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Friday, December 29, 2023

Posted By on Fri, Dec 29, 2023 at 5:00 AM

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Editor-in-Chief Ali Trachta's favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
Lish Danielle, who worked at Cafe Sam from 2008 to 2014
2023 was a transitional year in many ways for City Paper, which includes the makeup of our staff. We welcomed a lot of new faces to the editorial team this year (including mine!), and believe me when I say I'm damn lucky to have this team. Look, I'm biased, but this group is incredibly badass, and I squeal with delight pretty much every day knowing I have the privilege of working with this brilliant, hard-working, hilarious bunch. To celebrate, I wanted to share with you some of their stories that made me most proud and delighted to be the editor of City Paper, right here, right now, with this crew.

An elegy for the wonderfully weird time capsule that was Cafe Sam, by Staff Writer Rachel Wilkinson // Oct. 18 2023

Rachel is a writer in the purest form of the word. She has a real knack for finding the deeper story most people are overlooking, as well as for bringing unique characters to life with eloquent prose. Both of these talents were on full display in her piece about the mysterious, quirky, now-closed Cafe Sam.

The best Pittsburgh Facebook Groups to join right now by Audience Engagement Editor Stacy Rounds // Oct. 6, 2023

Stacy is — and I mean this in a good way — chronically online, and I thank my lucky stars for that because it makes her a whiz when it comes to social media, SEO, analytics, and digital strategy. She's also a great writer with tons of fun ideas, and this roundup of lesser-known Facebook groups we should all join was the perfect example of just that.

To say Colin hit the ground running is an understatement. He swooped in and not only took up the hard news torch, but dabbled in food and beer coverage, a bit of musical commentary, and oh yeah, spearheaded our comprehensive election guide. I was most proud of Colin, though, when he stuck his neck out with this opinion piece, knowing full well that some would disagree, and hard. Big-time kudos his way.

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Editor-in-Chief Ali Trachta's favorite stories of 2023
Photo: Courtesy of One Thousand Ways
Banksyland

Oh FFS, now there’s an immersive Banksy exhibition by Arts & Entertainment Editor Amanda Waltz // March 31, 2023

Amanda is not new — she's our five-year editorial team veteran — and I'm not sure if I can say "hallelujah!!!" for that quite loudly enough. Her institutional knowledge, fast work, detail-oriented nature, wit, and whip-smart takes hold this place together in many ways, and City Paper is so lucky she's stuck around. Of the many, many things she wrote this year, this one seemed to perfectly encapsulate all of the awesome things that make her so kickass at what she does.

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Editor-in-Chief Ali Trachta's favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
Candles are lit at the Chanukah for Cease Fire event in Schenley Plaza on Dec. 11, 2023.

Chanukah for Cease Fire by Photographer Mars Johnson // Dec. 12, 2023

What did City Paper do to deserve Mars? I don't know, but it must have been very good, because Mars is just the GOAT in every way. They've captured so many incredible moments around town since they joined CP, both in photo and video, and they're only getting started. Mars is so talented and makes it look effortless, but at the same time, all the effort they put in is evident in their work, as seen in this slideshow.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Posted By on Thu, Dec 28, 2023 at 5:00 AM

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Staff writer Rachel Wilkinson’s favorite stories of 2023
CP Illustration: Jeff Schreckengost
This year I learned the term “offbeat reporting” — reporting that, rather than focusing on an established specialty or beat, looks broadly, and includes original stories that might otherwise be overlooked or covered in less depth. These are my favorite stories to read in Pittsburgh City Paper and those I was most excited to write when I joined as a staff writer! Naturally, Pittsburgh has no shortage of mysteries (our regards to Michael Chabon), hidden history, colorful characters, and people doing unsung work. Here are my 2023 highlights:

Pittsburgh’s @pgh_scanner Twitter account is no joke // Jul. 26, 2023

Before Pittsburgh Scanner (@pgh_scanner) was a viral sensation or City Paper’s Best Twitter Account of 2023, the person behind it was a mystery — and obviously deserving of a profile. I was surprised to find that no one had interviewed Nick yet (a CP exclusive!) and was even more surprised to meet a steelworker and dad of two whose modest ambition when starting the account was 500 followers. (Three years later, it has about 44,000, plus its own logo and merch.)
click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Staff writer Rachel Wilkinson’s favorite stories of 2023
Photo by Taylor Miller
Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman promises to be "generally redolent of condiments" when he returns to Pittsburgh // Sept. 29, 2023

The opportunity to interview Parks and Rec star Nick Offerman came about because of the SAG-AFTRA strike, which put him on an impromptu comedy tour stopping in Pittsburgh. Not expecting more than a few minutes to talk, Offerman spoke with me for more than an hour, candidly discussing his career, Hollywood labor conditions, and general thoughts on art, woodworking, and life, which I was so excited to render into a full profile. There were a few things I wish I could’ve included at greater length — mostly that he knows Pittsburgh loves him and the feeling is mutual. He described the city as “avuncular.”

“Pittsburgh… collectively, as a cultural center, it’s a group of people who know how to use hand tools,” Offerman told me. “And I think [you] can smell that coming off of me as well, so I don't have to go far to reach my audience.”
click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Staff writer Rachel Wilkinson’s favorite stories of 2023
Schematics: Courtesy of Air Corps library

The Ghost Bomber of the Monongahela blends conspiracy, truth, and tragedy // Oct. 4, 2023

It will soon be 70 years since a B-25 Mitchell bomber landed in the Monongahela River, sank, and was never seen again — a story that’s haunted me since covering it. (Who wants to join my letter writing campaign to James Cameron?) Despite living in Pittsburgh for more than a decade, I hadn’t heard of the missing B-25 until working on an article for CP’s 2023 Fall Guide about Pittsburgh’s most famous urban legends, discovering that the “Ghost Bomber” even has its own archival collection at Heinz History Center. I was also delighted to find that Heinz History President and CEO Andy Masich is a master storyteller, and so the story ends where Masich ended it: “And then, it’s all gone. What happened?"
click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Staff writer Rachel Wilkinson’s favorite stories of 2023
Mars Johnson
Students from Greenfield Elementary walk in the 30th annual Greenfield Holiday Parade on Dec. 1, 2023.

Greenfield's Holiday Parade celebrates 30 years of fireworks, floats, and festivities // Nov. 22, 2023

As a Greenfield resident, I was proud to represent my neighborhood in this story, taking it on after mentioning the Holiday Parade offhandedly at our weekly editorial meeting. But I soon discovered the Parade was celebrating its 30th anniversary and CP was the only publication to cover it. Also, no comprehensive reporting existed about this beloved neighborhood tradition — though it’s pulled in local celebrities and politicians — so I had the honor of reporting it as a (mostly) original history. Also check out the wonderful Greenfield Holiday Parade slideshow by photographer Mars Johnson.
click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Staff writer Rachel Wilkinson’s favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Mars Johnson

Big screen, little lies: Pittsburgh is being gaslit about IMAX theaters // Nov. 29, 2023

Pittsburgh’s lack of an IMAX theater has been a mystery and personal bone of contention for years, but I originally thought this would be a short, niche story with some quick answers for fellow film fans. Instead, it took me down a reporting rabbit hole (which at one point involved a Deep Throat-esque source) and evolved into a larger exploration about the film industry’s transition in the wake of COVID. As a bonus, soon after this story ran, Row House Cinema announced the debut of a new 70mm film projector and “oversized screen” at the Hollywood Theater next fall.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Posted By on Wed, Dec 27, 2023 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: News editor Colin Williams' favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
Ben Tolman holds a Pittsburgh banner made at Fiasco Art Center in Observatory Hill.

2023 is almost in the books, and with it, so is my first year at Pittsburgh City Paper! My favorite articles to work on were ones where I got to better know the people driving change in Pittsburgh's politics, arts, and cultural spaces, and ones where I dug into the ways our city has grown and changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: News editor Colin Williams' favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
Noelle and Ben Tolman prepare a ladder to climb on the roof of Fiasco Art Center.

Fiasco founders Noelle and Ben Tolman hope to be part of Observatory Hill’s renaissance // Aug. 2, 2023

Fiasco feels like a product of a bygone era, when Pittsburgh artists had cheap access to repurposed spaces and played a key role in stabilizing neighborhoods. Though the Tolmans are still in the process of navigating Pittsburgh's bureaucratic "quirks," Fiasco has the potential to blossom into a sustainable institution serving Observatory Hill and beyond. On a purely aesthetic level, it's also an explosion of color and creativity that playfully inverts the building's history as a Catholic school.

click to enlarge Closely built houses in Garfield with West Penn Hospital and the Cathedral of Learning in the background.
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

After tragedy, Garfield leaders say they need housing resources // Sept. 15, 2023

The late August shooting that rocked Garfield was audible from my house. It shook up our peaceful corner of the East End, which, in spite of rising housing costs, remains a racially mixed and socioeconomically diverse part of the city. Local leaders were clear about what was needed in the aftermath of the gun battle: resources for stable housing. Among the key takeaways for me were the complexity of public-private partnerships, the pernicious effects of house-flipping, and — most critically — the importance of leaving a will to ensure your property passes to the people, family or otherwise, that you want it to.

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: News editor Colin Williams' favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
Namaste Momo Corner

Bhutanese refugees bring a "Himalayan Highway" of unique food and culture to the Route 51 corridor // Oct. 18, 2023

Pittsburgh has long been a city of ethnic enclaves. Historically, most immigrants hailed from European countries, but recent years have brought residents from other parts of the world, including a vibrant community of Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees seeking safe harbor after years of oppression and ethnic cleansing. These Pittsburghers have since settled in and brought unique cuisine and cultural traditions to the Route 51 corridor. It was rewarding to learn and share so much about their community history while getting to sample a variety of momo dumplings, which are one of the Lhotshampa community's mainstay dishes. Everyone benefits from an appetite for different cultures in the ’Burgh.

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: News editor Colin Williams' favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
Belvedere's Ultra-Dive

What happened to Pittsburgh’s nightclub scene? It's complicated // Nov. 15, 2023

I was frankly surprised by the response to this story, which clearly evoked fond memories for many readers and sparked strong reactions to Pittsburgh's changing nightlife. It was also clear from talking to sources that COVID effectively ended the Golden Age of clubs in the city for good or for ill. I spoke to numerous sources who corroborated this shift, including photographers, club owners, and former club staff. One of the biggest takeaways for me as a writer was that social habits around drinking and partying are shifting quickly — the closure of nightclubs has also had a disproportionate impact on Black partygoers, who told me the demise of club-centric districts came bundled with more limited hours, stricter dress codes, and fewer options for live hip-hop. This is another story that, in my view, underscores the way change can exacerbate inequity if it happens too quickly.

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: News editor Colin Williams' favorite stories of 2023
Mars Johnson
Taylor Goel attends a peaceful protest in Downtown Pittsburgh calling for a ceasefire in Gaza on Dec. 2, 2023.

Meet the diverse Pittsburghers calling for peace in Gaza // Dec. 6, 2023

The war in Gaza has combined humanitarian disaster with sectarian tensions for many around the world. In Pittsburgh, it's freighted with additional implications as the city heals from the worst antisemitic attack on U.S. soil and subsequent trial. I wrote an op-ed calling for a ceasefire that (in addition to some hate mail) drew strong agreement from members of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim communities, as well as student activists, whose voices I was grateful to amplify alongside area politicians including U.S. Rep. Summer Lee. As the conflict wears on and global sentiment coalesces behind peace, it's heartening to see an inclusive coalition of people calling for a durable ceasefire, especially when doing so can present personal and professional challenges.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Posted By on Tue, Dec 26, 2023 at 5:00 AM

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: A&E editor Amanda Waltz's favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Penn Forest Natural Burial Park
As 2023 draws to a close, Pittsburgh City Paper's editorial staff members select their favorite stories from the year. Relive A&E editor Amanda Waltz's 2023 highlights below:
click to enlarge CP Year in Review: A&E editor Amanda Waltz's favorite stories of 2023
Colin Williams
Old Trust Art Cup versus new Trust Art Cup

A tribute to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust adult sippy cup // Dec. 13. 2023

Squeaking in under the wire is this ode to the spill-safe, alcoholic beverage cups used by local theater patrons. Readers seemed to like this one.
click to enlarge CP Year in Review: A&E editor Amanda Waltz's favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
John Kowalski, Hana Jimenez, and Melissa Rogers pose for a portrait at Soergel Orchards on Oct. 22, 2023.

Polyamorous Pittsburghers discuss being out in “the most nebby town in the universe” // Nov. 1, 2023

The Instagram trolls came out of the woodwork for this one. People engaging in multiple, healthy romantic relationships that emphasize open communication and mutual respect? How awful. Stay mad, haters. 
click to enlarge CP Year in Review: A&E editor Amanda Waltz's favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Penn Forest Natural Burial Park

Penn Forest Natural Burial Park blends death and “natural causes” in a whole new way // May 17, 2023

No one likes to think about death, but Penn Forest Natural Burial Park strives to make the process easier and, frankly, more beautiful. Visiting the Verona-based green cemetery, where many are buried in ecologically friendly ways, brought a sense of peace.

From lard chips to sweet bologna, here’s a primer on the eastern Pa. foods now available in Pittsburgh // April 12, 2023

Love to share my lard-fried culture with my adopted city. If I hadn't become vegetarian, I'd still be shoveling sweet Lebanon bologna into my mouth on the reg. 
click to enlarge CP Year in Review: A&E editor Amanda Waltz's favorite stories of 2023
CP Photo: Amanda Waltz
Cricket Lounge sign facing Baum Boulevard

Dancers warned against performing at new club taking over former Cricket Lounge // March 07, 2023

This story serves as a testament to people in the sex work community watching out for one another and helping to ensure the safety of strippers. 

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Posted By on Tue, Dec 26, 2023 at 5:00 AM

click to enlarge The 10 biggest, baddest Pittsburgh City Paper stories of 2023
Photo: Courtesy of Bob Mock
Protesters at the Ice Palace

2023 was a big year for City Paper that featured some eye-poppingly big stories — and what proved to be most widely-read ran the gamut. There's nostalgia, shenanigans, off-road adventures, and of course, a solid handful of jagoffs. Below are the top 10 stories of the year that were most popular among you, our badass readers.

10. Memories of the Monroeville Ice Palace remain frozen in time 40 years on

The ghosts of a grand ice rink still linger at the Monroeville Mall in the area that now serves as its food court.

9. The real reason a law firm decided to vandalize its own billboards

It appeared tat vandals grew tired of one lawyer who recently plastered his face around the city — John Morgan, founder of personal injury giant Morgan & Morgan. At least, that's what the law firm wanted you to believe.

click to enlarge The 10 biggest, baddest Pittsburgh City Paper stories of 2023
CP Original Photo: Kaycee Orwig

8. For gaylors, Taylor Swift's Eras Tour hits different

Gaylors are a community of mostly sapphic people who believe Taylor Swift is queer. They also don't really care at all if she's queer. What's more important is that she's helped them find each other.

7. Swastika-branded billboard sparks concern and outrage in Butler County

A billboard in Butler County began displayed antisemitic symbolism and homophobic messaging. Local leaders and residents discussed ways to push back.

6. The best bars in Pittsburgh for drinking alone

In the ebb and flow of Pittsburgh's vibrant streets, these bars stand as quiet sanctuaries for those who find solace in their own company.

click to enlarge The 10 biggest, baddest Pittsburgh City Paper stories of 2023
CP Photo: Mars Johnson
Belvedere's Ultra-Dive

5. What happened to Pittsburgh’s nightclub scene? It's complicated

Many say nothing is open late anymore in Pittsburgh. Gone are the days of 24-hour diners, hedonistic nightlife, and after-hours clubs.

4. Dancers warned against performing at new club taking over former Cricket Lounge

A video alleged that the owner behind strip club Medusa's Lair had a history of sexual misconduct against women.

click to enlarge The 10 biggest, baddest Pittsburgh City Paper stories of 2023
Photo: Meg St Esprit
Frankfort Mineral Springs

3. Hike to these weird, cool, abandoned landmarks in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has no shortage of abandoned landmarks and ruins you can encounter on hikes – and some of them don’t even require you to leave the city limits.

2. Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag broke up amid rape allegations. Now, the band responds

Anti-Flag, a successful, long-time band central to the Pittsburgh punk scene, announced its break-up on July 19 following serious claims made against its lead singer, Justin Sane.

click to enlarge The 10 biggest, baddest Pittsburgh City Paper stories of 2023
Hannah Kinney-Kobre
The parking job in question

1. EXCLUSIVE: Evergreen Cafe parking menace breaks silence after 50 years of pissing off Penn Avenue motorists

Phil Bacharach, the owner of the Evergreen Cafe, likes to park his car right outside the bar on Penn Avenue. He knows you don't like it. He doesn't care.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2023 at 2:57 PM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper cleans up at the 2022 Golden Quills
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Gabriel Fontana, 81, works on shoes inside his shop, Gabriel’s Shoe Repair, in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh City Paper
 staff clinched four first place finishes during last night's 2022 Golden Quill Awards ceremony, a regional journalism competition honoring “professional and student excellence in print, broadcast, photography, videography and digital journalism in Western Pennsylvania and nearby counties in Ohio and West Virginia."
click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper cleans up at the 2022 Golden Quills
CP Illustrations: Lucy Chen

Art Director Lucy Chen won for Excellence in Journalistic Craft Achievement, Illustration – News or Feature with her illustrated recipe in the 2022 Winter Guide, "Two belly-warming meal recipes for cold weather days."

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper cleans up at the 2022 Golden Quills
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

News Editor Jamie Wiggan added to our roster of wins for Excellence in Written Journalism, Profile – Division 3 with his ever-popular profile of Downtown's last cobbler, written right as he was closing up shop for good: "A 'Pittsburgh institution' prepares to shutter after 48 years."

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper cleans up at the 2022 Golden Quills
CP Photo: Amanda Waltz
A sign for PICT Classic Theatre hangs over the entrance to WQED Studio in Oakland

Arts and entertainment editor Amanda Waltz won for Excellence in Written Journalism, Arts/Entertainment – Division 3 for her groundbreaking work investigating a culture of sexual harassment within Pittsburgh Irish Classical Theatre (PICT) in her story "Pittsburgh theater company accused of canceling show over alleged 'sexual misconduct.'"

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper cleans up at the 2022 Golden Quills
Photo: Courtesy of Janus Films
Mississippi Masala

And finally, Digital Editorial Coordinator Hannah Kinney-Kobre won for Excellence in Written Journalism, Criticism – Division 3 for her reviews of films that played in Pittsburgh in 2022, including a double feature of Dragon Inn and Goodbye, Dragon Inn, We're All Going To The World's Fair, and Mississippi Masala.

City Paper staff and collaborators were also named as finalists in multiple other categories. The full list is below:

Excellence in Journalistic Craft Achievement, Spot News Photo
Finalist: “Being a Queer Pastor Isn’t for the Faint of Heart,” Jared Wickerham

Excellence in Written Journalism, Spot/Breaking News – Division 3
Finalist:
“Local Officials, Advocates Respond to Death of Roe v. Wade,” Jamie Wiggan

Excellence in Journalistic Craft Achievement, Illustration – News or Feature

Finalist: “Cali Sober Heads East as Pittsburghers Ditch Booze for Pot,” Lucy Chen

Excellence in Written Journalism, News Feature – Division 3
Finalist: “From Steelworkers to Baristas: The New Face of Pittsburgh’s Evolving Labor Movement,” Jamie Wiggan

Excellence in Written Journalism, Public Affairs/Politics/Government – Division 3
Finalist: “County Prosecutors and Public Defenders Demand Fair Pay as Bargaining Negotiations Break Down,” Jordana Rosenfeld

Excellence in Written Journalism, Education – Division 3
Finalist: “What You Need to Know About Pennsylvania’s School Funding Trial,” Jordana Rosenfeld

Excellence in Written Journalism, Medical/Health – Division 3
Finalist:  “After Dobbs, Some Pittsburghers Opt for Sterilization as Permanent Birth Control,” Amanda Waltz

Excellence in Written Journalism, History/Culture – Division 3
Finalist: “Downtown Pittsburgh Celebrates Chinatown’s Official Recognition as Historic Landmark,” Jordana Rosenfeld

Excellence in Written Journalism, Arts/Entertainment – Division 3
Finalist:  “Former WYEP Host, Listeners Call for Station Changes After Show Cancellation,” Lisa Cunningham
Finalist: “How a New Nonprofit Is Finding Pittsburgh Film’s Future in Its Past,” Hannah Kinney-Kobre

Excellence in Written Journalism, Criticism – Division 3
Finalist: Reviews of 2022 Art Exhibits in Pittsburgh, Amanda Waltz

Excellence in Written Journalism, Columns/Blogs – Division 3
Finalist: “Black Life in Pittsburgh,” Tereneh Idia, Pittsburgh City Paper

Excellence in Written Journalism, Enterprise/Investigative – Division 3

Finalist: “Pittsburgh’s Growing Latino Community,” Jamie Wiggan, Maria Manautou-Matos, and Ladimir Garcia

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Monday, May 15, 2023

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2023 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper presents the second annual Pigeon Week
Illustration: Lucy Chen
Welcome to our second-ever Pigeon Week!

Don't remember the first one? That's okay... we guess. A short explainer: last year, we launched our daily email newsletter, City Pigeon, and a city pigeon mascot to go with it. One of the ways we decided to mark our little bird friend taking flight was by celebrating all things pigeon.

So once again, we’ll be using this week to bring you the best Pittsburgh pigeon content we can find, including a caption contest (more on that below), games, and even some pigeon fun facts from our pals at the National Aviary!

We'll also be hiding a pigeon in this week's print issue for you to find, plus unveiling new surprises all week long on our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

This year, we're asking you to put words in her mouth. Come up with the best caption for the image below, and not only will it end up in print but you'll ALSO win a grand prize that includes VIP tickets to the National Aviary's Night at the Tropics event, a Pigeon Bagels gift card, City Paper swag featuring our pigeon friend, and much more!

A few guidelines:

1. All entrants must submit an email address along with their caption, not only so that we can contact you if you win but also so we can sign you up for our daily City Pigeon newsletter if you aren't already on the list.

2. While City Paper prides itself on being Pittsburgh’s most fun publication, please keep your captions basically appropriate for CP readers of all ages.

3. And most importantly: get creative with it!

The winner will be notified on Fri., May 19. We will also reveal the winning caption then!

The winner will be notified on Fri., May 19. We will also announce the winning caption then. So what are you waiting for? Enter to win here!

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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Posted By on Tue, Jan 3, 2023 at 3:13 PM

click to enlarge Meet the Press: Digital Editorial Coordinator Hannah Kinney-Kobre
CP Illustration: Lucy Chen

Name: Hannah Kinney-Kobre
Age: 24
Pronouns: She/Her
Title: Digital Editorial Coordinator
CP Start: January 2022

Hannah Kinney-Kobre is a fast talker—a skill she’s channeled into a full-time gig as Pittsburgh City Paper’s Digital Editorial Coordinator.

Getting the words out on CP’s socials (with speed, accuracy, and a side of punchy sarcasm) has been Kinney-Kobre’s main mission since joining the team in 2022. However, she’s had all kinds of opportunities at City Paper and her role has expanded since her start – she’s a self-described “jack-of-all trades."

One of her biggest accomplishments has been revamping City Paper’s newsletter, turning it into a daily email digest named after the paper’s mascot: City Pigeon. She’s broken election results, written film reviews, run contests, and even got the chance to write a feature for this year’s fall guide.

“It’s good to work somewhere that is so connected to the city,” she says. “I feel like I know everything that’s happened in Pittsburgh this past year!”

A North Carolina native, Kinney-Kobre was raised by two “hippie-ish” parents who were around for the heyday of alt-weekly popularity. “I’ve been exposed to this type of stuff since I was a kid,” Kinney-Kobre says, acknowledging that her “cultural references are over the place.”

One example of this is her taste in books and movies. “I watch a lot of movies… anything really, but lately it’s been screwball comedies,” she says. “I collapse my hobbies into every aspect of my life.”

At Boston University, Kinney-Kobre majored in English and Film Studies before finding her way to the ‘Burgh for a different job. One click on LinkedIn and she rerouted to City Paper, where she’s been click, click, clicking ever since.

As the voice of City Paper’s social presence, Kinney-Kobre posts a handful of newsy items daily on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. (She prefers Twitter because “it’s fast.” Go figure.)

When not at work, she finds herself on the hunt for vintage clothing scores, reading or watching movies, or being terrorized by her pet cat.

Kinney-Kobre says the collaborative work environment and unique character of the Paper suits her.

“There are stories in here that other papers aren’t telling, like under-the-radar arts stuff, social justice issues,” Kinney-Kobre says. “I grew up reading alt weeklies… and there’s something even now that is just cool about being an alt-weekly. It’s not a paper of record; it has a personality."

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Thursday, December 29, 2022

Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2022 at 11:42 AM

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Hannah Kinney-Kobre reveals your favorite stories of 2022 (plus, some of her own)
CP Photo: Rayni Shiring
Steve Haines of Sound + Image
I started at Pittsburgh City Paper at the end of January and was immediately thrown into the deep end doing the social media for our Love and Sex issue. Now, 45 weeks later, 45 issues that have hopefully found their way into the recycling, and ... well, I'd like to have some sort of wisdom here but I got nothin'. All I can say is this: we've published some insightful stories, some funny ones, and some that just pissed people off. And some of them quite a few of you read!

So, without further ado, let me count down our top online stories of the year:

CP Year in Review: Hannah Kinney-Kobre reveals your favorite stories of 2022 (plus, some of her own)
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

Small Pittsburgh gay bar still stands, despite big development // June 1, 2022

This story from our Pride issue is about one of the oldest woman-owned gay bars in the city, and the threat it faces in the form of massive development occurring all around it in the Strip. My favorite detail? The fact that the bar has a “buffet table out with a crock pot stewing, plus cookies and slices of pizza for the taking; red plastic bowls of popcorn sit on the bar” in addition to nude dancers.

CP Year in Review: Hannah Kinney-Kobre reveals your favorite stories of 2022 (plus, some of her own)
Newsmax

Controversial Pittsburgh media figure Wendy Bell goes national on Newsmax // Jan. 27, 2022

Ah, Wendy … we hate to see you back in the news, but we love to see people getting into psychotic arguments about you in our Facebook comments whenever you pop back up like a jack-in-the-box with — I hate to say it — brilliantly subtle cosmetic work.

CP Year in Review: Hannah Kinney-Kobre reveals your favorite stories of 2022 (plus, some of her own)
CP Photo: Jared Murphy

Five underrated pizza places in Pittsburgh // Jan. 7, 2022

If Wendy Bell always gets attention for the wrong reasons, we know that pizza will get your attention for the right ones.

CP Year in Review: Hannah Kinney-Kobre reveals your favorite stories of 2022 (plus, some of her own)
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

Wilkinsburg officer strikes protester during demonstration against police brutality // April 16, 2022

The center of this story is a striking shot from Jared Wickerham, our staff photographer. At a protest against police brutality, he captured this moment of police brutality: an officer striking a protestor. We recently published an article with an update on the officer after a former partner filed a restraining order against him.

CP Year in Review: Hannah Kinney-Kobre reveals your favorite stories of 2022 (plus, some of her own)
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham

A “Pittsburgh institution” prepares to shutter after 48 years // Nov. 16, 2022

The story read around the city! This was by far our most popular story of the year, and for good reason: who can resist a little old Italian cobbler? News editor Jamie Wiggan had just the right touch when it came to capturing the distinctive features of a world that – next year – will no longer exist.
But you know what? Enough of your favorites! Let's talk about me. While it's hard to pick examples of my best tweets of the year, I also do a little writing, too. Here's what I'm most proud of this year:

CP Year in Review: Hannah Kinney-Kobre reveals your favorite stories of 2022 (plus, some of her own)
CP Photo: Rayni Shiring
Steve Haines of Sound + Image

How a new nonprofit is finding Pittsburgh film’s future in its past // Sept. 14, 2022

Working on this piece (my first in print here) was beyond nerve-wracking, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. The work Steven Haines and Steve Felix are doing with Sound + Image manages to be thoughtful without being remote or humorless — a tricky sweet spot to hit. I loved being shown around Haines's Munhall basement crammed with wall-to-wall film prints, something our photo intern Rayni captured beautifully. (And P.S. while you're reading this: you gotta check out their next screening on Fri., Dec. 30. They'll celebrate the end of the year with all sorts of rare semi-apocalyptic films, including one that famously got the people screening it sent to jail for obscenity in the sixties.)

CP Year in Review: Hannah Kinney-Kobre reveals your favorite stories of 2022 (plus, some of her own)
Photo: Courtesy of Justine Lechner

...the lizard that came to Gooski's // Sept. 23, 2022

I love this lizard so much, and I loved talking to his owner. What a cutie! (Stay tuned for a hopefully revamped Stay Weird in 2023.)

This tweet // Feb. 3, 2022

And last but not least: while I don't remember most of my career in posting, this one has stuck in my mind because it's one of the ones I did my very first week for the Love and Sex issue. I will probably die remembering Lisa (our editor-in-chief at the time) coming up to my desk stunned that the nice Jewish girl with the very professional writing samples dove in headfirst like this. It was a wonderful moment.

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Posted By on Thu, Dec 29, 2022 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Looking back on Jamie Wiggan's favorite stories of 2022
CP Photo: Jamie Wiggan
Chicken Guy! location in Downtown Pittsburgh
During my seven short months at City Paper, I've quoted Mark Cuban calling a local pharmacist a troll, chronicled the rise of a new labor movement in Pittsburgh, spoken with Latino entrepreneurs creating vibrant new communities in Coraopolis and Monroeville, and poked fun at Guy Fieri's new chicken joint — which actually wasn't too bad.

As an editor, I've been lucky to work with our talented staff and freelancers on a breadth of illuminating and sometimes daring work. Sometimes that can be more rewarding.

But City Paper tradition has us shamelessly promote our own favorite pieces each year, so here are my top five (in no particular order):

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Looking back on Jamie Wiggan's favorite stories of 2022
CP Photo: Rayni Shiring
Pharmacist Kyle McCormick at work in Blueberry Pharmacy
West View pharmacist says he inspired Mark Cuban’s low-cost drug venture // July 6, 2022
Most CP stories touch on either the serious or the silly. In this profile of a local pharmacy, I found myself dealing with a bit of both as I explored the murky underworld of medical drug prices. (Yes, it's the one where Cuban gets enraged.)

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Looking back on Jamie Wiggan's favorite stories of 2022
CP Photo: Nate Smallwood
Darlin Recinis holds a friend's child, Kenjy Santizo, 8 months, while watching a soccer game at Montour Junction Sports Complex in Coraopolis on July 31.
Coraopolis is becoming a community hub for Pittsburgh’s growing Latino // Aug. 10, 2022
The first of a three-part series, this collaborative project with Presente Magazine explores the challenges and triumphs of a growing number of Latinos who call Coraopolis their home.

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Looking back on Jamie Wiggan's favorite stories of 2022
CP Photo: Rayni Shiring
Maria Somma, organizing director for the United Steelworkers
From steelworkers to baristas: the new face of Pittsburgh’s evolving labor movement // Aug. 31, 2022
"Pittsburgh is a union town" is a refrain you're as likely to hear now as in the heyday of big steel. Behind that is a resurgent labor movement branching into new industries like retail, tech, higher education, and healthcare.

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Looking back on Jamie Wiggan's favorite stories of 2022
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
A “Pittsburgh institution” prepares to shutter after 48 years // Nov. 16, 2022
It was sad to report on a veteran cobbler's plans to close up shop at the end of this year. But it was a joy to watch Gabe at work and hear him reminisce on his boyhood in Italy and his long career in Pittsburgh.

click to enlarge CP Year in Review: Looking back on Jamie Wiggan's favorite stories of 2022
CP Photo: Rayni Shiring
Woods House
A fine Scottish pub serving mostly American food // Aug. 3, 2022
It probably should raise alarm bells when a news editor opts to try his hand a food writing, but that's the kind of latitude CP (and our beloved former editor Lisa Cunningham) has always afforded. In any case, as a Brit living in Pittsburgh, I had fun assessing the recreation of a Scottish pub in Hazelwood.

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