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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Justin Timberlake makes all the ladies swoon at PPG Paints

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 2:23 PM

Justin Timberlake performs at PPG Paints Arena on Tue., Sept. 25. - CP PHOTO: MIKE PAPARIELLA
  • CP photo: Mike Papariella
  • Justin Timberlake performs at PPG Paints Arena on Tue., Sept. 25.

There’s one quote that sums up Justin Timberlake’s performance: “Every girl in here is going crazy, and all the guys are standing still.” My boyfriend leaned over to tell me this as we watched Timberlake serenade the crowd and effortlessly move his body in time with the music last night at PPG Paints Arena.

And he was right. Justin Timberlake is for the ladies. Upon entering the arena, it was astonishing how many women filled the seats. Baby boomers, millennials, it didn't matter the age, JT’s appeal transcends generations. 

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Living with plants: the ups and downs

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Jordan Snowden and her plants - MICHAEL TUITE
  • Michael Tuite
  • Jordan Snowden and her plants

Crazy plant people are the new crazy cat lovers. There is an entire community on Instagram dedicated to showing off houseplants and swapping care tips and tricks. Earlier this year, Amazon rebranded and reorganized its Patio, Lawn & Garden section, which is now called Amazon Plant Store. Forget Paint Nite — Plant Nites, during which attendees make terrariums or gardens in a bar, are popping up all over. The plant industry is in full bloom. 

Plants make spaces look fuller and more alive. Owning houseplants, or just being around plants, is said to be good for a person’s overall mindfulness, health, and productivity. There are numerous reports on the multiple benefits of being a plant owner, many equating owning a leafy friend to pet ownership. Millennials are waiting longer to have kids, and don’t want the responsibility of a pet, so plants are being used to fulfill the need to nurture.  

While I’m not denying the positive benefits of having a houseplant (natural humidifiers, improve air quality and make a room look pretty), owning a plant is, in the most basic sense, like being a parent. And the constant-care requirement is accompanied by other worries, leaving me in a perpetual state of anxiety.

Worry No. 1: Am I killing these plants?

In less than a month, I accumulated five house plants, a windowsill herb garden, three pepper plants, two tomato plants, four succulents, lavender, sunflowers, and a cactus. Despite my lack of experience and a greenthumb, I went from no plants to having an extended plant family. 

My problem was all the plants requiring a different watering schedule, which I couldn't remember. Did I water the pepper plant yesterday or two days ago? And some, like the succulents and cactus, are finicky when it comes to the right amount of water. Too much or too little, and they die. Whether I was killing them was not immediately apparent. Plants are a slow burn type of creature, leaving me to wonder daily whether mine are thriving or dying?

Worry No. 2: Why are the leaves turning brown?

This is an extension of Worry No. 1. Parts of plants turn brown, dry up, and look ugly unless properly maintained. But how much brown is too much? Where’s the line between life and death? How often do I prune, and if I don’t prune fast enough, will the brown leaves contaminate the rest?

Worry No. 3: Bugs

Warm, wet soil is an insect’s nirvana. By bringing these plants into my house, was I creating an open invitation for bugs to come in and make a home? Yes.

Worry No. 4: The Big Picture

My indoor garden increased my anxiety. It also has me questioning what type of parent I’ll be someday.

Caring for plants is nothing compared to owning a pet or raising a child. If and when I have kids, I hope to be over this fear of not knowing what is totally right. (Though, no first-time parents entirely know what they are doing.) Maybe I’m working through a process by bringing these plants into my life. Or maybe I will always be anxious about bringing any living thing into my life. Only time will tell. 

Until then, I’ll continue fussing over my leafy green babies.

Follow staff writer Jordan Snowden on Twitter @snowden_jordan.

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Monday, September 24, 2018

#MusicMonday Wrap-up: Sept. 24

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2018 at 5:15 PM

SCREENSHOT OF BBC RADIO 6 TWEET
  • Screenshot of BBC Radio 6 tweet
Every Monday, CP staff writer Jordan Snowden wraps up the weekend in local and national music news with #MusicMonday. Here's what she has this week:

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Concert photos: Paul Simon at PPG Paints Arena

He just slipped out the back, Jack; Made a new retirement plan, Stan; the concert was a hit, Kit; Then he got himself free

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2018 at 10:47 AM

Paul Simon performs at PPG Paints Arena on Mon., Sept. 17, 2018. - CP PHOTO: MIKE PAPARIELLA
  • CP Photo: Mike Papariella
  • Paul Simon performs at PPG Paints Arena on Mon., Sept. 17, 2018.
Legendary singer/songwriter Paul Simon brought his Homework Bound — The Farewell Tour to PPG Paints Arena last night for his assumed last concert stop in Pittsburgh.

“I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end," Simon says of his farewell tour. "Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating and something of a relief."

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Monday, September 17, 2018

#MusicMonday Wrap-up: Sept. 17

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 1:58 PM

Steelers running back James Conner honors the late Mac Miller on Sunday - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
  • CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
  • Steelers running back James Conner honors the late Mac Miller on Sunday
Every Monday, CP staff writer Jordan Snowden wraps up the weekend in local and national music news with #MusicMonday.


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Pylon Pics: Kansas City Chiefs 42, Pittsburgh Steelers 37

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 1:25 PM

Antonio Brown enters through the tunnel during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on Sun., Sept. 16, 2018. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
  • CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
  • Antonio Brown enters through the tunnel during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field on Sun., Sept. 16, 2018.

Pylon Pics is a digital feature that will appear after Steelers home games throughout the NFL season. Photographer Jared Wickerham tells the story of a Steelers game through his images.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

One person’s trash is a Garbage Olympics team’s treasure: A local competition returns to tackle Pittsburgh’s litter

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 12:27 PM

Lawrenceville team at the 2017 Garbage Olympics - PHOTO: GARBAGE OLYMPICS
  • Photo: Garbage Olympics
  • Lawrenceville team at the 2017 Garbage Olympics

Teams of volunteers from all over Pittsburgh are ready to clean up the streets for the second annual Garbage Olympics.

Garbage Olympics co-organizer Alicia Carberry, describes it as a “friendly competition to get as much litter out of Pittsburgh as possible” and as a way to raise awareness of the fact that neighborhood groups are able to receive cleanup resources from the Department of Public Works.

“It’s a driven effort to complement what the [City of Pittsburgh] already does and is getting better at,” says Carberry, who co-organizes the event with Lena Andrews.

She points out how the city has tried to eliminate litter with the launch of smart receptacles that use sensors to tell when a block needs more trash cans. But more can be done.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

After historic rains deal a "severe blow" to Irish Fest, the nonprofit seeks donations

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 3:11 PM

PHOTO: MAIRIN PETRONE
  • Photo: Mairin Petrone
The Pittsburgh Irish Festival fell on some tough luck this weekend.

The festival, originally set to start Friday with events through Sunday, was flooded. A record-setting rainfall drowned out the festival’s third day; directors canceled Sunday’s events for safety of the vendors, performers, and patrons.

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Remembering Mac Miller Playlist

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 2:06 PM

Mac Miller grew so much as an artist during his tragically brief career. As Pittsburgh prepares for tonight’s memorial at Blue Slide Park, CP writer Jordan Snowden compiled her favorite gems from his discography, from 2010’s K.I.D.S. mixtape to his latest, Swimming.


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After half a century in business, Alan's Pets and Plants gets a new owner

Posted By on Tue, Sep 11, 2018 at 1:25 PM

Alan Cohen and Sara Smith - PHOTO: MRS. COHEN
  • Photo: Mrs. Cohen
  • Alan Cohen and Sara Smith
Children's drawings dot the walls at Alan's Pets and Plants, the longtime pet shop and nursery in Squirrel Hill. The pictures are gifts the owner Alan Cohen has received from young clientele over the past 49 years of business. Those kids now have kids of their own, and some are grandparents, but they still come to visit Cohen at his store.

Now, after a half century serving Squirrel Hill, he's stepping down from ownership and handing the keys over to someone new: a 24-year-old wildlife and fishery expert named Sara Smith.

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