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JAN. 9-16, 2018 VOLUME 28 + ISSUE 2 Editor-In-Chief LISA CUNNINGHAM Associate Publisher JUSTIN MATASE Director of Operations KEVIN SHEPHERD Managing Editor ALEX GORDON Senior Writers RYAN DETO, AMANDA WALTZ Staff Writers HANNAH LYNN, JORDAN SNOWDEN Photographer/Videographer JARED WICKERHAM Digital Media Manager JOSH OSWALD Editorial Designer ABBIE ADAMS Graphic Designers MAYA PUSKARIC, JEFF SCHRECKENGOST Marketing and Promotions Coordinator CONNOR MARSHMAN Senior Sales Representative BLAKE LEWIS Sales Representatives KAITLIN OLIVER, NICK PAGANO Office Coordinator MAGGIE WEAVER Advertising Sales Assistant TAYLOR PASQUARELLI Circulation Manager JEFF ENGBARTH Featured Contributors REGE BEHE, GAB BONESSO, LISSA BRENNAN, LYNN CULLEN, TERENEH IDIA, CRAIG MRUSEK, CHARLES ROSENBLUM, JESSIE SAGE, STEVE SUCATO Office Administrator RODNEY REGAN National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529 Publisher EAGLE MEDIA CORP.
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Yayoi Kusamaâ€™s Repetitive Vision, a popular Mattress Factory installation PHOTO: MATTRESS FACTORY
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(RE)BUILDING TRUST After a sexual harassment case rocked the Mattress Factory in September, are Pittsburgh artists ready to embrace the museum again? BY RYAN DETO // RYANDETO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
N SEPTEMBER, the North Side’s
Mattress Factory museum was rocked by several allegations of a male employee sexually harassing and assaulting his female coworkers. Even more troubling is how those involved claimed the museum’s management responded, by retaliating against critics, downplaying the severity of the allegations, and failing to take action against the accused. A National Labor Review Board case was recently closed on Jan. 3, giving the Mattress Factory workplace guidelines to follow in the aftermath of the scandal. Many in Pittsburgh, especially in the local art community, were shocked by the actions of such a revered institution. Some artists made statements on social media condemning the Mattress Factory, and vowed to stop collaborating with the museum or pull their work from the store. “I know this is a rough time for the staff, but I do not feel comfortable selling my work at the Mattress Factory right now,” wrote local artist/musician Jenn Gooch in a September Facebook post. “I hope that [former executive director Michael Olijnyk] and the leadership ﬁnd the wisdom to address the concerns of the women who have been harmed working there.” The Mattress Factory responded to the story by removing Olijnyk and replacing him with the former CEO of Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Judith O’Toole. The museum also reached a settlement with four of the employees who were allegedly harassed. But like with any serious allegations at prominent cultural institutions, rebuilding the trust of the public takes time. Some have praised the Mattress Factory’s actions post-scandal. But are local artists ready to fully embrace the museum again? Gooch, for one, is not completely
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ready, saying the scandal “hit a lot of women artists in Pittsburgh hard.” “It takes time to dismantle and rebuild the policies, leadership, and internal culture of an institution where women employees were both harmed, then retaliated against when they spoke up,” says Gooch. “I’m sure I’m not the only wary woman waiting to hear from the current staff that positive change is actually happening.”
“NO CULTURAL INSTITUTION’S LEGACY IS BIGGER THAN ITS EMPLOYEES’ RIGHTS.” Gooch has worked as a teacher, artist, and crafter for the Mattress Factory, but recognizes it wasn’t a huge loss to boycott working with the museum since her work and sales there were limited. She says the museum is “staffed with many amazing fellow artists,” which is why she believes the scandal affected local women artists so deeply. She wants to wait to see if the new workplace culture emerges post-scandal. “A new director, press releases, mandatory employee sexual harassment training – these are patches,” says Gooch. “It’s going to take time to know if there’s actually rebuilding happening.” For Gooch, there are two paths for the museum to take moving forward. She says the Mattress Factory can do the bare minimum requirements of the NLRB decision, or go beyond and become an example for other art institutions to emulate.
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The Mattress Factory store includes items from Pittsburgh artists.
New Mattress Factory director O’Toole says the museum is shooting for the latter. “The Mattress Factory has learned a lot of lessons from this experience and we intend to move forward and continue to talk about the lessons learned,” says O’Toole. “The closure of the NLRB case does not end the Mattress Factory’s work here.” O’Toole says the museum is close to adding a Human Resource ofﬁcer to its staff. She says that hiring the new employee means the museum will be more proactive in addressing workplace complaints and will no longer just reach out for external help after problems arise. She says that the Mattress Factory also wants to hold workshops for other local organizations, to help them create policies to deal with sexual harassment. “How can we go out and work with other small organizations, to help them if they are ill-equipped,” says O’Toole. “I know for a fact that a number of cultural organizations have examined their own policies because of what the Mattress Factory is going through.” O’Toole believes these kinds of rules
are necessary, even if they are contrary to a more old-school artist ethos. She says that Mattress Factory founder Barbara Luderowski regularly said that in the art world there were no rules. O’Toole believes the museum can maintain a culture of creativity, and still have rules in place to foster a safe workplace. “It doesn’t cramp an artist’s style to have those in place, it actually protects staff and artists,” says O’Toole. “It gives them peace of mind, that the organization is running with business standards. It can still have creativity and freedom and all those things.” Pittsburgh artist Matt Buchholz, who runs Alternate Histories, says these are the kind of steps that will be necessary if the art world is to truly re-engage with the Mattress Factory. He says the museum is inﬂuential, but not on the scale of the Met or the Guggenheim in New York City, which makes maintaining good personal relationships with artists all the more important. “My perception, within the art world, is it did cause some notoriety,” says Buchholz. “The art world is small and that level of ﬁne art and museum world is small.” Follow senior writer Ryan Deto on Twitter @ryandeto
He agrees with O’Toole in that museums should be workplaces that are safe and inclusive, and this will actually produce better, more impactful art. “If artists are providing these truths and beauty and educating people, how can artists do that if the places they are in aren’t holding up their end of the bargain?” says Buchholz. Some local artists who called for cutting off work with the Mattress Factory initially, like ﬁlmmaker Chris Ivey, have publicly made peace with the organization. Ivey says that many people still believe in the museum, but there clearly needed to be a big change. He hopes this spurs a cultural change citywide. Gooch says that big cultural change is possible if those in the art world and other institutions trust and listen to women, especially those brave enough to report misbehavior and harassment. “No cultural institution’s legacy is bigger than its employees’ rights,” says Gooch. “We see it in entertainment, in music, in the arts, and in business. Institutional and celebrity myths can create cults of highly toxic environments where people fear for their careers too much to rock the boat.”
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SWERVE IF YOU GOTTA BY TERENEH IDIA // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
OME OF YOU may feel that your
life is near perfection. That the path you laid out for yourself is clear, smooth, and that you are well on your way to a blissful future. Congratulations. For the rest of us, life is a car built in the year we were born. Of course it needs the occasional tweaking and tuning to stay running. A dream from childhood fades away by high school. A career interest is killed by college courses and internships. The “perfect” job becomes a nightmare, the “perfect” city transforms beyond recognition, the “perfect” person, well, you hope to never see them again. Whatever, whoever, and however the case, we need to allow the space to swerve, to change path, goals, loves, lives if necessary. I’ve had several swerves. Some include: changing from ballet shoes to business suits; information technology to marketing; and well, I won’t name any names. Lately I have noticed a kind of false sense of security among some. The belief that if you do everything right in the present, you’ll be okay forever. And what’s worse, I noticed that if people are swerving in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond, people often think they have done something wrong. It is never too early or late to swerve. Well, once you’re dead, then it is too late. Until then, swerve if you gotta swerve. My biggest swerve, so far, happened when I was 35. Sitting on the ﬂoor, heart deﬂated, searching for answers, and looking up at my most prized possessions: my books. Stacked from ﬂoor to cleaning,
musty $1 ﬂea market paperbacks on the top shelves and at the bottom, expensive, hard bound fashion, art and design books. I wailed, “I am so unhappy; What I am going to do?” I decided that I would let my books guide me. Taking inventory of all the books I owned, I decided that whatever topics showed up the most was how I would spend my next chapter of life. Fashion, art, and design beat out all other topics. So off to graduate school I went and through a fellowship I ended up in Kenya. I was 38 when I ﬁnished with my master’s degree. I went on to teach in New York City, Pittsburgh, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. But I did not go to grad school to teach, so ... swerve! That’s when I started designing and working in collaboration with women artisans from around the world. That was ﬁve years ago. It is not easy, if I did an inventory of my life or a comparison checklist (always a bad idea), my life would be in the No category: husband, kids, house. In Yes: global community of creative people; creative spirit, too long dormant, revived and very much alive; two full passports; a trunk full of camping equipment ready for my return in Olorgesailie Maasai village in Kenya; a greater understanding of the Haudenosaunee heritage of Pittsburgh; and the drive to fulﬁll even bigger life goals. This is not to say that the current No and Yes lists cannot merge into one Yes list. This is just how it has worked for me right now. And of course, if it changes? Swerve.
Follow featured contributor Tereneh Idia on Twitter @Tereneh152XX
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CONSIDER THE ORANGE BY GAB BONESSO CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
S ONE DOES, I watched Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol this past holiday. I’ve watched it annually since I was a kid, but there was one part that particularly struck me this year. I noticed how excited the Cratchit kids were to receive an orange as a gift. An orange. A single piece of fruit. Tiny Tim held it with tears in his eyes, barely able to say the word “orange” because the reality of this treat was so unimaginable. Now let’s play a game. Imagine a kid in 2019 getting an orange as a Christmas present. Can you see it? Do you see them crying, calling their parents “abusive,” and then chucking the orange at their parent’s head? Cool, that’s what I see too. Which leads me to my current existential crisis.
When did we stop valuing an orange? Why do we place value on stockings full of sugary candy or snacks that provide no nutritional value? Why do we believe that stuff makes us happier? Gift boxes full of DVDS, books, albums, toys, whatever!
I’m just worried that we are all, as a nation, trying our hardest to “keep up with the Joneses” and frankly, I think the Jones family is wack. I don’t want be a Jones! I don’t want credit card debt and a house full of stuff that literally has NO meaning or value.
I want to value an orange, dammit! An orange is awesome. One orange provides 130 percent of your vitamin C needs for the day. Oranges can help to ﬁght skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture. They also help with heart health, cancer, diabetes, and help prevent strokes. Another fun fact: Toys, video games, jewelry, and technology all depreciate in value immediately after purchase. So how do you like them apples? Speaking of apples, I’m just suggesting that instead of buying yourself or someone you love the most recent Apple phone, buy them an actual apple instead. Better yet, buy them a watermelon. It both hydrates you and can be used as a comedic prop when smashed with a sledgehammer. Orange ya glad I didn’t say “banana?” My point, dear readers, is that in the same way Mr. Justin Timberlake brought the “sexy back,” I would like to bring the orange back. Orange ya glad I didn’t say, “Orange is the new back!”? Here’s the deal: If you promise to start giving oranges as gifts, I’ll stop making orange puns.
Follow featured contributor Gab Bonesso on Twitter @gabbonesso
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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
CAFÉ DU JOUR BY MAGGIE WEAVER MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
OTHING MAKES sense at Café
Du Jour. Ornate writing on a window lined by string lights conveys a stuffy bistro, but they actually lead to cute, quirky café. I expected classic dishes on the menu. Instead, plates take twists and turns with Asian, Creole, and Italian ﬂavors. Café Du Jour stays true to its meaning (“of the day”) with a mismatched, dynamic menu. Planted around 11th street and Carson, Café Du Jour has been part of the South Side since 2001. The cafe hides in the shadow of Jack’s Bar, blending in with drab buildings, not really standing out. Smoke billowed out the front door when I ﬁrst entered Café Du Jour. A char fog ﬁlled the snug restaurant. Three staffers dipped in and out of the back of house, though the kitchen is actually no bigger than a narrow hallway. The kitchen felt cinematic, with the haze producing a ﬁlm-style vintage ﬁlter. It had a retro feel to it, with pots and pans strewn around a stove that amounted to little more than a raised hotplate. Tables nestle in corners of the homey dining room, close enough for diners to brush elbows on a busy night. Walls are plastered with pictures of the city’s history, featuring a life-size Pittsburgh Pirate smiling from ear to ear. Empty wine bottles teeter above, stacked so high one wrong move would send them all tumbling. A backdoor opens to a spacious patio for leisurely summer meals. Chefs at Café Du Jour provide a small, but ﬁercely ﬂavored selection. Options branch out in all directions, with a ﬁvespice Korean BBQ sandwich sitting on the same menu as a shrimp po’ boy.
CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
Clockwise from bottom: spicy curried potato and shrimp soup, lamb shoulder sandwich on a baguette, pressed sandwich with burrata, roasted mushroom, tomato, and arugula
I crafted a meal out of a curried soup of potato and shrimp, herbed potato pancakes topped with pork loin, brie, apple butter, and arugula, and the spinach and pecorino dip, served with a mini baguette, marinated tomatoes, and fresh basil. I cozied up to watch and listen as the kitchen prepared my meal. The soup arrived ﬁrst, garnished beautifully with crushed hazelnuts and radish. It was as smooth as a soup could be, and the thin potato broth was just heavy enough to support a mix of
CAFÉ DU JOUR 1107 E. Carson St., South Side. Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; 5-10 p.m. 412-488-9695 or cafedujourpgh.com
vegetables and spices. Fresh citrus hit with cilantro, followed by a warm spice from coriander seed, and ﬁnished with a curry burn. Next came a steaming, sizzling miniature casserole dish. Color laced through the spinach dip, pecorino spotlighting
Eating with the restaurant’s regulars is akin to eating in my family kitchen. A regular yells conversation to the chefs, who scream answers back. It’s oddly comforting to witness such a loud display of friendship.
There’s no shortage of BYOB restaurants in the ‘Burgh and Café Du Jour falls right in line with the rest. Pick out the perfect bottle of wine or tote a six-pack to the table for the small price of $2 per glass.
Forget personal pan pizzas! Café Du Jour serves an entire mini baguette with its spinach dip. It is sliced, seasoned, and freshly toasted. What more could you ask for?
dark ﬂecks of spinach and bright red tomatoes. Flavors were balanced, the blatantly salty pecorino adding oomph to cooked spinach. Cold tomatoes burst with each bite, breaking down the rich, fatty appetizer. The potato pancakes followed. At the base of each potato pillar sat a massive pancake, thick enough to moonlight as a hockey puck. It was drowned with an unfortunately large spoonful of the sweet cinnamon-laden apple butter, a clever but overdone ﬁnish. Dessert was a blueberry croissant pudding ﬁnished with white chocolate sauce and a whipped crème fraiche; It stole the show. The top cracked like a crème brulée. Blueberries spilled out of the molten center, collapsing under the sugary crust. All I needed was a spatula to wipe the plate clean. The menu at Café Du Jour zig-zags around a culinary map and refuses to be categorized, a little manic and totally unpredictable. It may be “of the day,” but one thing will never change. Every day, Café Du Jour is seriously delicious.
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Three Pennsylvania-made rye whiskeys: Wigle, Liberty Pole, and Dad’s Hat
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.ON THE ROCKS.
ITTSBURGHERS love supporting their own and honoring the region’s history. It’s why we still eat church pierogis, still call the former Macy’s building Kauffman’s, and still pretend I.C. Light tastes good. But there’s one local product that deserves some more of that homegrown love: Rye whiskey. Western Pennsylvania was the hub of rye whiskey during its heyday at the turn of the 19th century. In 1808, Allegheny County produced one barrel of rye for every two people living in America. Rye, which was commonly referred to as Monongahela Rye, was such a commodity that when George Washington tried to tax it, whiskey producers revolted and started the Whiskey Rebellion. “Rye is an American O.G.,” says Shipwreck Asunder, a bartender and whiskey specialist at Butcher and Rye. After prohibition, rye was basically eliminated. And when distilleries returned, bourbon became top dog. Bourbon and rye are almost the same spirits, except bourbon is distilled from 51 percent corn mash and rye from 51 percent rye grain. Asunder thinks rye deserves additional affection, especially from Pittsburghers. “It’s supporting the local economy, it should be on the top of people’s lists,” says Asunder. All three Pennsylvania ryes offer the classic rye ﬂavors: caramel sweetness up front, peppery heat in the back, a kick out the door. None should be missed.
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Pittsburgh-native Wigle is the most approachable and balanced of the three main Pennsylvania rye whiskeys. Its ﬂagship rye is aged for at least two years and makes for easy sipping. At 80 proof, it’s a great introduction to rye whiskey. But don’t take its mildness for lack of ﬂavor. Wigle’s rye still shines with caramel, almost honey-like ﬂavor and ﬁnishes with a subtle peppery kick on the way down.
Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Hailing from Eastern Pennsylvania, Dad’s Hat has the most intense ﬂavors of the three. The 90-proof rye supplies a strong punch of caramel-maple ﬂavor upfront. That wallop stays with you until getting a powerful kick of black-pepper spice in the back. Dad’s Hat is for the whiskey drinkers who enjoy those involuntary neck-andface stretches that come with a strongwilled spirit.
Liberty Pole Rye Whiskey The newest rye joining the Pennsylvania family, Washington, Pa.’s Liberty Pole is the sweetest of the three. It carries a strong aroma of maple and provides sweet notes of cherry and grape when sipped. It’s the most potent of the three at 92 proof. Overall, it provides a pretty distinct rye experience with its unique fruit-like sweetness.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
PHOTO: THE ENRICO BISCOTTI COMPANY
The first antipasto course
BREAKING BREAD BY MAGGIE WEAVER // MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
HEN THE Enrico Biscotti Com-
pany started its First Friday Dinners 20 years ago, the owners learned to listen for laughter. The series — family-style gatherings in which 30 or so strangers dine elbowto-elbow on communal seating — can start off a little awkward, with guests unsure how to interact with their neighbors. But as soon as the staff hears that ﬁrst bout of laughter from the dining room, they know it’ll be a good night. First Friday Dinners started six years after the bakery’s opening in 1993. Owner Larry Lagattuta and his head chef at the time, Kate Romane, dreamt up the idea to ﬁll a growing rift between eating and community. “People would come and reminisce about these Pittsburgh dinners that were just chaos, with people talking and laughing,” recalled Lagattuta. “So we thought, what the hell? We can do this.” When café doors open to a family of strangers on a ﬁrst Friday, Enrico’s rustic garage is outﬁtted with one, long table that stretches the length of the restaurant. Diners are seated snugly next to one other, bumping knees and brushing elbows. The meal starts with antipasto, featuring brick-oven baked bread followed by salad, pasta, an entree, and ﬁnishing with dessert. Spreads of cheeses, meats, and roasted veggies, bowls of pasta, and bread move around the table. It’s a dinner to make grandmothers green with envy.
Courses are always a surprise. Lagattuta keeps things loosely traditional, wary of repetition. Constant change keeps it exciting and, as Lagattuta points out, duplicating menus would cheat both himself and diners. The experience is two steps out of anyone’s comfort zone, something Lagattuta surmises is the biggest draw. No menus are placed on the tables or anywhere in the restaurant.
THE ENRICO BISCOTTI COMPANY
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“You don’t know who you’re going to sit next to, but you’re gonna sit next to somebody,” he says. “You don’t know what you’re going to eat, but it’s going to be ﬁne. You know where you’re going, but this is a different journey.” By the end of the night, strangers walk out friends. It’s an unusual way to meet an unexpected neighbor, exclusive to Enrico’s. “In Pittsburgh, that’s all that we do — eat together,” says Lagattuta. “Everyone says we’re a friendly city, and we are. Everyone says we care about each other and we do. Eating together is just one of those things.” February’s First Friday is all booked up, but you can register for future dinners at enricobiscotti.com or by calling 412-281-2602.
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Taiwanese, Japanese & Chinese Specialties
THIS WEEK’S FEATURED RESTAURANT
LEON’S CARIBBEAN 823 E WARRINGTON AVE., ALLENTOWN 412-431-5366 / LEONSCARIBBEAN.COM Family owned and operated since December 2014. Here at Leon’s, we take pride in our recipes and quality of dishes. Simple menu with all the traditional dishes! Leon Sr. has been a chef for 30+ years, mastering the taste everyone has grown to love and can only get at Leon’s.
THE ALLEGHENY WINE MIXER
5326 BUTLER ST., LAWRENCEVILLE 412-252-2337 / ALLEGHENYWINEMIXER.COM Wine bar and tap room in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. Offering an eclectic list of wine by the glass or bottle, local beer, craft cocktails, cheese and cured meats, good times and bad art.
330 N. SHORE DRIVE, NORTH SIDE (412-500-7530) AND 244 W BRIDGE ST., HOMESTEAD (412-462-6400) / BARLOUIE.COM We’re your neighborhood bar, where you can kick back and be the real you, with the help of an amazing staff, great music, handcrafted martinis and cocktails, local and regional drafts, incredible wines and a huge selection of bar bites, snacks, burgers, flatbreads and sandwiches. Come in after work, before the game, late night at night, or any time you need a quick bite or a night out with friends. Bar Louie. Less obligations. More libations.
BROAD STREET BISTRO
1025 BROAD ST., NORTH VERSAILLES 412-829-2911 / BROADSTBISTRO.COM Broad Street Bistro is a neighborhood restaurant offering daily specials. ALL food is prepared fresh and made to order. It is family friendly with a special kids’ menu.
THE CAFÉ CARNEGIE
4400 FORBES AVE., OAKLAND 412-622-3225 / THECAFECARNEGIE.COM An excellent dining experience from James Beard Semi-Finalist, Sonja Finn featuring a locally-focused menu, full service dining, and espresso and wine bar.
1125 PENN AVE., STRIP DISTRICT 412-586-4850 / COLONYCAFEPGH.COM Whether stopping in for a weekday lunch, an afternoon latte or after-work drinks with friends, Colony Cafe offers delicious housemade bistro fare in a stylish Downtown space.
1910 NEW TEXAS ROAD, MONROEVILLE/PLUM 724-519-7304 / EIGHTYACRESKITCHEN.COM Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar offers a refined,
modern approach to contemporary American cuisine with a strong emphasis on local, farm-to-table products.
FULL PINT WILD SIDE TAP ROOM
5310 BUTLER ST., LAWRENCEVILLE 412-408-3083 / FULLPINTBREWING.COM Full Pint Wild Side Taproom is Full Pint Brewing company’s Lawrenceville location and features a full service bar, huge sandwiches and half-priced happy hour. Open 4 p.m.-midnight, Mon.-Fri., and noon– midnight on Saturday. Check us out on Facebook for upcoming shows and events.
HARTWOOD RESTAURANT AND WHISPER’S PUB
3400 HARTS RUN ROAD, GLENSHAW 412-767-3500 / HARTWOODRESTAURANT.COM A hidden treasure in the Pittsburgh suburbs. Outdoor dining, full bar, eclectic atmosphere. Casual elegance at its finest. Daily specials. Open Tuesday through Saturday. Hope to see you soon!
1400 SMALLMAN ST., STRIP DISTRICT 412-552-0150 / LIDIAS-PITTSBURGH.COM Lidia’s Pittsburgh is a warm Italian restaurant offering signature classics from Lidia Bastianich. Featuring brunch, lunch and dinner menus as well as private dining.
MERCURIO’S ARTISAN GELATO AND NEAPOLITAN PIZZA 5523 WALNUT ST., SHADYSIDE 412-621-6220 / MERCURIOSGELATOPIZZA.COM Authentic Neapolitan pizza, artisan gelato, and an inviting atmosphere are just a small part of what helps create your experience at Mercurio’s Gelato and Pizza in Pittsburgh. It’s not your standard pizza shop; in fact, this isn’t a “pizza shop” at all.
PAD THAI NOODLE
4770 LIBERTY AVE, BLOOMFIELD 412-904-1640 / PADTHAINOODLEPITTSBURGH.COM This new café in Bloomfield features Thai and Burmese specialties. Standards
AS! UBBLE TE B & R A B FULL OUR: PM HAPPYRH AY 4-6 ID -F MONDAY
like Pad Thai and Coconut Curry Noodle are sure to please. But don’t miss out on the Ono Kyowsway featuring egg noodle sautéed with coconut chicken, cilantro and curry sauce.
201 SOUTH HILLS VILLAGE MALL, BETHEL PARK 412-835-8888 / SAGAHIBACHI.COM Saga in the South Hills is now under new management. Stop in for exciting table-side preparations and the famous shrimp sauce. Or sit in the sushi-bar area for the freshest sushi experience, with both traditional preparations and contemporary variations.
1124 Freeport Rd, Fox Chapel
242 51ST ST., LAWRENCEVILLE 412-586-4441 / SPIRITPGH.COM/SLICEISLAND Every day we bake fresh focaccia from unbleached flour, pull our own mozzarella, and curdle our own ricotta to put on your pizza with fresh toppings from the best local farms, butchers, and purveyors.
1211 BRADDOCK AVE., BRADDOCK 412-271-1022 / SUPERIORMOTORS15104.COM Thoughtfully prepared food, drawing inspiration from Braddock, its people, its history and its perseverance. The cuisine best represents the eclectic style which has become a trademark of Chef Kevin Sousa. Fine dining in an old Chevy dealership with an eclectic, farm-to-table menu and a community focus.
TOTOPO MEXICAN KITCHEN AND BAR
660 WASHINGTON ROAD, MT. LEBANON 412-668-0773 / TOTOPOMEX.COM Totopo is a vibrant celebration of the culture and cuisine of Mexico, with a focus on the diverse foods served in the country. From Oaxacan tamales enveloped in banana leaves to the savory fish tacos of Baja California, you will experience the authentic flavor and freshness in every bite. We also feature a cocktail menu of tequila-based drinks to pair the perfect margarita with your meal.
Look for this symbol for Sustainable Pittsburgh Restaurants, committed to building vibrant communities and supporting environmentally responsible practices. Love Pittsburgh. Eat Sustainably. www.EatSustainably.org
The best gifts are edible. 1910 New Texas Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15239 724.519.7304 EightyAcresKitchen.com PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
CONFIDENCE IS KEY BY Y JORDAN SNOWDEN SNO SN OWDEN EN // JS JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM JSNOWDEN EN@PG @PGHCI HCITYPAPER.C R COM CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
Scratchy Blanketâ€™s Chloe Hodgkins and Shannon Keating, with their cat Philip CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
ITH A LITTLE conﬁdence,
anything is possible, even creating a band known for singing about cats. Just ask Shannon Keating and Chloe Hodgkins, the married duo who perform as Scratchy Blanket. The indie emo-pop group came to be on a whim. A friend of Keating and Hodgkins’ was looking for acts to perform at a new festival in Lawrenceville, and the couple agreed to perform. “Then it was like three days until the event, and we were like, ‘Oh we never wrote any songs, we don’t have a real band’,” says Keating. “So, we sat down in our living room with the goal of writing three or four songs.” The resulting tracks were about each of their four cats. Keating says, “It was like this joke, and people really enjoyed them.” So, they decided to continue performing. Luckily, Hodgkins had previously been in bands in Pittsburgh, and the pair was already part of the local music community. Finding gigs was an easy task. For Keating, the hard part was believing in herself. “I tend to be a little less conﬁdent. As far as writing and understanding it, music is not really second nature to me,” says Keating. “I’ve always been a singer, but I always had a conductor or other members of a choir to back me up. I went from that to being the only voice really on stage.” Scratchy Blanket performed as a duo for its ﬁrst year, with Keating singing lead and Hodgkins on backup vocals and guitar. As they played more shows, they started imagining what would be possible with a rounded-out lineup. “We felt it would be a missed opportunity if we didn’t try to play with other people,” says Keating. The Scratchy Blanket founders asked some friends to join them, which ﬁlled out the band into the ﬁve-member group seen playing around town: Zach Dowdell on drums, Laura Lee Burkhardt on bass/vocals, and Harrison Thurman on guitar. But the added pieces didn’t fully help
Keating’s self-image. “For the ﬁrst year or two in the band, I was really not conﬁdent at all,” says Keating. “I felt like my music sucked, and I just had to shake that. How could I say that when so many people in the crowd are like nodding their heads to the music, or my friends are all screaming the words, dancing?” Keating realized that although she was ill at ease, stepping out of her comfort zone was slowly bolstering her self-worth, even if it felt awkward – like a scratchy blanket. “A blanket keeps you warm, and a scratchy blanket is obviously going to be uncomfortable, but at least it keeps you warm. That name is kind of just the message that not everything that is good for you is going to be really comfortable.” Since she hadn’t played in a band until later in life, Keating didn’t have the experience of some of her bandmates. But that’s never taken away from Scratchy Blanket’s musical effectiveness.
SCRATCHY BLANKET WITH THE ACT OF, CELLAR, BFF
Sat., Jan. 11. 7 p.m. The Mr. Roboto Project, 5106 Penn Ave., Bloomfield. $7. therobotoproject.com
“Some people have this attitude that you have to be a Music God in order to be in a band,” says Keating. “But if you only know three chords on a guitar, you can go on and play amazing music that people are going to love. It doesn’t take being classically trained or this expensive equipment to be good at something. It’s having conﬁdence and being honest with how you feel.” On rare occasions, like their Jan. 19 show at The Mr. Roboto Project, Hodgkins and Keating will play a show with just the two of them. “Sometimes it can be nice to go back to our roots in that way, but I deﬁnitely feel more conﬁdent having the whole band. It just adds so much to the whole experience of what we sound like.”
Follow staff writer Jordan Snowden on Twitter @snowden_jordan
CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
MR. ROBOTO PROJECT BY JORDAN SNOWDEN // JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
EADING TO A venue for the ﬁrst time can be anxiety-inducing or at the very least cause inconveniences. Where’s will call? Is there parking? Will you have to hide your expensive bag behind a tree because it’s too big to pass security? Pittsburgh City Paper wants to help make attending shows as easy as possible. So, welcome to our venue guide, where you can ﬁnd out what to wear, where to smoke, and everything in between. CP will detail the ins and outs of venues in Pittsburgh, so you can fully enjoy the experience and not worry about little nuisances like not knowing the bar was cash-only. For our second iteration, we visited The Mr. Roboto Project. The DIY venue prides itself on being a safe space and is completely run by a board of seven volunteers. Most shows at Roboto fall under the punk, indie, bedroom pop, and rock categories.
FOOD + BEVERAGE:
• This is a DRY venue. No alcohol is allowed inside. • Water and LaCroix ($1, cash only) are available for purchase from a small mini fridge to the right of the stage. • Attendees can bring food and non-alcoholic beverages into the venue. • Mr. Roboto is near several restaurants that work with most dietary restrictions. + Spak Brothers – small pizzeria with hoagies, wings, many vegetarian and vegan options, and gluten-free pizza + People’s Indian Restaurant – all you can eat Indian food + Friendship Perk & Brew – casual dining serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner + Taquitos – Taco food truck (not open all year-round) + Bantha Tea Bar – cute and cozy tea spot + Artisan Café – craft coffee and vegan snacks
• Non-smoking venue, including vaping • Smoking is allowed outside, and reentry is permitted. Hand is stamped upon entry
BATHROOMS: • Two bathrooms, both gender neutral and handicap accessible • Standing at the entrance, both restrooms are located down a hall on the right (next to where tickets are purchased)
AGE RESTRICTIONS: • All ages venue
ROOM • Capacity: 200 people • Seating/Standing room depends on the show • Most shows are standing room, but chairs and benches are lining the walls around the venue
SECURITY • No dress code • No bag or security check. Goes by the honor policy of “Don’t be a shithead.”
MORE VENUE TIPS ONLINE AT PGHCITYPAPER.COM PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
CP PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS
REMAKING FILMMAKERS BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
FTER 20 YEARS in operation, the
Pittsburgh Filmmakers building was purchased by Carnegie Mellon University in December for $3.75 million. While the university has no immediate plans to renovate or move into the property, changes are coming, including the cessation of the public programming that played a signiﬁcant
role at Filmmakers during its tenure. Under the new ownership, the school plans for its College of Fine Arts to use the facility for collaborative, digital media initiatives. Pam Wigley, assistant dean for communications at the College of Fine Arts, says the space may be used for media and performance work, as well as for ﬁlm
screenings by CMU’s Miller Institute for Contemporary Art. The Oakland facility was a longtime hotspot for local cinema buffs, shutterbugs, and aspiring directors. With its ﬁlm and photography classes, equipment rentals, theater, and exhibition area, it served as a place where students could learn, work, and
show off projects. Yet news of the sale comes as no surprise, as Pittsburgh Filmmakers, which merged with Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in 2006, has experienced numerous ﬁnancial and leadership problems over the past few years. “Everybody could see this coming,” says PJ Gaynard, associate professor
of ﬁlm production at CCAC’s South Campus, who showed his ﬁrst movie in Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Melwood Screening Room. Before former PF/PCA CEO Germaine Williams announced plans to sell the building in May, the arts organization had fallen into $500,000 of debt and made major staff cuts. “We were running a deﬁcit every year for several years,” says Christine Holtz, president of the PF/PCA board of directors and professor of media arts at Robert Morris University. The remaining 19 students from Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ certiﬁcate program will ﬁnish at RMU, which Holtz says has a “robust filmmaking program” of its own. But while some may lament the loss of the location, it marks a fresh start for Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and a step towards a new, more diverse era of ﬁlm and media education in Pittsburgh. For decades, students from schools like the University of Pittsburgh and Point Park University depended on Pittsburgh Filmmakers to earn college credits for photography and ﬁlm production. But, as Holtz explains, Pittsburgh Filmmakers saw a decline in enrollment over the past decade, and many university partners pulled out. “At one point, [the university program] was helping us be sustainable, and it no longer was,” says Holtz. Instead, Pittsburgh Filmmakers has moved to the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Shadyside campus, where Holtz says they plan to focus on being a “community spot.” “Pittsburgh Filmmakers started as a way for the community to have access to expensive analog ﬁlmmaking and photography equipment,” says Holtz. “We’re returning to those roots, where we’re going to be offering artists services and short-term classes. We’re just not going to be servicing universities anymore.” Equipment from Pittsburgh Filmmakers has already been transferred to the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and enrollment is now open for winter classes, none of which run for more than eight weeks. A Filmmakers member access program is set to return in early 2019. Holtz says they hope to offer a fuller array of classes after making some improvements, such as the addition of an equipment cage and better ventilation in the darkroom.
CP FILE PHOTO
The exterior of the Melwood Screening Room
invested $500,000 in its ﬁlm production program over the past three years. To Randall Halle, director of Pitt’s ﬁlm and media studies program, the variety allows for a more specialized approach. “The programs in the region all train students in particular ways and appeal to particular students,” says Halle. He lauds Chatham University’s Media Arts program, and singles out particular strengths at other schools, including CCAC’s excellent grips and stage design and RMU’s cutting-edge documentary work. Under the direction of Dawn Keezer at the Pittsburgh Film Ofﬁce, Halle and leaders from other local university ﬁlm programs are also meeting to discuss new forms of collaboration and cooperation. “Having colleagues and students oriented toward developing the media and entertainment industries in the region with their own strengths will help all of us,” he says. So even as local ﬁlm fans bid farewell to the Pittsburgh Filmmakers building, the parting seems less like an end and more like a new beginning. “It’s a loss for the community, for sure,” says Gaynard. “But it’s one that we will overcome.”
“WE’RE GOING TO BE OFFERING ARTISTS SERVICES AND SHORTTERM CLASSES. WE’RE JUST NOT GOING TO BE SERVICING UNIVERSITIES ANYMORE.” It could also signal a move in the right direction for Pittsburgh’s ﬁlm professionals. While Gaynard believes that Filmmakers excelled in areas like experimental ﬁlmmaking and photography, more was needed to support the big ﬁlm and TV productions coming to Pittsburgh. “It takes a village to train the workforce to help grow the ﬁlm industry in Pittsburgh,” he says. As opposed to sending students to Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Point Park now has its entire cinema program, including production courses, in-house. Pitt moved all of its production courses to its Oakland campus. In addition, Gaynard says that CCAC
Follow senior writer Amanda Waltz on Twitter @awaltzcp
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(412) 735-0492 THEEYESOFOZ@GMAIL.COM THEEYESOFOZ.MYVOLUSION.COM
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
The Abrams House
PRESERVATION PENDING BY CHARLES ROSENBLUM // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
HE ABRAMS HOUSE, the eccentric
postmodern residence of 1982 by architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, is either a costly and dilapidated eyesore or a masterpiece of design, depending on whom you ask. The building is tucked away off a private driveway on Woodland Road through Chatham University, but it is gaining notable visibility as a preservation controversy. The grey house with multi-hued radiating green stripes features an arched rooﬂine that breaks midway through its curve and returns to a ﬂat proﬁle, creating an angled clerestory window that lights
a dramatic twenty-foot high living space. Rectilinear windows jockey for position among arches and curves. It’s a brainy rumination on sun, landscape, and the adjacent bridge. Venturi and Scott Brown’s work is always provocative, but the old joke is that their most interesting buildings are the ugliest. Yet, there should objectively be no doubt that it is worthy of preservation. The architects, as pioneers of postmodern architecture, were enormously influential for their writings and buildings. Anything of theirs meets at least one criterion for historical significance. Period. The Abrams House is also
regarded as the first example of postmodern architecture in Pittsburgh, checking the box on a second category. “It meets several criteria that the city identiﬁes,” remarks Pittsburgh’s Historic Review Commission (HRC) member Matthew Falcone, who is also president of Preservation Pittsburgh. Yet the new owners of the house began to destroy its interior on July 23, only three days after they purchased it from the estate of original owner Betty Abrams. Right away, Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (PHLF) submitted a nomination to the HRC, which necessitated a halt to the demolition
while the preservation debate makes its way to a vote in City Council. Not long ago, the house’s fate seemed secure. At one point, Betty Abrams agreed to give the house to PHLF. Under a proposed agreement, PHLF would put an easement on the house, guaranteeing its preservation, and then sell it, with a commitment to provide an annuity to Abrams’ two daughters, according to Don Kortlandt, General Counsel of PHLF. He notes that the deal fell apart over a low appraisal that couldn’t generate the needed revenue for the annuities. The Abrams daughters elected simply to sell the house, “which was their right,”
Kortlandt allows. The mere availability of a Venturi House for sale was news in the architecture world, as were reports of subsequent damage, as detailed in New York-based Architects’ Newspaper. Buyers William and Patricia Snyder are also owners of the adjacent house, the Giovannitti Residence, a modernist masterpiece by acclaimed architect Richard Meier, which they are restoring at considerable expense. The choice to preserve one house and demolish the other has befuddled observers. The Snyders, who have refrained from speaking directly to the press, have commented through advisors and lawyers’ public hearings. The Abrams House is in a terrible state of repair, with mold, broken windows, rotting wood, and other damage, their attorney Stanley Levine said before the HRC in November. Contractor Joel Senchur, also speaking for the Snyders before the HRC, said it would cost more to repair the house than to rebuild it. PHLF has discussed a plan to disassemble the house and rebuild it on a different site. Polymath Park in Acme, Pa., is the home of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Duncan House, a prefabricated building which was moved from its original site in Lyle, Ill. That plan faces signiﬁcant technical challenges, as well as a shortage of what Kortland describes as around $200,000 just for disassembly and storage. The Abrams House was always a challenge. Its site, over a pond, is undersized and precarious, contributing to the water damage that now plagues the structure. And the build quality was never good. Its architects were renowned for intellectually-charged design rather than sturdy construction. Yet the Giovannitti residence has its own ongoing history of unusually expensive construction failures and maintenance costs. The ﬁnal fate of the Abrams House will depend on a City Council vote, which will come after a public hearing. Though neither has yet been scheduled, a city administrator commented that these should take place in February and March. Kortlandt points out that because the owners are against preservation, a Council vote to secure historic designation will require a super-majority of six out of nine votes. Debates over how it might be preserved will be contentious; but if the house is lost, regret will be widespread.
Follow contributing writer Charles Rosenblum on Twitter @CharlzR PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
CP PHOTO: JOSH OSWALD
Josh’s dinner. (We’re sorry you had to see this.)
BREAK(DOWN) BY JOSH OSWALD // JOSWALD@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
ETWEEN DEC. 26 and Jan. 1, I had
the longest break from responsibility of my adult life. Work was breaking for the holidays and my wife, son, and daughter were headed to grandma’s for a visit. This was my window to eat, watch, and listen to whatever I wanted. But with great power comes great responsibility. And for the next ﬁve days, I spent much of my energy trying to slam shut the Pandora’s Box of diminished hygiene, productivity, and basic life skills that I so carelessly opened. I began vacation by trying to re-identify with my peer group by watching Costco portions of television. I hadn’t had time to ﬁnish The Haunting of Hill House since starting the series over two months ago. So from about 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., I watched the ﬁnal four episodes. By hour four, I was so tired of those dolts talking about what was a dream and what wasn’t a dream, I was hoping Carla Gugino would knock on my door with a rat-poison tea party. Zero for one with holiday “activities.” Living didn’t get any less weird from there. I stayed up later, slept later, and lost any reasonable scheduling for meals, as well as the deﬁnition of a meal. One day I ate a meatball hoagie, Jell-O salad, and fudge. For the next day’s breakfast, I had two sausage, egg, and cheese mufﬁns from McDonald’s. Another day, I didn’t eat anything until 1:30 p.m. I tried to get a haircut, but saw the stylist who frequently mangles my hair through the window and scurried back into my car as she glared at me. I took a four-hour p.m.
nap after a crazy morning of doing absolutely nothing. I can’t tell you how many times I brushed my teeth from the 26th to the 31st, but if you’re a gambling person, I’d put money on the under. I’m not a great dresser, but these ﬁve days were an all-time low. I lived in sweatpants. I don’t even particularly like wearing sweatpants. The only thing anybody looks productive doing in sweats is exercising. Otherwise, you just look sickly. But I could not resist their siren song of inactivity. Trying to convince myself I was still on the straight and narrow, I tweeted about my “#vacationsweats” to make it sound cute that I was about to become a 600-pound shut-in. I was a suburban Frankenstein. I had all the pieces of a real human: hands, feet, sweatpants, but couldn’t quite ﬁgure the living part out. In an attempt to regain some prevacation structure, I hit the grocery store … in sweats, of course. I cooked some chicken, cut veggies, and actually made and ate the entire salad. One hour later, I was manipulating an entire frozen pizza into my mouth and rummaging through my liquor cabinet like some kind of booze raccoon. I could not reverse engineer the monster I had become. I may be exaggerating the debauchery. My activities are probably downright benign to anybody under 35. But I decided my life is actually easier — and dare I say more pleasurable — when held to a reasonable level of accountability. Jumping from one pleasure to the next is exhausting.
Follow digital media manager Josh Oswald on Twitter @gentlemenRich
BETWEEN THE LINES BY REGE BEHE CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
The new year brings a wealth of literary events. Here are five intriguing things to do for book lovers in January. Benedict book Jan. 10: Marie launch for The Only
PHOTO: HOLLY TONINI
of Asylum’s Jan. 14: City Indie Press Reading
BY REGE BEHE // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
HEN ANNETTE Dashofy published her ﬁrst mystery novel in the spring of 2014, she had no idea what to expect. Almost ﬁve years and seven books later, she’s a USA Today bestselling mystery author and has received three nominations for Agatha Awards, the genre’s highest honor. “I had dreams and hopes, and met some and haven’t met others,” says the Burgettstown, Washington County, resident. “I can’t complain. Three Agatha nominations is more than anything I could have hoped for.” Dashofy’s latest novel Cry Wolf is the seventh book featuring paramedic/deputy coroner Zoe Chambers and her counterpart, police chief Pete Adams, who serve a tight-knit rural community. Dashofy has already ﬁnished the eighth book in the series and is working on the ninth. How did she get to this point? Dashofy admits luck plays a role, but good fortune only goes so far. Here are some of the things that she did that contributed to her success.
Find an original angle. Dashofy: “In mystery series, there have been a lot of different professions that have been tackled. I don’t think anybody else has done a paramedic. The story stood by itself and also led to Zoe having a likability. She’s a caregiver, working on an ambulance, she’s trying to take care of patients. And then being a deputy coroner, she’s trying to ﬁnd justice for those she can’t save.”
You don’t have to write about something you know, but you should write about something you want to know about. Dashofy: “I didn’t really know anything about police procedurals, and Pete’s a cop. That’s something I had to go out and learn.” Dashofy attended writers’ and citizens’ police academies to get a feel for law enforcement and how police do their jobs.
Find people willing to talk about their areas of expertise. Dashofy: “If you are trying to get information from one person in a particular
Woman in the Room. Benedict’s new novel is a fictionalized account of the life of actress Hedy Lamarr, who developed a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes after fleeing Nazi Germany before World War II. 6 p.m. Penguin Bookshop, 417 Beaver St., Sewickley.
ﬁeld and they shut the door on you and aren’t impressed about you being a writer, there’s always somebody else who is. When you do ﬁnd somebody who is willing to talk, and you say you’re a writer, it deﬁnitely opens doors.”
Learn from your mistakes. Dashofy: “The books that didn’t get published were deﬁnitely learning experiences in craft and what works and what doesn’t work and why. Figuring out why an earlier series didn’t go anywhere was every bit as important and vital to my career as if it had gone somewhere.”
The devil really is in the details. Dashofy: “I had no idea how accurate [stories] need to be. Readers expect accuracy and expect it to make sense. People who watch TV, the CSI shows and other programs, are more willing to waive reality. It seems like television shows are given a wider pass on how accurate they are. People who read books expect stories to [reﬂect] how this really happens. So my ﬁrst book was really more like a movie script, suspending disbelief.”
Series presents Iranian-American writer Rabeah Ghaffari, author of To Keep the Sun Alive. 7 p.m. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. An Evening with Terrance Hayes and Rickey Laurentiis. Formerly of Pittsburgh, Hayes won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2014 and the National Book Award for poetry in 2010. Laurentiis is a 2018 Whiting Fellow and the 2016 Levis Reading Prize Winner. 7 p.m. Heinz Memorial Chapel, 326 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland.
J.D. Barker. Brentwood resident Barker’s most recent book, Dracul, is an authorized prequel to Dracula and co-written with Dacre Stoker, the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker. 7 p.m. City Books, 908 Galveston Ave., North Side.
Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series presents journalist and novelist Christina Garcia, author of Here In Brooklyn. 7:30 p.m. Frick Fine Arts Building, 650 Schenley Drive, Oakland.
Follow featured contributor Rege Behe on Twitter @RegeBehe_exPTR PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
PHOTOS: ERIN ZIMA
We Are The Weirdos is a storytelling event by and for women, including these past participants
WEIRDO WOMEN BY HANNAH LYNN // HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
T’S POPULAR, now, to say that women should have a voice, but rarely is that put into practice as much as at We Are The Weirdos, a live storytelling event created by and for women. The series, which is celebrating its one year anniversary with a Jan. 10 event at the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, is modeled similarly to The Moth storytelling series, with participants signing up to have their name pulled out of a hat to share a ﬁve-minute story. Jamie Fadden-Cannon, a local lighting designer, created the event in the heat of the #MeToo movement, after realizing that she also had plenty of stories to share from working in a male-dominated industry. “I was like, you know what? Screw this. I love live storytelling and I have a lot of stories surrounding this and I’m sure a lot of other people do too,” says Fadden-Cannon. Since the ﬁrst event at Black Forge Coffee House, the series has grown in popularity, ﬁrst moving to Club Cafe, and then to Mr. Smalls.
The events don’t have a theme for the storytelling, but the fact that all of the performers are women steers the topics toward womanhood. “[A performer] came out about her abortion story. I can’t even begin to think about how difﬁcult it would be to share that, and she did it so beautifully,” says Fadden-Cannon. “On the other end of the spectrum, there was a woman who told a story about how she accidentally ate laxatives, mistaking them for chocolate.” Kate LaMark, now a freshman in college, participated in all three of the previous We Are The Weirdos events. She didn’t have a plan the ﬁrst time LaMark got on stage. The second time, she talked about going through a breakup. The third time, she opened the show with a story about her abortion. Though she was nervous, the support in the room was palpable as she ﬁnished telling her story. “I had women thank me, I had women buy me drinks, I had people come up to talk to me privately and open
up about their experiences,” says LaMark. “[It] really provides a platform for women to talk about issues that are affecting them that they may not feel they can talk about with anyone else.” The name for the event comes from a line from the teen witch movie The Craft, wherein four girls/witches getting off a bus are told by the driver to look out for the “weirdos.” One of them replies coolly, “We are the weirdos, mister.” “Oftentimes when women express their creativity or pursue their passions without asking for permission or validation, we are labeled as weirdos, or as feminists with an agenda,” says FaddenCannon. “Woman-identifying humans who look, act, think, and live any and all ways can come to an event where full and total acceptance is the only theme. Brittany Spinelli, another performer from one of the past events, also felt the atmosphere was supportive enough to make even inexperienced public speakers feel welcome. “It’s a very intimate space,”
WE ARE THE WEIRDOS
7 p.m. Thu., Jan. 10. The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $7-10. 18 and older. mrsmalls.com
says Spinelli. “Everyone told me ‘thanks for talking.’ It was just really nice to have support from total strangers.” For Fadden-Cannon, live storytelling comes with a unique energy that connects the room to the storyteller. “Seeing this person, and the emotion, and how scary it is to get up there and share something so personal, you can feel it,” she says. “There’s just like this electricity in the room.” Along with providing a platform for women to share their stories, We Are The Weirdos also raises money for a different non-proﬁt organization at each show. For the Jan. 10 event, a portion of the proceeds will go towards The Garment Project, a locally-based organization that provides new clothing to women in recovery from eating disorders, removing sizing tags from the pieces to further help the healing process. Past shows have donated to The Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and Girls Rock! Pittsburgh. For now, We Are The Weirdos exists only as a live show and only in Pittsburgh, but Fadden-Cannon hopes to expand the project to have themed shows, a podcast, and even travel to other cities.
.FOR THE WEEK OF JAN. 10.
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY BY ROB BREZSNY // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is a collection of fables that take place in India. Three movies have been made based on it. All of them portray the giant talking snake named Kaa as an adversary to the hero Mowgli. But in Kipling’s original stories, Kaa is a benevolent ally and teacher. I bring this to your attention to provide context for a certain situation in your life. Is there an influence with a metaphorical resemblance to Kaa: misinterpreted by some people, but actually quite supportive and nourishing to you? If so, I suggest you intensify your appreciation for it.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
back to Earth. It far outlived its designed lifespan. I foresee you being able to generate a comparable marvel in 2019, Virgo: a stalwart resource or influence or situation that will have more staying power than you could imagine. What could it be?
(Dec. 22-Jan. 19): CAPRICORN In 1984, singer-songwriter John Fogerty released a new album whose lead single was “The Old Man Down the Road.” It sold well. But trouble arose soon afterward when Fogerty’s former record company sued him in court, claiming he stole the idea for “The Old Man Down the Road” from “Run Through the Jungle.” That was a tune Fogerty himself had written and recorded in 1970 while playing with the band Creedence Clearwater Revival. The legal process took a while, but he was ultimately vindicated. No, the courts declared, he didn’t plagiarize himself, even though there were some similarities between the two songs. In this spirit, I authorize you to borrow from a good thing you did in the past as you create a new good thing in the future. There’ll be no hell to pay if you engage in a bit of self-plagiarism.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In 1557, Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde invented the equals sign: =. Historical records don’t tell us when he was born, so we don’t know his astrological sign. But I’m guessing he was a Libra. Is there any tribe more skillful at finding correlations, establishing equivalencies, and creating reciprocity? In all the zodiac, who is best at crafting righteous proportions and uniting apparent opposites? Who is the genius of balance? In the coming months, my friend, I suspect you will be even more adept at these fine arts than you usually are.
Virginia Woolf thought that her Piscean lover Vita Sackville-West was a decent writer, but a bit too fluid and effortless. Self-expression was so natural to Sackville-West that she didn’t work hard enough to hone her craft and discipline her flow. In a letter, Woolf wrote, “I think there are odder, deeper, more angular thoughts in your mind than you have yet let come out.” I invite you to meditate on the possibility that Woolf’s advice might be useful in 2019. Is there anything in your skill set that comes so easily that you haven’t fully ripened it? If so, develop it with more focused intention.
your relationships with what really moves you. But there is one exception to this approach. Sometimes it’s wise to employ the “fake it until you make it” strategy: to pretend you are what you want to be with such conviction that you ultimately become what you want to be. I suspect now is one of those times for you.
than you would if you grew the plants. I offer this as a useful metaphor for you to consider in the coming months. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you should prioritize efficiency and value. What will provide you with the most bang for your bucks? What’s the wisest use of your resources?
ARIES (March 21-April 19):
GEMINI (May 21-June 20):
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):
Computer-generated special effects used in the 1993 film Jurassic Park may seem modest to us now, but at the time they were revolutionary. Inspired by the new possibilities revealed, filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick, George Lucas, and Peter Jackson launched new projects they had previously thought to be beyond their ability to create. In 2019, I urge you to go in quest of your personal equivalent of Jurassic Park’s pioneering breakthroughs. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you may be able to find help and resources that enable you to get more serious about seemingly unfeasible or impractical dreams.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I’m a big proponent of authenticity. I almost always advise you to be yourself with bold candor and unapologetic panache. Speak the truth about your deepest values and clearest perceptions. Be an expert about what really moves you, and devote yourself passionately to
The students’ dining hall at Michigan State University serves gobs of mayonnaise. But in late 2016, a problem arose when 1250 gallons of the stuff became rancid. Rather than simply throw it away, the school’s Sustainability Officer came up with a brilliant solution: load it into a machine called an anaerobic digester, which turns biodegradable waste into energy. Problem solved! The transformed rot provided electricity for parts of the campus. I recommend you regard this story as a metaphor for your own use. Is there anything in your life that has begun to decay or lose its usefulness? If so, can you convert it into a source of power?
CANCER (June 21-July 22): If you grow vegetables, fruits, and grains on an acre of land, you can feed twelve people. If you use that acre to raise meat-producing animals, you’ll feed at most four people. But to produce the meat, you’ll need at least four times more water and twenty times more electric power
Modern kids don’t spend much time playing outside. They have fun in natural environments only half as often as their parents did while growing up. In fact, the average child spends less time in the open air than prison inmates. And today’s unjailed adults get even less exposure to the elements. But I hope you will avoid that fate in 2019. According to my astrological estimates, you need to allocate more than the usual amount of time to feeling the sun and wind and sky. Not just because it’s key to your physical health, but also because many of your best ideas and decisions are likely to emerge while you’re outdoors.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): NASA landed its robotic explorer Opportunity on Mars in January of 2004. The craft’s mission, which was supposed to last for 92 days, began by taking photos and collecting soil samples. More than 14 years later, the hardy machine was still in operation, continuing to send data
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): There’s a modest, one-story office building at 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware. More than 285,000 businesses from all over the U.S. claim it as their address. Why? Because the state of Delaware has advantageous tax laws that enable those businesses to save massive amounts of money. Other buildings in Delaware house thousands of additional corporations. It’s all legal. No one gets in trouble for it. I bring this to your attention in the hope of inspiring you to hunt for comparable situations: ethical loopholes and workarounds that will provide you with extra benefits and advantages.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): People in the Solomon Islands buy many goods and services with regular currency, but also use other symbols of worth to pay for important cultural events like staging weddings and settling disputes and expressing apologies. These alternate forms of currency include the teeth of flying foxes, which are the local species of bat. In that spirit, and in accordance with current astrological omens, I’d love to see you expand your sense of what constitutes your wealth. In addition to material possessions and funds in the bank, what else makes you valuable? In what other ways do you measure your potency, your vitality, your merit? It’s a favorable time to take inventory.
GO TO REALASTROLOGY.COM TO CHECK OUT ROB BREZSNY’S EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES AND DAILY TEXT-MESSAGE HOROSCOPES. THE AUDIO HOROSCOPES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE BY PHONE AT 1-877-873-4888 OR 1-900-950-7700
Pittsburgh’s lone liberal talkshow host for 30+ years Listen live every weekday at 10 a.m. at lynncullen.pghcitypaper.com PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
SUPPORT THE GIRLS BY HANNAH LYNN HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
PHOTO: MAGNOLIA PICTURE
Haley Lu Richardson and Regina Hall in Support the Girls
There are plenty of workplace comedies that revolve around offices, suits, meetings, lunches, and high-rise buildings. Less common is the workplace comedy about the service industry, where the hours are long, the customers are mean, and the pay is menial. Support the Girls, a dramedy written and directed by Andrew Bujalski, is a funny, sweet, and honest story about a Hooters-esque restaurant and the women who keep it afloat, or don’t. Lisa (Regina Hall) is the general manager of Double Whammies, a sports bar and restaurant where the waiters are all tiny women SUPPORT in tiny outfits, and THE GIRLS the customers are the kind of men you IS NOW would not want to hit STREAMING on you. Extra bubbly blonde Maci (Haley Lu ON HULU. Richardson) helps keep things in check along with fed-up Danyelle (Shayna McHayle aka indie rapper Junglepussy). Lisa’s day starts with a distressed employee crashing on her couch and only gets worse from there, including a burglar trapped in the restaurant’s vent, new hires, a car-wash fundraiser, along with the job’s usual turmoil. Taking place mostly over one day, the movie follows Lisa’s perpetual drive to solve problems as calmly and efficiently as possible, until she can’t take it anymore. The story manages to be generous and warm, despite the chaos. Hall carries the movie with a sunny disposition, but maintains the bite needed to both mock and appreciate these outdatedly horny establishments. But the eclectic supporting cast shines as well, creating the kind of chemistry found only between coworkers. It’s a real and heartwarming movie that’s especially great if you’ve ever been too attached to a workplace, even if it didn’t treat you well. •
PHOTO: TATUM MANGUS/ANNAPURNA PICTURES
Kiki Layne and Stephan James in If Beale Street Could Talk
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK BY HANNAH LYNN // HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
HERE ARE RARELY beautiful sex scenes in ﬁlm nowadays. They’re often either raunchy, played for laughs, or shot lasciviously with the camera leering at the woman’s body. But in If Beale Street Could Talk, adapted from the James Baldwin novel, director Barry Jenkins creates a world where the sex is beautiful and loving, because the couple is beautiful and in love, even when life takes a hideous turn. In 1970s Harlem, 19-year-old Tish (Kiki Layne), a sweet and quiet girl, learns she is pregnant with the child of abstract sculptor Fonny (Stephan James), her partner and childhood friend. But Fonny is sitting in jail, charged with a rape he didn’t commit because a white police ofﬁcer had a vendetta against him. With the support of her family (but not Fonny’s), Tish goes through with the pregnancy while taking every possible route to get Fonny free. The movie alternates between the present-day—Tish visiting Fonny in jail, meeting with a lawyer, the pregnancy— and ﬂashbacks of the young couple’s love story, unfolding in parks lit by streetlights and dingy apartments. Dialogue isn’t necessary to explain Tish and Fonny’s love. It’s obvious in the
way they look at each other, standing close on the subway, or when they scream with joy in the street after ﬁnding a new apartment. When they have sex, there is the sense that nothing could possibly come between them.
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
DIRECTED BY: Barry Jenkins STARRING: Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Regina King Opens Fri., Jan. 11 at the Manor Theatre
Jenkins has a penchant for color (see: Moonlight), and the movie’s hues and lighting mirror feeling. Blue and yellow crop up repeatedly when Tish and Fonny are together, or when they’re apart but thinking of each other. All of it is bolstered by the score by Nicholas Britell, and is beautiful, sad, and tense, ﬁlling in where words just won’t do. Layne and James have such obvious chemistry that it feels unnecessary to point it out. They completely immerse themselves in their roles, playing lovestruck kids and world-weary adults equally well. Another standout is Regina King as Tish’s mother Sharon, who
Follow staff writer Hannah Lynn on Twitter @hanfranny
manages to be both steely and warm in a way mothers often need to be. Beale Street is about love, but it’s also about how a corrupt justice system eats away at everything it touches. The damage done by Fonny’s false imprisonment affects more than just him and Tish. The pain sprawls far and wide. Tish’s father starts selling stolen goods to pay for legal fees, and her sister recruits a lawyer friend to take on the case, which starts to consume him too. Sharon goes to Puerto Rico to ﬁnd the woman who was raped and convince her that Fonny is not guilty just because a police ofﬁcer told her so. The woman, still reeling from her real attack, is not convinced. It complicates the recently popularized “believe all women” slogan, which can be made murky by a justice system in which Black men are not given the beneﬁt the doubt, not believed. Despite the tragedy of the story, and the bittersweet ending, Beale Street is hopeful. The slogan appearing on the movie’s poster — “Trust love all the way” — comes from a line Sharon says to her daughter, who is pregnant and panicked. It’s not saccharine, because, in a crisis that can produce no winners, all there is to do is rely on love.
BACKSTAGE with Kari Kramer BY LISSA BRENNAN CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
NAME: Kari Kramer, Spring Hill TITLE: Theatrical Dresser WHERE? Freelance at large houses: Benedum, Byham, Heinz Hall WHAT DO YOU DO? Before-inventory, setting costumes in place, mending, ironing, steaming. Make sure everyone has their bow ties on straight, the right earrings, tie them into a corset. During the show, changes in the dressing room and the wings. WHAT ARE THOSE LIKE? The really quick ones are like when a race car pulls into a pit stop, everybody jumps in to do their part — vroom! — except this is choreographed and silent. Then the actor ﬂies back onstage after ten seconds in the dark. Sometimes there are four or ﬁve people working to change one person. Those are the fun ones. It’s an adrenaline rush. ARE GARMENTS THE ONLY VARIABLE? Deﬁnitely not. Actors are human so they’re all different, and dressing them will be different. There’s a wide variety of demeanors – some people are very calm and some are more hyped up, so you have to consider the person as well as the garments. DO YOU HAVE MUCH OF A RELATIONSHIP BEFOREHAND? Often I meet people while they’re in their underwear. WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR START? Sewing in costume shops. A dresser was needed at City Theatre. I applied and learned on the job. Then wardrobe supervisor at the Pittsburgh Public Theater for eight years. WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND? School for fashion merchandising. I had sewing classes that were very basic. I learned so much in costume shops, side by side with women sewing longer than I had been alive. I’d be struggling with something and someone would lean over and say, “Oh honey, do it like this!” IS THIS A WOMAN-DOMINATED FIELD? Deﬁnitely. We have a union that locally
CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
Theatrical dresser Kari Kramer poses for a portrait inside Public Theater
Backstage is a new series introducing the people behind the scenes of Pittsburgh’s arts and culture events. has around 35 people; only three are men. It’s good that we have those three for when a touring show speciﬁcally requests a male dresser. DOES THAT HAPPEN OFTEN? No. WHY IS IT SO FEMALE HEAVY? The lore is that in the old days, the dressers were the wives of the stagehands, helping out. TOOLS OF YOUR TRADE? Head-to-toe black to blend in. I have an apron that
I call my desk drawer, with a little sewing kit with pre-threaded needles, scissors, seam ripper, nail clippers, nail ﬁles, Tums or ginger candies in case an actor has an upset stomach, bite lights (ﬂashlights you hold in your mouth), Topstick (double-sided toupee tape), tons of safety pins. WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF? For The Odd Couple for Pittsburgh Public Theater, there was a change 32 seconds long for everything — socks, shoes, pants, vest, tie, shirt. Every night we did it. One night, [an actor] re-entered to applause, and I was backstage in the wings taking a bow and celebrating. I S TH E R E M O R E TO TH E JO B TH A N C H A NGI NG CLOTHES? For sure. Real life problems don’t stop just because
there’s a show. I’ve been with actors crying just minutes before they had to go onstage. In that moment, I feel like it’s the unwritten part of my job to help them through a moment of crisis when there’s no time for a crisis. I care very much about the show being able to go on but I also care about people as humans. It’s a very personal position to be in, and I always feel honored and humbled by the trust that comes with those moments. WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT? A break! WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART? You’re a part of the energy of the show. Everybody getting ready, live performance energy. You can feel the anticipation of the audience. It’s in the air and you’re all in it together.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
Mikael Owunna’s Infinite Essence
BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
O CALL THE art featured in The
Self, Realized: Queering the Art of Self-Portraiture “portraits” would be somewhat misleading. The show, at Brew House Association through Feb. 9, defies traditional definitions of the art form to provide a more complex and multi-dimensional view of LGBTQ+ artists. Opening Jan. 10, The Self, Realized showcases 14 queer, mostly local artists (two are from out of town) working in a range of media. Curated by Hannah Turpin, the show kicks off Brew House’s new Prospectus series, an initiative
created to support emerging curators and bring to life exhibitions that might not otherwise reach the public. “I think that it will bring a new platform for different people to see new artists and strengthen the awareness of this art and these curators who are looking at these important themes,” says Natalie Sweet, Brew House program director. She adds that Turpin and Dana Bishop-Root, whose show This is Not Romantic will open at Brew House on Feb. 21, were chosen for Prospectus based on proposals they submitted. Turpin moved to Pittsburgh from
New York to work as the curatorial assistant for contemporary art and photography at Carnegie Museum of Art. She created the show as a way to address the lack of local exhibitions dealing speciﬁcally with LGBTQ+ artists around topics of queer identity. “There is a lot of taboo and discrimination that still prevails in everyday society and interaction, and I think art is a way to kind of escape from that,” says Turpin. “And that’s where some of these self-portraits can offer a new lens into how you might represent yourself that’s not immediately apparent to outsiders.”
THE SELF, REALIZED: QUEERING THE ART OF SELF-PORTRAITURE Opening reception Thu., Jan. 10. 5-8 p.m. 711 South 21st St., South Side. Free. brewhousearts.org
The show highlights a group of artists who, in ﬁnding new ways to represent themselves, push the boundaries of portraiture beyond the traditional twodimensional image of a formally posed subject. By doing so, Turpin believes they are able to redeﬁne how they are represented in the mainstream, which tends to hyper-focus on their identities as members of the LGBTQ+ community. “The goal is to try and capture and depict the reality of a complex identity, that queerness is just one factor of an individual,” says Turpin. Among the included works is an installation by Jen Cooney that incorporates meaningful items from their home and their own artwork over the years to recreate an intimate living space. Completing the piece is a soft
Jen Cooney’s Best Witches: cackling crones cooking something up
sculpture of Cooney done in their signature, cartoonish style, with which guests can sit and interact. “You get a sense of what it means to create your own space and have your place of living reﬂect you as a selfportrait,” says Turpin. While Cooney’s piece may be more grounded in everyday reality, other artists take a more fantastic approach. The Brooklyn-based artist Cupid Ojala contributed 14 pen-and-ink drawings depicting scenes of him and a cat companion in a magical landscape, where Turpin says he has the freedom to live as his true self. Also featured are sculptures by Summer Jade Leavitt, a video piece by Corrine Jasmin, and glass balloons by Shikeith, as well as works by Brendon J. Hawkins, who recently held his ﬁrst solo exhibit at Bunker Projects. Rounding out the artists are Paper
Buck, Adam Milner, Mikael Owunna, Nikolai Peacock, Maybe Jairan Sadeghi, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Sam Thorp, and Curtis Welteroth. Turpin also highlights Pittsburgh printmaker Mary Tremonte, who made original, limited-edition posters for the event and contributed some painting and design elements throughout the show. While Prospectus has set out to increase the exposure of artists and curators, Sweet believes it offers another important beneﬁt. “Artists within the group are getting to know one another and form new connections and friendships, and I think that’s a really amazing piece to already be bubbling out of it,” says Sweet. The Self, Realized: Queering the Art of Self-Portraiture opens Jan. 10 with a public reception. The ﬁrst guests to arrive at the event receive one of Tremonte’s posters.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
ANTONIO BROWN IS A MASKED SINGER BY HANNAH LYNN HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
CREDIT: MICHAEL BECKER/FOX
Antonio Brown sings “My Prerogative” as a hippo.
Last week, Fox premiered The Masked Singer, a new singing competition show whose only confirmed contestant is Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. The show features 12 contestants whose identities are concealed by elaborate animal costumes that look straight off an haute couture runway at a furry convention. There are three long rounds where two of the masked performers “compete” against each other by “singing” and “dancing.” Ultimately, one contestant gets eliminated each episode and only then is their celebrity identity revealed. The bizarre panel of judges consists of Jenny McCarthy, Ken Jeong, Robin Thicke, and Nicole Scherzinger. None of them seem to fully understand what they’ve gotten themselves into, including host Nick Cannon. In the first episode, we meet six of the contestants: deer, lion, monster, hippo, peacock, and unicorn (the rest will be revealed in the second episode). The peacock performs “The Greatest Show” from The Greatest Showman. The lion performs “California Dreamin’.” The hippo does Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative.” Finally, hippo is chosen for elimination and he slowly removes his animal head to reveal the human head of Antonio Brown. The judges are incredibly shocked, as they listen closely to Nick Cannon yell “ANTONIO BROWN” because they definitely don’t know his name. Antonio Brown flashes the gleaming smile of someone who only has to perform once on this show. •
PHOTO: MATT POLK
Connor McCanlus as Felix in Game On
NO WHAMMIES! BY LISA CUNNINGHAM // LCUNNING@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
ART FAMILY FEUD, part Deal or No Deal, part existential crisis: Pittsburgh CLO’s Game On is a musical journey through life’s regrets, joys, and second chances. And it’s in the form of an interactive game show. The crowd becomes the “live” studio audience as contestants compete for a $10 million jackpot. It’s not quite immersive theater — audience members don’t really play for money, but everyone does have a chance to be called on stage and answer some Family Feud-style questions. The audience is also encouraged to participate by cheering when the “applause” signs light up above the stage, but no one really needed much prompting. The script is full of laughs and while there is a heavier underlying theme questioning the purpose of life, the show never takes itself too seriously, with songs full of silly lyrics, rhyming “guarantee” with “I’ve gotta pee!” The set design is super fun, and the gameplay most closely resembles Deal or No Deal, with about 30 numbered
boxes on stage behind the contestants. They choose one box to keep, then take turns eliminating the remaining boxes from the stage.
Through Sun., Jan. 27. Pittsburgh CLO at Greer Cabaret Theater, 655 Penn Ave., Downtown. $31.25-56.25. pittsburghclo.org
What’s in the boxes? Sometimes cash, sometimes trips, sometimes the painful realization that your life sucks. Wait, what? Much like Howie Mandel calling “the banker” on Deal or No Deal, host Monty Price (Jason Shavers) has to check in occasionally with a woman behind the scenes, shown only in a projected silhouette, who sets the rules. Is she the banker? God? Should we even care? There’s money on the line, people! Shavers and his Vanna White-wannabe co-host Gillian Van Ness (Marissa Buchheit) trade playful banter throughout the performance, but are at their best
when singing. Christine Laitta’s Grace is a joy to watch as a gray-haired, widowed contestant who has been left alone with apparently only episodes of Game On to keep her company. The audience members also add an extra element of fun to the script, causing the actors to improv along the way. But Connor McCanlus steals the show as Felix, suffering throughout the performance after ﬁnding himself a contestant alongside his ex-girlfriend Natalie (Josey Miller), who he hadn’t seen since their breakup ﬁve years earlier. Natalie is spontaneous; Felix takes so long to make decisions that others make them for him. How they play the game of life is played out on stage through how they play the game show. McCanlus’ anxiety attacks on stage were so convincing, they gave me anxiety. He’s Pittsburgh’s own David Cross, a natural comedian with similar quirks to the Arrested Development actor; he doesn’t need to try too hard to be funny, he just is.
Follow editor-in-chief Lisa Cunningham on Twitter @trashyleesuh
EARLY WARNINGS SPONSORED UPCOMING EVENTS FROM CITY PAPER’S FINE ADVERTISERS
WED., JANUARY 16 U.S. BOMBS & TOTAL CHAOS 7 P.M. CRAFTHOUSE SOUTH HILLS. $15-17. 412-653-2695 or ticketfly.com.
THU., JANUARY 17 BEYOND HAIKU: JAPANESE POETRY IN TIME AND ART 7 P.M. CITY OF ASYLUM NORTH SIDE. Free event (registration required). 412-435-1110 or cityofasylum.org.
THU., JANUARY 17 RUFUS WAINWRIGHT 8 P.M. BYHAM THEATER DOWNTOWN. $49.25-54.25. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.
THU., JANUARY 17 BRANDON RAY 8 P.M. JERGEL’S RHYTHM GRILLE WARRENDALE. $10.47-25. 724-799-8333 or ticketfly.com.
THU., JANUARY 17 LETTUCE 8 P.M. REX THEATER SOUTH SIDE. Over-21 event. $31. 412-381-1681 or greyareaprod.com.
FRI., JANUARY 18 MOON SHOT 7 P.M. BYHAM THEATER DOWNTOWN. $12. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.
FRI., JANUARY 18 GET THE LED OUT 8 P.M. THE PALACE THEATRE GREENSBURG. $24-62. 724-836-8000 or thepalacetheatre.org
SAT., JANUARY 19 CRASH TEST DUMMIES
SAT., JANUARY 19 CRASH TEST DUMMIES 8 P.M. JERGEL’S RHYTHM GRILLE WARRENDALE. $21-42. 724-799-8333 or ticketfly.com.
THE BAD PLUS 8 P.M. AUGUST WILSON CENTER DOWNTOWN. $41.75. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.
SAT., JANUARY 19 DONNA THE BUFFALO
FRI., JANUARY 25 GEORGE LOPEZ: THE WALL WORLD TOUR
8 P.M. REX THEATER SOUTH SIDE. Over-21 event. $20-25. 412-381-1681 or greyareaprod.com.
8 P.M. CARNEGIE OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL MUNHALL. All-ages event. $44.81-250. 412-462-3444 or ticketfly.com.
SUN., JANUARY 20 WILD’N DA BURGH COMEDY SHOW
FRI., JANUARY 25 RODNEY CARRINGTON
8 P.M. CARNEGIE OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL MUNHALL. All-ages event. $35-55. 412-462-3444 or ticketfly.com.
SUN., JANUARY 20 KELLER WILLIAMS’ PETTYGRASS 7:30 P.M. BYHAM THEATER DOWNTOWN. $30-50. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.
TUE., JANUARY 22 HOWIE ALEXANDER
6 P.M. NORTH PARK PIE TRAYNOR FIELD PARKING LOT NORTH PARK. Over-8 event. Free event (registration required). 412-350-4636 or llbean.com/pittsburgh.
5 P.M. BACKSTAGE BAR AT THEATER SQUARE DOWNTOWN. Free event. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.
7 P.M. SOUTH PARK ICE RINK SOUTH PARK. $5-10. 412-833-1499 or alleghenycounty.us/parkprograms.
JERGEL’S RHYTHM GRILLE WARRENDALE
SAT., JANUARY 19 L.L. BEAN MOONLIGHT HIKE
SAT., JANUARY 19 MOONLIGHT SNOWSHOEING WITH A PARK RANGER
open tuesday-sunday family skate* 4:30-6:00 pm
TUE., JANUARY 22 CRAFT BEER SCHOOL: SWEET & SOUR
for 2 adults with up to 4 children $13 for non-residents
8 P.M. THE PALACE THEATRE GREENSBURG. All-ages event. $39-59. 724-836-8000 or thepalacetheatre.org
SAT., JANUARY 26 JESSICA LANG DANCE 8 P.M. BYHAM THEATER DOWNTOWN. $10-65. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.
TUE., JANUARY 29 CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY 7:30 P.M. BENEDUM CENTER DOWNTOWN. $45-125. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.
TUE., JANUARY 29 ROANOKE 8 P.M. HARD ROCK CAFE STATION SQUARE. $8-10. 412-481-ROCK or ticketfly.com.
6:15 P.M. GREER CABARET THEATER DOWNTOWN. Over-21 event. $31.25. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.
TUE., JANUARY 29 FRIENDS! THE MUSICAL PARODY
THU., JANUARY 24
8 P.M. BYHAM THEATER DOWNTOWN. $25-45. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.
FOR UPCOMING ALLEGHENY COUNTY PARKS EVENTS, LOG ONTO WWW.ALLEGHENYPARKS.COM
Open Stick Time North Park & South Park Ice Rinks Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays Rink admission fees apply. For hours, visit alleghenyparks.com PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
CALENDAR JANUARY 10-16
PHOTO: WHEEL MILL
^ Sat., Jan. 12: Ride Like a Girl
THURSDAY JAN. 10 ART
The roots of Pittsburgh’s influential artist collective Group A date back to the Second World War, founded to counter popular concepts (and restrictions) of the term “abstract art.” Despite (or in direct contrast to) the collective’s generic name, they produced a variety of distinct styles in disparate media. Looking at the works side by side, there’s appealing continuity but also a sense that each artist in the group was pushing a different envelope, challenging a different norm. See for
yourself at Group A: Celebrating 75 Years at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts before it closes on Jan. 20. If you miss it, don’t worry: The anniversary celebration continues through 2019 with exhibits at 707 Gallery, Brew House Association, and Artist Image Resource. 10 a.m. Continues through Jan. 20. Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 6300 Fifth Ave., Oakland. pfpca.org
It’s happened to all of us. You’re at an amazing concert, you hold up your camera, can’t wait to show everyone you were at this show, and then? The photograph is terrible. Blurry stage, it’s way too dark, there’s a tall guy blocking half your frame. Local non-profit CAPTURED::PITTSBURGH
pairs up with Opus One Productions and Sound Scene Express to help capture moments worth keeping with a Concert Photography Meet Up. Learn tips on composition and shooting in low light, then put your new skills to practice as musicians Jay Wiley and newcomer Kynzie Webb perform live at Club Cafe without the usual crowds getting in way of your perfect shot. Ticket price includes food and beverages, plus a cash bar. 6-10 p.m. 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $35. 21 and over capturedpittsburgh.org
Family issues come to a head when Hurricane Colleen blows into the City Theatre for the Momentum Reading
Series. Directed by Sheila McKenna, Tammy Ryan’s play follows Maggie and Rosemary as they rent a beach house in Florida to scatter their sister Colleen’s ashes after she dies of cancer. Their quest is derailed when a hurricane comes heading their way, leaving them and their respective partners trapped inside to weather the storm. Described by City Theatre as being “filled with humor and heart,” the work explores grief and America’s shifting cultural and environmental climates. 7 p.m. 1300 Bingham St., South Side. Free. RSVP required. citytheatre.culturaldistrict.org
Did you get your tickets for Hamilton yet? Of course you didn’t. Nobody did*.
PHOTO: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
^ Wed., Jan. 16: Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo
live big band music by the Boilermaker Jazz Band and the 14-piece Hot Metal Swing Orchestra. There’s also a dance contest with cash prizes. The workshops are intense, so be sure to wear your best dance shoes. All workshop participants should have a basic knowledge of Lindy Hop, Balboa, or both. 8 p.m. Activities continue through Sat., Jan. 12. Admission and workshop rates vary. 120 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty. acehotel.com/pittsburgh
Whether because of price, availability, or bad luck in the lottery, Pittsburghers are resorting to off-stage options to get their fix of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s massively popular musical. One option is the Hamilton Remix: History Meets Show Biz at Heinz History Center. Here, historian Richard Bell analyzes the show, including its impressive accuracies and understandable embellishments and what its success says about the “marriage of history and show biz.” Get to know the show before you go. [*Some people did. Don’t give up, just you wait.] 7 p.m. Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman St., Strip District. $18 for adults/$9 kids. heinzhistory.org
FRIDAY JAN. 11 DANCING
Have a swingin’ time during The Pittsburgh Shakedown at the Ace Hotel. Spend the weekend learning popular 1920s dance styles the Lindy Hop and the Balboa, all to
PHOTO OF GIANNA ROCKOFF DURING A CAPTURED::PITTSBURGH LIVE CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY EVENT: KARLY SNOW
^ Thu., Jan. 10: Concert Photography Meet Up
Sister-owned dance studio BaM Choreography is celebrating fitness, dance, and local talent with their second annual PGH BaM JaM. For two hours you can lose yourself in DJ Eesh’s music while enjoying light refreshments and viewing performance pieces from local artists. No dancing experience required. All proceeds go to the Women and Girls Foundation: Pittsburgh Chapter, which helps achieve equality by breaking down gender barriers. 7:30-9:30 p.m. The Glitter Box Theater, 460 Melwood Ave., Oakland. $10. bamchoreography.com/events-classes CONTINUES ON PG. 34
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
CALENDAR, CONTINUED FROM PG. 33
OF CONCERTS BY JORDAN SNOWDEN JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
PHOTO: BENTON PALERMO
THURSDAY Brightside 8 p.m. Howlers, Bloomfield. howlerspittsburgh.com
FRIDAY Stone Throwers, Kiwano Sour 8:30 p.m. The Park House, North Side. parkhousepgh.com
SATURDAY Jor 7 p.m. Refresh PGH, Friendship. dailybreadpa.com
PHOTO: CARNEGIE SCIENCE CENTER
^ Sat., Jan. 12: SkyWatch
Funeral Chic, Joy, WVRM 7 p.m. The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls, Millvale. mrsmalls.com
MONDAY Twisted Pine 8 p.m. Club Cafe, South Side. clubcafelive.com
TUESDAY Makeout 6 p.m. The Smiling Moose, South Side. smiling-moose.com
WEDNESDAY Trovants, Paul Miller, Brian Riordan, Middle Children 9 p.m. Brillobox, Bloomfield. brilloboxpgh.com
MORE CONCERT LISTINGS ONLINE
AT PGHCITYPAPER.COM 34
Look at them, but don’t eat the candyinspired plants in Phipps Conservatory’s Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show: Eye Candy. From now until March 10, all are welcome to gawk at the more than 1,000 eye-popping flowers. The combination of candy-striped and oversized lollipopshaped orchids, confectionery-scented blooms, and vibrant colors are more than enough to chase the winter blues away. Plus, the unique Frank Sarris Orchid, named after the founder of Pittsburgh-based Sarris Candies, is making a special appearance. (P.S. wearing a tropical shirt on any Sunday in February gets you 50 percent off admission.) 9:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Phipps Conservatory, 1 Schenley Drive, Oakland. $11.95-17.95. phipps.conservatory.org
JAN. 12 BIKING
Gender disparities exist everywhere, and biking is not immune. U.S. women currently account for about a quarter of bike trips, despite representing more than half of the population. The Wheel Mill in Homewood is hoping to change that. The cycling park is hosting its regular Ride Like a Girl weekend, where instructors will teach women and girls how to ride confidently in different types of terrain. The workshop provides “a supportive, encouraging environment to challenge yourself and learn new skill.” The days will be broken down into clinics, where riders will focus on different skills, whether they are riding a BMX, mountain, or road bike. Riders can even practice jumps into the foam pit. Prizes are awarded to those who give their best effort. Participants must be 8 years old to attend and can sign up for one or two days on Sat., Jan. 12 or
PHOTO: STEPHANIE MITCHELL/HARVARD UNIVERSITY
^ Mon., Jan. 14: Jill Lepore
Sun., Jan. 13. No boys allowed. 7 a.m.3 p.m. 6815 Hamilton Ave., Homewood. $85 for one day, $160 for both days. thewheelmill.com
Look to the stars during a SkyWatch session at the Carnegie Science Center. The evening begins with a virtual tour of the night sky in the Buhl Planetarium followed by opportunities to explore additional
City performances on YouTube, so you can sample before you go. Free with RSVP. 7 p.m. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Ave., North Side. Free with RSVP. alphabetcity.org
programs or, if the skies are clear, visit the observatory. Chat with expert stargazers to spot celestial objects through the facility’s 16-inch Meade LX200 SchmidtCassegrain telescope. If you’re an astronomy enthusiast who’s willing to bring your own fully-assembled telescopes to share, you can enjoy SkyWatch for free. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. 1 Allegheny Ave., North Side. $2-4. carnegiesciencecenter.org
Producer and musical director Damien Sneed has worked with legends such as Wynton Marsalis, Diana Ross, and Aretha Franklin. He brings his talents to the August Wilson Center for We Shall Overcome, a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sneed will showcase the African-American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders, all of it interwoven with spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches. 7:30 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $25-45. aacc-awc.org
MONDAY JAN. 14 FOOD
Don’t fall into a January slump. Instead, explore Pittsburgh’s booming food scene at the 2019 Pittsburgh Restaurant Week. Discover (and rediscover) city favorites with special tasting menus designed to showcase the best of the best. This winter, more than 40 restaurants are participating in the week. For truly adventurous eaters, Pittsburgh Restaurant Week provides Restaurant Roulette. Spin the wheel and let fate decide your next meal! Continues through Jan. 20. Various locations. pittsburghrestaurantweek.com
Yes, grungy rock and bright pop can coexist. New York City-based Charly Bliss proved as much on its full-length debut, Guppy, a 10-track whirlwind of catchy hooks and charming sarcasm. If that sounds like your type of thing, the four-piece outfit brings its guitar riffs and ’90s era sound to Club Cafe on Tuesday. 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Club Cafe, 56 S. 12th St., South Side. $13. clubcafelive.com
If you don’t like landlords, you are likely not alone. They raise rents, fall back on maintenance, and issue evictions, even when renters didn’t do anything wrong. Channel that anger in a more productive setting with a group of likeminded individuals. Serve the People — Pittsburgh holds a meeting to discuss the problems associated with gentrification, displacement, and evictions. The group knows elected officials don’t always respond swiftly when it comes to housing crises, so they want to educate people on how to take power into their own hands. The meeting includes a short film screening followed by a discussion. Strategies will be discussed on how best to fight the power of landlords and developers. The meeting is held in East Liberty, where many of these battles have played out in recent years. 5-8 p.m. Carnegie Library of East Liberty, 130 S. Whitfield St., East Liberty. Free. Facebook search “Serve The People PGH”
PHOTO: PAUL G. WIEGMAN
^ Sat., Jan. 12: Orchid and Tropical Bonsai Show
founding fathers. Lepore appears at Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland as part of the Ten Evenings series hosted by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures. 7:30 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15-35. pittsburghlectures.org
TUESDAY JAN. 15
Author and Harvard professor Jill Lepore has spent her career synthesizing American history and culture, from the Tea Party to Barbie Dolls. She The journalism industry is as gained notoriety with her book fraught and complex as any The Secret History of Wonder DON’T MISSITH other (and don’t we know it). Woman, which explores the There’s a whole subset of meta OUR Q&A W superhero’s relationship to L LEPORE reporters who cover the innerIL J Y 20th century feminism. Her workings of the journalism AT PGHCITM latest book, These Truths: A industry, like NPR correspondent PAPER.CO History of the United States, lays David Folkenflik, who’s reported out a comprehensive history of the on corrupt newspaper owners, U.S. and explores whether Fox News scandals, and the continuing or not it has lived up to the collapse of print media. Folkenflik speaks expectations and rights laid out by the at the Pittsburgh Playhouse as part of the
Media Innovators series hosted by Point Park University and WESA. This event certainly appeals to media nerds, but would be useful for anyone looking to better understand an industry that’s increasingly vital and continuously vilified. 7 p.m. 350 Forbes Ave., Downtown. $25. pittsburghplayhouse.com
Alphabet City welcomes the Yoko Suzuki Trio back to North Side for another of their semi-regular appearances. But that’s no reason to sleep on this one: these three phenomenal Pittsburghbased(ish) musicians walk a tight rope of improvisation and structure, slamming into new sections on a dime or railing on a groove for five minutes at a time. The stuff is loose, but shouldn’t scare away listeners averse to the really “out there” stuff. Suzuki plays alto sax, Clifford Barnes is on organ, and James Johnson III keeps the screws tight on percussion. There are a few videos of past Alphabet
BoxHeart Gallery puts color in bleak January days with two new exhibitions: Dwell by artist Erika Stearly and Meridian, by artist Stephanie Armbruster. In Dwell, Stearly looks at nostalgia by interlacing lifelike imagery with abstract brushstrokes to create memory-triggering, realistic paintings. Meridian plays with color and rhythm, connecting memory and location. The two painters’ work shows through Feb. 22, with an opening reception on Jan. 19. BoxHeart Gallery, 4523 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. boxheartgallery.com
WEDNESDAY JAN. 16 CIRCUS
Theatrical circus company Cirque du Soleil is renowned for its high-flying acrobatics, elaborate sets, and innovative themes. But when their show Corteo comes to PPG Paints Arena, it will be a throwback to traditional circuses. The story centers around a clown imagining his own funeral at a carnival, where attendees include a ringleader, jugglers, more clowns, and angels. In one scene, the acrobats perform by flipping between two 600-pound, rotating beds. In another, they swing from chandeliers adorned with 4,000 crystals. There is a woman who hula-hoops with her whole body and another who acts as a marionette. 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Jan. 20. 1001 Fifth Ave., Downtown. $54-169. ppgpaintsarena.com • PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
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Notice is hereby given that New Choice Home Deco intends to apply to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a new National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for industrial waste from their existing granite fabrication facility on Campbells Run Road in Robinson Twp, Allegheny County. This application will be pursued in accordance with the NPDES Application for Individual Permit to Discharge Industrial Wastewater Instructions (3800-PM-BCW0008a). Persons desiring additional information, or who wish to provide comment concerning this permit application should contact New Choice Home Deco at (412) 567-0596, or DEP at the following address: Clean Water Program, DEP Southwest Regional OfďŹ ce, 400 Waterfront Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or by telephone: (412) 442-4000, by February 9th, 2019.
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IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-18-15575, In re petition of Grant Phillip Newdick parent and legal guardian of Minerva Daere Newdick, for change of name to Brooke Ardile Grace Newdick. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the ďŹ ling of said petition and ďŹ xed the 31st day of January, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for
IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-18-014357, In re petition of Tyler Edmund Rhoderick for change of name to Tyler Edmund Urban. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the ďŹ ling of said petition and ďŹ xed the 12th day of February, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for
IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-18-15827, In re petition of Corrie Lynne Stark for change of name to Kori Lynne Stark. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the ďŹ ling of said petition and ďŹ xed the 13th day of February, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for
IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-18-13526, In re petition of Waleed Salim Danyan parent and legal guardian of Bisan Waleed Algharrawi, for change of name to Bisan Waleed Danyan. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the ďŹ ling of said petition and ďŹ xed the 7th day of January, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for
THE BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PITTSBURGH Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, Room 251, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on February 5, 2019, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for:
PGH. ALLDERDICE HIGH SCHOOL Concrete and Asphalt Repairs General Prime PGH. ALLDERDICE HIGH SCHOOL Stair Tower Painting and New Stair Treads General Prime PGH. LANGLEY K-8 Corridor and Classroom Ceilings and Lighting General, Electrical and Asbestos Abatement Primes PGH. SPRING HILL K-5 Restroom Renovations General, Plumbing, Mechanical and Electrical Primes Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on January 7, 2019 at Modern Reproductions (412-488-7700), 127 McKean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable. Project details and dates are described in each project manual. We are an equal rights and opportunity school district.
The Attic Flea Market and Consignment Shop Open Sunday, January 13, 2019 and the second Sunday of each month.
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1. Apple texting app 8. 1900 Joseph Conrad novel 14. Showers with compliments 15. Portugal’s peninsula 16. “Skinny Legs And All” author 17. “Chill, man, chill!” 18. “To a” poem 19. Dictator’s act 21. Cry of pain 22. “Billy Budd” captain 24. Passing votes 26. Picks up 28. Khan Academy founder Khan 30. Newspaper that runs a mini 5x5 crossword, briefly 32. Utter baloney 33. Replies to an Evite, say 36. City where Beethoven was born 37. Wyo. neighbor 38. “Consider me a supporter,” and a hint to this puzzle’s theme 41. Falcons coach ___ Quinn 42. Red number 43. Generation Z members 44. With 46-Across, codgers
45. On the money 46. See 44-Across 47. Sell shortly after buying, in real estate lingo 49. Ward of the screen 51. “The BFG” author 55. Sign of healing 57. Loud noises 59. Necklace with petals 60. Ozzy’s wife 62. Sickened 64. Candy sold as four bars 65. With ease, as some victories 66. #Resist refrain 67. Gets in one’s sights
1. Kind of comedy 2. Wear down 3. Cavalier’s weapon 4. Rel. 5. “Yeah, sure” 6. Cheerful and pleasant 7. Medium.com post 8. “Pod Save America” listener, likely 9. Follow to the letter 10. Military mission 11. Set some boundaries 12. Karen Pence’s predecessor
13. Muslim teacher 20. Choral voices 23. “NBA Countdown” channel 25. Backup, say, on the cloud 27. Blackens, as some fish 29. Places of refuge 31. Gov’t. security 33. Done with 34. Dinghy or pontoon, e.g. 35. Clear one’s name, say 36. “I caught you!” 39. “You caught me!” 40. Tear up
46. El día después de hoy 48. Winter jacket 50. Upper bound 52. What a crook might take 53. Very very 54. Rapper on the 2001 hit “Lady Marmalade” 56. Sixth word (okay, acronym) in “Back In The U.S.S.R.” 58. Wyo. neighbor 60. Type of milk 61. Nonspecific ordinal 63. Maa mama LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS
)ROORZXVWRƓQGRXW ZKDWōVKDSSHQLQJ @PGHCITYPAPER FACEBOOK.COM/ PITTSBURGHCITYPAPER PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER JAN. 9-16, 2019
PEEPSHOW A sex and social justice column
BODY POSITIVITY BY JESSIE SAGE // PEEPSHOWCAST@GMAIL.COM
F YOU WERE paying attention to
social media in 2018, you may have noticed that major platforms such as Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and Patreon severely restricted, or altogether banned, adult content and nudity. This type of censorship has real and serious consequences to many marginalized communities. To consider why it’s important for adults to be able to discuss their bodies and their sexualities in public forums, I interviewed Ashley Ramos, a Pittsburgh-based bodypositive ﬁgurative artist who uses her oil-based painting to represent the sensuality of larger bodies. Interview edited for length and clarity. SEVERAL SOCIAL MEDIA SITES HAVE RECENTLY TIGHTENED RESTRICTIONS ON ADULT CONTENT. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT? When I was struggling several years ago, being able to see bodies that looked like mine stopped me from killing myself. Seeing larger [naked] bodies that were conﬁdent in themselves gave me a blueprint [on how] to be myself, to be sexual. As a result, my mental health (and body image) is a lot better.
SO, BEFORE YOU WERE EVER POSTING AS AN ARTIST, THE FREEDOM TO SHARE THIS SORT OF CONTENT WAS IMPORTANT TO YOU? Seeing diverse representations of bodies and sexuality helps people connect and not feel so alone. Artists are using the platforms to explore different ways of representing themselves and of having sex. I remember making art about sex even before I ever had sex. Tumblr was one of the ﬁrst places that I was able to express myself sexually, and to have important conversations.
POSTING MY OWN WORK FELT LIKE A COMING-OUT WHAT WAS IT LIKE STARTING TO POSTING YOUR OWN WORK ONLINE? Posting my own work felt like a comingout, where I was able to be unashamed about my art. As a young person, I made very sexual art that my mother severely punished me for. But moving into a space where I could publicly post my work allowed my mother to really
understand me. The public displays of my art was a gift to her because she got to see it through the eyes of others. She saw that what I was communicating was my own worth, and that this was more about body positivity than it was about hedonism. HOW HAVE FOLKS RESPONDED TO YOUR WORK THAT MIGHT HAVE CHANGED HER PERCEPTION? There is a particular piece I did where a woman is bending over and holding her breasts. I called it “Burden.” A doctor who I’m friends with on Facebook reached out to me and told me that she has large breasts and she has had patients who have cried in her ofﬁce because of the pain associated with them. Yet, not many people talk about that because large breasts are very eroticized objects for others. My art opened up this conversation for many folks. More generally, people would have conversations with me about body positivity and my body journey. Representing my own body in my art was powerful. In my art I was saying, “This is a body, and I am going to show it, you can either accept it or you don’t have to.” Just existing is such a political statement, I don’t need to say anything further.
Jessie Sage is co-host of the Peepshow Podcast, which addresses issues related to sex and social justice. Her column Peepshow is exclusive to City Paper. Follow her on Twitter @peep_cast.
Peepshow Podcast, Ep. 38 On Episode 38 of the Peepshow Podcast we interview Red, a New York City-based Marxist/feminist community organizer and underemployed, sex-working art historian. They are a member of the Suppose Ho(s)e Collective, Survived & Punished New York, and they coordinate the Justice for Alisia Walker Defense Campaign. Red’s organizing efforts sit at the intersection of art, politics, and labor. In addition to a discussion of the prison industrial complex as it relates to sex work politics, we talked to Red about the work they have done curating the art exhibit Whores Will Rise. The exhibit was a collection of resistance ephemera from sex work protest rallies and marches. Red talks about the importance of saving and archiving these resistance objects, saying, “They are objects, but they are also talismans of resistance, and proof that we [as sex workers] were here.” They go on to say, “there is something really special about putting someone’s protest poster on a wall and insisting unapologetically that it is an art object, that it is worthy of your attention, of your reverence, of your participation with it.” For more on Red’s work, and on resistance art, listen to peepshowpodcast.com/peepshowpodcast-episode-38
Too embarrassed to ask your friends about a sexual position? Want to know what it’s really like to work in the sex industry? Jessie Sage wants to hear from you! Submit a question for a chance to get it answered in an upcoming column. Email your question to email@example.com with “Ask Jessie” in the subject line. (All questions will be kept confidential.) 38
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SPIRIT KING of
This annual award honors lifetime achievement in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Port Authority is proud to present Harvey Adams, Jr. and The Honorable Walter Little as the 2019 Spirit of King honorees. The ceremony takes place Thursday, January 10th 10:00 am at The Kingsley Center, 6435 Frankstown Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15206 Please RSVP at 412.566.5320 By Friday, January 4, 2019
Thursday, January 10th 10:00 am
Volume 30 Issue 02