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INSIDE: WHY ULTRAMARATHON PARTICIPANT GREG BRUNNER WON’T STOP RUNNING FREE EVERY WEDNESDAY PITTSBURGH’S ALTERNATIVE FOR NEWS, ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT EEN NTERTAINMENT SINCE SI S IN NC CE 1991

Shop local with Black-owned body care shop Tonic and Sage

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Micah Porter, 6, who plays for the “Babytwerps” North Side Steelers, and Nasir Reese, 9, who plays for the “Termites” North Side Steelers, pose for a portrait on their front porch before leaving for practice on Thu., Sept. 16.

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SEPT. 22-29, 2021 VOLUME 30 + ISSUE 38 Editor-In-Chief LISA CUNNINGHAM Director of Advertising JASMINE HUGHES Director of Operations KEVIN SHEPHERD Managing Editor RYAN DETO A&E Editor AMANDA WALTZ Staff Writers DANI JANAE, KIMBERLY ROONEY 냖㵸蔻 Photographer/Videographer JARED WICKERHAM Editorial Designer LUCY CHEN Graphic Designer JEFF SCHRECKENGOST Digital Marketing Coordinator DARYA KHARABI Sales Representatives ZACK DURKIN, OWEN GABBEY, HANNAH MORAN-FUNWELA Circulation Manager JEFF ENGBARTH Featured Contributors REGE BEHE, MIKE CANTON, LYNN CULLEN, TERENEH IDIA Interns TIA BAILEY, ISABELLA DIAZ, JASON PHOX National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529 Publisher EAGLE MEDIA CORP.

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER SEPTEMBER 22-29, 2021

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Greg Brunner completes a speed workout on the Millvale River Trail on Aug. 10, 2021.

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PHOTO ESSAY

THE LONG RUN BY KAYCEE ORWIG // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

“I

KNEW I COULD RUN a half marathon. I knew I could run a marathon. I didn’t know if I could run 100 miles,” Greg Brunner said to me when we sat down to reflect on his first ultramarathon, a 50.3mile race on the Baker Trail. In fact, the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge — a footrace on the north section of the 134-mile trail that traverses six Western Pennsylvania counties — was not just the Millvale resident’s first ultramarathon, but his first official long-distance race ever.

Before stepping up to the start line of The Baker Trail at 6:30 a.m. on Sat., Aug. 28, Greg’s legs had only ever endured 20 miles in a single run. About nine hours of running later, Greg made it over 46.7 miles to the ninth and final aid station before the finish. After walking that final, stormy five-mile stretch with his dad, Greg came to the car shivering uncontrollably, saying, “I feel like I’m going to pass out.” Greg’s dad, Kevin Brunner, and his strength coach, Donny Donovan, helped

him into dry clothes, got him more water, and allowed him to lie down in the trunk of the car, but Greg wasn’t able to recover and finish the race. The head volunteer at that final aid station had experienced Greg’s symptoms before and urged him to drop out and go to the hospital. And it’s a good thing he did. At the hospital, he discovered that he was suffering from hyponatremia, or a salt deficiency. His sodium levels were at 110, the lowest they could get before things got much worse.

Greg Brunner prepares himself before the 6:30 a.m. start time on race day.

CONTINUES ON PG. 6

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER SEPTEMBER 22-29, 2021

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PHOTO ESSAY, CONTINUED FROM PG. 5

Runners gather across from the start line in Summerville, Pa. the morning of the race on Aug. 28, 2021.

Greg Brunner drinks water and gets cooled off at aid station two at mile 10.3 of the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge.

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When I saw Greg next, two days later, he was fully recovered and already thinking about his next race. For Greg, this story is far from over. Running had given him a purpose, and he had the right people to support him along the way. Greg’s running journey began in February 2020 when he and his dad set out to run three half marathons, three days in a row around the Grand Canyon. Although the COVID-19 pandemic canceled those plans, Greg’s passion for running had already been sparked, and two of his best friends were already equipped to help him continue his journey. Matt Mauclair, Greg’s current running coach, started to train Greg. Donny, his former bandmate in the local band Hearken, became his strength coach soon after. It seemed to me like a beautiful coincidence, but Greg corrected me: “I don’t think it’s a coincidence … these people were in my life for

a reason and that reason happened later on.” Those people found him, Greg says, just like running found him. Before running, Greg had suffered through years of chronic pain, which kept him from hanging out with people and experiencing life. “It wasn’t until I started running,” Greg says, “that I really started to feel like I was getting out and actually getting back to that pure version of who I am and who I was made to be.” For Greg, it became clear that he was made to run, so his journey didn’t stop at that ninth aid station or at the Punxsutawney Area Hospital. He says he feels that his technical “failure” to reach 50.3 miles was, in fact, not a failure at all. He is grateful for the experience he gained from those miles on the Baker Trail and is now taking what he has learned into future races. “100 miles is the goal,” says Greg, “and that was the goal from the start.”

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Greg Brunner embraces his dad at aid station number 3 during mile 16 of the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge.

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Greg Brunner walks into his final aid station at mile 46.7 with his dad, Kevin Brunner. CONTINUES ON PG. 8

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER SEPTEMBER 22-29, 2021

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PHOTO ESSAY, CONTINUED FROM PG. 7

Greg Brunner lies down after 3.6 miles from the finish line at aid station 9 of the Baker Trail Ultra Challenge before dropping out of the race for health reasons.

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Donny Donovan and Kevin Brunner assist Greg Brunner walking into the hospital following his ultramarathon.

Greg Brunner’s hospital discharge paper, showing his diagnosis of hyponatremia, a salt deficiency.

Follow Greg Brunner’s running journey at instagram.com/recurerunning

Greg Brunner goes for a run.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER SEPTEMBER 22-29, 2021

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CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

The Clairton Coke Works facility in Clairton, Pa.

.NEWS.

CLEARING THE AIR BY RYAN DETO // RYANDETO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

O

N DEC. 24, 2018, part of Clairton Coke

Works caught fire and knocked out the pollution controls at the U.S. Steel facility, causing the surrounding Mon Valley’s air quality to plummet to dangerous levels. Studies have shown the pollution from the fire led to exacerbated asthma rates among residents, including increasing the number of hospital emergency department visits by asthma sufferers in the Clairton area to nearly double following the fire. Six months later, a second fire hit the coke works, and air pollution control devices were again suspended. The fires and resulting air pollution were so bad, it

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forced the hand of the Allegheny County Health Department who, prior to these incidents, wasn’t always apt to enforce air quality regulations. ACHD, which has the authority to doll out fines and regulations concerning public health in Allegheny County, took action against U.S. Steel with an enforcement order and fines; eventually, the two parties reached a settlement in 2019 that included $200 million in plant improvements, annual environmental audits for five years, annual reports of the company’s environmental improvements, and an established Community Benefit Trust for affected Mon Valley communities.

However, amid U.S. Steel’s apparent desire to turn over a new leaf, it is requesting relief from air pollution regulations instituted by the county. In a legal brief filed on Sept. 9, the steel company is arguing that regulations related to the settlement are not applicable to Clairton Coke Works’ coke oven batteries. To many who have been fighting for better air quality in the Pittsburgh region, it is just another chapter in U.S. Steel’s long history of fighting against air pollution regulations. And to the air quality advocates at the Group Against Smog and Pollution, it’s another disappointment in the face of recent statements U.S. Steel


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The Clairton Coke Works facility in Clairton, Pa.

HOWEVER, AMID U.S. STEEL’S APPARENT DESIRE TO TURN OVER A NEW LEAF, IT IS REQUESTING RELIEF FROM AIR POLLUTION REGULATIONS INSTITUTED BY THE COUNTY. has made about wanting to become a more environmentally friendly company. In April, when U.S. Steel announced canceling expansion plans for facilities in the Mon Valley, U.S. Steel CEO David Burritt said part of the reason was the company’s desire to become carbon neutral by 2050. “They like to come across as a good corporate citizen and they want to clean up in the act, but when it comes down to it, they are fighting that effort,” says GASP director Rachel Filippini. U.S. Steel’s argument against ACHD, according to the legal brief, is that there is “no reasonable dispute” the proposed hydrogen sulfide emission standards for the coke works’ ovens are more stringent than the current standards, and, therefore, shouldn’t be applied. “ACHD agreed that it would not impose more stringent limits for coke ovens unless it first determines that the limits were technically feasible and based on specific criteria in the [settlement agreement] and the rulemaking is shown to correlate with a measurable reduction in benzene and hydrogen sulfide at the nearby Liberty Monitor,” reads the brief. U.S. Steel did not respond to a request for comment for this story. Allegheny County Health Department Spokesperson Chris Togneri says the department can’t comment on ongoing legal matters. However, GASP wrote on its blog that “ACHD has maintained that it can indeed impose more stringent limits — that, in fact, it is required by law to do just that.”

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Filippini also notes that U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley facilities have already had 35 hydrogen sulfide violations this year, and the company has already outpaced last year’s exceedances and will likely reach pre-COVID levels by the end of the year. “They already have 35 violations this year with four months left to go,” says Filippini. “It is a public health issue, and a quality of life issue.” Hydrogen sulfide is not a greenhouse gas, though coke ovens do produce those as well, and it usually produces a noxious smell that can reach most parts of Allegheny County. Hydrogen sulfide is also referred to as H2S, as well as sewer gas, swamp gas, stink damp, and sour damp. According to the Centers for Disease Control, acute exposure of H2S can result in nausea, headaches, disturbed equilibrium, and skin and eye irritation. Repeated or prolonged exposure has been reported to cause low blood pressure, headache, nausea, eye-membrane inflammation, and chronic cough. Part of U.S. Steel’s cancellation plans include taking three of Clairton Coke Works’ most polluting batteries offline, which should improve regional air quality. But Filippini says those moves are not immediate, and the H2S violations are something that need to be addressed immediately. “It is not a problem that we can kick down the road because it is affecting us right now,” says Filippini. “It is just frustrating that this has gone on so long. And the health department’s attempt to rectify the problem is being stymied and delayed by U.S. Steel.”

Follow managing editor Ryan Deto on Twitter @RyanDeto PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER SEPTEMBER 22-29, 2021

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.VIEWS.

AM I RACIST? BY TERENEH IDIA // CPCONTRIBUTORS@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

W

ORDS MATTER. Language has the

power to heal, hurt, celebrate, or condemn. We can speak the same language, use the same words, and still not mean the same thing. I do not mean toe-May-toe vs. toe-Ma-toe. Nor do I mean elevator vs. lift or apartment vs. flat. So, what do I mean? I mean to quote Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Powerful words used once incorrectly create misunderstanding and conflict. Below is my attempt to share more holistic, inclusive, and healing definitions in the context of social justice. To use this guide, we have to acknowledge that words have been used to dehumanize and reduce the value of people in this country. Those words can be tied to race, social economics, gender, national origin, and more. This is not a definitive list, but it’s the first in an ongoing occasional series to get to the heart of the words we say so often but do not truly understand. Racism. Oh yes, I am starting here. When you read dictionary definitions, they often over-simplify what racism is. Things like Merriam-Webster’s definition of racism: “racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” To me, this is only a preamble, and a messy one, at that, as it gives all of us the same racial power and standing. However, I know that as a Black woman, I can feel all the superiority in the world, but without any systemic power that I can wield to support that idea, any feelings I may have of “racial superiority” has the same impact as a slogan on a mug. You can see it, roll your eyes at it, but it won’t impact you getting a house loan, stopped by the police,

more disciplined by a teacher, poor health care, or lower grades in school. Your annoyance of seeing my “Black is Beautiful” mug won’t take years off your life. Webster gets more to the point with its second entry, which hits on the key ingredient, central to what makes racism work: “the systemic oppression of a racial group to the social, economic, and political advantage of another specifically white supremacy.” That’s it, Webster! The system, that power backing white supremacy, is the key. Without it, you do not have racism. So racism is an inherent belief in the existence of different races within the one human race and a racial hierarchy with whiteness as the top, which is centered, celebrated, and maintained by systematic oppression of those not identified as white. White Supremacy. If you are to trust your Twitter and Facebook timelines — and don’t we all? — we are led to believe that there are a few horribly ignorant white supremacists and Nazis around but, for the most part, whiteness is benign. However, I am more of the hip-hop artist Guante’s school of thought that “white supremacy is not a shark, it is the water.” White supremacy is: 1. The acceptance that, although we are all one human race, different skin color or national origin or ancestry equals a different species or race. 2. That there is a hierarchy of these races. 3. That whiteness is a biological fact and not a social construct 4. White cards are given out like Scouting Merit Badges, you “earn” them one at a time. (Check out the history of when Irish and Italians became white.) 5. You believe that whiteness and white people are the superior of all other human beings, manifested in white people

“THE QUESTION IS, “HOW MANY OF US AREN’T WHITES SUPREMACISTS?” HOW CAN WE LEARN TO UNLEARN WITH THEM? BECAUSE THIS COUNTRY IS WORSE THAN “A HOUSE DIVIDED.”

CP ILLUSTRATION: LUCY CHEN

taking up most of your attention, references, cultural interests, and life being centered on whiteness. Does that sound like you? Well, growing up in America, we are trained to be a white supremacist — through our media, our education system, the arts, even many of our houses of worship. We are taught to believe that superheroes, presidents, CEOs, and god are all white men. That the epitome of beauty is a white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. That the bad girl has dark hair, and the criminal girl has black skin. To grow up in America is to be trained in white supremacy. We have to unlearn it. It’s a very long process to overcome the water we are all swimming in. We can point to big bad men in white hoods and laughable bad mustaches, but the “nice white lady,” the doctor, the nurse who does not give a Black child painkillers because they are “stronger” or “do not feel pain.”

Follow featured contributor Tereneh Idia on Twitter @Terenehidia

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Or the “nice white lady” who works in the store and always pays a little extra attention to the Black customers. Or the “nice white lady” teacher who grades and disciplines her Black and Brown students differently than her white students. These are white supremacists who do a lifetime of damage, and worse. The question is not, “How many white supremacists are in America?” The question is, “How many of us aren’t whites supremacists?” How can we learn to unlearn with them? Because this country is worse than “a house divided.” Our country’s foundation was poured with blood from the genocide of Native Americans and enslavement of Africans. With a first floor of exploiting workers, the poor, and women of all colors. And a second floor of American exceptionalism and antiintelligence, all covered with a flimsy roof of celebrity worship. How long before the house collapses?


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CP PHOTO: LAKE LEWIS

Miko DiHoniesto of Tonic and Sage

.BLACK-LED COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT.

DOES THE BODY GOOD A BY DANI JANAE // DANIJANAE@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

S FALL APPROACHES, and with it

cooler temperatures, it becomes more important to take care of your skin and hair. You probably already have favorite products, but you might want to try something new this year. If you’re looking for something local and Black-owned, look no further than Tonic and Sage.

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Tonic and Sage is the venture of Miko DiHoniesto, a Pittsburgh native who grew up mostly in Squirrel Hill. She says she started getting into skin care out of necessity. “When I was a teenager, my skin was really sensitive and dry. So I realized that I needed to care for my skin in a different


FOR ME, INGREDIENT SOURCING IS MORE ABOUT RELATABILITY AND FAMILIARITY RATHER THAN THE NEWEST RAREST INGREDIENT. I’M NOT TRYING TO RUIN A RAINFOREST. I’M TRYING TO BE SUSTAINABLE IN ALL INGREDIENTS.” way than the rest of my family did, or even like other people around me, like my friends,” she says. “So I started making body care for myself when I was a teenager and it just became part of my routine. And then, maybe in my early twenties, I decided that I wanted to start a business.” After being laid off from a previous job, DiHoniesto started doing research into body care before fully launching Tonic and Sage in 2020.

TONIC AND SAGE tonicandsage.com

Part of her research involved studying herbalism, widely defined as the practice of creating plant-based herbal remedies for medical conditions. She says she feels like the practice of studying herbalism is ongoing, and that she still continues to learn and grow in her understanding of the field. For body care, Tonic and Sage mainly offers “body buttah,” “body oyl,” and balms. Some common ingredients found in these products are shea butter, mango butter, grape seed oil, jojoba oil, and scented oils like lavender and rosemary. The process of finding the right ingredients for each product took some time, says DiHoniesto. “I knew shea butter had to be one of the main choices. So I sourced from a company that offers fair trade products and organic products, and that took a little bit of time to find,” she says. “I think that narrowing it down to products or ingredients that I know very well and am used to working with, and that a lot of people can relate to and have heard about was important. For me, ingredient sourcing is more about relatability and familiarity rather than the newest rarest ingredient. I’m not trying to ruin a rainforest. I’m trying to be sustainable in all ingredients.” Tonic and Sage’s products are also vegan-friendly, and that was intentional

on the part of DiHoniesto. “It’s important for me to have products that are vegan-friendly because there’s not too many on the market that can truly be represented as safe for vegans,” she says. “I’m not saying that vegan is the ultimate kind of lifestyle choice, but if you have more things that are vegan-friendly, then ultimately, you’re making your products more accessible. And that’s what I want to represent in my product line, I want accessibility and I want people to use my products no matter where they’re coming from in life. So whatever skin sensitivities they have, allergies, and lifestyle choices that they adhere to.” Like other Black-owned businesses that started around the pandemic, DiHoniesto says she saw a boom in business when the summer of protests happened in 2020. The call to support Black businesses was strong in Pittsburgh, and many residents were ready to answer. While DiHoniesto says the increased awareness doesn’t make it any easier to be Black in Pittsburgh, it was nice to see the support for her business. DiHoniesto then earned a scholarship to run a booth at the weekly Bloomfield Saturday Market. She says that this, in turn with being added to lists of Black-owned businesses in the area, quickly gained her a lot of recognition, and allowed her business to thrive. As for sales, DiHoniesto says her favorite product is the body buttah, and that her customer base are big fans of the body oyl. “Another big bestseller is the Goodnight & Go body butter,” says DiHoniesto. “It’s lavender and vanilla. It smells really nice, it can kind of put you to sleep and relax you. It’s just got nourishing shea butter, cocoa butter, murumuru butter, and yeah, that one is a real stakeholder.” Tonic and Sage products are available online at tonicandsage.com, or you can find them in-store at love, Pittsburgh, Moonbeam Cafe, Arm Full of Flowers, and Ceremonial.

Socially-distancing herself but still broadcasting LIVE Every Monday thru Thursday at 10 a.m. Listen in at lynncullen.pghcitypaper.com

Follow staff writer Dani Janae on Twitter @figwidow PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER SEPTEMBER 22-29, 2021

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.FOOD.

A MEAL FOR TWO BY KIMBERLY ROONEY 냖㵸蔻 KIMROONEY@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

C

OMPARED TO OTHER CROSS STREETS

between Forbes and Fifth avenues in Oakland, Atwood Street is a little quieter. Among the eateries on Atwood is 荰鈷BAO, which offers classic dim sum that can be difficult to find on Pittsburgh menus. 荰鈷BAO has a spacious dine-in area that, once you descend several steps, invites you in with warm brick walls and sleek dark furniture. What was once Night Market Gourmet 荰鈷BAO has new management and a new approach to its menu, boasting larger entrees, soups — both noodle and otherwise, and rice dishes, in addition to a variety of dim sum. Dim sum are small dishes that originated in Guangzhou in southern China. The phrase typically calls to mind dumplings, buns, starchy or glutinous cakes, and light desserts, and 荰鈷BAO’s dim sum menu covers all of these. To try as wide a variety as possible, I ordered with my partner and we shared the dim sum dishes, which came with enough pieces for us to enjoy at least one or two of everything. The name of the restaurant refers to 荰, or taro, a tropical root vegetable common in African, South Asian, and Oceanic cuisines. While 荰鈷 translates directly to “seeing taro,” it’s also a homophone for “meet” or “come across,” creating a secondary phrase “come across bao,” or “come across steamed buns.”

荰鈷BAO 114 Atwood St., Oakland. nightmarketgourmet.comcom

Living up to its name, 荰鈷BAO has several bao options, including Pork Buns 缜ⴎ, Vegetable Buns 蘦ⴎ, and Pork and Dry Bamboo Buns 琫䇕缜ⴎ. Each comes with six buns and has the option between steamed or pan fried preparation. I opted for steamed Pork Buns 缜ⴎ, and the pillowy dough and subtle sweetness combined with a more robust savory flavor in the meat filling was an excellent start to the meal. I also opted for the Steamed Dumplings Platter ⺨䌋蠕깽㯹䧈沴, which includes three Steamed Crystal Shrimp Dumplings 蠕姢俘豔깽, three Spinach and Shrimp

CP PHOTO: KIMBERLY ROONEY 냖㵸蔻

Dim sum from 荰鈷BAO

Dumplings 蠕蘰蘦豔깽㯹, and four Steamed Shrimp King SiuMai蠕豔永懱뜷. Steamed Crystal Shrimp Dumplings 蠕 姢俘豔깽, also known as har gow, is one of my favorite types of dim sum. I haven’t had it in nearly a decade, and 荰鈷BAO’s iteration instantly brought me back to large dinners with relatives and family friends, rolling carts, and small circular dim sum tins. The subtle flavor and spice of the shrimp filling balanced well with the light, slightly chewy exterior that made me tear up with nostalgia. The Spinach and Shrimp Dumplings 蠕蘰蘦豔깽㯹 had a similar taste, with the spinach giving an unobtrusive flavor and smooth texture. The SiuMai 懱뜷, which is commonly spelled Shumai, were heavier in their dough and filling, as well

as stronger in flavor, while maintaining a lightness that left plenty of room to sample more food. Dim sum wouldn’t be complete without a starchy or glutinous cake, so I also tried the Pan-Fried Radish Cake蚽ⶨ矲, which was crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside. While it was light on the fillings, it wasn’t too oily, and the three slices of radish cake provided a delightful texture after the softer dumplings and bao. In addition to excellent dim sum, 荰 鈷BAO offers a variety of entrees, and the Taiwan Basil Chicken ⺐䌋└兵뙥was particularly delicious. The spiciness was well balanced with the soothing basil, which appeared in both fresh and fried forms. The chicken was juicy and mostly lean, with fried skin and fat that held bursts of

Follow staff writer Kimberly Rooney 냖㵸蔻on Twitter @kimlypso

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flavor, and the occasional bones were easy to eat around. Fried Sesame Balls莕띳杷 were a perfect way to finish off the meal, with light, crispy exteriors that were delicately browned and contained a good balance between glutinous rice flour and sweet red bean paste fillings. To mimic the warmth of eating them fresh out of the fryer, I microwaved them for about 25 seconds, and my partner and I quickly finished off the three sesame balls, splitting the last one between us. Dim sum can be an expensive meal, with each platter only containing a handful of pieces that are meant to be small and light. But when split with a friend, dim sum becomes a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a wide array of delicious dishes, and 荰鈷BAO delivers on that potential.


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We’re celebrating 25 years of improving, maintaining, and caring for Pittsburgh’s parks by creating a collection of immersive and inclusive lighting installations across the city. “Making Your Parks Shine,” features six installations in some of Pittsburgh’s most beloved park spaces. Each site will be illuminated the evenings of Friday, October 1 and Saturday, October 2. Plus, each park will host a onenight celebration including live local music, local food vendors, and family-friendly activities.

Party in the Parks: Friday, October 1: 6:00-9:00 p.m. Walled Garden – Mellon Park Patricia Rooney Memorial Fountain – Allegheny Commons Schenley Plaza Saturday, October 2: 6:00-9:00 p.m. August Wilson Park McKinley Park Frick Environmental Center Learn more at: pittsburghparks.org/shine PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER SEPTEMBER 22-29, 2021

17


CP ILLUSTRATION: LUCY CHEN

.THEATER.

EXPANDING HORIZONS BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

S

HARON MCCUNE has had a lot of

roles in the Pittsburgh theater community, both on stage and off. Most recently, she starred in Quantum Theatre’s production of An Odyssey, and previously worked with Pittsburgh Public Theater, Bricolage, and other local theater companies. She also instructs future performers as a part-time faculty member at Point Park University. Now, McCune is taking on a new role, curating the Expand the Canon reading series as associate producer at PICT Classic

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Theatre. The program is described in a press release as presenting six new and existing plays that “amplify the stories of women and People of Color.” Expand the Canon marks an effort by PICT to both redefine the idea of “classic” theater that has long dictated its offerings, and to bring in as many new voices as possible. It will also serve as part of the celebrations for PICT’s 25th anniversary season. PICT general operations manager, Catherine Kolos, says the series was inspired by the Expand the Canon series

created by Brooklyn-based Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre. “They were listing plays that put forward the voices of women in classic theater who were typically marginalized or left out of the story completely,” says Kolos. “And we thought, what a great idea, what a great concept.” She adds that, as they started planning for the new PICT season back in December 2020, they realized the company could not do full productions for the series, but still wanted to “employ as many people as


PHOTO: HEATHER MULL

PHOTO COURTESY OF PICT CLASSIC THEATRE

Previous production of The Heiress at PICT Classic Theatre

possible” and “bring as many new voices into PICT as possible.” Kolos and McCune admit that the American idea of classic theater remains largely focused on a white, cis, predominantly Eurocentric male viewpoint, bringing to mind giants like Shakespeare. This has been especially true for PICT, a company that, since it was founded in 1996, has been noted for its dedication to the works of Irish and English playwrights and writers. In recent years, the theater, now based in WQED Studios, has produced stage adaptations of The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens and The Woman in Black, an English ghost story based on the 1983 novel by Susan Hill. Even newer works, like PICT’s 2019 premiere of Run the Rabbit Path by Pittsburgh playwright Ray Werner, followed two Irish-American brothers working in the city’s steel mills. Kolos says PICT will still deliver the age-old plays beloved by theater fans,

while also introducing them to new concepts and perspectives. “It is not just an expansion and an introduction of new material for our audiences, it’s also new material for us as well,” says Kolos. “This season ... it’s not just going to focus on what we’ve done well in the past and celebrate the last 25 years, we’re going to focus on the future, too. And that’s not to say that we are abandoning Shakespeare and Irish productions, we are just adding to that.” The Expand the Canon readings will be presented free to the public in the atrium of the Rodef Shalom Congregation in Oakland. Meanwhile, PICT will present its production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, directed by PICT’s artistic and executive Alan Stanford, from Oct. 30 through Nov. 20 at WQED. A production of Irish playwright Samuel Beckett’s Endgame is set for February 2022. In addition to Expand the Canon, PICT will complete the season with a production of Mart Crowley’s 1968 work Boys in the

Run the Rabbit Path at PICT Classic Theatre, 2019

Band, one of the first plays to focus on the LGBTQ experience. The PICT production of the work, which follows a group of gay men in Manhattan who gather for a birthday party, will be directed by Monteze Freeland, an award-winning, Pittsburgh-based Black actor, director, writer, and producer. While McCune wants to keep the content of Expand the Canon under wraps until an official announcement on Oct. 1, a release teases at some possibilities, including “Native American takes on Shakespearean themes, a sexy baroque Mexican comedy, dramatic pieces by playwrights including Lorraine Hansberryand Katori Hall, and a wickedly exciting take on Dracula from the women’s perspective.” McCune says the series has been especially eye-opening for her, as she set about trying to find new, mostly unexplored material to include. She was especially affected by a collection of one-act plays by Black female playwrights in the

late 1800s, and also looked at selections from the Spanish Golden Age, defined as an especially rich era for the arts dating back to 1492.

PICT CLASSIC THEATRE picttheatre.org

Kolos says As You Like It and Endgame will celebrate where PICT has been, while the Expand the Canon series and Boys in the Band, which she calls an “American classic and modern classic,” are “focusing on the future where we’re going.” She adds that hiring talent like Freeland emphasizes the importance of not just “expanding the voices in the stories we tell” but “expanding the voices to tell those stories as well.” “So I’m hoping that this is planting seeds of some really beautiful, beautiful things to grow in PICT through the next 25 years,” says Kolos.

Follow a&e editor Amanda Waltz on Twitter @AWaltzCP

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER SEPTEMBER 22-29, 2021

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SEVEN DAYS IN PITTSBURGH

PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE THE WESTMORELAND MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

^ The View, Woodstock” by Doris Lee, part of Simple Pleasures: The Art of Doris Lee at The Westmoreland

IN REAL LIFE EVENT

IRL VIRTUAL

STREAMING OR ONLINEONLY EVENT

HYBRID

MIX OF IN REAL LIFE AND ONLINE EVENT

THU., SEPT. 23 STAGE • IRL Take your little duckling to Little Lake Theatre Company’s production of Honk!, a family-friendly tale about accepting yourself. Based on a popular children’s book, the stage musical focuses on a baby fowl who feels different from his mom and feathered siblings. Follow him as he goes on a journey of self discovery. 7:30 p.m. Continues through Oct. 2. 500 Lakeside Drive South, Canonsburg. $16-22. littlelake.org/honk

FRI., SEPT. 24 EVENT • IRL If you’re looking for a paw-some time, Schenley Plaza will host a “part-festival, part-competition, all fun” event to provide service dogs to those in need. Ruff

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Ride challenges teams to ride a Cyclebar spin bike for 24 consecutive hours, all to raise money for Team Foster, a nonprofit that helps provide injured and disabled military veterans with service dogs at no cost. Continues through Sept. 25. 4100 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $20 registration. teamfoster.org/event/ruffridepgh

FILM • IRL After over a year being closed due to the pandemic, Downtown’s Harris Theater is reopening with a three-week run of the new movie musical Dear Evan Hansen. Adapted from the hit Broadway musical, the film follows a lonely high schooler who longs for “understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the socialmedia age.” If that premise makes you want to drink, you’re in luck: The Harris is now BYOB. Masks are required at all times, unless eating or drinking. 5:30 and 8 p.m. Continues through Oct. 14. 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $9-11. trustarts.org/pct_home

SAT., SEPT. 25 ART • IRL This year’s Etna Art Tour is back in person, but taking special precautions to keep everyone safe. The event will be outdoors and will focus on celebrating artists, musicians, dancers, performers, and local businesses. Butler Street from Freeport to Bridge streets will be closed off to accommodate the festivities. Food and drinks will also be available. Check the Facebook event page for more details about vendors. 4-9 p..m. Butler Street, Etna. Free. Search “Etna Art Tour 2021” on Facebook

FEST • IRL Community Forge, a nonprofit dedicated to creating economic equality in Wilkinsburg and the Greater Pittsburgh region, presents a day of fun during Forge Fest. Presented in partnership with


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FRESH CONTENT Every Day. pghcitypaper.com PHOTO: UNIVERSAL STUDIOS/COURTESY OF PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST

^ Dear Evan Hansen at Harris Theater

Driving While Black Records and Pittsburgh artist Jacquea Mae, the event welcomes people of all ages to enjoy food and live performances by musicians including Jordan Montgomery, JM The Poet, Clara Kitongo, and more. 2-10 p.m. 1256 Franklin Ave., Wilkinsburg. Free. facebook.com/CommunityForgePGH

SUN., SEPT. 26 ART • IRL The Westmoreland Museum of American Art opens a new exhibition dedicated to the late Doris Lee, considered one of the most recognized artists of the 1930s and ’40s. Simple Pleasures: The Art of Doris Lee will feature 77 public and private works spanning decades, including paintings, drawings, prints, and more. Continues through January 2022. 221 N. Main St., Greensburg. Free with advanced registration. thewestmoreland.org

MON., SEPT. 27 LIT • VIRTUAL Join White Whale and Eulalia Books for a reading and discussion of Another Life by Daniel Lipara. Translated from Spanish by Robin Myers, Another Life is described as “a vivid, evocative account of family, place and memory, through Homeric poetry and myth.” Lipara is a poet, translator, and editor from Buenos Aires who has

translated many works. Otra vida is his first book of poetry, and is available for purchase on White Whale’s site. 7-8:30 p.m. Free with registration. whitewhalebookstore.com

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TUE., SEPT. 28 MUSIC • IRL Break out your Hot Topic gear and hair gel for Pop Punk’s Still Not Dead at Stage AE. Relive your angsty youth as you sing along to live performances by New Found Glory and Less Than Jake, touring together for the first time since 2003. Also in the lineup is Michigan indie band Hot Mulligan, and Toronto-based act LØLØ. Doors at 6:30 p.m. 400 N. Shore Drive, North Side. $31.50, $37 day of show. promowestlive.com

WED., SEPT. 29 FASHION • IRL Pittsburgh Fashion Week is back, and the Ecolution fashion show at the Carnegie Museum of Art is one event you won’t want to miss. Creating fashion from sustainable materials isn’t a new practice, but over the years, it has become more crucial and exciting. Educating people on the value of carefully made and eco-friendly clothing is a part of the vision for this show, created by Pittsburgh Earth Day founder Ronda Zegarelli. Doors at 6 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10-75. pghfw.com/2021-lineup

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER SEPTEMBER 22-29, 2021

21


MESS WITH TX BY BRENDAN EMMETT QUIGLEY // BRENDANEMMETTQUIGLEY.COM

ACROSS

1. Take out of plastic, maybe 6. “You don’t know the ___ of it” 10. Website with a “Got a tip?” action button at the top 13. Home sweet home 14. Tightly wound up 15. Melancholic misery 16. One who drops a tab and then listens to John Coltrane’s Ascension? 18. Apple Pay platform 19. Cincuenta y dos semanas 20. ACLU concern 21. “Look over here” 22. Time it takes for an ocean to form 23. British bro 24. Sign seen on the moon on July 20, 1969? 30. Circa 31. Captured on a Memorex 32. Chain in a lab 35. Tease from afar 36. Turkic language 37. Old Pontiac sports cars 38. Artifact Indiana Jones threatened to blow up with a missile launcher 39. Not as common 40. Coffee shop that sells a (checks notes) Chicken & Waffles Sandwich ... excuse me while I go to my local one 41. Ruthlessly tease somebody’s intellect?

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44. African nation with a star on its flag 46. Paper purchase 47. Historian who wrote Ab Urbe Condita 48. Surrealist painter Freud 51. Event when the Spanish Flu spread, briefly 54. Prefix with vision 55. Friends on the force? 57. Summer time on Nantucket: Abbr. 58. St. Vincent for Annie Clark 59. Drink served with mint 60. Sound of Metal actor Ahmed 61. ___ City (Cairo suburb) 62. Like freshly laid lawn

DOWN

1. Turbaned VIP 2. Israeli diplomat and scholar Abba 3. Nincompoop 4. Tool that does detail work in wood 5. Doctor’s orders for the garden variety illness 6. Like SleaterKinney or Man Or Astro-Man?, in short 7. Gig on the books: Abbr. 8. Winebottle leftovers 9. A couple day’s drive away 10. Alcoholic beverage that comes in Half

& Half, Peach, and Raspberry flavors 11. Animal that is a national symbol of Canada 12. Full of flavor 14. Happy To Be Here comic 17. Chaos 21. Something to shoot for 22. Like the water off the coast of Ibiza 23. Thing in a scrip 24. ___ California 25. App with a “Where to?” section 26. Lisa Bonet’s acting daughter 27. Plate in church 28. Barbecue selection 29. “Can’t say I’ve heard of ___” 33. “Wrong person” 34. The “A” of “HOA”: Abbr. 36. Spinning toon

37. Sanitizer’s victim 39. Rap producer who redid the ice cream truck jingle in 2020 40. Lunchbox classics 42. “They all look great, pick one” 43. Junior of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team 44. One using Elmers 45. Language that gave us “jungle” and “bandana” 48. “Be-Bop-A-___” 49. Weapons with cartridges 50. Bigwig with a Russian-influenced title 51. “Mind. Blown.” 52. Dispensary selection 53. Classic children’s game 55. Prop for some bridesmaids 56. Mobb Deep or Insane Clown Posse LAST WEEK’S ANSWERS


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IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-21-10139, In re petition of Patricia Goldsmith parents and legal guardian of Core’Dal Carl Lee Hodge for change of name to Core’Dal Carl Goldsmith. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 18th day of October 2021, at 9:30 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for.

IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-21-10252, In re petition of Jude Boamah parents and legal guardian of Briella Mae Orosz-Boamah and Malachi Stephen Orosz-Boamah for change of name to Briella Mae Boamah and Malachi Stephen Boamah. 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 October 2021, at 9:30 a.m., as the time and the Motions Room, City-County Building, Pittsburgh, PA, as the place for a hearing, when and where all persons may show cause, if any they have, why said name should not be changed as prayed for.

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Profile for Pittsburgh City Paper

September 22, 2021 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's arts and entertainment newsweekly featuring a Black-led community spotlight on local body care shop Tonic and Sage, a photo ess...

September 22, 2021 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's arts and entertainment newsweekly featuring a Black-led community spotlight on local body care shop Tonic and Sage, a photo ess...

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