BLOGH: City Paper's Blog |
Friday, April 3, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2020 at 9:02 AM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper's shirt available for sale on compressmerch.com
Pittsburgh City Paper's shirt available for sale on compressmerch.com
Even in times of a global pandemic, Pittsburgh City Paper still gets hate mail from conservative trolls. After working for the paper for over 20 years, I've learned to not let it bother me ... well, quite as much as it used to. But sometimes? Sometimes, someone insults you during a global freakin' pandemic when your staff is working their asses off to try to save the company, and you just wanna really stick it to them, you know? And thanks to the good folks at Pittsburgh printshop Commonwealth Press, my wish came true.

It's been a really hard time for the paper. In addition to our staff's own worries about coronavirus, we've also lost a substantial amount of our advertising revenue, so we launched a membership campaign, which is really helping us keep afloat right now. (Thank you, thank you to everyone who has signed up so far.) The cool thing is that when you become a member or make a donation, readers are allowed to list a reason. Many have dedicated in honor of Lynn Cullen, who does a daily podcast on our site. (If you haven't already, please listen; she's a freakin' legend.) But when one new member said they were donating in honor of an online troll who wrote, "No thanks, the City Paper is a woke commie rag," that's when you, dear reader, became my new favorite person.

It only took one email to Dan Rugh, the owner of Commonwealth Press, for him to say yes to turning the insult into a Woke Commie Rag shirt, which you can see in the image above. They have an entire line of COVID-19 Relief Fund merchandise in support of local businesses affected by the pandemic in their shop, including places like the Rex Theater and Piper's Pub, and we're so honored they let us join in. You can order one of our new T-shirts for $25 here: $10 from each shirt will go to City Paper, and $15 will go to their awesome printshop and staff.

Their printshop is hurting too, so it means a lot that we can help another business at the same time as helping ourselves. (They're taking orders and promise to do their best to ship them out as soon as they feel safe doing so.)

We're so lucky to share space in the city with people like them. And with you, our readers. Which reminds me — we're still here! We're still printing! You can pick up this week's issue in street boxes all over the city, Giant Eagle locations, and restaurants that offer takeout. (If you're a business who wants to receive print copies of City Paper, please email kshep@pghcitypaper.com.)

And if you don't need to go outside to get essentials this week, you can flip through the pages of our digital issue from the safety of your homes below.

Our March online readership went up over 50% since February, and as long as we're still around, we promise to keep bringing you the stories that matter most to our community. Thanks for reading. We mean it. It really means a lot.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 4:02 PM

We're trying really hard to keep ourselves laughing through these hard times whenever possible, and we figured our readers could use a laugh, too. That's why we're sharing this week's cover design, illustrated by City Paper's own Abbie Adams, as our gift to you: A downloadable print-at-home Coronavirus Is A Jagoff poster to hang in your window!


Want it as your phone background instead? Check out our Instagram account, where we'll be sharing a version in our stories for you to screencap and save to your smart phone.

We also got a kick out of asking our friends and followers what other expressions they would have put on this week's cover. Here are some of our favorites:
click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
CP illustration: Abbie Adams
click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
CP illustration: Abbie Adams
click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
CP illustration: Abbie Adams
click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
CP illustration: Abbie Adams
click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
CP illustration: Abbie Adams
click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
CP illustration: Abbie Adams

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 at 10:43 AM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper's circulation manager Jeff Engbarth at work delivering this week's issue
Pittsburgh City Paper's circulation manager Jeff Engbarth at work delivering this week's issue
We're not sure we believe it ourselves, but we got another print issue out the door this week. It's smaller than usual, but we haven't given up yet.

Last week, we launched our Pittsburgh City Paper Membership Campaign, and the support we've been getting from the community has been, as I mentioned to Mother Jones, "really pretty much the only thing keeping us going right now." 
It's true. The majority of our staff has been working from home, cranking out nonstop coronavirus coverage, and I couldn't be more proud of their work during this difficult time. It's very hard to take a break from the news when you are the news.

Every single one of us at City Paper thanks you from the bottom of our (very tired, anxiety-filled) hearts for reading.

As long as we're able, we'd really like to keep putting out a print issue. We can tell from our page views that more of you than ever are reading us online, and we promise to continue to bring you new daily coverage here for free. But, print is where we started and we really want to continue to have a way to reach everyone in our community, even those who aren't able to login to a computer every day. According to the last U.S. Census, 12.4% of Allegheny County households don't have a home computer, and 18.5% don't have a broadband internet subscription. Now that the libraries are closed, getting a printed newspaper off the street might be someone's only source of news. And we want to be able to keep bringing it to them.

This week's print issue will be available in all street boxes, as well as all regular Giant Eagle locations. Other high traffic stops include:

Shop N Save, Lawrenceville • A1 Sunoco Gas, 51st and Butler streets, Lawrenceville • La Gourmandine, Lawrenceville • Little Bangkok, Strip District • Cork Factory • West Penn Hospital • Starbucks, Liberty Ave., Bloomfield • Shur Save Market, Bloomfield • Shop N Save, Noblestown Road, Crafton • Holiday Inn Express, Greentree • Pop n Beer Warehouse, McKees Rocks • Pittsburgh International Airport, Visitor Center/Sunoco Gas Station • Cash Market, Coraopolis • Kiku Restaurant, Station Square • Hard Rock Café, Station Square • Monticello's Pizza locations in Wexford and Babcock Blvd. • Hampton Inn, McKnight Road • El Campesino, McKnight Road • Patron, Fox Chapel • Curb Side Coffee, Blawnox • Mad Mex Locations • Slice on Broadway Pizza, East Liberty, PNC Park, Carnegie, and Beechview • Shop N Save, Glenshaw • Sewickley Valley Hospital Crazy Mocha • Whole Foods, Route 19 (café area is closed but papers still accessible at this location) • Dana's Bakery, Homewood • Humane Society, Homewood and North Side • Peppi's, North Side • Modern Café, North Side • Max's Allegheny Tavern, North Side • Quick It Chicken, North Side • Sidelines, Sewickley • Roma Pizza, Sewickley • Square Café, Regent Square • D's Six Pax and Dogz, Regent Square • CoGo's, South Side • Fat Heads, South Side

If you own a take-out restaurant, or another open business who isn't on this list and would like to receive copies of Pittsburgh City Paper delivered for your customers, please email your name, business name, and address to kshep@pghcitypaper.com. (Or, if you see a location on this list that does not have papers delivered this week, we'd love to hear that too so we can keep this list accurate.)

Not leaving the house today? Flip through our digital issue!

If you don't have to leave the house today, but are privileged enough to have a home computer and internet connection and still want to flip through the pages, check out our digital issue here:


Again, we can't thank you enough for the support you've shown us this past week. Our staff still has an uphill battle to make it through this, but we're more determined than ever to still be there for you when this passes.

Know someone kicking ass during quarantine? Concerned about how a politician is handling the pandemic? Send an email with the story you think is missing from local coverage to info@pghcitypaper.com.

Are you a large company who hasn't been affected financially by the pandemic? Consider signing up for a Pittsburgh City Paper Business Membership. Packages include the ability to donate ad space to nonprofits, your business name listed as a sponsor of City Paper products, and advertorials written by our staff.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 10:47 AM

click to enlarge A barge passes under the Smithfield Street Bridge, as seen from the offices of Pittsburgh City Paper - CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM
CP photo: Lisa Cunningham
A barge passes under the Smithfield Street Bridge, as seen from the offices of Pittsburgh City Paper
By now, you may have noticed that Pittsburgh City Paper has launched a Membership Program in the wake of what has happened in the economy since the coronavirus has started affecting our side of the state. A program we were hoping to launch later this year to help build up the City Paper connection to the readers and try new projects has now become an imperative business sustaining effort.

click to enlarge 2019 Pittsburgh City Paper Golden Quill Award winners Tereneh Idia and Jared Wickerham - CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM
CP photo: Lisa Cunningham
2019 Pittsburgh City Paper Golden Quill Award winners Tereneh Idia and Jared Wickerham
In the last two days since launch, we have seen an amazing outpour of support that has quite literally brought a lot of us to tears, and the testimonials that have refueled our editorial staff’s souls while they continuously write and update on a topic that is, well, it’s just not fun and has few positive affirmations at this point. You know the anxiety you are feeling about the unknown? Imagine being a journalist having to dissect every piece of this unknown to keep us, the public, informed. Despite the gloom, they still write on and continue to show a guiding light through all of this: the survivors in our economy, the restaurants that have acted quickly to evolve (some even delivering their wine, thank you), our cultural district that is finding ways to still have arts to fill our hearts from home, our musicians giving us live performances, supporting each other and their promoters working tirelessly to reschedule and refund shows, and all of our learning institutes that are providing tours and guides to keep us sane and learning while quarantined. All of these little pieces of good in our community being highlighted by our staff to help these businesses and non-profits continue to connect with Pittsburgh giving everyone a fighting chance. With all of those stories, we continue to stay on top of real-time reporting of what is going on in Allegheny County from the health and updates standpoint giving our readers resources and helping to outweigh misinformation.

click to enlarge Pittsburgh City Paper's Cocktail Shake-off - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Pittsburgh City Paper's Cocktail Shake-off
New to the team his year, I constantly feel lucky. Lucky to stand behind the Pittsburgh City Paper brand and what it means to this community — standing behind diversity, arts and culture, real news, free information, the alternative. Lucky to work with amazing people, our unwavering editorial staff, our amazingly creative production group, and the kick ass sales and events team I manage day to day. We all take our mission to inform seriously even though we may joke quite often. We are just getting started this year and support from the community means everything so we can continue our growth as a publication, our growing presence in event space and continuing to help advertisers reach clients in a space they love to read. We are asking you to help give us the fighting chance we need.

Launching our public memberships is a great start, but if we are going to make a difference and survive, this is the part where we have to ask the businesses of Pittsburgh that support and stand behind us, to commit to us. To further our campaign, we have launched business memberships; committing to any one of these memberships is committing to the future of the Pittsburgh City Paper. As a community resource that is free both in print and digital, we want to make sure we are available to anyone no matter their background, race, views, or situation through all of Pittsburgh’s moments — the good, the bad, and the coronavirus — and money is what allows us to make that happen. We understand that resources at the moment may not be available and that’s OK; think of us and these memberships when better times come. However, if your business is in a place where it can become a supporter of the Pittsburgh City Paper and its staff and journalism, please consider one of these memberships.

To be connected to a member of our staff to discuss signing up for one of these membership levels, please email supportus@pghcitypaper.com.

$5,000 The Barge Sponsorship Level

Anytime you look over a river in Pittsburgh, you are 64% likely to see a barge creeping down the river. How do we know? Well, we happen to keep a #BargeWatch in our office and a special gong is rang every time a barge passes our windows along Smithfield Street, so trust us. The barge is an important resource, a foundation if you will, transporting important goods to their destination. They may be a small part of our world, but they make a big impact.
• Your business name will be listed as a supporter of the Pittsburgh City Paper in print and online weekly
Receive a CITY PAPER T-shirt and CITY PAPER Branded insulated mug
One Full Page ad to be donated to non-profit business or event of choice ($2,100 value)
• Early access to tickets and discounts for CITY PAPER EVENTS
Framed photo print from CITY PAPER photographer Jared Wickerham for your office
(2) VIP Tickets for Best of Pittsburgh Party ($150 value)
• Private annual event with CITY PAPER Staff including dinner and drinks

$10,000 Three Rivers Sponsorship Level

The three rivers in Pittsburgh flow into one another representing a connected city much like the City Paper bringing people together with shared interests. Like the defining rivers of the city, the Pittsburgh City Paper defines the city with coverage on arts and culture, news, viewpoints, diversity, food and drink, music, and more. It wouldn’t be Pittsburgh without its rivers, and we wouldn’t be us without special businesses like you.
Your business name & logo will be listed as a supporter of the Pittsburgh City Paper in print and online weekly
Listed on the Lynn Cullen Show once per week
Receive a CITY PAPER T-shirt and CITY PAPER Branded insulated mug
Two Full Page ads to be donated to non-profit business or event of choice ($4,200 value)
Early access to tickets and discounts for CITY PAPER EVENTS
Framed photo print from CITY PAPER photographer Jared Wickerham for your office
(4) VIP Tickets for Best of Pittsburgh Party ($300 value)
Private annual event with CITY PAPER Staff including dinner and drinks

$25,000 Pittsburgh Bridges Sponsorship Level

Pittsburgh is defined by its bridges, all 440+ throughout the city. Much like the bridges, the Pittsburgh City Paper continues to strive to bring together all walks of lives, telling stories, and updating news and events from all different parts of the city and its diverse population. A commitment to help us bridge the gap in coverage is a commitment to a stronger, more informed and diversely strong Pittsburgh.
Each week your business name will be listed as a supporter of one section in the Pittsburgh City Paper in print and online (example: First Shot is supported by YOUR COMPANY name)
Listed in Bridges Sponsor list on Lynn Cullen Show each day
Receive a CITY PAPER T-shirt and CITY PAPER Branded insulated mug
• 500 word advertorial for your business in print and online written by CP staff member
Four Full Page ads to be donated to non-profit business or event of choice ($8,400 value)
Early access to tickets and discounts for CITY PAPER EVENTS
Framed photo print from CITY PAPER photographer Jared Wickerham for your office
(10) VIP Tickets for Best of Pittsburgh Party ($750 value)
• Private annual event with CITY PAPER Staff including dinner and drinks

Membership lasts for 12 months from start date. Membership payment plans include payment in full on start date or two payments, one in the beginning and another at 6 months. We will work with your company to disperse membership items throughout the year and verbiage and placement for listing portions of the sponsorship. Please note that your support of Pittsburgh City Paper's journalism does not constitute a charitable donation and does not qualify for a tax deduction.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 12:32 PM

click to enlarge Pittsburgh artist Laura Garvin - SELF PORTRAIT
Self portrait
Pittsburgh artist Laura Garvin
This week's Animal Issue cover features an adorable illustration by Pittsburgh artist Laura Garvin. Known online as "snailberryart," Garvin is a graduate of Youngstown State University and works by day as a graphic designer and an illustrator at night. Pittsburgh City Paper caught up with the artist after her Animal Issue cover hit stands this week.
How long have you lived in Pittsburgh?
I've lived in Pittsburgh for a little over a year! I moved here in January 2019 from East Palestine, Ohio (a tiny town southeast of Youngstown).

click to enlarge Laura Garvin's illustrated Animal Issue cover
Laura Garvin's illustrated Animal Issue cover
How did you get into illustrating?
I feel like I've been illustrating my entire life — when I look back at art I made in my childhood, a lot of the themes and ideas are the same as the art I make now. I've been passionate about illustration for a long time and started taking it seriously in college. I found a magical world of illustrators on social media who share their projects and processes and decided I wanted to give it a try. I created an illustration-based Instagram account for myself as a place to share my work, and most of my illustration career success has come from that!

click to enlarge Artwork by Laura Garvin
Artwork by Laura Garvin
You are both an illustrator and graphic designer … Do you find that your illustrations end up in your graphic design work or that the two overlap in any way?
The two definitely overlap! I always try to incorporate illustration into design projects if I can. I studied graphic design at Youngstown State University and the design skills I learned there have helped me grow and improve as an illustrator.

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by little, sweet moments and connections, bright colors and things that make me feel like anything is possible — I'm a big believer in dreams and I think we can all find our rainbow connection. Anything that makes me feel sunnier and stronger inspires me to draw — and hopefully my art makes other people feel that way, too.

click to enlarge Artwork by Laura Garvin
Artwork by Laura Garvin
Where did the name snailberryart come from?
Snailberryart is a combination of three things I love: snails (my favorite animal!), my very cuddly cat Blueberry, and making art.

What is your dream job?
A dream job of mine is to author/illustrate a picture book! Kidlit is my favorite form of storytelling, I love the magic that happens when the words and pictures come together.

Where can people buy and see more of your artwork?
People can find me and my work @snailberryart on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy :)

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Posted By on Sat, Feb 1, 2020 at 10:24 PM

click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: JOSIE NORTON
CP illustration: Josie Norton

Pittsburgh City Paper is seeking the best (and worst!) tales of online dating in Pittsburgh.

Submit your true story (500 words or less) with "Swipe Right" in the subject line to lcunning@pghcitypaper.com by Wed., Feb. 5.

The five best submissions will be published in City Paper's Feb. 12 issue. All printed submissions will also win a prize.

CP's nonfiction short story contest is open to residents of Allegheny County. No anonymous stories are allowed, but names in stories may be changed to protect the innocent (or guilty).

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Posted By on Tue, Dec 31, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Editor's note: As 2019 comes to an end, I've asked Pittsburgh City Paper's editorial staff to select their five favorite stories from this year. Relive editorial designer Abbie Adams' 2019 highlights below. — Lisa Cunningham

click to enlarge CP COVER ILLUSTRATION BY SOPHIA MARIE PAPPAS
CP cover illustration by Sophia Marie Pappas
click to enlarge SKETCH BY ABBIE ADAMS
Sketch by Abbie Adams
Summer Guide // May 22, 2019
One of my favorite parts of my job is working with local artists and seeing the process from conception to the final artwork printed and on the street. I sent local illustrator Sophia Marie Pappas an initial sketch (designers use stick figures too!) of an overhead pool scene. Sophia’s delightful characters and vibrant colors really made this cover stand out and I spent quite a bit of time studying every last detail.

Pride Issue // June 5, 2019
Another one of my favorite things about creating covers are all of the collaborations that go into making them. For the Pride Issue, staff photographer Jared Wickerham shot the very cool Brittney Chantele wearing a shirt that Etna Print Circus had designed and printed just for us. Lisa and I pulled it all together in a very clean and open design.

Animal Issue // Oct. 16, 2019
For our Animal Issue, Lisa wanted to ask Milo Berezin, a local artist who does everything from printmaking to ceramics, to create a cover using little ceramic critters. Milo sculpted, glazed, and fired not one but seven alligators (in honor of the seven gators found in Pittsburgh in 2019) in less than a week and photographed them together for the cover shot. I love how one's first impression might be that they are illustrated, but upon closer inspection they are actually 3-D. I would rather stumble upon one of these out and about than the real deal too.

Wiener World // May 29, 2019
Intern Jared Murphy and I headed over to Wiener World just before lunch break the week of Ryan Deto’s story on the drama behind why the iconic sign had disappeared. After a test run on a napkin using mustard — not ketchup, for higher contrast and visibility — I lettered “We *heart* PGH” on a hot dog for the cover photo.
click to enlarge Mustard lettering by Abbie Adams - CP PHOTOS: JARED MURPHY
CP photos: Jared Murphy
Mustard lettering by Abbie Adams
We took several shots for good measure with horizontal and vertical lettering — I just turned the hot dog over and used the underside for the second shot. After seeing the squeezed-out lettering, the owner said he would hire me if my job didn’t work out.

Three Rivers Film Festival // Nov. 6, 2019
click to enlarge SKETCH BY ABBIE ADAMS
Sketch by Abbie Adams
After mulling over what the cover should be for the 37th Three Rivers Film Festival for a few days, this little popcorn character popped into my head. After I sketched it out, Lisa suggested adding the iconic points from the PPG Place building to make him more local. A little color brought him to life and I imagine a lone, greasy butter tear sliding down his flat cheek as he watches his favorite film.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Posted By on Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Editor's note: As 2019 comes to an end, I've asked Pittsburgh City Paper's editorial staff to select their five favorite stories from this year. Relive photographer Jared Wickerham's 2019 highlights below. — Lisa Cunningham
click to enlarge Benji. at Spirit - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Benji. at Spirit
Benji. returns to Pittsburgh on EarthGang tour // Oct. 23, 2019
As a photojournalist, I get to step into the lives of so many people. But it’s even more fun when I can continue following the lives and careers of those I’ve documented over and over again. Benji. is an example of that. After putting him on the cover of one of my first covers for Pittsburgh City Paper, I always stayed in touch. I genuinely love this guy's music and went to a couple shows as a fan. But when he went on tour with Earthgang, I knew I had to bring my camera and catch up with him at Spirit. Safe to say, it didn’t disappoint as I had an incredible time.

click to enlarge Alejandro Villanueva waits in the Steelers tunnel before being introduced. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Alejandro Villanueva waits in the Steelers tunnel before being introduced.
Pylon Pics: The best photo advice I ever received // Oct. 6, 2019
To be quite frank, these photos and this post grew out of frustration. Frustration that security kept moving the photographers around and telling us different rules on where we could stand for every home game. So in order to avoid that same problem and make different photos, I went into the stands during the player introductions through the Pittsburgh Steelers tunnel. I did it one other time to improve upon what I captured before, but in the 18 years Heinz Field has been here, I’ve never seen anyone do that before. Don’t be afraid to take chances.

click to enlarge SurfSUP Adventure in Oakmont - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
SurfSUP Adventure in Oakmont
Escape to the beautiful islands of Oakmont // Aug. 27, 2019
I always try and find ways to incorporate what I love into what I cover at City Paper. I also love for people to find new things within the city to do, especially if they involve the outdoors. This couldn’t have been more true with my photo essay with Ian Smith of SurfSUP Adventures while we explored the Oakmont islands on stand-up paddleboards. I highly recommend it for anyone whether you’re just visiting by yourself or looking for a great date idea.

click to enlarge Jaboukie Young-White, of Comedy Central's Daily Show, marches with the People's Pride parade. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Jaboukie Young-White, of Comedy Central's Daily Show, marches with the People's Pride parade.
People's Pride Parade // June 10, 2019
This year's People's Pride Parade was one of my highlights because it was the coming together of so many people I had the privilege of photographing, many of whom were marching for equality and having an incredible time together. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Daily Show piece that followed.

click to enlarge Horses run the track at Meadows Racetrack - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Horses run the track at Meadows Racetrack
A day at the track // May 1, 2019
Whether or not you agree with certain aspects of gambling and horse racing, both are very much a part of Americana. When you’re surrounded by so much technology and an ever-changing landscape, it’s always interesting to step into a world that has hardly changed in decades. Horse racing is one of those things and I am very grateful for the access I received for this assignment. Photographing next to these beautiful animals from a vehicle as they circled the track was so exhilarating and a memory I will never forget.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Posted By on Sun, Dec 29, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Editor's note: As 2019 comes to an end, I've asked Pittsburgh City Paper's editorial staff to select their five favorite stories from this year. Relive senior writer Ryan Deto's 2019 highlights below. — Lisa Cunningham
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
A Chinese woman lost her job at Westinghouse in Shanghai, so she flew all the way to Cranberry to ask for it back // Feb. 20, 2019
After three missed calls and two hard-to-understand voice mails, I finally picked up the phone when a Chinese woman called from Cranberry. She was protesting to get her job back at the Westinghouse headquarters, more than 7,000 miles from her home in Shanghai. It was a once-in-a-life time story. I will never forget it.

click to enlarge CP ILLUSTRATION: JOSIE NORTON
CP Illustration: Josie Norton
How busways can lead Pittsburgh into an equitable public transit future // April 10, 2019
In a region obsessed with futuristic transit fixes that never come close to materializing (hi, SkyBus and MagLev), it felt necessary to highlight Pittsburgh’s underappreciated public transit superstar: busways. They carry the most passengers in the region, and move them throughout the city the fastest. And they aren’t even close to operating at full capacity. Busways are Pittsburgh’s future.

click to enlarge CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM
CP photo: Lisa Cunningham
The origin of how Pittsburgh and furries fell in love with each other // July 6, 2019
Pittsburgh has become furry town, but how did it get there? A combination of an aggressive tourism pitch reaching out to a group of people often malign. And that same group getting over their own stereotypes about Pittsburgh to embrace the Steel City as their own. I hope the furries stay in Pittsburgh forever.

click to enlarge Pa. State Rep. Caryl Metcalfe - SCREENSHOT OF VIDEO FROM FACEBOOK
Screenshot of video from Facebook
Pa. State Rep. Caryl Metcalfe
State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe says reducing carbon dioxide emissions will kill his vegetables // Feb. 22, 2019
It’s not often a perfect headline writes itself. This one belongs in the Pittsburgh Hall of Fame.

click to enlarge Police Station Pizza cheese slices - CP PHOTO: RYAN DETO
CP photo: Ryan Deto
Police Station Pizza cheese slices
Why Pittsburghers should brag about Ohio Valley Pizza // Sept. 3, 2019
I got to write about food I love, and finally designated it for what it is, a Southwestern Pennsylvania specialty. And the story stirred up a lively conversation to boot. Not bad for some pizza with cold cheese on top.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Posted By on Sat, Dec 28, 2019 at 9:00 AM

Editor's note: As 2019 comes to an end, I've asked Pittsburgh City Paper's editorial staff to select their five favorite stories from this year. Relive senior writer Amanda Waltz's 2019 highlights below. — Lisa Cunningham
click to enlarge Josh Larkin, Toddy Tondera, and Ryan Thompson outside Goodwill Outlet Center. - CP PHOTO: AMANDA WALTZ
CP photo: Amanda Waltz
Josh Larkin, Toddy Tondera, and Ryan Thompson outside Goodwill Outlet Center.
Thrifty Podcast // Feb. 27, 2019
I’m a little obsessed with sub-cultures, so when I met Toddy Tondera from Thrifty Podcast, I jumped at the chance to experience the local hardcore thrifting scene. Apparently, I was initiated by a Goodwill outlet regular named Deb, who offered me a fashionable leather belt she found in one of the bins, something Toddy said she never does with anyone. We talk about it on the podcast.

click to enlarge Felicia Savage Friedman teaches a chair yoga class at The Kingsley Association. - CP PHOTO: JARED MURPHY
CP photo: Jared Murphy
Felicia Savage Friedman teaches a chair yoga class at The Kingsley Association.
Body positivity, inclusivity, and accessibility // July 17, 2019
I spoke to so many amazing women for this piece and felt so privileged that they trusted me to represent their respective missions. They also so perfectly put into words things I felt or thought about my own body, like “think about all the things we could be doing with our lives if we weren’t always wondering what’s wrong with us. There’s nothing wrong with us” and the idea of, as one woman puts it, people “waiting for their body to change to live their lives.”

click to enlarge Sara Innamorato pours sake at the Waterworks Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi Bar - CP PHOTO: AMANDA WALTZ
CP photo: Amanda Waltz
Sara Innamorato pours sake at the Waterworks Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi Bar
Drinking sake with a state representative // Aug. 19, 2019
This exemplifies one of the reasons I love this job so much, that I get to take one of my husband’s goofball ideas — a bar crawl in the Waterworks strip mall — and turn it into an article.

click to enlarge The Manor House and Castle in Gibsonia, Pa. - SCREENSHOT FROM BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY LISTING
Screenshot from Berkshire Hathaway listing
The Manor House and Castle in Gibsonia, Pa.
Ridiculous sprawling mansion in Gibsonia // Nov. 11, 2019
I rarely let loose enough to write snarkier pieces, but when I saw a tweet about this absolutely nutso mansion for sale in Gibsonia, inspiration struck. I banged it out in under an hour. It became one of our most-read stories of the year.

click to enlarge The Harris Theater in Downtown Pittsburgh on Mon., Nov. 25 - CP PHOTO: ABBIE ADAMS
CP photo: Abbie Adams
The Harris Theater in Downtown Pittsburgh on Mon., Nov. 25
Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media // Nov. 25, 2019
A Pittsburgh Center for Arts and Media employee called me as I was en route to the office, resulting in one of the few scoops I’ve gotten in my career as a journalist. Big breaking news like this rarely happens in the arts and cultural scene, so I was overwhelmed to be able to report on it.