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APRIL 28-MAY 5, 2021

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APRIL 28-MAY 5, 2021 VOLUME 30 + ISSUE 17 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, KIMBERLY ROONEY 냖㵸蔻 Photographer/Videographer JARED WICKERHAM Art Director ABBIE ADAMS Graphic Designer JEFF SCHRECKENGOST Digital Marketing Coordinator DARYA KHARABI 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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How rising rents and renovations have displaced Pittsburghers and added to the city’s ongoing issues with gentrification BY KIMBERLY ROONEY냖㵸蔻 // KIMROONEY@PGHCITYPAPER.COM



Rick Swartz, executive director of Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, poses for a portrait in Garfield on Fri., April 23, 2021.

N FEB. 27, 2020, Daniel Baird and his roommates received a letter under their door. Costello Management had purchased the North Oakland building they lived in just two days earlier and was terminating their lease so that it could begin renovations. Baird and his roommates had until the end of March to leave. “It was a very shitty feeling, to put it blatantly. It was, like, pretty stressful, you know?” says Baird, who had been completing his final semester at the University of Pittsburgh at the time. While this kind of forced departure is not technically an eviction — which requires a written notice and hearing — it has similar destabilizing effects, both for the people and communities affected. As Pittsburgh draws more jobs in the tech and health care fields, it becomes a more desirable city for real estate investment wishing to profit off of neighborhoods’ increased area median incomes (AMI). While some developers raze blighted or vacant properties and replace them with new housing units, others purchase existing units, sometimes displacing those who already lived there, and renovate them before selling or renting them at an increased market value. These displacements often have a lasting negative, at times traumatic, impact on people, families, and communities. While many Pittsburgh properties require some level of repair, immediate displacement or disproportionate rent increases without consideration of current tenants’ income can contribute to gentrification. It’s unclear how to completely prevent further displacements like these in Pittsburgh, but community members are trying to mitigate the effects through a handful of strategies, such as community land trusts, tenant cooperatives, and inclusionary zoning ordinances. “I like to think of it as a layered approach. You need community land trusts, you need inclusionary zoning laws, you need place-based and place-conscious federal subsidized programs, to help with those as well,” says Pitt Law professor and congressional candidate Jerry Dickinson. Specific working definitions of gentrification vary, but generally, it is the rapid shift in the demographics of an area, often based on factors such as race, income, and age. These demographic shifts affect and are affected by rising property values that can push out current residents, who more often than not are low-income Black people in Pittsburgh. According to a National Community Reinvestment Coalition study, Pittsburgh was the eighth most gentrified city in the U.S. in 2019, with neighborhoods like Downtown, Lawrenceville, and the Mexican War Streets seeing the sharpest levels of gentrification. In addition to evictions and terminating leases, the City of Pittsburgh Affordable Housing Task Force’s 2016 Housing Needs Assessment identified constrained housing choice, housing market volatility, and economic instability as variables in vulnerability to displacement. Nikki, a tenant at an apartment in Bloomfield who requested her full name be withheld out of anonymity, encountered an overlap of these causes. Nikki and her roommate had only lived in their Bloomfield apartment about three months when their landlord changed from Arkham Realty to NRM Properties in October 2020. In February 2021, Nikki received a lease renewal contract that mentioned a rent increase from $885, not including utilities, to $1,225, not including utilities. CONTINUES ON PG. 4





Baird’s apartment building in North Oakland

The nearly 40% increase in rent was untenable for Nikki and her roommate, who tried reaching out to their landlord but received no answers for why NRM was increasing their rent. Their rent increase was also higher than other tenants’ rent increases in their shared building, for which they also received no explanation. “I just think it’s especially cruel during this part of the time that we live in,” says Nikki, noting her increased financial instability and the danger of in-person apartment tours during the pandemic. As someone who grew up in Pittsburgh, she says, “Another thing that makes me really mad is it’s so hard to live in the city anymore. And Pittsburgh’s not supposed to be like this.” To get the greatest return on their investment, developers are typically incentivized to sell or rent those properties at market value rather than at affordable rates, which are determined based on the AMI of a neighborhood. AMI is determined annually by the Federal Department of Housing & Urban Development, and a household is considered “low income” if it makes less than 80% of the AMI. The Pittsburgh region’s AMI for 2020 was $58,100 for a household of one and $83,000 for a household of four. That means a Pittsburgh household of one earning less than $46,500 and a Pittsburgh household of four earning less than $66,400 are considered low income. Subsidized affordable housing is

priced so it does not exceed 30% of a person’s monthly income. But landlords and developers don’t make as much money from affordable housing as they do selling or renting at market values, which are based on what people are willing to pay. Unlike AMI, market values can change depending on demand in an area. While market values for rental and property prices are separate, they can both be affected by wealthier people entering the market in search of cheaper housing than what they would pay in other cities, especially during the pandemic when remote work is more available. “We’ve also seen an influx of folks coming to Pittsburgh, from mostly New York,” says Bloomfield Development Corporation executive director Christina Howell. “What they could buy for $800,000 in New York is a tiny apartment. Here, they can buy a giant house with a garage and a yard and in a great neighborhood, so that’s another thing that kind of raises [market values] … It’s a bargain to them. So they don’t even question it.” Many Pittsburgh properties, however, are in need of some form of repair. About 70% of Pittsburgh’s housing units were built before 1960, including Nikki’s apartment. The building’s first recorded sale date was May 1950, and Nikki reported to management a roof leak that caused the wall to start falling apart. Baird’s building’s first recorded sale date was CONTINUES ON PG. 6




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ith food trucks popping up all over the city of Pittsburgh, CFP Cafe (City Fresh Pasta) food and quality continues to stand out, and show that they are right at the top of the list of favorite Pittsburgh food trucks. With an unrelenting passion for quality and taste, CFP Cafe has not only grown in reputation, but in influence, as they continue to expand.

sandwiches, hoagies, soup, and even retail pasta, always made fresh to order. And the options don’t stop here. Starting in May 2021, City Fresh Pasta will also have a second brick and mortar location, at the new Galley Bakery Square. Chef Eric and the team have put together a menu that has something for everyone, including a gluten free keto plate, dynamite crab cakes, a crowd pleasing salmon option, and a couple lunchtime sammiches, to compliment the fresh pasta flagship dishes.

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“Whole People, All People.” So wherever you may be, come find CFP Cafe. Follow them on Facebook so you can grab a great meal from the Food Truck when it rolls through your neighborhood. Stop down at one of the two brick and mortar locations. But wherever you end up, know that with more and more food truck options out there, you will always get a top quality meal for a great price.

Metro complies with the highest COVID-19 safety standards, as outlined by the CDC, in everything that we do. 1789 S. Braddock Ave, Suite 410 Pittsburgh, PA 15218 metrocommunityhealthcenter.org PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER APRIL 28 - MAY 5, 2021



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Nikki’s apartment building in Bloomfield


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November 1961, and he notes that “it wasn’t a very nice apartment.” His unit was actually two units combined, with the second kitchen ripped out and converted into a bedroom, although the sink remained in the room. The investments required to make such repairs increase rental and property values, which to some justifies increases in rent proportional to those improvements as a way to recoup their investment. The risk of displacement and gentrification increases when landlords and developers increase rent beyond what is proportional to those improvements, often catering to higher-income people. Even areas that already have many middle-income residents can be at risk of displacement in favor of even higher-income residents. Additionally, rents are not rising throughout the entire city of Pittsburgh. According to a report from apartment search site Apartment List, Pittsburgh rents in January 2021 decreased by an average of 5.7% compared to January 2020 rents, though rents had been increasing in the city before the pandemic hit. According to the U.S. Census data, the part of North Oakland Baird lived in saw a 38% decrease in median home value along with a 12% decrease in median income, adjusted for inflation, between 2000 and 2019. There was also a decrease in both white and Black populations,

although the Asian population increased from 15% to 24% and the Hispanic/Latino population increased from 2% to 5%. Nikki’s area of Bloomfield saw an 86% increase in its median income, but the increase in home value significantly outpaced it, increasing by 132%. It also saw smaller increases in its Asian population, from 4% to 7%, and its Hispanic/Latino population, from 2% to 4%, but unlike Baird’s section of North Oakland, it also saw an increase in its white population from 78% to 83%. Meanwhile, the percentage of its Black population was more than cut in half, from 15% to 6%. According to the NCRC study from 2019, Nikki’s census tract is qualified as gentrified, while Baird’s was not. Still, the Housing Needs Assessment found that Baird’s census tract had substantial vulnerability to displacement due to housing market volatility and economic instability. Additionally, Baird’s building was only sold for about $196,000 in 2013, but Costello Management purchased it for more than $2 million in 2020, a mark up of more than 900%. Real estate information company Attom Data Solutions found in a 2019 report that Pittsburgh is the most profitable region in the country to renovate or flip homes for a profit. And in 2020, Pittsburgh City Paper found that a section of upper Lawrenceville located just outside of Nikki’s census tract had more than two





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Pitt Law professor and congressional candidate Jerry Dickinson

dozen home flips between 2016 and 2020, which was about half of the home sales that City Paper counted in the area. Beyond changes in property values, displacement and gentrification can disrupt cultural, community, and familial networks as people are pushed out of areas where they’ve historically lived and separated from neighbors and family members. Such disruptions can affect other aspects of life such as commutes and access to affordable childcare, as well as creating significant psychological stress. “If I was a landlord, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night doing this kind of stuff,” says Nikki. “It makes me really sad. I did, I, like, cried about it a couple of times. Because, even right now, it makes me feel like I’m gonna cry.” NRM and Costello Management declined to comment on Nikki and Baird’s experiences, respectively. The disruptions and psychological stresses disproportionately affect Black and Brown people, especially in Pittsburgh. As Dickinson notes in his PublicSource essay “Pittsburgh is America’s apartheid city,” it can have a re-segregating effect on neighborhoods. “Gentrification is tied to the idea of re-segregation by pushing residents of color out and displacing them, and then concentrating them back into a certain neighborhood or within the city, or pushing them outside of the city limits into a different region,” says Dickinson. While both Nikki and Baird were able


to find housing afterwards, both recognized that they had safety nets or privileges that softened the impact — for one, they are both white — which many people in similar situations lack. And because gentrification is a multifaceted problem, it requires a multifaceted response. Community land trusts, such as the one in the Hill District that Dickinson helped create and the ones in Oakland and Lawrenceville, restrict resale prices to ensure affordability. Housing cooperatives, such as Sheraden Park’s co-op and Belmar Gardens in Lincoln-Lemington, can also keep prices affordable and give tenants more autonomy over their living situation. Tenant councils can help those who still rent by creating accountability for landlords and helping advocate for tenants. Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation executive director Rick Swartz believes neighborhood organizations such as his can also help mitigate gentrification by opening dialogues with landlords, although he also suggests more direct methods such as pushing for inclusionary zoning laws, which requires a minimum percentage of units in new housing to be affordable. “That’s how aggressive you’re going to have to be. ... And you might get resistance, by the way, from developers and real estate companies, of course,” says Swartz. “They may want to go to court and say, ‘We don’t like this ordinance. We think it’s illegal.’ But that’s OK. Let’s have that discussion first.”

Follow staff writer Kimberly Rooney 냖㵸蔻on Twitter @kimlypso PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER APRIL 28 - MAY 5, 2021



Felicia Savage Friedman teaches a chair yoga class at The Kingsley Association in July 2019.





conjures images of watercolor sunsets and people sitting with their legs crossed, hands extended with palms up toward the sky. Yoga itself started as an ancient Indian cultural and religious practice, and as it became popular in the Western world, teachers began to alter and add on to traditional principles. For Felicia Savage Friedman of YogaRoots On Location, the practice still holds some of its spiritual roots, but she also adds social justice elements to it. For Friedman, yoga is an embodied practice that has roots in the self and in the greater community a person resides in. This is why she has combined the traditions of Raja yoga with anti-racism and anti-oppression frameworks. Friedman came to yoga as a practice 32 years ago. She was a member of the East End Food Co-op, followed a vegan

lifestyle, and prided herself on being healthy. She met her first yoga teacher at the co-op and studied under her for six years. She says her main focus was taking care of her body, and her family. She has two children (Maya and Cleveland) who were young when she started her yoga and meditation practice. Friedman didn’t start to teach until after those six years of study.

YOGAROOTS ON LOCATION yogarootsonlocation.com

“I didn’t get into yoga planning to be a teacher at all. I would look at and compare myself to my colleagues who were also studying,” says Friedman. “We were studying at the same time. I wasn’t as flexible as them. It took me

longer to understand and conceptualize the concepts.” YogaRoots On Location, a roaming yoga practice serving the Pittsburgh area, started 11 years ago after Friedman had originally been teaching yoga for the Healthy Black Family Project out of the Kingsley Center in Larimer. Friedman says in addition to being a part of the HBFP, she was a part of a research endeavor from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, in which she was asked to travel around the city and teach. With all these things on her plate, she decided it was time to make her business “legitimate” and YogaRoots On Location was born. Friedman has taught at the Allegheny County Jail, Schuman Juvenile Detention Center, and most fitness facilities in the city. Naming her business was easy, she says.

“I was like ‘yoga roots,’ this is my roots, me going back to my roots in terms of being healthy,” she says. “And it’s me reclaiming my healthiness, but then also taking it out. And that’s why I was ‘on location.’ Because I didn’t want to have a physical building. I wanted to take yoga to other people at their locations.” Meeting people where they are is a part of her philosophy as a teacher. Friedman says you don’t need to have a background in yoga to attend one of her classes. She calls herself the “queen of modification” in that regard. She reiterates that before she started teaching, she had a fear that she wasn’t flexible enough to teach, or not familiar enough with the tenets of Raja yoga. For her classes, creating a space where everybody feels their needs are being met and their strengths being highlighted is central. Friedman emphasizes the importance of “practice,”

This community feature is made possible by the financial support of Peoples, an Essential Utilities Company 8




Felicia Savage Friedman (top left) and members of the AntiRacist Raja Yoga group, including Shelly Regner, Antiracist Raja Yoga Teacher and Facilitator and social worker (top right); Sheba Gittens, Antiracist Raja Yoga Practitioner, Healing Mother, and Teacher/Facilitator (middle left); Naomi Ritter, Marketing Specialist and Yoga Teacher in Training (middle right); and, Lori Crawford, Grant Fairy and Creativity Curator (bottom) pose for a Zoom portrait on Thu., April 22.

remarking that we all have daily practices like exercise or writing. As long as you bring that energy into the yoga space, you are successful, she says. And she adds that during COVID times, YogaRoots On Location has blossomed, despite loss on multiple levels. Part of her mission is to empower people through employment at a living wage, along with the physical movement and spiritual practice of yoga. YogaRoots On Location is also a place that is friendly for those new to antiracism and anti-oppression work. One might wonder how these two topics overlap, but Friedman says there are many tenets of each that complement each other. One of the precepts is nonviolence, and the promise to do no harm. As a part of their practice, yogis take a vow to do no harm and to practice nonviolence in their daily lives. Friedman says the nonviolence aspect is crucial to both yoga and anti-racism work. “Oppression is about people not seeing their own power, you know, if people really see their power and see their worth and are encouraged to their best selves, then we won’t oppress each other,” says Friedman. “We won’t feel that level of competition. We’ll see each other’s gifts and, and we’ll cooperate.”

She says part of her job as a yoga teacher is to help people live their most incredible lives, and that can’t happen in an oppressive society, so she combines the two to create a more equitable experience. She says just as we see animals out in nature that come together to cooperate for the sake of the home base, we as humans must do the same. Friedman focuses her teachings on the eight limbs of Raja yoga she practices: intrapersonal restraints like purity, contentment, self-study, self-discipline, surrender to higher power; interpersonal observances: non-violence, moderation/celibacy, non-possessiveness, non-hoarding; movement practice; breathing techniques; sensory withdrawal; concentration; universal meditation; and purposeful life. She says the seventh limb — universal meditation — has to do with being single-minded in focus. “So if I’m present with you right now, me being single-minded and focused, then you get energetically from me that you’re important to me because I’m sharing my time and my energy with you,” says Friedman. “So I feel that’s the antithesis of racism or patriarchy because oppression doesn’t recognize us. It’s about power over. It’s not about sharing and honoring.”

We all know someone who has been hit hard by the pandemic. The new PA Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) can help people who’ve had set-backs by providing funds to cover rent and utility bills. If you’ve qualified for unemployment, had a reduction in income or faced other costs in the past year, our website can connect you with this and other programs.


Follow staff writer Dani Janae on Twitter @figwidow PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER APRIL 28 - MAY 5, 2021





O CALL THIS PAST winter harsh

would be an understatement. The bitterly cold temperatures of the season were only made worse by the anxiety and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sanctuary, a Lawrenceville tattoo and vintage shop, will say farewell to the last few, inarguably hellish months with Season of Rebirth, an art show featuring around 20 works by local artists. But despite the suggestive title, the show — which opens on Sat., May 1 and continues through June 30 — veers away from conveying just sunshine and rainbows. Bright colors mesh with skulls, swords, and other imagery that Sanctuary owner Susie Humphrey believes helps the exhibition stay grounded in an overwhelming sense of loss while also looking forward to the future.

SEASON OF REBIRTH OPENING AND OUTDOOR ARTISAN MARKET 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., May 1. Sanctuary. 3533 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free. sanctuarypittsburgh.com

This is also reflected in the show’s tagline, “Emerge from the dark night of COVID into the sunlight of spring,” and this theme is shown with a range of acrylic, oil, and watercolor paintings, as well as mixed media. “There was a dark age, especially through COVID, where honestly, none of us knew what was going on,” says Humphrey, a local tattoo artist who opened Sanctuary in June 2020. “And I feel like now there’s a light that’s shining through. So there is still that darkness and that sadness. We still lost 600,000 people, you know ... So I kind of wanted that.” Sanctuary wears multiple hats as a tattoo shop, a quality second-hand clothing seller, and, as Season of Rebirth demonstrates, an art gallery. Humphrey says she always thought of her space as living up to its name by acting as an “easy, accessible place” for artists to meet,


Paul Haggerty work for Season of Rebirth

show their work, and get their name into the community without the hassle they might experience at other galleries. The desire to be welcoming and inclusive extends to the vintage side of the business, too. “I also really cater to my LGBTQ-plus clientele,” says Humphrey. This comes through in messaging on the Sanctuary website, with one page reading “Fashion Is Gender-less” in big letters. The shop’s mission is aiming to “break typical gender roles in vintage fashion, creating a new and progressive modern look.” Sanctuary’s clothing should also serve as a form of selfexpression, instead of a way to “define a person’s sexual orientation or gender.” The online Sanctuary shop sells branded merchandise and vintage styles from various eras that includes measurements

so that buyers can determine fit beyond the gendered sizing. While Humphrey says Sanctuary has already hosted three gallery shows, Season of Rebirth will be special — not only as a way to herald a hopefully more healthy spring — but as the launch of the shop’s first-ever outdoor artisan market. The market will take place during the show’s opening, with sellers setting up in a parklet across the street. Besides vendors, the event will also include live painting and shoots with a photographer from Gettysburg, Pa. who specializes in 19th-century tintype photography. Humphrey also saw the market as a chance to give back to the community — instead of a regular fee, she asked that each vendor give a $15 donation to SisTers

Follow senior writer Amanda Waltz on Twitter @AWaltzCP



PGH, a local nonprofit that finds housing and other resources for BIack and Indigenous people and people of color who identify as trans, queer, or non-binary. While the shop has faced some hard times over the pandemic, Humphrey says she has seen foot-traffic picking up. She believes that events like the Season of Rebirth opening and an upcoming first-year anniversary celebration planned for June 5, will let people know that Sanctuary is open and ready for visitors. “I just want to make sure that people know that they can come in during normal business hours,” says Humphrey, who also understands that many people may not feel ready to venture out yet. “We can even set people up with an appointment if they feel more comfortable that way.”




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ACROSS 1. Religious truths, for short 5. Statement no. 9. 2017 Basketball Hall of Fame nickname 13. Leave off 14. Fart, quaintly 15. 31-Across, for one 16. Wings leftovers 17. Helen’s abduction by Paris? 19. Enter a Volkswagen carpool? 21. Bajillion trillion 22. War zone that ran campaigns in Africa and Italy 23. Largest producer of natural gas, for short 24. Do the do 26. Miracle worker 28. Towels at the gym, e.g. 30. Ready for kickoff 31. Variants of it were dropped 569 times in The Wolf of Wall Street, for short 32. Celebrate béarnaise? 37. Guitarist Laine of Wings 38. Acts like DaBaby 40. Brings charges against 43. Rosebud Motel

clerk on Schitt’s Creek 45. Sur’s opposite 46. Agua : Spanish :: ___ : French 47. Palindromic Dutch city 48. The “A” in “IIPA” and “DIPA” 49. Inventory entry for a lace mat? 53. Places where the Ulysses writer drank? 55. Energy ___ (Devo headgear) 56. Sailing 57. Big heads 58. Middle Eastern ruler 59. Kelley Blue Book no. 60. Toy that goes around the world 61. Kindergarten lesson

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9. Rugged peak 10. Curaçao and rum drink 11. Maximally 12. Vice President who was once CEO of Halliburton 18. Chicago singer Peter 20. Band coach 25. Last a long time 27. Phrase said while raising both hands 28. Slightly off 29. Perp’s behavior: Abbr. 31. Smelly bogs 33. Form a new state 34. Razer’s tool 35. Dead zone in the wild?

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centraloutreach.com PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER APRIL 28 - MAY 5, 2021




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THU., APRIL 29 LIT • VIRTUAL Join White Whale Bookstore for a virtual book launch with Rachel Mennies. The Chicago-based author will discuss her latest poetry collection The Naomi Letters, which chronicles a love story between two women over the span of the year encompassing the 2016 presidential election. The book is composed of the speaker’s letters sent to Naomi, and Naomi’s occasional responses. Mennies will be joined by Sumita Chakraborty, Kimberly Quiogue Andrews, and Emily Mohn-Slate. This event will take place over Zoom. 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Register for Zoom link. whitewhalebookstore.com/events

FRI., APRIL 30 EVENT • VIRTUAL April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Pittsburgh Action Against Rape is



going “DigiTEAL” to host its Virtual Teal Ball. In addition to showing that Pittsburgh stands against sexual assault, the Teal Ball will celebrate survivors and fundraise for PAAR through a silent auction. The live event will be hosted by journalist Natalie Bencivenga, and a limited number of celebration kits are available with items from local businesses including Maggie’s Farm, Brew Gentlemen, Salty Pork Bits, Scratch & Co., DiAnoia’s Eatery, and Commonplace Coffee. 7 p.m. Donation required. virtualtealball.givesmart.com

MARKET • VIRTUAL Handmade Arcade is still virtual, but no less fun for anyone seeking locally made gifts, art, housewares, and more. The Spring Marketplace will feature over 60 vendors, and offer 24/7 shopping over the course of three days. Those looking for a more intimate experience should check out the “maker takeover” where participating Handmade Arcade vendors share stories about their creative process and products on Handmade Arcade’s website, and on its Instagram and Facebook accounts. Continues through Sun., May 2. Free. handmadearcade.org

SAT., MAY 1 ART• IRL Radiant Hall and Ice House Studios are pleased to bring back their Lawrenceville Pop-Up Markets. Taking place every Saturday through May 29, these pop-up markets will feature 20 different local businesses selling handmade or quality second-hand goods. This latest event will include sustainable fashion from Otto Finn, vintage items from Mon Modern, jewelry by Collarbone, and more. Face masks and social distancing required. Local makers are also free to apply for future pop-ups. 12-4 p.m., 4514 Plummer St. & 100 43rd St., Lawrencville. radianthall.org/lawrenceville-pop-up

EVENT • VIRTUAL No city in America should celebrate May Day more than Pittsburgh. The Steel City spawned several of the country’s labor movements and continues to do so. In honor of that legacy, celebrate International Workers Day 2021 on May 1, aka May Day, with three local groups

focused on labor rights and social justice. Join the Pittsburgh chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the Thomas Merton Center, and Casa San Jose for a virtual event on Facebook Live full of music, authentic Mexican food from La Palapa, and discussions about the struggle for workers’ rights, particularly in Pittsburgh’s immigrant communities. 3-4:30 p.m. Free with registration. facebook.com/thomasmertoncenter/events

SUN., MAY 2 EVENT• IRL The Pittsburgh Reptile Show will resume its monthly show by welcoming crowds to buy, sell, trade, and learn about the many reptiles, birds, spiders, and other animals one can own in Pennsylvania. Vendors carry everything from snakes to tarantulas, and feeders for your reptile of choice are available for purchase at the expo and ahead of time. Grab a gecko or a frog for yourself or a friend and bring a unique pet into your life. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $6. Free for children under 4. 1321 Freeport Road, Cheswick. pghreptileshow.com




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^ Handmade Arcade Virtual Marketplace: Spring Edition vendor Moon & Yarn



Kids seeking a creative outlet are invited to enjoy Citiparks’ Art in the Park at the Warrington Recreation Center. The weekly event encourages kids to explore various arts activities provided by Citiparks, all held outdoors at the Warrington playground. Kids 8-12 are welcome to participate. 4-5 p.m. Free. 329 E. Warrington Ave., Mt. Oliver. pittsburghpa.gov/citiparks/rec-centers-info

The City of Asylum is giving youth poets a chance to show off during All Pittsburghers are Poets: Youth to the Front. The live, virtual showcase will feature teen writers in a collaboration with Write Pittsburgh, a collective that supports and empowers local writers. The reading will also include Vincent Folkes, the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of Allegheny County, doing the closing performance of his laureateship. 7-8 p.m. Free. Registration required. alphabetcity.org/events/youth-to-the-front





In the National Basketball Association, losing has become a key to winning. That’s because the worst teams are the only ones that have a chance to win the NBA Draft lottery, and thus get a shot at selecting the best talent coming into the league. Arguably, no one understands this dynamic better than Jake Fischer, a sports journalist who has written for Sports Illustrated and recently penned a book about the subject. Join Fischer at the virtual launch of Built To Lose, hosted by the Oakmont-based Mystery Lovers Bookshop, to hear more about the trade negotiations, power struggles, and infamous public relations fiascos that go along with NBA teams losing on purpose. 7 p.m. Free. Registration required. mysterylovers.com/event

Get distracted by something shiny when The Frick Pittsburgh presents the Cast in Chrome: The Art of Hood Ornaments exhibition at its Car and Carriage Museum. Opened on April 24, the new show displays more than 30 hood ornaments and explores the artform’s evolution throughout automotive history, from art-deco-inspired motifs to the airplanes and rockets that graced cars during the Space Race of the 1960s. There will also be three classic cars on loan, and connections to the Frick Pittsburgh’s namesake family, including a look at the greyhound ornament from Helen Clay Frick’s 1931 Lincoln Model K Dual Cowl Phaeton. Continues through Oct. 31. 7227 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. Free. Reservation required for entry. thefrickpittsburgh.org •



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YOUR BOOK HONEY IS THE KNIFE IS COMING OUT SOON. WHAT ITEM OF YOUR CLOTHING OR LOOK WOULD DESCRIBE AS HONEY, AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS A KNIFE? Good question. I’m really digging suits these days a la Julia Roberts for the 1990 Golden Globes. I love the inherent masculinity of suits, the boxy shoulders and the sharp lapels. I would describe this as Knife. But I also love femme-ing up suits by having my hair down, my make-up done in a sensual minimalist type of way, and I have two pink suits. The slouchy comfort and slightly hard femme look feels like Honey to me.




ANNAH EKO IS A writer and

teaching artist. Her book Honey is the Knife, “an eclectic healing essay collection rooted in pleasure, compassion, and the Divine Feminine,” will be released on Wed., May 5.

HOW HAS COVID-19 CHANGED THE WAY YOU DRESS? Sweats in matching colors definitely became a frequent part of my wardrobe. I love, love being simultaneously sexy and comfortable. I also dig Gen Z and their dedication to oversized T-shirts and athleisure. I have become less tolerant of binding, tight clothes. If I have to wiggle into a piece of clothing, it’s not happening. I’ve never been good at being uncomfortable, and these days I’m even more about comfort: silky mumus, cream lipsticks, and puffy sneakers.

TELL ME WHAT YOU’RE WEARING? I am wearing a sequin dress from Eloquii, a plus-size retailer, copper boots from Lonia (cute, actually stylish shoes up to size 15!), a gifted malachite ring, and earrings I bought from the Santee Alley in Downtown LA. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OVERALL STYLE? I would describe my style as sensual, powerful, colorful, with a hint of glam. My sister calls me a “broke Tracee Ellis Ross” lol. Tracee Ellis Ross is definitely a fashion inspiration, so I’ll take it! I’m also inspired by Selena Quintanilla, Diana Ross, Grace Jones, Phyllis Hyman, Gwendoline Christie, Bianca Jagger, and about a dozen plus-size models to include Denise Bidot, Precious Lee, and Philomena Kwao. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WEAR EVERY DAY OR OFTEN THAT IS A SPECIAL GIFT TO YOURSELF? WHEN AND WHY DID YOU GET IT, AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU? I wear several of my rings daily. I mentioned the malachite one which was gifted by someone I’ll always appreciate. I also have a white buffalo ring I bought for myself in Reno, Nevada, and a bumble jasper ring I bought for myself as a gift for finishing the last draft of my book, Honey is the Knife. Rings are an easy way to accessorize, and I love the whole mystical styling of a lot of rings. Many of the rings are tied to a special memory or a special person, and wearing them grounds me in the present. In addition to my rings, I am a lover of perfume and move in between scents. Many of my perfumes are gifts from my mother, sister, or one of my aunties and so wearing them reminds me that I am loved.



WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS SPRING AND SUMMER? I am looking forward to having my book out in the world! Lord, it’s been a long time coming. I also am excited to travel a bit more, to reconnect with friends and family, and to visit the beach. Also, I want this to be the summer I actually start brushing up on my Spanish.

HANNAH EKO hannahoeko.com and instagram.com/hannah.eko


Hannah Eko

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO PITTSBURGH AND HOW LONG DID YOU LIVE HERE? WHAT TOOK YOU OUT OF PITTSBURGH AND WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED NOW? WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BOTH PLACES? I came to Pittsburgh for graduate school, specifically to fulfill a Creative Writing in Fiction degree. I was in Pittsburgh for nearly four and a half years. I am now back in California, my home state. I’d been feeling a pull to California for a while and missed my family. Then, COVID hit and well, here I am. I miss my friends and community in Pittsburgh. I loved being able to run into people waiting for the bus or going to Whole Foods. I miss watching music videos with my crew in my apartment and the art

community I was in. But, as too many of us know, Pittsburgh is not an easy place for a progressive, Black woman artist. In California, I feel there is space for my experience and my art, plus I’m near family. And as much as I love rivers, I was really missing the ocean. HAS YOUR STYLE OF DRESS CHANGED AS A RESULT OF THE MOVE. IF SO, HOW? My style is a lot more fun now. I feel like I always go into fashionista mode when I’m back home (for better and for worse). I feel like I wear more color, more makeup, and, of course, the sunny days mean I wear less layers. No more burly winter coats and snow boots, which is a great change.

Follow featured contributor Tereneh Idia on Twitter @Tereneh152XX

ANYTHING ELSE? I know it can be hard out there for women and femmes who are tall AND mid-size/plus-size AND want to dress stylishly. Thankfully, there are better options out there than when I was a teenager and resorting to men’s cargo pants. Definitely check out brands like Nineth Closet, Prissy Duck, and Model Atelier. They are brands created by tall women for tall women. I also have had good luck with ASOS and Boo Hoo Official, which both have pretty decent tall lines. These days, I love to make men’s clothes work for me (especially big blazers) and most of my clothes are thrift store finds. Having access to an affordable tailor has been a goddess-send for making too-short sleeves and hemlines work. For shoes, Smash Shoes, Lonia, and Torrid have some good options for the large footed woman. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what works for you!

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IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-21-1777. In re petition of Patricia Magadia Ona for change of names to Patricia Ona Disotell. 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 May, 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.

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IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-21-3476. In re petition of Chelsea Marie Stillman and Paul Davis Anthony Daugherty for change of names to Chelsea Marie Stillman-Coyne and Paul Davis Anthony Daugherty-Coyne. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 4th day of June, 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.



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IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-21-2457, In re petition of Johanna Dolby parent and legal guardian of Amari Joseph Dolby for change of name to Amari Joseph Dolby-Kemp. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 3rd day of May, 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.

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2021, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for:

SERVICE & MAINTENANCE CONTRACTS AT VARIOUS SCHOOLS, FACILITIES, FACILITIES & PROPERTIES: • Extraordinary Mechanical Maintenance and Repairs • Mechanical Prime Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on Monday, April 19, 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



Profile for Pittsburgh City Paper

April 28, 2021 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly featuring a cover story on real estate investors raising rents and displacing Pittsbu...

April 28, 2021 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly featuring a cover story on real estate investors raising rents and displacing Pittsbu...

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