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ISSUE 13 p



9 Winterized Workouts!



LO O K G O O D .



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Letter From The Editor At the end of the year, I tend to get a little retrospective in relation to my life and the choices I’ve made to get me here. It’s been a difficult 2016, the hardest year I’ve had to face in my adulthood, both professionally and personally, but at the end of the day, I made it through. It was never easy, but I enjoyed the process of breaking myself down to only build up a stronger vessel for the future. In this past year, what has broken you? But to the opposite, out of what broken chaos has greatness been birthed? Can you look at this year and understand that you’re a better person, not because of the easy times, but because of how you got through the difficult? The race you’re running matters not, but the stamina you keep during it is by far much more important. In this issue we’ve focused on something that drives the very essence our human spirt, perseverance. As we talked with business owners like Nikki Becker, a business owner who’s faced adversity only to grow her company larger than she could ever imagine, or Wes Lyons, a former professional athlete turned motivational speaker who teaches the value of planning and goal setting to children who may not know the best way to plan for success.

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In our feature story, we talk with Mary Burke, Executive Director of The Project to End Human Trafficking, an organization to end the adversity and pain other women feel as they’re forced into unthinkable situations that strip them of their basic human rights and out them into slavery. Determination isn’t something that we all have built in, some are environmentally stripped of it, and must walk through life not knowing what it’s like to fight for what they believe in. If you’re one of the fortunate people who have the gift of fight, absolutely use it to reach great heights, but more importantly, help others to reach their own, because our greatest asset is not what we can singularly achieve, but what we can collectively accomplish as we work together for a better world. Enjoy our holiday edition, and if you have a story of determination you would like to tell, I would love to read it.

Rodney Burrell, Editor-In-Chief 6

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Hard Ascent




Good Food Pittsburgh



The PA Spirits market continues to grow

Because comfort food is life until it stops being cold

Blogroll Heidi Balas charms with sarcasm

Home renovations without the unpleasant aftertaste

Small space solutions




Wes Lyons and his pursuit for a stronger youth culture


As the arts continues to skyrocket, we find immense talent

Evolution by Nikki

30 LOCALimpact

The Project To End Human Trafficking is worthy of all your attention 10


LOCAL Start Ups

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Now, take a sip of your beverage and let your eyes wander behind the bar. I'm willing to bet much has changed since the first time you bellied up at this establishment. More beers are born in your hometown now than ever before and are finding their way to the taps, giving you more numerous options every visit. In the same respect, spirits have experienced a spike in availability and products born in small craft distilleries throughout the state of Pennsylvania are overtaking the heavily marketed offerings you see on your TV screen in primetime. The rise of the Local Revolution has given small craft spirits operations a platform to market their products and make them more readily accessible to you. Just as craft beer provided an alternative to mass-produced macro beer, spirits made in smaller batches with intricate attention to quality, detail, and passion have done the same. Throughout Pennsylvania, we now have over 30 operating distilleries producing spirits including rye whiskey, rum, vodka, bourbon, ginever, and more. What once was a world dominated by companies with advertising dollars has rapidly shifted to entities producing craft spirits born out of love and desire to deliver an exceptional product on a smaller, local scale.





"Between the growing manufacturers in the craft beer and spirits scene, you no longer need to buy the mainstream brands," stated Christian Simmons, Owner of Pennsylvania Libations, the largest broker of PA Spirits in the state. "Local products across the great state of Pennsylvania are now providing the beverage industry with top notch libations."

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5268 Butler Street Pittsburgh, PA 15201


Thanks to Scratch for Photography on location

As consumers, our former directive was television ads. They told the story; we listened and responded with our wallets. Today, it's a different world and people are focused more on ingenuity, innovation, and success stories as opposed to million-dollar commercials with no real substance. Any libations enthusiast can learn about their product of choice on-demand and will instinctively look for a product that's close to home as long as quality isn't lacking. And when you shine the spotlight on the spirits born within our Commonwealth, each and every one of these criteria are met and then some.

"The heart and dedication coming from so many men and women across the state is such a beautiful thing," Simmons proclaimed.

"The blood, sweat, and tears it takes to create such a product should be honored and consumed with a glass held high to the people that made it." One aspect responsible for spirits experiencing a paralleled rise in pop-

ularity to craft beer is the camaraderie and partnership between both niches. Many craft breweries have implemented barrel-aging programs where portions of various beers will be placed in spirits barrels to age. This adds new levels of flavors and complexities to each beer and creates a unique product most likely never to be experienced again in that particular form again. Some distilleries have even reclaimed barrels that have been drained of aged beer and put them back to work with a newly distilled spirit. It's a circle of life that allows both markets to drastically enhance customer experiences.

"The cross-promotion between breweries and distilleries will create a whole new market within itself," Simmons said. "With the rising tides of the industry, they will all rise together." Pennsylvania spirits have arrived and many small, locally based companies are producing award-winning products worthy of taking center stage within the glass in front of you. As you sit perched on your favorite stool, strike up a conversation with your bartender and discover what spirits they're featuring from within the Pennsylvania borders. You're in for an incredible experience.

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GH o Catalan

Photography by Julie Kahlbaugh

When the weather starts getting colder in Pittsburgh, we turn to classic comfort dishes to keep us warm all winter long. Chefs and restaurants are making comfort food a cornerstone of their menus, elevating old favorites with fresh new takes. Here’s what we’ll be eating this season:

Lobster Crab Bisque at Luke Wholey’s







Smooth and decadent, Wholey’s homemade Lobster Crab Bisque is comfort in a bowl. It’s studded with chunks of lobster and fresh crab meat, and has the slightest hint of spice to give it a unique flavor. Pair it with their famous fried cod sandwich for a Strip District lunch that will warm you all over, or take a quart home to save for later.


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Buffalo Cottage Pie at The Commoner

The Commoner is known for their hearty, English-inspired dishes, and their Buffalo Cottage Pie is no exception. Made with ground buffalo meat, peas, carrots, a savory gravy, and topped with caramelized whipped potatoes, the dish is served in a cast-iron pan, and perfectly portioned for one.

The Elvis at Peanut Butter Jelly Time

Your mom never made you a sandwich quite like this. Peanut Butter Jelly Time is an entire restaurant in Bloomfield that only serves gourmet PB&Js. Stop in for a little taste of childhood and order your personal go-to, or try one of their most popular options, The Elvis. It’s stuffed with fresh bananas and peanut butter, then grilled and drizzled with honey. And it tastes as good as it sounds.

Brisket Stroganoff at Scratch Food & Beverage Troy Hill’s Scratch Food & Beverage takes a classic, familystyle comfort food dish and elevates it to new heights with their Brisket Stroganoff. Made with an 18-hour confit angus brisket, Pennsylvania mushrooms and horseradish cream, the dish is finished with creamy, delicious cheese grits. Pro tip? Add a side dish of Scratch’s homemade Halusky, made with brown butter and topped with a spaetzli goat cheese mousse, and double up on your comfort food intake.

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Meatballs at D’Anoia’s Eatery

D’Anoia’s Eatery just opened in the Strip District, and they’ve been getting rave reviews for their madefrom-scratch sandwiches, deli options, pastries and pastas. We’re partial to their beef, veal and lamb meatballs, served with a homemade red sauce. Pair them with pasta, or eat them on their own with a slice of D’Anoia’s fresh Italian bread for a tasty snack.

Mac & Cheese at Pork and Beans Creamy doesn’t even begin to describe the state of the Mac & Cheese at Richard DeShantz and Keith Fuller’s new downtown barbeque restaurant Pork and Beans. This comfort food classic is topped with buttered bread crumbs for a little crunch, but the real star of the show is the velvety, buttery cheese sauce. The portions are large enough to share, but trust us… you won’t want to. 20

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1611 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh | Next to Gaucho in the Strip


h heroes

IN THE PURSUIT OF. Written and Photographed by Rodney Burrell

It’s all about planning, according to Wesley Lyons, the founder of The Pursuit Program, an integrated mentorship program that reaches out to middle and high school students and shows them the tools to plan for success and develop goals. As we all know, reaching teenagers is a Rubik’s cube of pain that leaves even the most seasoned mini-human veterans gasping for air, but with Wes Lyons leaning on his former job as a professional athlete, the prepubescent walls seem to melt away with ease, as he brings in fellow athletes to mentor students and provide real-world direction that they may not have access to otherwise. “There are so many students who can benefit from having strong role models. The results are mind-blowing” Lyons, a towering 6’8 figure, used his personal trials and tribulations to birth his first book, The Pursuit with Patience, an autobiography detailing Lyon’s rollercoaster journey into professional football, his steadfast scrappiness that

eventually got him picked up by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the human element that paints realism and humanity onto the persona of the professional athlete. To date, the book is carried in over 40 schools across the region, and is available on Amazon. Parlaying his experience with writing, Lyons noticed a void in the school system in the way of ongoing mentorship programs for young men and women. Lyons’ first stop was his alma mater, Woodland Hills High School, as he enlisted the help of Coach George Novak, who helped him make inroads with the logistical elements partnering with schools. Three years later and The Pursuit Program is now being implemented

in ten schools across five districts, with plans for expansion across the tristate area and continued development of curriculum programs. The Pursuit Program is also being implemented at the collegiate level, starting with the University of Pittsburgh. The Pursuit Program provides students with a curriculum that has numerous activities and workbooks that help with time management, decision making, financial planning, and most importantly, goal setting. As we see a widening gap between the availability of school resources in certain socioeconomic demographics, The Pursuit Program bridges said gap, offers consistency, and hope. “Once they want to learn, then they begin to learn,” said Lyons. Recently, The Pursuit Program was implemented in Thomas Jefferson High School, a much different narrative than more impoverished areas. I asked Lyons how being in more affluent school districts affected his program’s implementation process. “Everyone can benefit from a mentor. While students might not have the same needs as a less advantaged district or area, they still can use motivation from another source. Mom and Dad can only do so much, so we offer students another resource,” said Lyons. Lyons has seen big changes in the lives of his mentees, as he’s witnessed collective grade increases, better attendance, and more than that, accountability not only from student to teacher, but student to student. 22

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“It’s really amazing what kids do to make sure they’re in line with the other kids,” said Lyons. After it’s all said and done, Wes Lyons could have taken any path with the NFL as his launching board, especially as a former Pittsburgh Steeler, one of the most powerful terms in the Pittsburghers’ dictionary. In a city that would choose Terrible Towels over electricity if given the chance, Lyons chose to follow a passion, give back to the future of our community, and enlist some of our best and brightest athletes to serve as a vehicle for change. “I also want to give professional athletes a purpose and a passion. These guys spend their whole lives competing at the highest level, and if I can give them something else to be passionate about, they can do great things,” said Lyons.


Lyons is currently working on his second book, a selfhelp title geared toward planning and goal setting.

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The word evolution can be rather cliché in a lot of settings. While we all claim to want to be evolved, many of us get caught in the same rut that millions of other people do every day. Get up, go to work, hate work, then go home, and dread getting back up for said hated work. It’s a rat race, I know. As much as we love a success story, many of us fall short because of self-doubt, bad breaks, or lack of motivation. The true nature of evolution lies within our desire to change what is into what can be. Two years ago, Nicole Becker took the leap into the entrepreneurial waters with her business, fittingly titled, Evolution by Nikki, a mobile salon and beauty business offering a wide myriad of services for people who just can’t get it together in time to make it to the salon for beauty.



Nikki Written by Enzo Knight / Photography by Julie Kahlbaugh

Becker’s services have been utilized by a wide variety of local newscasters and other professionals, cementing her work as some of the best in the area.

Becker has a degree in art and graphic design, and continues to make strides for the growth of her business. As women continue to fight to the forefront of the entrepreneurial landscape, Becker continues her journey with determination, vigor, and most importantly, beauty. Doubling as a mom to her son, Becker balances the daily demands of running a business with the demands of a grade-schooler. We had a few moments to sit down with Becker to talk about her business, things she’s learned as an entrepreneur, and of course, superheroes.


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What inspired you to start a business? I wanted to start my own business to have the flexibility to be able to spend more time with my son (Brooklyn). When I graduated from college and accepted a full-time position in my field as a graphic designer and marketing coordinator, I was working 40+ hours a week, and my son was in daycare all day everyday. After doing that and juggling taking appointments in a salon setting on the side, I decided I wanted to start my business to be able to have more flexibility for him. What are the top 3 challenges you’ve faced as a business owner? My number 1 top challenge above all challenges that I have been faced with is finding good people to work with me.


most valuable lesson, not only as a business owner but as a woman and a mother as well.



One person you wouldn’t want to be trapped in a room with for 24 hours?

My sister Taylor, I love her to death and she is my right-hand girl (she works for EBN by the way) but one of us may not come out alive if we were forced to be together for too long, lol. Favorite Superhero?

And my third biggest struggle would have to be not losing sight of why I started this company in the first place.

I don’t have a favorite Superhero but I do have a favorite Disney character and that is Officer Hopps from the movie Zootopia. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must-see. Officer Hopps is my idol because she is a BOSS BUNNY and worked her tail off to get to where she’s at and overcame so much adversity, and so many stereotypes. She may not be a superhero to some but to me she’s just on a whole different level of girl power.

The most valuable lesson you’ve learned by running a business?

5 Things That Make you an Awesome Person.

You can’t let a loss be your defeat. There are going to be ups and downs to running a business and the saying may be cliché but my dad always told me to never give up. And I’ve been faced with more adversity in my 27 years of life than some people may have been faced within a whole lifetime. But learning to grow and build from a loss instead of letting the loss be your defeat has been the

I am a really, really good fisherman and fish almost every week in the summer with my son.

Next to managing employees would be learning the best way to communicate with clients because we are mobile, we don’t have a set location YET.

I have a really annoying contagious laugh that makes everyone else laugh. I am an animal lover and have adopted or rescued my pets. My son. I love to paint and draw. | Issue 13



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For many people, the post-World War II era in Western Pennsylvania served as a traumatic and depressing time. The collapse of the local steel industry unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective) put Pittsburgh at an economic and cultural crossroads. On a national level, the decline of the steel industry resulted in a saturation of global markets, especially with the growth of low-wage producers such as China, Germany, and India. As a result from the early 1970s recession and the overall decline of manufacturing needs, eventually the industry was forced to downsize, which for Pittsburgh, decimated the local economy and plunged the city into relative uncertainty until the latter period of the twentieth century.

h heroes




AWAY Written by Ben Hamrick / Photography by Julie Kahlbaugh


One local factor in the overall decline of the Steel City industrial powerhouse was directed on a political scale, led by Mayor David Lawrence and business partner Richard Mellon. Efforts to clean pollution and produce civic revitalization drove to rebuild the Golden Triangle and attract white-collar corporate investment to diversify the stagnating economy. The “Pittsburgh Renaissance,” as it became to be known, changed the economic landscape of the city for years to come. Urban renewal projects such as the Civic Arena, creation of Point State Park, and the development of Gateway Center paved the way to a new economic age in Pittsburgh predicated on commercialism and environmentalism, though not without local backlash and controversy from not only steel industry supporters, but neighborhood dwellers as well. The unfortunate reality of the American steel industry’s situation was that steel was no longer a premier commodity for economic production.

Industries including chemicals, oil and natural gas, and real estate were lauded as major GNP moneymakers over the steel industry as early as the 1960’s. In addition, American steel mills, including those in Pittsburgh and the Mon Valley, lagged technologically behind competitors in other countries, which further hindered economic production. The reality of the emerging modern market suggested steel was no longer necessary for a considerable amount of products and machines, with many companies leaning toward cheaper

and more efficient methods of production. Most American mills functioned at a high-cost, low-reward, outdated model which was no longer sustainable by the late 1970’s. As a result, many cities and towns reliant on steel suffered, due to mill closures and declining rates of production following the boom of World War II and the 1950’s. In Pittsburgh’s case, the decline of the steel industry affected the local population significantly. Wage

Many cities and towns reliant on steel suffered, due to mill closures and declining rates of production following the boom of World War II and the 1950’s.

disputes, workers’ distrust of management, mergers/acquisitions, and industrial downsizing contributed to the inevitable collapse. Approximately 153,000 mill workers were laid off by late 1982, and the regional population declined substantially. US Steel (which still houses its headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh) became active in the energy industry and formally changed its name to USX Corporation following the acquisition of the Marathon

Oil Company. Currently, US Steel is once again focused on making steel (formed from a separation of USX and its energy components in 2002) though on a much smaller scale than previous years. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the continuation of previous “civic renaissance” movements changed the complexion of the city as a whole. Today, there are no active steelworks in the city of Pittsburgh; despite this, the city is routinely fea-

tured as a highly-cultured, low-cost place to live with many opportunities in higher education, medicine, and technology. Through many economic changes, Pittsburgh still retains its blue collar spirit as a hard-working, proud community to call home, even without much of the industry that made its moniker, “The Steel City.”

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When Dr. Mary Burke was just nine years old, she saw an act of racism and immediately asked her mom to explain it. From that young age, her interests were guided into making a difference for social issues. Burke, a full-time psychology professor at Carlow University, began working on minority issues related to mental health 14 years ago. For the past 13 years, she has been fighting the issue of .human trafficking

While looking into the minority mental health issue, Burke saw a major separation between it and human trafficking. “When I looked at the issue and saw such a gap, I just went with it and set up a small goal to learn about the issue of human trafficking,” Burke said. After conducting talks on human trafficking and receiving positive responses, she decided to take on the issue. Training and talks for survivors in the area let people reach out to her, and when she saw what a coordination gap there was with survivors, she knew progress needed to occur. In 2004, as part of the anti-slavery movement, Burke and former Carlow University graduate students founded the nonprofit organization Project to End Human Trafficking (PEHT). The organization’s mission works toward the prevention and

to ultimately eliminate trafficking of persons though raising awareness, services, capacity building and working with key stakeholders. PEHT also holds a chapter in Washington D.C. and a sister office in Mukono, Uganda. The D.C. office has been working with PEHT for the past 10 years, while Uganda is fairly recent within the past three to four years. For shared projects, PEHT works closely with the Uganda office, where Burke will visit in January. The overarching narrative of human trafficking is modern-day slavery, the fastest growing criminal industry in the world that earns traffickers 150 billion annually and enslaves some 21 million people. Victims are often beaten, raped, and psychologically tortured by traffickers in order to maintain a constant state of obedience.

demand for companionship while traveling. With the average age of trafficked sex workers at 14, it’s a haunting reminder of a world that knows no boundaries or mercy.

Mary Brown, PHD, Executive Director, Project to End Human Trafficking

The overarching narrative of human trafficking is modern-day slavery

Stings have taken place all over Western PA. And it’s not just dodgy motels, every hotel in this area has been prone to trafficking activity at some point and time, even reputable brands have fallen into the trafficking undertow. The broad reach of the internet has taken sexual trafficking to a whole new level, as suburban neighborhoods now play host to white-picket brothels. In addition to prostitution, the actual ‘transfer of goods’ happens frequently in PA because it’s a drive-through state for traffickers as they transport and distribute victims throughout the east coast. There are several organizations who

Labor trafficking makes up 68% of the industry, with 22% of the market share in sexual trafficking. And while the sex trade makes up a smaller percentage, it accounts for 99 billion dollars (66%) of the shared revenue. Each sex worker earns an estimated 100,000 annually. Hotbeds of activity in PA include construction sites, restaurants, hotels, factories, truck stops, and massage parlors. In PA, labor trafficking is common in hotels, restaurants, factories, and construction. And take it one step further to private families who hire and exploit workers for little to no pay. On average, forced labor victims stay in their roles for 18 months. Truck stops in particular are the most heavily used areas for prostitution, simply because of the nomadic nature of the trucking lifestyle and the | Issue 13


fight to combat truckers physically trafficking victims, but it’s not an easy fight to win. With millions of truckers on the roads every year, it becomes increasingly difficult to find the warning signs, but progress is being made.

tion sharing,” Burke said. “It’s been a lot of years of spreading the word, good communication with social services in Pittsburgh.” She also believes great media attention adds to survivors or bystanders to know where to turn.

In Pennsylvania, the grade “C” is the grade given to the state’s laws and legislature for the treatment and services for rescued victims of human trafficking.

Shortly after creating PEHT, the Western Pennsylvania Human Trafficking Coalition was founded. “It started when 20 Thai men were being trafficked in the area. We had to do legal services, provide clean clothes,” Burke said. “It only made

Teens are the most vulnerable demographic, as traffickers prey online and in person for young adults with the promise of consumer goods, support, and unlimited potential to make money. It could be a teen with a bad relationship with a parent, someone who’s bullied in school, or maybe they just want to buy something that they don’t have the money for. Everyone is a target. And perhaps the most numbingly morose aspect to trafficking as a whole, humans are reusable and have a very long shelf life for traffickers. Many victims in sex trade develop drug dependencies, and stay in servitude until their dying days. If they do get out, they’re often poor, broken, and destitute. Local churches often have outreach programs that provide clothing and shelter for victims of trafficking. Organizations like Living in Liberty, a Pittsburgh-based program in the North Hills that provides safe housing, counseling, and overall support for women (55% of trafficking victims) who fall victim to trafficking, gives hope to a somewhat hopeless situation. Burke and the organization work with other social services agencies in the area, especially to get the word out about the issue. “We are able to be on the same page for informa34

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“It’s been a lot of years of spreading the word, good communication with social services in Pittsburgh.” sense to have a team of people whom we could turn to when someone needs clean clothes or food.” The three primary goals for the Coalition are education, prevention, and victim and survivor service coordination. Education provides lectures locally, as well as nationally and internationally, to address all topics dealing with human trafficking. Prevention works with individuals who are at risk of being trafficking. Victim and survivor service works alongside local law enforcement in Western PA to identify the needs of the survivor. Both organizations work very closely with the FBI. “They [FBI] use ‘case’

differently than we do. An active case for them is still gathering data, bringing it forward for prosecution,” Burke said. “We look at data on a survivor, get involved in providing agency at their request.” PEHT can only provide services to people who believe are trafficking survivors, in which they are qualified to make that call. After the Trafficking Victims Protection Act was reauthorized three years ago, the country's law changed that anyone under the age of 18 involved in commercial sex act is considered a trafficking survivor. The change in the Protection Act altered the numbers and changed the vulnerability

of our citizens.” Kids who are being exploited in commercial sex are now traffic survivors,” Burke said. “That piece holds up that our citizens are not vulnerable to trafficking as citizens in other countries where the economies are unstable and political systems may be corrupt.” In the United States, the work of a coalition has the awareness, other countries may be less well-resourced. “But our area is not dissimilar from any other area in the country, or really worldwide,” Burke said. Over the past four years, human trafficking has grown in the Pittsburgh region. Today there are 36 known locations






So, then the question arises, what can we do, what can I do? It’s a loaded question, and not an easy answer. The first step is to be aware and not operate under a veil of naïve processes. Understand that trafficking happens, and is happening in this city. Many people write off crimes like these as global issues with global solutions, but it’s happening in your back yard. The second step is to know what to look for. While not an easy task, there are red flags. Extremely young workers in hotels, factories, restaurants, or other establishments. Look for odd behavior. Also, traffickers tend to brand their property in the sex trade. Strange

activity at tattoo shops can be a very clear warning sign that human property is being moved, and used. Burke’s advice on how to help the human trafficking issue are to educate yourself about the issue, learn how to pay attention in your workplace, and use media outlets to raise awareness.

Sources: Polaris Project; United Nations; Global Outlook, Center for Research on Globalism


OR REALLY WORLDWIDE such as brothels in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Research is a constant for human trafficking statistics in Pittsburgh, but PEHT is always working with a couple of survivors, anywhere from 15 to 30 people a year. There may also be more survivors working with other social agencies. A larger city such as Los Angeles is a top target for victims of trafficking because of its border entry into the country. The diverse communities among the city make it more difficult for law enforcement to find survivors. Even with the immense negative impact trafficking has on our worldwide culture and social fabric, authorities

have found it very difficult to identify and prosecute traffickers. There were only a shade over 10,000 prosecutions and 4,443 convictions in 2014, meaning that over half of the traffickers prosecuted, simply walked away. Corporately, there are federal regulations that police companies and hold them liable for not protecting victims of human trafficking, but clearly the problem still persists.

As for the future of PEHT and how to end human trafficking, Burke is concerned that changes in incoming immigration related policies may present an increased risk of being trafficked to those desperate for work. | Issue 13


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As we walk through our day, we’re mostly glued to our phones, or laser-focused on the next appointment we’re running 10-minutes late for. Life doesn’t stop, and neither do we. It’s a rare feat to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Perspectives is a movement to slow down, and look up at the hidden gems lurking above us. In this segment, we highlight architecture, specifically the tops of buildings. So many years are put into creating gorgeous structures, and as we become more inundated with emails and stupid memes of farm animals correlating to our political standings, we’re missing out on real life and becoming digitally dependent. Read print, and look up, Pittsburgh.

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b blog

holidays. By Heidi Balas I’m no Buddy the Elf, but I don’t really mind what the holiday season has become. Sure, I roll my eyes at hearing “Feliz Navidad” played repetitively and at the people who lose their minds over the Starbucks’ cup design. Of course, I think that The Great Christmas Light Fight is a total waste of electricity and that McDonald’s Egg Nog Shakes are overrated. Yes, I think that an inflatable t-rex wearing a Santa hat in the front yard and elves on the shelves are ridiculous. But despite all of that, it remains an enigma to me how and why some people cannot deal with the first world problem that is Christmahanukwanzaka. However, for those folks (especially the single ones like myself) who literally cannot handle the holidays, I have taken a few moments from my day to offer some very free advice, which is actually better than a Black Friday deal!


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First of all, there’s no need to “declare war” on any particular holiday of the season. Why not join the fray and embrace it all? You want to do an Advent calendar and play with a dreidel? Light candles in a menorah and/or a kinara? Eat a latke with a side of fruit cake? Knock on everyone’s door singing a pitchy, yet spirited rendition of “O Holy Night!” followed by Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song”? Go for it! Instead of stressing out about which holiday is being celebrated faithfully enough, try having a little fun by exploring everyone’s reason(s) for the season. I believe you’ll find that at their core, each holiday resonates similar sentiments… you know, that whole peace, love, and goodwill thing. Secondly, there’s no need to stumble over the fact that you may not have anyone with whom to stand under the mistletoe or to kiss at midnight. Of the past twenty holiday seasons, I have spent 75% of them in a relationship that was perceptibly serious enough to bring a partner home for the holidays. But of the 25% when I was unattached, I learned that there are an abundance of family and friends with whom to share my love. Two of my best NYE nights were spent at the

movies with friends popping bottles of champagne that we smuggled in our purses. One of my best Christmas Days was spent with my immediate family hiking in the mountains. Lastly, you can survive by participating in traditions that fill your heart and soul with happiness; likewise, create your own traditions too. As much as I enjoy devouring my grandmother’s traditional Carpatho-Rusyn Christmas Eve dinner, playing A Christmas Story for twenty-four hours straight (much to my mother’s chagrin), exchanging ornaments with my cousins, and strolling through Phipps Conservatory, I am open to sharing in new traditions as well. One of my favorite people just told me how he loves to eat freshly popped popcorn while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and I was all, “Sign me up!” So this holiday season, try to endure the chaos by embracing the sum of its parts (with or without a flask in hand) with the best folks you know. Remind yourself that Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes are a culinary delicacy that transcends religion and calories, kiss whomever you please (within reason), and do what makes you feel like a kid again… even if that means channeling your inner Kevin McCallister and sliding down the stairs on a sled!

- Heidi

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THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND Written by Leah George

There are plenty of reasons to love home renovations: You can create exactly what you want, increase the value of your home, protect yourself and your family by uncovering and correcting hidden safety issues, and so on. However, before you buy a home that needs major renovations, these factors MUST be considered lest you create a (literal) living nightmare.




Contrary to the unrealistic HGTV expectations, you’re not going to gut and renovate your kitchen in three days. Is it possible?  Sure.  Do you have a big construction crew to work day and night for three days straight?  Probably not.  If the renovation you’re planning to do needs to be done within a certain timeframe, be realistic, plan ahead, and have a backup plan in case the project exceeds that timeframe.  If exceeding the timeframe is not an option, consider saving yourself the heartache by hiring a contractor instead of doing it yourself.


Your living situation goes hand in hand with time because if you’re going to be living in the house during construction, you’re going to feel e-v-e-r-y day that passes before the project is completed. Trust me.  Can you live with actually using your “Pittsburgh Potty” and shower down in the 42

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basement while you renovate your primary bathroom? If you’re doing the remodel yourself, it’s entirely possible that it could take several weeks, even months, to complete projects because, well, life happens.  Make sure you have a solid plan in place to make the house as livable as possible while the project is underway OR consider temporary housing elsewhere.



As hard as you may try to plan for every cost you will incur during the renovation, there will almost inevitably be costs you forget to include when budgeting (curse you, building permit fees!). Furthermore, even the most detailed and accurate projected budget can be disrupted by “the unknown” that is hiding behind your walls.  Make sure that you have more than enough money available to cover the cost of the project plus at least a 10% cushion for incidentals.



Are you going to do it yourself or hiring a contractor? Maybe a combination of both?  Be realistic with the projects you can take on yourself versus ones that require professional help.  If you’re taking on a total gut-job that needs redone top to bottom, it’s likely there will be projects that require a pro.  Use sites like Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor to search for and read reviews on local contractors when you need one.  If there are a lot of projects you need a contractor to complete, consider reaching out to Mighty (, a local business in Pittsburgh.  They will give you a single estimate for all of your projects in one clear, written breakdown and then coordinate everything for you to eliminate the headache of juggling multiple contractors.


MARKET TRENDS If the house you’re considering renovating is in a transitioning neighborhood (think Garfield, Polish Hill, parts of the North Side, etc.) then it could totally be worth the money to renovate. Typically, renovations do not have a 100% return on investment, but if

the neighborhood property values are already increasing without you even lifting a hammer, you’re more likely to have a higher return on your investment than in ones that are already developed. (Think Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Mount Washington, etc.)

Renovating a house can have wonderful rewards as long as you’re prepared for what it will require; the decision to do it should not be made lightly. If you consider yourself to be a “DIY weekend warrior” and think you’re going to fully renovate the house you live in as a hobby, think again!  However, if you’ve considered all of the factors and you’re ready to move forward, Godspeed (and send me your before & after pictures!).

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Command hooks can work magic since you can attach them to just about anything. Utilize cabinet walls, the backs of cabinet/ pantry doors, and the backsplash area to maximize your kitchen.

SPACES! Written by Leah George

Get an apartment in the city, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. Well, it did turn out to be fun, after all... except the epic battle of wanting cool stuff versus needing space for cool stuff. A lot of Pittsburgh houses are at least a century old which typically warrants infinite charm with VERY finite closet space. Even many of the new construction apartment complexes offer limited space if you find yourself in a studio or micro sized unit. So, what do you do? First and foremost, the key to small space comfort is decluttering. When’s the last time you took a load to Goodwill of things that you haven’t used since George W. was President? A good rule of thumb is if you didn’t use it or wear it in the past 365 days, get rid of it. If you need help, there are small businesses like Simply Helpful ( you can use to declutter AND support a local business in one fell swoop. Jackpot. The second key to small space comfort is creativity. Make use of every nook and cranny and choose your furniture wisely. Utilizing the space you have most efficiently and choosing furniture that has a storage functionality and/or multiple uses will do wonders for making your space feel bigger. Check out these ideas for getting creative in your small space.


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BONUS: Try them in your bathroom with toiletries, cleaning supplies, and corded items like hair dryers and electric clippers!

Whether it be damage-free Command hooks or screw-in hooks, find ways to hang everything you can. Here are just some of the ways you can get creative with hooks: Screw a piece of ¾ inch plywood onto the back of a door and add as many hooks, racks, or magnets as your little heart desires for tools, cleaning supplies, craft supplies, etc.

Transform a small, old drawer into a pretty and functional shelf for jewelry, makeup, or other small items by adding hooks and extra drawer hardware around the sides.

Nooks & Crannies! Think under the bed storage, utilizing staircases, and secret cupboards! Here are some sneaky ways to take advantage of wasted space: A slender shelf will make good use of tiny, otherwise wasted spaces in your home.

Transform Harry Potter’s bedroom into great storage cupboards.


Hang a storage mirror on an empty wall to not only add a full length mirror to the room but also hide small items.

Choose furniture that can store things in addition to its obvious use or can wear many hats (perhaps literally if hats are your thing!) Check out these brilliant multi purpose pieces: Stackable stools are a must-have in a small space because they are compact when you don’t need them, yet versatile when you do (extra seating, impromptu coffee table, mini desk, plant stand... you name it!)

When it comes to small spaces, you definitely have options. Utilize Pinterest and other blog sites like Apartment Therapy for inspiration for your specific needs and then let your creativity run wild!

A piece like this is a double win because it has storage AND functions as a coffee table/desk combo.


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Written by Theresa Dowd

Creator of, Terri Dowd loves to inspire others to cook delicious food at home with her recipes! Terri co-hosts Between The Eats, a popular cooking TV show currently syndicated in multiple cities across the US. With a true passion for sales and marketing, Terri also spends her days as CEO of Parmesan Princess, INC developing brand marketing strategies for those looking to grow market visibility and sales!

Pittsburgh Sweet Treats

Yummyholic Yummyholic started out as fun foodie T-shirts and quickly turned into Jasmine Cho’s specialty sweets business. She calls herself the “Creative Ninja,” and creative is an understatement.  Her one of a kind experience treats include portrait cookies topped with a celebrity’s portrait like Oprah or even Star Trek characters.  Her attention to detail is incredible!  Starting out as a cookie decorator at Bella Christie’s in Aspinwall, she ended up spearheading a Kickstarter effort for the company’s food truck.  She learned the ropes of building a business and decided to take the leap by utilizing many of the various resources for new businesses in Pittsburgh such as Invest In Her, La Dorita’s commercial kitchen, and teaming up with Beverley’s Birthdays.  Jasmine’s goal is to bring smiles and communities together by hopefully opening a dessert cafe in the future. 50

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Four years ago, Jodi and Tim Brooks found themselves creating chocolate bars and dessert tables for family and friend’s life events. Their products were getting a lot of attention and the husband and wife team soon turned their new hobby into a business.  By hosting vending tables at wedding shows, they saw a chance to capitalize on the Pittsburgh wedding cooke table by turning it into the "Pittsburgh Sweet Treats” table.  The dessert bars consist of candy, baked goods, candles, and all of the decorations necessary to complement the event’s theme.  Jodi and Tim are thrilled with the support and flexibility of the La Dorita Cooks Commercial Kitchen and credit the experience as a necessary step in the company’s growth. Pittsburgh Sweet Treats is available for baked good delivery or a custom dessert bar.

Glenn's Cookies

Glenn Williams remembers making cookies every year with his children when they were little. One day while working his job, a baker stopped by and was selling cookies.  Glenn was inspired to chase his own dream and start his own business, calling it Glenn’s Cookies. Really focusing on the business in 1993/1994, Glenn has developed recipes for a variety of different types of cookies and sells traditional cookie trays.  His top seller is peanut butter, but he was intrigued by my “rum ball” request. Coming soon? We will see! Glenn is currently baking out of the commercial kitchen at La Dorita in Sharpsburg.  You can find his cooking at Katie’s Kandy Stores in downtown Pittsburgh,  Al’s Fish and Chicken in Duquesne and and distributed in Connelsville and Republic, too.  Order your holiday trays early!

Cobbler World

Terina J. Hicks vowed to never work for anyone else again after being laid off from Carnegie Mellon in 2014. Two years later she is the proud owner of Cobbler World.  A true “foodpreneur,” Terina has expanded her peach cobbler recipe she learned from her mother to a a variety of cheesecakes and pound cakes.  Terina creates her products in the commercial kitchen at the East Liberty Presbyterian Church and is hoping to have a storefront and kitchen under the same roof within the next few years. Her hard work and dedication has landed her delectable desserts on the menu at Olive or Twist downtown and in local grocery stores.  Aspiring to one day make it on Shark Tank and expand nationally, Terina is happy to serve Pittsburgh an array of delicious cobblers, pound cakes, and her signature cheesecakes- banana wafer, chocolate chip cherry, and sweet potato.  You can visit her boutique store. Order in advance for the holidays! Inventory sells fast!

Sweet Shot

Combining her love of baking and photography, Katrina McBride is taking her shot in business with “Sweet Shot.” A longtime baker, Katrina found herself baking sweets for friends and family.  It was her last year of college when Katrina realized she had a business.  Friends and family request her treats at every event. With flavors like S’mores, Cookie Dough, and Donut topped cupcakes and mini cupcakes, word is spreading fast!  Katrina’s joy comes from the look on her clients’ faces when they see and taste her creations.  While mentioning her lack of self promotion, Katrina looks forward to future growth in both baking and photography. | Issue 13


a arts

Written by Eric Boyd

In Turandot, Alexandra Loutsion

Reaches for the Stars


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One way or another, Alexandra Loutsion has wanted to reach towards something greater than herself. Eventually she chose opera. Currently performing Rusalka in Arizona, Canonsburg-native Loutsion will be returning to the Pittsburgh area this March for the role of the icy titular princess in Puccini’s final opera, Turandot.

Singing had been in Loutsion’s life as early as she could remember. Accompanied by her father, she started with her church choir at the age of four; her mother, hearing her both in the choir and around the house, had Loutsion audition for the Children’s Festival Chorus (now the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus), where she was introduced to more classical and international pieces. She would go on to join the Junior Mendelssohn choir, then run by the renowned Robert Page. As time went on, Loutsion began to further commit to her gift, yet was unable to see her singing as anything more than a hobby. “I was a big nerd,” Loutsion laughs. “I was looking at colleges for their science programs, but everywhere I went, I would ask about the music programs.” But eventually, it would be Page who tipped the scales: “He said, ‘If you don’t become an opera singer, you’re wasting your life away.’...That really tapped into something.”

So had she not decided to pursue the arts, what was the more modest goal Loutsion had in the field of science?

Get off Your Couch Multiple Choice Underground Hip Hop: R.A and Afro

“I wanted to work for NASA in some capacity.” No matter how, Loutsion is certainly reaching for the stars, especially with the forthcoming Turandot performances at the Benedum this March. In the opera, she will be playing the cold-hearted Turandot, a Chinese princess who kills any suitor that fails to answer three riddles to win her love. It’s a demanding production, both vocally and thematically— but Loutsion accepts the challenge. “This is one of those roles,” she says. “It’s iconic and people have high expectations, but my focus is to make it my own and make it sound unlike anyone else... It’s a huge challenge, more than anything else I’ve ever done.” Turandot was famously unfinished; Puccini died halfway through finishing the final act, something which has led many critics to decry the believability of the opera’s sudden happy ending. “There are flaws in the story,” Loutsion admits, “but it’s the last grand Italian opera of its era. The glamour of it has always sparked excitement for audiences.” One thing Loutsion appreciates is the fact that she’ll be far younger than many of the Sopranos that have played the princess. This is important in her attempt to tackle the story.

The August Wilson Center The Trust marches on with their Multiple Choice initiative, allowing guests to choice their event for the evening. They can attend a show, go to the after party, eat at indoor food vendors, or choose all three. On tap is a Bboy/Bgirl competition, hip-hop show featuring R.A. The Rugged Man, and A-F-R-O, and food as far as the eye can see. January 29th Show begins at 4pm

“I’m hoping to bring out the softer sides of [Princess Turandot],” Loutsion says. “I want to be true to myself and my voice. People think of Turandot as evil in some ways, but there’s a reason all of these princes want to marry her; I want to explore what makes her beautiful.”

“I feel more pressure, but it’s home. The people here started my career and I want to do well for them. This artform changed my life, even just from seeing Turandot for the first time at the Benedum, and I want to be able to do that for a kid in the audience of this production.”

Beyond the challenge of playing the role, there’s also the challenge of playing it in front of her home crowd, but she wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But is opera as exciting for Alexandra Loutsion as working for NASA?

Visit for more information Turnadot The Pittsburgh Opera, Playing at The Benedum Center What could possibly be the worst first date ever, Prince Calaf falls in love with Princess Turnadot, someone who’s not impressed with affection, and therefore the doting prince must solve three riddles to marry her. Plot twist, he dies if he gets one wrong. Sweet.

“Oh, no! I’d be in some office somewhere doing math. Yuck!”

Featuring Alexandra Loutsion as Princess Turnadot

Turandot Photography by David Bachman

Showtime: March 25- April 2 Visit Dream Girls Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Playing at The Byham Theater Get a bird’s eye view of the entertainment industry as a female trio navigates the treacherous waters of fame. A classic and soulful production that will rock, and roll. Showtime: March 9th-19th

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In my photos, I strive to capture the candid smiles and moments of relaxation that bring out your true inner beauty. I make everyday people feel like models. My work can best be described as a whimsical fairytale. I often photograph extraordinary headpieces mixed with vintagae gowns. I began working

heather TABACCHI professionally as a photographer at age 16. I was interning at Hills Studio Photography where they taught me how to run a studio but most importantly I learned that photography was something that I could transform into a career.

After high school, I began a Communications Media degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. For the four years I attended college I was the Teaching Assistant of the Photography Professor. During this time, I was also beginning to run my freelance business. I finished my degree by completing a fashion photography internship in Los Angeles, California. In June of 2015, I packed my car with my most cherished belongings and my best friend and we drove across the country. It was so inspirational to see the landscape transform from coast to coast. I grew as an individual but also watched my work transform throughout the journey. Post graduation life has been spent evolving my freelance business and focusing on when I can travel back to LA for shoots. My end goal is to move into the fashion photography field completely and to work as a private contractor photographing for various companies.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been visually oriented. My earliest memories consist of a series of images from broad events like the lunar landings, and personal moments such as mishaps in my youth. I first discovered the satisfaction of sharing my artwork in 7th grade, when I compiled a photo essay of my nephew. Those photographs were developed in the darkroom and prominently displayed in the halls of my junior high.

Photo Credit Don Henderson

mark PANZA Today I continue to capture the world around me through photography, but I use an expanded set of resources that includes digital cameras and an Apple computer. These tools allow me complete control over my artistic process. I’ve built an extensive, professional-quality studio that enables me to use technology to achieve a level of efficiency and precision that I could once have only imagined. My work continues to evolve as my subject matter changes. I have explored the mystery of the human figure, the elements, flora, and modern architecture. Recently these inspirations have become increasingly suggestive of one another, and I have used software to merge them into a highly personalized imagery. As their separate components begin to converse, new relationships are revealed, and there is an alchemical reaction that I find compelling. Finally, presentation is vital to my work. I have owned and operated a framing business for over two decades. This experience has led me to concoct novel ways of presenting my photos. I have incorporated a panel system that adds a dynamic compo56

| Issue 13

nent to composition, thus leading the viewer’s eye slowly across the image’s surface. Additionally, I have employed reverse-angled degrees and levels to add increased dimensionality to my work. These methods become cues for interpretation. Over the last few years I have shown in a variety of spaces, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Westmoreland Museum, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Hoyt Fine Art Institute. I have every intention of continuing to seek meaning and reaction through engagement with both the mundane and the magical.

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Eat, Drink, Shop LOCAL 2008-2015 Reader’s Choice 2008-2016

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Exquisitely Wicked Waffles Exq RESTAURANTE MEXICANO Gift Certificates Available!

HAPPY HOUR Mon-Fri 5-7pm | Full Service Bar • Over 50 Types of Tequila! Best Homemade Margaritas in The Burgh! Northview Plaza • North Hills • 412-366-8730 | MON-THURS 11AM-10PM • FRI-SAT 11AM • 10:30PM - SUN NOON-9PM




Pittsburgh, PA 15237 | 412-837-2031

Larger Beer Selection in the North only 10 minutes from Downtown

Front North Allegheny High School Open 8AM Daily


Serving freshly made Modern and Traditional Cuisine


We’re more than just pizza… DINE-IN - TAKE OUT - LOUNGE Wexford • 10441 Perry Highway • 724-935-4151 North Hills • 2198 Babcock Boulevard • 412-821-0600

12017 Perry Why - Wexford


stay with us late… our full menu is served daily until MIDNIGHT non-smoking


Located directly off the I-79 Wexford Exit in the Franklin Village Shopping Center 2602 Brandt School Road Wexford


Locally owned and operated since 2008

BRUNCH Sat & Sun 10am-3pm

Eat, Drink, Shop LOCAL



m music

In with the new, but bring the old. This is the motto of today’s current music listening scene. Musicians and audiophiles alike have benefitted from the digital age, helping music to be more accessible and to spread rapidly. Yet, many are rebuffing the new for what is considered to be a purer way of listening to music. The revival of vinyl records started nearly a decade ago, but since Written by Amanda Roszkowski this rebirth, Photography by Julie Kahlbaugh we’ve seen their influence become more heavily a part of modern music.

style of sound is reminiscent of growing up as a product of the 80s and 90s.


DJ’s are releasing experimental electronic music solely on wax, not to streaming services. More artists are placing emphasis on vinyl sales at their shows and record shopping has become a hobby in itself. Now, some are even going back to the era of “mixed tapes,” maybe because the scratchy and non-remastered


| Issue 13

To some, the movement towards the old may seem righteous or elitist. More so, it strongly demonstrates people’s desire to bring music listening back to its purest form. With a record, you can’t fast forward through a song, you have to listen to it all the way through. Or, in the case of a cassette, you can rewind and jump ahead, but it isn’t easy. This is the type of music that makes you work for it, and that’s why artists today and musicphiles alike have quickly adopted this trend. One can really take in the sound and feel it. The listener decides if they really like what the artist has put out, or better yet, become a dedicated fan. In the era of digital music streaming and YouTube, those who still prefer to listen fully to an artist’s tracks or see them live, demonstrate the kind of dedicated fandom artists crave. First, the listener falls in love with their music, playing

a record front to back, taking in every inch of the melody, guitar riffs, craftily combined lyrics. Then, they find out where to see them live, so they can feel the music pulsate through their veins real-time. So, where does one buy vinyl locally? Who has the most thorough collection? Where can you discover the best of Billie Holiday on the same racks you found the latest Strokes album? It is always best to listen to your fellows, your fellow music lovers that is. Others who share the same passion for music in its purest form, are able to make the best recommendations Now, it’s time for a record player.





513 GRANT AVE., MILLVALE, PA Organized like a labyrinth with records stacked every which way, you certainly can “lose yourself” in the hunt here and that’s half the fun. But, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable, so feel free to ask them where that album of lost recorded Beatles sessions is.


2136 MURRAY AVE., 2ND FLOOR Named one of Rolling Stone’s best record stores in the U.S. in 2010, Jerry’s has been a staple for music and vinyl in Pittsburgh for 33 1/3 years. If you are into vinyl, local music, or just enjoy authentic conversations with other musicphiles, you've found your Mecca.

SOUND CAT RECORDS 4526 LIBERTY AVE. If you’re new to the record scene, this is the place for you. The incredibly organized racks make it easy for even the most novice vinyl hunter to find something they want to buy. The staff are also very knowledgeable about local bands to go see and these bands heavily support the shop. | Issue 13


Eat, Drink, Shop LOCAL HOURS:

Bar Open Daily 10:00 am - 2:00 am

2525 Monroeville Boulevard Monroeville, PA 15146



Brunch Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm


HAPPY HOUR DAILY from 4pm to 6pm

zing in Speciali al Fresh Ve

with complimentary buffet

We've been part of the Monroeville community now for over 40 years, cooking up classic and Italian cuisine using only the freshest ingredients available. We've reinvented our menu to include great new tastes in addition to our family favorites.


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Open Monday - Saturday 11am - 9pm | Dine In - Take Out

Our banquet room is perfect for any occasion with 30 to 80 guests. Great for corporate meetings and family gatherings.

6277 Saltsburg Road Penn Hills, PA

412-888-9169 Visit our NEW WEBSITE…


Awa rd

www.Johnny’ • 112 Westinghouse Ave., Wilmerding • 412.824.6642

G ic


Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner 11:00 am - 11:00 pm

Eat, Drink, Shop LOCAL

3450 William Penn Highway Penn Center East • 412-829-3900

Family Friendly Hibachi, full Asian menu and the freshest handmade Sushi available

Rivertowne® beer to go!

We’re always topping ourselves!

Whether eating in or taking it out, we’ve got the pizza and the price that will satisfy.

SUN - THURS 11AM- MIDNIGHT • FRI AND SAT 11AM - 2AM 312 CENTER RD. MONROEVILLE • 412-372-819914860 | RT 30. NORTH HUNTINGDON • 412-823-2239 NORTH SHORE DRIVE PGH • 412-322-5000 | 312 CENTER RD VERONA • 412-828-3707





Order Take Out Online!

Sushi Bar Hibachi Grills Asian Menu

3813 William Penn Highway Monroeville, PA 15146 | 412.372.0400

Every Wednesday!

Full Service Bar

(weather permitting)

up to 50% OFF

• Full Variety • Indian Beer • Liquor




(Sunday & Tuesday)

4:30 - 6:30 is BACK

• Lunch Buffet • Private Parties • Super Deluxe Dinner Buffet


Only as spicy as you are!



f fitness


Winterized Workouts Written by Enzo Knight


Boxing Everyone has seen Rocky and silently fantasized about going toe-to-toe with Ivan Drago, and not being broken, but breaking down the walls of communism through an epic bloodbath of attrition. Well, it’s 2016 and Ivan Drago is pushing 60, so the boxing gym might be the best suitable

option. Burn calories at a lighting pace, about 700/hour, depending on your intensity. The perfect way to reduce stress, boost energy during the winter death months, and exacting figurative revenge on the guy who chews his food really loudly during lunch break. Ding, ding.


| Issue 13


Cross Country Skiing

The sure fire way to feel like every cardio circuit you’ve done means nothing, cross country skiing is by far one of the most grueling winter activities. The basic plot is you put on skis, and shuffle along in the snow at a blisteringly slow pace until you feel like your heart is going to jump out of your chest. It’s awesome. While the average person only burns 400-500 calories an hour, the winter elements add a level of grit. And grit, my friend, burns forever.


Trail Running If you have access to decent trails that aren’t death traps in the winter, trail running can be a fabulous test of will and endurance. Runners can burn between 650-1,500 calories in an hour, depending on your pace and weight. Remember, winter trail runners have specific shoes, make sure to research options. Do not hit the trail in your Keds and a Members Only windbreaker. Bonus tip: If you watch The Revenant beforehand, you can add fear of being mauled by a giant bear to your run and burn an extra 50-100 calories.



No, you can’t play tennis in the snow, but you can visit one of the indoor courts in Pittsburgh, like Mellon Tennis Center. Burn between 250-500 for doubles and 350-650 for singles.


Rock Climbing

While you can’t go scaling the side of route 28 in the dead of winter, there are plenty of indoor options for rock climbing. Burning an average of 670 calories/hour, indoor rock climbing can be a very comprehensive work out that also promotes dexterity, critical thinking, and composure. Outdoor rock climbing, which we do not recommend in the snow, burns around 900 calories/hour.




Freezing cold water on a small boat? No biggie. If you’ve never tried rowing, you’re missing out on a fabulous team sport with bonus fat burning benefits. The average rower burns about 300-400 calories, respective to weight and intensity. The dynamic aspect about rowing is the ability to see the city from a different perspective. Much like our perspectives piece in this issue, we’re encouraging people to view Pittsburgh from different angles. Rowing provides an elemental change outside of conventional exercise. Steel City Rowing and Three Rivers Rowing both offer winter rowing classes.

Ice Skating

Since we’re not in a Winter Olympics year, you won’t find many ‘burgh speed skaters at PPG, so now’s the perfect time to try your hand at falling down in public while strangers laugh at you. But while that’s happening, you’ll be burning about 300 calories/ hour. You get the last laugh, if you don’t break anything. Note: breaking stuff burns very little calories.



I know most people don’t want to run, let alone run while trying to dribble a ball, and then try to shoot said ball in a hoop without pulling a muscle, but did you know that playing an episode of bouncy ball can burn between 300-500 calories for only 30-minutes of humiliation? Grab a group of friends, head to your nearest gym, and let the viral videos begin.


Trampoline Parks

It’s a new wave of fitness, trampoline parks are taking the country by storm, offering brave adventurers the chance to bounce on a trampoline as if they were 15 again. The problem is, you’re not 15, you’re 35, and bouncing around like a toddler has turned into a fully-fledged sweating session. You shouldn’t have worn those white jeans. But don’t fret, you can burn roughly 600 calories while reliving the 90’s in spectacular fashion.

W W W. T H E U R B A N TA P. C O M



by the glass and bottle 216 S. HIGHL AND AVENUE

BURGER & BOURBON TUESDAYS Build your burger starting at $5 Bourbons starting at $5

LUNCH (MON/FRI) / 11-4 HAPPY HOUR (MON/FRI) / 4:30-6:30 BRUNCH (SAT) / 11:00 -2:00PM BRUNCH (SUN) / 10:00-2:00PM


412.871.3440 • 1100 S. BRADDOCK AVENUE, PITTSBURG PA 15218 LUNCH: Monday – Saturday 11:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. DINNER: Monday – Thursday 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Friday – Saturday 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Sunday – Closed - Opened for private parties

On the move? New to town, or just a new neighborhood? If you haven’t tried transit before maybe now is the time. Port Authority has convenient and frequent service to and from the urban areas of Pittsburgh. East Liberty is the heart of the East End’s transit service. Many Port Authority bus routes use the East Busway to bypass local traffic including the P1 and P3 from East Liberty’s busway station which offer quick rides to Downtown and Oakland. Various other routes have stops on Penn Ave. and serve just about anywhere in the East End of the city. Living Downtown? You CAN get anywhere from here. You can catch a bus or T to almost anywhere in Allegheny County. Groceries in the Strip District, take the 88. For all the flavor of Lawrenceville the 91 works. Nearly all of Port Authority's 100 routes travel in and out of Downtown. For more neighborhoods go to and make this town your own.

LOCALpittsburgh Issue 13  
LOCALpittsburgh Issue 13