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OCTOBER 16-23, 2019 VOLUME 28 + ISSUE 42

FIRSTSHOT BY JARED WICKERHAM

A young deer inside the Allegheny Cemetery

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 Senior Account Executive JOHN CLIFFORD Sales Representatives KAITLIN OLIVER, NICK PAGANO Operations 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 JOIE KNOUSE, ELISE LAVALLEE 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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THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FDA. THIS PRODUCT IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE, OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE. RESULTS MAY VARY. DIABASENS IS NOT A DRUG. RESULTS MAY VARY. 319773_10_x_9.875.indd 1

10/10/19 9:17 AM

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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O

THE BIG STORY

GATOR AID BY HANNAH LYNN //

HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER

.COM

N MAY 18, A LOOSE ALLIGATOR was found in Southside Riverfront Park. On June 6, another was spotted in Beechview. On June 8, a third turned up on a porch in Carrick. Seven gators in total passed through the Humane Animal Rescue in 2019, which is where Pittsburgh Animal Control takes them after capture. The most recent was Gus, a roughly three-foot-long alligator found along the banks of the Allegheny River in Lawrenceville on Oct. 1. Alligator fever spread. Etna Print Circus started selling bright green t-shirts emblazoned with “Summer of the Gators.” In July, artists Dave English and Will Simmons released a music video for their song “Alligators of Pittsburgh” in which an alligator’s head attached to a doll’s body plays the piano. Even the Wall Street Journal wrote about Pittsburgh’s alligators. If you narrow Google search results for “Pittsburgh Alligator” to any date before May 18, 2019, it shows sporadic results spanning a decade. Without the filter, there are dozens of results from both local and national news, aghast and perplexed. Generally, the closest someone in Pittsburgh should be able to get to an alligator is at the zoo (or at Strip District Meats, where alligator tail and smoked alligator andouille sausage are sold). But because of lackadaisical alligator sale laws in Pennsylvania, there’s been an uptick in sales and subsequent abandonment, of alligators, who get picked up by Animal Control, taken to Humane Animal Rescue, transferred to a zoo in New Jersey, and eventually end up at a sanctuary in Florida. The natural habitat of the American Alligator is the American South — no farther north than North Carolina, and as far south as the Rio Grande river in Texas. As a full-grown adult, they range in average size from 8-11 feet (but can get up to 15 feet) and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. They make guttural mating calls that sound like a boat motor or a cartoon dragon. They are carnivores, and one of the largest reptiles in America. In the wild, they can live to be 50 years old. CONTINUES ON PG. 8

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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GATOR AID, CONTINUED FROM PG. 7

PHOTO: HUMANE ANIMAL RESCUE

Gus the Gator

The needs of alligators in a place like Pittsburgh are great. In order for someone in Pittsburgh to create an adequate environment to house an alligator, they would need a large amount of space — both outdoor, and indoor for the winter — a large and continuous supply of meat, and to have their life planned out enough in advance to know that they can care for it for the next 50 or so years. Sarah Shively, director of admissions and relocations at Humane Animal Rescue, says their greatest concern as a rescue organization is how, where, and why people keep acquiring these alligators and releasing them. “I think here it’s just kind of disbelief as to why people continue to purchase them and how easy they are for an inexperienced person to purchase,” says Shively. “It’s kind of frustrating for us in the rescue and shelter community, because it’s really not fair for these animals to be kept in some of the conditions that they’re being kept in. They deserve big enclosures where they can stretch and

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get what they need.” Laws on exotic animal ownership are more relaxed in Pennsylvania than other states, like Maryland, where it is illegal to possess alligators as pets, as well as wild cats, primates, and venomous reptiles. Pennsylvania law defines “exotic wildlife” as including but not limited to “all bears, coyotes, lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, cougars, wolves and any crossbreed of these animals which have similar characteristics in appearance or features.” Ownership of exotic wildlife requires a permit from the Game Commission. Alligators are not specifically listed as exotic wildlife and there are no restrictions on their sale in Pennsylvania, besides the permit. Shively says she thinks the alligator issue will continue until there are stricter laws, or laws that ban them entirely. In June, Pittsburgh City Councilor Darlene Harris (D-North Side) said she is working on legislation that would regulate exotic animal sales (including alligators) in the city.

On June 11, 32 animals were removed from the home of a man in Beechview, after a five-foot alligator he owned escaped and was found wandering around the neighborhood. More alligators, pythons, iguanas, and other exotic animals were confiscated from the home, which police determined was unsuitable for the animals. “If they’re going to be legal, we need to make sure that those getting them are knowledgeable, that they’re not out roaming the streets,” says Shively. “I think those getting them should be doing their research. But also [that] those selling them are doing their due diligence and properly placing the animal with someone.” People who purchase alligators might do so from a reptile show or expo (and of course, it’s always possible that people buy them illegally). Amanda South of the Pittsburgh Reptile Show & Sale, says the monthly event in Cheswick doesn’t sell alligators but does allow adoptions, giving a place for anyone who owns an

alligator but cannot care for it to surrender and re-home it. In order for someone to adopt an alligator at the Reptile Show, they must be over 21, own a home, and sign a waiver that explains care, and stipulates that if they cannot care for it, they will bring it back. “At reptile expos, we all do our best to educate animal owners and we always have an open-door policy on any animal someone owns,” South says, noting that they have re-homed over a dozen alligators in the past five years. While the Humane Animal Rescue will house the alligators brought to them by Animal Control, they deal mostly with dogs, cats, and other common domestic animals. Their facilities and staff are not built to handle an alligator, let alone seven. So once they have the gators, they start working on transferring them to a sanctuary that is better equipped. In the most recent gator transfer, the alligators were first transported to Cape May County Park & Zoo in New Jersey, where they waited


to be picked up by Croc Encounters, a conservation and education facility for alligators, crocodiles, and other animals in Tampa, Fla. Jon Paner, one of the managers of Croc Encounters, says the facility takes in alligators that are found loose or surrendered by pet owners. “There’s not a lot of places that take alligators because alligators have really, essentially, no value,” he says. “It’s hard to find homes for them, but that’s what we do.” He says that the problem comes from both the fact that alligators are plentiful, and that zoos are almost never in need of one. It probably doesn’t help that they’re so large and live so long. Croc Encounters currently has over 100

alligators, and around 300 animals total. They host tours and let visitors touch, feed, and take photos with the alligators (“that’s what pays the bills and keeps the facility open,” Paner says). He adds that ultimately, loose alligators are not a major threat to people, and capturing and transferring them is in the best interest of the alligator. As for how the Pittsburgh gators are doing, Paner says they arrived in generally decent health and have been acclimating to their new home with no major problems. The facility has been too busy to name them, but is still open to it because of their unique history. Florida is full of alligators, but only a few are from Pittsburgh.

Follow staff writer Hannah Lynn on Twitter @hanfranny PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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FRESH CONTENT Every Day. pghcitypaper.com .NEWS.

CLIMATE-VULNERABLE CRITTERS Three official state animals, and several others, are vulnerable to losing populations in Pa. thanks to climate change BY RYAN DETO // RYANDETO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

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HE SIGNS OF A rapidly changing Pennsylvania climate are

upon us; 2018 was the wettest year in Pittsburgh’s history and so far, 2019 is not far behind. The summers are getting longer and the autumns are getting shorter. Scientific consensus says climate change is exacerbated by human activity and as Pennsylvanians drive cars more, continue to drill and refine natural gas, and burn coal, it is likely to only get warmer and wetter faster. These activities damage human populations with more frequent flooding, adverse effects on crops, and more intense storms. But beyond the human toll, Pennsylvania wildlife is also suffering under the shifting climate. Some species are more vulnerable than others. As the climate changes, some animals may disappear from the commonwealth permanently, and other new species might move in. This can cause an ecological ripple effect that could drastically change the state. Fewer birds means fewer dispersed seeds, fewer trees, less shade for fish in streams that need it. Not even scientists can predict just how significant the damage could be. So, if you are hoping to glimpse or hear some of your favorite Pennsylvania critters anytime soon, here are the ones, including two official state animals, that might not stick around the area forever.

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Pennsylvania just recently named the Eastern hellbender as the official state amphibian, but climate change could likely do a number on the large salamander. According to the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Foundation (PNHF), the hellbender is listed as extremely vulnerable under the group’s climate change vulner-ability index. Amphibians in general are extremely vulnerable to climate change and pollution since they absorb oxygen through their skin and typically live in very wet places like streams, swamps, and ponds. The hellbenders’ need for clean water and a greener environment was a big reason why the state recently awarded it official state amphibian status. In addition the hellbender, the Eastern spadefoot toad, the mountain chorus frog, and the widely distributed Jefferson salamander are also vulnerable to climate change, according to PNHF.

BIRDS

127 Anderson Street - Suite 101 Timber Court Building, PIttsburgh, PA 15212 Phone: (412) 322-4151

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AMPHIBIANS

CP ILLUSTRATION: ABBIE ADAMS

Ruffed Grouse

The Pennsylvania state bird, the ruffed grouse, has suffered over the years thanks to habitat loss, which is partially driven by climate change, according to a 2016 article in the Centre Daily Times of Centre County. The ruffed grouse loves snow and lives in areas of Pennsylvania that have snow cover for most of winter. But as the


Bog Turtle

climate warms, these areas are becoming more sparse. Ed Zygmunt, a hunter and National Wildlife Federation member from Susquehanna County, told the Daily Times he rarely even sees ruffed grouse on hunting trips any more. “I can’t bear to shoot any more grouse because their population is so declined,” Zygmunt said. “Hunters are giving up even going out for them.” Another bird losing habitat as the climate warms is the black-capped chickadee. The small black-and-white bird can be found in most parts of Pennsylvania, excluding the southeast, but is being replaced by the Carolina chickadee, whose range is expanding from the south. This southern shift will likely bring several new bird species into Pennsylvania. According the PNHF, populations of birds like the blue-winged warbler, wood thrush, and Henslow’s sparrow are likely to increase thanks to climate change. The state also might become a migration stop for the tundra swan.

INSECTS Some might want to see fewer insects, but what Pennsylvanians might miss is the West Virginia white butterfly. The small, lily-white butterfly is associated with cooler and higher altitude sites in the commonwealth. As those sites become warmer, it becomes harder for the West Virginia white to survive.

FISH According to a 2008 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), the state fish of Pennsylvania, the brook trout, could become a victim of climate change. The UCS reports states that the brook trout and smallmouth bass are “particularly sensitive” to the warming that increased air temperatures and changes rain patters, which can drive up water temperatures and alter the flow of some streams. The brook trout is the only trout species native to Pennsylvania waters and it requires cooler waters that are often shaded by hemlock trees and mountain laurel. Climate change could reduce the amount of these trees near streams were brook trout live.

REPTILES While not found in the Pittsburgh area, the bog turtle inhabits flatter parts of the state like southeastern, central, and northwestern Pennsylvania. According to PNHF, the bog turtle is highly vulnerable to climate change because it will be difficult for the turtle population to push north as the climate warms. The small turtle is specialized to, unsurprisingly, bogs. Those swampy, wet flatlands aren’t very common in the Appalachian Mountains. The bog turtle could be trapped in an ecosystem that is warming too fast for it to adapt to.

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Follow senior writer Ryan Deto on Twitter @RyanDeto PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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.NEWS.

SWIFTS OF ALCOSAN BY RYAN DETO // RYANDETO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

O

N SOME SUMMER evenings in

Pittsburgh, a swarm of small birds can be seen whipping and zooming over the intersection of the McKees Rocks Bridge and Ohio River Boulevard. Hundreds, if not thousands, of small birds fly around with impressive speed and coordination. It looks like an intricate dance taking place directly above the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) sewage treatment plant in the North Side. A 2015 YouTube video of the phenomenon claims the birds are barn swallows and are likely feasting on bugs that fly about ALCOSAN in the summer. Online forum posts also say the birds are likely some kind of swallow. But with the birds moving so fast, it’s hard for passersby and laypeople to really determine what animal is behind the swarm. But the bird experts at the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (ASWP) know exactly what type of birds they are and why they are swarming above ALCOSAN. “First, the birds you saw are not swallows, rather, they are swifts — chimney swifts,” says Brian Shema, operations director for ASWP. “Although their behavior can be compared to that of a swallow, they are actually more closely related to hummingbirds.” Shema says chimney swifts are neo-tropical migrants who spend their summers in North America and winters in the upper Amazon basin of South America. The swifts form large roosting flocks during migration, and tend to gather close together in the evenings. Historically, they have roosted in caves and large hollow trees, but with

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human development growing, many groups now roost in chimneys. They even build their nests inside chimneys in the mating season, says Shema. So what brings them to ALCOSAN? Shema says he is aware of a roost in the old post office building near the sewage treatment plant. He says this is most likely the reason the large group of chimney swifts can be viewed on some summer evenings in the North Side. And they are likely not feasting on bugs, says Shema. It is more likely they are “beginning to stage in that area, in preparation to enter the old chimney for the night,” he says. Getting hundreds of birds into one narrow chimney requires a lot of coordination. Shema says ASWP actually has a big conservation project surrounding the chimney swifts. The group has built small towers throughout the region, so the migrating birds have places to stay in the Pittsburgh area. Chimney swifts are important to the Pittsburgh ecosystem as they likely eat hundreds of insects each day when they are in the area, according to Shema. Unfortunately, like many wildlife species, the swifts are under threat from human activity, like herbicides that are limiting their food supply and poisoning them. Shema hopes that moving forward, Pittsburghers will join the cause to keep these birds protected. “They are very beneficial birds to have around — keeping bothersome insects in check,” says Shema. “We are working diligently to raise awareness of these issues, and trying to promote responsible stewardship through a number of programs at Audubon.”


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SCIENTIST SPOTLIGHT

Tree Frogs with Dr. Jen & Tonic ow much can frogs tell us about threats to biodiversity? Ask Jen Sheridan, Assistant Curator for the Section of Amphibians and Reptiles at Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Every year, Sheridan visits Boreno to study frogs, leading a four-week tropical biology course for graduate students. She and her students use frogs as a measurement for organism response to ecological changes and find ways to improve conservation. For the next month, Sheridan will be in Borneo with students in tow. Students will have two weeks to research and complete original projects following two weeks of field training (this includes the methods of surveying and studying different species). Sheridan has been eager to share this hands-on experience with her students. “If you’re studying gorillas,” she explains in a blog post, “Maybe you can take people out to see gorillas, but you’re not going to be handling them... you can get someone to hold a frog in their hand, and that physical connection I think is really important for making a strong emotional or mental connection with wildlife and conservation.”

H

Sheridan published a paper earlier this year based on findings from these Borneo trips, reporting on the negative effects of traffic noise on frog species. Southeast Asia is one of the regions suffering most from deforestation, resulting in heightened noise pollution. The paper concludes that increased noise may have negative long term effects for the amphibians. But on this trip, the stakes are even higher. This year, Sheridan’s students are researching to win. Sheridan and her students are competing against visitors to Powdermill Nature Reserve in Rector to identify and tag the most species – what they are calling a digital Bioblitz – between Oct. 16 and 20. And when she’s not researching frogs, Sheridan is drinking gin and tonics. Legend has it that tonic water, a mixer that carries high levels of quinine, is a treatment for malaria. This has been proven false, but Sheridan isn’t throwing caution to the wind. After all, a little gin can’t hurt! Sheridan will be live-tweeting her trip to Borneo – animal photos included. Follow her @JenASheridan and @TropicalBiology for the latest frog findings!

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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CP PHOTO: JOSH OSWALD

Django

.JUST JAGGIN’.

DOGGONE IT BY JOSH OSWALD // JOSWALD@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

M

BEFORE OUR first child was born in 2013, I read an article about how you will hate your dog after you have a child. I remember thinking, “This person is out of her mind.” Then Marty was born. Our dog was used to being the center of attention and was not all that interested in having what I’m sure he considered a “freeloader” in the house. (I could tell by his facial expressions.) He wasn’t aggressive or anxious around the baby, but if we put Marty down in his car seat on the floor in the living room, he’d leave the room and go lay somewhere else. The dog has always been what a psychologist would define as emotionally unavailable. He definitely loves the family, but isn’t the kind of dog that races down from the cozy nest he built out of our bed pillows to wag and excitedly greet you. He’s not a big licker, which we like, and you’re lucky if you get some half-assed wags out of him (pun intended). It’s safe to say his worldview is “meh.” So, the good news was the dog didn’t have any problems interacting with our kid. The bad news was that when our second child was born, his stubborn beagle attitude of “Now is ONTHS

the time I walk and there is no denying me” became irritating. He only seemed to bark when both the kids were finally being quiet. The kids are finally being good, and now the dog is being bad/ requires time and energy that we had used up on two children.

IT’S SAFE TO SAY HIS WORLDVIEW IS “MEH.” If you Google “once you have kids you’ll hate your dog,” you’ll get pages of results featuring stories in a similar vein. Many who scoffed at the idea of rehoming their dogs before having kids ended up doing just that, like this author featured on Fast Company’s website: “At the end of the day, I just feel so physically and emotionally spent from, you know, having it all, that the dog’s feelings just can’t get on my list of priorities.” I hear ya, sister. Much time has passed, and our kids

are now six and almost five. While we still have those moments where we just cleaned up a spilled breakfast, broke up a fight over the TV remote, and sat down to finally drink coffee and watch the news, and Django (named after the guitarist, not the movie) decides it’s time for a walk that he’ll eventually give up on two minutes in, I’ve noticed changes in his behavior that soften the blow of his pushier attributes. He’s gone from ignoring the kids to being, dare I say, excited when they come home. Well, as excited as a dog who looks like he just hopped off a train car with a hobo sack can look. He sits patiently as the kids pet him, sometimes a bit too hard for his liking. He comes upstairs to join us for bedtime books. He sits next to the kids on the couch. It’s the first time in my life I’ve seen a dog experience what appears to be a maturing process, which has forced me to try to be more mature and accept the fact that this dog doesn’t know he wants his walks at inopportune times. Or does he? It’s hard to tell with him. At the time of publication, Django still lives at our house, looking for the coziest pillows, blankets, and beds to lounge on and nibble. But that’s another story.

Follow digital media manager Josh Oswald on Twitter @gentlemenRich

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Sunday, October 27 at 7:30pm. • Slippery Rock University

BY ROB BREZSNY // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): In ancient holy texts from India, soma was said to be a drink that enhanced awareness and alertness. According to modern scholars, it may have been a blend of poppy, ephedra, and cannabis. In Norse mythology, the beverage called the Mead of Suttungr conferred poetic inspiration and the ability to solve any riddle. One of its ingredients was honey. In Slavic folklore, raskovnik is an herb with the magic power to unlock what’s locked and uncover hidden treasures. It’s not a four-leaf clover, but resembles it. I invite you Libras to fantasize about using these three marvels. To do so will potentize your imagination, thereby boosting the cosmic forces that will be working in your favor to enhance your awareness, confer inspiration, solve riddles, unlock what’s locked, and find hidden treasures.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) was a visionary genius in numerous fields, including architecture, design, engineering, and futurism. In the course of earning 40 honorary doctorates, he traveled widely. It was his custom to wear three watches, each set to a different time: one to the zone where he currently was, another to where he had recently departed, and a third to where he would journey next. “I know that I am not a category,” he wrote. “I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb.” I recommend his approach to you in the coming weeks, Scorpio. Be a verb! Allow your identity to be fluid, your plans adjustable, your ideas subject to constant revision.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): “Art is good for my soul precisely because it reminds me that we have souls in the first place,” said actress Tilda Swinton. How about you, Sagittarius? What reminds you that you have a soul in the first place? Beloved animals? Favorite music? A stroll amidst natural wonders? Unpredictable, fascinating sexual experiences? The vivid and mysterious dreams you have at night? Whatever stimuli bring you into visceral communion with your soul, I urge you to seek them out in abundance. It’s Soul-Cherishing and Soul-Enhancing Time for you.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19):

coming weeks, Pisces. It’s fine to be extravagant and expansive and multifaceted; just don’t overdo it.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “We can’t change anything until we get some fresh ideas, until we begin to see things differently,” wrote Aries psychologist James Hillman. I agree. And that’s very good news for you Aries people. In my view, you are more attracted to and excited by fresh ideas than any other sign of the zodiac. That’s why you have the potential to become master initiators of transformation. One of my favorite types of plot twists in your life story occurs when you seek out fresh ideas and initiate transformations not only in your own behalf, but also for those you care about. I bet the coming weeks will bring at least one of those plot twists.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Metaphorically speaking, Taurus, you are now crossing a bridge. Behind you is the intriguing past; in front of you, the even more intriguing future. You can still decide to return to where you came from. Or else you could pick up your pace, and race ahead at twice the speed. You might even make the choice to linger on the bridge for a while; to survey the vast vistas that are visible and contemplate more leisurely the transition you’re making. Only you know what’s best for you, of course. But if you asked me, I’d be in favor of lingering on the bridge for a while.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): As I write this, I’m sitting in a cafe near two women at another table. One sports a gold cashmere headscarf and pentagram necklace. The other wears a dark blue pantsuit and a silver broach that’s the glyph for Gemini the Twins. HeadScarf shuffles a deck of Tarot cards and asks PantSuit what she’d like to find out during the divination she is about to receive. “I would very much like you to tell me what I really really want,” PantSuit says with a chuckle. “I’m sure that once I find out that big secret, I’ll be able to accomplish wonders.” I hope the rest of you Geminis will be on a similar mission in the coming weeks. Do whatever it takes to get very clear about what you want most.

The Queen’s Six, an a cappella sextet, performs for the royal family and now they perform for you! Visit thequeenssix.co.uk to see their broad repertoire.

Tickets: 724.738.2616 or online at www.sru.edu/pas

CANCER (June 21-July 22):

The coming weeks will be a favorable time to arrange a series of high-level meetings between your body, mind, and soul. You might even consider staging an extravagant conference-like festival and festival-like conference. The astrological omens suggest that your body, mind, and soul are now primed to reveal choice secrets and tips to each other. They are all more willing and eager than usual to come up with productive new synergies that will enable each to function with more panache and effectiveness.

Ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was meandering through an Athenian marketplace, gazing at the appealing and expensive items for sale. “How many things there are in this world that I do not want,” he exclaimed with satisfaction. I recommend you cultivate that liberated attitude. Now is a perfect time to celebrate the fact that there are countless treasures and pleasures you don’t need in order to be charmed and cheerful about your life. For extra credit, add this nuance from Henry David Thoreau: People are rich in proportion to the number of things they can afford to let alone.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18):

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22):

“I believe in inhabiting contradictions,” writes Aquarian author and activist Angela Davis. “I believe in making contradictions productive, not in having to choose one side or the other side. As opposed to choosing either or choosing both.” I think Davis’s approach will work well for you in the coming weeks. It’s not just that the contradictions will be tolerable; they will be downright fertile, generous, and beneficent. So welcome them; honor them; allow them to bless you with their tricky opportunities and unexpected solutions.

I invite you to try this exercise. Imagine that one springtime you grow a garden filled with flowers that rabbits like to nibble: petunias, marigolds, gazanias, and pansies. This is a place whose only purpose is to give gifts to a wild, sweet part of nature. It’s blithely impractical. You do it for your own senseless, secret joy. It appeals to the dreamy lover of life in you. Got all that, Leo? Now, in accordance with current astrological omens, I suggest you actually try to fulfill a fantasy comparable to that one in the coming weeks.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22):

Piscean pianist Frédéric Chopin (1801–1849) was a poetic genius whose music was full of sweetness and grace. “Without equal in his generation,” said more than one critic. Today, more than 170 years after his death, his work remains popular. Recently an Italian sound designer named Remo de Vico created an original new Chopin piece that featured all 21 of the master’s piano nocturnes being played simultaneously. (You can hear it here: tinyurl.com/ NewChopin.) As you might imagine, it’s a gorgeous mess, too crammed with notes to truly be enjoyable, but interesting nevertheless. I’ll counsel you to avoid a similar fate in the

My Virgo friend Lola got a text message from her Scorpio buddy Tanya. “Why don’t you come over and chill with me and my demons? It’ll be entertaining, I promise! My inner jerks are howlingly funny tonight.” Here’s what Lola texted back: “Thanks but no thanks, sweetie. I’ve been making big breakthroughs with my own demons — giving them the attention they crave without caving in to their outrageous demands — and for now I need to work on stabilizing our new relationship. I can’t risk bringing extra demons into the mix.” I suspect this is an accurate description of what could be happening for you, Virgo.

Go to realastrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes and daily text-message horoscopes. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

15


SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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Pittsburghâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Top Halloween Tradition, Hundred Acres Manor, brings you a whole new vision of horror and fun all within one haunted house in Pittsburgh, PA! Your favorite Halloween tradition features a 6 themed haunted house sections as one LARGE walk-thru with add on attractions like escape rooms, burial simulators, beer gardens AND MORE! Come Experience why Hundred Acres Manor is ranked not only as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pittsburghâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Haunted Houseâ&#x20AC;? by HauntWorld but also one of the nations scariest attractions by USA Today, LA Times, Forbes.com and more.

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Haunted Hills Hayride and the Valley of Darkness Haunted Walking Trail (20th Annual); N. Versailes,

2034 Springhill Furnace Road . Smithfield, PA 15478

PA. Journey through the woods at our two haunted attractions by wagon or foot for a factor of fright and fear. Karaoke/DJ, live bands; BeneďŹ ts the Autism Society of Pittsburgh. For more info visit: hauntedhillshayride.com/ 724-382-8296; Facebook: Haunted Hills Hayride.

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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.FOOD.

YOU SHOULD EAT BUGS BY MAGGIE WEAVER // MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

CP PHOTO: JOIE KNOUSE

Critter snaps — ginger snaps made with cricket flour

T

OBIN SEASTEDT’S apple fritters look like you might expect: fried to a golden brown, with a drizzle of icing soaking sweetly into hot dough. But when you bite into it, a worm might fall out. Seastedt is the owner of Crickets to Betsy, a company rooted in entomophagy (the practice of humans eating insects). Everything she makes incorporates insects. The baker/cook came across the idea by way of The Ellen Show, and three years ago, bought her first kets. Seastedt Seaste crickets. dove in headfirst, zing (so they “take the deep sleep,” freezing she laughed), boiling, and roasting the ects, then insects, xing them mixing to a batch into off pecan bars.

CRICKETS TO BETSY On Facebook and Instagram

Since then, she’s experimented with savory and sweet recipes that use crickets, mealworms, and scorpions; her favorite so far is a spicy cricket tomato sauce. Seastedt has no set conversion for bugs-to-bake. Each recipe reacts to the additional protein differently. Cricket pierogi dough, which turned out gummy and grey, currently holds the title of “worst.” Seastedt’s mealworm apple fritters are her latest success. There’s no denying that eating bugs gives most people the heebie-jeebies, but the practice is actually fairly common in global cuisines overall. (The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO] estimates that over two billion people eat insects daily.) Edib Edible insects aren’t called the “fu “future of food” for nothing; their benefits far outweigh any jitters. Feed conversion ratio — the ra rate an organism can convert feed into output — for insects is very small, about 1.5-to-1 for a cricket. (Cow (Cows come in around 10-to-one.) IInsects’ birth rates are higher, however, making them a more

sustainable protein source, and they emit far fewer greenhouse gases than livestock. One cricket contains 60 to 70 percent protein, around 12.5 grams of protein per 100 grams of insect according to the FAO, similar to two tablespoons of peanut butter. Adding bugs to daily diets would lower meat consumption and, in turn, cut carbon emissions from beef production. Sprinkling roasted crickets or powder onto pasta, ice cream, or into cookie dough takes away some of the sugary guilt, by adding substantial protein and calcium. If a worm hadn’t fallen out the second I took a bite of Seastedt’s fritter, I might not have known it was made with bugs. It was exactly what an apple doughnut should be: springy and light, filled with chunks of apple and warm with cinnamon. Plus worm butts. Her critter snaps — ginger snaps made with cricket flour — were fantastic. They were expertly made, the top cracking in the oven and shimmering with a roll of sugar. The ginger masked any sign of cricket, and unlike other

“healthy” sweets, there was no tinge of bitterness from added protein. Lastly, there were chili-lime roasted crickets. It took a lot of courage to put the full bug in my mouth (thankfully, she chose crickets with the fewest legs). I’m not quite sure what I expected — maybe for it to fly away — but it offered a slight crunch followed by a punch of spice. There aren’t many Pittsburghers commissioning Seastedt’s buggy bakes. Instead, the entomophage (aka bug chef/eater) says she’s finding a place in educational settings. “I feel like one of the most radical things people can do is self-sufficiency,” she says. Eventually, that’s her goal. Seastedt hopes that Crickets to Betsy will be a resource for those interested in raising and cooking with edible bugs. She dreams of opening a symbiotic cricket farm and nonprofit that turns local produce into local protein. Until then, Seastedt plans to keep baking with bugs and educating the city on why telling people to “eat bugs” might not be an insult after all.

Follow staff writer Maggie Weaver on Twitter @magweav

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PGHCITYPAPER.COM


PHOTO: BIG EASY DOG DAZE & CAFE

FRESH HANDMADE FOOD LOCAL CRAFT BEER DAILY SPECIALS .ON THE ROCKS.

HAIR OF THE DOG, FOR THE DOG BY MAGGIE WEAVER // MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

I

T’S NOT HARD to find a dog-friendly

restaurants and bars in Pittsburgh. Grist House Craft Brewery in Millvale is so dog-friendly that they created an entire Instagram page dedicated to pups at the brewery. It’s not uncommon to see them lounging underneath tables at cafés year round. But finding a spot where you and your pet can both order a drink is a different story. Starbucks was the first major chain to use the term puppacino (coffee, but for your dog), a novelty, pup-sized cup filled with whipped cream. The “secret” menu item was a complete hit with dog owners and in no time, other restaurants were incorporating dog treats onto their menus. Some Pittsburgh establishments are taking dog-friendly to a new level, offering menus and dishes designed just for dogs, so you and your pup can both enjoy a midday pick-me-up at your favorite café.

The Big Easy Dog Daze & Cafe

Becky Frazier). On the short menu of dog-friendly treats are pupsicles (made from banana, soy yogurt, and peanut butter) and two slushies: the pitt bull and cocoa dingo. Both doggie drinks are made with soy milk and ice, the pitt bull blending in peanut butter and the cocoa dingo adding carob powder. Frazier points out that all of the treats are delicious (even for humans), but when the dog drinks it, they “know it’s good.”

CRAFTYJACKALOPE.COM

The Pittsburgh Sandwich Society PGHSANDWICHSOCIETY.COM

If your pup isn’t a coffee fan, try The Pittsburgh Sandwich Society’s dog dishes. There’s an entirely separate society for dogs on the food truck: Winston’s Crunch Society. Track down the mobile sandwich eater and treat your pup to a PB Milkbone sandwich, a three ounce ground beef patty, or grilled chicken. And, don’t forget condiments: The crunch society has four meat-flavored sauces: petchup, muttstard, mutt-n-aise, and bark-b-q.

12 MCCANDLESS AVE., LAWRENCEVILLE

The Big Easy Dog Daze & Cafe has it all: doggie daycare, grooming, an animal hospital, and their own version of a puppacino. The hospital cares for all animals — even ferrets — but this one-stop shop for pet owners offers a dog specific menu of ruff-freshers (“cats just don’t like to eat anywhere else but their house,” points out practice manager

Page Dairy Mart & Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream PAGEDAIRYMART.COM MILLIESHOMEMADE.COM

Dogs deserve ice cream too. (Also, there’s nothing more adorable than a pup licking an ice cream cone.) Treat your pet to a soft serve cone topped with a Milk Bone at Page Dairy Mart or visit one of Millie’s locations for a puppy cup.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

19


TURKEY FARM Farm Fresh! Local! Antibiotic & Preservative Free!

PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE ROLLAWAY DOG CAFE

.FOOD.

ROLLAWAY DOG CAFÉ

RESERVE RESERVE YOUR FAVORITE FAVORITE YOUR HOLIDAY DISH DISH HOLIDAY TODAY! TODAY:

BY MAGGIE WEAVER // MWEAVER@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

I

MAGINE YOU’RE A dog and it’s been a long day of chasing tennis balls. All you want to do is lay in the grass, get a belly rub, and relax with a bottle of Texas’ finest Good Boy dog beer. Enter the Rollaway Dog Café, Pittsburgh’s first dog food truck. The only thing for humans at The Rollaway Dog Café is bottled water. Everything else — menu and merchandise — is for your pup.

THE ROLLAWAY DOG CAFÉ rollawaydogcafe.com

Thanksgiving Pick up • Recently frozen: Nov. 24th, 9am-4pm • Frosty fresh: Nov. 25th-27th, 9am-4pm

Christmas Pick up • Recently frozen: Dec. 21st, 9am-4pm • Frosty fresh: Dec. 23rd, 9am-4pm

JONESTURKEYFARM.COM • 724-352-0063 • 724-352-2450 OPEN EVERY DAY FROM 7AM TO 5PM 20

PGHCITYPAPER.COM

The concept started with Ann Straub, a pet owner and biologist. Straub, constantly battling her pets’ medical issues, decided to leave her work re-integrating wolves in Yellowstone to research pet nutrition. She moved home to Pennsylvania, opened The Holistic Pet Nutrition Center, an animal food store in Harmony, and started using nutrition as a preventative treatment. As the store grew, Straub connected with Maureen Laniewski, owner of a local pet-sitting business, and hired Rae McStay as a general manager. Two years ago, McStay, who owned an empty food cart, proposed that she, Straub, and Laniewski create a mobile eatery for their four-legged friends. The mission of The Rollaway Dog Café is twofold. All three women are dog owners (one of each founder’s pets

is featured on the truck’s logo), and call themselves “nutrition enthusiasts,” finding truth in the truck’s motto, “food is medicine.” In addition to fun treats, the founding trio uses their truck as an educational resource. “There is a rhyme or reason to everything we’re selling on the truck — the benefits it will have for animals,” says Laniewski. On the cart’s side window, there are flyers to educate dog owners about these unfamiliar, raw superfoods, because just like people, Laniewski explains, dogs “are what they eat.” The truck’s menu features items not typically available in chain stores. There are pre-packaged goods like raw-coated biscuits, cheese treats, and freeze-dried hearts. A raw food bar includes goat and cow cheese, and kefir, fermented fresh cow milk, ice cream that comes in two flavors: pumpkin and turkey. These raw products come from different companies — Laniewski says that Answers Pet Food, a Pennsylvania-local raw, organic food company, gets the most traffic in and out of the truck — that Straub and McStay work with at the pet nutrition center. Goat’s milk for snow cones comes pre-frozen before thrown in an ice machine; “raw” turkey is already processed and formulated for dogs. For pups with a sweet tooth, The Rollaway carries pupsicles (available in pumpkin and bone broth flavors) and watermelon slushies. And of course, there’s plenty of dog beer to go around.


Eating Happily. Leaving with Smile.

DINING OUT

SPONSORED LISTINGS FROM CITY PAPER ’S FINE ADVERTISERS

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED RESTAURANT

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.

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.

LEON’S CARIBBEAN 823 E WARRINGTON AVE., ALLENTOWN 412-431-5366 / LEONSCARIBBEAN.COM Family owned and operated since December 2014. Here at Leon’s, we take pride in our recipes and quality of dishes. Simple menu with all the traditional dishes! Leon Sr. has been a chef for 30+ years, mastering the taste everyone has grown to love and can only get at Leon’s.

MERCURIO’S ARTISAN GELATO AND NEAPOLITAN PIZZA 5523 WALNUT ST., SHADYSIDE 412-621-6220 / MERCURIOSGELATOPIZZA.COM Authentic Neapolitan pizza, artisan gelato, and an inviting atmosphere are just a small

The True Taste of Thai

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.

2018 MURRAY AVE. PGH, PA 15217

412-422-6767

WWW.TOOKTOOK98.COM

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.

Are you tired of tracking down food trucks?

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.

Don’t miss our Weekly Food Truck Schedule! Available every Tuesday at pghcitypaper.com

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.

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

21


Museum Flora and Fauna wallpaper by Ashley Cecil

.ART.

^ Ashley Cecil

ANIMAL SHOW

Visual artist, Highland Park ashleycecil.com “People usually respond positively to animals. I use them as subjects in paintings that address environmental issues.”

BY LISA CUNNINGHAM // LCUNNINGHAM@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

A

NIMALS HAVE LONG been artists’ muses, from their humble beginnings

40,000 years ago as Paleolithic sketches on cave walls to the brightly colored screen-printed cows seen just inside the front doors of Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum. Today, Pittsburgh artists continue to incorporate animals into their pieces in exciting ways, from new takes on traditional mediums to 3D do-it-yourself creations made to be displayed on living room walls.

^

Milo Berezin Ceramics artist, Point Breeze miloberezin.etsy.com

“As a wild kid in the woods of Alaska, I always thought I’d grow up to become an entomologist, herpetologist, or other flavor of zoologist. I ultimately followed a different path, but my love of critters of all sorts has never faded!”

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PGHCITYPAPER.COM

Ceramic animal magnets by Milo Berezin


Three Headed Snake: hand-hooked rug made with hand-dyed wool, raffia, and recycled plastic netting from produce bags

THE ART OF GOODBYE BY LISA CUNNINGHAM LCUNNINGHAM@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

^

Kirsten Ervin Visual artist, Lawrenceville kirstenervin.org “I’m often struck by how often animals appear in artwork, especially the exotic and endangered species, and I’d like to challenge myself and other artists using these images to do more to protect these species from disappearing. They are a part of our imagination and work, and we can do more to make sure they stick around.”

A pet sympathy card from Klugworld Veterinary Communications

When a dog they knew passed away, Dave and Pat Klug couldn’t find the perfect sympathy card to send their friend, so they made one themselves, leading to a business creating pet sympathy cards for over 10 years. “We love all animals and have great respect for them,” says Dave, an artist and designer, and Pat, an advertising and marketing professional, who sell their cards and artwork to both animal lovers and animal care professionals. Klugworld Veterinary Communications’ line of cards are not just tasteful, but objects of art suitable for framing: A dog running carefree toward the rainbow bridge, a bunny leaping in stardust, a horse jumping through the clouds, a cat walking underneath a shooting star. A sample of the text inside one of the cards: “Please accept our deepest sympathy, and know that you and your beloved friend are in our thoughts today.”

Gina Marie Chalfant

^

Resident DIY paper craft animal kit

Pottery artist, Dormont whiteswanstudio.etsy.com “I grew up in a family that loved and rescued animals. I love that they provide unconditional, nonjudgmental love, unless you are late with their dinner.”

KLUGWORLD VETERINARY COMMUNICATIONS klugworld.com

White Swan Studio bat jar

The work isn’t sad, they say, but “inspiring and uplifting.” Their designs have won the highest honors in the National Stationery Show. They’re sold to vets across the country, from Pittsburgh to the west coast, and as far as Australia. The couple also sells animalrelated artwork at festivals and will soon be opening Double Dog Studios, a storefront in Carnegie. Why animals? They are animal lovers and have two rescue dogs of their own, Ollie and George. “Jack the cat just passed away,” says Pat. “We still look for him and love to be reminded about him through photos, stories, and Dave’s art.” •

^ Tristan Sopp Cardstock paper artist, Fineview residentdesign.com “The complex shapes [of animals] are super fun to try to recreate in paper.” CONTINUES ON PG. 24

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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ART SHOW, CONTINUED FROM PG. 23

Needle felt animals by Michelle Miller

^ Michelle Miller Needle felt artist, North Fayette runredrun.com

Jessi Cramer

^

Tattoo artist, Bloomfield Instagram.com/jcramer_tattoos

“I love animals! Who doesn’t? Plus, the texture of the wool lends itself well to furry critters.”

Rodent tattoo by Jessi Cramer at Curiosity Shop Tattoo

“I love drawing and tattooing birds and cats especially.”

Ceramic plate by Molly Bee

^ Molly Bee Pottery artist, East Liberty Instagram.com/queerlyclay “Animals have unique and quirky personalities and I like to show that. I’m also a cat TNR (trap, neuter, return) advocate/trapper and have seen quite an unusual variety of cats and kittens.”

Follow editor-in-chief Lisa Cunningham on Twitter @trashyleesuh

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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Screenshot from cheetah cam at Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium

.FILM.

SCREECH FOR THE CAMERA BY HANNAH LYNN // HLYNN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

I

N JANUARY 2019, hip-hop artist

Aesop Rock released a song with electronic musician and Pittsburgh artist TOBACCO called “Churro.” The song’s lyrics describe, in specific detail, the scene of an eagle caught on camera eating a cat to the shock of its viewers. It’s a reference to a 2016 incident in which a live-cam set up in a Pittsburgh bald eagle nest by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania captured footage of the eagles carrying a dead kitten

into the nest to feast on. At the time, Audubon spokesperson Rachel Handel released a statement on Facebook to ease the disgust of some viewers. “To people, the cat represents a pet, but to the eagles and to other raptors, the cat is a way to sustain the eaglets and help them to grow,” she wrote, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Or, as Aesop says it, “We overlook the fact that while sometimes a cat’ll eat a bird/Sometimes a bird’ll eat a cat like it’s a fuckin’ churro.”

CHEETAH CAM AT PITTSBURGH ZOO & PPG AQUARIUM pittsburghzoo.org/cheetah-webcam

PIXCAMS WILDLIFE CAMERA pixcams.com/WebCam

FALCON CAM dep.state.pa.us/dep/falcon/falcon-cam-popup_v2.html

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Live-cams at zoos and parks started becoming available for public viewing sometime in the early-to-mid 2000s. People have always loved watching animals in zoos or in nature documentaries, so something that allowed people to watch real animals in real (or semi-real) habitats was a thrilling creation. You rarely get to see animals just hanging out unedited in their homes. While there isn’t data readily available on animal live-cam popularity over the years, it’s fair to hypothesize that it has declined (if it was ever a thriving industry). It’s not as much of a novelty to watch anything live anymore. And while the jury is still out on whether technology has decreased attention spans, it’s almost certainly more difficult today to commit your time to a video of a piece of land in which an animal may

or may not appear. As I was watching various live-cams, there were never more than four other people watching at the same time. There are several animals livestreaming in the Pittsburgh area. The eagle cam is still active. The Pittsburgh Zoo has a new camera setup in its cheetah enclosure, where viewers can try to spot the cats from eight different angles. When I first used it, I saw no cheetah and looked through all the angles, assuming I’d have to watch a blank patch of grass until a cheetah wandered in. Then I realized it was hiding in plain sight, blocked by some branches. The National Aviary hosts a livecam of the peregrine falcons that live atop the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. I watched this camera for a while, but it only has one


Screenshot from Pixcams Wildlife Camera

IT’S SO BORING IT’S ALMOST EXCITING. NOTHING IS HAPPENING, BUT IT’S NATURE, SO ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN. angle, a gravel cubby where the falcons hang out. I didn’t see the birds. I did spend some time with another city-dwelling falcon — the 15th floor of the Rachel Carson State Office Building in Harrisburg is home to falcons, which are watched by a four-angle camera. While not all live-cams have sound, this one does, and you can hear the city sounds swirling around the falcon lair. I caught the falcon several times, mostly when perched on the edge of the building, picking at its feathers. One of the more active live-cams I found is described as being located 30 miles outside Pittsburgh in the middle of the woods (it’s simply called “Wildlife Cam” and isn’t sponsored by an institution). Near the camera is a feeder to attract animals like deer and raccoons, but even if there aren’t any in the picture, there are usually birds, and the stream offers the peaceful sounds of live nature. I watched it, waiting for deer to appear, aware that I could walk across the street to the Allegheny Cemetery and see deer almost immediately. Even dog daycare business Camp Bow Wow has live-cams so owners can watch their pups, or me, a

stranger, watching other strangers’ dogs play with each other. While these live-cams do provide mild and leisurely entertainment, they are also used for research purposes. Institutions and researchers can better assess an animal’s behavior if there’s a camera on watch 24/7. They have a log of its eating, sleeping, mating, and birthing patterns. In 2018, the Aviary’s falcon cam allowed bird experts to speculate why Hope, a female falcon, had eaten two of her newly hatched eggs. Most of the time spent watching animal live-cams is boring. They come in and out when they please, and there’s no guarantee of seeing them on screen. Even when the animal is in the frame, it’s still just a mid-quality video stream of a deer eating or a cheetah sleeping. But the boringness is also part of the thrill. It’s so boring it’s almost exciting. Nothing is happening, but it’s nature, so anything could happen. Maybe Aesop Rock put it best in “Churro,” when he said, “You could stare into a portal/That reminds you there is more/Than what your awful nine-tofive permits you.”

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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THE LOCAL 913: FLOWER CROWN BY LIZ FELIX // LIZ@WYEP.ORG

The beachy, dreamy songs that Richie Colosimo writes for his band Flower Crown started in a decidedly snowy place: Erie, Pa. Colosimo started Flower Crown as a bedroom project that blossomed into a full band when he moved to Pittsburgh. Winter can be tough here too, though: “We love it here, but it does get pretty gloomy. These songs can put us in a different place.” Flower Crown’s shoegaze-y new album, Sundries, is drenched in reverb and dream-pop sounds that attracted the attention of Connor Murray, who runs Pittsburgh’s Crafted Sounds STAY UP-TOlabel. Colosimo DATE WITH THIS speaks highly WEEK’S LOCAL of Murray and calls Flower MUSIC NEWS Crown a bit WITH CP MUSIC of an outlier WRITER JORDAN for the label, SNOWDEN but says that’s actually benefitted AND WYEP his band. “We’re EVENING MIX not quite like HOST LIZ FELIX everyone else Listen every on his label. It helped us Wednesday reach a different at 7 p.m. on audience here 91.3FM WYEP that we might not have if we weren’t on the label.” Colosimo keeps a positive attitude, even when writing about dark times in his adopted city. One song, “Snow Blower,” was written “at the end of last year when there were a lot of terrible things happening in the country and a lot of terrible things happening in Pittsburgh. And the lyrics kind of turned into a mantra that we repeat, that we felt reflected our feelings and maybe other people’s, too,” he says. The song means a lot to the band. “It’s a positive song even if the lyrics might not sound like it.” •

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PHOTO: ED DEARMITT/PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Fiddlesticks in action with (L) Resident Conductor Andrés Franco and (R) guest vocalist Katy Williams.

.MUSIC.

MEET FIDDLESTICKS BY JORDAN SNOWDEN // JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

S

OMEONE LIVES INSIDE Heinz Hall. Who is lucky enough to call the performing

arts center and concert hall their home, you ask? It’s Fiddlesticks! The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO) friendly, furry musical ambassador. Fiddlesticks helps make sure everyone who attends concerts at the PSO discovers new things, gets involved, feels comfortable, and enjoys the show, especially younger classical music fans. Fiddlesticks has been taking PSO visitors on musical adventures at Heinz Hall for some time, and Pittsburgh City Paper felt it was time to learn a little bit about the cat behind the music. Via an email interview (that was transcribed by Resident Conductor Andrés Franco), CP and Fiddlesticks talked classical music, relaxing, and what he has coming up at the PSO.

SO, FIDDLESTICKS, TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT KIND OF CAT ARE YOU? I am a musical cat. I love to play the violin and dance around. I am happiest when I can share the beautiful music of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with my many young friends in the audience in Heinz Hall (also my home). WHAT GETS YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY?

The incredible music that comes from the orchestra. When the audience hears the amazing sounds of the many instruments of the PSO, they love it! They clap and move and dance and sing along, and that makes me so happy! WHY IS MUSIC LIKE THE SYMPHONY PLAYS SO IMPORTANT TO KIDS? The PSO is everyone’s orchestra in Pittsburgh. The musicians play all different types of music and they are great!

Sometimes they play music I recognize and sometimes they play music I have never heard before. I like to listen to both of these types of music and learn about new types of sounds. Listening and thinking and asking questions is how we learn new things. Then, we can share our new thoughts with new friends! WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CONDUCTOR, AND WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG? I have many favorite songs and conduc-


symphony.org. There are activities in Heinz Hall before the concert in the rooms in the front of Heinz Hall, and after the concert everyone can come by the signing table in the Grand Lobby to meet me, Resident Conductor Andrés Franco, and vocalist Katy Williams. It is going to be a great year! Here are the dates of my concerts - November 23rd, Up and Away; February 1st, Love is in the Air; and, April 4th, Spring has Sprung!

tors. It is too difficult to choose one of each. The PSO has wonderful conductors and they are all my friends. WHERE DID YOUR THEME SONG COME FROM? DID YOU CREATE IT, OR DID YOU HAVE A LITTLE HELP FROM FRIENDS? Lucas Richman composed my theme song, “Music Can Make Your Life Complete.” A composer creates music for the orchestra to play. When Lucas composed this music, he was also the conductor of the Fiddlesticks Family Series. He and I became life-long friends. I told him we needed a song at the beginning of the concert and at the very end of the concert that invited everyone to join in and singalong with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – to create music together. HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME OFF? WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX? Like many cats you might know, I do like to eat and sleep a lot. My favorite food is macaroni and cheese! I also like to practice my violin, play around with my friends, and spend time outside enjoying the sunshine. Mostly, I relax by

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW? I want to welcome everyone to enjoy my concerts. In case you didn’t know, there is a family restroom, Braille programs, a quiet room, fidgets, and noise-canceling headphones for each of my concerts. I hope my friends in the audience will enjoy the concert more because we have these available.

CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM

A sensory-friendly PSO concert at Heinz Hall

UP AND AWAY! 11:15 a.m. Sat., Nov. 23. Heinz Hall, 600 Penn Ave., Downtown. $16-28. pittsburghsymphony.org

stretching, cleaning my fur, and listening to music. WHAT KIND OF EVENTS DO YOU HAVE COMING UP AT THE PSO,

FIDDLESTICKS? AND HOW CAN INTERESTED PARTIES BECOME MORE INVOLVED? I have three concerts this season and you can find out more at pittsburgh-

BTW, WHAT ARE YOUR PRONOUNS, FIDDLESTICKS? My pronouns are he/him, or you can just call me Fid or Fiddlesticks. My official title is the PSO’s Feline Ambassador to Young Children, but my favorite thing to be called is FRIEND!

Follow staff writer Jordan Snowden on Twitter @snowden_jordan

PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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SEVEN DAYS OF CONCERTS PUNK ROCK HALLOWEEN PARTY 3 FEAT. LOTUS KID SAT., OCT. 19 Pop-punk group Lotus Kid returns to The Smiling Moose for the third edition of Punk Rock Halloween Party. After dropping its newest music video “Self Worth” and releasing the debut EP Wasting Away in the summer of 2018, the band is expecting this upcoming Halloween event to be the biggest one yet. Also on the bill is Another Cheetah, Someone Just Like You, and Paper States. Don’t forget your costume. 9:30 p.m. 1306 E. Carson St., South Side. $10-12. facebook.com/lotuskidband PHOTO: ZAC BIANCO

Lotus Kid

FULL LIST ONLINE pghcitypaper.com

THURSDAY OCT. 17 ROCK BOB SEGER AND THE SILVER BULLET BAND. PPG Paints Arena. 7:30 p.m. Uptown. THE MINKS, MURDER FOR GIRLS. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 8 p.m. Millvale.

ACOUSTIC THE THREE SIDES. Peppers N’AT. 7 p.m. Braddock. CONSCIOUS SOCA. Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. 7:30 p.m. Shady Side.

JAZZ RYAN SALISBURY. Mansions on Fifth. 5:30 p.m. Shady Side.

COVERS

MUDHONEY. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Millvale.

TUPELO AND NOAH. Spoonwood Brewing Co. 7 p.m. Bethel Park.

TOM KEIFER. Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. Warrendale.

FRIDAY OCT. 18

R&B KEVIN GATES. Stage AE. 7:30 p.m. North Side.

ELECTRONIC LATE NIGHT RADIO. Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville. GOLF CLAP. Scenario. 9 p.m. South Side.

TRIBUTE RUMOURS (FLEETWOOD MAC). The Palace Theatre. 12 p.m. Greensburg. PITT FLOYD (PINK FLOYD). Crafthouse Stage & Grill. 8:30 p.m. Whitehall.

EXPERIMENTAL

ACROBAT (U2). Oaks Theater. 7:30 p.m. Oakmont.

PHARMAKON. Gooski’s. 9 p.m. Polish Hill.

ALTERNATIVE/INDIE

HIP HOP/RAP BRITTNEY CHANTELE. New Hazlett Theater. 8 p.m. North Side. INNER STATE 81, LIL ACEY, CHARLIE SCOTT. Spirit. 9:30 p.m. Lawrenceville.

FOLK/AMERICANA MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER, SHAWN COLVIN. Byham Theater. 7:30 p.m. Downtown. THE SHAMELESS HEX. Hop Farm Brewing. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

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JOEY HARKUM BAND, KEYSTONE VIBE. Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville. RETIREMENT PARTY, LILITH, SOFT TOSS. The Mr. Roboto Project. 7 p.m. Bloomfield. CLAIRE WITH THE TURBAN (RECORD RELEASE). Full Pint Wild Side Pub. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

ACOUSTIC PITTSBURGH SONGWRITERS SHOWCASE (ALL FEMALE). Hambone’s. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

DARYL SHAWN. Backstage Bar. 5 p.m. Downtown. RUBY CLAIRE’S DEAD FLOWERS. The Park House. 9 p.m. North Side.

FUNK TURKUAZ, ANDY FRASCO & THE U.N. Rex Theater. 8 p.m. South Side.

STIFF LITTLE FINGERS. Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. Warrendale. THE WONDER YEARS. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 6 p.m. Millvale.

EXPERIMENTAL THAT 1 GUY. Club Cafe. 9 p.m. South Side.

BLUES

PUNK

TORONZO CANNON (CD RELEASE). Moondog’s. 8:30 p.m. Blawnox.

THE HANDSOME SCOUNDRELS, THE NEW 52, CITY ESCAPE ARTIST. Howlers. 9 p.m. Bloomfield.

CLASSICAL/OPERA DON GIOVANNI. Benedum Center. 7:30 p.m. Downtown.

DANVERS, BOOZE RADLY. 222 Ormsby. 7 p.m. Mt. Oliver.

RUDDIGORE. Andrew Carnegie Free Library Music Hall. 8 p.m. Carnegie.

FOLK

REGGAE THE FLOW BAND. Wallace’s Tap Room. 7 p.m. East Liberty.

SATURDAY OCT. 19

MULTI GENRE

CLASSICAL/OPERA

BIG BABY, ALVIN ROW, EVIN DANIELS, TYLER HEAVEN. Babyland. 7 p.m. Oakland.

OCTOBER BROWN BAG CONCERT. Pittsburgh Opera. 12 p.m. Strip District.

ROCK

EDGEWOOD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONCERT. Katz Performing Arts Center. 7:30 p.m. Oakland.

THREE DOG NIGHT. Meadows Racetrack & Casino. 8 p.m. Washington.

PETER MULVEY. 412 Food Rescue. 7 p.m. East Liberty.

THE X’S HALLOWEEN BASH ON THE BOAT. Gateway Clipper. 7 p.m. South Side.

ROCK

THE BIG BEND, CHET VINCENT. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 8 p.m. Millvale.

DONNIE IRIS & THE CRUISERS. Jegel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. Warrendale.

THE WASTED, THE SAN FRANCISCO SEX TOYS. Preserving Hardcore. 7 p.m. New Kensington.

THE CLARKS. The Palace Theatre. 7 p.m. Greensburg.

SILENCE FOLLOWS, CONFLICT CYCLE. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 7 p.m. Millvale.

COVERS HALF COVERED HALLOWEEN PART 5. The Fallout Shelter. 7:30 p.m. Beaver Falls.

RAP/HIP HOP KEVIN GATES. Stage AE. 7 p.m. North Side.

NIGHTMARATHONS, FRED OAKMAN AND THE FLOOD. Howlers. 8 p.m. Bloomfield.

SOLES AND THE NEW VIOLENCE, WALKMAN. Full Pint Wild Side Pub. 7 p.m. Lawrenceville.

ALTERNATIVE/INDIE

KID QUILL. The Smiling Moose. 6 p.m. South Side.

!!! (CHK CHK CHK). Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville. PADDY THE WANDERER, FLOWER CROWN. Brillobox. 9 p.m. Bloomfield.

COVERS THE GARCIA PROJECT (TRIBUTE TO JERRY GARCIA). Oaks Theater. 8 p.m. Oakmont.

R&B/BLUES BILLY OCEAN. Meadows Racetrack & Casino. 8 p.m. Washington. THE NIGHTHAWKS. Moondog’s. 8:30 p.m. Blawnox.

FESTIVAL MILLVALE MUSIC HARVEST FESTIVAL. Millvale Riverfront Park. 4 p.m. Millvale.

ELECTRONIC JUANA, BASTET. Hot Mass. 12 a.m. Downtown.

JAZZ CHARLIE HUNTER, LUCY WOODWARD. Club Cafe. 6 p.m. South Side. JOEY ALEXANDER. MCG Jazz. 6 p.m. North Side. JESSICA LEE. Dorothy 6 Cafe. 6:30 p.m. Homestead.

FOLK NOAH GUNDERSEN. Rex Theater. 7 p.m. South Side.

PUNK KIDNAPPED/ASHEN. Preserving Hardcore. 6 p.m. New Kensington.

SUNDAY OCT. 20 R&B/BLUES BLUES FROM THE BURGH 5 (CD RELEASE). Moondog’s. 2 p.m. Blawnox. NATASHA BEDINGFIELD. Carnegie Library Music Hall. 8 p.m. Homestead.

ROCK DAUGHTRY. The Palace Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Greensburg. SWERVEDRIVER. Rex Theater. 7 p.m. South Side. BLACKFOOT GYPSIES. Spirit. 9 p.m. Lawrenceville. WILLIE NILE. Club Cafe. 7 p.m. South Side. 3 YEARS HOLLOW, MADAME MAYHEM. Hard Rock Cafe. 7 p.m. South Side.


THIS IS THE PLACE PHOTO: CALEB KUHL

Matt and Kim

MATT AND KIM FRI., OCT. 18

It was a huge disappointment last year when a storm derailed Thrival Music Festival, causing Matt and Kim to cancel their performance. Thankfully, the indie dance duo is coming back to Pittsburgh — indoors this time, at Stage AE. To make matters better, Matt and Kim (Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino) are on their Grand 10 Year Celebration Tour, meaning they’ll be playing their breakout sophomore album Grand in full, including hits “Daylight” and “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare,” along with brand new single “GO GO” and more. “This album totally changed me and Kim’s lives, but some of the songs off Grand we’ve never even played live before,” says Johnson. “We’re really excited we get to do this trip and we’ve never done anything like it. It’s gonna be special.” 7 p.m. 400 N. Shore Drive, North Side. $29.50-75. promowestlive.com TRASH BOAT. Crafthouse Stage & Grill. 7 p.m. Whitehall.

TUESDAY OCT. 22

WEDNESDAY OCT. 23

DIRTY ANTIX (BENEFIT SHOW). The Mr. Roboto Project. 6 p.m. Bloomfield.

RAP/HIP HOP

POP

EARTHGANG, BENJI. Spirit. 7 p.m. Lawrenceville.

CANDLEBOX. Roxian Theatre. 8 p.m. McKees Rocks.

R&B

MISSIO. Stage AE. 7 p.m. North Side.

SLAUGHTER. Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. Warrendale.

ALTERNATIVE/INDIE TORUS EYES, KY VÖSS, DOORS IN THE LABYRINTH. The Government Center. 8 p.m. North Side. SAN FERMIN. Thunderbird Café & Music Hall. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

COUNTRY KELSEY WALDON. Cattivo. 7:30 p.m. Lawrenceville.

MONDAY OCT. 21 RAP/HIP HOP FATLIP, SLIMKID3. The Smiling Moose. 6 p.m. South Side.

ACOUSTIC CITY OF THE SUN. Club Cafe. 7 p.m. South Side.

MELVIN SEALS AND JGB. Rex Theater. 7 p.m. South Side.

FUNK YUNG BAE. Stage AE. 7 p.m. North Side.

JAZZ ELEPHANT WRECKING BALL. Club Cafe. 7 p.m. South Side.

ELECTRONIC

PASCAL NIGGENKEMPER. Full Pint Wild Side Pub. 8 p.m. Lawrenceville.

DUNGEON ACID, MX SILKMAN. 3577 Studios. 8 p.m. Polish Hill.

ALTERNATIVE/INDIE

ALTERNATIVE/INDIE PEAER. The Mr. Roboto Project. 7 p.m. Bloomfield.

TRIBUTE LEONID & FRIENDS (CHICAGO). Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. Warrendale.

JAZZ

Events ts

ROSIE TUCKER. The Mr. Roboto Project. 7 p.m. Bloomfield.

COUNTRY TAYLOR HICKS. Jergel’s Rhythm Grille. 8 p.m. Warrendale.

ROCK

FUNKY FLY PROJECT. Backstage Bar. 5 p.m. Downtown.

THE DANGEROUS SUMMER. The Smiling Moose. 6 p.m. South Side.

R&R JAZZ TRIO. The Park House. 8 p.m. North Side.

STEWART COPELAND. Mr. Smalls Theatre. 8 p.m. Millvale.

CORPORATE & PRIVATE EVENTS

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 OCT. 16-23, 2019

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.FILM.

ANIMAL INSTINCT BY AMANDA WALTZ AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

W

HEN IT COMES to directing animals, Michael Killen started with one of the world’s most famous Chihuahuas – the “Yo Quiero Taco Bell?” dog from the fast-food giant’s hugely successful ad campaign. While he served as an animator on that project, it led to a career that, over the past couple of decades, has included shoots with camels in South Africa, cows in New Zealand, and Longhorn steers in Texas, among others. As co-founder of the Pittsburghbased production company Animal Inc., Killen, who lives in the South Hills, continues to work with furry and feathered actors as a visual effects supervisor or director, mostly for commercials. He credits his experience with the Taco Bell campaign, as well as other early projects, for helping him develop techniques that would better enable him to work with animals on set. “It comes down to a respect and patience with them,” says Killen. “I know what atmosphere to create and what really works well for animals and what their limitations are. … I can look at a script and say, ‘You’re really asking the animal to do something they can’t. … So maybe we change this a little bit.’” His production skills and penchant for animals led to making Downward Dog, a locally-shot web series that went on to become a short-lived show on ABC. Besides co-creating, directing, producing, and writing the series, Killen also cast Sadie, his brother-in-

PHOTO: STEPHEN HUNTER

Michael Killen of Downward Dog

“IT COMES DOWN TO A RESPECT AND PATIENCE WITH THEM.” law’s dog, as the star. “Sadie was just a dog that was really food-motivated,” says Killen. “She loved bologna and cheese and treats, and so I was able to put Sadie in front of the camera and she was such a remarkable dog.” Due to her advanced age, however,

Sadie had to be recast for the ABC series with a rescue out of Chicago named Ned. Still, Killen says she made a cameo in one episode before passing away not long after it was shot. Because Pittsburgh lacks professionally trained, camera-ready animals, Killen

sometimes has to source them from other states, mainly California, Florida, and New York. In one case, he brought in a team of trained squirrels to shoot a commercial for a real estate company. While he has interacted with a variety of animals, he admits that some are easier to work with than others. Overall, he finds dogs very intelligent and eager to please, using Sadie as an example that even a dog without any formal training can work on a set. And then there are cats, which, despite their bad reputation, are surprisingly amenable. “I’ve shot cats multiple times, they are much smarter than people give them credit for,” says Killen, who also lives with four cats. “A well-trained cat is a well-trained cat and they do amazing things, but there are so few of them.” But, he says, any shoot with an animal requires a lot of preparation and cooperation between the trainers and the assistant director, who ensures that everything is conducted in a safe manner. There are also certain rules and regulations, which can vary from state to state and from animal to animal. The safety of animals in movie and television production has come into question due to a number of incidents over the years, namely the death of several horses on the set of the now-cancelled HBO series Luck, and a leaked video of a German Shepherd being forced into a pool on the set of the 2017 film A Dog’s Purpose. Despite these controversies, Killen believes that, with the right crew and trainers, shoots can be a pleasant, even fun experience for any animal. He also sees his role as extending beyond the set. “I really want to be thoughtful,” says Killen. “I don’t want to just make the decision that I need [an animal] for these days and move on … It has to be something where I’m comfortable with knowing how the animal was brought to the set and why and how they’re cared for.”

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK • DELIVERY SERVICE AVAILABLE Great FALL items in stock! Corn stalks, pumpkins, mums & much more!

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OUR SEXY

FOOD

PHOTOS ARE TAKEN BY PROFESSIONALS

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SERVICES Services are offered to everyone, regardless of identity, income, or insurance status. • Full medical practice • Mental health services • Community health Navigator program • Transportation program • Food box program • Discounted pharmacy program

CONTACT 1789 S. Braddock Ave, #410 Pittsburgh, PA 15218 M Th F 8 AM - 4:30 PM Tu W 8 AM - 7:30 PM To make an appointment: (412) 247-2310 Proudly serving LGBT patients since 1999.

“Whole People, All People.” metrocommunityhealthcenter.org PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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CP PHOTOS: JARED WICKERHAM

Della and Dani Janae

.ART . .

ANIMAL ‘GRAMS BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

@DELLA_CHAMPAGNE For Dani Janae, the journey to owning a tarantula did not come naturally. First, she had to get over her lifelong fear of spiders. “As a kid, I once swore I saw a tarantula in my basement,” says Janae, who now admits it was more likely a wolf spider. “So I felt like that was the last fear I needed to conquer.” As part of that process, she started

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reading and watching videos about tarantulas. “I thought they were so incredible and adorable,” she says. “They’re like buck-toothed bunnies with more legs.” In May, she bought a tarantula called Della Champagne, who belongs to a docile breed known as Aphonopelma Chalcodes, or Arizona Blonde. Janae looked forward to spending 15 to 20 years with Della, the usual lifespan

for females of the breed. That was until Della molted, which signified that she was actually a male. Males, Janae explains, only live for two to three years. “I was honestly disappointed,” she says. “But he had already become such a joy and a part of my life that the feeling didn’t last long. I just vowed to make his life cooler since he won’t be around long.” She now runs an Instagram account

for Della, @della_champagne, as a way to help people understand tarantulas better by dispelling long-held myths, particularly the idea that they’re aggressive creatures venomous enough to kill humans. “Tarantula venom is harmless to humans, it’s basically a mild irritant,” say Janae. “They say if you’re allergic to bees it can be more threatening, but the most you’ll get is swelling and pain.”


She also wants to show the kind of the work that goes into caring for tarantulas, believing people should do their research before investing in one. She recommends buying from breeders and not pet stores, or visiting the Pittsburgh Reptile Expo, an annual event where Janae says she had her first real tarantula encounter. “I’m a poet and I’m also interested in spiders from a mythos stand point; they are such artists,” says Janae. “Ultimately, I think the spider and the poet have the same job: to quietly do our work.”

@BIRDKIBITZER Doug Graham denies that he owns the seven exotic birds living in his Bloomfield home. “I hate the word ‘owner,’” says Graham. “I do not own these birds, they are my companions.” These companions, all of which were rescued from people who no longer wanted or could no longer care for them, have become the subjects of the Instagram account, @birdkibitzer. Drawing on his experience as a photographer, Graham uses the account to focus on the adventures of the eclectus parrot Ziggy and his six “brothers.”

PHOTO: DOUG GRAHAM

Ziggy (L) and Mala (R)

The account features thousands of photos of the birds at home or meeting people at local restaurants and events, and on trips to places like Gettysburg. Graham says he originally started taking the birds outside because they required sunlight. Once he saw how people reacted to Ziggy, who suffers

from a condition that makes him pull out pieces of his own feathers, leaving him partially bald, Graham recognized an opportunity to help people better understand exotic birds. “I do it because I like educating people about what bird companionship is like,” says Graham, adding that Ziggy,

Follow senior writer Amanda Waltz on Twitter @AWaltzCP

with his gentle, friendly demeanor and expressive features, makes him a perfect ambassador. Misunderstanding the level of care these birds require is how Graham ended up with so many. He started saving exotic birds in the early ’90s when he saw how many were kept cooped up in cages as “living knick-knacks,” stressing how they are intelligent creatures that require a lot of stimulation and interaction. Besides Ziggy, he also cares for Mala, another eclectus, Maddy, an umbrella cockatoo, Duddy, an African grey timneh, Mieko, a Maximilian pionus, Oliver, a Hahn’s macaw, and Seymour, an African Senegal. While that may seem like a lot, Graham, now 61, says he’s able to care for the birds full time due to a heart condition that has left him unable to work. Graham hopes his Instagram will help the birds, all of which could live for many more decades, find a new home when he’s no longer able to care for them. But mostly, he wants it to reflect the amount of love and appreciation he has for them. “They’re more than just an animal,” says Graham. “They really have a sentient quality to them that people don’t really understand that much.”

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Untitled Goose Game

.GAMING.

GOOD FOR THE GOOSE BY AMANDA WALTZ // AWALTZ@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

M

Y GRANDMOTHER loved geese.

Loved them. So much so that anytime we drove by the pond near her house where dozens of Canada geese would gather, she would look upon the birds, with their dark plumage and striking white chinstraps, and smile, soaking in the breathtaking sight. What beauty, thought 8-year-old me. What grandeur. To touch one of these magnificent creatures would surely be something close to divine.

Goose Game sums up its absurd mission as “a lovely morning in the village, and you are a horrible goose.” But I wondered, would the game help me empathize with geese? Are they just misunderstood creatures trying, like all of us, to make sense of this cruel, confusing world? The answer is, kind of. Available for PC/Mac and Nintendo Switch, Untitled Goose Game, with its artfully simple graphics and jaunty music score, chal-

BEING AN UNRELENTING JERK, IT SEEMS, IS ITS OWN REWARD. Then one day, it happened — I was to finally meet the geese. Old bread in hand, my grandmother and I went to the pond and approached the flock. And they bit me. And then they chased me. You could barely hear my cries above all the honking. And that’s how I found out that geese are, in fact, horrible. This sentiment is shared by people in Pittsburgh who spend time and money figuring out how to chase the cursed birds from their property in the most humane way possible. There’s even a service called the Geese Police that uses a trained dog to scare off any winged creatures using your yard as their personal toilet. So it was no surprise when I discovered, via a plethora of weird memes on social media, that someone released a game inspired by the awfulness of geese. Made by House House, Untitled

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lenges players to mildly inconvenience as many people as possible. You can check off a to-do list of annoying tasks, such as stealing a character’s keys or dragging gardening implements into a pond. For the true social deviant, you can also just steal as many items as you can and hide them. I mostly terrorized a child and stole their toys. There are no points to earn. Being an unrelenting jerk, it seems, is its own reward. What the game does show is that modern society presents many difficulties for creatures that lack human speech or opposable thumbs. And with housing developments encroaching farther and farther into wildlife habitats, what is a goose to do but deal with it the best way they know how — by fighting back, even if that means taking all your shit.


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THU., OCT. 31ST THE DUDE RANCH (BLINK-182 TRIBUTE) HALLOWEEN BASH 7:30 P.M. HARD ROCK CAFÉ, STATION SQUARE. Under 21 with Guardian. $10. 412-481-ROCK or ticketfly.com.

THU., OCT. 31ST MISALIGNED MIND’S MONSTER MASH HALLOWEEN BASH 8 P.M. THE FUNHOUSE AT MR. SMALLS, MILLVALE. 21+ only. $10. 412-421-4447 or mrsmalls.com.

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FRI., NOV. 1ST PARTYNATION PRESENTS: THE UNDER 21 HALLOWEEN PARTY 8 P.M. MR. SMALLS THEATER, MILLVALE. 18+ $20. 412-421-4447 or mrsmalls.com.

FRI., NOV. 1ST CHELSEA HANDLER’S STAND-UP COMEDY TOUR 8 P.M. BYHAM THEATER, DOWNTOWN. All-Ages Event. $61.25-$116.25. 412-456-6666 or trustarts.org.

FRI., NOV. 1ST ICON FOR HIRE 6 P.M. SMILING MOOSE, SOUTHSIDE. All-Ages Event. $15-$199. 412-431-4668 or ticketfly.com.

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SAT., NOV. 2ND A DAY TO REMEMBER: THE DEGENRATES TOUR 6:30 P.M. PETERSEN EVENTS CENTER, OAKLAND. All-Ages Event. $27-$57. ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000.

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SEVEN DAYS OF ARTS+ENTERTAINMENT

^ Sun., Oct. 20: DOGA

THURSDAY OCT. 17

ART Nearing the anniversary of the anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life synagogue, the new exhibit Lest We Forget transforms the Cathedral of Learning’s lawn into a sprawling tribute to Holocaust survivors. The traveling show, from photographer Luigi Toscano, features large portraits of

survivors that “directly confront passersby, forcing viewers to confront the past.” The exhibit will also feature 16 portraits of Pittsburgh-area survivors that have never been seen. 4:30 p.m. Continues through Fri., Nov. 15. 4200 Fifth Ave., Oakland. hcofpgh.org

FILM Do you respect fungi? You should. The award-winning documentary The Kingdom: How Fungi Made our World makes a powerful case for these organisms, noting that they

“could cure you from smallpox and turn cardboard boxes into forests.” At the screening, fittingly held at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, learn how fungi could hold the keys to solving some of the most pressing and significant challenges we face as a species. 7 p.m. Botany Hall Auditorium, 1 Schenely Drive, Oakland. phipps.conservatory.org

STAGE Take a break from all the spooky October business with a heartwarming play at

North Allegheny Intermediate High School. Students will put on a production of Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White’s timeless tale of friendship between Wilbur, a little pig, and Charlotte, a spider. When Wilbur realizes he’s bound for the slaughterhouse, Charlotte uses her spinning talents to save him from a deadly fate. While that may seem dire, be assured that this is a family-friendly show with a beautiful ending. 7 p.m. Continues Sat., Oct 19. 350 Cumberland Road, North Hills. $8. northallegheny.org CONTINUES ON PG. 40

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CALENDAR, CONTINUED FROM PG. 38

^ Thu., Oct. 17: Lest We Forget

TALK First there came parenting, then over-parenting, then How to Raise an Adult by author Julie Lythcott-Haims was written. The book tackles the dangers of helicopter parenting and how a parent’s ambition for their child can create a stressful environment. Her most recent book, the 2018 memoir Real American, explores the micro-aggressions and low self-esteem she’s experienced throughout her life as a biracial person. You can see Lythcott-Haims

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speak about both topics and more when she appears at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall. 7 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $10. pittsburghlectures.org

STAGE Brittney Chantele is having a killer year. The musician’s new record has been getting frequent airplay on WYEP, earned the artist a spot on the main stage at this summer’s Three Rivers Arts Festival, and now, the album has been transformed into a full-blown

theatrical production. A Fire on Venus, the album and the stage show, is heavy on themes of love and emotions. As part of the New Hazlett Theater’s Community Supported Art Performance Series, the album will be performed in full, accompanied by visual art and dancers, with choreography by Kaylin Horgan. Chantele hopes to take the performance on the road after the show ends, so go now and take bragging rights for seeing it first. 8 p.m. Also Fri., Oct. 18. 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $25. newhazletttheater.org

FRIDAY OCT. 18

SQUASHED Why carve a pumpkin when you can smash it? The national phenomena of Punkin’ Chunkin’ is back this weekend for its fourth local squashsmashing event. Allegheny County Parks is teaming up with SHARP Robotics on a full-sized, traditional catapult to propel pumpkins through the air and


PHOTO: RENEE ROSENSTEEL

^ Thu., Oct. 17: A Fire on Febus

over the grounds at the Hartwood Acres Park Amphitheater. The goal? Launch a pumpkin as far as you can. 11 a.m. 200 Hartwood Acres, Hartwood Acres Park. alleghenycounty.us

SPOOKY The Carnegie Museum of Natural History invites adult ghouls and goblins to one of the best Halloween parties in town. The annual Haunted Museum After Dark event features fun treats, scary stories, and experiments fit for a mad scientist. Go on a scavenger hunt, show off your best look at the costume contest, and brave an infestation of unnatural creatures by the haunted-house experts at ScareHouse. 6-10 p.m. 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. $15 non-member/$13.50 members/$20 at door. carnegiemnh.org

SPOOKY Revisit your high school goth days, back when you memorized “The Raven,” with a special event at The Weeping Glass art gallery in Allentown. The Midnight Death Parlor resurrects the legendary author Edgar Allen Poe, as played by actor Weston Peece of Nashville, Tenn. Hang out in Poe’s writing room for a late-night storytelling session full of terrifying tales, all while enjoying handcrafted cocktails and refreshments. 11 p.m. 817 E. Warrington Ave., Allentown. $35. theweepingglass.business.site

SATURDAY OCT. 19 BIRDS If you give a hoot about Halloween all month long, don your best costume and

head to the National Aviary to celebrate everyone’s favorite spooky birds. The zoo’s annual family-friendly event Owl-O-Ween highlights owls, bats, vultures, and other nocturnal birds just in time for the holiday. Whoooooooo likes candy and crafts? T There will be some of that too. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Also Sat., Oct. 26. 700 Arch St., North Side. Included w with admission aviary.org

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KIDS Lions and tigers and kids dressed up like bears, oh my! The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium will be full of even more critters than normal, as kids in costumes gather for ZooBoo, a zoo-wide Halloween party with magic shows, parades, and more. Collect candy on the new Trick-Or-Treat Trail, hear spooky tunes at the Monster Mash Dance Off, or take a tour through a haunted house. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Also Sun., Oct. 20. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, 7370 Baker St., Highland Park. Included with admission. pittsburghzoo.org

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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CALENDAR, CONTINUED FROM PG. 41

^ Thu., Oct. 17: Julie Lythcott-Haims

ART

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Local artist Jim Wodarek presents a solo exhibition of new mixed-media pieces with the opening reception at Ketchup City Creative. Wodarek describes the artwork as the “perfect blend” of his “personality, history, life as an artist and love of popular culture and nostalgia.” He notes that his art is heavily influenced by his background in graphic design, illustration, and love of pop culture and street art. 6-9 p.m. Continues through Sat., Nov. 2. 612 Main St., Sharpsburg. ketchupcity.com

EVENT The Braddock Carnegie Library will juggle more than books when the The Flippin’ Circus presents Feathered Fooliage. Taking place in the library’s gymnasium, the show brings the audience on a journey to an incredible island full of fantastic creatures. The whole family can enjoy punch and popcorn while being dazzled by circus artists performing aerial acts, acrobatics, song and dance, and juggling, as well as scientific lectures. 8 p.m. Doors at 7 p.m. Also Sun., Oct. 20. 419 Library St., Braddock. $5-20. Free to Braddock Carnegie Library card holders. braddockcarnegielibrary.org

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Step aside, goats: According to Animal Friends, dogs are the natural born yogis. Find out for yourself at DOGA, the organization’s flow for humans and pups.

The practice includes both people and canine poses, walking meditation, and pet massage. Pack treats and a leash — there will be a short off-leash period at the beginning of class. 11 a.m. 562 Camp Horne Road, Emsworth. $20. thinkingoutsidethecage.org

STAGE Kenneth Branagh goes from adapting William Shakespeare’s plays for the screen to portraying the bard in All Is True, “a family drama, a detective story, and a quiet reflection on a life dedicated to art.” After a fire destroys the Globe Theatre, Shakespeare leaves London and returns to his estranged family in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he spends the last years of his life reconciling with his neglected wife Anne (Judi Dench) and two daughters. The film will screen at the Tull Family Theater. 11:30 a.m. 418 Walnut St., Sewickley. $11. thetullfamilytheater.org

FILM While director George Romero his best known for his horror films set in the Pittsburgh area, he also made a series of documentaries on popular sports figures, both locally and nationally. Throughout the 1970s, Romero worked with the likes of Bruno Sammartino, Rocky Bleier, and Franco Harris. For one night only, Regent Square Theater will screen Franco Harris: Good Luck on Sunday, a tribute to the former Steeler and Romero. There will be a moderated discussion with Harris after the screening. 7 p.m. 1035 S. Braddock Ave., Regent Square. $20. cinema.pfpca.org


^ Wed., Oct. 23: Master of the Macabre

MONDAY OCT. 21

WEDNESDAY OCT. 23

TALK

POETRY

How does the landscape, tourism, and infrastructure of a city change its architectural design? Get answers when the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture hosts “Designing in Paris, Valencia, Hong Kong & Hazelwood,” a lecture by landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson, who, in addition to recently creating landscape design for the National Museum of African American History in Washington, D.C., also designed the Hazelwood Green space in Pittsburgh. 5 p.m. Kresge Theater, 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland. soa.cmu.edu

The Poetry Project will explore 12 poems from Edgar Allan Poe during an event at the Trust Arts Education Center. The works come alive during Master of the Macabre, a 90-minute interactive, multi-media production that uses music, light, sound, and movement to depict the beauty and horror of Poe’s writings. The show also invites audience members to play a role in the show by contributing their own interpretations of the text. 10:15 a.m. Continues through Fri., Oct. 25. 807 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $12. trustarts.org

TUESDAY OCT. 22 STAGE Nearly 400 middle and high school students submitted original one-act plays to the Young Playwrights Contest. Out of these scripts, only six works have been picked to be professionally staged by the City Theatre at this year’s EQT Young Playwrights Fest. These young creators explore romance, fantasy, the future, and the past in their single-act masterpieces. See the winning plays brought to life. Continues through Sat., Nov. 2. 1300 Bigham St., South Side. $15. citytheatrecompany.org

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MUSIC Stewart Copeland is best known as the drummer of The Police, where he pioneered an idiosyncratic style that melded reggae rhythms with punk, rock, and pop. (He was also in a very strange band called Oysterhead with Phish’s Trey Anastasio and Primus’ Les Claypool, just FYI.) But he’s an equally prolific composer for films, audiobooks, and video games, including Spyro the Dragon and Wall Street. Learn more about his remarkable life and career at An Evening with Stewart Copeland, at which he’ll workshop his new piece Satan’s Fall with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (MCP) and speak with local DJ Russ Rose (WDVE) and MCP’s music director Matthew Mehaffey. If you have any burning questions, there’s a Q&A portion at the end, though it’s probably best to keep Sting out of it. 8 p.m. Mr. Smalls Theatre, 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $20-35. mrsmalls.com •

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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IN The Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-11796, In re petition of Susan Marie Mayer Watson parent and legal guardian of Isaac Deane Mayer-Watson, for change of name to Susan Marie Watson and Isaac Deane Watson. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 8th day of November, 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 Washington County, Pennsylvania: No. GD-19-11038, In re petition of Melissa M. Hohos parent and legal guardian of Emma-Reneé Borghi, for change of name to Emma-Reneé Hohos. 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, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., as the time and in Courtroom #5, Washington County Courthouse, Washington, 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-19-14295, In re petition of Max Roesch parent and legal guardian of Simon Chase Roesch, for change of name to Isaac Chase Roesch. To all persons interested: Notice is hereby given that an order of said Court authorized the filing of said petition and fixed the 8th day of November, 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

West Penn Allegheny Health System, Inc. seeks a Business Intelligence Analyst to work in Pittsburgh, PA, with Business Intelligence and healthcare professionals to gather, organize, and present data to users. Will present meaningful analytics to the business in non-technical terms and formats as well as create basic and ad hoc reporting for users as well as train users on software and assist users with advanced reporting. Must be able to work shifts between 6:30am and 7:00pm M-F as well as 8am-4:30pm Sat/Sun. Must also be able to work 24-hour coverage on a rotating shift basis. Apply at http://www. myworkdayjobs.com. Req - J152666

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Bossa Nova Robotics, Inc. seeks a Robotics Engineer in Pittsburgh, PA, responsible for developing and deploying cutting-edge autonomous robotics systems through application of hardware and software systems methodologies. Apply at: https://bossanovarobotics. applytojob.com/apply/.

Bossa Nova Robotics, Inc. seeks a Principal Engineer Robotics in Pittsburgh, PA, responsible for developing and deploying cutting-edge autonomous robotics systems through the application of hardware and software systems methodologies. Apply at: https://bossanovarobotics.applytojob. com/apply/.

OFFICIAL ADVERTISEMENT

THE BOARD OF PUBLIC EDUCATION OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PITTSBURGH Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, Bellefield Entrance Lobby, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on November 5, 2019, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for:

PGH. DILWORTH PRE K-5

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PGH. LINDEN K-5

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t#PJMFS3FQMBDFNFOU t.FDIBOJDBM &MFDUSJDBMBOE"TCFTUPT"CBUFNFOU  1SJNFT Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on October 7, 2019 at Modern Reproductions (412-488-7700), 127 McKean Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15219 between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. The cost of the Project Manual Documents is non-refundable. Project details and dates are described in each project manual. We are an equal rights and opportunity school district.


LETTER BANKING

BY BRENDAN EMMETT QUIGLEY // WWW.BRENDANEMMETTQUIGLEY.COM

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ACROSS 1. NBCUniversal’s parent company 8. Prom purchases 15. Grounded? 16. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” actor 17. Five-armed ocean creature 18. First nation to hold elections over the Internet 19. MODERNLY 21. Problematic, as merch. 22. “Ayup,” in Amiens 23. Feline in constellations 24. Bother consistently 26. Firm 29. Urban blanket 32. Prop used in the first electricity test 33. Congresswoman who was once a bartender, briefly 35. Employed 37. NASTIER 40. It’s everybody you disapprove of 41. 23andMe material 42. Sharpen, as shears

43. Difficult problem 45. Worthwhile object 49. Annoying copycats 51. Dorm party breaker-uppers: Abbr. 53. Gastropub glassful 54. “Is that the best you’ve got?” 55. INTRODUCE 60. “I’m buying this round, the same?” 62. “Darn right that happened” 63. Like high stakes poker 64. Placed side by side 65. Starting position? 66. Hesitate, verbally

DOWN 1. The universe and everything 2. With the leadoff man retired 3. Real bully 4. Law firm job 5. Pretentious and then some 6. Bathroom partition 7. Game that 2048 liberally ripped off 8. Spun wax 9. Lover boy’s flower 10. ___ nous 11. “On Becoming a God in Central Florida” channel, for short 12. Clean up 13. Airline that sponsors the clubs Real Madrid, Paris

Saint-Germain, and Arsenal, to name a few 14. Hurt 20. Request at the deli 25. Japanese dogs 27. One singing to the cops 28. Fielding who co-hosts “The Great British Baking Show” 30. Giant Mel 31. Steel 34. Cheater’s paper 36. Singer ___ Del Ray 37. “Don’t tell me that!” 38. Like shorter golf sessions 39. Abiliene-to-

Austin dir. 40. Some holy men 44. Lifts 46. Didn’t dance around the truth 47. Storybook girl who lives in New York’s Plaza Hotel 48. TLC member 50. Jerk 52. Impressive feat 56. Rider’s rope 57. Deco illustrator born Romain de Tirtoff 58. Pakistani’s language 59. Amphibian in a witch’s cauldron 61. Some people wait for it

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

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PEEPSHOW A sex and social justice column BY JESSIE SAGE // PEEPSHOWCAST@GMAIL.COM

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HEN I WAS FIRST starting

to have sex as a teenager in the mid-90s, Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” was like a generational anthem. I have vivid memories of having sex in a car in a park-and-ride, the bass of that song reverberating throughout the vehicle. I have since learned that Trent Reznor wrote the song largely about his own mental health struggles, and not as a prescription for animalistic sexuality. Nevertheless, for many of us who were first learning about our own sexuality when that song was at the height of its popularity, the chorus was aspirational, what we thought sex should be, if only we were any good at it. I want to fuck you like an animal I want to feel you from the inside I want to fuck you like an animal My whole existence is flawed You get me closer to God I say aspirational because, looking back, the experience of having sex as a young person to this song is an odd juxtaposition. And perhaps I should only speak for myself; my peers may have been having wild, uninhibited sex. But what I remember is being turned on by the idea of sex that felt as intense and carnal as this song was, but not yet being able to realize it.

... THE CHORUS WAS ASPIRATIONAL, WHAT WE THOUGHT SEX SHOULD BE, IF ONLY WE WERE ANY GOOD AT IT. My early experiences of sex, while sweet, were largely awkward and fumbling; they were an expression of two people who didn’t yet know their own bodies or understand their own desires. This, I believe, raises a couple of important questions. What is it that makes good sex? Is this something that is innate or animalistic, as this song and others like it suggest, or is it something that we need to learn?

“Fucking like animals,” as a trope, suggests that sex is better when you somehow free yourself of all the of the cultural programming and overthinking that often accompanies sex. Or in other words, it is what happens when you get out of your head and experience your body and the body of another person in some sort of unmediated way, the way that animals do (or rather, the way we assume

animals do, I honestly don’t know anything about animal sexuality). And in some ways, this seems right to me. I’m a fairly analytical person who is prone to spending more time analyzing sex than actually experiencing it, and so the standout sexual experiences in my life were the ones that pulled me out of my head, the ones that felt the way “Closer” sounds. However, I think it is a mistake to assume that these experiences are somehow natural, or, that we don’t need to put a tremendous amount of work in learning about our bodies, our desires, and our sexuality in order to have them. And importantly, into building relationships that have enough trust that we can truly let go and give into these experiences. As a young person, I did aspire to have the sort of sex that I thought Reznor was singing about, sex that was so raw that it neared transcendence, bringing me closer to God. And I have certainly had really incredible sexual experiences that I would describe this way. But I was only able to do so once I knew enough about how pleasure worked in my own body, how to be confident enough to assert my desires, and how to meaningfully relate to my partners. Good sex came with time, patience, and communication. It wasn’t necessarily natural, but it was worth it.

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 46

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journeyhealthcare.com PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCT. 16-23, 2019

47


Profile for Pittsburgh City Paper

October 16, 2019 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly, featuring our Animal Issue.

October 16, 2019 - Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly, featuring our Animal Issue.