Heads Up | BLOGH: City Paper's Blog |

Heads Up

Thursday, March 8, 2018

You can now buy a bobblehead of Pittsburgh Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on his bike

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 12:09 PM

JuJu Smith-Schuster bike bobblehead - PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL BOBBLEHEAD HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM
  • Photo courtesy of National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster bike bobblehead
In October 2017, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster tweeted out a picture of his beloved bike and informed his followers that it had been stolen. Pittsburgh social media exploded with calls for the thief to return Smith-Schuster’s bike, with the hashtag #TeamFindJujusBike. Fellow Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown even offered free tickets to a Steelers home game in exchange for the bike.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, February 16, 2018

Former border-patrol guard Francisco Cantú to visit Pittsburgh to share immigrant stories

Posted By on Fri, Feb 16, 2018 at 11:25 AM

Francisco Cantú - PHOTO COURTESY OF BEOWULF SHEEHAN
  • Photo courtesy of Beowulf Sheehan
  • Francisco Cantú
There’s a lot of misinformation being thrown around about undocumented immigrants. Some people equate being undocumented with being a criminal, even though people’s first immigration violation is a civil, not criminal, offense. Many also believe that undocumented immigrants don’t speak English. But, according to the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute report, 62 percent of undocumented immigrants in Pennsylvania either only speak English or speak English well.

No one understands the difference between immigration myths and facts better than author Francisco Cantú. Cantú worked as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent from 2008 to 2012. He patrolled the U.S.-Mexico border, and also grew up near the border while his mother worked at National Parks in the Southwest.

He wrote a memoir about his experience as a border-patrol agent called The Line Becomes a River. Cantú studied international relations in college, and he describes in the book how he wanted to join the border patrol so he could experience the actual border, instead of just studying theory in the classroom.

The book has received praise from critics across the country for its authentic portrayal of law-enforcement officers and undocumented immigrants. Cantú will be at the City of Asylum bookstore at Alphabet City, in the North Side, on Feb. 17 for a free reading of his new book.


Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, January 8, 2018

Pittsburgh’s frozen rivers will stick around despite warming temperatures

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 2:21 PM

The frozen Allegheny River near PNC Park in Pittsburgh - CP PHOTO BY JAKE MYSLIWCZYK
  • CP photo by Jake Mysliwczyk
  • The frozen Allegheny River near PNC Park in Pittsburgh
It takes a lot of cold to freeze one river, let alone three. But the frigid temperatures that have hung over Pittsburgh for the last couple weeks have accomplished just that. Many sections of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers have accumulated inches of ice. (Check out this week's City Paper out Jan. 10 for more spectacular images of our iced-over rivers.)

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New Mexican restaurant in Beechview seeking crowd-sourced loan funds

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 5:06 PM

Demetrio Aragon (right) and his family inside the La Catrina kitchen - PHOTO COURTESY OF DEMTRIO ARAGON
  • Photo courtesy of Demtrio Aragon
  • Demetrio Aragon (right) and his family inside the La Catrina kitchen
In May 2016, City Paper reported about the economic revitalization of Pittsburgh’s Beechview neighborhood and the role Latino residents were playing. The South Hills neighborhood had been marked by several vacancies in its business district for decades, but over the last few years, Latino entrepreneurs have been opening up restaurants and other businesses, bringing vitality back to the neighborhood.

Recently, La Catrina, a new Mexican restaurant joined the ranks, and the owners are looking for a little help so they can improve their operations and offerings. Demetrio Aragon and his family have lived in the Pittsburgh area since 2000. Aragon worked in Japanese restaurants until one day his wife convinced him that the family should open up a restaurant to serve the traditional Mexican dishes they had trouble finding in Pittsburgh.

“My wife, it was her idea,” says Aragon. “She saw the Hispanic population growing, and that there was a need for real food. We serve sopes, and tamales, but not like some I see here that are served unwrapped. We wrap ours up [in a corn husk]. That is the way it is supposed to be done.”

Aragon says the restaurant, which occupies a space across the street from the IGA/Las Palmas grocery store on Broadway Avenue, has been open for more than three months, but the place still needs a griddle, refrigerator and mixer to become fully functional. Aragon, with help from the Beechview-based Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, is trying to secure a crowd-sourced loan through kiva.org. As of print, La Catrina’s loan is 94 percent funded with only $550 left to reach its $10,000 goal, with only three days remaining to contribute.

“We just need some equipment,” says Aragon. “It’s just me and my wife and daughters. We don’t have investors.”

Ashleigh Deemer, chief of staff to Pittsburgh City Councilor Natalia Rudiak, wrote in an email to CP that La Catrina deserves a little support, so that Beechview can continue to grow economically. "Beechview has been a hidden gem for years, but Broadway Avenue's small-business culture is really taking off, and La Catrina is a perfect destination for anyone who wants to visit and see all Beechview has to offer," she wrote.

Aragon and his family live in Dormont, but choose Beechview to cater to the neighborhood’s growing Latino population. Aragon is from the Álvaro Obregón district of Mexico City (the same district as deported immigrant-rights activist Martín Esquivel-Hernandez), and he says there is a big opportunity in Pittsburgh for ultra-authentic Mexican food because there aren’t many authentic Mexican restaurants.

La Catrina specializes in many hard-to-find Mexican recipes, all crafted by Aragon’s wife, Angelica. La Catrina offers chilaquiles (deep-fried tortillas bathed in chili sauce), lamb barbacoa (and a soup made from all the lamb’s juices), and sopes (a corn masa dumpling typically topped with slow-cooked meats, lettuce and avocado).

Aragon says that all of La Catrina's traditional Mexican recipes are made from scratch, including all of the chili sauces that covers most dishes. La Catrina offers Tex-Mex food as well, but not all of those items are scratch-made.

Aragon says that La Catrina's clientele has mostly been Latinos looking for a taste of home, but many native-born Americans have also eaten there. He hopes that La Catrina will be a restaurant welcoming to everyone.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins announce Stanley Cup victory parade route

Posted By on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 4:25 PM

Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup championship parade, 2016. - CP PHOTO BY LUKE THOR TRAVIS
  • CP photo by Luke Thor Travis
  • Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup championship parade, 2016.
There were catfish on the ice, an alleged claim of halitosis and some up-and-down goal keeping, but the Pittsburgh Penguins still emerged victorious in the Stanley Cup Finals. On June 11, the Pens defeated the somewhat stupidly named Nashville Predators by a score of 2-0, winning the series in six games.

This is the second straight Stanley Cup for the Penguins, and city and Allegheny County officials want to celebrate with you Downtown. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's office sent a press release indicating the Pens championship parade will be held on Wednesday, June 14 at 11 a.m. in Downtown.

The parade route will begin at the intersection of Grant Street and Liberty Avenue, traveling down Grant Street to Boulevard of the Allies. From there, the route will head down Boulevard of the Allies toward Point State Park, where it will terminate. A stage will be set up on Point State Park's lawn (the one closest to the city streets), where Penguins personnel and players will give celebratory remarks.

City of Pittsburgh Public Works employees will be setting up barriers beginning Tue., June 13, in the evening and during the following morning. Road closures will being at 9 a.m. on Wed., June 14.  

Pittsburgh officials advise parade watchers to wear warm-weather, waterproof attire and bring plenty of water, as Wednesday's forecast predicts a high of 84 degrees, high humidity and possible thunderstorms.

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bike-advocacy group encourages Pittsburghers to ride bikes to work on Friday

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 4:58 PM

PHOTO COURTESY OF BIKE PITTSBURGH
  • Photo courtesy of Bike Pittsburgh
Cyclists in and around the city must feel a little vindicated. In a Pittsburgh mayoral race in which candidates blamed bike lanes (which account for a minuscule fraction of the city budget) for the city’s lead-water-pipe problems, public-safety issues, and a shortage of affordable housing, the one candidate who was pro-bike-lane, Mayor Bill Peduto, emerged victorious, with about 69 percent of the vote.

Continue reading »

Tags: , ,

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Author discusses "sex between straight white men" tomorrow at the University of Pittsburgh

Posted By on Wed, Mar 15, 2017 at 4:17 PM

Jane Ward - UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE
  • University of California, Riverside
  • Jane Ward

University of California, Riverside Professor Jane Ward visits Pitt tomorrow to discuss her highly controversial book Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men.

Almost 70 years after Alfred Kinsey and his Institute gave us the Kinsey Scale, Ward’s 2015 book sheds light on how straight-identified men explain the reality of their sexual fluidity. It turns out that for a lot of the men Ward interviewed, it’s not "gay" if the gay sex you’re having reaffirms rather than challenges your masculine identity.


Tomorrow, Ward gives a lecture on her research, titled "The Tragedy of Heterosexuality," from 4-5 p.m. in the Cathedral of Learning. The lecture is presented by Pitt's Gender and Sexuality Program and is free and open to the public.

The talk takes place in Room 602. The Cathedral of Learning is located at 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland.




Tags: , , ,

Friday, January 13, 2017

Pittsburgh’s National Day of Action for Immigrant Rights draws a rally for local undocumented immigrant

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 5:39 PM

IMAGE COURTESY OF UNITED WE DREAM
  • Image courtesy of United We Dream
On Jan. 14, immigrant-rights groups will be gathering in their respective cities across the country to protest President-elect Donald Trump and his campaign promises to carry out mass deportations. Demonstrations are planned in at least 20 states as part of national immigrant-rights group United We Dream’s #HereToStay campaign.

In Pittsburgh, ralliers will gather in Beechview to protest not only Trump’s campaign promises and the practices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, but also the in-process deportation of one of the city’s undocumented immigrants, Martín Esquivel-Hernandez.

“Tomorrow people are going to stand with immigrants and refugees and stand with Martín Esquivel-Hernandez,” says Christina Castillo of the advocacy group the Thomas Merton Center. “Because he was a community leader and father, and this is the time to tell ICE that Martin belongs here in Pittsburgh.”

Esquivel-Hernandez is currently in ICE custody in the Seneca County Jail in Northwest Ohio. ICE officials told City Paper last week that they intend to deport him, even though he accepted a plea deal to lower his felony re-entry charge to a misdemeanor, had no prior criminal record other than minor traffic violations, has a young family (including a U.S. citizen son), and has been an advocate for Pittsburgh’s Latino community.

Castillo says she expects more than 100 protesters to join in and they will recreate the last immigrant-rights march that Esquivel-Hernandez took before he was detained by ICE in May 2016. They will stop the march the last place he was photographed, because “we can't continue this march without Martín,” says Castillo. “We will only march a short distance in the hopes that he will be able to rejoin us the next time.”

For those interested in attending, the rally will start at 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 at St. Catherine of Siena Church at 1810 Belasco Ave. in Beechview. Castillo says for those unable to attend, they can do their part by calling the office Detroit ICE Field Office Director Rebecca Adducci at 313-568-6036 and request she practice “prosecutorial discretion” and release Esquivel-Hernandez.

Esquivel-Hernandez’s wife, Alma Brigido, will be speaking in Detroit on Jan. 14 in hopes to be reunited with her husband. ICE has hinted that Esquivel-Hernandez could be deported sometime next week.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Community-led business incubator to launch in Wilkinsburg

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 2:51 PM

IMAGE COURTESY OF NEW SUN RISING
  • Image courtesy of New Sun Rising
While to outsiders Wilkinsburg is mostly known for its problems with crime (most notably the mass shooting that happened there last spring), those who live in the community see many of the positive things happening in the borough. New shops have moved into town over the last couple years and the borough is planning a big restoration of their old train station.

And to capitalize on this momentum, New Sun Rising, an organization specializing in community-based business incubators, is opening a 12-month long business incubator called Launch Wilkinsburg in partnership with the Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce. New Sun Rising has had previous success with this model in communities like Pittsburgh’s North Side, as well as Millvale.

“Together, our work will activate the self-identified priorities of community members,” said New Sun Rising director Scott Wolovich in a press release, “while inspiring creativity, fostering innovation, and strengthening networks within Wilkinsburg.”

Launch Wilkinsburg will provide people looking to start businesses in the borough access to experts and consultants, connections to partners, potential funding opportunities all in a physical space. The incubator, to be located at 900 Wood Street,  will also include teams of residents who will guide businesses on how to best impact the community, with an emphasis on improving community engagement, vacant lots, Main Street development, the arts and culture.

“I believe now is a great time to invest in Wilkinsburg,” said Wilkinsburg Chamber of Commerce president Yvonne James in a press release. “As we watch our community revitalize it is exciting to see a new generation of folks ‘reinventing’ our business district while still preserving our beautiful architecture and realize small walkable business districts are the new norm and are anxious to be a part of this great affordable change.”

Interested parties are encouraged to apply to the year-long program before the deadline on Jan. 18 at 11:59 p.m. To submit an application and learn more about the program, please visit the Launch Wilkinsburg website.

Tags: , , ,

Friday, December 30, 2016

Don't forget: Port Authority fare changes start Sun., Jan. 1

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 10:49 AM

Grab your free connect card before 2016 ends. - CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • CP photo by Ryan Deto
  • Grab your free connect card before 2016 ends.
Starting New Year's Day (Sun., Jan. 1, 2017), there will be a slew of changes coming to how riders pay for and ride on Port Authority of Allegheny County buses and light-rail cars. Most riders have probably been reminded hundreds of times by the media, Port Authority advertisements and bus drivers themselves, but Pittsburgh City Paper thought it prudent to offer one final reminder.

Also, Fri., Dec. 30, and Sat., Dec. 31, are the last days to get a free ConnectCard at the Downtown Port Authority Service Center at 534 Smithfield St., participating Giant Eagle grocery stores and a lots of other locations. ConnectCards will cost $1 starting Jan. 1, 2017. And you'll want to have one, because the cash fare is rising from $2.50 to $2.75; ConnectCard users will pay $2.50.

Since the $3.75 Zone 2 fare charge is being scrapped and all fares will be $2.75 or less, the changes should provide a boost to some suburban riders who rely on the bus to get around. And there are also some policy changes that could help riders with disabilities.

All the changes are outlined below:

Fares

  • $2.50 fare throughout whole system if using ConnectCard
  • $2.75 cash fare
  • $1 transfers using ConnectCard only (cash users will have to pay $2.75 again if transferring)
  • $1 fee to purchase new ConnectCards
  • 7-day pass available for purchase
  • Half-fare passes for people with disabilities will be available on ConnectCards, as will reduced-fare child passes eventually.
Riding
  • Pay-as-you-enter on all routes
  • Exit through back door(s) on all routes. (Riders unable to use back door can exit at front.)
  • Elimination of the Downtown free zone for bus rides. (Light-rail will still be free Downtown and to the North Shore.)
  • Suburban light-rail riders will operate on a honor system and will tap cards either in car or on receptacles on stations, starting July 2017.

Tags: , , ,

Listings

CP Newsletters

Sign up to get the freshest content sent right to your inbox.

Digital Issues

This Week...

Read Past Issues

© 2018 Pittsburgh City Paper

Website powered by Foundation

National Advertising by VMG Advertising