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AUG. 14-21, 2019 VOLUME 28 + ISSUE 33 Alison Riske, a Peters Township native, plays Karolína Plíšková in Round 2 of the 2019 Rogers Cup at the Aviva Centre on Wed., Aug. 7 in Toronto, Ontario. Riske recently made it to the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon grand slam event, defeating then No. 1 player in the world, Ash Barty, before losing to Serena Williams.
Editor-In-Chief LISA CUNNINGHAM Associate Publisher JUSTIN MATASE Director of Operations KEVIN SHEPHERD Managing Editor ALEX GORDON Senior Writers RYAN DETO, AMANDA WALTZ Staff Writers HANNAH LYNN, JORDAN SNOWDEN Photographer/Videographer JARED WICKERHAM Digital Media Manager JOSH OSWALD Editorial Designer ABBIE ADAMS Graphic Designers JOSIE NORTON, JEFF SCHRECKENGOST Events and Sponsorship Manager BLAKE LEWIS Sales Representatives KAITLIN OLIVER, NICK PAGANO Office Coordinator MAGGIE WEAVER Events and Marketing Coordinator BRYER BLUMENSCHEIN Circulation Manager JEFF ENGBARTH Featured Contributors REGE BEHE, LISSA BRENNAN, LYNN CULLEN, TERENEH IDIA, CHARLES ROSENBLUM, JESSIE SAGE Interns SARAH CONNOR, JARED MURPHY, EMILY WOLFE Office Administrator RODNEY REGAN National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529 Publisher EAGLE MEDIA CORP.
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THE BIG STOR Y
NOT SO LITTL E ITALY DAYS BY RYAN DETO
DETO@PGHCIT YPAPER.COM Conflict over B loomfieldâ€™s larg festival is com est annual ne ighborhood ing to a head. Where does it go from here?
CP PHOTO: JARED MURPHY
Bloomfield’s “Pittsburgh’s Little Italy” sign
HEN BLOOMFIELD resident Bruce Chan walked into Pleasure Bar on May 20, it looked like a typical Monday evening. A few oldtimers were sitting at the bar watching TV and drinking beer. But when Chan walked into the back room, which was packed with neighborhood business owners, residents, and organizers, he knew he was in for a unique experience. “I pulled back the curtain and all these people were there — I was not expecting it,” says Chan. “All these people were talking about Little Italy Days.” The crowd of 30-40 people were there to get details about this year’s Little Italy Days festival. The four-day event in August shuts down most of Liberty Avenue in Bloomﬁeld to vehicles each year, offering pedestrians access to hundreds of booths. The festival is meant to honor Bloomﬁeld’s Italian heritage, but over the last several years it has expanded to include many non-Italian and non-local vendors. There’s a bocce court and some Italian businesses with booths, but there are also large music stages where rock bands perform, and vendors hawking pizza, chicken ﬁngers, and even windows for your home. But clearly, some residents and businesses are ambivalent about the festival. To start, unlike most neighborhood festivals in Pittsburgh, Little Italy Days is run by an event-planning company rather than a nonproﬁt or community group. And the requirements for putting on a festival like this are fairly
easy to meet, meaning businesses can make large proﬁts off the events with little oversight. Bloomﬁeld Development Corporation (BDC) wants to see changes made to how the festival receives input from residents and businesses. More questions are being raised about the beneﬁt of the festival, which is why the May 20 planning meeting drew one of its biggest crowds to date, including a mix of supporters, critics, and representatives of elected ofﬁcials. But Sal Richetti, the event’s organizer, is hesitant to adopt BDC’s requests, saying he makes changes when they are requested personally. He says the festival is integral to Bloomﬁeld and brings in a lot of money for local businesses as is.
“AT THE HEART OF IT, IT IS PEOPLE THAT DO WANT IT AND DO LOVE THE FESTIVAL.” With so many different opinions about the impact of the festival, Chan says eventually the meeting got “a little heated.” Many residents have lamented the disruption the festival brings, as thousands of people from outside Bloomﬁeld descend on Liberty Avenue to drink and party. Bloomﬁeld
businesses seem mixed on the impact of Little Italy Days, with some praising the additional customers it brings and others complaining about the loss of business it causes. Some even close up shop during the four days to avoid the festival. Meanwhile, Richetti has defended Little Italy Days as a ﬁnancial and social success, and a staple of Pittsburgh’s summer festivals. “You did get some of that emotion,” says Chan, noting some shouting between attendees at the May meeting. Chan recently became a board member of BDC, but he wasn’t afﬁliated with the nonproﬁt development group when he attended the meeting. “All of us have heard the pros and cons of Little Italy Days. This was the ﬁrst time for me seeing that play out in a public forum.” According to Little Italy Days’ website, the festival started in 2002 to “celebrate Bloomﬁeld’s Italian heritage, and create a destination spot for Italian-themed entertainment and food.” Richetti says he was asked to take over as event organizer in 2012 because the festival was losing money. Shortly thereafter, he started making changes to make Little Italy Days more ﬁnancially viable. In 2013, he moved the festival to August to take advantage of the summer crowds. Large, out-of-town vendors selling funnel cake and corn dog trucks were encouraged. Little Italy Days began attracting vendors more typically seen at carnivals than at neighborhood festivals. With those vendors came a signiﬁcant increase in attendance. Richetti says Little CONTINUES ON PG. 8
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
NOT SO LITTLE ITALY DAYS, CONTINUED FROM PG. 7
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A Little Italy Days banner hangs above Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield.
Italy Days attracts more than 100,000 attendees; fewer than 9,000 people live in Bloomﬁeld. Richetti, who owns an event-planning business called Big Day Entertainment, started to run the festival like he would any major event with the goal of making a proﬁt. “It is my business,” says Richetti. “It is what I do.” Since Richetti organizes Little Italy Days through his private businesses, ﬁgures on how much the festival brings in aren’t available to the public. Bloomﬁeld businesses are charged discounted rates if they want to set up a booth on the street, but still pay between $495895 for the festival, or $124-224 per day, not including tent rental. The majority of booth spaces come from non-Bloomﬁeld businesses, however. Those festival rates run from $595-1,495 for non-food vendors to $850-1,895 for food vendors. Richetti says this year’s festival has about 200 booths, and, with the rates charged to vendors, the proﬁts for his business are likely signiﬁcant. Richetti says Caliente Pizza & Drafthouse is renting seven booth spots for this year’s festival, meaning the business is paying between $4,000-6,000 for street space. Other large-scale neighborhood festivals typically charge lower rates. For example, the Squirrel Hill Night Market, which shuts down sections of Murray Avenue, charges $105 for a booth per night. Little Italy Days also attracts corporate sponsorships from UPMC,
Highmark, Allegheny Health Network, and First Commonwealth Bank. Bloomﬁeld resident Sarah Hamm says the festival has become a logistical pain and doesn’t offer “anything unique that you can’t get at a standard county fair.” She says she and her partner avoid the festival at all costs. “Little Italy Days might bring people to the neighborhood, but it doesn’t speak to what the neighborhood’s actually like,” says Hamm. “Instead it just exacerbates all our problems.”
“IT DOESN’T SPEAK TO WHAT THE NEIGHBORHOOD’S ACTUALLY LIKE.” But for Richetti, it’s all worth it. He says the Bloomﬁeld Citizens Bureau and Bloomﬁeld Business Network support the festival as is. He cited local businesses that support the festival, such as the Sunoco Gas Station, Pleasure Bar, Lot 17, Tessaro’s, and Froggy’s Bar (among others). Pittsburgh City Paper spoke to businesses on Liberty Avenue to get their opinions on the state of Little Italy Days. Maria Merante runs a small Italian shop and kitchen and says she loves the festival. She says the festival is not really an Italian festival anymore, but it’s a good street festival for her business.
“We do one month’s equivalence of business in four days,” says Merante. “You won’t hear me saying anything bad.” Rock Mori, who runs Rocky’s diner, says overall the festival is good, but he wishes there were more communication about the festival from the organizers. He says the meetings the organizers hold to inform businesses about Little Italy Days are held at hours many local business owners can’t attend. An employee at Baby Loves Tacos says the staff goes on vacation during Little Italy Days, and the restaurant won’t be open during the festival. The BDC conducted a survey in 2015 to gauge how local businesses were reacting to the growth of Little Italy Days, which at that point had really started to expand compared to 2012. BDC board member Josh Rolon says they started having concerns about the footprint and impact of Little Italy Days because of the survey results. The survey received responses from 25 businesses on Liberty Avenue. Rolon says there are about 60 total businesses in the business district. The respondents were mostly retail shops, restaurants, and bars. The survey said that 18 of the respondents stayed open during the festival, while six businesses said they closed down. (One respondent didn’t answer the question whether their business stayed open during the festival.) When asked why they closed down, the six businesses said there was poor access to their storefronts caused by the CONTINUES ON PG. 10
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NOT SO LITTLE ITALY DAYS, CONTINUED FROM PG. 8
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festival and many customers weren’t sober enough to patronize their business. Only three out of the 25 respondents said they rented a booth for Little Italy Days. Rolon says BDC isn’t against Richetti continuing to run Little Italy Days and very few people have reached out to BDC saying they want the festival to end. He says the main changes BDC would like to see are improved communication and more community meetings for the festival. Rolon says Richetti should follow some of the guidelines that Registered Community Organizations follow. He would like to see a more ofﬁcial process to how Richetti receives input from residents and business owners. He says it could be similar to how community development meetings are held in Bloomﬁeld. “The community is engaged and thoughtful on development, why not do the same thing for this large festival?” says Rolon. “For a development, you are worried about all these different factors, Little Italy Days touches a lot of those points.” Rolon says currently the communityinput process for Little Italy Days is too informal and not transparent enough. Richetti says he’s open to any comments and that people can personally call or email him with requests. He says suggestions led him to increase seating at the festival. Richetti also rejects the BDC survey, calling it “bogus.” But Rolon says a more official planning process for Little Italy Days is necessary, given the size and length of the event. He says Richetti should hold a large community meeting before sending in his permit applications to the Special Events Committee. “Why can this thing be allowed to have such a strong impact from the community, with very little input from the community on what it can be?” says Rolon. Pittsburgh City Councilor Deb Gross, who represents Bloomﬁeld, says she thinks it’s curious that Pittsburgh special event policies allow a for-proﬁt company to take over such a large part of the neighborhood for a festival. There appear to be no rules regulating large-scale special events. Private businesses, community groups, and nonproﬁts can throw just about any kind of festival they want, as long as they meet security and clean-up criteria. The permits are approved by Pittsburgh’s Special Events Committee board, which is made up of city and police ofﬁcials. So as long as the board approves, an
CP PHOTO: JARED MURPHY
A Little Italy Days flyer hangs in Bloomfield
event the size of Little Italy Days doesn’t have any requirements in terms of community beneﬁts or charitable giving. Gross says most large-scale festivals that take over public space in Pittsburgh are typically run by nonproﬁts or charitable organizations.
LITTLE ITALY DAYS Thu., Aug. 15-Sun., Aug. 18. Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield. Free. littleitalydays.com
“If you are going to propose a neighborhood festival, then the neighborhood groups maybe should be organizing it,” says Gross. She is also open to looking at possible legislation to reform the special event permitting process, with mid-size festivals like the Polish Hill Arts Fest on one track and large festivals like Little Italy Days on a different track with possibly more requirements to meet. For the last several years, Guy Costa, an open advocate of Little Italy Days and friend of Richetti, was the chair of the Special Events Committee. Costa recently retired from his position with the city government and no longer sits on the Special Events Committee board. Richetti says Costa is now working on his team. Costa was at the May 20 meeting.
Richetti says there is no conﬂict of interest concerning Costa’s involvement and that “he treats everything professionally.” Richetti says Costa knows the festival and sees the beneﬁt of Little Italy Days. Richetti also says he has given to Bloomﬁeld causes, including free booths for neighborhood churches, grants that he gives out after the festival, and money he has given to the neighborhood Halloween parade. He says Little Italy Days is integral to the neighborhood and he will personally help any business that has concerns about the festival. He is open to holding a post-Little Italy Days community meeting in November but bristled at the idea increased formality could better communications or improve charitable donations. “If I was saying that I didn’t do Little Italy Days, people would be upset,” says Richetti. “For the businesses that say they don’t beneﬁt, come talk to me. I will help you market.” Even though there’s disagreement on how Little Italy Days should be managed moving forward, Chan is optimistic about the future of the festival. “At the heart of it ... people do want it and do love the festival,” says Chan. “What I think people want is a Little Italy Days 2.0, one that really included the community.”
Follow senior writer Ryan Deto on Twitter @RyanDeto
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
PEACE FROM GEESE BY EMILY WOLFE // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
N A MILD AUGUST morning, a silver van with a kayak strapped to the roof crept along the concrete walkway at the North Shore Riverfront Park. A passerby who stopped to take photos spotted the van and laughed when she saw the name emblazoned on its side. “Geese Police,” the woman said to her friend. “Who knew that was a thing?” Driving the van, Brandon Bowers laughed. “You know now,” he shouted. In the backseat, Mickey, a trained Geese Police border collie, sat quietly, his eyes on Bowers, waiting to be let loose to sic Canada geese that overrun parts of Pittsburgh’s shoreline.
THE GEESE ALWAYS COME BACK. BUT SO DO THE POLICE. Every Canada goose in Pennsylvania produces more than a pound of waste per day and the population is growing every year. Geese are attracted to green areas near water; sometimes, hundreds will ﬂock to the same location. That’s a lot of waste underfoot. It’s illegal to kill the birds, so if you’re looking to keep the geese off your property, what can one do? Bowers, who owns the Western Pennsylvania franchise of the Geese Police, has an answer. For a fee, a Geese Police employee/border collie team will chase geese away from your property. The geese always come back. But so do the Police. “It’s a control business. We don’t ever guarantee you’ll never see birds again,” Bowers says. “My personal goal is for them not to see birds. It’s not realistic, but a lot of business owners have to have goals that aren’t necessarily realistic. It’s what drives the business forward.”
GEESEPOLICEWPA.COM Geese are such a problem on the riverfront that Bowers visits three or four times a day. When there’s a large group on the water, he’ll pull the kayak down off the roof of the van and paddle across the river with Mickey sitting in front. The birds are almost impossible to distinguish physically, but Bowers has learned how to tell through behavior if a group has received a visit from the geese police before. “If they’re birds that we’ve worked before, as soon as they see the truck, they sit up in the water because
they know what’s coming. They twitch side to side, start clucking and all that,” Bowers said. He pulled into the parking lot of his next stop, a small Baptist church outside the city, and Mickey perked up in the backseat. Bowers knew instantly he has gotten lucky. The four geese sitting on the church’s lawn, on the other hand, had no idea what was about to happen. Bowers opened the van door and Mickey moved silently across the lawn in a black-and-white blur. He hit the geese with the not-so-secret weapon that makes border collies such excellent herding dogs — the “eye,” a threatening, predatory stare. Squawking in terror, the geese made the quick, easy decision that they’d rather be somewhere else and took off. Mickey ran back to Bowers, who rewarded him with a few hard pats. “What a good boy,” he said. Bowers took over the Geese Police of Western Pennsylvania in 2008. (Tragically, the previous owner of the franchise drowned on the job.) Bowers’ father trained hunting dogs and Bowers was interested in the business and the idea of working with dogs. Now he has a kennel at his home, with three or four working border collies at a time. Of course, the relationship has to stay professional: The dogs need to know Bowers is in charge. “I love them and I pet them and I have affection for them, but I’m alpha ﬁrst,” he said. “[But] I can’t imagine my life without dogs in it.”
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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
WE THE PEOPLE. WHO IS THAT? BY TERENEH IDIA CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
NYONE LISTENING to the news, scrolling their timelines on .social media, or just existing in the United States of America has heard or said something to the effect of: This is not America. I do not recognize this country. I can’t believe where we are as a country right now. I can only say, in as calm a voice as possible, “What the heck are you talking about and where do you think you have been living all of this time?” Let me rewind the clock for you. Let’s go back, way back. Not 2007, 1987, or even 1967 — let’s go back to 1787. “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Memorized by school children, citizenship seekers, and only barely remembered by its adult native-born citizens, this is the preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America. It is also the beginning of the American fairy tale. Written by Gouverneur Morris, who was against slavery, at least, the sentence begins the myth-making with the ﬁrst three words: “We The People.” According to the Constitutional Rights
Foundation, Mr. Morris’ “we” meant: “... eliminating everyone under the age of 21, all slaves and women, most Jews and Catholics, plus those men too poor to be freeholders, the ... electorate consisted of only 10 percent to 20 percent of the total population.” Hold the quill, what? Yes, 80-90 percent of the population was not able to vote. Fast forward to 2019 where we still have over-representation of white
men in elected ofﬁce from Grant Street in Pittsburgh to Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. White men make up about 30 percent of the population of the country but represent 98 percent of the presidents of the United States. Continuing on, who are “... the people?” Further illumination comes in 1856 in one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in history: Dred Scott v. Sandford “ruled that
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people of African descent, whether or not they were slaves, could never be citizens of the United States, and that Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories,” states the New World Encyclopedia. Furthermore, people of African descent in the United States were 3/5 or 60 percent human. 60 percent. People from Africa, the original humans: not human. Okay, America. Equally infuriating is knowing that the economic value of the transatlantic slave trade, the foundation of the U.S. global ﬁnancial powerhouse is $17 trillion. If you include the value of land taken from First Nations, that number is over $50 trillion. Imagine what would have happened if we had created an equitable and just society decades ago? The economic beneﬁts are nearly incalculable, yet the unsustainable violent economic, social, cultural, and environmental injustice surrounds us all. Further, “... in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice ...” Justice? How just is enslaving a human being? Not “of its time” or “socially acceptable” but where is the justice in the buying and selling of human beings? Let’s consider the Founding Fathers who owned slaves; a partial list includes George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Andrew Jackson. In a twisted sad, American white supremacist patriarchal sort of way, it is appropriate that they are called Founding Fathers because that is what they founded. A country built on genocide, slavery, injustice, and the pursuit of property — doesn’t consuming stuff make us happy? Our current challenges are the freshly bloomed poison fruit growing from the violent white supremacist patriarchy root system of America. We must acknowledge and understand this so that We the People, as deﬁned by us, can build a future that is truly of, by and for the people.
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HARD PRESSED FOR COLD PRESS BY MAGGIE WEAVER MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
HE FIRST THING Brett Gilliam
looked for when he moved to Pittsburgh was a smoothie bar. He’d moved to Homestead from Washington D.C., and once he concluded that there were none to be found in his neighborhood, Gilliam decided to open one himself. Now, he’s six weeks into running his own pressed juice and smoothie bar. But Live Fresh Cold Pressed Juice + Smoothie Bar doesn’t just satisfy Gilliam’s craving for smoothies; the bright cafe is bringing healthy options to Homestead.
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Gilliam’s menu features coldpressed juice made using a hydraulic press. It’s said to be a more nutritious alternative than traditional juice, which cuts fruit with blades. Slicing the fruit destroys nutrients; pressing extracts the maximum amount of liquid and saves the nutritional value. Smoothies, bowls, and immunity shots make up the rest of the menu at Live Fresh. There are six smoothie options, ranging from a detox drink to a calorie-packed nut shake. Three immunity shots — smaller juices that include spices (typically ginger) blended with a vegetable or fruit — are available to give the body a quick boost. Acaí and smoothie bowls, the most ﬁlling options, take up four spots on the shop’s menu. And if none of the in-house creations sound appetizing, Live Fresh offers a build-your-own option for every category. “It’s blissful, isn’t it?” Gilliam asked as I stared dumbfounded at my cocoa banana nut Bliss Bowl. He was right. It was blissful. The cocoa and frozen banana blend was topped with dark chocolate, walnuts, house-made granola,
CP PHOTO: MAGGIE WEAVER
Green Goddess juice and cocoa banana nut Bliss Bowl
banana, and cashew butter — Gilliam ﬁrst described the bowl to me as “a healthy Frosty.” The bowl was chocolatey but not too sweet, with just enough texture from the toppings to set it apart from a smoothie. It was healthy enough that I could justify eating a bowl of chocolate for breakfast. Nine ﬂavors make up Gilliam’s menu of cold-pressed juices. At the recommendation of the cashier, I chose Green Goddess, a blend of kale, pineapple, green apple, mint, and lemon. I am, and have always been, a skeptic of cold-pressed juice. Juices have grown in popularity with the “clean eating” movement, a push toward extreme workouts and fad diets. Though I’m active and try to eat healthy, clean eating never really stuck with me. It doesn’t help that I’ve hated every cold-
pressed juice I’ve tried. Gilliam’s green goddess was different. Unlike most juices that contain greens, there was no bitterness from the kale. Instead, the juice was sweet and citrusy, like a nutritious lemonade. The health community is still divided on cold-pressed juice. Nobody can deny the obvious beneﬁts — each bottle at Live Fresh contains up to ﬁve and a half pounds of fruits and vegetables — but the price, an average $10-15 per bottle, and environmental impact detract from its worth as a nutritional supplement. Gilliam, however, knows his community. All of his juices are less than $10, a steal for the quality of each drink. Baskets full of fruit hang behind the counter, free for any neighborhood child in need of a snack. He’s also teaming up with the local Little League Baseball organization
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LEON’S CARIBBEAN 823 E WARRINGTON AVE., ALLENTOWN / 412-431-5366 LEONSCARIBBEAN.COM Family owned and operated since December 2014. Here at Leon’s, we take pride in our recipes and quality of dishes. Simple menu with all the traditional dishes! Leon Sr. has been a chef for 30+ years, mastering the taste everyone has grown to love and can only get at Leon’s.
BAJA BAR & GRILL 1366 OLD FREEPORT ROAD, FOX CHAPEL 412-963-0640, WWW.BAJABARGRILL.COM The Baja Bar & Grill is the perfect destination any time of the year for dancing to live bands and taking in great entertainment every weekend. In addition, there’s good food along with amazing views of the Allegheny River and the Fox Chapel Marina.
BEA’S TACO TOWN 633 SMITHFIELD STREET, DOWNTOWN 412-471-8361, WWW.BEATAQUERIA.COM Authentic Mexican cuisine in the heart of Downtown Pittsburgh! Bea Taco Town offers tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, and much more all with traditional recipes. Slow cooked meats and fresh vegetables prepared daily will have you coming back to try it all.
THE CAFÉ CARNEGIE 4400 FORBES AVE., OAKLAND 412-622-3225 / THECAFECARNEGIE.COM An excellent dining experience from James Beard Semi-Finalist, Sonja Finn featuring a locally-focused menu, full service dining, and espresso and wine bar.
CARMELLA’S PLATES & PINTS 1908 EAST CARSON STREET, SOUTHSIDE 412-918-1215, CARMELLASPLATESANDPINTS.COM Featuring an upscale ambiance, Carmella’s is located in the heart of South Side, serving a variety of refined comfort cuisine for dinner and brunch. The décor features a lodge-like feel with a wood beamed cathedral ceiling, stained glass and open fireplace. A local purveyor delivers fresh ingredients daily, which are crafted into unique and inventive meals, served alongside a curated cocktail list and comprehensive wine selection.
COLONY CAFE 1125 PENN AVE., STRIP DISTRICT 412-586-4850 / COLONYCAFEPGH.COM Whether stopping in for a weekday lunch, an afternoon latte or after-work
drinks with friends, Colony Cafe offers delicious house-made bistro fare in a stylish Downtown space.
EIGHTY ACRES 1910 NEW TEXAS ROAD, MONROEVILLE/PLUM 724-519-7304 / EIGHTYACRESKITCHEN.COM Eighty Acres Kitchen & Bar offers a refined, modern approach to contemporary American cuisine with a strong emphasis on local, farm-totable products.
ELIZA HOT METAL BISTRO 331 TECHNOLOGY DRIVE, PITTSBURGH 412-621-1551, ELIZAHOTELINDIGO.COM Set on the site of former iconic iron works, Eliza Furnace, Eliza is an American Bistro exploring classic Pittsburgh flavors, beloved by those that worked the furnaces, combined with the fresh perspective and seasonal sourcing that define what we eat in our region today. Relax with great food, cocktails, and enjoy live entertainment on the rooftop bar.
MERCURIO’S ARTISAN GELATO AND NEAPOLITAN PIZZA 5523 WALNUT ST., SHADYSIDE 412-621-6220 / MERCURIOSGELATOPIZZA.COM Authentic Neapolitan pizza, artisan gelato, and an inviting atmosphere are just a small part of what helps create your experience at Mercurio’s Gelato and Pizza in Pittsburgh. It’s not your standard pizza shop; in fact, this isn’t a “pizza shop” at all.
PAD THAI NOODLE 4770 LIBERTY AVE, BLOOMFIELD 412-904-1640 PADTHAINOODLEPITTSBURGH.COM This new café in Bloomfield features Thai and Burmese specialties. Standards like Pad Thai and Coconut Curry Noodle are sure to please. But
don’t miss out on the Ono Kyowsway featuring egg noodle sautéed with coconut chicken, cilantro and curry sauce.
SUPERIOR MOTORS 1211 BRADDOCK AVE., BRADDOCK 412-271-1022 / SUPERIORMOTORS15104.COM Thoughtfully prepared food, drawing inspiration from Braddock, its people, its history, and its perseverance. The cuisine best represents the eclectic style which has become a trademark of Chef Kevin Sousa. Fine dining in an old Chevy dealership with an eclectic, farm-to-table menu and a community focus.
TOOK TOOK 98 2018 MURRAY AVE., SQUIRREL HILL 412-422-6767 / TOOKTOOK98.COM Eating Happily. Leaving with Smile. The True Taste of Thai. Our goal is to provide the highest customer satisfaction as well as offering authentic Thai street food with Thai environment. Therefore, we have been working hard to bring exceptional dine-in experience to you. We offer variety of authentic Thai food, drinks, and desserts including smiling full-service with BYOB.
TOTOPO MEXICAN KITCHEN AND BAR 660 WASHINGTON ROAD, MT. LEBANON 412-668-0773 / TOTOPOMEX.COM Totopo is a vibrant celebration of the culture and cuisine of Mexico, with a focus on the diverse foods served in the country. From Oaxacan tamales enveloped in banana leaves to the savory fish tacos of Baja California, you will experience the authentic flavor and freshness in every bite. They also feature a cocktail menu of tequila-based drinks to pair the perfect margarita with your meal.
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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
202 38th Street (above Round Corner Cantina) Pittsburgh, PA 15201
CP PHOTO: MAGGIE WEAVER
.ON THE ROCKS.
Tue - Sun: 11am - 9pm ׄׄ ׇ׀ɐɈǶƵȲ²ɈȲƵƵɈ §ǞɈɈȺƦɐȲǐǘ§ة 15201 412.224.2518
At Ki Pollo, we are keeping it simple with lip smackin’ fried chicken, empanadas ƮƵǶǞƧǞȌȺȌ ةƊȁƮ ǲǞǶǶƵȲ ˛ɮǞȁȺ خɐȲ ǘȌɐȺƵ ǿƊƮƵ ǶǞȁƵٌɐȯ ǞȺ ǐǶȌƦƊǶǶɯٌǞȁȺȯǞȲƵƮ ةȺɈȲƊǞǐǘɈ ȌɐɈ ȌǏ mƊɩȲƵȁƧƵɨǞǶǶƵخàƵƊȲƵƊBYOBƵȺɈƊƦǶǞȺǘǿƵȁɈخ
3720 Butler St • Lawrenceville • roundcornercantina.com 22
BY MAGGIE WEAVER // MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
AVE YOU HAD this before?” I
asked the employee at Liberty Beer, gesturing to the 12-pack of Pura Still spiked water on the counter between us. “Is it good?” The cashier’s long pause told me everything. It was not good. Produced by New York-based Genesee Brewery, Pura Still, the nation’s ﬁrst alcoholic still water, premiered in December 2018. The brewery capitalized on the nation’s growing hard-seltzer obsession, showing the world that there’s truly no limit to what can be made alcoholic. Each can of Pura Still racks up under 100 calories and two grams of carbohydrates — it’s only 4.5 percent alcohol per volume — less than the average beer pour, which carries around 150 calories. The water caters to healthconscious drinkers (who just realized how many calories are packed in one beer), those looking for something with a little less alcohol, and anyone who hates bloating-by-carbonation. The drink is made from a malt alcohol base. It’s a similar process to brewing beer, but without the hops and color. Pura Still combines fermented barley and natural sugars to make the base, then triple-ﬁlters the alcohol (like distilling vodka) to make the product crystal clear. Add a splash of coconut water, an undetectable fruit ﬂavor, and boom! You can get tipsy while simulating the act of hydration. Liberty Beer in Bloomﬁeld only carried the Pura Still variety pack, so I was able to
get my hands on all three ﬂavors: mango, blackberry, and mandarin orange. Pura Still describes its product as “the ﬁrst spiked water that doesn’t need bubbles to keep things interesting,” and “anything but ﬂat,” (spoiler: it’s deﬁnitely ﬂat). And after tasting the product, the company should really rethink the “still” part of Pura Still. Canned alcohol without carbonation may be novel, but the result is just disappointing.
PURA STILL FROM GENESEE BREWERY Available at Liberty Beer, 4133 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield
Drinking it felt like a mistake, as if I had accidentally picked up a day-old, already-opened soda off of my kitchen counter. There was nothing to distract me from all the weird ﬂavors coming out of the drink: fake fruit mixed with a strange sour aftertaste of fermented barley. The mandarin orange can tasted like orange-ﬂavored chalk from a children’s aspirin. As many times as I tried the blackberry, I could only taste a whisper of berry. Mango was by far the best ﬂavor (“best” used very loosely here). At one point, I even combined all three ﬂavors to see if I could taste any fruit. I couldn’t. My advice? If you’re looking for a lowcalorie drink, stick to vodka and soda.
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CP PHOTO: ERIN ALLPORT
Left to right: Simone Davis and INEZ at PVO
SIGNAL BOOST BY JORDAN SNOWDEN // JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
AST SATURDAY, Mr. Smalls Theatre hosted the August iteration of the Pittsburgh’s Very Own concert series, and while it was typical of the earlier concerts in many respects — an all-local showcase of the city’s most exciting and promising talent — the lineup was atypical. For the ﬁrst time at this series, and generally a rarity for live
music in Pittsburgh, all the performers were women of color: Leila Rhodes, INEZ, Sierra Sellers, and Simone Davis. It was an encouraging moment for music fans in Pittsburgh who want to see more diverse lineups, but it also illustrated how low the bar is and how far the scene has to go. “I talked with Katie O. [for her Scene Unheard podcast],” says Sellers. “And
she said ‘Why now? Why an all-female lineup now?’ My answer was Clara Kent.” Although Kent wasn’t on the ofﬁcial lineup for the latest edition of PVO, the local musician has been a continuous advocate for Black female performers in Pittsburgh and the unique problems they face: tokenism, being objectiﬁed and sexualized, having assumptions made about their genre based on their CONTINUES ON PG. 26
A NIGHT OF
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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
SIGNAL BOOST, CONTINUED FROM PG. 24
THE LOCAL 913: CHALK DINOSAUR BY LIZ FELIX // LIZ@WYEP.ORG
Chalk Dinosaur has been making music in a variety of iterations and genres for the last decade. The band’s newest release, Sprout, features frontman John O’Halloran, his brother Nick O’Halloran, and Andrew Belcastro, who grew up together in the North Hills. Guitarist Jon Henderson was added to the lineup, creating an album of instrumentals that take inspiration from funk, jazz, jam rock, and hip hop. John O’Halloran says he “started to be drawn to instrumental music because the lack of words allows STAY UP-TOyou to create DATE WITH THIS your own WEEK’S LOCAL mental dialogue MUSIC NEWS and thoughts.” WITH CP MUSIC One of the WRITER JORDAN new tracks on Sprout that does SNOWDEN feature vocals is AND WYEP “Synchronicity,” EVENING MIX a song inspired HOST LIZ FELIX by a complicated Listen every hike through Wednesday Joshua Tree at 7 p.m. on National Park. 91.3FM WYEP “I noticed that a lot of the things are easier to climb up than they are to climb down so you can easily get stuck somewhere,” says O’Halloran. “You climb up something and it’s much harder and more dangerous to come down. That kind of seemed like a good metaphor for certain circumstances in life where you charge ahead toward something and then you have to get back down somehow.” See what other interesting metaphors come to mind as you lose yourself in Chalk Dinosaur’s new record. •
CP PHOTO: ERIN ALLPORT
Left to right: Sierra Sellers, INEZ, Leila Rhodes, Simone Davis, and Clara Kent
identity as women of color, being treated as naive or inexperienced, all in addition to the general challenges of being a working artist trying to build a career. “Clara isn’t going to take credit for it, but we’re standing on her shoulders,” says INEZ. “A lot of the groundwork that she’s put down for the past three to ﬁve years, we’re starting to reap some of the beneﬁts from. Not only that, when I ﬁrst met her, it was all love. Her exact words to me were, ‘Everything that I’m doing, you’re going to do, and you’re going to go further than I am.’” On the Tuesday before the show at Mr. Smalls, Rhodes, INEZ, Kent, Sellers, and Davis gathered at Mixtape in Bloomﬁeld to talk about their frustrations and share their experiences. For a few of the women, it was their ﬁrst time meeting in person. But thanks to social media, they had been able to connect and support each other online. That sense of camaraderie and mutual support goes against the grain for
the way many Black women performers come up in the scene. When so many bills only have one woman on the show, it instills competition between performers, rather than solidarity to ﬁght for a more equitable scene.
hundred male rappers talking about the same shit. And as soon as there are two female rappers talking about the same thing, it’s this or that.” In the last year, Kent has most often been the artist who gets that one Black
“I FEEL LIKE THIS IS A TIME WHERE A LOT OF FEMALE ARTISTS, BLACK FEMALE ARTISTS, FEMMES, ARE STARTING TO COME TOGETHER AND ARE SEEING THEIR WORTH AND STARTING TO PUT IT FORWARD.” “We all have to compete for one spot,” says Rhodes. “That’s the idea they give women in the industry. So, a lot of the times women have trouble sticking together because they’ve been taught to [be competitive]. There can be a
Pittsburgh female spot. “After a while that becomes numbing, and almost like I’m a token,” says Kent. “It’s like, ‘Oh, we’ll put Clara on it because she’s doing this and this and this.’ Instead of, ‘Her music, her message, and her sound are
really unique and I want more people to hear it and I’ll push it because of that.’ That’s the type of push Black women and Black femmes do not get. It’s twice as hard to get that to be the main thing.” According to a 2019 investigative report by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, women make up 21.7 percent of artists, 12.3 percent of songwriters, and 2.1 percent of producers. For Black females in the music industry, the barriers they must cross to excel in their careers are higher than most others in the business, both on a national and local level. Rhodes says that many promoters and show-runners don’t really make an effort to expand their talent pool and have little reason to do so. “They don’t really go deep to look for other artists. They just know from word of mouth who someone is, and they’ll just keep booking the same — like, ‘We got one woman, we’re good,’” says Rhodes. Sellers’ name has been popping up frequently on recent lineups as well. At Creatives Drink at Stage AE on July 25, both Kent and Sellers were chosen to perform, but felt uneasy at the show. “Out of 14 names that represent the entire city, two of them were women,”
CP PHOTO: ERIN ALLPORT
says INEZ. “There wasn’t even anybody that was femme, trans, or anything else.” Sellers says she was picked because a local rapper of note suggested her for
it. “My name has a little bit of buzz, but you don’t even take the time to listen to my music? … When the ﬂyer came out, I hit up Clara and said, ‘I’m so happy and
proud of us, but I’m excited for the day where we’re not the only two women on a lineup.’” The mostly male lineup also fosters an exclusive environment. On the night of Creatives Drink, both Kent and Sellers felt uncomfortable — Sellers left right after her performance. “I felt like I wasn’t really there,” says Kent. “I felt like I was in a constant anxiety space. It was really bro bro bro bro everywhere I went.” The male-dominance extends beyond the performers. Sound technicians, another male-dominated ﬁeld, often treat female artists as naïve or inexperienced. At a Hartwood Acres performance, INEZ says her engineer messed up her mic. Everyone behind her could hear, but not the audience. “I was upset about it,” says INEZ, a graduate of Berklee College of Music with a degree in music production. “And he comes over to me and was like, ‘The reason no one could hear you is because you were cupping the microphone.’” Kent assured him that INEZ was not and said that the same sound tech asked if she knew how to hold a mic. Another time, Sellers told the sound tech that she wanted to walk around CONTINUES ON PG. 28
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
SIGNAL BOOST, CONTINUED FROM PG. 27
CP PHOTO: ERIN ALLPORT
and see if there was feedback. “He said, ‘You won’t get any feedback,’” says Sellers. “And wouldn’t you know it, the ﬁrst song had feedback.” This sexism isn’t just noticed by the female performers. Local rapper livefromthecity has taken note as well. “People bill shows in order of what they feel is important,” says livefromthecity. “And far too often, I’m seeing people like Clara, Sierra, INEZ … people are undermining the work that they’re doing. They should get top billing like myself or Benji. or Mars [Jackson], not saying we don’t deserve it, but they deserve it just as much as we do, if not more at times.” Right now, when the women speak up for themselves individually, they are called ungrateful. “They want us to be seen and not heard,” says INEZ. “Which is the problem, because we’re artists and singers and musicians. We’re trying to get people to
the point where they [understand where we’re coming from] and they don’t look at us crazy for speaking up.” Together, the women feel they can use their voices to speak out the issues they face and bust stereotypes, like having to either be boyish in style or oversexualized to market themselves as a female musician. “I feel like this is a time where a lot of female artists, Black female artists, femmes, are starting to come together and are seeing their worth and starting to put it forward,” says Kent. “There’s going to be obstacles and things that we deal with, but the binding part, the unity, coming together, just this energy, is what all these women are going to bring and push forward because doing it by yourself doesn’t work. It should be riddled with women everywhere, because there are way too many talented women. Period.”
Follow staff writer Jordan Snowden on Twitter @snowden_jordan
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SEVEN DAYS OF CONCERTS 4TH RIVER MUSIC FESTIVAL FRI., AUG. 16 In the spirit of community, 4th River Music Collective asks Pittsburghers to bring friends, family, lovers, donations, and snacks to its eponymous DIY festival; it’s made by musicians and built for everyone. Over the course of the weekend, Buffalo Rose, BBGuns, Earthworm, Colin and the Crows, and more musical acts from near and far will grace the stage, in addition to poets, workshops, fire shows, holistic practices, and vendors on site. “Let’s come together to learn, grow and inspire,” reads the Facebook event. … “We’ll hold space for the magic.” Multiple times. Continues Sat., Aug. 17. OWL Hollow, 10 Nansen St., Hazelwood. $20-30 suggested donation (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). facebook.com/4thrivermusiccollective PHOTO: RYAN MICHAEL WHITE
4th River Music Festival 2018
FULL LIST ONLINE pghcitypaper.com
THURSDAY AUGUST 15
HIDE, B-WARD. Brillobox. 9 p.m. Bloomfield.
ERIC DEFADE. Engine House No. 25. 6 p.m. Lawrenceville. CASEY DEELY. Mansions on Fifth. 5:30 p.m. Shadyside. THE THROCKMORTON PLOT. Kingfly Spirits. 7 p.m. Strip District.
ROCK BRIGHTSIDE. Pittsburgh Community Broadcast Center. 6:30 p.m. South Side. DRY REEF. Howler’s. 9 p.m. Bloomfield. THE IGUANAS. Club Cafe. 7 p.m. South Side.
ACOUSTIC DAN BUBIEN AND THE DELTA STRUTS. Sweetwater Center for the Arts. 7 p.m. Sewickley.
LATE BLOOMER, URBAN DOCTORS. The Mr. Roboto. 7 p.m. Bloomfield.
TRIBUTE FREEBIRD (LYNYRD SKYNYRD). Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. Warrendale.
FOLK/COUNTRY THE ANONYMOUS CHRONICLES. Bierport. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville. KIN FAUX. Tequila Cowboy. 7 p.m. North Side.
FRIDAY AUGUST 16 JAZZ THUMBSCREW. City of Asylum. 7 p.m. North Side. THE RED BEANS & RICE COMBO. Wolfie’s Pub. 8 p.m. Downtown.
THE SHAMELESS HEX. Hop Farm Brewing. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.
WHEN PARTICLES COLLIDE, LINDSAY DRAGAN. The Government Center. 7:30 p.m. North Side.
THE ACACIA STRAIN, KUBLAI KHANETAL. Rex Theater. 7 p.m. South Side.
THE DOOBIE BROTHERS. UMPC Events Center. 7 p.m. Moon.
CASTLECOMER. The Smiling Moose. 7 p.m. South Side. THE CERNY BROTHERS. The Smiling Moose. 10:30 p.m. South Side.
MONTGOMERY GENTRY. Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. Warrendale. RASCAL FLATTS. KeyBank Pavilion. 7 p.m. Burgettstown.
THE CLIFFDOGS. Howler’s. 9 p.m. Bloomfield.
TALISK. Club Cafe. 6 p.m. South Side.
FOGHAT. South Park Amphitheater. 7 p.m. South Park.
BLUES THE CONTENDERS. Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar. 7 p.m. Strip District. MISS FREDDYE AND HER HOME COOKIN’ BAND. Moondog’s. 8:30 p.m. Blawnox.
FUNK/SOUL MARILYN MCCOO & BILLY DAVIS JR. The Palace Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Greensburg. STEELTOWN HORNS. Enix Brewing. 8 p.m. Homestead. SUPER MIDNIGHT, SIERRA SELLERS, JEHLAD AKIN. Club Cafe. 10 p.m. South Side.
FOLK/COUNTRY FRUITION. Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville. AMANDA SHIRES. Hard Rock Cafe. 8 p.m. South Side.
THE FLOW BAND. Wallace’s Whiskey Room & Kitchen. 7 p.m. East Liberty.
PUNK ACTION CAMP, TUFF SUNSHINE. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Millvale. RUBELLA BALLET, MARK MOB. Spirit. 5 p.m. Lawrenceville.
ELECTRONIC DJ THOMAS. Bierport. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.
SATURDAY AUGUST 17 BLUES THE MATT BURRANTI BAND. Cioppino Restaurant & Cigar Bar. 7 p.m. Strip District. CURTIS AND THE SHAKERZ AND SHOT O’ SOUL. Moondog’s. 8 p.m. Blawnox.
THE STAPLETONS. Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.
JWAN ALLEN, POLTERHEIST, BIRD. Hot Mass. 12 a.m. Downtown.
ELMOZ FIRE. Downey’s House. 8:30 p.m. Robinson.
THE CERNY BROTHERS. The Smiling Moose. 10:30 p.m. South Side.
NO BAD JUJU. Baja Bar and Grill. 8 p.m. Fox Chapel.
JAZZ RML JAZZ. Vinoski Winery. 4 p.m. Belle Vernon. ANTOINETTE NO ORDINARY SOUL. NOLA on the Square. 8 p.m. Downtown.
SUNDAY AUGUST 18 ROCK DAVE IGLAR’S MUSIC OF WOODSTOCK. Moondog’s. 4 p.m. Blawnox.
ANTIGHOST, FUTURE MISTERS. Gooski’s. 7 p.m. Polish Hill.
KORN, ALICE IN CHAINS. KeyBank Pavilion. 6 p.m. Burgettstown.
ZAKK SABBATH. Rex Theater. 3 p.m. South Side. IRON MAIDEN. PPG Paints Arena. 7:30 p.m. Downtown.
TONY CAMPBELL. Wallace’s Whiskey Room. 5 p.m. East Liberty. RESERVOIR OF JAZZ. Highland Park. 5 p.m. Highland Park.
LOSING SEPTEMBER, WINTER’S DESCENT. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 7 p.m. Millvale.
JORTS SEASON, VAGE GOTA. Mr. Roboto Project. 7 p.m. Bloomfield.
CROSS THE DIVIDE. Howler’s. 7 p.m. Bloomfield.
ARIE COLE, SLIM THA DJ. All Summr. 12 p.m. Uptown.
PHOTO: MELT BOOKING
BEAST COAST: ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK TOUR
SUN., AUG. 18 In 1999, hip-hop groups Pro Era (Joey Bada$$, Kirk Knight, CJ Fly, Nyck Caution, Powers Pleasant), Flatbush Zombies (Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice, Erick the Architect), and the Underachievers (Issa Gold and AK the Savior) started the Beast Coast collective in New York City. Ten years later, the group released its debut album, Escape From New York. In support of the album, Beast Coast is physically escaping from NYC with a North American tour, stopping in Pittsburgh Sunday at Stage AE. 6:30 p.m. 400 N. Shore Drive, North Side. $38.50-238.50. promowestlive.com
TUESDAY AUGUST 20
THE FLOW BAND. Bigham Tavern. 12:30 p.m. Mt. Washington.
PARSONSFIELD, JUVENILE CHARACTERISTICS. Club Cafe. 7 p.m. South Side.
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21
MONDAY AUGUST 19 POP
LOS FRENÉTICOS. This Is Red. 6 p.m. Homestead. THE AUSTRALIAN PINK FLOYD SHOW. The Palace Theatre. 7 p.m. Greensburg.
BUES BO’HOG BROTHERS. Wolfies Pub. 5 p.m. Downtown.
DAISY THE GREAT, DINOSOUL. Mr. Roboto Project. 7 p.m. Bloomfield.
THE BOMB DIGZ. The Smiling Moose. 6 p.m. South Side.
ALLEGATION. Preserving Hardcore. 7 p.m. New Kensington.
BOG BODY, VICTIMS OF CONTAGION. Mr. Roboto Project. 7 p.m. Bloomfield.
KELLIE LODER, FERDINAND THE BULL. Club Cafe. 8 p.m. South Side.
JAZZ RICK FINKELSTEIN QUINTET. Andrew Carnegie Free Library Music Hall. 7 p.m. Carnegie.
COUNTRY ROBERT EARL KEEN. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 8 p.m. Millvale.
ROCK POPA CHUBBY. Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. Warrendale.
OFF WITH THEIR HEADS. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 7 p.m. Millvale.
BARE WALLS. Howler’s. 7:30 p.m. Bloomfield.
FLOGGING MOLLY & SOCIAL DISTORTION. Stage AE. 5 p.m. North Side.
HABIBI. Club Cafe. 7 p.m. South Side.
KEITH KENNY. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 8 p.m. Millvale.
THOMAS WENDT. Katz Plaza. 5 p.m. Downtown.
DEAD RIDER, CHANTILLION. Brillobox. 8 p.m. Bloomfield.
These listings are curated by Pittsburgh City Paper’s music writer Jordan Snowden and include events from our free online listings. Submit yours today at www.pghcitypaper.com/submitevent PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
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PHOTO: HEATHER MULL // PROCESSING BY BOOM CREATIVE
Carolina Loyola-Garcia in Looking for Violeta
LOOKING FOR VIOLETA BY EMILY WOLFE // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
SOME POINT during the 80-minute running time of Quantum Theatre’s Looking for Violeta, the sun sets outside the tent on the Frick Park Lawn Bowling Greens, where the production is being staged. But you almost wouldn’t notice until a moment close to the end, when the lights inside the tent are darkened and you hear Violeta Parra’s low, sweet voice singing to the audience from beyond the grave. That’s not a spoiler. Quantum’s new folk opera about Parra, a 20th-century Chilean musician and activist, is biographical, and Violeta’s older brother Nicanor tells us early on that the story is about her death. Looking for Violeta is Nicanor’s memory play; he travels through Violeta’s life attempting to understand why his sister took her life T
shortly before turning 50. In the end, though, this production is much more about life than death. Carolina Loyola-Garcia is irrepressible as Violeta, embodying from childhood Violeta’s dogged independence and the intimate, profound relationship she shares with Nicanor, played by powerful bass-baritone Eugene Perry. They’re joined by a small ensemble playing multiple roles — Jerreme Rodriguez, ﬁrst as Violeta’s father and then as several different lovers, is especially skillful at switching between characters. But the ensemble’s MVP is Emily Pinkerton, who, in addition to singing, acting, and playing multiple instruments including the 25-string guitarrón Chileno, wrote the beautiful, Parra-inspired score. (Pinkerton and Loyola-Garcia collaborated on the show’s creation with director
LOOKING FOR VIOLETA Continues through Sun., Aug. 25. Frick Park Lawn Bowling Greens, 7300 Reynolds St., Point Breeze. $38-55. quantumtheatre.com
Karla Boos, Chilean playwright María José Galleguillos, and music director Daniel Nesta Curtis.) The music, together with the colorful costumes and wall hangings in the tent, really does make the stage feel like it’s been transported from Pittsburgh to Chile. Parra is a lesser-known ﬁgure in the United States, but in Latin America, her music, which lifted up the songs of the working-class people of Chile, took on a signiﬁcant political legacy. It’s obvious that everyone involved has extensive knowledge of — as well as an immense affection for — Parra and her story. There are times when Looking for Violeta, in its urge to carry the audience through all of Parra’s most signiﬁcant life events, might move too quickly through one of the many relationships or tragedies that make up her story, and it’s not a bad idea to read a short summary of her life before heading into the show. But the story is well worth knowing, and Looking for Violeta is an unbelievably satisfying way to experience it.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
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BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
HE MORE OBSCURE history of
the Homewood Cemetery would have stayed largely unknown if not for the advent of digitization. While the site boasts many notable resting places, including jazz musician Erroll Garner, photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, and industrialists Andrew Mellon and Henry Clay Frick, it wasn’t until Newspapers.com and other online resources that a wealth of new information opened up. “People know about the famous people who are there … but not everyone was a millionaire, and not everyone was a famous baseball player or a jazz prodigy,” says Jennie Benford, director
of programming for the Homewood Cemetery Historical Fund, the nonproﬁt dedicated to preserving and educating the public about the site’s history, landscape, and architecture. If not for these developments, the Fund might never have learned about the meteorite that hit the cemetery or the unmarked grave of a faith healer who patented a ﬂying machine in 1904. “The types of stories that we are able to ﬁnd now are letting us be stewards of other types of stories,” says Benford. “We have always done a very good job of interpreting people we know about, but now we get to ﬁnd people and ﬁnd out about them and bring their stories into
79,000 STORIES: FOUNDERS’ DAY AT HOMEWOOD CEMETERY 12-4 p.m. Sat. Aug. 17. 1599 S. Dallas Ave., Homewood. Free. thehomewoodcemetery.com
that tradition.” Some of that history will take center stage – literally – at the upcoming 79,000 Stories: Founders’ Day event on Sat. Aug. 17. The celebration honors the 79,000 people buried in the cemetery, including Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra founder and conductor Frederic Archer, and Blanche McDonald, a palm-reading Spanish countess. Their stories will be told through two world premiere performances, a puppet show for Archer and a musical for McDonald. Benford, a professional archivist who worked for Carnegie Mellon University before her role at the cemetery, believes that not being able to access as much information led to the cemetery’s history becoming “lopsided,” as knowledge was usually limited to its most rich and famous inhabitants. Now, it’s expanded into a more representative CONTINUES ON PG. 38
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view of those buried. “The playing ﬁeld of class and gender and, in a lot of cases, race, has been leveled in a lot of ways with this new way of researching,” says Benford.
“THE TYPES OF STORIES THAT WE ARE ABLE TO FIND NOW ARE LETTING US BE STEWARDS OF OTHER TYPES OF STORIES.” This extends to some of the cemetery’s regular programming, including Audacious Pioneers, a walking tour covering the notable women of Section 14. They include Elizabeth Pitcairn, the wife of railroad executive, Robert Pitcairn, whom Benford says used her means to support the women’s suffrage movement. “We thought it would be interesting to take the men out of the picture and focus on the women and see what stories we could ﬁnd,” says Benford, adding that what they found was “very rich” and “crossed a lot of boundaries.”
With new information at their disposal, Benford says they hope to launch more tours that use the cemetery to cover subjects such as African-American history before 1920 and social justice ﬁgures. “As we ﬁnd these stories, we start seeing themes, people we can put together.” Besides the historical element, the Founders’ Day event and other programming serve as a sort of outreach to show the public the more civic aspects of the cemetery as an arboretum, and as a place for respite and recreation. She points to how old, historic cemeteries like Homewood, which was established in 1878, were originally intended to serve as urban green spaces long before city parks were established. “That is really what our landscape was designed for,” says Benford, adding that the mission seemed to have gotten lost in translation as our relationship with death changed over time, as diseases were cured and people began to live longer. “We just have to make sure that aspect of what we do doesn’t interfere with the real mission, which is providing a respectful burial place.” Benford says that if people respect the rules of the cemetery and its inhabitants, they’re free to roam the grounds. “As long as the gates are open, they’re welcome.”
Follow senior writer Amanda Waltz on Twitter @AWaltzCP
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
PHOTO: ERIN MCCLAIN STUDIO
RURAL JURORS BY REGE BEHE // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
ARY SUTTON is never afraid to ask a state trooper or police ofﬁcer for help, which is fortunate, because Sutton has plenty of questions for law enforcement agencies. The Penn Hills resident’s Laurel Highland Mystery series, written under the pen name Liz Milliron, features a Pennsylvania state trooper as one of its two protagonists. “When I started out, I thought these people really didn’t want to talk to me,” says Sutton, who just published the second novel in the series, Heaven Has No Rage (Level Best). “But I’ve never encountered an ofﬁcer or any sheriff’s deputies or state police or local police who’ve not taken the time to show me how it works.” The mysteries, featuring public defender Sally Castle, in addition to state trooper Jim Duncan, use Laurel Highlands as a backdrop. Sutton, who is originally from western New York, admits she rarely ventured into that region until 2011, when she visited during a retreat. That unfamiliarity allows her to see the Laurel Highlands with fresh eyes, she thinks. But the thrust of Sutton’s novels is how crime can insert itself into a small community. When a body is found at Laurel Highlands resort, Duncan is caught up
in a web that includes ﬁnancial improprieties and a steadily increasing body count. Castle’s parallel track — reuniting with a friend who appears to be stalking her — is familiar enough, but Sutton manages to ﬁnd nuances and threads that seem fresh. “The tagline on my website is ‘big city crime, small town justice,’” she says. “Crime is crime. The motives are the same, whether you are downtown or in the country, it’s the same types of crimes: people want money, people want revenge, people want power. There are people who think those crimes don’t happen in small towns. Small towns have this idea of ‘I’m really safe.’” Sutton’s full-time job is writing technical documents — “the instructions nobody reads when they log into an application,” she says — for a software company. That work entails a certain discipline that meshes with her ﬁctional aspirations. “Certainly being a writer in my day job has helped,” Sutton says. “I have to be logical, whether I’m writing a mystery or writing a procedure for a help desk, you have to be logical, you have to be able to follow it, you have to make sure the reader is not going to be confused. … And it’s certainly taught me a lot about hitting deadlines.”
Follow featured contributor Rege Behe on Twitter @RegeBehe_exPTR
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UST BEFORE Leonard Cohen’s former girlfriend and muse Marianne Ihlen, subject of “So Long, Marianne,” died in 2016, Cohen sent her a letter. A paraphrased version was widely circulated and reprinted in articles, but the paraphrasing didn’t matter, because the real fascination was with the romantic relationship and friendship between Cohen and Ihlen, which lasted over 50 years. The new documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is, as the title indicates, a ﬁlm that follows the bond between Cohen and Ihlen – or at least that’s its intention. The ﬁlm is directed by Nick Broomﬁeld, who appears in the ﬁlm both onscreen and in narration, as he states that he too had a friendship and romantic relationship with Ihlen. The ﬁlm opens on the Greek island of Hydra, where Cohen and Ihlen met in the 1960s. The setting is idyllic: a warm, beautiful island with pure blue water and white buildings. There were only a few non-Greeks living there at the time, including a group of artists and free thinkers like Ihlen, who was living there with her young son Axel after leaving her native Norway and separating from her ﬁrst husband. It all sounds utopian in the way everything about “free love” in the ’60s does if you shine the right light on it. The freedom! The sunshine! The drugs! The moonlight! Cohen and Ihlen quickly developed a strong relationship; she supported him as he wrote novels and he helped with her son. But it was only ideal on the surface. The kids especially were traumatized by the amount of freedom on the island, as several people describe the dangerous availability of LSD (Ihlen’s son went to an asylum as a young teenager after taking the drug). With his writing career failing, Cohen pivoted to music at age 33, after never having played or sung before. It was a shock to his and Ihlen’s relationship, as he started touring, living in Canada more, and sleeping with other women. They only saw each other a couple months or weeks out of the year. Cohen sees great success and
PHOTO: ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Marianne Ihlen and Leonard Cohen
MARIANNE & LEONARD: WORDS OF LOVE Directed by Nick Broomfield. Opens Fri., Aug. 16. Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown. cinema.pfpca.org
Ihlen is described mostly as a muse, one who surrounded herself with artists, writers, and musicians, but never found any artistic fulﬁllment herself. It’s the real curse of the muse; like the Giving Tree, they nurture and encourage and sacriﬁce all to one person who doesn’t return it as fully. While the ﬁlm sets out to follow the decades-long relationship, it’s mostly about Cohen’s life and career. The ﬁlm does a disservice to Ihlen by pretending it’s equally about her and Cohen. Old friends and bandmates of Cohen’s reminisce about how he wrote certain songs and what drugs he did during different performances. It gives insight into Cohen’s story, but not enough to feel wellrounded. It mentions only brieﬂy and casually, for example, that Cohen lived in a Zen Buddhist monastery for six years.
His kids are barely mentioned at all. Personal documentaries about celebrities’ lives can feel intrusive, but if the subject is interesting or juicy enough, it’s easy to overlook. But Marianne & Leonard feels too much like a bunch of people speculating about what their friends’ diary says. In one inappropriate moment, Broomﬁeld mentions that Ihlen was pregnant by Cohen and he drove her to get an abortion. One longtime friend says, “If anyone should’ve had Leonard’s children, she deserved to have them.” When someone becomes rich and famous because of their fans, they accept that with success comes an interest in their personal life. But that doesn’t mean it’s worth a full-length documentary, or that we deserve to make art out of their lives.
Follow staff writer Hannah Lynn on Twitter @hanfranny
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
DOUBLE FEATURE BY AMANDA WALTZ AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
LITTER BOX THEATER continues
its mission of presenting underground, DIY plays with its new project Double Feature. Taking place Aug. 16 and Aug. 17, Double Feature will present two distinctly different shows from participants in the venue’s Ten Minute Play Festival, a thrice-yearly event open to anyone interested in writing, directing, or performing live theater. “In some way, they’ve all participated in our Ten Minute Play Festival,” says Glitter Box co-founder and owner Teresa Martuccio. Unlike the festival, however, the works in Double Feature run between 30-45 minutes. From regular Ten Minute Play contributors Peter Kosloski and Mark Sepe comes Goodnight, Barry! The work centers on Barry Flowers, a ﬁctional late-night talk show host known for his “signature comedy stylings and penchant for booking the most cutting edge guests of our day.” Considering Flowers’ title as the “third most popular late-night talk show in the Greater Las Vegas metropolitan area,” it’s fair to assume that his appeal might be a bit exaggerated. Previously, Kosloski and Sepe wrote several works for the Ten Minute Play Festival, including Exquisite Dandies, The Cat’s Pajamas, and a play about windchimes. Double Feature’s second entry, Say That to my Face, and other dances, will take things in a different direction
PHOTO: JOSÉ PÉREZ IV
Rehearsal for Say That to my Face, and other dances
with a new performance described as a “collection of high-cardio choreography and improvised theatre games.”
DOUBLE FEATURE AT GLITTER BOX THEATER 7:30 p.m. Fri., Aug. 16 and 7:30 p.m. Sat., Aug. 17. 460 Melwood Ave. Oakland. $10. theglitterboxtheater.com
The 30-minute work comes courtesy of performer Taylor Couch and José Pérez IV, who specializes in a martial artsdriven art form known as “ﬁght theatre.”
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Previously, the creative duo, along with co-director Sarah Friedlander, brought Dance Show: A Dance Show to Glitter Box in March. Pérez also performed the original audience-assisted monologue You and I for Glitter Box’s May Ten Minute Play Festival. Pérez says he and his team continue to produce shows at Glitter Box because it is a “truly artist-centered performance space” that comes without the “pressures or restrictions that might come along with some more formal institutions.” “The staff are so clearly committed to supporting local creators and to provide us with what we need to
consistently experiment, test, and shine,” says Pérez. Mostly, Pérez and his team want the audience to experience something that’s high on fun and low on pretention. “As with the other dance and ﬁght theater shows we’ve created over the last year, we’re aiming to create performance material that is accessible for audiences, a joy to perform, and very sweaty,” says Pérez. “In general, we aspire to build performances that have the memorability and good vibes of a good old fashioned dance music video, the kind that you try out the moves when you get home.”
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.ART . .
BEASTS OF BURDEN BY AMANDA WALTZ AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
KATIE STONE admits to feeling more connected to .animals than to people. “I always joke that I like animals better,” says Stone, a ceramicist who also serves as the studio director at Stray Cat Studio in Beaver Falls, Penn. This preference informs much of her work and traces back to her childhood in Ellington, Conn., a farming community where she remembers tractors holding up trafﬁc and cows crossing the road. She spent much of her life working with horses, including rescuing and rehabilitating neglected racetrack horses in Baltimore, Md., where she went to school at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and in Alberta, Canada, where she also came face-to-face with the beef industry (she recalls seeing “miles of miles of slaughterhouses” there). Her latest exhibition Rose Colored Glasses — now on view at Sweetwater Center for the Arts through Sept. 7 — continues this fascination with animals and looks at our complicated relationship with them. “I feel like my work was always originally dark because there is so much beauty in our relationships with animals, but there’s also a lot of questions I have and problems that need to RTIST
PHOTO: KATIE STONE
Rose Colored Glasses
ROSE COLORED GLASSES AT SWEETWATER CENTER FOR THE ARTS Continues through Sat., Sept. 7. 200 Broad St., Sewickley. Free for members/$5 non-members. sweetwaterartcenter.org
be addressed,” says Stone. The collection includes new modellike ceramic sculptures featuring
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animals as characters in a “naive twodimensional narrative world of childlike doodles.” While described as “playful”
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and “tongue in cheek” on the Sweetwater website, Stone says the works explore a variety of questions, from how the roles of animals have changed over time, especially with the growth of the factory farming industry, to how their treatment aligns with how humans treat each other. “While we think we’re really different from [animals], we’re totally not,” says Stone. In order to draw the viewer into each sculpture, however, she wanted to make them more approachable. To achieve that, she forewent her usual life-sized sculpture for something she compares to Breyer, a popular line of collectible model horses. “That scale puts you in a position of ownership that’s really fun to play with,” she says. The comparison to Breyer horses, which are valued for their depictions of the equine ideal, ends there, however, as Stone wanted to move away from a level of perfection that she felt actually took away from the impact of her work. “I was perfecting them so much that it looked like something you’d buy at Walmart for a kid,” says Stone. “It deﬁnitely lost its soul … It wasn’t alive.” She then focused more on deﬁning ligaments and muscles that she believed would “show the animals in action and give them some more personality.” Ultimately, Stone hopes her art addresses big questions surrounding animal and human rights without coming off as scolding or bleak. “I want people to enjoy the experience and ﬁnd peace and joy in it while approaching a bigger conversation,” says Stone.
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
CLUTTER FOR A CAUSE BY HANNAH LYNN HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
HERE’S NO SIGHT more emblem-
atic of an Oakland summer than the massive piles of discarded couches, lamps, and desks lining the streets. Students, mostly from the University of Pittsburgh, who are moving, leaving for the summer, or leaving for good, abandon what they can’t or don’t want to carry. Many of the tossed items are in perfectly good condition, but without intervention, they end up in a landﬁll indeﬁnitely, since much of cheap college furniture is made of plastic. But as new generations move onto or around Pitt’s campus, many are doing so with the knowledge that waste is an urgent problem and major contributor to global warming. Pitt’s Clutter for a Cause program is run by the Ofﬁce of Sustainability, but it was started three years ago as a project by students who saw the need for a collection program to divert discarded furniture and home goods from landﬁlls. Now, the program has collection sites both on Pitt’s campus and off-campus in Oakland throughout the summer to collect dressers, lamps, microwaves, shelves, chairs, textbooks, clothes, and even non-perishable food items. Clutter for a Cause sets up collection stations where people can drop items off, but they also give out tags so people can
leave items on the sidewalk with a tag marking it for pickup. “These students who initiated the project thought, ‘How can we ﬁgure out a way to divert these items out of the landﬁll, or if they are too used to be used by anybody else, are there ways to recycle them and get them out of the landﬁll?’” says PittServes sustainability coordinator Erika Ninos.
SUSTAINABLE.PITT.EDU According to Ninos, this year’s on-campus collection gathered 1,200 pounds of household goods and 800 pounds of clothing to be resold at Pitt’s on-campus thrift store, Thriftsburgh. Clutter for a Cause also collected 8,000
pounds of goods to be donated to St. Vincent de Paul Society, Goodwill, and the Free Stores in Wilkinsburg and Braddock. Pitt is a member school of Post-Landﬁll Action Network (PLAN), an organization that helps colleges across the country manage their waste and implement more sustainable practices, including changing the move-out process, implementing food recovery, and eliminating plastics. PLAN also hosts an annual Students for Zero Waste Conference, which runs Oct. 11-13 at the University of Pennsylvania. Young Grguras, a recent Pitt graduate who now works at PLAN, says that the weight of the problem shouldn’t fall solely on the individual students, but also the big box stores peddling cheap, poorly made furniture. “These companies, not only should they stop using plastic and be looking
for alternatives, but they should not be pushing the advertising as much as they do to make us feel like we need this item to be a full person,” says Grguras. “They want you to spend money on their item, throw it away, and buy a new one next year.” When it comes to ethical consumption, in regards to both the environment and labor, there’s frequent talk about the dangers of “fast fashion” (cheaply made, mass-produced clothing), but less so for “fast furniture” from stores like Target and Ikea, which lure young people in with affordable prices for items that are not built to last in the long-term and are often made of cheap plastic. If you’ve bought furniture from Ikea, you’ve likely also had broken furniture from Ikea. “The more that we make and dispose of plastic, the more that we need to frack our natural resources and create facilities like the [ethane cracker plant] going up in Beaver,” says Grguras. “So it’s not just the fact that it’s going into a landﬁll and taking up space, but it’s creating and enforcing the linear consumption economy that’s making us continue to extract the natural resources that we don’t have an unlimited supply of.” But both Grguras and Ninos say that incoming students are increasingly aware of waste problems. Grguras says Clutter for a Cause has gotten proportionally fewer collections over the years, which they attribute to more awareness. “They understand that there are implications to single-use plastics, that nothing really ever goes away,” says Ninos. “They’re really the driving force behind it.”
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Laura Zorch McDermit
.ART . .
BACKSTAGE BY LISSA BRENNAN // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
NAME: Laura Zorch McDermit, Lawrenceville WORK: Manager of Social Engagement, Carnegie Museum of Art WHAT DOES YOUR TITLE MEAN? Department of Fun. Department of One, Department of Fun. Basically, my position was created out of the desire to reach people who haven’t been here in a long time or never before. It provides more social experiences, with elements of surprise, to get them through the door and say, “Hey, this museum is here for you.” It can be very big events or very small things as well. HOW DOES THAT TRANSLATE TO DAY-TO-DAY WORK? Coming up with ideas. Reaching out to collaborators, artists, performers. When I started, I was working a lot with our legal department. They were a little afraid: “We’re gonna put an ice skating
rink in the hall of sculpture!” ... “What?” But then they come around. I work with all of our central services — special events, catering, security. On the day of, lug everything around, walk 12 miles in the building, make sure everybody signs their waivers, get all the art supplies. And then the boring stuff, ﬁnancial, paperwork, etc. It’s probably more of the small background stuff than it is all the fun stuff. DO YOU MAINTAIN AN APPRECIATION FOR THE ARTS YOURSELF OR IS IT WORK? I can’t go to events. They make me nervous. I’m hyper-aware. I can still appreciate art and attend museums any time I can — not to scout, just to appreciate. I think that particularly when you’re working in a ﬁeld like this, it becomes so much your life. HOW’D YOU GET HERE? I ran a blog called eatPGH that did a lot
of events. My former boss here, Brad Stephenson, had eatPGH on a podcast where he would go out to lunch with people. I remember he advertised this job as, “We’re looking for Andrew W.K.,” someone who’s going to be able to do all of these things, bridge these gaps doing crazy stuff. I said, “I think I could do that.” It sounded like an interesting and fun challenge. AND IT WAS? I’ve been able to do some just absolutely insane things here; I’m so thankful for that. I don’t think I would have been able to do [that] anywhere else. LIKE WHAT? The ﬁrst Third Thursday we partnered with BOOM Concepts to do a silent disco. Pittsburgh is bad at buying tickets in advance. We didn’t even know if people were going to show up. We’re planning this event and this is the ﬁrst time and we don’t even know what’s
gonna happen. And it was just magic. It was literal magic. Around 600 people showed up, dancing all over the museum. It happened! We’re doing it, and it’s wonderful! I gave away a wedding. It was the sweetest thing that ever happened. People voted on the couple, and they were married here. Hundreds of people showed up to celebrate strangers; it was lovely. We hosted a great fashion show two years ago at the Ace Hotel. We were able to do a call for local artists to design looks; what they came up with was so absolutely unreal. It was based off the idea of an exhibition of Iris van Herpin, technology and fashion, and it was incredible. Those moments always reinforce, “OK, this was a good idea.” Sometimes I’m sitting there, covered in paperwork, and my ofﬁce needs to be burned down. Then the event happens and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is incredible. This is why we’re doing this.”
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WED., AUG. 28 THE WIGGLES PARTY TIME TOUR! 6:30 P.M. BYHAM THEATER DOWNTOWN. $45.25 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org
THU., AUG. 29 NIGHTRAIN - THE GUNS & ROSES TRIBUTE EXPERIENCE 6 P.M. JERGEL’S RHYTHM GRILLE WARRENDALE. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. $15-25. 724-799-8333 or ticketfly.com.
THU., AUG. 29 WE ARE THE WEIRDOS 7 P.M. SMILING MOOSE SOUTH SIDE. 21 and up. $7. 412-431-4668 or ticketfly.com.
THU., AUG. 29 KRAYZIE BONE (OF BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY) 6:30 P.M. CRAFTHOUSE SOUTH HILLS. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. $25-37.5. 412-653-2695 or ticketfly.com.
THU., AUG. 29 AFRO N’AT 6 P.M. THUNDERBIRD CAFÉ & MUSIC HALL LAWRENCEVILLE. 21 and up. $10. 412-331-1050 or roxianlive.com
SUN., AUG. 28 MAC SABBATH CRAFT HOUSE SOUTH HILLS..
6 P.M. SMILING MOOSE SOUTH SIDE. All-ages event. $13 412-431-4668 or ticketfly.com.
FRI., AUG. 30 SQUEEZE - THE SQUEEZE SONGBOOK TOUR 7 P.M. CARNEGIE MUSIC HALL MUNHALL. All-ages event. $44.75-79.75 412-462-3444 or ticketfly.com.
FRI., AUG. 30 STARSHIP MANTIS AND HELLTOWN BREWERY PRESENT ‘THA JUICE’ 7 P.M. THUNDERBIRD CAFÉ & MUSIC HALL LAWRENCEVILLE. 21 and up. $12 412-331-1050 or roxianlive.com
FRI., AUG. 30 G. LOVE & SPECIAL SAUCE 7:30 P.M. ROXIAN THEATRE MCKEES ROCKS. Under 18 must be with guardian. $25-27.50. 412-331-1050 or roxianlive.com
SAT., AUG. 31 UNDER THE BRIDGE
LAWRENCEVILLE. 21 and up. $12 412-331-1050 or roxianlive.com
SAT., AUG. 31 REI OUTDOOR SCHOOL: BACKCOUNTRY NAVIGATION 9 A.M. SOUTH PARK SOUTH PARK. Ages 12 and up. $80. alleghenycounty.us/parks
SUN., SEPT. 1 AS CITIES BURN 5:30 P.M. CRAFTHOUSE SOUTH HILLS. All-ages event. $17-29.50. 412-653-2695 or ticketfly.com.
SUN., SEPT. 1 L.L. BEAN DOG DAY HIKE 1 P.M. NORTH PARK ALLISON PARK. Ages 8 and up. Free event. alleghenycounty.us/parks
MON., SEPT. 2 POOCHES IN THE POOL 4 P.M. SETTLER’S CABIN PARK. $15 alleghenycounty.us/parks
TUE., AUG. 27 EXPLORING THE STABLE COMPLEX
THU., AUG. 29 PITTSBURGH IMPROV JAM
12 P.M. HOMESTEAD. All-ages event. Free event.
10 P.M. GREER CABARET THEATER DOWNTOWN. $3. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org
alleghenycounty.us/parks SAT., AUG. 31 ELEANOR WALRUS & FUNGUS TUE., AUG. 27 PLAY BEATLES VS THE LYNN SPEAKMAN QUINTET GRATEFUL DEAD 5 P.M. AGNES KATZ PLAZA DOWNTOWN.
FRI., AUG. 30 THE NEW RESPECTS
7 P.M. THUNDERBIRD CAFÉ & MUSIC HALL
12 P.M. HARTWOOD ACRES PARK. $6-8.
Free event. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org
FOR UPCOMING ALLEGHENY COUNTY PARKS EVENTS, LOG ONTO WWW.ALLEGHENYPARKS.COM PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
SKULL FEST 11 BY SARAH CONNOR INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
IRST-YEAR FESTS are generally a gamble, requiring time, money, and planning for something that could easily fail if the logistics aren’t tuned just right. For SKULL Fest, which debuted at Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive in 2008, the ﬁrst iteration proved that there was an appetite and passion for this kind of event, with two hundred people showing up for the inaugural day-long celebration of punk and hardcore. The festival, hosted by SKULL Records and founded by its owner Dustin Hanna, celebrates its 11th year this weekend. In contrast to its ﬁrst year, the 2019 festival will take place over the course of four days and feature more than 50 different bands. “SKULL Fest has grown a lot over time, and it has become what it is now, which is this holiday for Pittsburgh punks and for punks all over the world now,” says Hanna. “We get all the best fans of the genre from all over the world.” Everything kicks off Thu., Aug. 15 at Babyland, with Japanese hardcore punk band Skizophrenia headlining. The festival continues through Sunday, with a ﬁnale performance at Cattivo. Other performances will be held at Rock Room and Spirit throughout the weekend, with multiple shows at each venue. The festival has become a sort-of pilgrimage for bands and their fans
PHOTO: RUBELLA BALLET
UK band Rubella Ballet
SKULL FEST 11 Thu., Aug. 15-Sun., Aug. 18. Various locations throughout Pittsburgh. $25 for one-day pass. skullfestpgh.com
from around the globe. National acts such as SexPill from Houston and Geiger Counter from Minneapolis will take the stage, as well as international bands like Warwound and Rubella Ballet from the U.K., and Swordwiedler
from Sweden. SKULL Fest’s international appeal has helped the festival gain more recognition and put the Pittsburgh punk scene on the map. “I have a friend from Pittsburgh who lives in the UK now and he says that, ‘So many people, when they hear I’m from Pittsburgh, they ask if I’ve heard of SKULL Fest,’” says Hanna. “It’s crazy that it’s really so far-reaching.” Even with all of the attention SKULL
Fest has gained, for Hanna, it’s all about bringing love, community, and celebration to the punk scene right here in Pittsburgh. “I really love to see everybody reunite for the fest, and I love seeing everybody dig on the bands, and all the dancing and stage diving. I love to see everyone’s crazy styles,” says Hanna. “Every year, people’s hair and clothes and punk styles get crazier. The camaraderie is my favorite part and it keeps me wanting to do this every year.”
d e h c n u Br
. r a e Y e h t f o t n e v E h c n u r B h g r u b s The Pitt www.brunchedpittsburgh.com
.FOR THE WEEK OF AUG. 15
FREE WILL ASTROLOGY BY ROB BREZSNY // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It’s relatively rare, but now and then people receive money or gifts from donors they don’t know. Relatives they’ve never met may bequeath them diamond tiaras or alpaca farms or bundles of cash. I don’t think that’s exactly what will occur for you in the coming weeks, but I do suspect that you’ll garner blessings or help from unexpected sources. To help ensure the best possible versions of these acts of grace, I suggest that you be as generous as possible in the kindness and attention you offer. Remember this verse from the Bible: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Libra-born Ronald McNair was an African American who grew up in a racist town in South Carolina in the 1950s. The bigotry cramped his freedom, but he rebelled. When he was nine years old, he refused to leave a segregated library, which prompted authorities to summon the police. Years later, McNair earned a PhD in Physics from MIT and became renowned for his research on laser physics. Eventually, NASA chose him to be an astronaut from a pool of 10,000 candidates. That library in South Carolina? It’s now named after him. I suspect that you, too, will soon receive some vindication, Libra: a reward or blessing or consecration that will reconfigure your past.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Scorpio author Zadie Smith wrote, “In the end, your past is not my past and your truth is not my truth and your solution — is not my solution.” I think it will be perfectly fine if sometime soon you speak those words to a person you care about. In delivering such a message, you won’t be angry or dismissive. Rather, you will be establishing good boundaries between you and your ally; you will be acknowledging the fact that the two of you are different people with different approaches to life. And I bet that will ultimately make you closer.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Nothing fruitful ever comes when plants are forced to flower in the wrong season,” wrote author and activist Bette Lord. That’s not
the coming weeks: a unique sound that would boost your wild confidence and help give you full access to your primal lust for life.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Moray eels have two sets of jaws. The front set does their chewing. The second set, normally located behind the first, can be launched forward to snag prey they want to eat. In invoking this aggressive strategy to serve as a metaphor for you in the coming weeks, I want to suggest that you be very dynamic and enterprising as you go after what you want and need. Don’t be rude and invasive, of course, but consider the possibility of being audacious and zealous.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough,” said Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, ex-President of Liberia. In accordance with astrological imperatives, I propose that we make that your watchword for the foreseeable future. From what I can tell, you’re due to upgrade your long-term goals. You have the courage and vision necessary to dare yourself toward an even more fulfilling destiny than you’ve been willing or ready to imagine up until now.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): entirely true. For example, skilled and meticulous gardeners can compel tulip and hyacinth bulbs to flower before they would naturally be able to. But as a metaphor, Lord’s insight is largely accurate. And I think you’ll be wise to keep it in mind during the coming weeks. So my advice is: don’t try to make people and processes ripen before they are ready. But here’s a caveat: You might have modest success working to render them a bit more ready.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): “For though we often need to be restored to the small, concrete, limited, and certain, we as often need to be reminded of the large, vague, unlimited, unknown.” Poet A. R. Ammons formulated that shiny burst of wisdom, and now I’m passing it on to you. As I think you know, you tend to have more skill at and a greater inclination toward the small, concrete, limited, and certain. That’s why, in my opinion, it’s rejuvenating for you to periodically exult in and explore what’s large, vague, unlimited, unknown. Now is one of those times.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “Look into my eyes. Kiss me, and you will see how important I am.” Poet Sylvia Plath wrote that, and now, in accordance with astrological omens, I’m authorizing you to say something similar to anyone who is interested in you but would benefit from gazing more deeply into your soul and entering into a more profound relationship with your mysteries. In other words, you have
cosmic permission to be more forthcoming in showing people your beauty and value.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): In his Anti-Memoirs, author André Malraux quotes a tough-minded priest who served in the French Resistance during World War II. He spent his adult life hearing his parishioners’ confessions. “The fundamental fact is that there’s no such thing as a grown-up person,” the priest declared. Even if that’s mostly true, Pisces, my sense is that it is less true about you right now than it has ever been. In the past months, you have been doing good work to become more of a fully realized version of yourself. I expect that the deepening and maturation process is reaching a culmination. Don’t underestimate your success! Celebrate it!
ARIES (March 21-April 19): How did sound technicians create the signature roar of the fictional monster Godzilla? They slathered pine-tar resin on a leather glove and stroked it against the strings of a double bass. How about the famous howl of the fictional character Tarzan? Sonic artists blended a hyena’s screech played backwards, a dog’s growl, a soprano singer’s fluttered intonation slowed down, and an actor’s yell. Karen O, lead singer of the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, periodically unleashes very long screams that may make the hair stand up on the back of her listeners’ necks. In accordance with astrological omens, I’d love to see you experiment with creating your own personal Yowl or Laugh or Whisper of Power in
How did our ancestors ever figure out that the calendula flower can be used as healing medicine for irritated and inflamed skin? It must have been a very long process of trial and error. (Or did the plant somehow “communicate” to indigenous herbalists, informing them of its use?) In any case, this curative herb is only one of hundreds of plants that people somehow came to adjudge as having healing properties. “Miraculous” is not too strong a word to describe such discoveries. According to my analysis of the astrological omens, Gemini, you now have the patience and perspicacity to engage in a comparable process: to find useful resources through experiment and close observation — with a hardy assist from your intuition.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Today the city of Timbuktu in Mali is poor and in the throes of desertification. But from the 14th to 17th centuries, it was one of the great cultural centers of the world. Its libraries filled up with thousands of influential books, which remained intact until fairly recently. In 2012, Al-Qaeda jihadists conceived a plan to destroy the vast trove of learning and scholarship. One man foiled them. Abba al-Hadi, an illiterate guard who had worked at one of the libraries, smuggled out many of the books in empty rice sacks. By the time the jihadists started burning, most of the treasure had been relocated. I don’t think the problem in your sphere is anywhere near as dire as this, Cancerian. But I do hope you will be proactive about saving and preserving valuable resources before they’re at risk of being diluted, compromised, or neglected.
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CRAFTYJACKALOPE.COM PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
SEVEN DAYS OF ARTS+ENTERTAINMENT
PHOTO: HEATHER MULL
^ Thu., Aug. 15: Queer, Jewish: Dancing in Diaspora
THURSDAY AUG. 15 FEST Up until the middle of the 20th century, “pulp” was a popular genre of books and magazines, so named for the cheap wood-pulp paper used in printing. Their popularity gradually declined, but there are still those who honor the
sensational and kitschy form, and you can find them at PulpFest at DoubleTree - Cranberry, an annual festival dedicated to sharing, discussing, and marveling at all pulp has to offer. The three days of programming include speakers, auctions, films screenings, and more. 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Continues through Sun., Aug. 18. 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars. $20-70. pulpfest.com
THEATER For most plays, the audience knows which
actors will be playing which characters. It’s one of the few certainties in theater. But at Everybody by 12 Peers Theater at the Cathedral of Learning, a twist on the 15th century play Everyman, the lead character is chosen from the cast by lottery for each performance, as they “travel down a road toward life’s greatest mystery.” There are 120 possible casting combinations, so you could see it every night of its run and not see the same show twice. 8 p.m. Continues through
Sun., Aug. 18. 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. $20. 12peers.org
DANCE Local multidisciplinary artist Moriah Ella Mason draws on Jewish folklore and texts for Queer, Jewish: Dancing in Diaspora. With a cast of five Jewish and/or queer artists and music by slowdanger, the 80-minute work combines dance and text to explore the intersection of identities. Presented by off the WALL Productions, CONTINUES ON PG. 56
THANK YOU TO OUR PERFORMERS Benji. DJ TJ Harris Smokestack Lightning
Iron City Circus Arts Pittsburgh Circus Arts Collaborative Icky Vicky DJ Breis
DJ Femi DJ Grooveline DJ Snowbunni PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
CALENDAR, CONTINUED FROM PG. 54
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^ Thu., Aug. 15: PulpFest
the show also looks at “queer and feminist themes in Jewish sacred texts” and queer bodies, while using futuristic costumes to re-imagine a new world. 8 p.m. Continues through Sun., Aug. 18. 25 W. Main St., Carnegie. $10-20. insideoffthewall.com
FILM It seems impossible to laugh at a 1970s sci-fi movie about a meteorite hitting Wisconsin and causing a small town to be overrun by giant spiders, but the performers of RiffTrax are going to give it their best. The Giant Spider Invasion was released in 1975 to moderate success and has since achieved cult status in the realm of campy sci-fi horror with cheap effects (the giant spider is a VW Bug covered in hair and prop legs). It’s one of the most popular Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes of all time, and MST3K descendent RiffTrax is revisiting the classic for an episode screened at SouthSide Works Cinema. 8 p.m. 425 Cinema Drive, South Side. $12.50. “RiffTrax Live: Giant Spider Invasion” on Facebook
FRIDAY AUG. 16 ART On her website, painter Leann Schmidt describes how her worked changed after watching the 2017 eclipse in totality, writing that “bursts of bright
light pointing out like lasers behind the blackened moon was like watching a show staged in another world.” Her show at Ketchup City Creative, Shining in the Sky, features a collection of pieces inspired by the ever-changing appearance of the sky. Continues through Sun., Aug. 18. 612 Main St., Sharpsburg. ketchupcity.com
STAGE The name is a bit deceiving. Fun Home, the final production of Front Porch Theatricals’ “Family…Secrets” season, is a Tony Award-winning musical originally based on a graphic memoir of the same name. Queer artist Alison Bechdel’s coming-of-age story focuses on three stages of her life growing up in a dysfunctional home, dealing with gender roles, abuse, and suicide. It was the first Broadway show to feature a lesbian protagonist and the unforgettable story is as pertinent today as ever. 8 p.m. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $12-35. frontporchpgh.com
SATURDAY AUG. 17 THRIFT Thriftique is sending love back to its beloved second-hand shoppers this National Thrift Shop Day. The Lawrenceville shop is hosting its sixth holiday celebration, featuring serious discounts. Picnic food will be broken CONTINUES ON PG. 58
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CALENDAR, CONTINUED FROM PG. 56
PHOTO: GREG MESSMER
^ Thu., Aug. 15: Everybody
out at noon; every shopper who spends over five dollars will get a free hot dog and chips. Other surprises (and prizes!) are scheduled throughout the day. 10 a.m. 125 51st St., Butler St., Lawrenceville. Free. ncjwthriftique.com.
WORKSHOP Most museum patrons who frequent the Mattress Factory look forward to seeing modern art in the forms of photography, wall paintings, and even technology, such as creative lighting and robotic sculptures. Now, art fans get the chance to make their own forms of modern art with the ARTLab Fabric Scraps Workshop. Participants can turn old fabric scraps into lively items such as magnets, journals, and baskets. 1-4 p.m. 500 Sampsonia Way, North Side. Free with admission. mattress.org
POETRY Everyone’s favorite independent bookstore, White Whale (at least for
City Paper readers, who voted it this year’s Best Local Bookstore), has hosted writers such as Anjali Sachdeva and Sarah Elaine Smith for its various book signings and readings. Next on the list is a poetry reading featuring Brooklyn-based poet Edmund Berrigan with additional readings from Pittsburgh poets Karen Lillis and Lauren Russell. Berrigan will read from his new book, More, Gone. 7 p.m. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. whitewhalebookstore.com
ART Pittsburgh-based writer/director Adil Mansoor revisits the Greek tragedy Antigone for his latest work, Amm(i)gone. Presented as part of a month-long residency at Kelly Strayhorn Theater, the work-in-progress show uses Sophocles’ ill-fated, mythological heroine — the product of the incestuous marriage between Oedipus and his mother, Jocasta — to create an original performance
that serves as an apology to and from his mother. Using teachings from the Quran and audio conversations with his mother, Mansoor produces an exploration of queerness and love across faith. The event includes a post-show discussion with Mansoor. 8 p.m. 5941 Penn Ave., East Liberty. Pay what you can. kelly-strayhorn.org
SUNDAY AUG. 18 EVENT Lazlo Productions, the group behind some of Pittsburgh’s best LGBTQ events, is starting something new. On Sunday, join the community at the Persad Center for the first-ever Quarterly Queer Carnival — Flea Market and Food Drive. Bring a shelf-stable item for the Persad Center pantry to enter and then enjoy the carnival of vendors, artists, and activities.
Each event will donate a portion of proceeds to a local organization. This month, profits go to True T PGH. 10 a.m. 5301 Butler St., Lawrenceville. Suggested donation. “Quarterly Queer Carnival~ Flea Market and Food Drive” on Facebook
STAGE/FILM Most people know about the downfall of the Lehman Brothers investment bank in September 2008 and the housing crisis/worldwide recession that followed. But lesser known is the company’s origin story, which is equally dramatic but less nefarious. Catch this amazing story in a unique setting as Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty) directs The Lehman Trilogy at the Royal National Theatre. If you can’t make it to London this weekend, the show will be broadcast live to theaters across the world as a part of National Theatre Live, including here at SouthSide Works.
^ Sat., Aug. 17: Amm(i)gone
Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley, and Ben Miles star as the three Lehman brothers in 1844, as well as their sons and grandsons over the following 163 years, ending with the company’s collapse. 7 p.m. Also Wed., Aug. 21. 425 Cinema Drive, South Side. $20. nationaltheatre.org.uk
MONDAY AUG. 19 STAGE Aunt Ester, the mythic “cleaner of souls,” looms large throughout August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle. A former slave who lived to 322 years old, Ester and her house at 1839 Wylie Ave. in the Hill District pop up directly and subtly throughout the series, but it’s in Gem of the Ocean, the 1900s entry in Wilson’s cycle, that we get the most insight into this enigmatic character. The play is among Wilson’s more mystical, with the primary plot involving Ester taking a journey on a slave ship (from which the play gets its title) to the underwater City of Bones. The rest of play takes place, fittingly, at 1839 Wylie Ave., which is also where this production from Pittsburgh Playwrights is being staged. Pittsburgh is lucky to have Wilson’s legacy and so many cultural institutions that honor and celebrate it, and witnessing one of his works in the exact location it’s set is too good an opportunity to pass up. 7:30 p.m. Continues through Sun., Sept. 22. 1839 Wylie Ave., Hill District. $36.78. pghplaywrights.org
TUESDAY AUG. 20
VARIETY SHOW City of Asylum brings an impressive mix of diverse and internationallyacclaimed writers to its Alphabet City stage throughout the year, but at Staff Showcase: Artists of COA, it’s the folks behind the scenes who will be in the spotlight. Employees at the local community-based nonprofit include a variety of talented writers, poets, actors, and artists who will step out from behind the curtain to take the stage, along with City of Asylum’s current exiled writers-in-residence Osama Alomar and Tuhin Das. Expect an evening of songs, readings, and performance art. 7 p.m. 40 W. North Ave., North Side. Free with RSVP. alphabetcity.org
WEDNESDAY AUG. 21 LECTURE The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame might be two hours away in Cleveland, but locals can get a taste of the music and history the museum has to offer without leaving Pennsylvania. The museum’s director of curatorial affairs, Nwaka Onwusa, will visit the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg to lead a conversation and listening session celebrating the creativity and impact of rock ‘n’ roll during the 1960s and ’70s. 7-8:30 p.m. 221 N. Main St., Greensburg. $10. thewestmoreland.org • PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
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IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-10592, In re petition of Ashley Johnston parent and legal guardian of Kaelyn Watson, for change of name to Kaelyn Johnston. 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 September, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for
IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-9727. In re petition of Renae Roscart for change of name to Renae Pilardi. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the ﬁling of said petition and ﬁxed the 13th day of September, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for. Attorney for the Petitioner David J. Slesnick, Esq. 310 Grant Street, #1220, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-9261. In re petition of Quency Lamar Head for change of name to Quency Lamar Jones. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the ﬁling of said petition and ﬁxed the 15th day of August, 2019, at 9:45 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for
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UNDER THE BORED WALK BY BRENDAN EMMETT QUIGLEY // WWW.BRENDANEMMETTQUIGLEY.COM
M ER V E N
RY! O T AS
S EW N G
OP ’S T
EK WE S I TH
A LOC E LIV
47. Thieves’s hangouts 1. Vans alternative 51. Like a spot 5. Chill (with) where you can’t 9. Marries really go fishing? 13. Like colcannon 54. Modern start or boxty 55. Long hikes 15. Lab technician 56. Nittany Lions’ sch. who had a hunch 57. Old saying 16. 64-Across partner 58. Fringe-___ lizard 17. Oceanfront that’s 59. Totally, whatever just an illusion? place to go swimming? 19. Big name in 63. Rare blood cat food type: Abbr. 20. Soldier with six legs 64. 16-Across partner 21. Strand in 65. He’s got a biology class certain gift 22. One of the Robbies 66. Jump in a tutu on the soccer radio 67. Marriage proof show “The 2 Robbies” 68. Staycation goal 24. Bullshit 25. Literally the least interesting hill of sand? 1. Times you might 29. New England fish bring your own crib 31. Parts of 2. Like a lot of some windows 90s humor 32. The Dream, on 3. Trash WNBA scoreboards 4. Pompous twit 33. Memoji platform 5. Parts of some 35. Padre’s hermana drum kits 36. Power 6. Long ___ provider: Abbr. 7. Boolean operator 37. Really boring 8. Location of the day where you wanted world’s largest to go swimming, national park but couldn’t? 9. “That 41. Raw on was unexpected” the barbecue 10. Assess 42. Hot shot 11. Ronald 43. Finished Reagan and Margaret 44. Morning times Thatcher had it 45. Wolfed down 12. Most college essay
writers, briefly 14. One who’s always thinking about doing it 18. ___-Caps 23. Sessions and Barr: Abbr. 26. “Let’s talk sometime” 27. Court bad boy Nastase 28. Peel back? 30. Swine whine 34. Measure of progress at the bottom of a computer window 36. Meat inspection org. 37. Coupon stipulation
38. Type of parking 39. Founder of Rhyme $yndicate Records 40. Relaxing spa offerings 41. Hyena’s mitt 45. Just fine 46. ___ hot 48. Bonkers 49. Doesn’t just sit there 50. “Yeah, and?” 52. Have second thoughts 53. Laptop key 58. ___ Mahotsav (annual festival in Agra) 60. Jungle cuckoo 61. Labor day figure? 62. Swab target
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LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS
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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER AUG. 14-21, 2019
PEEPSHOW A sex and social justice column BY JESSIE SAGE // PEEPSHOWCAST@GMAIL.COM
TERM “demisexual” was coined in 2006 on the forums of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), but it’s only been in the last year or so that I started to see it commonly embraced as an identity, especially on social media platforms and dating apps. In simple terms, demisexual is used to describe folks who do not experience a strong sexual attraction to someone unless or until they form an emotional bond with them. When I ﬁrst learned this, I remember feeling both seen (I can’t remember the last time I crushed on someone I wasn’t already close with), and a bit confused. Is this really remarkable? Enough to be an identity marker? Then I remembered the countless conversations that I had growing up, and that I occasionally have now, with friends who would list the celebrities they wanted to have sex with, the coworkers they are secretly fantasizing about, and the sexy waiters and bartenders that make them stumble on their order, making me wonder if my own sexual indifference to strangers and acquaintances isn’t something worth examining though a demi lens. So, I asked some folks who identify as demi to tell me how they experience their own sexuality and how they relate to the label. Christina G, a graduate student in HE
the mental health ﬁeld, also has come to realize that her sexual attraction is different from that of many of her peers. “I never felt attraction the way my friends did growing up, and I never really realized that difference until much later on,” she says. “Sure, I can see when somebody is conventionally attractive or hot, but it doesn’t affect me the way it does my friends.” Dulcinea, a professional dominant, has had similar experiences. “I started masturbating when I was 11 or 12, and I have always had a really high physical sex drive. But I was never boy crazy,” she says. “I kinda had crushes, but only romantic ones. I wanted all
of the beautiful, romantic aspects of having a boyfriend.” The word demi itself means half. In this context, someone who is demisexual is somewhere halfway between sexual and asexual. And yet, as Dulcinea points out, demisexuals enjoy sex, just sex within particular contexts. “It is easy for people to confuse demisexuality with having zero desire for sex, I have an extremely high sex drive, but if I don’t have the fundamental of mutual respect and foundation, then I take it upon myself to be responsible for my body feeling pleasure,” she says. Calista Roxxx, an adult entertainer
and performance artist, says that while she enjoys sex (and makes a living from it), she needs much more of a connection in her personal sex life. “I feel very strange in intimate situations with people that I am not 100 percent comfortable with,” she says. “I can’t just have a simple date or hookup with someone I don’t know, it feels fake and inauthentic.” Christina G points out that the emotional connection needed in order to experience sexual desire comes in different forms. “When I do have sexual attraction, it is always with somebody I have an emotional connection with,” she says. “Though that emotional connection may be from clicking well on a ﬁrst date, or from getting to know somebody over months. It can be vastly different types of emotional connection and time spans.” So back to my original question, is demisexuality remarkable? It seems worth mentioning that hookup culture leads us to believe that no strings attached (NSA) sex is the norm (despite some evidence to the contrary). In this context, it is important for those of us who don’t readily identify with hookup culture to have a framework to be able to talk about where our sexual desires come from and what sort of sexual relationships we are interested in cultivating.
JESSIE SAGE IS CO-HOST OF THE PEEPSHOW PODCAST AT PEEPSHOWPODCAST.COM. HER COLUMN PEEPSHOW IS EXCLUSIVE TO PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER. FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER @PEEP_CAST. HAVE A SEX QUESTION YOU’RE TOO AFRAID TO ASK? ASK JESSIE! EMAIL INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM. QUESTIONS MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR AN UPCOMING COLUMN.
Pittsburgh’s lone liberal talkshow host for 30+ years Listen live Monday thru Thursday at 10 a.m. at lynncullen.pghcitypaper.com 62
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Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly, featuring a cover story on the conflict over Bloomfield's largest annual neighborhoo...
Published on Aug 13, 2019
Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly, featuring a cover story on the conflict over Bloomfield's largest annual neighborhoo...