Reopening Reimagined: A photo essay of Pittsburgh slowly starting to reopen during the pandemic | Coronavirus | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Reopening Reimagined: A photo essay of Pittsburgh slowly starting to reopen during the pandemic

click to enlarge Gus Kalaris, owner of Gus & Yiayia’s food cart, serves up old-fashioned shaved ice balls with employee Matt Szymanowski in the North Side on Thu., May 21, 2020. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Gus Kalaris, owner of Gus & Yiayia’s food cart, serves up old-fashioned shaved ice balls with employee Matt Szymanowski in the North Side on Thu., May 21, 2020.
click to enlarge The March 18 cover of Pittsburgh City Paper, featuring Row House Cinema's marquee - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
The March 18 cover of Pittsburgh City Paper, featuring Row House Cinema's marquee
For the past two months, I have been photographing Pittsburgh and documenting the way COVID-19 changed life as we knew it. In March, one of our first Pittsburgh City Paper issues printed during the pandemic featured a cover with my photograph of an eerily quiet Butler Street, with "We will get through this Pittsburgh" displayed on the marquee of a temporarily closed-down Row House Cinema. During the months that followed, I have continued to carry my camera through streets that are normally filled with people, events, and activities: all silent.

With Allegheny County now settling into the "yellow phase" of the shutdown, and businesses finally beginning to reopen, I wanted to document how local shops were adapting to these trying times. On the following pages, you'll see familiar faces including businesses that have been a fixture in the city of Pittsburgh for years, like Gus and Yiayia's, who have been bringing us shaved ice balls and popcorn since 1934. And there are new people to meet too, like Abi Falcioni and her new venture, Perrico Plant Co. in Lawrenceville. These neighbors of ours are now wearing masks, and they're social distancing. But they're starting to come back, and they're starting to give me more hope that the marquee I photographed back in March just might be right.

click to enlarge Lizzie Fistel, bartender at Lorelei, serves a customer Frieseling to-go alcoholic drinks from the front door in East Liberty on Tue., May 26, 2020. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Lizzie Fistel, bartender at Lorelei, serves a customer Frieseling to-go alcoholic drinks from the front door in East Liberty on Tue., May 26, 2020.
click to enlarge Richard Parsakian, owner of Eon's Fashion Antique, poses for a portrait inside of his retail store in Shadyside on Thu., May 21, 2020. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Richard Parsakian, owner of Eon's Fashion Antique, poses for a portrait inside of his retail store in Shadyside on Thu., May 21, 2020.
click to enlarge Aliyah Shakirova, a barista at Commonplace Coffee, makes a coffee for a customer through the shop's windows on the North Side on Tue., May 26, 2020. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Aliyah Shakirova, a barista at Commonplace Coffee, makes a coffee for a customer through the shop's windows on the North Side on Tue., May 26, 2020.
click to enlarge Abi Falcioni, owner of Perrico Plant Co., hands off a plant to customer Kelly Glover for a curbside pickup in Lawrenceville on Fri., May 22, 2020. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Abi Falcioni, owner of Perrico Plant Co., hands off a plant to customer Kelly Glover for a curbside pickup in Lawrenceville on Fri., May 22, 2020.
click to enlarge Rocky Cristobal, owner of Kraynick's Bike Shop, repairs bikes outside on the sidewalk in Garfield on Thu., May 21, 2020. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Rocky Cristobal, owner of Kraynick's Bike Shop, repairs bikes outside on the sidewalk in Garfield on Thu., May 21, 2020.
click to enlarge Cara Hileman, employee of Four Winds Gallery, poses for a portrait inside the shop along Walnut Street on Fri., May 22, 2020. The store will continue to take customers on an appointment-only basis. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Cara Hileman, employee of Four Winds Gallery, poses for a portrait inside the shop along Walnut Street on Fri., May 22, 2020. The store will continue to take customers on an appointment-only basis.

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