For years, someone — mother, significant other, mental-health professional, probation officer — has been telling you to stop living in the past and to look to the future. The problem, of course, is that the future is cold, scary and full of unknown catastrophic dangers — bottomless potholes, cast-aside parking chairs and Daryl Metcalfe's latest bugaboo. Well, fear no more, dear reader. We asked some notable Pittsburghers to give us some predictions for the region in 2015. We're sure most of them are bound to come true, because if it's in the paper, it has to be true.
Scott Bricker, director, BikePgh
Local news outlets disable their comments sections en masse.
Dr. Karen Hacker, director, Allegheny County Health Department
This is the year that Pittsburghers throw away their deep fryers, maintain their gym membership beyond February and switch to spandex. Live well, Allegheny!
Greg Brown, Pittsburgh Pirates play-by-play announcer
If the Pirates stay healthy, they can win the NL Central. I love what Clint Hurdle has been saying this off season— that we have tried the Wild Card game two years in a row; it was fun, but we're looking to do better things now. We've outgrown it, is what he said. I also pay close attention to the national baseball programs and prognosticators, and it's heartening to hear these individuals talk about the Pirates and the Cardinals being the teams to beat in the division. Their pitching staff is going to be stronger than it has been in years, and that's the way to win these days — strong pitching.
Natalia Rudiak, City Councilor District 4
Pittsburgh hipsters adopt the new "Undercover Boss Peduto" look. And after continuous closures and re-closures of the Fort Pitt Tunnel, it's decided to just turn it into a bike lane.
Bill Flanagan, executive vice president of corporate relations, Allegheny Conference
The Pittsburgh region is about as well positioned for sustainable prosperity as it has been at any time since I moved here in 1982. Total employment is at an all-time high, more people are moving in than moving out — especially younger people. We're home to one of the best-educated workforces in the country ... when it comes to the concentration of young people with advanced degrees. At the same time, we shouldn't expect an economic boom any time soon. As the national economy has begun heating up, our job-growth rate has been slowing, and our workforce is aging, making it harder for many employers to find skilled workers. So, in 2015, look for continued modest, but steady, improvement for our economy, supporting an enviable balance between economic opportunity and quality of life.
Shayontani Banerjee, local musician
Due to a minute typo on hipster blogs, Pittsburgh will now be the "Most Lovable City" for 2015. New residents will include only puppies, kittens and baby snakes. Also, steamed dumplings will be trending, and I hear we might get street food past 8:45 p.m.
Craig Davis, president and CEO, VisitPITTSBURGH
With city-wide conventions like the Fraternal Order of Police and the VFW, and events like the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament, 2015 will be a record year for meetings, conventions and events in Pittsburgh. In addition, we expect that several new blockbuster attractions and exhibitions will be announced that will draw media attention and leisure travelers to our area, so the outlook for tourism is a very vibrant and exciting year for the region.
Sue Kerr, blogger, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents blog
Twenty-four years after serving as an intern for Rick Santorum, I will be hitting the campaign trail — culminating in a re-creation of my iconic internship graduation photo — with Dan Savage bringing his best Santorum to the U.S. Capitol steps. Proceeds from sales of the official Savage-Sue-Santorum Sweater Vest will benefit Planned Parenthood.
Charlie Humphrey, executive director, Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts
In 2015, the beginning of the end of football will occur when horrified TV viewers see an NFL player torn in two during a routine play from scrimmage.
Mike Schiller, CEO, Green Building Alliance
Every law firm in Pittsburgh will stop using Styrofoam cups. Mayor Peduto will have a not-so-small cameo role in a major motion picture filmed here. Some significant real-estate development will occur in the Hamilton Avenue/Frankstown Avenue corridor. The Energy Innovation Center will gain national recognition for its renovation and its mission. More than one person living in Pittsburgh will win a MacArthur "genius" award. Either Pennsylvania or Pittsburgh will see the start of a "green bank" (a nonprofit lender focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency).
Joylette Portlock, President, Communitopia
Things in Pittsburgh keep getting better, and a big part of that is our renewed commitment to environmental awareness and action. There are so many fantastic local projects slated for 2015 already — wins for our communities, economy and environment that I'd love to shamelessly promote, but that would take more space than I've got! Suffice it to say, stay tuned — 2015 is going to be green!
Janera Solomon, executive director, Kelly-Strayhorn Theater
A new hip-hop/funk lounge opens in East Liberty — and closes just five days later. Word on the street? The lounge was either a trendy pop-up or one of "those loud dance parties" at Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. Theater dance parties become the next big thing. KST already hosts post-performance, impromptu dance parties, and the last one became so successful it turned into a three-day "dance festival."