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Wednesday, July 3, 2019

How much do you know about the Fourth of July?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 6:20 PM

How well do you know your facts about the Fourth of July? Maybe not as well as you think! Take this quiz to find the incorrect fact in each question.

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Meet Rhythm, the 25-year-old furry from Carnegie

Posted By on Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 12:39 PM

This week’s cover model: Rhythm the Mouse - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
  • CP photo: Jared Wickerham
  • This week’s cover model: Rhythm the Mouse

We decided to combine one of the city’s most anticipated events with some of the best summer treats in town and invite a local furry to pose as our cover model in honor of Anthrocon, the annual furry convention coming to town this week. 

April, a 25-year-old from Carnegie, answered our call to bravely pose in her yellow mouse fursuit while holding an ice cream cone outside Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor in the Strip District during a hot June weekend. 

Tell me about your fursona.

Rhythm is a happy, yellow mouse who loves to groove! I usually carry around a speaker in my backpack and play electronic dance music, and I love to dance while wearing her! I designed Rhythm to reflect myself — someone who’s small, bubbly, and loves music as much as I do.

What's your favorite part about the convention? 

Shopping! There’s a large room called the “Dealer’s Room” and “Artist Alley,” where artists and vendors sell artwork, plushies, T-shirts, fursuit accessories, and more. It’s always a blast to walk around and buy cool stuff.

Who made your fursuit? 

My mom and I made most of my fursuit. The foam skeleton of my fursuit head (called a foam base) was made by Splinter Fox Productions and my mom and I finished the rest. We finished the head, and we made the tail, body, and handpaws. My feet were made by Lemonbrat.

How long have you been a furry?

I’ve been a furry for six years. I discovered furries through a friend when I was in college. I thought furries were a little unusual at first, but my friend told me to come down to Anthrocon and give it a chance, so I did, and I loved it! I love the artwork and costume creation so much. Plus, I’ve met so many awesome people through this community through the years, and I’ve made lifelong friends.

Do you dress up year-round or just during Anthrocon? 

Year-round! We have a lot of local Pittsburgh furry events where we all get together and hang out. Some of us dress up in fursuits and some [don't]. Sometimes I’ll wear my fursuit, but most of the time I’ll just go as a person and hang out with my friends. We have a monthly meetup at the Mount Lebanon AMF bowling alley where we sometimes have more than 30 fursuiters and more than 100 people! We also have a not-as-well-known, local furry convention called WPAFW (Western PA Furry Weekend) in autumn where we’ll all get together in North Park, with an attendance of more than 300 people. It’s awesome to be a furry in Pittsburgh!

What do you wish more people in Pittsburgh knew about furries?

Furries are just people who love art, cartoons, movies, games, costumes, and having fun!

What's your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Cookies and cream! Or if it’s available, Cinnamon Bun. Yum!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Photos: People's Pride Parade

Posted By on Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 5:25 PM

Mayor Bill Peduto walks with the People's Pride march. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
  • CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
  • Mayor Bill Peduto walks with the People's Pride march.
Pittsburgh City Paper staff photographer Jared Wickerham documented the People's Pride parade as they marched from Freedom Corner in Uptown all the way to Allegheny Commons Park in the North Side in unity with all LGBTQ+ groups.

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Photos: Pittsburgh Pride Equality March

Posted By on Mon, Jun 10, 2019 at 5:23 PM

The 2019 Pittsburgh Pride Equality March takes place in downtown. - CP PHOTO: JARED MURPHY
  • CP Photo: Jared Murphy
  • The 2019 Pittsburgh Pride Equality March takes place in downtown.
Pittsburgh City Paper photo intern Jared Murphy took to the streets to photograph the 2019 Pittsburgh Pride Equality March that made its way through Downtown Pittsburgh on Sun., June 9.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Pittsburgh City Paper wins three honors at 2019 Golden Quill awards, including best-in-show for photography

Posted By on Thu, May 30, 2019 at 8:09 PM

Pittsburgh City Paper 2019 Golden Quill award winners Tereneh Idia and Jared Wickerham - CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM
  • CP photo: Lisa Cunningham
  • Pittsburgh City Paper 2019 Golden Quill award winners Tereneh Idia and Jared Wickerham
Last July, Jared Wickerham approached our editorial team with the idea of photographing the Pittsburgh Pirates with a Polaroid camera soon after he was hired as Pittsburgh City Paper's full-time staff photographer. It turned out to be an award-winning idea.

On Wed., May 29, he was awarded with two Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania for his work: one for Craft Achievement – Photo Essay and the best-in-show Ed Romano Memorial Award: Photography, selected from all of this year's winners in photography categories.

A seasoned local sports photographer, Wickerham wanted a new way to capture the baseball games so many others have documented over the years. Every Sunday home game, the Pirates wore retro uniforms like the team wore in the 1970s. Wickerham decided to join them in that theme, armed with a vintage Polaroid SX-70 Model 1.

The players themselves were as excited to see the images as the rest of us. "Starling Marte, a guy who has undoubtedly been photographed a million times by hundreds of photographers, wanted to make sure he could get a copy of the Polaroid," wrote Wickerham in his intro to his essay.

You can see his award-winning photo essay here: Sunday Afternoons at PNC Park.

Another big winner from the evening was City Paper contributing writer Tereneh Idia, who took home the award for Excellence in Written Journalism, Daily – Columns/Blogs for her important columns on topics like race and adversity. Idia recently reached her first anniversary as the writer of City Paper's weekly Voices column, crediting popular Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman as the one for first encouraging her to start a column.

Read one of Idia's columns that helped earn her the award here: Who Gets to Be the (S)hero?

This was the first year that City Paper competed in the daily category against larger publications like Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. In previous years, CP competed in the non-daily category but was bumped up for producing original content at least five days a week.

City Paper also had three Golden Quill finalists:

• News writer Ryan Deto in Excellence in Written Journalism, Daily – Business/Technology/Consumer for his story: Is the Pittsburgh Airport Building up a Flight Bubble?

• Music writer Jordan Snowden in Excellence in Written Journalism, Daily – Arts/Entertainment for her story: What Was It About Mac Miller That Connected With Pittsburghers?

• And, contributing writer Jessie Sage in Excellence in Written Journalism, Daily – Columns/Blogs for her column: Peepshow, a sex and social-justice column

For a full list of the winners and nominees, visit

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Meet the staff: Senior writer Amanda Waltz gets spooky (and sexy) on Ghoul on Ghoul podcast

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2019 at 11:53 AM

Several months after Amanda Waltz came on board as our senior A&E writer at Pittsburgh City Paper, and just a few days after I was named editor, she came to my desk and confided a secret, whispering the words Generation X bosses overseeing millennial staffs are most fearful of: "I have a podcast."

I soon realized why she hadn't confessed this to our former male editor. It wasn't just any podcast, she explained. It was about ghosts ... and sex. Ghoul on Ghoul, which Amanda records each week with her co-host, Sarah, promotes itself as "a supernatural sex-positive horror comedy podcast featuring first-person encounters with the paranormal."

It wasn't totally a shock. While Amanda is talented at writing both heavily reported news stories or diving head first into a multifaceted art review, she's also become known as the office deviate — the kind of person who will say anything on her mind without thinking twice. I mean that quite affectionately. She's refreshingly honest and also unashamed to have serious conversations about her sexuality. In the realms that an office environment allows, of course, though I'll admit that an alt-weekly newsroom is probably much more lax than others.

My first response when she told me about her podcast was to beg her to let me promote it. We've been aiming to increase diversity at the paper over the past year, introducing sex and social justice columnist Jessie Sage to our pages, and including even more feminist and social justice causes in our news coverage. Showing our readers that our senior writer also is a sex-positive horror junky is good press! But while she's talked openly about it in the office since, Amanda asked me to keep it a secret to the public, wanting to keep her personal life separate from her professional life.

But months later, after immersing herself more and more in the local arts and nightlife scenes as a reporter, she realized it was getting harder not to mention it when asked, so I now officially have permission to out her as a Ghoul.
The podcast itself is more charming than shocking. Yes, it's NSFW unless you're wearing headphones — or working at an alt-weekly, and the women swear. A lot. A fucking lot. But listening to the podcast is largely like eavesdropping on a conversation between two girlfriends sharing a large bottle of wine.

They laugh frequently at themselves and each other, share secrets about their own sex lives, and both have a tendency to break into voices and impressions, from Björk to Bon Jovi. Basically, they're not afraid to sound like giant dorks.

Each podcast is nearly an hour, and guests keep the show interesting. They've had on everyone from CP's own Jessie Sage to Tobin Seastedt of Crickets to Betsy, who brought on mealworms and grasshoppers for the hosts to eat on air before talking about all-natural lube. If transitioning from discussing the crunch of a bug leg in a cookie to an admission that it's harder to get wet as you age sounds weird, just trust me. They make it work.

Ghoul on Ghoul also specializes in ghost stories and local horror folklore; serial killers and cults; true crime and hauntings. And sometimes, it combines both. There's at least one episode where the women discuss sex with ghosts, and on the episode with Sage, they discuss ovipositors, a sex toy that allows women to deposit an egg inside their vaginas so they can experience the joy of giving birth to an alien.

Tonight, Amanda and Sarah celebrate their first anniversary with the Rate / Review / Subscribe / Imbide: A PGH Podcast Party at Spirit in Lawrenceville. The night includes DJ MB from the In Bed by Ten dance party and tarot readings. In addition to Ghoul on Ghoul, the pair have also invited other local podcasts to join the fun. Guests are encouraged to subscribe to any of the podcasts — Give Me Murder or Give Me Death, Neon Brainiacs, THRIFTY Podcast, Start The Beats w/SIKES, and Werewolf Ambulance — for a chance to win prizes.

The event is free and starts at 7 p.m., with the live show recording starting at 9 p.m.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Pittsburgh City Podcast, April 17: Life as a student journalist

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 6:13 PM

City Paper's Janine Faust, Ryan Deto, and Alex Gordon
  • City Paper's Janine Faust, Ryan Deto, and Alex Gordon

In this episode of Pittsburgh City Podcast, we're discussing the daily life of a student journalist. CP managing editor/podcast host Alex Gordon and CP staff writer Ryan Deto are joined by news intern Janine Faust, who, this fall, will take over the Pitt News as editor in chief. We're also joined by students/future journalists from Mount Pleasant High School.

The Pittsburgh City Podcast is brought to you by Pittsburgh City Paper and the Point Park University Center for Media Innovation.

Meet this week's Pittsburgh City Paper cover artist: Ellissa Nicholle Schatz

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 1:06 PM

Ellissa Nicholle Schatz
  • Ellissa Nicholle Schatz

This week's colorful hand-lettered Marijuana Issue cover was created by Pittsburgh artist Ellissa Nicholle Schatz. Pittsburgh City Paper asked her a few questions over email about her artwork after completing the cover illustration.

How did you get into illustrating?

I went to SCAD [The Savannah College of Art and Design] for illustration and printmaking, and now am working to amp up my freelance career alongside my graphic design 9-to-5. I'm just having fun and figuring out what/how I like to draw.

What is your dream job? Dream client?

I'd love to be doing creative direction for an art and fashion publication, something where I could have my eyes and hands in a lot of different projects.

Freelance-wise, I've been dying to work with Bitch Magazine since I first found out about them. Doing a mural is also on my list of goals for the next couple years.

Ellissa Schatz's CP cover illustration
  • Ellissa Schatz's CP cover illustration

Your cover illustration this week includes a lovely moody person, scrolling hand lettering, lots of plants, and an interpretive and vibrant use of color — all of which are seen throughout your larger body of work. Where do you gather inspiration from?

Honestly, Instagram, like everyone else, mostly. I love big Versace-ish fashion prints and bright colors that maybe don't go together and girls that have inches-long bejeweled acrylics. Also other illustrators like Laura Callaghan and Caleb Boyles (I went to school with him and you should really check him out … he's so good).

You work in a lot of different mediums including silkscreen, digital illustration, works on paper, animation, and zines. Do you have a favorite? Do you go to a particular medium for creating different subject matter, mood, or message?

When I feel like I haven't made something in awhile, or having a day where I can't draw, I like to paint or silkscreen (both using very low-tech setups on top of my drafting table). Making something that is probably going to be kind of messy by nature makes me loosen up a lot and gets me in the mood to have more ideas for projects way more organically than staring at an empty Photoshop document would.

Digital is cool for most client work just because you can change things so fast and colors can be so fun to play with, but there also is a pressure to make things extra perfect because you have the ability to do so. I think painting and screen printing are more of an experimental personal project way of working for me, and then drawing and animating in Photoshop is more "professional" I guess. I'd loooooovvveeee to start doing more animations for work just to get better at it.

Do you have any big or exciting projects coming up?

I'll be in a show with a bunch of other artists in the fall, so I'm starting to work on paintings for that. That's going to be super fun. And then I'm also in the works for something with a really cool publication later on in the spring. For more on that you'll have to check my Instagram because it's not entirely ironed out yet.

Where can people buy and see more of your artwork?

I'll have some work for sale in Small Mall this summer! I'm thrilled about that. And then you can check out my Instagram, I sell prints on there sometimes. Or my website. I also have a Redbubble and Society6 that are up to date (for now) if you want different sizes!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Pittsburgh City Podcast, April 10: The many roads that lead to a job in journalism

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 8:09 AM

  • CP photo: Lisa Cunningham
This week on the Pittsburgh City Podcast, we're joined by students from Urban Pathways. The topic today is the many roads that lead people into careers in journalism (hint: it's not necessarily getting a degree). Host Alex Gordon talks with Pittsburgh City Paper digital media manager Josh Oswald (who now has a column at CP), and office coordinator Maggie Weaver (who is now a staff writer and food critic).

The Pittsburgh City Podcast is brought to you by Pittsburgh City Paper and the Point Park University Center for Media Innovation.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Pittsburgh City Podcast, April 3: Bigfoot is news, too

Posted By on Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 7:50 PM


This week on the Pittsburgh City Podcast, host Alex Gordon and CP staffers Amanda Waltz and Abbie Adams tackle the serious business of covering local paranormal conferences. They're joined by students from East Allegheny High School.

The Pittsburgh City Podcast is brought to you by Pittsburgh City Paper and the Point Park University Center for Media Innovation.

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