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MARCH 3-10, 2021 VOLUME 30 + ISSUE 9 Editor-In-Chief LISA CUNNINGHAM Director of Advertising JASMINE HUGHES Director of Operations KEVIN SHEPHERD News Editor RYAN DETO Senior Writer AMANDA WALTZ Staff Writers DANI JANAE, HANNAH LYNN, KIMBERLY ROONEY 냖㵸蔻 Photographer/Videographer JARED WICKERHAM Art Director ABBIE ADAMS Graphic Designers JOSIE NORTON, JEFF SCHRECKENGOST Sales Representatives ZACK DURKIN, OWEN GABBEY, NICKI MULVIHILL Circulation Manager JEFF ENGBARTH Featured Contributors REGE BEHE, MIKE CANTON, LYNN CULLEN, TERENEH IDIA, CHARLES ROSENBLUM Interns COLLEEN HAMMOND, KAYCEE ORWIG National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529 Publisher EAGLE MEDIA CORP.
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March 6–May 30, 2021 T H E F R I C K P I T T S B U R G H.O R G
ALSO ON VIEW Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray March 6–May 9, 2021
Image: Guillermo Kahlo (German, active Mexico, 1872-1941). Frida Kahlo, 1932 (detail). Gelatin silver print, 6 3⁄4 x 4 3⁄4 in. The Vicente Wolf Collection. The exhibition is organized by Vicente Wolf Associates from Vicente Wolf’s collection.
Major exhibition program support is provided by the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
(TOP) PHOTO PROVIDED BY MARYA CARRILLO
Chyna Carrillo and her family (BOTTOM) PHOTOS COURTESY OF PRISM OF BEAVER COUNTY
Jeffrey “JJ” Bright and Jasmine Cannady
SAY THEIR NAMES The recent deaths of trans people of color in Western Pennsylvania signal an alarming trend of violence BY KIMBERLY ROONEY냖㵸蔻 // KIMROONEY@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
OUR TRANS PEOPLE OF color have died in Western Pennsylvania in February, three of whom were killed within one week. Chyna Carrillo was killed in Lawrence County, an hour north of Pittsburgh, on Feb. 18, and siblings Jasmine Cannady and Jeffrey “JJ” Bright were killed in Ambridge, just 30 minutes from the city, on Feb. 22. Audura Belle also died earlier this month due to lack of health care, according to statements from her friends and family. Carrillo and Belle were trans women; Bright was a 16-year-old trans man; and Cannady was nonbinary, which falls under the umbrella of trans identities. The victims who died in February are part of a larger and likely increasing trend of violence, both individual and systemic, against trans people in the United States. But they are more than statistics or trends. They are people whose lives have been cut short and who are still loved and missed. Carrillo was allegedly killed by Juan Carter Hernandez, whom she had recently started dating. She was one of 25 grandchildren in her family, and as a child, she loved playing with her cousins and particularly enjoyed playing dress up and dolls with her female cousins. Carrillo’s aunt, Mayra Carrillo, says her family understood gender as seeing “blue or pink,” but they loved and supported and wanted to protect Carrillo. Marya says loving her also allowed the family to learn more about gender, loving unconditionally, and being their most authentic selves, and the family continues to carry and share those lessons with the people they meet. “Most of us are just like, ‘I don’t know if people can take it,’ and she was like, ‘Well, ready or not, this is who I am,’” Mayra says. “Those are some of the best things about my niece that, you know, not only does she inspire other people to do it, she inspires all of us to be our most authentic self. And to love yourself no matter what.” The rate of violence against trans people in 2020 was higher than that of any year prior since the national LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign began tracking data in 2013. While at least 44 trans people were violently killed in 2020, the number of recorded deaths in 2021 is already past that rate of deaths. At least nine trans people have been killed throughout the country in 2021. The string of deaths in Western Pennsylvania refocuses attention on the lack of civil rights protections for LGBTQ individuals in many parts of the region, not to mention the accessibility problems trans people encounter in health care and other social services. It’s another tragic reminder of just how far the movement to protect trans individuals must go before equality is reached. CONTINUES ON PG. 6
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
SAY THEIR NAMES, CONTINUED FROM PG. 5
CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
TransYouniting held a candlelight vigil Sunday evening outside the City County Building to honor four lives that were lost in the past two weeks.
Carrillo grew up in Springdale, Ark. with her family, and attended Springdale High School before becoming a certiﬁed nursing assistant at a local college. She had moved to New Wilmington early in the pandemic and was working there as a CNA because she wanted a fresh start, although she still came back to Springdale to visit her family. “She always was herself,” says Mayra of her niece. When Chyna was three years old, her cousins asked about her gender, and according to Mayra, Chyna told them, “Whenever I was in my mommy’s belly, I was a little girl. And then I was born, and I don’t know what happened.” One of Mayra’s favorite memories of Chyna was on a family vacation to Destin, Fla. Mayra was driving the family van, and Chyna was her co-pilot, and they talked and shared secrets during the drive. One night on the beach, Mayra and Chyna were sitting in a natural pool
in the ocean, pretending to be mermaids, but just after they decided to stay in the pool a little longer, Mayra was stung by a jellyﬁsh. Cannady and Bright, both of Ambridge, were allegedly killed by their mother. According to the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents’ blog, Bright had been an active part of Beaver County’s LGBTQ advocacy community and had participated in the county’s nonproﬁt LGBTQ youth organization PRISM for many years. Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reports that his older sister Cannady identiﬁed as nonbinary and sometimes accompanied him to gatherings. PRISM staff described them as a “sweet, shy, and artistic soul.” Belle’s death underscores not only the need for trans-inclusive and transsensitive health care for all, but also the ways in which violence against trans people extends beyond physical attacks. Her death has also left her family hurting
for losing her so quickly. Her cousin, who created the Facebook fundraiser to cover her burial and memorial costs, describes Belle as a “[v]ery loving bright artistic amazing individual.” Neither New Wilmington, the Lawrence County town where Carrillo was killed, nor Ambridge, where Cannady and Bright were killed, has nondiscrimination protections for gender identity or sexual orientation, and the U.S. still has many problems providing all of its residents access to affordable health care. The systemic problems that trans people face require collective solutions, and local LGTBQ organizations such as Trans YOUniting, SisTers PGH, and PRISM respond to such challenges by providing material and emotional support for trans communities. SisTers PGH held a vigil on Feb. 21 for Carrillo and wrote press releases for Carrillo, Cannady, and Bright. PRISM held a vigil for Cannady and Bright on Feb. 23 and ampliﬁed a GoFundMe for
the siblings on their Facebook page. Trans YOUniting held a candlelight vigil for Carrillo, Cannady, Bright, and Belle on Feb. 28 at the City County Building in Downtown Pittsburgh, and they ampliﬁed a fundraiser for Belle’s burial costs on their Facebook page. Both organizations are Black trans-led and offer aid and support with housing, education, and youth mentorship. “Love us while we are here,” founder and executive director of Trans YOUniting Dena Stanely wrote in a press release. “This should make everyone outraged.” Tori Cooper is the HRC director of engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. Cooper says the former presidential administration of Donald Trump harmed the trans community deeply and mentally. “The [Trump] administration was attempting to erase us,” says Cooper. “And I think without question that creeped into a psyche of the American CONTINUES ON PG. 8
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
SAY THEIR NAMES, CONTINUED FROM PG. 6
CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
TransYouniting held a candlelight vigil Sunday evening outside the City County Building to honor for lives that were lost in the past two weeks.
public as well, that trans people are not worthy of protection, and that we can simply be erased and unfortunately … right now, what we’re seeing with violence is actually erasure by killing us.” Trans people have been forced to contend with both explicit anti-trans violence, as well as their gender identities affecting social determinants of health, such as access to transgender-competent health care, stable housing, education, and employment. According to the National Institutes of Health, collecting data on trans violence is also made difﬁcult for organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign due to misreporting, misgendering, or “deadnaming” (referring to someone by the name they used before they transitioned) individuals who have been harmed. These violent acts are compounded for trans people with intersecting marginalized identities, especially for trans women of color who experience racism and misogyny in addition to transphobia. The National Center for Transgender Equality’s U.S. Transgender Survey found that the nearly 28,000 trans people surveyed were more than twice as likely as the U.S. population to be living in poverty, but people of color were more than three
times as likely to be living in poverty. Trans women of color were also more likely to be physically attacked because of being transgender compared to nonbinary people and transgender men. While the exact effect of being trans has on life expectancy in the United States is unclear, an FBI report on hate crimes showed a rise in gender-based hate crimes from 2.2% in 2018 to 2.7% in 2019. “Violence, before it comes to your hands, it goes through your head and often comes out of your mouth,” Cooper says. “Because if you don’t think of trans people as real people, and you think of them as disposable, and worthy of disdain, then killing them doesn’t seem so far fetched.” Cooper also believes education, as well as strengthening and enforcing hate crime legislation, are necessary to reduce violence against trans people. Through education, people can prevent the dehumanization of trans people that allows violent thoughts and speech to ﬂourish. Cooper says hate crime legislation will also make it “uncomfortable for people to discriminate against trans people … Education is good, but you have to actually put some movement and some action behind that.”
Follow staff writer Kimberly Rooney 냖㵸蔻on Twitter @kimlypso
GIVING BOOKS City Books creates fund to provide books to incarcerated youth at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center BY COLLEEN HAMMOND // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
ITY BOOKS OWNER Arlan Hess received a very special birthday gift this year. With the help of total strangers and a single tweet, Hess is hoping to better the lives of children at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center in Pittsburgh’s Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood. Hess, who runs the popular North Side book store, started a fund in February to provide new and gently-used books to adolescents at the detention center, and has already raised hundreds of dollars. Hess has experienced the power of books for decades, noting her selfdescribed “cliché” mantra, “Books save lives.” The sentiment, although widely held in the literary community, took on special meaning for Hess this year. While in-person business has greatly diminished during the pandemic, Hess sought to increase her online presence to ensure the members of her community have access to a “great escape.” “My mission is to get books in the hands of people,” says Hess.
Her mission expanded this year to include some of the most isolated members of society: the incarcerated. “I like to keep an eye on what’s going on in Allegheny County Jail,” says Hess. While preparing for a book drive for inmates of the jail, Hess learned about an initiative to contribute to a library at Shuman Juvenile Detention Center through JailBreak, a prison abolitionist organization based in Pittsburgh. While Hess’ store remained closed to inperson shopping, she recognized that she had plenty of room to store books for donation. “It just seems like a no-brainer,” says Hess. Hess then began to actively fundraise for the Shuman Library Fund, guided by the goal to connect books and readers. “Books are really the only way we can be in someone else’s shoes,” says Hess. “They’re a way to escape.” Then, on Feb. 21, Hess celebrated her birthday by sending out a tweet encouraging people to donate to the Shuman Library Fund.
To her shock and delight, the tweet went viral and Hess received over $1,400 — the majority of which came from complete strangers. And donations are still pouring in. “I nearly passed out,” says Hess. “I didn’t think it was real.”
SHUMAN LIBRARY FUND Accepting new or gently-used paperback donations for ages 13-18 and reading level-appropriate for middle school. Drop off at City Books (908 Galveston Ave., North Side) on Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. Financial donations also encouraged. citybookspgh.com/shuman
Because of the generosity of donors, Hess says she has been able to purchase nearly all the books on the “most requested” list she received from ofﬁcials at Shuman. Hess says that connecting with the community, especially through outreach, is at the heart of her work. “I like to keep the ‘city’ in City Books,” says Hess.
Still the need for age-appropriate books continues. Hess emphasizes that additional donations to the Shuman Library Fund cannot just be left outside the bookstore. While she is grateful for all donations and attempted donations, she is currently only accepting paperback books in good condition, geared for ages 13-18. “It can’t just be dumped books,” says Hess. As her store continues to ﬁll up with donations, Hess encourages those who wish to contribute to this project to give monetary donations via City Books’ website, so that books can be purchased by Hess at wholesale price. Those who would like to donate appropriate books can call City Books and schedule a time for Hess to overlook the books and accept the donation in-person. Despite the restrictions, Hess is conﬁdent that City Books’ mission and stance as a positive, connective force in the community is here to stay. “I’m determined to have it continue on,” says Hess.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
CP PHOTOS: JARED WICKERHAM
Oliver Pinder, owner and chef at Wild Rise Bakery, inside their kitchen in Homewood
.BLACK-LED COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT.
RISING TO THE OCCASION BY DANI JANAE // DANIJANAE@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
OR OLIVER PINDER of Wild Rise
Bakery, making gluten free goods is more than just a passing health fad. Pinder grew up watching his mother bake, went to culinary school, and worked in kitchens for years. But about 10 years ago, he discovered his gluten intolerance. Back in those days, there were hardly any gluten-free baked good options, and those that existed weren’t the best tasting or most accessible. “When I discovered that I was gluten intolerant in the very early days of gluten-free bread, and I don’t know if you have had gluten-free bread even ﬁve or six years ago, the pickings were not very great,” says Pinder. After attending culinary school in South Africa and returning to the states to start a Masters at Chatham University in Food Studies and working in various restaurants, Pinder saw a void in the mar-
ket and sought to ﬁll it. He began baking gluten-free out of necessity, but quickly learned that there were other people that were willing to pay for well-made goods. His business Wild Rise began operating in 2019, and while he and the other baker he works with, Emily Bourdon, do not have a brick and mortar store, their products can be found at local grocers and cafés, as well as their online store. My ﬁrst introduction to gluten-free bread was in college, and I suffered through many styrofoamy slices in the name of health. Even now, many restaurants only offer things like lettuce wraps or a no-bread option for gluten-intolerant and celiac folks. I decided to try some of the Wild Rise offerings, and they were yards ahead of gluten-free pastries I’ve had in the past. I ordered the Aloo Pie, a Rosemary and Olive Boule, and the vegan brownies.
Aloo Pie is a traditional Trinidadian fried dough ﬁlled with mashed potatoes seasoned with bandhania (a popular herb similar to cilantro), cumin, onion, and garlic. The cumin adds a bit of warmth to the ﬁlling and the potatoes have a savory, peppery taste. The buckwheat-based dough is rich, buttery, and ﬂaky, and isn’t oily. I suspected that was because Wild Rise bakes Aloo Pies instead of frying them. I was right, according to Pinder. Lots of gluten-free doughs suffer from the inability to get ﬂaky, and come with an often grainy texture. These pies do not suffer from that pitfall, and instead are light and delicious. The Olive and Rosemary Boule is made from sorghum and brown rice ﬂour, and is very ﬂavorful and tender. The bread deﬁnitely needs the salt kick the olives provide, and the rosemary is ever present throughout every bite, lending an earthy
and aromatic touch. I recommend eating it warm with a little bit of butter for some creamy saltiness. The vegan brownies were absolutely perfect. Made from buckwheat ﬂour, these brownies are fudgy, rich, and dense, and without the gritty or sandy texture that can come often with glutenfree baked goods. They have perfectly crispy tops and corners, and an intense chocolate ﬂavor. What’s the secret to making these breads, pastries, and pies? Pinder credits a ﬂour mix he created after reading up on gluten-free ﬂours in a book by Alice Medrich. “She did a book called GlutenFree Flavor Flours, and I can’t use her recipes ingredient-for-ingredient on the scale that we have to bake at, but it has been so eye-opening to read her very detailed approach to ﬂour.” Pinder expands on this, saying that
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Oliver Pinder, owner and chef at Wild Rise Bakery, prepares gluten-free brownies for Millie’s Ice Cream, which will end up in their “Blackout Brownie,” a collaboration with Pittsburgh artist Cue Perry.
many recipes for gluten-free foods exist on a small scale; perhaps for a person baking one loaf of bread for themselves. Learning how to scale up recipes to suit the level at which Wild Rise bakes loaves and pastries was a matter of trial and error. Pinder soon found his footing in this regard and has been bringing creative, tasty food to the Pittsburgh area since. The Aloo Pie is not the only adaption of a traditional Trinidadian dish on the menu at Wild Rise. Pinder, who was born in Brooklyn but grew up in Trinidad, an island in the Southern Carribean, has studded the menu with a few other treats. The cinnamon raisin roll is based on the currant roll. “I had this argument with mom. She was like, ‘You can’t call it a currant roll because you’re not using currants.’ I was like, ‘What is the difference?’” The coconut rolls are also based on a Trinidadian recipe. On the website, they are described as a “coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger dream swirl of delight.” The cheese and chive handpie is based on a recipe Pinder grew up eating as well.
“The thing about doing recipes that I grew up with is that I have to adapt all of them. So ﬁguring out what ﬂours to use, what ﬂours would play better with certain techniques, you know, that’s always the challenge,” says Pinder.
WILD RISE BAKERY wildrisebakery.com
Another challenge that Pinder found when starting Wild Rise was that, because of the specialized ﬂours and ingredients one has to use to make gluten-free bread, the price point for their goods is out of reach for some lower-income folks. “It makes us seem a little bit niche,” says Pinder. Wild Rise works around that by doing outreach, like donating loaves of bread or being featured at local farmers’ markets at a lower price than usual. At the beginning of Wild Rise, Pinder and his team were raising funds to buy a mixer, but that endeavor was paused Follow staff writer Dani Janae on Twitter @figwidow
because the commercial kitchen space could not ﬁt one. As a result, all of the doughs are mixed by hand. “You would think I’d be more ripped by now, but I’m not,” he laughed. How can Pittsburghers support Wild Rise Bakery during this time? “Folks can just continue to buy a loaf of bread at the co-op because buying that loaf of bread allows the co-op to see that folks still want our product, and buying from our online store does the same,” says Pinder. Pinder remains positive and hopeful about the future of the business. “The fortunate thing about being a gluten-free baker in a very underpopulated food ﬁeld is that gluten-free is not curated yet, especially not in Pittsburgh,” says Pinder. “We’ve been good in terms of reaching folks. Our product has had to be consistently good, and everyone’s product should be good, but as a starting business, there is very little room for error. This is great because it’s meant that we’ve had to make sure we’ve dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s early, but in terms of actual customer support, there’s been a lot.”
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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
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CP PHOTO: AMANDA WALTZ
Nine O’Clock Wines February subscription box
IT’S WINE O’CLOCK BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
WINE, WHILE well meaning, hasn’t always impressed me. I’ve purchased varieties proudly sporting the label, drawn in by the prospect of trying something unspoiled by pesticides and other manmade chemicals. Certainly, the experience would be truly next level; the reds bolder, the whites brighter. Instead, my dalliances with natural wines, particularly certiﬁed organic ones, has usually resulted in me asking, “Does this taste watery to you?” That view has changed with my discovery of Nine O’Clock Wines, a new club and bottle shop dedicated to showcasing and selling all-natural vino. The service was co-founded by Celine Roberts and Christie Kliewer, who curated it with Bar Marco, the Strip District restaurant that also serves as the homebase for Nine O’Clock. The Nine O’Clock website says Roberts and Kliewer met in 2018 while working at Bar Marco (the business was named after closing time when staff would be able to relax and gather around the bar for post-work drinks). They “both fell in love with natural wine and began imagining a future in which this passion would be the central focus of our work.” The duo used their respective and mutual backgrounds in library science, food ATURAL
journalism (Roberts is a former Pittsburgh City Paper staff writer), and the service industry to explore this area. Mostly, Nine O’Clock Wines strives to make the stereotypically elitist world of wine less intimidating and more approachable for everyone by curating and introducing customers to a variety of natural wines. This includes the Nine O’Clock club subscription box, which supplies three new and different bottles to subscribers each month.
NINE O’CLOCK WINES Bottle shop open Tue., Fri., and Sat. from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. 2216 Penn Ave., Strip District. nineoclockwines.com
I have experienced the subscription service since its launch in January 2021, and it has been a welcome treat in these dismal days of the pandemic. It has also proven that you can have all-natural wine without sacriﬁcing taste. The most recent box, like the others before it, was available for sociallydistanced and masked pick-up at Bar Marco, and contained two reds and a white — Perrini’s Salento Negroamaro 2019 from Puglia, Italy; Baglio di Pianetto’s Terre Siciliane Frappato 2018 from
Sicily; and the 2016 Semillon Napa Valley from Fine Disregard Wine Co. So far, Nine O’Clock has demonstrated a talent for delivering distinct taste proﬁles. This was evident even between the two reds, the Salento Negroamaro and the Terre Siciliane Frappato. The former was rich, bold, and earthy, the latter was ﬂoral and zingy, with the pleasant sting of raspberry. (I made this observation before my husband pointed out that Nine O’Clock described it as having notes of “blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.”) The white by California-based Fine Disregard Wine Co. brought its own surprises with vibrant citrus and a smooth, yet pronounced, unfurling of vanilla. While all three of the wines were remarkable in their own ways, the Semillon Napa Valley came out ahead as my favorite of the bunch. Retailing at $90 per box, the Nine O’Clock club subscription service makes for a worthwhile alternative to taking a chance on the many bottles lining your local liquor store shelves. All the more appealing is that each box comes with a detailed note — lovingly folded and secured with a wax seal — that covers taste proﬁles and pairing suggestions for the wines, making it a great choice for curious wine novices.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
CP PHOTOS: KAYCEE ORWIG
Jorge Broche, co-owner of Mosaic Leaf Matcha Tea Bar, prepares a matcha latte.
Mosaic Leaf tea bar in Lawrenceville offers matcha for any occasion BY RYAN DETO // RYANDETO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
ATCHA IS COMING for coffee.
The tea-based beverage — made from a special type of green tea that is grounded into a powder — is making its way to coffee shop menus across Pittsburgh. Iced matcha drinks, hot matcha lattes, and blended matcha beverages can be spotted at joints across the region. Recently, one of Pittsburgh’s matcha pioneers joined the cafe game with Mosaic Leaf Matcha Tea Bar. The store-
front on Butler Street in Lawrenceville was opened last fall by the locally based Ultra Matcha company, which was started by Jorge Broche, Katherine Nguyen, and Scott Wells in 2017. They are regularly seen at farmers markets and other food events throughout Pittsburgh. At Mosaic Leaf, customers can treat themselves to rose matcha lattes, matcha-infused caramels, and other beverages like hopped tea, as well as purchase Ultra Matcha’s hand-blended
matcha powder. The space is similar to any new, hip coffee shop in Pittsburgh, except matcha is the star instead of coffee beans. “It is basically our headquarters,” says Wells. “We knew we needed a headquarters to serve these drinks and center our company.” Wells says having a storefront helps to spread the mission of Ultra Matcha, and the idea that matcha can provide healthy energy to people. According
to the Mosaic Leaf website, the tea bar “provides a space for you to experience a variety of matcha offerings from traditional preparation to modern matcha lattes along with a rotating selection of in-house tea ‘cocktails,’” aka mocktails. Wells says the matcha blends at Mosaic Leaf can appeal to anyone, even coffee drinkers, and there are three yearround blends the shop focuses on. One blend, Charge, is suitable as a morning beverage. Wells says that it blends
Homemade cookies and a matcha latte from Mosaic Leaf Matcha Tea Bar
matcha with yerba mate, cinnamon, and guarana seeds, which provides more energy and caffeine than other blends. For a midday matcha, Wells suggests the Focus blend, which mixes matcha with ginkgo leaves and ginger. Wells says it’s stress reducing and a “matcha that gives you some energy to get some work done.” Lastly, the Recover blend adds in mushrooms and raw chocolate for an earthy proﬁle perfect for nighttime.
MOSAIC LEAF MATCHA TEA BAR Wed.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sat.Sun. from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 3511 Butler St., Lawrenceville. ultramatcha.com
“At Mosaic Leaf, we serve all those up in a really good latte version which is really popular,” says Wells. “We can make any of the teas that we have, and can also do it in the traditional way with a tea ceremony.” Ultra Matcha sources their matcha from a small farm in Japan. Green tea for matcha is grown differently than traditional green tea, explains Wells. He says that the plants are heavily shaded, and harvest differently. This gives matcha special amino acids that Wells
says can help “provide a calm feeling,” as well as a drink that is extremely rich in antioxidants “It provides a good meditative sort of feeling, but not one that makes you sleep,” says Wells. When served in lattes and other treats, it’s not as distinguishable from coffee as one might assume. When visiting the tea bar last month, I tried a cocoa mint matcha latte that was just as rich, sweet, and energizing as a coffee-based version. Matcha is surprisingly complex, and when mixed with other herbs and ingredients, can produce many of the same ﬂavors that coffee lovers enjoy. Mosaic Leaf also offers homemade cookies and sweets that incorporate matcha (try the green matcha cookie with white chocolate chips), and serves canned tea made with hops, which they sometimes mix with matcha for a refreshing drink. Due to the pandemic, Mosaic Leaf is currently only open for takeout, but Wells says if the COVID-19 cases continue to drop, the tea bar will make some seats available and have perks like WiFi for customers. Wells says he hopes to see customers come in to learn about matcha and that he, Broche, and Nguyen are excited to meet new people.
Follow news editor Ryan Deto on Twitter @RyanDeto PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
PHOTOS: SHANA SIMMONS DANCE
Constructed Sight: Winter
BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
FTER NEARLY A YEAR into the pandemic, it’s no secret that everyone has grown a little tired of watching performances online. Shana Simmons Dance understands this, which is why the Pittsburgh company decided to mix things up with their latest project. “It’s difﬁcult to watch things online for a long amount of time,” says artistic director Shana Simmons. To address this, she and her fellow choreographers, Brady Sanders and Jamie Erin Murphy, will present Constructed Sight: Winter, a new online ﬁlm series showing dancers engaging with public art throughout Pittsburgh. Simmons says each ﬁlm lasts between two and a half to eight minutes, making them easier to digest for viewers, and keeping the
program going at a swift pace. Constructed Sight: Winter — taking place over the course of two weekends in March — marks the second round of ﬁlms the company launched in response to in-person shows being canceled or postponed due to COVID-19. The ﬁrst program was released in September 2020. Simmons says Constructed Sight: Winter differs from the September program, which took place over the course of three weekends. She explains that while she, Sanders, and Murphy worked together on the initial batch of ﬁlms, the resulting works were wholly independent of each other. “As a trio, we collaborated on the idea and concept and everything, but as far as the independent dance ﬁlms
CONSTRUCTED SIGHT: WINTER Sat., March 6-Sun. March 7 and Sat., March 13-Sun March 14. Available on YouTube Premiere. Free. Suggested donation $5-10. shanasimmonsdance.com
went, all three of us came up with our own concepts, our own pieces of artwork,” says Simmons. In comparison, the ﬁlms of Constructed Sight: Winter are far more linear. The six ﬁlms will show Simmons, Sanders, Murphy, and other dancers — the roster includes Joanna Dehler, Emily Jaikaran, and Allegra Golembiewski — interacting with prominent works of art at three of the city’s light-rail T-stations. The ﬁlms will transition using the large geometric shapes of Sol LeWitt’s work found in the underground T-station at Wood Street. “Each dancer gets absorbed by one of the shapes on the wall,” says Simmons, whose own piece centers around Pittsburgh Recollections, a ceramic tile mural by artist Romare Beardon, located at the Gateway Center station in Downtown. From there, the different works are threaded together through movement and visuals. “Each ﬁlm has an element or hint towards the next ﬁlm,” says
Simmons. Even so, she says Constructed Sight: Winter still offers a wide range of ﬁlms, with styles varying from a performance art piece to a music video. Each piece is described as being “thematically based on the artwork, architecture, and history of the surrounding area within and outside each station.” One ﬁlm might “tap into the estimated price of the artwork and lack of recognition the artwork receives,” functioning as a way to deliver art and history to a global audience. “We’re just trying to help advertise public works of art in Pittsburgh and bring awareness to them as well,” says Simmons. Unlike the ﬁrst series, Simmons invited a number of international and national acts to contribute to the program. Using an open call application process, the company was able to bring on the Kusanagi Sisters, a sibling duo from Japan, as well as dancers and
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PHOTO: SHANA SIMMONS DANCE
Joanna Dehler in Constructed Sight: Winter
performers from Florida, Texas, New York City, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia. “I felt that it was important to have a variety of individuals represented,” says Simmons. “I like to empower and encourage other artistic voices to come forward.” Besides highlighting public art and the talent in Pittsburgh and beyond, Constructed Sight: Winter also intends to make dance more enjoyable to a wider audience. Simmons says one way they did this was by taking on alternate personas who appear in pre-recorded segments and serve as emcees throughout the event. “We have our own individual characters that help facilitate the evening,” says Simmons, whose persona appears as a well-dressed woman in gloves and a black wig, sitting in front of a ﬁreplace with computer-generated ﬂames projected into it. Murphy, meanwhile, plays an oblivious character who always shows up late and has no idea what’s happening. “I think it just makes dance more accessible to people because if you don’t know dance, you might tune in, but as soon as you are greeted by someone … and the person is funny and entertaining, you’re more likely to watch the whole thing, especially because they’re helping shape your experience,” says Simmons.
Constructed Sight: Winter will also stream on YouTube Premieres because the platform offers a chat feature, giving audiences who are watching the option of interacting with each other during and after the ﬁlms. Simmons says her company plans on returning to in-person, outdoor events once the weather warms. This includes a performance set for May at nearby Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In the summer, Shana Simmons Dance will also present an outdoor, movie-in-the-park style screening of Living Landscapes, a feature-length dance ﬁlm Simmons describes as “highlighting environmental concerns.” For now, though, Simmons sees events like Constructed Sight: Winter as a way to keep supporting dancers both creatively and ﬁnancially, as suggested donations from the event go towards the participating performers. She also hopes the online event will draw viewers in by being lighter, easier to consume, and more communal. “Constructed Sight is a really fun vibe,” says Simmons. “We take our work seriously, obviously, but it’s not there to absorb you in this highly-focused way. It’s to generate this feeling of activity, that you’re surrounded by people even though you’re not.”
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Follow senior writer Amanda Waltz on Twitter @AWaltzCP PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
CP PHOTO: KAYCEE ORWIG
MORGUE MEDIA BY HANNAH LYNN // HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
F THERE IS A GOD, it doesn’t know as much about its disciples as the TikTok algorithm does. After using the app a few times, TikTok’s “For You” page will start serving videos targeted to your age, gender, sexuality, religion, location, preferred dog breed, and personal hygiene habits. The algorithm has only grown stronger in quarantine, with users spending mornings, days, and nights consumed by the app’s endless stream. If you’re into Halloween, goth culture, death, and general spookiness, the algorithm may have served you videos from @Beforethecofﬁn, the account of Pittsburgh-based mortician and specialeffects makeup artist Heather Taylor. And it might be more than just macabre fans tuning in; Taylor’s TikTok has become extremely popular with hundreds of thousands of followers. Taylor’s videos create a space for
people to get comfortable with the funeral industry, especially at a time when Americans are dealing with death on a mass scale. From demonstrations on post-mortem makeup, to tours of mortuary school, to dancing in a vampiric outﬁt, her account shows the life behind the death business. Like many TikTok creators, Taylor’s account gained popularity in quarantine — nearly 300,000 followers. Throughout the pandemic, watching videos of other people’s lives has served as a replacement for the fact that our own lives might feel like they’re on hold. Taylor completed her time at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) during the pandemic, and now works at a funeral home where she does embalming and restorations on bodies, among other services. In August, she posted a montage on TikTok
of her time at PIMS, and it racked up 1.2 million views. The comment section was ﬁlled with followers wanting more information about the mortuary industry, and PIMS loved the video so much they asked her to make more highlighting the school. Before entering the funeral business, Taylor worked for years at Kennywood’s Phantom Fright Nights and attended Tom Savini’s Special Make-Up Effects Program, run by the makeup artist known for his work with ﬁlmmaker George Romero. When a funeral director suggested that Taylor would make a good mortician, she toured the school and knew it was her calling. “[I had] already looked at cadavers in general to study for special effects so it was just something that felt more like a calling to me,” says Taylor. “Something that I would be capable of doing and that
I would feel comfortable with because I already feel comfortable with death.” In several of her videos, Taylor demonstrates how to repair molds of faces that have been damaged in an accident or attack. She ﬁlls in gaps with mortician’s wax, and then applies or airbrushes coloring and makeup. The process shows viewers, and prepares students for, what it is like to mend a real human body. “I hear most of the time [about] open casket services like, ‘Oh, that didn’t really look like my mother, that didn’t really look like my friend,’ and I wanted to give people that chance to have a more peaceful goodbye,” says Taylor. While her videos on working as a mortician are always serious and respectful, many TikToks on @Beforethecofﬁn don’t have to do with the death industry at all. One of her most popular videos ever, with nearly 4 million views, features
Screenshots of @Beforethecoffin
Taylor dancing on the road in a cemetery wearing a black spiderweb skirt sent to her by a clothing brand, which she says subsequently sold out. Others feature Taylor in Riverdale cosplay as Veronica Lodge, or running around as a transparent ghost (she gets help from her videographer ﬁance, Nathan King, also known for his musical act slowhaunt). In one, as a ghost in a Victorian dress, she marches hurriedly through a cemetery (to Blackpink’s “How you like that”). The overlaying text reads, “When you realize your husband wasn’t buried next to you so you gotta ﬁnd out who tf he was buried next to.” In others, she takes her followers on a tour of sights like Penn Forest Natural Burial Park, a “green cemetery,” or the Castle Halloween Museum in Altoona. The videos are for her viewers, but they’re also to help Taylor ground herself in her life outside of work, which has been especially busy and heavy during the pandemic. “I am constantly on my feet,” she says. “Our phone is off the hook, and I am actually constantly very, very busy. If I’m not doing makeup, I’m embalming, and in
my free time, I just kind of like to create videos, and it helps me bring myself back to my own personal life’s reality.” If you look at the comments sections of any of Taylor’s videos explaining the mortuary business, the comments are ﬁlled with people saying that they didn’t know mortuary school existed, that they’re inspired to see someone who went back to school at 25, that they applied to mortuary school because of her account. She says that the enrollment at PIMS has increased over the past year, with many students marking on their application that they heard about it from TikTok. Taylor has now helped teach a restoration class at the school, and is happy to encourage others to pursue an important, and steady, career path. “I think that the pandemic has really shown people that the death care industry is important. It should be noticed,” says Taylor. “I would like to put a positive look on the death community for the youth. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of reaching Gen Z and telling them not to be so afraid.”
Follow staff writer Hannah Lynn on Twitter @hanfranny PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
SEVEN DAYS IN PITTSBURGH
PHOTO: NICKOLAS MURRAY/THE FRICK PITTSBURGH
^ “Frida with Olmeca Figurine,” part of The Frick Pittsburgh’s new photography exhibit on Frida Kahlo’s life.
THU., MARCH 4 MUSIC • VIRTUAL As a part of their new virtual series, AW Studio Sessions, the August Wilson African American Cultural Center brings award-winning vocalist Lyndsey Morgan Smith to Pittsburgh. Smith, “The GodDaughter of Soul,” brings her powerhouse vocals and gritty style to the virtual stage, accompanied by Steeltown Horns and other musicians. AW Studio Sessions seeks to create an “intimate music experience” that will make listeners feel like they are enjoying a live performance. 8 p.m. $12. aacc-awc.org
FRI., MARCH 5 CRAFTS • IRL Make your own set of textured, adjustable rings in Contemporary Craft’s three-hour
workshop Crafts & Drafts: Adjustable Textured Rings with Stacy Rodgers. All materials will be provided, and Rodgers will teach hammer texturing and metal forming techniques. You can further customize your rings by giving them a bright, polished finish or a patina, creating an antiquated aesthetic. Safety precautions, such as masks and social distancing, will be in place, and no food or drinks will be allowed, although participants (age 21 and older) will receive a certificate for a free beer from a local brewery. 6-9 p.m. 5645 Butler St., Lawrenceville. $35. contemporarycraft.org
SAT., MARCH 6 ART • IRL Head to Thoughtrobbers Gallery in the West End for the opening night of the L’Instant Muse Exhibition. Artist Kara Bialecki, aka L’Instant, says her latest
paintings “started as a vision to connect with inspiring women creators in Pittsburgh and paint them.” She says the show illustrates women of all shades, sizes, backgrounds, and ethnicities, and seeks to “revere each muse in their individual and diverse beauty.” 6-10 p.m. 438 S. Main St., Suite 100, West End. Free. thoughtrobbers.com
LIT • VIRTUAL Especially during election times, “Middle America” is lumped together as one homogenous place, which is far from the reality. As shown in Sweeter Voices Still: An LGBTQ Anthology from Middle America, the Midwest, Rust Belt, and other looked-over parts of the country are, and have always been, filled with queer people. Join White Whale Bookstore for a reading in celebration of the anthology, including readings from writers Aaron Foley, Angela Pupino, Kai Minosh Pyle, and José Quiñones. 7 p.m. Free or pay-whatyou-can. whitewhalebookstore.com
SUN., MARCH 7 ART • IRL Frida Kahlo’s paintings are well known to even casual art enthusiasts, but less common is work showing her life behind-the-scenes. A new exhibit at the Frick Pittsburgh, Frida Kahlo — An Intimate Portrait: The Photographic Albums, shares over 100 photos of Kahlo’s private life, including some taken by her father Guillermo Kahlo, who was a professional photographer. The photos show her friends, her marriage to Diego Rivera, and her changing sartorial choices. Continues through Sun., May 30. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. $8-15. Free for members. Reserved tickets required for entry. thefrickpittsburgh.org
ARTWORK: KARA BIALECKI
^ L’Instant at Thoughtrobbers Gallery
MON., MARCH 8 OUTDOORS • IRL Warmer weather and a bit of sun have finally arrived, Pittsburgh! Take advantage with an Afterwork Stroll at Frick Park, a curated, comfortable 3-6 mile excursion through the beautiful city park. Venture Outdoors will be limiting the walk to 15 participants and masks are required to comply with social distancing. Boots recommended. 5-6 p.m. Frick Park, Squirrel Hill. Free with registration. ventureoutdoors.org
TUE., MARCH 9 LIT • VIRTUAL Angry about the moral decay of capitalism? So is National Book Award winner Daniel Borzutzky. He, along with fellow writer and translator Poupeh Missaghi, are here to share that outrage with Pittsburgh during the Live Reading and Conversation at City of Asylum. The virtual event includes readings of passages from Borzutsky’s book Written After a Massacre
in the Year 2018, which is described as an “unflinching poetic reckoning with the twenty-first century.” 7-8:30 p.m. Free with registration. alphabetcity.org
WED., MARCH 10 THEATER • VIRTUAL The Pittsburgh Playhouse Conservatory Theatre Company will present two virtual productions, Polaroid Stories and Dead Man’s Cell Phone. Written by Naomi Iizuka, Polaroid Stories is described on Point Park’s website as a “visceral blend of classical mythology and real-life stories told by street kids,” all set in an abandoned pier on the “outermost edge of a city.” Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a 2007 comedy by MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl, takes a satirical look at life, death, and technology. On-demand videos of the shows will be available to view through Sun., March 14. $5-15. playhouse.pointpark.edu •
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
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ACROSS 1. Symbols on a staff 6. Simply the best 10. Picks up 14. Set one’s sights on 15. Moon protector 16. Glow from a star? 17. Place where you can drink beers and play a mallet game? 19. All tucked up 20. Front of an Indian mausoleum 21. Early deg. for those evaluating the price of certain oils 22. Chemistry test you look forward to 24. Egyptian goddess seen wearing cow horns 26. Pepsi alternatives 28. Something comedians fall back on? 29. Catch sight of what the bridesmaid’s carrying? 34. Genie played by Shaquille O’Neal 37. Small shots 38. Corcovado’s city, in short 39. Neck lines? 40. Do the math, maybe 41. “Where I’m pointing” 43. Cosmo’s Factory band, briefly 44. Ivy League university originally
called the Collegiate School 46. Has a laugh 47. Blast a hole in the TD Garden surface? 50. “Never have I ___ ...” 51. Don’t settle, say 52. Looking for ice, maybe 56. Green light in Granada 59. They work InStyle: Abbr. 61. Put a curse on 62. Bloodhound’s track 63. Adhesive strip used in a 32-card game? 66. Fight for years 67. With 35-Down, Gothic architecture feature 68. It’s not a feature, it’s a bug 69. Regarding 70. The ___ (depression) 71. Comic Cenac
DOWN 1. Plants that look sharp? 2. Turkish coins 3. Graphic language? 4. It’s got all the answers 5. Hard-to-hold pencil 6. Battle command 7. Sphere of power 8. Dictionary
creator Webster 9. ABBA’s genre 10. Where you’ll find NFLX, PYPL, and TSLA 11. Wearing nothing 12. Wine specification 13. Sausage flavoring 18. Violinist Zimbalist 23. “I’ve got this” 25. Minor fight 27. Senator wearing mittens in a meme 30. 4-6 roll in craps 31. “No trump,” e.g. 32. Limerick’s land 33. What mules transport? 34. Extra Crispy Tenders franchises 35. See 67-Across 36. Resets, as the odometer 40. Phrase in cooking
42. “And the ___ keep coming” 45. Pertinently 46. Purse material 48. Run into the ground 49. They’re just one thing after another 53. Catherine of Schitt’s Creek 54. Change beds in the nursery? 55. Use some elbow grease 56. Place to catch the big game 57. Two days before St. Patrick’s Day 58. Latvia’s capital 60. Let one’s anger fester 64. Math class mic drop 65. Give it a whack LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS
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HELP WANTED HEAD OF PROCUREMENT – AMERICAS
IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-20-011918, In re petition of Sonia Summers and Malcolm McMiller parents and legal guardians of Ce’Azia Sharay Summers for change of name to Ce’Azia Sharay McMiller. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the ﬁling of said petition and ﬁxed the 9th day of April, 2021, at 9:30 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-21-993. In re petition of Cheryl Allyson Brunory for change of name to Cheri Allyson Fingeret. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the ﬁling of said petition and ﬁxed the 8th day of April, 2021, at 9:30 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.
Hitachi Rail STS USA, Inc. is seeking a Head of Procurement - Americas, to work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Head of Procurement will be required to perform complex project and management accounting duties as part of a dynamic rail transportation company. Must be willing and able to travel domestically and internationally 50% of the time. Apply at: http://sts.hitachirail.com/en
NOTICE is hereby given that Articles of Incorporation were ﬁled with the Department of State of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the 19th day of February 2021 with respect to a proposed nonproﬁt Corporation, Jasmine Camp Association which has been incorporated under the Nonproﬁt Corporation Law 1988. A brief Summary of the purpose or purposes for which said organization is organized is: Operate an annual community summer camp that teaches good morals and sportsmanlike conduct to children.
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OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PITTSBURGH
ADVERTISEMENT FOR BIDS Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, Belleﬁeld Entrance Lobby, 341 South Belleﬁeld Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on March 16,
Dr. Stacy Lane, D.O. • 412-515-0000
2021, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for:
Service & Maintenance Contracts at Various Schools, Facilities, Facilities & Properties: • Gas and Oil Burners, Boilers and Furnaces Inspection, Service, and Repairs (REBID) • Pgh. Crescent ECC Various Asphalt and Concrete Repairs General Prime Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on Monday, February 22, 2021 at Modern Reproductions (412-488-7700), 127 McKean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable. Project details and dates are described in each project manual. We are an equal rights and opportunity school district.
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• ALL INSURANCES ACCEPTED • WALK INS WELCOME • tRANSPORATION PROGRAM • NO INSURANCE? WE CAN HELP North Shore - 127 Anderson Street - Suite 101 Timber Court Building, PIttsburgh, PA 15212 Phone: (412) 322-4151 washington, pa - 95 Leonard Avenue Suite 203, Washington PA 15301 Phone: (724) 249-2517 beaver county - 2360 hospital drive Suite 1, aliquippa, pa 15001 Phone: (724)707-1155 Erie - 3104 State Street, Erie, PA 16508 PHONE: (814) 619-4009
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER MARCH 3-10, 2021
Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly featuring a cover story on the recent deaths of trans people of color in Western Penn...
Published on Mar 2, 2021
Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly featuring a cover story on the recent deaths of trans people of color in Western Penn...