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OCT. 28-NOV. 4, 2020

4 Smithfield Street, Suite 1210 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412.685.9009 E-MAIL info@pghcitypaper.com





Protesters gathered in Wilkinsburg on Wed., Oct Oct. 21 for “Justice for o n Wed Romir Talley.” The event was part of a “Week of Action” for Talley, a 24-year-old man who was shot and killed by Wilkinsburg police in December 2019. On Thu., Oct. 22, Talley’s mother, LaTasha Talley, filed a federal lawsuit against the borough of Wilkinsburg, Chief of Police Ophelia Coleman, Wilkinsburg Mayor Marita Garrett, officer Robert Gowens, and an unnamed officer referred to in the lawsuit as “Jane Doe.”

OCT. 28-NOV. 4, 2020 VOLUME 29 + ISSUE 44 Editor-In-Chief LISA CUNNINGHAM Director of Advertising JASMINE HUGHES Director of Operations KEVIN SHEPHERD News Editor RYAN DETO Senior Writer AMANDA WALTZ Staff Writers HANNAH LYNN, JORDAN SNOWDEN Photographer/Videographer JARED WICKERHAM Editorial Designer ABBIE ADAMS Graphic Designers JOSIE NORTON, JEFF SCHRECKENGOST Senior Account Executive KAITLIN OLIVER Sales Representative ZACK DURKIN Operations Coordinator MAGGIE WEAVER Events and Marketing Coordinator BRYER BLUMENSCHEIN Circulation Manager JEFF ENGBARTH Featured Contributors REGE BEHE, LYNN CULLEN, TERENEH IDIA, CHARLES ROSENBLUM Interns NARDOS HAILE, LAKE LEWIS, KYLIE THOMAS National Advertising Representative VMG ADVERTISING 1.888.278.9866 OR 1.212.475.2529 Publisher EAGLE MEDIA CORP. In memory of ALEX GORDON 1987-2020

GENERAL POLICIES: Contents copyrighted 2020 by Eagle Media Corp. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Pittsburgh City Paper are those of the author and not necessarily of Eagle Media Corp. LETTER POLICY: Letters, or e-mails must be signed and include town and daytime phone number for confirmation. We may edit for length and clarity. DISTRIBUTION: Pittsburgh City Paper is published weekly by Eagle Media Corp. and is available free of charge at select distribution locations. One copy per reader; copies of past issues may be purchased for $3.00 each, payable in advance to Pittsburgh City Paper. FIRST CLASS MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: Available for $250 per year (52 issues), $150 per half year (26 issues), or $32 per six weeks. For more information, visit pghcitypaper.com and click on the Subscribe tab.






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Pittsburgh City Paper recently lost one of our own when our managing editor, colleague, and friend Alex Gordon took his own life. The following eulogy has been written in his memory by his closest colleague and dearest friend in our office.


LEX WATERS GORDON died on Thu., Oct. 15. He is survived by his fiance, Jes Bogdan, his parents Myles Gordon and Marjorie Waters, his brother Sam, sister-in-law Ashley Downs, and nieces Anna and Emory, and his cat Lily. In his life, Alex always appreciated good writing, whether a favorite song lyric, a long New Yorker profile, or a museum exhibit written by his mother. It’s only fair, then, that Alex deserves as good of a eulogy as possible, one that he himself would enjoy reading, summing up everything that made him a great person and friend. It would be impossible to include all of that in one brief piece of writing, but he was a journalist, too. He’d understand the constraint of word counts, and the difficulty of a writer tackling a painful subject. Alex was born on June 21, 1987 and raised around Boston, Massachusetts and Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, staying in the city over a decade after he graduated. He began working at Pittsburgh City Paper in 2015, starting as an assistant listings editor and producing the Lynn Cullen Live show, before becoming associate editor, and eventually managing editor. Due to financial strain as a result of the pandemic, Alex was furloughed in July, but his absence was felt every day. Everyone who worked with him loved him, and he loved working at the paper. He even met Jes through work, as



she worked in the listings department before him. As an editor, Alex made everyone’s writing better. He fixed erroneous punctuation and misspelled homonyms. He was great with a punny headline. He knew when language was too flowery or too vague. When someone was stuck on a story idea, he helped them brainstorm, encouraging them to push further. He got excited when someone else wrote an interesting story because it meant he got to read it. As a writer, he loved writing about unique people and places, just for the fun of it. In 2019, he talked for weeks about a piece he wrote on the history of peanut butter hamburgers because he ate one once and loved it. At the beginning of quarantine, he started a series called “At Home With ...” where he’d interview local artists, activists, and public figures about how they were doing at home, just so he could talk to people he admired (a cookie artist, a disability gaming activist, choreographers, the owner of an Indian restaurant). A few months ago, he wrote a heartfelt story about how the Muslim community was handling Ramadan during the pandemic. He wrote it so tenderly, and it was a reminder of what it means to be there for the community, to care for each other. One of our staff’s favorite stories is an essay Alex wrote about getting his driver’s license. Involving several trips to the DMV, it highlights all the best parts of Alex’s writing; funny, sweet, sentimental. “Of all the surprising things about my life at 31 years old — having a cat, being in a healthy relationship,

Alex and his fiance Jes Alex in his bucket hat

brighten their day. He was always the one to boost morale around the office, by suggesting a fun activity, like playing basketball on a hoop hanging from a cubicle, or asking in the office chat, “Did anybody eat anything cool this weekend?” Alex’s favorite things, aside from his family, friends, and cat, included spicy pickles, Goldfish, the band Pup, weed, The Sopranos, going on walks, reading a book while drinking a beer, quoting I Think You Should Leave, staying in hotels, fat bears, movie scores, A Serious Man, longform journalism, Aphex Twin, Jeopardy!, tweeting dumb jokes, supporting local musicians, playing Words with Friends, The Onion, using the nail polish emoji, wearing hats. Alex’s death is an immense loss for everyone who loved him, for the staff of Pittsburgh City Paper, for the entire journalism community in Pittsburgh, for the city as a whole. The loss is especially painful during the pandemic, as people can’t gather together as easily as otherwise, and because the last several months have already been filled with so much grief. Mourning right now takes more energy than usual, and it’s important to check in on those you love. Make sure they know you’re there for them, that they don’t have to go through it alone, that even when the world is shit, you’re happy to be in it with them.

... THE BIGGEST PERK OF BEING FRIENDS WITH ALEX IS KNOWING THAT YOU WERE FRIENDS WITH A REALLY GOOD PERSON. I don’t know when, if ever, losing Alex will feel less painful. I don’t know when I’ll stop wanting to text him funny thoughts I have while watching movies stoned. I don’t know how to keep working even though I always said to myself that I didn’t want to work at this job if he left. If and when we eventually all return to the office, I don’t know how I’ll sit next to the empty desk where my friend used to sit, just a few inches away. I do know that the sun will come up tomorrow, and then set, and come back up again, and that each day is the same length of time, even when some days feel like weeks. And I know that years from now, I will think of Alex, and I will miss him, and I will be thankful for everything he gave us.

Alex and Lily

the unexpected pleasure of growing man boobs — taking my driver’s test again was the least expected,” he wrote. He was also a mentor to several interns who came through City Paper, including me, when I started as a music intern in the spring of 2017. I had graduated college a week earlier and had no idea what I was doing. He always encouraged me and my writing. He let me cover things completely unrelated to music. He asked me to stay on longer than an out-of-college intern usually should. After it ended, when there was a job opening, he fought for me to get hired, and he never stopped fighting for me. As an editor and as a reader, he was my ideal audience, and if he said something I wrote was funny or smart, then I was happy. Even now, I’m writing this for him, and choose to believe that he can read it. In addition to being an eagle-eyed editor and beautiful writer, Alex was also a musician. He wrote and recorded music, including a recently released album of covers of songs by the band No Age. The album, Ceiling Dreams of a Floor, along with his other music, is available on alexgordon1.bandcamp.com. The day after he died, No Age replied to Alex’s tweet sharing the album. “THIS RULES,” they wrote. Both in his writing and in person, Alex was known for his humor. He loved making people laugh, and he loved laughing at other people’s jokes. Losing him is such an intensely painful experience, but in any situation of grief, it’s important to find moments to laugh. It’s what he would do. In October 2018, after the Tree of Life shooting, Alex and I leaned on each other, because we were both Jews and we were both very sad. I wrote a personal essay about the shooting, and on Monday night at 8 p.m., when we were exhausted and trying to finish the paper, we struggled to come up with an adequate headline. As a joke, one of us suggested “Again with the Guns?” (said in the voice of a Jewish grandmother.) From then on, it became a running joke when bad or strange things happened. Again with the virus? Again with the old presidents? That’s how I know he would be happy for the few times I’ve been able to laugh since his death, often thinking to myself, “Again with the tears?“ But most of the days since his death have felt shrouded in a thick fog. Newspapers almost never come to a complete standstill, but City Paper did. Everyone who knew and loved him — which was a lot of people — was in pain, and still is. Aside from the fact that he was funny, the biggest perk of being friends with Alex is knowing that you were friends with a really good person. He was compassionate and empathetic. He hated making people feel bad. He stood up for friends and colleagues. A few months ago, he started volunteering with Planned Parenthood. He liked giving friends little gifts just to

If you are struggling, please know that you are not alone. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has over 160 crisis centers that provide 24/7 service: 1-800-273-8255. PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCTOBER 28 - NOVEMBER 4, 2020



Star of David memorials, laid with flowers at the Tree of Life synagogue two days after the mass shooting in Pittsburgh in October 2018



Anthology collects Pittsburghers’ reflections on the Tree of Life shooting on two-year commemoration of massacre BY DAVID RULLO // INFO@PGHCITYPAPER.COM


WO YEARS AFTER the shooting at the Tree of Life building, Bound in the Bond of Life: Pittsburgh Writers Reflect on the Tree of Life Tragedy collects essays from 24 writers as they attempt to make sense of the Oct. 27, 2018 tragedy. The Pittsburgh journalists, spiritual leaders, historians, writers, poets, and academics presented in the collection share their pain, fear, confusion, and anger in writings that are scholarly and personal, raw and profound. Co-editor Beth Kissileff came up with the idea for the book, initially thinking it would be a collaboration with Eric Lidji, director of the Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives at the Senator John Heinz History Center. It was Lidji who initially floated the idea of including other local writers. “Our prime criteria,” Kissileff said, “was writers, people, that would be able to process the vent through writing. We wanted to be sure that it contained good writing.”



Kissileff is married to Jonathan Perlman, rabbi at New Light Congregation, one of three synagogues that shared the Tree of Life building. Three members of that congregation were murdered during the Oct. 27 attack. Kissileff believed it was important that local voices told their stories in the collection. “We really wanted to elevate the stories and perspectives of local writers. The national media has a certain angle and story and way of framing things,” she said. “A lot of people don’t even realize there were three synagogues involved. So, we made sure there were two writers from each synagogue who wrote for the book. It was really a chance for different perspectives to be heard.” Lidji explained that the pair originally considered an anthology of previously published pieces but by 2019, the idea evolved to solicit original material from local authors who had unique points of view. “We feel like this is the beginning of

BOUND IN THE BOND OF LIFE Pittsburgh Writers Reflect on the Tree of Life Tragedy Edited by Beth Kissileff and Eric Lidji upittpress.org

a bigger process,” Lidji said, “allowing people to tell their stories.” Rather than feature stories by those that were a part of the shooting, Bound in the Bond of Life reaches into the broader Jewish and Pittsburgh community. Perlman’s essay in the book, “Eleh Ezkerah, Nusach Pittsburgh,” is the only contribution from someone in the building from the day of the attack. By looking beyond the three synagogues, the geographical limitations of Squirrel Hill, and the Jewish faith, Kissileff and Lidji illustrate that, like a pebble dropped into still water, the shooting had effects that rippled throughout Pittsburgh.

In his essay “I Read Somewhere That Pittsburgh is Stronger Than Hate,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman ties the shooting to others that have captured national attention, including those in Charleston, South Carolina, and Las Vegas, Nevada, and highlights several others, both in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood and the larger city. He ties anti-Semitism to America’s other long simmering hate, racism, illustrating the point with examples from his own life. Norman said that when first approached, he wasn’t sure what he could add to the anthology. “And then it occurred to me: I’m a member of this community. I was profoundly affected and shocked. You know, I can do this. It will definitely be from a different perspective.” The columnist said he wrote his essay before George Floyd was murdered while being arrested by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, spurring Black Lives Matter protests. “There’s an interesting confluence

between these things,” Norman said. “And I think people have become much more aware of the fact that there are these tribal hatreds out there. They’re quite primordial and quite deep, and that there needs to be a reckoning. We need to really talk about what this is all about.” Barbara Burstin teaches courses on the Holocaust and American Jewish history at both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. In her essay, “Fall Semester 2018,” she recalls her experience of teaching her first class Tuesday morning following the shooting the previous Shabbat morning. “Clearly, my experience going into the classroom was pretty dramatic and traumatic,” she said. Burstin viewed her writing as an opportunity for the community to learn about and celebrate Jewish life, and the history of Jewish life. “I wrote to celebrate life and not just death. I think that’s an important message to come out of this,” Burstin said. Conscious that Jews are often presented as victims in Holocaust lessons, she writes that she tries to underscore the lives Jews led before the Holocaust, talking about their hopes and dreams, accomplishments and disappointments. She worries that because of events like the Tree of Life shooting, American Jews are mired in a swamp of anti-Semitism. When the Tree of Life building is reimagined and rebuilt, she said, “I would hope that a good chunk of that reestablishment would involve the celebration of the Jewish community.” Historian Laurie Zittrain Eisenberg’s essay “Sharing Their Stories” is unique to the anthology. Instead of addressing her reaction to the shooting, it instead looks at the artifacts left behind by the community to show their grief. Her writing is accompanied by photos showing both the expected and unusual items people left at the Tree of Life building memorial. In the pictures, there are a pair of tennis shoes next to a menorah surrounded by flowers; a framed leaf from the Raoul Wallenberg Tree on the Righteous Among the Nations Walk in Israel; stones decorated by grieving

members of the community; a guitar; and crosses affixed with Jewish stars by a man who has traveled the country leaving white crosses for other shooting victims. Each of the items shown, and those discussed by Zittrain Eisenberg, are puzzles that the historian and Tree of Life member have attempted to solve by reaching out to the community and asking for information about the objects. “I came up with a project to try and identify the back stories of all the things that people left for us, most of which were left anonymously, or with inadvertent clues as to who the benefactor had been,” she said. “I got over 50 stories that came from people. The essay is kind of my sharing those stories and trying to make sense out of them, trying to find intent and put that in context.” The historian feels a responsibility to document what she calls the “positive, loving, supportive” response from the community, including those from outside of the Jewish community and Pittsburgh. In addition to Burstin, Norman, and Zittrain Eisenberg, other contributors to the anthology include several current and former writers from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette including David Shribman, former executive editor during the Tree of Life massacre, staff writer Andrew Goldstein, and religious editor Peter Smith (the paper won a 2019 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the shooting); Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle Editor Toby Tabachnick; former Director of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh Linda F. Hurwitz, Congregation Poale Zedeck, Rabbi Daniel Yolkut, and author Jane Bernstein. For Kissileff, serving as a co-editor of a collection of writings trying to comprehend the incomprehensible makes sense. “There’s not one Jewish way to experience things, but the Talmud is a compilation of ideas,” she said. “Anthology is very much a Jewish genre. We really wanted to put something together that would express and promote a variety of ideas, that there’s just not one way to see the world but, you know, that a better comprehension can come from looking at an event from a multiplicity of perspectives.

This story was originally published in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, where you can read more about the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: jewishchronicle.timesofisrael.com PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCTOBER 28 - NOVEMBER 4, 2020







Dead Man’s Hollow


ITTSBURGH HAS A STORIED PAST, with its origins as an established city dating back a few hundred years. With that age comes a spooky reputation, and those looking for Halloween activities that also allow for COVID-19 precautions might want to check out some reportedly haunted sites in the region. “Haunted sightseeing would be a good alternative because you can social distance and keep the groups small,” says Brian Seech, co-founder of the Butler Paranormal Conference, and the Centers for Unexplained Events and Cryptozoological Studies. Pittsburgh City Paper reached out to some local experts to put together a “haunted” tour of the city and the surrounding region. Some recommendations came from the local ghost-hunting group, Iron City Paranormal Investigators, who believe that Pittsburgh’s industrial past has contributed to its status as a haunted city. “Personally, after investigating many locations, not only in Pittsburgh but also around the TriState area, we do feel that Pittsburgh holds a strange combination of history and tragedy surrounding the blue collar workers from the past,” says Iron City Paranormal co-founders, Derrick Smith and Daniel Metelsky, in a joint statement. “Old-timers from the area worked their lives away, only to have them cut short by devastating injuries and horrific accidents. These are the kinds of energies that tend to stick around a particular location, and Pittsburgh holds a plethora of this energy from its past.”

Whether or not this “energy” has any connection to the supernatural has little bearing on the eerie feeling that comes with visiting an abandoned building or a remote part of the woods. No matter what, See-ch says visitors should “always be respectful of the sites and any possible spirits that may be there.” “Enjoy the experience for what it is, and do not go in with any preconceived notions on what to expect,” says Seech.

Dead Man’s Hollow Sceneridge Road, McKeesport. alleghenylandtrust.org/green-space/dead-mans-hollow Before Allegheny Land Trust acquired Dead Man’s Hollow in 2017, the 450-acre stretch of wilderness located in the Youghiogheny River Valley had quite the reputation. Behind its winding trail systems and wildlife conservation areas is a creepy history connected to the land’s sometimes tragic industrial past, with claims that casualties of the former Union Sewer Pipe Factory, as well as a quarry and brickworks, still haunt Dead Man’s Hollow. Hikers and bikers might stumble upon graffiticovered ruins and ghost towns from a time before the area was abandoned. There have also been tales of a 40-foot snake, buried loot, and more. Iron City Paranormal investigated Dead Man’s Hollow, claiming CONTINUES ON PG. 10




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Green Man Tunnel

“Haunted sightseeing would be a good alternative because you can social distance and keep the groups small.” to have “recorded voices and even felt like we were being watched.” There are plenty of places to research the eerie side of Dead Man’s Hollow before your visit, as many blogs, news articles, and books like Legends & Lore of Western Pennsylvania by Thomas White have covered the subject. Even if you never have a paranormal encounter of your own, at least you’re going outside and appreciating some of the region’s natural beauty.

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Green Man Tunnel Piney Fork Road, South Park Township “Green Man” or, alternatively, “Charlie No-Face,” has become the stuff of local lore as a hideous ghost who prowls the roads of southwestern Pennsylvania. While terrifying, the Green Man has its roots in reality, giving the story a more

tragic turn. The dreaded Green Man was Raymond Robinson, a man who was left with severe facial disfigurement that included the loss of his eyes and nose after being electrocuted as a boy. To avoid being seen, Robinson, who lived in Beaver County, often took walks alone at night along Route 351, but he has been most connected to what has become known as the Green Man Tunnel, a narrow rail tunnel on Piney Fork Road that is sometimes used to store road salt. While it may have been startling to see Robinson along a dark road, and most likely led to many stories surrounding his ghostly status, local news stories painted him as a quiet, kind man. After Robinson’s death in 1985, the ghost of the Green Man Tunnel still persists after being passed from generation to generation. Honor Robinson’s

memory by visiting the tunnel and connecting, in a more positive way, to an obscure piece of the region’s history.

Blue Mist Road Irwin Road, North Park You won’t have to leave the car during a trip to Blue Mist (sometimes spelled “Myst”) Road. While details vary, one thing remains consistent about what makes this road strange — a stretch of unpaved road in North Park becomes covered in a mysterious blue mist. From there, the stories range from familiar urban legends about teens parking and being attacked, to sightings of strange lights, to rumors about a witch who once lived there. Some stories are questionable and, honestly, tasteless, including ones involving the Ku Klux Klan and little people. If you choose to explore Blue


The Carnegie Library of Homestead

Mist Road, please be mindful of your surroundings, including any signs or blocked-off areas. You can also explore the area during the day by hiking or biking on a trail that leads through the Irwin Run conservation area.

Carnegie Library of Homestead 510 E. 10th Ave., Munhall. carnegieofhomestead.com The Carnegie Library of Homestead is considered haunted enough that it warranted a visit from the SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters in 2011. Home to a free library, as well as a music hall and pool and gym facility, the site has become a hotbed for paranormal activity. Witnesses claim to have heard mysterious voices and laughter, particu-

larly in the gym locker rooms, and have seen books fly off the shelves. But the most notable piece of lore involves someone very well-known to Pittsburgh — late industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who founded the library in 1898, and whose apparition is said to now haunt the building. Carnegie gifted the building to local steelworkers and their families to try and make up for his role in the deadly Homestead Strike of 1892. Because of this, some have reported seeing the ghosts of soot-covered steelworkers wandering the property. The Carnegie Library of Homestead has reopened with updated hours. But whether you’re hunting for ghosts or a good book to read, all library patrons must adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, including the wearing of face masks and social distancing.

Follow senior writer Amanda Waltz on Twitter @AWaltzCP PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCTOBER 28 - NOVEMBER 4, 2020


Shopping study for young adults The RAND Corporation in Pittsburgh is conducting a research study to learn about what young adults, ages 18-20, buy at convenience stores. Participation requires: R Completion of a 30-minute web survey R One 90-minute visit to the RAND study center



Horrified by Ravensburger

R $40 in gift cards upon completion of the study


R Parking or bus passes will be provided


RAND and this study adhere to the state of Pennsylvania’s guidelines regarding physical distancing, cleaning, and masking to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved.


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ALLOWEEN MAY BE mostly can-

celed by the pandemic, but even if costume parties and trick-ortreating are no longer options, there are still ways to celebrate this festive time of year. There are tons of role-playing and tabletop games able to both scare and delight, and, best of all, they are perfect for playing virtually over a Zoom call or in 1:51 PM a limited group. Pittsburgh City Paper reached out to local game designer Tyler Crumrine to produce a list of games you can play online or in-person with a significant other, roommates, family members, or trusted close friends.

Horrified. Available at most retailers for $35-45, 1-5 players, ages 10 and up Released by Ravensburger, the board game Horrified pits players against various classic Universal movie monsters, including Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Wolf Man. While this is technically a board game, there are RPG elements, as players and the monster are given certain perks or weaknesses, and dice are involved to see how much damage is inflicted whenever a supernatural foe catches up to you. Horrified is easy to learn and takes about an hour to play. Because it’s based more on strategy than story, it’s also a good option for fright-averse players. ravensburger.us

Bunker. $9-18 Dungeons & Dragons fans should try Bunker, a world-building RPG by Pittsburgh-based game designer Michael Pisano and writing partner Matthew 12


Kopel. Players enter a post-apocalyptic utopia “populated by earth witches and druid circles, by lordless knights who pledge to serve the woods, by smiths crafting reclaimed plastics and e-waste into magical armor.” As you and your party explore this new world, you encounter “horrific mutations, gross opulence, and dark magical powers.” So far, the adventure takes place over two issues that can be bought together or separately. exaltedfuneral.com

Dread. $12-24 Get some use out of your Jenga set with Dread, a story-based game where you and your fellow players become part of your own horror tale. As the danger intensifies, each player’s fate is determined by a pull from the Jenga tower. If the tower falls, you’re out. (Be warned: I played this game one evening at a friend’s cabin and we definitely scared ourselves.) dreadthegame.wordpress.com

Something is Wrong Here. $20, 5-6 players plus a “Facilitator” Something is Wrong Here will haunt you, but not in the way you think. In this cardbased RPG inspired by the work of David Lynch, you and your group play as troubled humans who “struggle with their dark pasts and inner demons in order to make meaningful connections with each other.” Besides the game cards, you will need a few additional items, including name tags, a box, and a full-length mirror. Those missing Halloween parties will like that adult beverages and costumes are optional in this game. kiramagrann. itch.io/something-is-wrong-here



Presented by



















ALL COCKTAILS WERE CRAFTED with one of these spirits






Seven music Halloween events this week in Pittsburgh BY JORDAN SNOWDEN // JSNOWDEN@PGHCITYPAPER.COM

Fri., Oct. 30 (Virtual) Some Faith EP Release Livestream. 8 p.m. Free. facebook.com/somefaith666 The release event for Some Faith’s debut EP, A Lesson In Patience, isn’t Halloweenthemed explicitly, but it’s still going to be very heavy on the Halloween vibes. Taking place digitally on Devil’s Night, Some Faith members Indigo Baloch and Brian Sikes Howe say there will be spooky music, costumes, candy, horror movie clips, and plenty more, plus they plan to hang out before and after their performance with attendees.

Sat., Oct. 31 (Virtual) I Put a Spell on You. 8 p.m. Free. twitch.tv/mostbeautifullest



Inaugural Darkness is Spreading event, in the lobby of the Ace Hotel

Halloween might be sarah huny young’s favorite holiday, so the artist and DJ wasn’t going to let Oct. 31, the third anniversary of Black women and femmes-led artist collective Mostbeautifullest (formerly Darkness is Spreading), pass by without a celebration. Grab a costume and your computer, and join huny, Deejay Aesthetics, DJ Jin & Juice, and Joshua Orange for a virtual evening of raving, tricks, and treats. The theme is Villains, and artist Corrine Jasmin will host the event. Watch and listen on their Twitch channel and hop on Zoom to say hello and show off your attire. The Zoom ID will be shared on Twitch the night of the event.

Sat., Oct. 31 (IRL) Rockstober Masquerade Beer Garden. 6-10 p.m. Black Forge Coffee House II, 701 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks. $10. facebook.com/BlackForgeShopMcKeesRocks This Halloween celebration at Black Forge Coffee House will take place half inside, half outside. Outdoors will be a socially distant beer garden with beers from Abjuration Brewing, coffee from Black Forge, and food from Blue Sparrow (food must be purchased to have beer).

Inside will be music from Round Table Firm. Tickets are required for the show, but attendees don’t need to partake in the show to enjoy the beer garden. (IRL) A Nightmare At The Sportspage. 9 p.m. Leo’s Sports Page, 300 Bridge Road, New Kensington. $10. Search “Leo’s Sports Page” on Facebook. Dance the night away in your best costume to hit songs from the ’90s, 2K’s, and today. Expect giveaways and a costume contest at this 21+ Halloween event.

(IRL) Parable. 7 p.m. Crafthouse Stage & Grill, 5024 Curry Road, Whitehall. $7. facebook.com/CrafthouseStageGrill Tool cover band, Parable, is taking the stage at Crafthouse Stage & Grill for a rockin’ Halloween performance. Wear a costume and lose yourself in Tool’s progressive metal catalog. (IRL) Brandy’s On Main Halloween Party. 6:30 p.m. Brandy’s Basement, 200 Main St., Irwin. $10. facebook.com/Brandysirwin Be prepared for a haunting good time

when RadioActive, Everyone Hates Everything, and It Lives perform. Enjoy spooky drinks, a costume contest, and more. This event is 21 and over. (IRL) Told Ya So! 6-9 p.m. Helltown Taproom, 13 Henry C. Frick St., Mount Pleasant. Free. facebook.com/Helltown15666 Covering pop, rock, and reggae hits, local band Told Ya So is taking over the Mount Pleasant Helltown Taproom for a Halloween night spooktacular.

Follow staff writer Jordan Snowden on Twitter @snowden_jordan

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N THE YEARS THAT I’ve been eating

in Pittsburgh, I’ve been lucky to experience plenty of banh mi-style sandwiches. But somehow I’ve never made it to Banh Mi & Ti, a restaurant named after the Vietnamese dish, until now. The Lawrenceville shop has been a staple on Butler Street since 2016, when sisters Kellie and Tuyen Truong, who hail from Vietnam, opened the eatery. It’s an intimate, fast-casual spot; the space between their counter and small bar —which, in non-COVID times, would normally be filled with customers — only as wide as a hallway. The restaurant’s food menu is simple. There are several different combinations of sandwich fillings on the list, most of

which can be made into bowls (with the toppings served over rice). A few appetizers, like summer rolls with shrimp or tofu, and Vietnamese cabbage salad round out the offerings.

BANH MI & TI 4502 Butler St., Lawrenceville. facebook.com/BanhMiandTi

Then there’s the tea and coffee. This list feels longer than the food menu, featuring all kinds of boba flavors, pearls, and styles of Vietnamese coffee. I went for two banh mi sandwiches, the Viet special and drunken beef; shrimp summer rolls; and two different styles of boba milk teas, passion fruit green

tea with exploding passion fruit pearls, and black tea with mango flavor and classic boba. The baguettes on both sandwiches were ideal. They didn’t crumble and crunch like the typical French baguette, which I often find to be a bit obnoxious. The loaves were a bit soft, giving enough texture to the sandwich without leaving a mountain of crumbs. The Viet special was a traditional pick, filled with pork roll, cured pork, head cheese, and paté. The cold cuts played well with the zing and tang from fresh carrots, cilantro, and cucumbers. A swipe of mayo was the perfect finishing touch, adding richness to balance out the fresh flavors.

Follow staff writer Maggie Weaver on Twitter @magweav



The drunken sandwich featured tender beef soaked with white wine and sweet onion. It reminded me, in both texture and flavor, of a dumpling filling. I chose to make this sandwich spicy, which worked out well; peppers would have been too much for the mild, traditional banh mi, but worked well with the gamey, full-flavored beef. My black milk tea combination far surpassed the passion fruit extravaganza, but I only have myself to blame for that; it was a create-your-own menu. Personal fumbles aside, Banh Mi & Ti lived up to — and exceeded — all of my expectations. I can’t wait to eat my way through the rest of their menu, no matter how long it takes.

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Director Alan Stanford tests the sound booths before rehearsal for The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll.




EVEN MONTHS have passed since I’ve last been in a theater, and if missing a good production is painful for your humble reviewer, I cannot imagine the anguish that comes for the actors, technicians, and artists behind the scenes who are waiting for the curtains to open once again. Fortunately, PICT Classic Theatre announced last month that they were the first to receive approval to resume fullcontract work with the Actors’ Equity Association during the pandemic, beginning with The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll. At the very beginning of the local nonprofit’s newest production, set in 1880s London, we’re introduced to a character that is part “a most gentle man,” and part “monster.”

THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL Continues through Sun., Oct. 31. $13.95, available virtually for 72 hours. picttheatre.org

Thus begins the long-told tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this time adapted for the stage. Or, in this case, the airwaves, as Alan Stanford, PICT artistic and executive director, and the director of this performance, has adapted the script into a radio drama, being streamed virtually online through Sun., Oct. 31. According to a press release, the nine-person cast rehearsed and recorded in the WQED Studios with COVID-19 health protocols in place, including socially-distance recording booths, daily temperature checks, testings, and mask requirements. One would be hard-pressed to find a more perfect production for the

pandemic, as the radio drama comes with no visuals and forces one to shut out the outside world for the hour and 57 minutes of the performance. The recording and editing is clean and crisp, and it’s best to listen in a quiet room with no distractions. For those familiar with another local theater group, Bricolage Production Company, which has performed live radiothemed broadcasts in front of audiences for years under its Midnight Radio series, you’ll have a fun time trying to pick out the foley sound effects, like doors closing and an especially impressive sound effect of horse carriages riding off into the distance. (Also, the screams of murder are quite perfect for this time of year.) All of the characters’ voices are distinct enough to be able to tell apart, which is crucial for a radio performance. I will admit, however, that halfway through, curiosity got the best of me, and I couldn’t resist looking up who played Dr. Jekyll. (It was the great Pittsburgher Tony Bingham, who left a lasting impression on me as Charles Wychwood, a tormented poet in Quantum Theatre’s 2018 Chatterton, and so the rest of the production saw Jekyll take on Wychwood’s rustled gray hair and cardigan red sweater, for better or for worse, in my head.) Also performing are Karen Baum, Ken Bolden, Darren Eliker, James FitzGerald, Martin Giles, Carolyn Jerz, John Michnya, and Cotter Smith. Most know of the story of the twisted mind of Dr. Jekyll and his tortured other half, but that’s no reason to skip this tale. It’s smartly told, well acted, and worth your time to hear it again. And this time, you can close your eyes while you do.

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




WATCH HISTORY HAPPEN: Election Night 2020

Yorel Tifsim’s They Call Them Nownlaters

SUN., NOV. 1 (IRL) JAZZ BRUNCH FUNDRAISER. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Presidents Pub, 88 N Main St., Washington. $30. washingtonjazzsociety.com

The Washington Jazz Society’s Afterschool Music Program provides free music lessons, instruments, and classes to qualifying school-aged students in Washington County. Help raise money for the program during an afternoon of live jazz from Dan Baker and Friends, which also includes a brunch buffet.

Tuesday, Nov. 3 7:30 to 11:30p.m. Village Park, Alumni Park & Center for Media Innovation at the corner of Wood Street & Third Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh

See up-to-the-minute coverage from Point Park student media and national news outlets More info and livestream link at centerformediainnovation.com

MON., NOV. 2 (MUSIC TO STREAM) THU., OCT. 29 (IRL) SULLIVAN KING, RIOT TEN. 7-11 p.m. Starlight Drive-In, 1985 N. Main St. Ext., Butler. $170-230. starlightdrive-in.com

Pack a few pillows to pad your car and ensure extra noggin protection because it’s going to be hard not to headbang when electronic DJs Sullivan King and Riot Ten take the stage at Starlight Drive-In.

FRI., OCT. 30 (IRL) SPUDS AND A.T.S. 7-10 p.m. Strip District Terminal, 1701 Smallman St., Strip District. Suggested donation of $10-20. bit.ly/oldschoolterminal

The Strip District Terminal is partnering with Pittsburgh punk anthology ElectricBananaClub.net to bring bands A.T.S. and SPUDS together for an outdoor concert benefiting Life’sWork Western PA, a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with disabilities and other barriers thrive in the workplace. Each ticket entitles you to an approximately 8-foot space for up to two attendees from the same household.

YOREL TIFSIM. They Call Them Nownlaters. yoreltifsim.bandcamp.com

A mixture of house, hip hop, and more, They Call Them Nownlaters from rapper and producer Yorel Tifsim is a playlist of instrumentals full of strong vibes.

TUE., NOV. 3 (IRL) RICH ZABINSKI QUARTET. 7-9 p.m. Brick Shop, 177 40th St., Lawrenceville. Free. brickshoppgh.com

Ring in the Brick Shop’s grand reopening in the TRYP Hotel with music from the Rich Zabinski Quartet. The band includes Rick Matt on saxophone, Greg Lutz on keyboards, Chris McGraw on bass, and Rich Zabinski on drums.

Socially-distancing herself but still broadcasting LIVE


Plasmid “Tough Guy

Every Monday thru Thursday at 10 a.m. Listen in at lynncullen.pghcitypaper.com

SAT., OCT. 31 (LIVESTREAM) CODE ORANGE. 4 p.m. $15+. live.codeorangetoth.com

Join Code Orange for “BACK INSIDE THE GLASS,” a livestream performance placing the band at the center of “awe-inspiring virtual landscapes.” The set will feature special guests Machine Girl, Year Of The Knife (playing their LP Internal Incarceration in full), and Jesus Piece, kicking off the stream with brand-new sets delivered through a cinematic lens.

WED., NOV. 4 (MUSIC TO STREAM) PLASMID. “Tough Guy” Cover. Search ‘Plasmid’ on Spotify.

A ferocious energized track that makes you want to grab your skateboard and keep shredding, Plasmid’s cover of The Beastie Boys’ “Tough Guy” will help even the most weary of us push through hump day.

These listings are curated by Pittsburgh City Paper music writer Jordan Snowden. Email your latest music happenings today to jsnowden@pghcitypaper.com




event will feature music and dancing, cooking demonstrations, discussions about Slovak culture, and more. Plus, the event is hosted by Rick Sebak. 1 p.m. facebook. com/SlovakHeritageFestival

LITERATURE Everyone knows Harper Lee for her work on To Kill a Mockingbird, but she had a career beyond that, including the years she spent researching an Alabama serial killer for a book that was never finished. Join City of Asylum for a discussion with Casey Cep, author of Furious Hours, a book that details the murder case and Lee’s involvement in reporting on it. 7 p.m. Free. alphabetcity.org/events

MON., NOV. 2 ART Anthropology of Motherhood, a new exhibit at the Carlow University Art Gallery, explores the complexity of parenting and nurturing through a series of photos, sculptures, paintings, and other works that “address maternal identities with birth as a metaphor for regeneration, creation, and renewal.” The exhibit is open to Carlow students and staff, and visitors by appointment. Continues through Jan., 29, 2021. 3333 Fifth Ave., Oakland. anthropologyofmotherhood.com

FRI., OCT. 30 FILM Nearly four years ago, the Women’s March brought together an unprecedented number of women to Washington, D.C. to protest their rights. Resisterhood, a new documentary screening virtually through the Harris Theater, highlights the movements that have grown out of the January 2017 event. Available through Sun., Nov. 1. $10. trustarts.org/film

TUE., NOV. 3 VOTE! After a seemingly eternal election year, the day to cast your vote is finally here. There’s a good chance you’ve already voted by mail, but if not, make sure to get to the polls. Find out more about where and how to vote at votespa.com and check out our voting guide at pghcitypaper.com.

SAT., OCT. 31 SPOOKY Celebrate the spookiest night of the year with a hearty helping of booze at Kingfly Spirits’ All Hallows’ Eve BOOO-zy Bash. Each ticket includes a cocktail, treats, a raffle ticket, and more. There will also be a tarot card reader, music from DJ KB, and a costume contest. Social distancing measures will be in place. 7 p.m. 2613 Smallman St., Strip District. $35. kingflyspirits.com

SUN., NOV. 1



Anthropology of Motherhood at the Carlow University Art Gallery

FESTIVAL Join a virtual cultural celebration with the Slovak Heritage Festival, which will stream on Facebook and YouTube. The

These listings are curated by Pittsburgh City Paper writer Hannah Lynn. Email your latest arts and entertainment happenings today to hlynn@pghcitypaper.com

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Catch 1Hood Media’s weekly podcast, This Week in White Supremacy, which streams on Facebook. The podcast is aimed at listeners who want to “digest the day’s events with humor and hip hop,” and this week is the perfect time to tune in. Considering it will air the day after the election, the outcome (or lack thereof) will likely be a topic of discussion. 6 p.m. facebook.com/1HoodMedia




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ADULTS ONLY T.S. Lovely Visiting 702-625-9797

Metro Community Health Center offers full mental health services to everyone regardless of identity, income, insurance status, or the ability to pay. Make an appointment by calling 412-247-2310 and visit our website, www.metrocommunityhealthcenter.org, to learn more. 1789 S. Braddock Ave, #410 Pittsburgh, PA 15218 To make an appointment: (412) 247-2310

Dr. Stacy Lane, D.O. • 412-515-0000


your body & soul

are welcome

• ALL INSURANCES ACCEPTED • WALK INS WELCOME • tRANSPORATION PROGRAM • NO INSURANCE? WE CAN HELP North Shore - 127 Anderson Street - Suite 101 Timber Court Building, PIttsburgh, PA 15212 Phone: (412) 322-4151 washington, pa - 95 Leonard Avenue Suite 203, Washington PA 15301 Phone: (724) 249-2517 beaver county - 2360 hospital drive Suite 1, aliquippa, pa 15001 Phone: (724)707-1155




Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Administration Building, Bellefield Entrance Lobby, 341 South Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15213, on November 10, 2020, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for: PGH. ALLDERDICE HS


• Domestic Hot Water – PE Wing • Plumbing Prime


• Concrete Maintenance

• Boiler Replacement • Mechanical, Electrical and Asbestos Abatement Primes

• Extraordinary General Maintenance and Repairs


• Extraordinary Electrical Service, Maintenance and Repairs

• Domestic Water Booster System • Plumbing Prime

• Extraordinary Roofing Maintenance and Repairs


• Gas and Oil Burners, Boilers and Furnaces Inspection, Service, and Repairs

• Entrance Doors • General Prime

• Integrated Access Control, Intrusion Detection, and CCTV Surveillance Systems Service, Maintenance, Repairs, and Programming


• Plumbing Maintenance and Repairs

• Replace Electrical Distribution Systems • Electrical and Asbestos Abatement Primes

• Vertical Transportation Systems Preventative Maintenance and Service

• Extraordinary Masonry Maintenance and Repairs

• Fire Extinguisher and Fire Hoses Service and Maintenance

• Chillers and Refrigeration Systems Service, Maintenance and Repairs

Project Manual and Drawings will be available for purchase on October 12, 2020 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.


Sealed proposals shall be deposited at the Facilities Design and Construction Offices, School District of Pittsburgh, Service Center, 1305 Muriel Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 on December 7, 2020, until 2:00 P.M., local prevailing time for: IMPLEMENTATION OF ENERGY CONSERVATION MEASURES ON A PERFORMANCE CONTRACTING BASIS AT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PITTSBURGH

Requests for a copy of the RFP and all communications including questions to District relating to this RFP shall be in writing to Aldo Mazzaferro, Director of Technical Services, by email at Aldo@theECGgroup.com copying Michael Carlson (Michael@theECGgroup.com). Project details and submission requirements are described in the RFP. We are an equal rights and opportunity school district. PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER OCTOBER 28 - NOVEMBER 4, 2020


Profile for Pittsburgh City Paper

October 28, 2020 - -Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly featuring a cover story on a self-guided tour of Pittsburgh's spookiest spots. And in...

October 28, 2020 - -Pittsburgh City Paper  

Pittsburgh's leading arts and entertainment newsweekly featuring a cover story on a self-guided tour of Pittsburgh's spookiest spots. And in...