a good place to start, and the hole left by the Log Jammer will soon be filled in the most Pittsburgh way imaginable.

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Posted By on Thu, Jul 19, 2018 at 2:33 PM

Photo courtesy of Matt Dayak
Ever gone to a local craft show during the holidays and stressed over buying last-minute holiday gifts, wishing you could just buy everything for yourself? God, you crave a beer just thinking about it.

Wait, did someone say, “Drinking away your sorrows and buying some happiness"?

This Sunday, artists and crafters are hooking up with East End Brewing’s Larimer Brewpub for a summer edition of Crafts and Drafts.

This time, it’s all about YOU.

Grab some Mexican food from La Palapa, sample some beer and treat yourself to some sweet deals from a wide range of vendors. Local artist and organizer Matthew Buchholz tells us he’s 
Photo courtesy of East End Brewing
worked hard to bring a more diverse group to this event.

“My goal isn’t to create something like the great Queer Craft Market nights at Assemble, but rather to work harder to bring people of color, LGBTQ people and politically-motivated work into the Crafts and Drafts sphere, while still keeping it fun and approachable for everyone,” he tells CP.

Check out HMR (Hear Me Roar), a handmade clothing company that aims to combat discrimination and harassment of young women with its “Girl is Not an Insult” and other feministic T-shirts and stickers. Also worth a look: Etna Print Circus, whose online shop showcases “gender traitor” and “I love polyamory” wares.

It’s hot out. Grab a cold one as you shop. Don’t drink? Get some ice cream from Millie’s. You deserve it.

12-5 p.m., Sun., July 22. East End Brewing Brewpub, 147 Julius St., Larimer. Facebook event page

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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Posted By on Tue, Jul 10, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell, another Rupert Sanders film with controversial casting - PHOTO COURTESY OF PARAMOUNT PICTURES
Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell, another Rupert Sanders film with controversial casting

On July 2, it was announced that New Regency would produce Rub & Tug, a Pittsburgh-set movie based on the true story of massage parlor owner Dante "Tex" Gill, who was a key figure in Pittsburgh's "red light" district. By July 5, the backlash hit and the project had slandered itself.

The movie is set to star Scarlett Johansson as Gill, a trans man who identified as such before it was in our common lexicon. This is best evidenced by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's 2003 obituary of Gill repeatedly using "Ms. Gill," despite stating "she wanted to be known as "Mr. Gill"."

Trans actors and activists were quick to point out flaws in this casting, as they have in similar castings of non-trans actors playing trans characters. Actor Trace Lysette of Transparent tweeted, "So you can continue to play us but we can’t play y’all?"

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2018 at 12:10 PM

click to enlarge Turahn Jenkins - PHOTO COURTESY OF CAMPAIGN
Photo courtesy of campaign
Turahn Jenkins
On July 2, Turahn Jenkins announced his candidacy for Allegheny County District Attorney in the wake of the shooting death of Antwon Rose Jr. The announcement was a passionate response to Rose’s death and a criticism of current D.A. Stephen Zappala’s not-so-stellar record prosecuting officers who fatally shot unarmed victims.

But just days into his candidacy, Jenkins is already facing calls to withdraw, thanks to his comments from a meeting with LGBTQ advocates. As first reported on local LGBTQ blog Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, then confirmed in a Facebook post from LGBTQ advocate and labor advocate Maria Montano, four representatives from Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ community were told by Jenkins that he believes LGBTQ people are living in sin.

“Tonight I was asked to meet with new D.A. candidate, Turahn Jenkins, to talk about his stance on LGBTQIA+ issues after some disturbing revelations regarding his active participation in a church that is extremely homophobic,” wrote Montano on Facebook on July 6. “When asked if he believed that being gay/trans was a sin, he said yes and compared it to adultery.”

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 12:02 PM

Kids cooling off in Downtown Pittsburgh
Kids cooling off in Downtown Pittsburgh
On July 4, a massive storm rolled over Pittsburgh and brought a deluge of water and booming thunderclaps. Initially, the rain was welcomed as temperatures were spiking above the nineties and the humidity was palpable.

But, the storm led to many power outages across East End neighborhoods, Fox Chapel and Penn Hills. They came at the worst time. The rain passed through and the heat returned. About 20,000 homes were sweltering without any electricity to power air conditioners or fans. The power outages lasted several hours, with some homes without power for more than a day.

Costa Samaras of Carnegie Mellon University says expect this scenario to be replicated with increasing frequency thanks to climate change.

“As temperatures get hotter, we will have more of these events,” says Samaras, who directs CMU’s Center for Engineering and Resilience for Climate Adaptation.

As the climate warms, our summers temperatures are spiking. And with an abundance of fresh water, especially in the Eastern portion of the U.S., warmer summers mean more humidity rising into the atmosphere. With more humidity and heat, comes more strong storms. As those storms continue to pummel places like Pittsburgh, expect more downed power lines, floods, and then power outages.

“You can pull the National Climate Assessment, when the air is hotter it can hold more moisture, and there is more potential for more intense storms,” says Samaras. “The projections say we are going to have more intense storms.”

Sensitive populations, like the elderly, are the most threatened during heat-wave power outages. Samaras says for some residents, heat waves without electricity to cool down can be fatal.

No deaths have been reported in Pittsburgh in relation to the recent heat wave, but Quebec, Canada has lost 33 lives thanks to a recent heat wave. More than 15,000 people lost power in Quebec as the heat wave raged.

In additions to storms, Samaras says intense heat places pressure on the power grid, since so many people are staying inside and running fans or air conditioners. That can lead to brownouts.

“It is hard to design a system that is going to deal with that,” says Samaras.

Samaras says there are ways to combat problems related to heat-wave power outages. Electrical utility companies like Duquesne Light can trim more trees near power lines and invest in local electrical storage, like batteries and solar panels. Upgrading infrastructure could help with storm water management.

Green buildings that power themselves also take pressure off the power grid and aren’t susceptible to power outages. More cooling centers could be built in Pittsburgh so sensitive populations can avoid sweltering inside their homes.

But most off all, Samaras says reducing emissions will help in making sure heat waves and thunderous storms are less frequent.

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