Seen Around Town | BLOGH: City Paper's Blog |


Monday, August 8, 2016

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 11:35 AM

It was wacky activity on water Saturday at the EQT Three Rivers Regatta, as it held its annual “Anything That Floats” race. From the simple — an air mattress lashed with pool noodle — to the more elaborate — a bicycle-powered mock-up of the Roberto Clemente Bridge, spectators lined up along the Allegheny River Downtown came prepared to root and laugh.

Brianne Cassidy and Stephanie Georg, the crew of the water-worthy mattress, were among the teams crossing the finish line in one piece. Cassidy was quick to give credit where credit was due — tape. “It pulled the whole thing together,” Cassidy said, as the two sipped celebratory beers.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 1:08 PM

This three-year-old Bike Pittsburgh initiative jumped a river for the first time — not just one river, actually, but two.

OpenStreets, which closes a few miles of streets to motorized traffic for a few Sunday hours, was previously confined to Downtown and the Strip District, mostly along Penn Avenue. But yesterday, the route took the Clemente Bridge to the North Side, wound through West Park, then crossed the Ohio on the West End Bridge for a terminus in the West End's business district.

And Bike Pittsburgh's preliminary estimate is that 17,500 to 20,000 folks took advantage of the car-free streets. Most were on bicycles, but there were also pedestrians and at least one troop of determined unicyclists.

Three "activity hubs," one in each neighborhood, included exercise classes and more for a festival atmosphere. Members of Squonk Opera paraded, playing music on the giant tricycles they used in their new show Cycle Sonic; at one point, Squonk jammed with ambulatory members of the percussion group Timbeleza, marching past Gus & Yia Yia's water-ice cart. Celebrities spotted included that shameless scenester Rick Sebak. 

Still, the highlight for many was a chance to cross the West End Bridge in in the lanes usually reserved for an endless procession of cars (and endless traffic jams). Organizers had set up a photo stop for people to insert themselves into the bridge's iconic perspective on the Point and the Downtown skyline.

Yesterday's Open Streets was the last of three for this summer. Look for it to return next May, route TBD.

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 1:33 PM

Dexter Cummings, age six, and his friend Riley Estep, age eight, showed up to Flagstaff Hill in Schenley Park on Sunday ready for battle — or a perhaps a pleasant slumber.

“I like smacking people with pillows,” the veteran Cummings said, who's been involved in the semi-annual pillow fights organized by Frank Halling since he was three. He grips his chosen weapon, a cushion with a red polka dot case, with knowledge.

Halling, a Pittsburgh native and U.S. Army veteran, took up the pillow fight — now in its tenth iteration — from a friend and folded it into his schedule of events as the organizer of Free and Almost Free in Pittsburgh Meetup, which as a rule hosts events “for five dollars or less.”

“I’m a believer in silliness,” Halling said. “There’s no objective, there’s no real organization ... no goal, it's cacophony.”

This desire for fun brought out about 120 people — and one alien — for 15 minutes of fluffy assault at a still sweaty dusk.

Ricky Smoove showed up armed with a typical white cased club and his niece, Sabrina Silver.

“We’re looking at it as we’re against everyone,” Smoove said. “[It’s] a team-building exercise.”

That didn’t stop Silver from playfully landing a few hits on Smoove as well.

The fight had only a three rules — no hits to the head, only attack the armed, and don’t hit someone who is down to get their plushy cudgel. This meant old and young faced off in combat on the hill top — not that it bothered Smoove.

“I’m not above hitting a little kid with a pillow,” Smoove said with a smile. “If they're old enough to step into the ring …”

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Posted By on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 3:23 PM

Pittsburgh marked its 200th birthday with a weekend of events, including a parade on Sat., July 9 that commemorated the election of Pittsburgh's first mayor in 1816, Ebenezer Denny. School kids, cultural organizations, previous mayors' descendents, historical-figure reenactors and colorful puppets marched down Liberty Avenue to Point State Park. See our photo's below, and read about the artist behind the giant puppets.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Posted By on Tue, Jul 5, 2016 at 12:45 PM

The so-called furries — people dressed as anthropomorphized animal characters — celebrated the 20th anniversary of Anthrocon in style on Saturday afternoon, as more than 1,000 participants showed off their fursuits to the public during the annual Fursuit Parade held outside of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Crowds gathered along the street holding "I <3 Anthrocon" signs, while furries held signs of their own including, "HOWLING IS NOT A CRIME!" and gave lots of excited kids plenty of high fives. Check out our photo slideshow of the festivities below.

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2016 at 11:49 AM

Sirens blasting, a fire truck came racing down Penn Avenue toward the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. As the sound grew intense, furries waiting to cross the street began to playfully howl and bark. Locals enjoying their lunch outside on a sunny Thursday afternoon smiled.

It’s this natural friendliness that has brought Books, a furry from Virginia, back to Anthrocon after attending his first convention last year.

“Every single one of [the other cons] didn’t have the same atmosphere,” Books said as he munched on a sandwich with his friends at Fernando’s Café — a favorite furry hangout that is rechristened Furnando’s for the weekend.

Sitting next to Books was Tanuki, also from Virginia. Joining them at the table were fellow furries from Indiana and Texas.

“I’ve been going to [Anthrocon] for as long as it’s been in Pittsburgh,” Tanuki said. “Everyone is so cool. … Pittsburgh treats us like royalty.”

Take a quick stroll around the convention center and you quickly pick up that vibe. Most shops and restaurants had chalk boards out front with some variant of “Welcome Furries!”, while the paw-print logo of the festival — in its 20th year, and eleventh in the ’Burgh — crawled across some shop windows.

Anthony Muto is one of the entrepreneurs who awaits the arrival of costumed customers every year.

“I’ll be here all weekend,” Muto said as he pulled hot dogs off the grill of his lunch cart, just outside the convention center. His stand is normally “a lunch-hour thing” for business folks needing quick grub, but he extends his hours into the late evening for hungry Anthrocon visitors.

Con-goers shouted greetings at Muto as they went by, the out-of-town “regulars” Muto knows from five years at the corner of Tenth and Penn. His stand, normally emblazoned with “Firehouse Franks,” had a sticker over the “fire” — replacing it with “fur”.

“They love feeling accepted,” Muto said.

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Friday, May 27, 2016

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2016 at 2:32 PM

A big crowd gathered in Lawrenceville last night for late spring’s most anticipated sport. Wait, if you thought we were going to say the Pens playoff game, you should probably check out this photo essay from earlier today instead. No, we’re talking about the first Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride of the year!

Men and women, dressed in bras, boxer shorts and tighty whities, met at the corner of 46th and Butler streets in Lawrenceville and rode their bikes through the city to Penn Brewery on the North Side. The event is about “having fun and promoting a positive self-body image,” according to the Facebook event page. Miss the fun and want to join the next one? A new ride happens on the last Thursday of every month through October, with the next one scheduled for June 30.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Posted By on Mon, May 2, 2016 at 12:14 PM

Thousands of runners filled Pittsburgh streets this Sunday for the annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. Despite rainy weather early in the morning, the race kicked off at 7 a.m. as scheduled. Onlookers cheered on the determined (and wet) marathon participants with flowers, noisemakers and signs like, “Run like there’s a hot guy in front of you and a creepy one behind you!!! :).”

For scenes from the event, check out Pittsburgh City Paper’s photo slideshow from summer photo intern Luke Thor Travis.

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Posted By on Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 1:10 PM


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Posted By on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 8:46 AM