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Meet the woman who lost her job at Westinghouse’s offices in China, and flew all the way to Cranberry to try to get it back.

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

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FIRSTSHOT BY JARED MURPHY

Alicia Lynn, aka “Sundae Service,” gets messy during Pudding Wrestling Massacre on Fri., Feb. 15 at Spirit.

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FEB. 20-27, 2019 VOLUME 28 + ISSUE 8 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 Designer 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, CHARLES ROSENBLUM, JESSIE SAGE, STEVE SUCATO Interns JANINE FAUST, XIOLA JENSEN, JARED MURPHY Office Administrator RODNEY REGAN National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529 Publisher EAGLE MEDIA CORP.

GENERAL POLICIES: Contents copyrighted 2019 by Eagle Media Corp. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Pittsburgh City Paper are those of the author and not necessarily of Eagle Media Corp. LETTER POLICY: Letters, faxes or e-mails must be signed and include town and daytime phone number for confirmation. We may edit for length and clarity. DISTRIBUTION: Pittsburgh City Paper is published weekly by Eagle Media Corp. and is available free of charge at select distribution locations. One copy per reader; copies of past issues may be purchased for $3.00 each, payable in advance to Pittsburgh City Paper. FIRST CLASS MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: Available for $175 per year, $95 per half year. No refunds.

COVER PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM RE A D T H E S TORY ON PAG E 6

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CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

Constance stands in front of the Westinghouse sign ign gn asking as ing to see their ask th heiir CEO. CEO CEO

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THE BIG STORY

LABOR OF LOVE A Chinese woman lost her job at Westinghouse in Shanghai, so she flew all the way to Cranberry to ask for it back

F

BY RYAN DETO // RYANDETO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM OR THE PAST three weeks, Constance has been standing out-

side the Westinghouse Electric Corporation headquarters in Cranberry, Pa., every weekday, holding laminated signs that read “I just want my JOB back” and “I want to see CEO.” She had worked at Westinghouse for nine years and claims she was unfairly fired in 2018. And now, she’s demanding to see Westinghouse CEO, Jose Gutierrez. CONTINUES ON PG. 8

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

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LABOR OF LOVE, CONTINUED FROM PG. 7

presents

CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

Constance poses for a portrait behind a Martin Luther King, Jr. book in her hotel room

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That sort of boldness and determination would be remarkable if she were an American employee fighting to get her job back, but the job Constance lost was located more than 7,000 miles away, in her native China. Since losing her accounting job at the Westinghouse offices in Shanghai at the end of last year, she’s self-financed this mission: flying to Pittsburgh via Hong Kong and New York, spending more than 36 hours in layovers, putting herself up at a hotel in Cranberry, and committing her days to braving the cold in the hopes that this self-assured gamble would pay off. What brought Constance to the Pittsburgh area was an email she received from Gutierrez that led her to believe that she might be able to get her job back. She had reached out directly to Gutierrez after losing her job, and to her surprise, he responded. His email was short and noncommittal, but it led Constance to believe that Gutierrez might hear her out, and maybe even help her get her job back. But Constance is facing an uphill battle. She never had a direct contract with Westinghouse, which leaves her with basically no leverage to get her job back. She was hired through a third-party employer. She came to America planning to take advantage of labor rights she believed were protected here, ones that aren’t protected in China. “When they said, ‘You don’t work for Westinghouse,’ I was very hurt by that,” says Constance. “I don’t think it is right. I come to America to fight it out.” Constance only spoke to Pittsburgh City Paper on the condition of anonymity, fearing other Chinese businesses would

blackball her when she attempted to find work upon returning home. Constance is a pseudonym, but CP verified her identity through her passport, work ID badge, and with Westinghouse officials. Constance speaks some English but is not fluent. CP held multiple interviews with her using Google Translate, as well as an extensive phone interview with a Mandarin interpreter from a Pittsburgh university.

W

HEN SHE FIRST arrived in

Cranberry, Constance merely walked into Westinghouse headquarters and politely requested a meeting with company officials. She says a Westinghouse vice president met with her and sympathized with her predicament. She was hopeful her message would be relayed to the CEO. Constance patiently waited to hear back, spending her days in a small hotel room at a Quality Inn in Cranberry, chosen because it’s among the area’s least expensive. For breakfast, she eats a complimentary banana from the lobby. She also takes the free apples and stores them in the room’s mini-fridge. She walks across the street every two days to Panda Express and eats a dinner of Kung Pao chicken and fried rice, saving half of it for the next day. Constance drinks hot water out of her thermos, as is customary in China. She keeps her room at a balmy 75 degrees (Shanghai’s climate is warmer than in Pittsburgh). Born in 1978, Constance grew up on Chongming Island on the outskirts of Shanghai. She says her parents worked harvesting rice, saving enough money for her to attend college in the city. She now CONTINUES ON PG. 10

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LABOR OF LOVE, CONTINUED FROM PG. 8

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The back of Constance’s employee badge and a Chinese Westinghouse handbook

lives with her husband, a freelance salesperson, and their two children. Constance says her position working for Westinghouse made her the breadwinner of her family. While she has been in America, her husband has texted her pictures of their 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son. She is away from her family during China’s biggest holiday season: Lunar New Year. “They send a photo every day,” says Constance. “I depend on that.”

A

FTER A COUPLE of weeks without hearing back, she realized the Westinghouse CEO wasn’t reaching out, so she took her strategy to the next level. She protested by standing for two hours each day at an entrance to Westinghouse HQ (one hour as commuters arrived at work in the morning, and the other as they left work in the evening). On Jan. 24, Constance says local police were called and confronted her. That’s when she decided to start reaching out to the press, following the suggestion of a ride-hail driver. She says she never intended for her story to become a controversy, but decided that getting the press involved was necessary to procure a meeting with the CEO. She explained her predicament to CP: she first signed a contract with FESCO, a large Chinese contracting agency. Her salary was just under $2,000 a month, notably higher than Shanghai’s average of $1,135 a month, according to Forbes. Constance says she started work in 2010 as support of Westinghouse’s construction of an AP1000 nuclear reactor, about four hours south of Shanghai. As

the project was prolonged past the estimated completion date, as is common with large projects, Constance’s contract was renewed several times, but always through FESCO. Even so, she says she grew accustomed to feeling like a Westinghouse employee. She studied the Westinghouse employee handbook. She grew close to her co-workers. She even started requesting a direct contract with Westinghouse in 2017. She says she loves Westinghouse as a company.

“WHEN THEY SAID ‘YOU DON’T WORK FOR WESTINGHOUSE,’ I WAS VERY HURT BY THAT. I DON’T THINK IT IS RIGHT. I COME TO AMERICA TO FIGHT IT OUT.” In 2017, when Constance was pregnant with her second child, she maintained working occasional overtime hours, even though her doctor recommended cutting her hours back because her baby was suffering from gestational diabetes and other ailments. At times, she breathed through a tube of oxygen for her child’s health. “It will haunt me greatly,” she says through tears. “Every day I worked so hard for Westinghouse.” CONTINUES ON PG. 12


PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

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LABOR OF LOVE, CONTINUED FROM PG. 10

B

UT IT APPEARS that once work on

the AP1000 was completed, Constance’s contract expired. It’s unclear if she was ever told her job would be more than temporary. Westinghouse did not respond to direct questions regarding Constance’s contract. But the company did send this statement: “We are aware that a former Westinghouse contractor from China has been holding signs near our offices. We are aware of her presence, and have met with her to discuss her concerns. We have also asked our employees to exhibit caution and safe driving practices as they enter and exit the Westinghouse campus in order to ensure her safety.” It’s understandable that Constance believed labor rights were better in America. She is obsessed with American civil rights, which she learned about in college. She talks about the 1964 Civil Rights Act and she even brought with her a Chinese book about Martin Luther King Jr. Her favorite King quote (which is actually the title of one of his books) is “All labor has dignity.” “If it were a Chinese company, I would have given up,” she says of Westinghouse.

“But it is an American company. I have a chance at equal rights.” Her favorite American movie is Shawshank Redemption, a tale of a man escaping an unjust prison sentence. She keeps a graphic on her computer of a scene from the film in which Morgan Freeman says “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.” But American companies also rely on contract work to avoid hiring direct employees in America. In fact, it’s a growing trend, especially among tech companies. Constance experienced the reality of labor laws in America, not a sunny Hollywood. The cold winters, the non-committal corporate speak, the realization that even American-style rights aren’t as ideal as people might want to believe. She is still holding out hope for a meeting with the CEO, but Westinghouse isn’t giving any indication that will happen. “Before I came to America, I was hopeful that I would get a resolution,” says Constance. “Now I am not so sure about that. ... Maybe in the future, I won’t speak up. It is too disappointing. I thought it was different with an American company.”

Follow senior writer Ryan Deto on Twitter @RyanDeto

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CP PHOTOS: JARED WICKERHAM

Steven Spohn at home

GAMING

GAME ON BY BILLY LUDT // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

P

USHING A BUTTON on a video

game controller doesn’t require a lot of physical effort for the average gamer. There are maybe a few millimeters of movement involved in moving a joystick or working a handheld controller. But for gamers with physical disabilities, those movements can be difficult or impossible. So what options exist for them to pursue their passion for gaming? If you’d asked Steve Spohn that question 10 years ago, he would tell you that there were next to none. “The industry back then didn’t care,

didn’t think about it at all,” he says. Spohn, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is the chief operating officer of The AbleGamers Charity, a nonprofit dedicated to making video games more accessible for people with disabilities. Last year, he was named Global Gaming Citizen at The Game Awards for his work in assistive technology; he is a Twitch partner who regularly streams his current gaming obsession, Rocket League; and in addition to his gaming exploits, Spohn is a writer. “I’ve been playing video games for years,” he says. “It’s actually what I learned as a great escape from

having a body that’s not able, and a mind that’s willing.” Spohn has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), which causes a person’s muscles to degenerate over time, or as he describes it: “It slowly takes away my abilities to do anything.” Spohn’s used a wheelchair his entire life and could manage many tasks on his own early on, but as time passed, he’s had to adapt—and games were no exception. In high school, he found a community in the high fantasy roleplaying game Ultima Online and solidified his passion for games. “Just the idea of getting to interact

with other people and not have to worry about real life barriers was really what was so intriguing for me,” he says. “I made friends that carried over to real life. It was really a differentiator for me, from what I’d experienced in real life.” As he entered his 20s, Spohn was finding workarounds to playing games. Though he couldn’t reach the keyboard, he started using a tarter scraper tool — the kind used by dentists — to hit the buttons. Eventually, Spohn started looking for other games and new tools to play them. That’s when he found AbleGamers. CONTINUES ON PG. 16

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GAME ON, CONTINUED FROM PG. 14

Various controllers used by people with different disabilities

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Back then, it was a resource blog run by founders Mark Barlet and Stephanie Walker. Multiple sclerosis limited Walker’s ability to play games without assistance. In looking for resources to help Walker play, the two friends realized she probably wasn’t alone. What spurred Spohn’s initial interaction with Barlet was a post Barlet wrote on the blog claiming World of Warcraft, the immensely popular MMORPG, could not be played with only a mouse. “And I knew that was not true, because I was only using a mouse and I was able to play World of Warcraft,” Spohn says. “So, I was posting on there going, ‘Ha ha! You’re wrong! You suck.’ And instead of keeping me away, he sent me a message saying, ‘You think you can do better? Then write an article.’” Spohn wrote the article and thought that would be the end of it. But then he received a message thanking him for his story had helped someone play. So he wrote another article, and more messages followed. “Before I knew it, I was hooked on the ability to help other people,” he says. More than a decade later, Spohn is still helping. AbleGamers pushes for accessibility in many aspects of gaming: requiring subtitles for players with hearing impairments, or raising money to get players with neuromuscular conditions controllers they can use with their lips and breath. The charity has a staff that can guide players with disabilities to the assistive controllers they need, and there’s a grant program that will provide the funds to the purchase that tech. “The industry was not always sup-

portive,” Spohn says. “It’s taken a long time to bring it around.” For the last two and a half years, AbleGamers has worked with Microsoft on the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and they’ve made assistive technology compatible with every modern game system except for the Nintendo Switch.

“THE INDUSTRY WAS NOT ALWAYS SUPPORTIVE. IT’S TAKEN A LONG TIME TO BRING IT AROUND.” AbleGamers also has programs beyond those built for the gamers themselves, including providing assistive tech to hospitals and accessibility guides for developers. While streaming games on Twitch, Spohn is often asked how he’s able to play at all, and he’s happy to explain his setup. He says those interactions provide an opportunity to normalize people with disabilities, because “we [are] still often segregated — we often keep people away with disabilities — so some people grow up and they’ve never met someone with a disability,” he says. “I want to prove to people that you can continue to game even if you have a severe disability,” says Spohn, who uses a 1,600 DPI mouse and a hat that tracks his head movements to push keyboard buttons. “And I’m not using a lot of tech to do it.”


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.FOR THE WEEK OF FEB. 21.

FREE WILL ASTROLOGY BY ROB BREZSNY // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

ARIES (March 21-April 19):

In December 1915, the California city of San Diego was suffering from a draught. City officials hired a professional “moisture accelerator” named Charles Hatfield, who promised to make it rain. Soon Hatfield was shooting explosions of a secret blend of chemicals into the sky from the top of a tower. The results were quick. A deluge began in early January of 1916 and persisted for weeks. Thirty inches of rain fell, causing floods that damaged the local infrastructure. The moral of the story, as far as you’re concerned, Aries: when you ask for what you want and need, specify exactly how much you want and need. Don’t make an open-ended request that could bring you too much of a good thing.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20):

Actors Beau Bridges and Jeff Bridges are brothers born to parents who were also actors. When they were growing up, they already had aspirations to follow in their mom’s and dad’s footsteps. From an early age, they summoned a resourceful approach to attracting an audience. Now and then they would start a pretend fight in a store’s parking lot. When a big enough crowd had gathered to observe their shenanigans, they would suddenly break off from their faux struggle, grab their guitars from their truck, and begin playing music. In the coming weeks, I hope you’ll be equally ingenious as you brainstorm about ways to expand your outreach.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

According to Edward Barnard’s book New York City Trees, a quarter of the city is shaded by its 5.2 million trees. In other words, one of the most densely populated, frantically active places on the planet has a rich collection of oxygengenerating greenery. There’s even a virgin forest at the upper tip of Manhattan, as well as five botanical gardens and the 843-acre Central Park. Let’s use all this bounty-amidst-the-bustle as a symbol of what you should strive to foster in the coming weeks: refreshing lushness and grace interspersed throughout your busy, hustling rhythm.

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

As a poet myself, I regard good poetry as highly useful. It can nudge us free of our habitual thoughts and provoke us to see the world in

deep sleep, thorough relaxation, mental stimulation, soulful intimacy, a sense of meaningfulness, nourishing beauty, and rich feelings? I bring these questions to your attention, Scorpio, because the rest of 2019 will be an excellent time for you to fine-tune and expand your relationships with these fundamental blessings. And now is an excellent time to intensify your efforts.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):

Cartographers of Old Europe sometimes drew pictures of strange beasts in the uncharted regions of their maps. These were warnings to travelers that such areas might harbor unknown risks, like dangerous animals. One famous map of the Indian Ocean shows an image of a sea monster lurking, as if waiting to prey on sailors traveling through its territory. If I were going to create a map of the frontier you’re now headed for, Pisces, I would fill it with mythic beasts of a more benevolent variety, like magic unicorns, good fairies, and wise centaurs.

ways we’ve never imagined. On the other hand, it’s not useful in the same way that food and water and sleep are. Most people don’t get sick if they are deprived of poetry. But I want to bring your attention to a poem that is serving a very practical purpose in addition to its inspirational function. Simon Armitage’s poem “In Praise of Air” is on display in an outdoor plaza at Sheffield University. The material it’s printed on is designed to literally remove a potent pollutant from the atmosphere. And what does this have to do with you? I suspect that in the coming weeks you will have an extra capacity to generate blessings that are like Armitage’s poem: useful in both practical and inspirational ways.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

In 1979, psychologist Dorothy Tennov published her book Love and Limerence: The Experience of Being in Love. She defined her newly coined word “limerence” as a state of adoration that may generate intense, euphoric, and obsessive feelings for another person. Of all the signs in the zodiac, you Leos are most likely to be visited by this disposition throughout 2019. And you’ll be especially prone to it in the coming weeks. Will that be a good thing or a disruptive thing? It all depends on how determined you are to regard it as a blessing, have fun with it, and enjoy it regardless of whether or not your feelings are reciprocated. I advise you to enjoy the hell out of it!

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

Based in Switzerland, Nestlé is the largest food

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21):

company in the world. Yet it pays just $200 per year to the state of Michigan for the right to suck up 400 million gallons of groundwater, which it bottles and sells at a profit. I nominate this vignette to be your cautionary tale in the coming weeks. How? 1. Make damn sure you are being fairly compensated for your offerings. 2. Don’t allow huge, impersonal forces to exploit your resources. 3. Be tough and discerning, not lax and naïve, as you negotiate deals.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22):

Sixteenth-century Italian artist Daniele da Volterra wasn’t very famous for his own painting and sculpture. The work for which we remember him today is the alterations he made to Michelangelo’s giant fresco The Last Judgment, which spreads across an entire wall in the Sistine Chapel. After Michelangelo died, the Catholic Church hired da Volterra to “fix” the scandalous aspects of the people depicted in the master’s work. He painted clothes and leaves over the originals’ genitalia and derrieres. In accordance with astrological omens, I propose that we make da Volterra your anti-role model for the coming weeks. Don’t be like him. Don’t engage in cover-ups, censorship, or camouflage. Instead, specialize in the opposite: revelations, unmaskings, and expositions.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21):

What is the quality of your access to life’s basic necessities? How well do you fulfill your need for good food and drink, effective exercise,

Michael Jackson’s 1982 song “Beat It” climbed to number three on the record-sales charts in Australia. On the other hand, “Weird Al” Yankovic’s 1984 parody of Jackson’s tune, “Eat It,” reached number one on the same charts. Let’s use this twist as a metaphor that’s a good fit for your life in the coming weeks. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, you may find that a stand-in or substitute or imitation will be more successful than the original. And that will be auspicious!

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

The Space Needle in Seattle, Washington is 605 feet high and 138 feet wide: a tall and narrow tower. Near the top is a round restaurant that makes one complete rotation every 47 minutes. Although this part of the structure weighs 125 tons, for many years its motion was propelled by a mere 1.5 horsepower motor. I think you will have a comparable power at your disposal in the coming weeks: an ability to cause major movement with a compact output of energy.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

In 1941, the Ford automobile company created a “biological car.” Among its components were “bioplastics” composed of soybeans, hemp, flax, wood pulp, and cotton. It weighed a thousand pounds less than a comparable car made of metal. This breakthrough possibility never fully matured, however. It was overshadowed by newly abundant plastics made from petrochemicals. I suspect that you Aquarians are at a phase with a resemblance to the biological car. Your good idea is promising but unripe. I hope you’ll spend the coming weeks devoting practical energy to developing it. (P.S. There’s a difference between you and your personal equivalent of the biological car: little competition.)

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

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 Peepshow column, found this week on page 46. Email your question to info@pghcitypaper.com with “Ask Jessie” in the subject line. (All questions will be kept confidential.)

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

19


.FOOD.

ISLAND HEART BY MAGGIE WEAVER MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

S

ANDWICHED BETWEEN Italian restaurants on Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield, Azorean Cafe salutes the cuisine of the Azores, an archipelago just off the coast of Portugal. The dishes, founded on a “peasant-based” cooking style, are hearty, humble, and full of earthy flavors. Azorean Cafe puts heart into practical, homey dishes. Elsa Santos, the restaurant’s head chef and owner, is native to this cluster of islands. Santos has lived in the U.S. for 17 years, after migrating from San Miguel, the largest of the Azores. Azorean Cafe, which opened in May of 2018, pays homage to her home with a U.S. twist. Azorean cuisine relies heavily on what’s fresh and available, producing a rustic, straightforward relative of Portuguese fare. Seafood is a prominent feature. Santos reflects this on her menu, sticking with traditional Portuguese dishes like bifana (pork loin sandwich), bacalhau natas (baked salted cod), and feijoada (Portuguese stew). The counter case holds a variety of croquettes, empanadas, fritters, and pastries. She puts twists on American classics, winning over Pittsburghers with her Azores-inspired French toast. During the week, Santos keeps to breakfast and lunch. But on Fridays and Saturdays, her hours extend, and the menu expands for dinner. The cafe brings a fresh, vibrant light to the neighborhood. Inside, bright blue walls provide a backdrop for island landscapes, lining an ever-extending hallway of tables. It’s spacious yet intimate, a quiet atmosphere perfect for a lunch alone, a relaxed dinner, or a mid-afternoon respite. When I visited Azorean Cafe,

CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

The Azorean Island french toast at Azorean Cafe in the Bloomfield

AZOREAN CAFE

4715 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412- 586-424 or azoreancafe.com

one thing rang true: they knew how to do lunch. It was casual, flavorful food that was fast and healthy. I wasn’t sitting for two hours on a leisurely lunch break, and I wasn’t pushed out the door by anxious business people. It was easy and delicious. Before my meal, I dipped into the

island drink menu for cacao. Azorean’s espresso was paired with moka and embellished with a swirling sweep of whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and a cookie. It offered an excess of frills, but not much in the way of taste. My meal began with caldo verde, a simple Portuguese soup. This dish could have come from my grandmother’s kitchen. It was an Azorean version of Italian wedding soup. The medley was masterfully understated, a modest broth supporting white beans, sweet potatoes,

FAVORITE FEATURES:

20

Plants

Store

Mini casserole dishes

Live plants are everywhere in the cafe. They droop from rods on the wall and fill up empty counter space.

Find Azorean food that you can’t live without? Santos offers a limited retail selection in addition to her cafe.

Stews are served in small, casserole dishes, just the right portion for one person. It’s true what they say. Everything is cuter when it’s a miniature.

PGHCITYPAPER.COM

kale, onion, and chouriço. One dash of the table’s hot sauce and I was happy. From there, I moved to polvo guisado, a baked octopus stew. It was a neat, bow-wrapped package, each bite cleanly balanced. Starchy potatoes soaked up a rich, sun-ripened broth and the octopus was beautifully tender. It all but melted away into the robust broth. I finished with the nata, a Portuguese egg tart. The flaky pastry, filled with a lush egg tart, was dusted with cinnamon and baked in a high-temperature oven. There wasn’t a bad bite, the sugary custard barely sneaking sweetness. Azorean Cafe is warming Pittsburgh up with a drop of island cuisine. There’s too much to taste in one visit, and everything is worth at least one bite. I’ll be back, if not for a meal, for a box full of natas.

Follow staff writer Maggie Weaver on Twitter @magweav


.ON THE ROCKS.

BAD REPUTATION BY MAGGIE WEAVER MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

D

ISTILLERS DAVE HARMON and Joe DeGroot believe in a holy trinity: wormwood, fennel, and anise. Those three ingredients form the foundation of absinthe, a misunderstood liquor with a bad reputation. Historically, it was known as a hallucinogen, considered liable for murders in the early 1900s (think: Reefer Madness), and even has a syndrome named after it. But — apologies to believers in The Green Fairy — absinthe’s criminal background isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.

LAWRENCEVILLE DISTILLING CO.

5410 Harrison St., Lawrenceville. 412-945-0845 or lawrencevilledistilling.com

Harmon and DeGroot, co-founders of Lawrenceville Distilling Co., celebrated the release of 1129 Ridge Ave. absinthe in early January. They underline that when correctly prepared, absinthe doesn’t make you trip. Old-school absinthe visions can be attributed to alcohol poisoning. Truthfully, when diluted properly, it’s only a bit more alcoholic than a glass of wine. 1129 Ridge Ave. starts with a housemade brandy. DeGroot, head distiller, sticks faithfully to a traditional absinthe recipe from 1855. Once he refines the brandy, DeGroot macerates it with the aforementioned holy trinity of ingredients. After a second distilling, the substance (herbs and all) is shocked with

CP PHOTO: MAGGIE WEAVER

Lawrenceville Distilling Co.’s cold water fountain and its 1129 Ridge Ave. absinthe

hot water. Scalding releases chlorophyll, resulting in the signature absinthe green. Harmon and DeGroot use an ornate fountain to sample batches. Three spouts drip water from a clear tank onto glasses dressed with sugar cubes and grills, each filled with a touch of absinthe. This method — the proper technique — allows for the spirit’s floral tones to open up, smoothing the harshness of the alcohol. Absinthe is refreshing. It’s good for warmer weather or to revive on a hungover Sunday morning. DeGroot and Harmon have three batches from the first bottling, each presenting a unique bouquet. The aroma blooms with each drip, separating batches with subtle tones. Sips drift faintly towards different flavors, some leaning into the anise while others finish like chamomile. Though the fountain adds a classic French embellishment, it’s not necessary for everyday use. Measure out absinthe and sugar and throw it in a shaker. The drink is the same, just with a little less decoration. Absinthe is a surprisingly versatile liquor, and Harmon and DeGroot are quick to muse over their favorite absinthe-adorned cocktails. The resounding choice is a corpse reviver no. 2, the simple touch of absinthe adding a sharp bite to an otherwise refreshingly citrus cocktail. Absinthe, though legal in the U.S. since 2007, still carries a social taboo. Lawrenceville Distilling Co. is hoping to rebuild its reputation. Absinthe might have a hard-hitting past, but there’s a bright future for the green fairy.

Corpse Reviver No. 2 3/4 oz. gin 3/4 oz. Cocchi American or Lillet Blanc 3/4 oz. Cointreau

3/4 oz. lemon juice 1 Amarena cherry

Rinse a stemmedd glass with absinthe and drop the cherry in. Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker. Strain and enjoy!

Pad Thai Noodle $9 Lunch Special EVERY DAY!

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BLOOMFIELD www.padthainoodlepittsburgh.comm PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

21


The Mattress Factory in the Mexican War Streets

.FOOD.

PRESERVING COMMUNITY BY MAGGIE WEAVER // MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

I

NTIMATE CONVERSATIONS are an

integral part of the annual Mexican War Streets Progressive Dinner. Compared to other neighborhoodorganized events, the dinner offers a chance for in-depth connection with the community. The dinner, on Feb. 23, moves from house to house, groups of neighbors delving into appetizers and entrees at the invitation of community homeowners. Homes in the Mexican War Streets are known for historically accurate features, from windows to front stoops. It’s a collection of beautifully restored houses, which the neighborhood works tirelessly to achieve and maintain. Residents are a diverse, multigenerational mix of Pittsburghers, a hodge-podge of natives, transplants, and people from all walks of life. The progressive dinner holds to this preservation mentality, both externally and interpersonally. Everything about the progressive dinner is a community-building effort. It’s held in February to get residents off their couches and away from winter blues. By capping the ends of dinner with a group gathering, neighbors have the chance to mingle and chat. The dinner is open to all of Pittsburgh, welcoming other areas of the city to join the neighborhood. Margaret Connor, president of the Mexican War Streets Society and society secretary Stephanie Johnston, are new-

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bies to progressive planning and make every attempt toward accessibility, working to lessen the load on participants. Hosts are not responsible to cook; chefs are sourced from other homes. Entrees, the same in each house, are simple and affordable. Neighbors are called upon to bring side dishes, extra desserts, and more. The modest entry fee is used for wine and decorations; any surplus is put back into preservation.

MEXICAN WAR STREETS PROGRESSIVE DINNER

Sat., Feb. 23. Mexican War Streets, North Side. $20-25. mexicanwarstreets.org

This year, the moving meal turns 12 (in comparison, the Mexican War Streets house tour is celebrating its 50th anniversary). In the past two years, under the supervision of Connor and Johnston, the event has taken some fun turns. Dinner is now themed, with last year’s dinner returning to the 2000s and this year getting down with the ‘70s. For the first time, the progressive is bookended by events at the Mattress Factory. Neighbors come together at the museum for cocktails and return for dessert. “You just have to roll with it,” says Connor. “You leave the cocktail space, and you show back up for dessert. Whatever happens in the middle, hopefully, you get some food and see two houses.”


DINING OUT

SPONSORED LISTINGS FROM CITY PAPER ’S FINE ADVERTISERS

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED RESTAURANT

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.

BAR LOUIE

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 martinisand 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.

COLONY CAFE

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 house-made bistro fare in a stylish Downtown space.

EIGHTY ACRES

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-totable 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.

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.

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 like Pad Thai and Coconut Curry Noodle

The best gifts are edible. 1910 New Texas Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15239 724.519.7304 EightyAcresKitchen.com

are sure to please. But don’t miss out on the Ono Kyowsway featuring egg noodle sautéed with coconut chicken, cilantro and curry sauce.

SAGA HIBACHI

FEATURED ON INK MASTER :ANGELS

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.

PYRAMID

TATTOO

SUPERIOR MOTORS

& Body Piercing

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.

PYRAMIDTATTOO.COM

BRIDGEVILLE, PA

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

23


CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

Condemned buildings are torn down next to the Garden Theater on the North Side

.ARCHITECTURE.

MAN BITES DOG BY CHARLES ROSENBLUM // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

A

S A HEADLINE, “Dog bites man” is satirical, but it indicates that an event is unfolding .about as you would expect. When Pittsburgh loses a cluster of historic buildings, as we did with the recent demolition of 4, 6, and 8 West North Avenue on the North Side at the beginning of February, that is definitely news. We lose historic buildings all the time. Sadly, it’s not much of a shock. The so-called Garden Block on the North Side, bounded by West North, Federal, Reddour, and Eloise across from Allegheny Commons, has had its ups and downs of redevelopment in recent years. The centerpiece theater sat unused in the early 2010s, after its last days as a porn theater. Then, a block-wide redevelopment campaign under the ownership of the Urban Redevelopment Authority

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(URA) saw notable successes. Rebirth of the adjacent Masonic Temple as the City of Asylum headquarters has been a terrific success, and the preservation of the contiguous Mayberry building as a 16-unit apartment building saved a prized work by historic architect Frederick Osterling. But the Garden Theater itself, though renovated, has languished without a tenant after the departure of its Philadelphia-based developer Wayne Zukin. Press accounts have attributed that vacancy to the precarious nature of the buildings so recently in the adjacent lots at the prominent corner. The three rowhouse-type structures dated from the post-Civil War era, with characteristically tall floor-to-floor heights and workman-like ornamental detail in Romanesque and so-called “Italianate” architectural styles. Though decaying substantially

in the days before their destruction, they constituted “one of the North Side’s most noteworthy and historic blocks,” according to Bill Gandy in the Allegheny City Historic Gallery’s on-line history. A solution had been in the works. Trek Development, working with architecture firm Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, proposed an eight-story, mixed-use commercial and residential development. Their community-feedback driven process and clever incorporation and resuscitation of historic buildings were hallmarks of the admirable development. Matthew Falcone, President of Preservation Pittsburgh, commented that Trek’s team “was really trying to be respectful and integrate the parts of the building that were there.” The proposal needed a variance for eight stories rather than the allowable three. Developers


argued that the height was necessary to help defray the reported $2.7 million cost of preserving the historic facades. The scheme passed Pittsburgh’s zoning board, but got stuck in the courts when North Side residents David Demko and Stephen Pascal sued. Both the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled against the variance. In the ensuing delay, the buildings decayed closer to the point of collapse, and the tax increment financing expired, endangering the project’s financial viability. Trek President Bill Gatti commented in a statement, “There [was] no viable path forward for 4, 6, and 8 West North under the current zoning regulations.” Litigants Demko and Pascal, perhaps unexpectedly, spoke out for preservation of the buildings under some kind of different development scheme for which no real proposals emerged. They suggested that the URA resell the parcels individually. Some neighborhood groups lost their patience with delays. “Many residents have become impatient with unrealized plans and lack of progress,” wrote Gandy, citing a March 2018 neighborhood group vote to demolish. Patrick Dexter, president of the Allegheny City Central Association, commented via email, “Over the last [several] months of discussions, the city, the state, and the preservation groups in Pittsburgh all agreed that demolition was the only viable option.” These moments, in late 2018, were remarkable for the West North Avenue buildings: Community groups demand historic building demolition, thwarting developer’s preservation efforts. Man bites dog. Matthew Craig of Young Preservationists Association moderated that view. “We accepted that they had to be demolished because it had become a safety issue. It is with regret that we accept that this is what has to happen.” Whoever bit whom in this whole enterprise, the injury to the neighborhood is real in either case. Buildings that many tried earnestly to save are now irreplaceably gone. Said Craig, “People can point fingers all across the board, they should have done this, and they should have done that. The entire community will lose these buildings.”

Follow contributing writer Charles Rosenblum on Twitter @CharlzR

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

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LET S GET ’

S CIAL )ROORZXVWRƓQGRXWZKDWōVKDSSHQLQJ @PGHCITYPAPER Ř FACEBOOK.COM/PITTSBURGHCITYPAPER PHOTO: SARAH SCHRECK

Andrew W. Smith in The Gun Show C O H E N

&

G R I G S B Y

T R U S T

P R E S E N T S

S E R I E S

.STAGE.

THE GUN SHOW BY ALEX GORDON // ALEXGORDON@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

P

ERSONAL DISCLOSURE: A one-man show about guns in America promoted with a tagline “loaded. questions.” and a parenthetical “can we talk about this?” sounded to me like an absolute nightmare. I’d never seen a one-man show before but based on pop-culture references, I assumed they involved a lot of awkward pantomime and confusing impersonations. I expected an old-fashioned finger-wagging, one of those facile arguments about civility that feel both antiquated and woefully ove matched by any halfway serious subject (like, you know, guns). Mostly I worried the actor would try to talk to me.

THE GUN SHOW

Continues through March 3. Multiple locations. $37. quantumtheatre.com

MARCH 2 – 3, 2019 • BYHAM THEATER BOX O F F I C E AT TH E ATE R SQ UA R E 412- 456 - 6666

TRUSTARTS.ORG

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PGHCITYPAPER.COM

GROUPS

10+

412- 471- 6930

But shit, man, I was way off. The Gun Show, written by E.M. Lewis and directed by Sheila McKenna, is a svelte 60-minute performance helmed by a charismatic lead (Andrew William Smith) and packed with some delightful little surprises. The biggest surprise — without giving too much away — is that the burly dude on the stage is portraying a character who is not burly and not a dude. There’s some fuzzy fourth-wall stuff involving the actor reading a printout of the script on stage

and reacting to it in real time, but overall the show is pretty straightforward. The Gun Show is a collection of five stories about guns and gun violence from the protagonist’s past. Early on, we’re told that this person grew up with guns, but don’t worry, they’re not one of those nutty rednecks who spoon with AR-15s, nor are they a “granola eating hippie” hellbent on taking the country’s guns and melting them down into participation trophies. And that’s the gist of the script’s schtick: the loudest voices on gun control are fringe fundamentalists and most reasonable folks like me and you have the capacity, and the duty, to have a mature conversation on the matter. Yeah, the message is a little cheesy and two dimensional, but Smith’s delivery of the script is not. (Though I don’t understand the need to drag granola’s good name.) Given its runtime, it doesn’t make much sense to describe any of the stories in detail, but I can say they involve guns. I can also say they succeed in painting a somewhat nuanced take on gun control and thankfully, there are no insultingly easy answers sermonized when the thing wraps up. The Gun Show has every justification to be bad, and I really expected it to be, but I was wrong. If, like me, the play’s cliff notes and bullet points read like red flags to you, I’d encourage you to ignore them and give this performance a try.

Follow managing editor Alex Gordon on Twitter @shmalexgordon


PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

27


CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

The Flow Band performs at the Indigo Hotel in East Liberty

.MUSIC.

GOOD VIBES ONLY BY JORDAN SNOWDEN // JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

N

EW LOCAL BANDS and musicians could learn a thing or two from veteran Pittsburgh reggae rockers, The Flow Band. Formed in 1980, the six-member group has established themselves so well in the music community that they can pretty much play where they want, when they want. “We stay pretty booked,” says The Flow Band guitarist and vocalist Uzell Finney. They have shows scheduled all the way up through September 2019. “A lot of places booked us already because come December and January, they like [to plan] the summer days. Everybody wants that Flow Band, that sunshine calypso vibe.” From June to September, The Flow Band plays every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night, in addition to a sprinkling of weekday shows. They have standing gigs at NOLA on the Square, where they play one to two times a month, and at Wallace’s Whiskey Room & Kitchen, where they perform every third Friday of the month. In between those perfor-

mances, The Flow Band can be found all over the city at everything from festivals to college campuses. “Festivals are my favorite place to play,” says Finney. “Those outdoor, allages spaces.” Reggae music, with its origins in Jamaica, tropical drum beats, and dancehall rhythms, is typically a warm weather genre, so winter months are slower for The Flow Band. But the group tries to play at least two shows a week. Beginning Fri., Feb. 22, The Flow Band is starting a series of pop-up concerts, the first of which takes place at Chief’s Cafe in Oakland. “We looked for small venues that don’t normally have entertainment to help them increase their clientele for the evening, like little cafes,” says Finney. “We do the nightclubs and the restaurants and the bigger venues and everything, but sometimes you have to do things in the community. It’s right on the bus line, people can walk, it’s centrally located, easy to get to, a lot of foot traffic, and no cover charge.”

Occasionally, The Flow Band extends its musical services to public schools or daycare centers. “We try to do little 30-minute shows for the kids. They dance all over the place; they love it.” The luxury of choosing their performance schedule didn’t come right away. When The Flow Band first started, finding places to play was extremely difficult. In the 1980s, the genre the group is known for had yet to make its way to Pittsburgh.

THE FLOW BAND

8-11 p.m. Sat., Feb. 23. Chief’s Cafe, 307 N. Craig St., Oakland. Free.

“It was like ‘Reggae, what?’ We weren’t in, like, New York or Florida, or California, places where they really knew about it,” says Finney. “A few did know about Bob Marley, but it wasn’t really popular.” The Flow Band put up flyers, made cold calls, sent snail mail, and used word of mouth to try and get gigs. “It’s not

Follow staff writer Jordan Snowden on Twitter @snowden_jordan

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going to come to you, you have to grind, and you have to hustle,” says Finney. “Like the rappers say, ‘get out there and get it’.” The hustle paid off. Along with playing every Thursday at the nowclosed Anthony’s in South Side, The Flow Band performed every Tuesday for almost two years at the Crawford Grill when the Hill District restaurant was still open. They were the only reggae band to ever play there. One would think that after 30-plus years of performing in the same city, a band would lose its relevance and people would tire of seeing them perform. But Flow Band has stood the test of time. “You’re having fun and jamming, but there’s a business side of it too,” says Kinney. “We encourage people to get up and dance, we limbo, ‘how low can you go.’ You get a free t-shirt. People love that. That’s what makes it so enjoyable and memorable and club owners want you back, and people want to see you again because they had a nice time with a nice vibe, drama free, no negative vibes.”


PHOTO: PJ SAGE

(Left to right) Meredith Maloney, grizzemily cross, Jocelyn Kirkwood, and Nicole Gallagher of Fair Moans

.WORKSHOP.

BIG CRAFT ENERGY BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

A

FTER BECOMING involved with the

sex-positive collective .Fair Moans, .Meredith Maloney achieved a longtime dream. “I’ve always had an interest in opening up a sex toy shop in Pittsburgh, and that’s kind of like a passion of mine, is this idea of inclusive sex education and having body-safe products for everybody,” says Maloney, who runs Fair Moans with fellow collective members grizzemily cross, Jocelyn Kirkwood, and Nicole Gallagher. Founded in 2015, Fair Moans covers a wide range of sexual experiences and desires, including BDSM and trans health. To reach the community, they host a number of year-round workshops and pop-up sex shops. Their mission continues on Feb. 22 when the collective hosts its first-ever DIY Silicone Device Workshop at the Garfield community space, Assemble. Presented as part of Assemble’s 21+ programming, the event fits in with the collective’s focus on locally made sex gear and accessories that are safe for all bodies. “Our products that we try to carry are for people with a variety of practices,” says Maloney, citing items like harnesses for people who want to have sex with an extra appendage. “We definitely focus on having products that different people can use that are not just heteronormative.” Tickets for the workshop are available for $50, which accounts for the cost of materials and refreshments, with limited spots open at half-price or free for Garfield residents. Along with Jayla Patton of Assemble, Maloney will demonstrate how to sculpt and cast a sex toy from body-safe materials. Participants can make a sex toy from

scratch or bring a sex toy they already own in order to customize it further. Maloney says the workshop gives people the ability to craft something that works better than what’s usually available on the market. “There’s this idea that when you go to the store you’re going to buy something that looks like a penis, and those are the things that a lot of stores will carry, even online,” says Maloney. “This is an opportunity for people to make something that is from their own imagination and that will work for their body.” What the Assemble workshop hopes to do is empower participants to take matters into their own hands (so to speak) by giving them the skills to purchase materials and make their own sex toys at home, as opposed to waiting for the market to cater to them. However, Maloney stresses that the workshop involves a more simplified approach compared to how devices are usually manufactured, which puts the silicone through certain processes to make it medical-grade and food-safe, so users are able to sterilize it. “We’re not going to be able to do all of that in this workshop, but we’ll let people know what we are doing and how that differs from what you buy at a store,” says Maloney. While the first workshop is currently sold out, Maloney says they plan on hosting more in the future, including one in the spring. “I think that it’s going to be an experiment, for sure,” says Maloney. “People are going to walk away with toys and along the way they will not have done everything perfectly, so they’ll have the ability to go home and try it again.”

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH HIGHLIGHT BY LISA CUNNINGHAM LCUNNING@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

PHOTO: SARAH BADER

Wavy Wednesday with her artwork

Pittsburgh artist Wavy Wednesday seeks help taking Protect Black Women on the road Kamara Townes, aka Wavy Wednesday, uses pop-culture references like Barbie dolls to highlight issues facing the daily lives, and struggles, of Black women. One striking painting by Townes shows a shrugging white Barbie saying, “But my Black friend lets me say it.”

Protect Black Women, Townes’ first solo exhibition last October, brought her artwork to the walls of Late Space, an experimental gallery in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood. In addition to her colorful pop art, Townes stenciled her project title on the wall repeatedly, inserting a different adjective in bright red paint inside each one: Protect “Incarcerated/ Disabled/Fat/Loud/Trans/Dark Skin/All” Black Women. Now Townes is hoping to take the show on the road with the help of a Kickstarter, raising funds to show her work in a New York gallery this May. • Read more at pghcitypaper.com Pittsburgh City Paper is celebrating Black History Month throughout February. Visit pghcitypaper.com every day this month for new stories.

Generous Feedback poster

.ART . .

DELIGHTFUL DESIGN BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

T

HE FUTURE OF DESIGN, in its many glorious forms, will be on display at Generous Feedback, an exhibition in the Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Institute for Contemporary Art. Featuring work by students from CMU’s School of Design Class of 2019, the show includes projects described as “pushing the boundaries of medium and method in the field of design,” all of which “address everyday topics and speculate the possible futures we will face.” “Generous Feedback exhibits the growth of a curious collective with works that probe, provoke, and scope different issues, questions, and topics that span across time and context,” says featured student, Faith Kim, who studied design and fine arts. Though exact details about the contents of Generous Feedback, which opens Feb. 21 with a reception event, remain under wraps, the previous year’s show, Assemblage, contained a wide array of books, posters, interactive projects, video pieces, installations, industrial and product design, furniture, fabric, and fashion design, and more.

Dylan Vitone, associate professor at the CMU School of Design, describes the featured students as “designers that will shape our future” and “hopefully they will help shape how we create a sustainable way of life.” He cites a few issues the projects tackle, from improving social networking, to eliminating food deserts, to creating tools that will help first responders better save lives.

GENEROUS FEEDBACK RECEPTION

6-8 p.m. Thu., Feb. 21. 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free and open to the public. miller-ica.cmu.edu

“These students have gone through wonderfully rigorous education over these past four years and this show marks an opportunity for them to present their solutions to some pretty meaty problems,” says Vitone. “Some of the solutions are elegant, some are beautiful failures, but all of them are thoughtful solutions to problems. Their work will

make you think.” The exhibition promises to present works that combine the students’ individual takes on design with their socially conscious interests. For example, Kim’s online portfolio includes her work Biased Times, an interactive, analog platform that “exposes public opinion influenced by fake/real images and headline texts from the internet.” The students showcased demonstrate the vastly varied roles design plays. Besides Kim is Lucas Ochoa, who double-majored in design and human computer interactions, and whose projects include a wallet-sized capo for guitar players and a glider device that allows users to size and shape images on tablets. In 2018, environments design and philosophy student, Aisha Dev, designed and curated an experiential installation on the future of AI and religion in India. Also included is Juan Aranda, a graphic designer whose portfolio includes photography, poster design, and album cover art. Generous Feedback continues through Thu., Feb 28.

Follow senior writer Amanda Waltz on Twitter @AWaltzCP

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.LITERATURE.

SEPARATION ANXIETY BY REGE BEHE CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

I

RINA REYN’S third novel, Mother Country (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press), is ostensibly about a mother trying to create a better life for her daughter. But as Reyn started writing the book five years ago, the situation in Ukraine — her mother’s homeland, which she’d visited as a young girl for summer vacations — began to deteriorate, leading to the ouster of President Victor Yanukovych. Reyn, who teaches writing at the University of Pittsburgh and splits her time between Regent Square and Brooklyn, realized the story was more complex than she first realized. “I really wanted to know what was at stake,” says Reyn. “And a lot is at stake now.” The book release party for Mother Country, featuring a conversation with Clare Beams, is Feb. 26 at White Whale Bookstore in Bloomfield.

MOTHER COUNTRY BOOK RELEASE

7 p.m. Tue., Feb. 26. White Whale Bookstore, 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. 412-224-2847 or whitewhalebookstore.com

Readers meet the novel’s protagonist, Nadia, working as a nanny for a young girl and as a caretaker for seniors in Brooklyn. Her daughter, Larriska, a diabetic and schoolteacher, remains in Ukraine as Nadia desperately petitions the Department of Homeland Security to bring her to the United States. Nadia’s desperation is a byproduct of guilt. She and Larriska had petitioned to come to the U.S. together. When only Nadia was approved, she decided to leave her daughter behind. “I was wondering

Irina Reyn

what that was like, a mother separated from her daughter,” she says, “and trying to understand a little bit where Ukraine falls in the geopolitical sphere. I think we see now that it’s a place that’s quite contested, torn between two powers.” What Reyn did not and could not know was how her novel would foreshadow current events concerning immigration and families around the world being torn apart. “I think a lot of people are making that choice,” she says. “There are many people willing to risk separation from their children in order to hopefully provide them a better life. I couldn’t have predicted this. All of that was not in the news when I was writing the book. … It’s about parents making the ultimate sacrifice for longerterm gain, but potentially sacrificing relationships with their children.” Reyn admits that some parts of the novel were “enhanced” during editing to reflect current events and issues. But the story itself — an exploration of the oftendaunting immigrant experience — stayed the same. “What I’m addressing is that sense of

forced separation,” Reyn says, “whether it’s families or countries where politics, entities [or] governments impact families and their relationships. So it’s interesting to see these parallels play out. It’s depressing in a new way, but it’s exactly what the book was anticipating.

I think in some ways it understood this was somehow going to happen, on some level. … It was written during the Obama administration, and this was a scenario that was happening then, and the book ends when the election was looming, and things were about to change.”

Follow featured contributor Rege Behe on Twitter @RegeBehe_exPTR

BETWEEN THE LINES Poet Joshua Bennett, author of the collection The Sobbing School, will appear Feb. 21 as a guest of Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series. Bennett has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation and teaches at Harvard University. Free and open to the public.

7:30 p.m. Thu., Feb. 21. Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Drive, Oakland. pghwriterseries.pitt.edu PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

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MORE TO STREAM BY HANNAH LYNN HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

.FILM.

BLACK BOTTOM FILM FEST BY HANNAH LYNN HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

W

PHOTO: PETER ANDREWS

High Flying Bird

If you can’t make the Black Bottom Film Festival, you can still celebrate Black History Month with these streaming shows and movies that highlight the diversity of Black culture.

High Flying Bird (Netflix) This sports drama directed by Steven Soderbergh, with a screenplay by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), centers around a 72-hour basketball standoff that could change the industry. Starring André Holland as a slick agent and Melvin Gregg as a prospective basketball star (he played a similar role in American Vandal) the movie has quick and nimble dialogue, shot entirely on an iPhone 8.

Step (Hulu) Few things are more enthralling than watching teens who are passionate about dance. Set in a mostly Black high school in Baltimore as the city recovers from the death of Freddie Gray, the documentary follows a high school step team of young women who rely on dance to help them build a better life.

Chewing Gum (Netflix) Tracey (Micaela Coel) is a 24-year-old virgin who works at a convenience store, is obsessed with Beyonce, and lives with her highly religious mother and sister. The British comedy, which was also written by Coel, only lasted for two seasons, but is an insanely funny, uncomfortable, and heartwarming show about the deeply awkward journey of learning about sex late in life. •

H I L E T H E awa rd s h ow industry is beginning to acknowledge the increasingly abundant work of Black filmmakers, and its own history of ignoring their work, the majority of the nominees are still white, and there is still much work to be done. Now in its third year, the Black Bottom Film Festival, hosted by the August Wilson Cultural Center (AWCC), highlights the work of Black filmmakers and aims to give them the recognition they deserve. Last year, the festival featured guest speaker April Reign, who created the #OscarsSoWhite movement to highlight the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards. This year, the festival hosts That Should’ve Won an Oscar!, a trivia event in collaboration with BOOM Concepts that promotes movies that could have won an Oscar if the awards show was more inclusive. The festival’s goal is ultimately to celebrate the work of Black filmmakers, but inclusion in the mainstream film industry would be nice, too. “I think that there are voices that are relentless and that are going to be heard no matter what,” says Cydney Nunn, PR and marketing manager for the AWCC. “That makes me feel like change will have to come whether the powers that be want it or not. We’re kicking in the door no matter what.” In previous years, the festival was held exclusively at the AWCC, but the program expanded this year to include a lineup of films at Row House Cinema, which runs through Feb. 21. The roster includes current Oscar nominees, like If Beale Street Could Talk and Hale County This Morning, This Evening, as well as influential classics like Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Nunn hopes the expansion will help bring in a wider demographic for the festival and believes that showing up for these events is a crucial part of supporting Black art. “Showing your interest and showing that you care about Black voices and being in Black spaces, that is definitely

PHOTO: AUGUST WILSON CULTURAL CENTER

For the Love of Ivy

the first step,” says Nunn. “It definitely has to start on a grassroots level and then gain traction from that.”

BLACK BOTTOM FILM FESTIVAL

Feb. 22-24. August Wilson Cultural Center. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $28.75-58.75 for festival passes. aacc-awc.org

The bulk of the festival’s events will still be held at the AWCC, with programming of both local and national films curated by festival founder Joe Lewis alongside suggestions by staff at the center. The Black Bottom Festival at AWCC runs from Feb. 22-24, opening with local multimedia artist Alisa Wormsley’s experimental film Children of NAN, which is set in a dystopic future where only Black women and white men survive, both unable to reproduce. The screening is followed by a Q&A. Rock Rubber 45s, a documentary tracking the connection between sneaker, basketball, and music culture, also showing opening night, will feature a Q&A with its director Bobbito Garcia. Director Terence Nance, who is set to helm the upcoming Space Jam 2, will

screen his dystopian short film They Charge for the Sun, as well as an episode of his HBO sketch show Random Acts of Flyness, with a Q&A to follow. Other programming includes the documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror, the Idris Elba-directed drama Yardie, experimental short Generation created by local writer Pamela Woolford, and more. In addition to current works, the festival will also honor the classics like The Wiz, the 1978 twist on The Wizard of Oz, featuring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, and the 1968 romantic comedy For Love of Ivy, starring Sidney Poitier. Non-screening events at the festival include a workshop with actor Kim Coles (In Living Color), a youth improv class with Arcade Comedy, and a screenwriting workshop with Gerard Brown (Juice). “I think that it’s important for us to not only educate white people and other races about what’s happening in the Black community and Black culture and Black experiences, but also to give the Black people of this region the opportunity to see themselves represented in a positive, artistic way,” says Nunn.

Follow staff writer Hannah Lynn on Twitter @hanfranny

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.DANCE.

LEADING THE WAY BY STEVE SUCATO CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

J

UST BEFORE the death of Paul Taylor, leader of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Michael Novak was surprised to learn he was picked as the successor, even though he had been with the company since 2010. “I had no idea this was coming, no one did,” says Novak. “Paul didn’t ask me, he told me this was what was going to happen. When he singles you for anything, it is an incredible honor.” Why him? Novak says Taylor told him he trusted him and knew he would do a good job as artistic director. “When he said that, it sealed it for me.” A native of Rolling Meadows, Ill., Novak began dancing at age 10. Around 14, he developed a severe stutter that changed his life, but dance helped. “Because I couldn’t talk, dance became a way for me to communicate and get out all the feelings I had inside,” Novak said in an interview on YouTube. “All of a sudden dance went from a hobby to an emotional support system. It became a part of who I was.” Novak went on to train through a full scholarship at The University of the Arts and the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. Feeling burnt out, Novak says he left dance for a time to work for a window design company and then went to Columbia University, where he rediscovered his passion for the artform and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. It took Novak two tries to get into the company he now directs and will continue to perform for as a company dancer.

PHOTO: PAUL B. GOODE

The Paul Taylor Company in “Company B”

THE PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY

8 p.m. Sat., Feb. 23. Byham Theater, 101 Sixth St., Downtown. $10-65. 412-456-6666. trustarts.org

Having had only a few conversations with Taylor concerning running the company before his death, Novak has had to rely on his past experiences

and the example Taylor set as a choreographer and director. Novak’s vision for the company is to expand the Paul Taylor American Modern Dance initiative begun in 2015. Going forward, the company’s repertory will include a mix of the historic masterworks of American modern dance and creations by contemporary choreographers to augment Taylor’s vast canon. For the company’s return to Pittsburgh on Feb. 23 at the Byham Theater,

Follow featured contributing writer Steve Sucato on Twitter @ssucato

its program will honor Taylor with a showcase of his masterworks, including the Pittsburgh debuts of “Company B” (1991) danced to music from the Andrews Sisters and “Promethean Fire” (2002), a work that “examines a kaleidoscope of emotional colors in the human condition.” Also on the program are the bounding and energetic, “Aureole” (1962) and Taylor’s oldest surviving work, “3 Epitaphs” (1956). The piece is set to early New Orleans jazz music with whimsical head and body covering costumes by Robert Rauschenberg.

Pittsburgh’s lone liberal talkshow host for 30+ years Listen live every weekday at 10 a.m. at lynncullen.pghcitypaper.com PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH HIGHLIGHT

CLOTHES MAKE ...

BY RYAN DETO RYANDETO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

BY TERENEH IDIA CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

.FASHION.

NAME? Claudy Pierre, owner, Arnold’s Tea WHAT ARE YOU WEARING? [It] always starts with my jeans, the Levi’s 501s. Comfy. The Michael Jordan Air Force 1s, blue, one of my favorites. My custom Arnold’s Tea tee, of course. The Calvin Klein every day on-the-go jacket. And my Apple Watch, gotta have my Apple Watch. Josh Gibson

The Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays Before baseball was racially integrated, the greatest Black ball players displayed their talents in the Negro Leagues. And during the 1930s, Pittsburgh was home to some of the all-time greats. Players like Josh Gibson, who legend has it hit more home runs than Babe Ruth, and Satchel Paige, who could throw a dozen different pitches, played in the Steel City. Pittsburgh was home to two Negro League teams: The Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays. The Grays were the more successful of the teams, winning three Negro League World Series titles, but both teams have deep historical significance in Pittsburgh. Check out our piece online for some spots around Pittsburgh and beyond to honor their legacy. • Read more at pghcitypaper.com Pittsburgh City Paper is celebrating Black History Month throughout February. Visit pghcitypaper.com every day this month for new stories. 34

PGHCITYPAPER.COM

HOW DO YOU BALANCE PRESENTING YOURSELF IN VARIOUS PLACES THROUGHOUT THE DAY? FROM MEETINGS AS A BUSINESS OWNER TO A WORKING CHEF IN THE KITCHEN? Well, part of it is being able to get into the kitchen and be comfortable, but at the same time presenting a very professional and polished look. There has to be a balance. So comfort, safety — they cannot be anything loose and all over the place. I usually have to tie my hair back. [I] keep a comfortable pair of shoes on; if I am not wearing my clogs, I am wearing my Air Force 1s. They happen to be very comfortable, they’re not “kitchen safe” per se, but they are the most comfortable and durable working shoe, and they are stylish as well. I have a million pairs of them. They are my favorite go-to shoe. OH, I LOVE AIRFORCE 1S! The Jordan 1s, that’s the style I love the most. And lastly, the energy is what my look is. When I come in, I am smiling, big smiles, big eyes. I want people to be happy to be around me, so by the time they are looking at what I am wearing, they are already happy for me to be around. The number one thing I am wearing, my number one accessory is my smile. I have my Apple Watch; my trusty scarf; and the biggest thing is my smile and good energy. That also translates to food. There are so many moments in life where food is a catalyst — graduation, first date, you know — I have to put positive vibes into the food that we create. It builds the morale for the staff and for the

CP PHOTO: TERENEH IDIA

Claudy Pierre

people who come into Arnold’s Tea. I tell people all of the time, “Wear your smile, wear it proud and love what you do.” HOW DO THE CLOTHES TRANSLATE AND WORK WITH YOUR POSITIVE ENERGY? I feel like I look like your brother, your cousin, you know what I mean. But I also can throw on a suit to conduct a highlevel corporate meeting. Everyone can appreciate a traditional classic look. ... But also that urban style, something trendy, new, and old together. Classic with a fresh urban twist. ARE YOU WEARING SOMETHING THAT IS A GIFT FROM SOMEONE OR HAS SPECIAL MEANING TO YOU? My scarf. My twin brother and I have been wearing scarves forever. You may catch us without a hat, but we always have a scarf on. He lives in NYC, so he is a scarf guy. DOES HE DO THE FANCY SCARF TYING AND WRAPPING? Always always — he is always wearing a scarf, it is the funniest thing ever.

ARE YOU WEARING A GIFT TO YOURSELF? My Apple Watch or my Air Force 1s. I don’t get to buy a lot of things for myself, but when I see a new or different color of the Air Force 1s, then I am like, “Okay I am going to get those.” DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING COMING UP THAT YOU’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR? Yes, we have the E.A.T. Initiative, it is Empowerment, Awareness, and Training. We work with the community on healthy cooking demonstrations and [teaching children] about healthy eating. To show inner city folk about how to focus on wellness. I am also excited about something we’re working on regarding kitchen professionals and apparel. So look out for that! HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU? ClaudiusMaxamus on Instagram; Chef Claudy Pierre on [Facebook]. Eminent Hospitality is our parent company, and Arnold’s Tea is on Instagram and Facebook. Come by and see me. You’ll see me doing my thing, smiling and showing love.

Follow featured contributor Tereneh Idia on Twitter @Tereneh152XX


PHOTO: RICCO MARTELLO

From left: Jonathan Berry, Cheryl El-Walker, Aaliyah Sanders, and Wali Jamal in Savior Samuel

.THEATER.

HEALING POWERS BY LISA CUNNINGHAM // LCUNNING@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

H

OW DOES that work? Do you

ask for God’s help first, then give them medicine? Or do you give them medicine and then pray that it works?” That question is posed to Rory Smalltime Dobbs (Jonathan Berry), a reverend and doctor in Mark Clayton Southers’ Savior Samuel. The lines get a hearty laugh from the audience, but it’s a heavy theme that’s echoed throughout the two-hour play: Who, or what, is healing whom? The play, directed by Monteze Freeland, opens in 1877 in the home of former slaves Benjamin and Virginia Clayson (Wali Jamal and Cheryl ElWalker) and their deaf teenage daughter Essie (Aaliyah Sanders).

SAVIOR SAMUEL

Continues through Sat., March 16. Pittsburgh Playwrights at Trust Arts Education Center, 805 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $30. pghplaywrights.org

Benjamin is an alcoholic, drunk off the moonshine he sells to keep the whites and Native Americans from bothering his family. His arm hangs limp beside his body, thanks to a wolf attack he doesn’t speak much about — it’s far from the only scar he carries with him. Virginia’s sadness feels as heavy as her husband’s limp arm. This family has been through a lot, and there’s more to come. They discover Essie is pregnant, and because she’s unable to speak —the family’s sign-language is

rudimentary at best, no one knows who the father is. Was it a white man? A Native American? Or was it something much worse? (It’s worth noting here that Sanders herself is deaf, and a 10th grader at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. Her entrance and exit clues are one of the highlights of the play. A stomp! A fist slammed on the table!) Southers originally wrote the script for Savior Samuel in 2002, but when he staged a reading at the time, one guest was so offended by its hints at incest, it caused Southers to shelve it until a few years ago when a friend convinced him to take a second look. Be glad he did. The incestual allegations elicit gasps from the audience and bring incredible acting by Jamal. But it’s truly the women who make the play worth watching. They carry the weight of their husbands, their fathers, the babies taken from their arms. Their wails startle the audience. Even Essie, normally silent, has her moment. On Sundays, audiences get the chance to stay after the performance for a live chat with the writer and actors. This past weekend, Southers compared the ending of his play to the Sixth Sense, with a surprise ending. (No, none of the characters were dead the entire time.) Rest assured, no one will leave the play questioning the lesson Southers intended. The ending is explosive, but the script throughout is solid, leaving plenty of hints along the way, that I wonder if such a grand finale was needed.

Follow editor-in-chief Lisa Cunningham on Twitter @trashyleesuh PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

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.THEATER.

BACKSTAGE BY LISSA BRENNAN CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

NAME: Rikkilee Rose, Charleroi WORK: Props Master, freelance RECENT PROJECTS: The Olde Curiosity Shop, PICT Classic Theatre; Orphans, Aftershock Theatre; “Off The Record,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette CURRENT: The Legend of Georgia McBride, barebones productions

WHAT DOES A PROPS MASTER DO? During the run of a show, I’m checking everything beforehand, making sure everything is in the right place and ready to go. During the show itself, I’m setting and resetting things between scenes and at intermission. After the show, I’m making sure that everything is returned to its proper place and isn’t broken. WHAT IF IT’S BROKEN? I fix it. AND BEFORE THE RUN OF THE SHOW IS WHEN YOU’RE GETTING THE PROPS? WHEN DOES THAT START? Usually, you begin around when the rehearsal period starts, typically about a month in advance. WHERE DO YOU BEGIN? There’s a list from the director, and I come up with my own list as well, then meet to make sure we’re together and that I understand what they have in mind. WHERE DOES EVERYTHING COME FROM? Find or buy or borrow or rent or make. As far as borrowing, Pittsburgh’s such a small community that everyone is very forthcoming and generous. I like to go thrift shopping a lot because even if I can’t find exactly what I need, I can often find something I can adjust. Plus I always like visiting thrift shops anyway because they have all this fun stuff there — I might buy one thing for the show, but this other weird thing is coming home with me. DO YOU ACCUMULATE THINGS YOU DON’T CURRENTLY NEED IN ANTICIPATION OF THE FUTURE? Some things if I see them, I’m going to buy them because I might be able to use them someday. And if someone’s

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PGHCITYPAPER.COM

CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

Rikkilee Rose

like, “We’re getting rid of this,” I’m like, “THANKS!” I have a little bit of a hoarding problem. WHAT ABOUT THE THINGS YOU CAN’T BUY? HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW TO MAKE THINGS? I went to school at West Liberty University to be a music teacher, and that’s when I started getting into theater because there was less drama in the drama department than the music department. After I finished my degree, I did special effects at the Savini School, and they really taught you that you can make anything out of nothing. That was honestly worth every cent. Having the confidence that there’s

a hundred ways to make something, you just have to find the best one. WHAT MIGHT THAT INCLUDE? I can sculpt, mold, paint. I’ve done costumes, makeup. Sometimes you’re looking at something that exists and making your own. For The Olde Curiosity Shop, I had to make Punch and Judy puppets and a stage. The real ones were way over my budget, but I looked at them for how to get started. WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE SOMETHING TO REFERENCE? You ask yourself: How are they physically using this? Do they do things with

it? Does it have to be something they can throw? Are they hitting people with it? If they’re hitting people with it, you don’t want it to be made out of metal. WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF THE JOB? My favorite thing is to make something from nothing. I like things that are new and I don’t have a precedent for. You get to start at the very beginning with none of the pieces in place — let’s solve this puzzle! You figure out what it needs to be made out of and what it needs to do and then form a plan of how you’re going to make it work. And you figure out how you’re going to fix it when it breaks. Because it’s going to break.


PHOTO: FRANCESCO SCARPA

Danish Italo Guru Flemming Dalum

.MUSIC.

DISCO FEVER BY JORDAN SNOWDEN //JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

A

MERICAN MUSIC FANS are wholly

aware of disco, a party-style .genre that emerged during the 1970s. Known for its glittery outfits, late-night dancing, psychedelic flashing lights, and bumping bass and synths, the electronic music scene found today is often credited to that culture. But in the U.S., Italo disco, which modern house, trance, and techno music largely draw influence from, is often overlooked. Italo Disco Legacy, a documentary directed by Pietro Anton, chronicles the emergence of the music genre, from its first moments to its cult following, and traces how it spread around the world. The film made its debut in Berlin on Jan. 11, last year at legendary techno club Berghain. Along with a limited-edition DVD release, Italo Disco Legacy has slowly made its way to cities across the globe, similar to the way the genre first did. On Feb. 22, the documentary makes its Pittsburgh debut at Glitter Box Theater. For those who get the urge to dance after seeing the film, there is a free after-party at P-Town Bar hosted by Jellyfish. Using music videos, footage of stage performances, and interviews with DJs, journalists, vinyl collectors, and

musicians that started the movement, Anton digs deep into the genre. While much of American disco is soulful and groovy, with a focus on expressive vocals and lyrics drawing from early jazz music and the psychedelic pop of the ’60s, Italo disco centers on beats and would fall more into the techno, electronic synth-pop category. At one point in the film, an interviewee joked about how bad the lyrics could sometimes be, flush with very rough English translations. Thus, they preferred to listen and play the instrumental versions of tracks. And unlike American disco, which notably “died” on July 12, 1979 when Chicago DJ Steve Dahl blew up more than 1,000 disco records at Comiskey Park, Italo disco is alive and well, with some of the original musicians still being asked to perform their decadesold hits in places, such as California, Russia, and Spain. Disco fan or not, Italo Disco Legacy is a fun and informative film about the history of the cult music genre and the impact it has had on music today. The legacy of Italo disco is long from finished. Can’t make the screening? Italo Disco Legacy is available to rent on Vimeo On Demand.

ITALO DISCO LEGACY FILM SCREENING & PARTY

8-9:30 p.m. Fri., Feb. 22. The Glitter Box Theater, 460 Melwood Ave., Oakland. $8. theglitterboxtheater.com. After party 10 p.m. – 2 a.m. P Town Bar, 4740 Baum Blvd., Oakland. Free. 21 and over. ptownbar.com

The Annual Northside Mardi Gras Celebration is 2 week long party featuring 35+ restaurants, pubs, and businesses offering live entertainment and New Orleans and other Pre-Lenten inspired food and drink specials.

March 5, 7:00PM Allegheny Elks $10 at the door.

Sales! Music! Food! DRINKS! & MORE! pittsburghnorthside.com/mardigras PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

37


BLACK HISTORY MONTH HIGHLIGHT

.MAGIC.

APPEARING ACT BY HANNAH LYNN HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

BY MAGGIE WEAVER MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

T

CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM

Barbecue ribs and chicken, with a side of greens, from Wilson’s B-B-Q

Wilson’s Bar-B-Q has been smoking on the North Side for 59 years Since 1960, Wilson’s Bar-B-Q has offered the same menu of two house-smoked meats and a few sides. To this day, the small joint is a cherished part of Pittsburgh, serving up no-frills, old-school food. Wilson’s ribs are a longstanding ‘Burgh tradition. “Here, with the smoke and the fire, and the smell of ribs, that’s pretty much where it’s at,” says George WILSON’S A. Wilson Jr. who BAR-B-Q took over the 700 N. Taylor Ave., restaurant after North Side. his father passed Tue.-Sat., 12-8 p.m. in October. “This 412-322-7427 is real food. This is the real deal. Everything is still done the old-fashioned way. No shortcuts.” Wilson’s truly is, as Wilson Jr. laughs, a “one-of-a-kind” experience. The one thing Wilson Jr. asks is “not to let looks disappoint you, because looks can be deceiving.” From the outside, Wilson’s doesn’t even look open, but thank goodness for Pittsburgh, the meat still keeps smoking on the inside. • Read more at pghcitypaper.com Pittsburgh City Paper is celebrating Black History Month throughout February. Visit pghcitypaper.com every day this month for new stories.

HERE ARE PLENTY of venues for

music, theater, and dance in Pittsburgh, but none to see magic until now. Liberty Magic, a new downtown venue built to showcase performers of magic and illusion, opened earlier this month. If an expensive magic show geared toward adults seems like an unnecessary, but fun addition, you might be right. The venue will host local and national magicians for residencies lasting weeks at a time. For its opening month, Philadelphia-based magician Eric Jones performs his show IMPOSSIBLE through March 17, which focuses on small-scale illusions, like card and coin tricks. The venue is intimate, also known as small. The entryway to Liberty Magic is cramped if 10 people are in it. The theater itself has three rows of seating that fit 66 people, which makes for a cramped arrangement when the audience is being seated or leaving, or when someone in the middle of the row has to shuffle out to participate in a trick. The decor recalls 19th- and 20thcentury carnival magic with trinkets like a crystal ball, a ventriloquist dummy, and the animatronic Zoltar. As guests mingle before the show, a speaker plays faux old-timey renditions of pop hits like “Shake it Off” and “Stacy’s Mom.” There is a gift shop that sells magic books and a shirt that says “sorcerer” in the Supreme font. The show opens with Jones showing off a few “simple” coin tricks (that he notes took 10 years to learn) before jumping into the first of many tricks that involve audience participation. Though he has a soft voice and demeanor, Jones has plenty of charisma. He easily tosses out jokes and builds rapport with the audience, even in the briefest of interactions. While showing off a card trick, Jones quips “Some people say ‘how do you do that?’ Other people say ‘why?’” Throughout the performance, Jones weaves in his story: how he grew up in rural Virginia, went to Cornell, fell in love

PHOTO: DUSTIN WICKETT

Eric Jones

with magic, dropped out, and worked with David Blaine. He was on America’s Got Talent and smashed Simon Cowell’s buzzer with a hammer. He successfully tricked Penn and Teller (this fact is in his Instagram/Twitter bio). A good portion of the tricks involve audience participation, which ranges from picking a card to forking over a wedding ring that he’ll make disappear. The show has two tiers of tickets: general admission is $40, and the “Skeleton Key VIP” experience is $65. The higher price “unlocks the first two rows” of the show and gives the audience a chance at participation (the theater is three rows), as well as a post-show meet-and-greet. Worth noting is that nearly everyone who participates on stage gets a hug, even if they go in for a handshake.

ERIC JONES IN IMPOSSIBLE

Runs through March 17. Liberty Magic, 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $40-65. trustarts.org

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PGHCITYPAPER.COM

Liberty Magic is brand new, and that surely comes with hurdles, but it’s unclear who exactly this venue is geared toward. The high cost doesn’t make it accessible to everyone nor do the age limits. The venue recommends its shows for ages 18 and up, and the policy states that no one under 12 will be admitted. Children are, arguably, the biggest fans of magic. Jones’ tricks are undeniably impressive and impossible to understand. How does he pull out of his hat the card an audience member was merely thinking of? How does he make a coin jump from one hand to the other? How did he put a red ball in my hand that turned into three without me feeling anything? Magic can be frustrating if you let it be. It can make you feel stupid if you think about it too hard. But once you relax and accept that the answers are completely unattainable, it’s an entertaining mind warp.


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Saturday May 18, 10 am-4 pm Hartwood Acres Stables Complex

WED., MARCH 6 WEDNESDAY WINE FLIGHTS 6:15 P.M. GREER CABARET THEATER DOWNTOWN. Over-21 event. $41.25. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

Buffet Lunch Whiskey Tasting Scottish Dancing Bagpipes Marketplace

WED., MARCH 6 CITY IN THE CLOUDS 6:30 P.M. SMILING MOOSE SOUTH SIDE. All-ages event. $10-12. 412-431-4668 or ticketfly.com. With special guest The Nërd Hërdërs.

Discounted Tickets through February 28

WED., MARCH 6 HATERS ROAST

$35 for residents & $48 for non-residents

8 P.M. CARNEGIE OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL MUNHALL. All-ages event. $37-152. 412-462-3444 or ticketfly.com.

Purchase tickets at alleghenycounty.us/specialevents

WED., MARCH 6 TRITONAL 8 P.M. REX THEATER SOUTH SIDE. Over-17 event. $26-28. 412-381-1681 or greyareaprod.com.

THU., MARCH 7 SOCCER SHOTS 5 P.M. NORTH PARK ROSE BARN NORTH PARK. Ages 2-8. $120-130 (registration required). Soccershots.org/pittsburgh.

THU., MARCH 7 MICHAEL CARBONARO 7 P.M. BYHAM THEATER DOWNTOWN. $57.25-182.25. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

THU., MARCH 7 JASON EADY 8 P.M. HARD ROCK CAFE STATION SQUARE. $10-12. 412-481-ROCK or ticketfly.com. With special guests Delberto Delvis & Luke B. Wood.

FRI., MARCH 8 THE EXPENDABLES 7 P.M. REX THEATER SOUTH SIDE. All-ages event. $22-25. 412-381-1681 or greyareaprod.com. With special guests BALLYHOO, Kash’d Out & Keystone Vibe.

FRI., MARCH 8 JERRY SEINFELD 9:30 P.M. BENEDUM CENTER DOWNTOWN. $224. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

SAT., MARCH 9 JUSTIN WILLMAN CARNEGIE OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL MUNHALL

SAT., MARCH 9 YOUNG WRITERS AND ILLUSTRATORS WORKSHOP 11 A.M. TRUST ARTS EDUCATION CENTER DOWNTOWN. $20. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

SAT., MARCH 9 DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP 1 P.M. TRUST ARTS EDUCATION CENTER DOWNTOWN. $20. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

SAT., MARCH 9 MIRROR MOSAICS 5 P.M. TRUST ARTS EDUCATION CENTER DOWNTOWN. $20. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

SAT., MARCH 9 JUSTIN WILLMAN 7 P.M. CARNEGIE OF HOMESTEAD MUSIC HALL MUNHALL. All-ages event. $32. 412-462-3444 or ticketfly.com.

SAT., MARCH 9 CAMILLE A. BROWN & DANCERS 8 P.M. AUGUST WILSON CENTER DOWNTOWN. $10.

412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

SAT., MARCH 9 BACK TO BACK TO BLACK: AMY WINEHOUSE TRIBUTE 9 P.M. HARD ROCK CAFE STATION SQUARE. $15-20. 412-481-ROCK or ticketfly.com.

MON., MARCH 11 THE THREE TREMORS 7 P.M. CRAFTHOUSE SOUTH HILLS. $17-20. 412-653-2695 or ticketfly.com.

MON., MARCH 11 VALERIA LUISELLI 7:30 P.M. CARNEGIE MUSIC HALL OAKLAND. $15-35. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

MON., MARCH 11 ANN HAMPTON CALLAWAY & AMANDA MCBROOM 9:30 P.M. GREER CABARET THEATER DOWNTOWN. $45-55. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

TUE., MARCH 12 THOMAS WENDT 5 P.M. BACKSTAGE BAR AT THEATER SQUARE DOWNTOWN. Free event. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

FOR UPCOMING ALLEGHENY COUNTY PARKS EVENTS, LOG ONTO WWW.ALLEGHENYPARKS.COM

March 2:9: Harri Northson ParkHills Park March March 16: Boyce Park Details & registration at alleghenycounty.us/specialevents PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

39


CALENDAR FEBRUARY 21-27

PHOTO: ROCKY RACO

^ Thu., Feb. 21: An Octoroon

THURSDAY FEB. 21

of American slavery. (You can read CP’s review at pghcitypaper.com.) Continues through Feb. 24. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $20. newhazletttheater.org

STAGE

MEETING

Kinetic Theatre presents An Octoroon at the New Hazlett Theater. The title — a term used to describe someone who is one-eighth Black by descent — refers to Zoe, a beautiful woman and love interest to the main character George. In 1959, George arrives on the plantation where she lives after its owner, also his uncle, dies. Directed by Andrew Paul and featuring a large diverse cast, the work takes a provocative, darkly humorous approach to exploring racial identity and the history

40

PGHCITYPAPER.COM

Writing can be a pretty bleak industry nowadays, rife with disheartening layoffs and publications folding with disconcerting consistency. The winter blues certainly don’t help motivate a writer — it’s much easier to spend your days under a blanket. Freelance Writer Happy Hour: Icicles and Invoices at The Abbey on Butler Street is here to combat both of these struggles. Complain about rejections and late payments and brag about publications and progress with other freelance, remote, or otherwise

nomadic writers. 6-9 p.m. 4635 Butler St., Lawrenceville. (“Freelance Writer Happy Hour: Icicles and Invoices” on Facebook)

COMICS

BOOM Concepts welcomes cartoonist, comics maker, and film lover, Sam Ombiri, for its first monthly Pittsburgh Comics Salon. The all-ages event promises an evening of art, conversation, and an atmosphere of solidarity. Ombiri — whose work has appeared in the 2017 Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council show Parallel Mutation as part of the Pittsburgh Independent Comics Expo — will discuss his approach and show some of his movies, animations, and art. 6-8 p.m. 5139 Penn Ave., Garfield. Free. pittsburghcomicssalon.com

FRIDAY FEB. 22 ART

Last year, local artist Alisha B. Wormsley declared that there are, in fact, Black people in the future with her East Liberty billboard project of the same name, which sparked controversy after it was taken down. Apparently, she also meant imagined futures, as is the case with her film The Children of NAN, screening at the August Wilson Cultural Center during the Black Bottom Film Festival. Described as a metaphor for the survival and power of Black women, the futuristic dystopian


PHOTO: NICK PREZIOSO

^ Sat., Feb. 23: Greywalker

film tells the story of Aditi 34, who escapes life in an underground lab where she was created by her maker, the Scientist. Event includes a Q&A with Wormsley. 1 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $28.75-58.75. aacc-awc.org

ART

Memories can easily be misremembered or reimagined, so if this event sounds interesting to you, better write the details down now. Small Mall is hosting the debut of a new zine by its featured artist, Zachariah Szabo. The zine is an add-on from his photographic and sculptural series The Conceit of Memory, which challenges ownership of our memories and our perception of them as true. Attendees will receive a copy of Szabo’s zine composed of transcribed dated letters and will get the chance to read or perform one of the letters. Prints from The Conceit of Memory will be available at the shop, as well as additional works by Szabo. 6 p.m. 5300 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $10. Limited seating; please RSVP. caseydroege.com/ zine-performance

KIDS

As a kid, there is almost nothing cooler than a sleepover, except maybe a sleepover that involves catapults and trebuchets. Engineering with Da Vinci Sleepover at the Carnegie Science Center gives kids the chance to spend the night among recreations of the artist and inventor’s work, featured in Da Vinci The Exhibition. A ticket to the sleepover includes a movie at the Rangos Giant Cinema, demos, a laser show, free admission to the Science Center the ^ Sun., Feb. 24: Emily Calandrelli

day after the sleepover, and more. 6 p.m9 a.m. 1 Allegheny Ave., North Side. $47. carnegiesciencecenter.org

MUSIC

If there’s a 12th Planet in the solar system, it’s a grimy, slimy, swampy wasteland where the sounds of dubstep are heard 24/7. Sound like paradise? Well, us earth-dwellers can take a tour of that world when he performs at the Rex Theater. Named “Los Angeles dubstep god” by Rolling Stone, 12th Planet is known for being one of the first DJs to bring the electronic genre to the U.S. Make sure you’re prepared for intergalactic travel, and a whole bunch

of that weird, alien bass. 8 p.m. 1602 E. Carson St., South Side. $20-25. rextheater.net

SATURDAY FEB. 23 BEER

Pull out your pretzel necklace because the Pittsburgh Winter Beerfest is back for a sixth year. More than 100 breweries — a mix of local, national, and international — lug their kegs to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Feb. 22-23. Every brew enthusiast gets a five-ounce tasting glass with their ticket, ready for unlimited pours. Need more beer? Upgrade to an early admission ticket for exclusive access and an eight-ounce mug. 12-4:30 p.m., 6:30-11 p.m. 1000 Fort Duquesne Blvd., Downtown. $45-90. pittsburghbeerfest.com

MEETUP

Learn all about erotic wordplay at Dirty Talk 101, hosted by local sex-collective Fair CONTINUES ON PG. 42

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

41


CALENDAR, CONTINUED FROM PG. 41

7 DAYS

OF CONCERTS BY JORDAN SNOWDEN JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

PHOTO: SHERVIN LAINEZ

Adia Victoria

THURSDAY

The Bird Hour, Suavity’s Mouthpiece, Closure, Sadie’s Song 8 p.m. Spirit, Lawrenceville. spiritpgh.com

FRIDAY

Funky Fly Project 8:30 p.m. Hard Rock Cafe, Station Square. hardrock.com/cafes/pittsburgh

SATURDAY Adia Victoria

6 p.m. Club Cafe, South Side. clubcafelive.com

SUNDAY

Machine Girl, Five Star Hotel, Channel 63, Food Corps, Kala Btz, Mallard Theory, Aka Name 8 p.m. 3577 Studios, Polish Hill. 3577studios.com

MONDAY Watsky

7 p.m. Mr. Smalls Theatre, Millvale. mrsmalls.com

TUESDAY

Vundabar, Camp Howard, Spish 7 p.m. The Mr. Roboto Project, Bloomfield. therobotoproject.com

WEDNESDAY Switchfoot

7 p.m. Carnegie of Homestead Musical Hall, Homestead. librarymusichall.com

MORE CONCERT UPDATES ONLINE

AT PGHCITYPAPER.COM 42

PGHCITYPAPER.COM

^ Fri., Feb. 22: The Children of NAN

Moans. Explore and discuss this expression of sexuality with Fair Moans member Nicole Gallagher. By the end, you’ll be a hot-talking pro.1:30 p.m. MettƗ: 5118 Penn Ave., Garfield. $10-20. mettapgh.com

MUSIC

With high ceilings and an overall grungy atmosphere, Get Hip Record’s warehouse on the North Side has plenty of room to headbang, mosh, and get weird. Local metal bands Greywalker, Victims of Contagion, The Breathing Process, and Pittsburgh neighbors Plaguewielder from Steubenville, Ohio are getting dirty for Metal Night, a diverse evening of some of the best heavy metal in the 412. Rock Bottom Brewery and a selection of craft beer will be available at the event for any 21+ attendees. 7 p.m. 1800 Columbus Ave., North Side. $8. All Ages. gethip.com

SUNDAY FEB. 24 SCIENCE

Emily Calandrelli wants to “make science nicer, stupid.” Or at least that’s what she titled a 2018 TEDx Talk at her alma mater, West Virginia University. The talk took aim at the contempt and condescension often heard when addressing those who are not scientifically literate. Accessibility and affability in science education dominate her work, whether as host of the TV show Xploration Outer Space, or in her series of children’s science books (Ada Lace). Calandrelli brings that friendly passion for learning to Riverview High School for a Free STEM Fair. There will be a series of activity stations, as well as a book-signing for Calandrelli’s latest, Ada Lace and the Suspicious Artist. (You can read CP’s in-depth interview with Calandrelli at pghcitypaper.com.) 10 a.m. 100 Hulton Road, Oakmont. Free. 412-828-4877 or mysterylovers.com

PHOTO: IMAGINE EXHIBITIONS AND POWERS IMAGERY

^ Fri., Feb. 22: Da Vinci The Exhibition

FOOD

Heavy metal-themed vegan restaurant Onion Maiden regularly slings all kinds of plant-based treats, from “Burning Witch Soup” to “Terrormisu.” For one day only, the restaurant hosts its own pop-up, The Ramen. While ramen most commonly has a meat-based broth and toppings like a softboiled egg, vegan innovations have come so far that it’s easy to make a veggie broth that’s just as tasty — and they even have vegan eggs! 2-10 p.m. 639 E. Warrington Ave., Allentown. onionmaiden.com

TRIVIA

The Black Bottom Film Festival winds down with the That Should’ve Won An Oscar! Black Cinema Trivia Game. Darrell Kinsel of BOOM Concepts hosts an entertaining evening of questions about Oscar-snubbed Black cinema. Contestants must answer 24 questions to win two

tickets to a future August Wilson Cultural Center event. Up to eight teams can sign up. Includes music by Slim Tha DJ and catering by Market Street Grocery. 5-8 p.m. 980 Liberty Ave., Downtown. Included with Black Bottom Film Festival pass. aacc-awc.org

MONDAY FEB. 25 MEETING

ATTN musicians: are you and/or your band ready to take the next step from local gigs to touring outside the city? Let Linda Reznik, who has over 27 years of experience in arts management, lend you a hand. At the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Reznik holds a Market Yourself as a Touring Artist workshop, where she will


PHOTO: BRYAN CONLEY, CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART

^ Tue., Feb. 26: Lenka and Jon Rubin

discuss what artists and performing arts groups must know to market themselves as tour-ready. Topics include the needs and desires of different kinds of presenters, the funding available for artists and presenters, and the best ways to approach potential presenters. Founder and director of River City Artists Management, Reznik has facilitated touring engagements for a diverse roster of artists all over the United States. 6 p.m. 810 Penn Ave., Suite 600, Downtown. Pay What You Can. pittsburghartscouncil.org

TUESDAY FEB. 26 EVENT

Sometimes it’s helpful to remember that everyone makes mistakes they have to learn from — and that includes successful business people. The Hill Community Development Corporation will be hosting their 2nd annual Oops Night! at Crazy Mocha, featuring entrepreneur and Manager of Affirmative Action Compliance with BNY Mellon Nicole Narvaez Manns. She’ll be discussing three mistakes she’s made in her career and how you can avoid

the talk. Tickets originally sold out, but 25 more have been added, so be sure to RSVP by Fri., Feb. 22. 5:30 p.m. 1836 Centre Ave., Hill District. This event is free and open to the public. hilldistrict.org/register

LECTURE

Last year, Pittsburgh-based artists Lenka and Jon Rubin decided to turn the 10,632 artworks rejected by the 57th Carnegie International into a project that would both showcase and encourage patrons to buy the pieces. The pair will present a lecture at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Art, organized in collaboration with the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie International, to discuss their extensive work in social practice and public engagement. The event takes place in the Kresge Theatre.

6:30-8 p.m. 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland. Free and open to the public. art.cmu.edu

MUSIC

After a few years of relative silence, Elvis Depressedly is hitting the road and releasing new music in 2019. The North Carolina group was last heard from on 2016’s Holo Pleasures/California Dreamin’, a beautifully intimate lo-fi record that would sound right at home next to Olivia Tremor Control, Sandy Alex G or Foxes in Fiction — not exactly a coincidence, since the latter two were previously labelmates of Depressedly on Orchid Tapes. If you’re unfamiliar, start with the instrumental “Thinning Out” or 2012’s “Prison Line (So Lovely).” Better yet, catch a mix of old and new material at Smiling Moose, alongside Niights and The Cordial Sins. 6:30 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $12. thesmilingmoose.com

Contessa is so relatable is because she has always made accessible food for people who cook at home. Her recipes can be upscale and impressive, but not impossible to recreate. As she put it in an interview with Eater, “My perspective professionally has always been as a home cook; the truth is I am a home cook. I’ve just had a little more experience than most people.” Catch Garten at Heinz Hall as part of the tour for Cook Like a Pro, her latest book. 7:30 p.m. 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $55-105. pittsburghsymphony.org

WEDNESDAY FEB. 27 FILM

San Francisco’s Other Cinema series promotes marginal and widely ignored film genres, ranging from homemade to exploitation movies to industrial films. Its founder, Craig Baldwin, brings the Other Cinema experience to Glitter Box Theater with a program that features his found-footage series Industrials Amok. If you crave challenging, unexpected experiences from the big screen go to this 8 p m

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

43


PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER

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NAME CHANGE

NAME CHANGE

IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-568, In re petition of Fabio Mkais for change of name to Zouhair Mkais. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 15th day of March, 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-14-10539, In re petition of Veneto Kim Owens for change of name to Kenya Lee Owens. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 26th day of March, 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

NAME CHANGE

NAME CHANGE

IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-967, In re petition of Bari Janette Morchower for change of name to Bari Morchower Guzikowski. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 18th day of March, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, CityCounty 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-19-756, In re petition of Justin Michael Young for change of name to Justin Michael Kelly. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 20th day of March, 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

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3. Make an optional down payment at the time of purchase to lower your installment payments. 1

If you cancel your wireless service plan, your remaining installment balance becomes due. 2 Upgrade eligible once 50% of device cost is paid on AT&T Next Every Year and 80% with AT&T Next. Requires trade-in of financed smartphone or one of the same make/model in fully functional/good physical condition.

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AT&T Business Customers: Please contact your AT&T sales representative for more information or call 866.9att.b2b (866.928.8222). AT&T NEXT OR AT&T NEXT EVERY YEAR: Credit approval required. For smartphones only. Tax on sales price due at sale. Requires 0% APR monthly installment agreement and eligible service. Divides sales price into monthly installments. AT&T Next: 30-month agreement with trade-in to upgrade when 80% of sales price is paid off. AT&T Next Every Year: 24-month agreement with trade-in to upgrade when 50% of sales price is paid off. $0 down: Requires well-qualified credit. Limit as low as 2 smartphones at $0 down. Down payment: May be required and depends on a variety of factors. Down payment if required will be either 30% of sales price or a dollar amount ranging from currently $0 to $600 (amount subject to change, and may be higher). You may choose to pay more upfront. Remainder of sales price is divided into 30 or 24 monthly installments. Service: Eligible postpaid voice and data service (minimum $45 per month after AutoPay and Paperless billing discount for new customers. Pay $55 per month until discount starts within 2 bills. Existing customers can add to eligible current plans which may be less) is required and extra. If service is canceled, remaining installment agreement balance is due. Examples: $749.99 sales price on AT&T Next (30-month) with $0 down is $25 per month, with $225 down (30%) is $17.50 per month, or with $600 down is $5 per month. On AT&T Next Every Year (24-month) with $0 down is $31.25 per month, with $225 down (30%) is $21.88 per month, or with $600 down is $6.25 per month. Activation or upgrade fee: Up to $45/line. Waiver of fee subject to change. Restocking Fee: Up to $45. Limits: Purchase limit applies. Eligibility,device, line and financing limits & other restrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apply. Upgrade with eligible trade-in: Requires payment of percentage of sales price (50% or 80%), account in good standing, trade-in of financed device (or one of the same make and model) in good physical and fully functional condition through the AT&T Next or AT&T Next Every Year trade-in program (excludes AT&T trade-in program where you receive an instant credit or AT&T promotion card), and purchase of new eligible smartphone with qualified wireless service. After upgrade, unbilled installments are waived. See att.com/next and your Retail Installment Agreement for full details. GENERAL WIRELESS SERVICE: Subject to wireless customer agreement (att.com/wca). Services are not for resale. Deposit: May be required. Limits: Purchase and line limits apply. Prices vary by location. Credit approval, fees, monthly and other charges, usage, eligibility and other restrictions per line may apply. See att.com/additional charges for more details on other charges. Pricing and terms are subject to change and may be modified or terminated at any time without notice. Coverage and service are not available everywhere. You get an off -net (roaming) usage allowance for each service. If you exceed the allowance, your services may be restricted or terminated. Other restrictions apply and may result in service termination. For info on AT&T network management policies see att.com/broadbandinfo. Š 2018 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. Owners of all marks retain their rights. RTP SF T 0218 5181 D-Sa


QUIET PUZZLED

BY BRENDAN EMMETT QUIGLEY // WWW.BRENDANEMMETTQUIGLEY.COM

ACROSS

1. Liquid lunch? 5. Drying out time? 10. “Jeepers creepers!” 14. Guitarist’s key-changing tool 15. Certain Arab 16. Bad funk 17. Name on ESPN’s Courage Award 18. Religion that celebrates Yuletide and Samhain 19. Limb bone 20. Go ballistic while standing atop piles of cash? 23. Small cut 24. Heartthrob’s record? 25. Words used by a wealthy descendant? 33. “Thanks a ___” 35. Thread holder 36. Simmering 37. Refined rocks 39. Disneyland’s home, briefly 41. Gin flavoring 42. New York’s Central Park has 840 of them 44. Confess 46. Slot receiver’s stat. 47. Those who clean up around Chichén Itzá? 50. Step on it, like Shakespeare 51. Qatar’s capital 53. Special benefits for comic Cenac?

60. Grub 61. Get-up in some tooth fairy costumes 62. Lex Luthor’s sister or daughter (depending on which comics series you’re reading) 63. Superduperfan 64. “My Aim Is True” singer Costello 65. Two of them might be called “To a Crossword Constructor” and “To a Solver” 66. Luxury department store headquartered on Fifth Avenue 67. Candy man name 68. Closing bell org.

DOWN

1. Harry Potter’s is shaped like a lightning bolt 2. Welcome site in the desert 3. Chair covering 4. Word with justice or license 5. This direction 6. Give off 7. Dash measurement 8. Back in the day 9. Chinese city on an island with the same name 10. Tykes 11. Not moving 12. “My Little ___” 13. Prominent time

21. Elevator pioneer 22. Indie rock band that makes elaborate one-take videos 26. Choose 27. Certainly not 28. Last name that is a homophone of 36-Across’s second word 29. Unmatched? 30. “The Breakfast Club” actress 31. Satisfactorily 32. Group of animals that sound like a verb 33. Claylike soil 34. Fierce whale 38. Super Bowl XLVIII winners

40. Trophy 43. Bad attitude 45. Salon job, briefly 48. Hunting dog 49. Sure thing? 52. Patron saint of virgins 53. “Dayum, son” 54. England city with a famous Minster 55. Unread books on a bedside table, say 56. Five star review 57. It might be in a 58-Down 58. Home for a 57-Down 59. Simplicity 60. Alternatives to streaming LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER FEB. 20-27, 2019

45


PEEPSHOW A sex and social justice column

IN SYNC BY JESSIE SAGE // PEEPSHOWCAST@GMAIL.COM

T

HREE WEEKS AGO, a Kickstarter

campaign launched for a piece of technology aimed at improving couples’ communication about sex. LoveSync promises a solution to mismatched libidos. It offers “an entirely new way to increase your sexual frequency and boost your romantic relationship with the simple press of a button.” The idea is simple. Each person in a couple places a button on their bedside table, which they press when they are in the mood for sex. If both partners press the button, there is a match and they are alerted that it’s sexy time. If one partner presses the button and the other doesn’t, “no one will be the wiser.” LoveSync’s claim is that folks will be more likely to assert their desire for sex if they don’t fear rejection; and direct rejection, of course, is impossible if your partner only knows you want to have sex when they are also in the mood. The Kickstarter campaign met its goal in just two days and has now raised close to $13,000. Despite its momentary popularity, LoveSync is a terrible idea— so bad, in fact, we might as well rename it “The Divorce Button.” It’s a technological solution to an interpersonal or relational problem. Our sexual needs, desires, and

insecurities are complex and cannot be easily boiled down to an on/off switch, and glossing over this complexity is likely to deepen the problem. It’s not inherently a problem in a relationship to have libidos that don’t exactly match up. In fact, it’s a normal situation that partners have to continually negotiate as they both develop and change over time. Partners are not mirror images of each other.

“BETTER SEX COMES FROM BETTER COMMUNICATION...” The solution is not to reduce each other to human sex dispensers by eliminating any conversation that may lead to conflict; instead, real solutions lie in working to understand the root of conflicting desires and negotiating compromises that make both partners feel seen and cared for. In my own marriage, issues of mismatched libido often aren’t about sex drive at all, but rather about how we individually relate to sex. When we are feeling disconnected because of stress

or conflict, I often desire sex because sex helps me to bridge emotional distance. But for my partner, sex is something that flows out of emotional connection and is, therefore, not possible until we resolve the issues that are standing between us. At times like this, we have had to communicate so that he doesn’t feel pressured into sex that doesn’t feel natural to him, and I don’t feel cut off from the connection I desire. This sometimes involves facing our conflicts head on and taking steps to rekindle our closeness in sexual and non-sexual ways. But hiding behind technology would have prevented us to having the necessary conversations that shed light on this pattern. This technology reduces sexuality to a yes or a no and doesn’t take into consideration that people want different things at different times. These shifts and conflicts need to be continuously communicated and negotiated, and this can only happen through an openness, which includes vulnerability, even in the face of a possible rejection. Better sex comes from better communication and care and concern for your partner, not fancier technology that protects you from your own feelings.

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.

We’re your sexual partner. 46

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Peepshow Podcast, Ep. 43 In Episode 43, we bring you more interviews from the floor of the Adult Video Network (AVN), often called the “Academy Awards of Porn.” We trace the shift in the culture of AVN from its inception in the 1980s, to the present. To ground us in its history, we interview legendary performer and educator Nina Hartley, who has been at AVN every year for the last 36 years. She tells us that the event began as an offshoot of the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, until it broke off into its own convention in the 1990s. She talks about her experiences starting her career in pornography in 1984, and how radically different the landscape is now for up-and-coming performers. We also interview academic and writer Lynn Comella, author of Vibrator Nation: How Feminist Sex Toy Stores Changed the Business of Pleasure. She laments the diminishing representation of queer and feminist vendors at the expo, and performers on the red carpet. Lastly, we talk to long-time veteran cam model Ms. Lollipop, who discusses the massive shift on the expo floor from conventional porn performers to webcam models. She talks about the early days of camming at AVN, where models set up their own hot spots in order to livestream, to today when cam platforms have invested so heavily in infrastructure that the entire convention floor has shifted to live digital performances.

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Profile for Pittsburgh City Paper

February 20, 2019 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Volume 30 Issue 08

February 20, 2019 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Volume 30 Issue 08