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VOL. 1 ISSUE 10 â–¶ Dec. 4, 2018 - Dec. 17, 2018

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STAFF Publisher/Editor: Charlie Deitch Charlie@pittsburghcurrent.com Associate Publisher: Bethany Ruhe Bethany@pittsburghcurrent.com

EDITORIAL Art Director: Emily McLaughlin emily@pittsburghcurrent.com Music Editor: Margaret Welsh Margaret@pittsburghcurrent.com Special Projects Editor: Rebecca Addison Rebecca@pittsburghcurrent.com Visuals Editor: Jake Mysliwczyk jake@pittsburghcurrent.com Staff Writer, Arts: Amanda Reed Amanda@pittsburghcurrent.com Staff Writer, News and Food: Haley Frederick Haley@pittsburghcurrent.com Columnists: Aryanna Berringer, Sue Kerr, Mike Wysocki opinions@pittsburghcurrent.com Craft Beer Writer: Day Bracey info@pittsburghcurrent.com Contributing Writers: Kim Lyons, Jody DiPerna, Mike Shanley, Ted Hoover, Mike Watt, Ian Thomas, Matt Petras,

CONTENTS Vol. I Iss. X Dec. 4, 2018 NEWS 6 | Violence at Steelers Game OPINION 8 | Setting the Table GIFT GUIDE: 10-19 ARTS 20 | Die Hard N’at 21 | Rashaad Newsome MUSIC 24 | Traveling Light 30 | James Carter FOOD 34 | This Tastes Funny 36 | Holiday Food Events 38 | Day Drinking NEIGHBORHOODS 40 | Shadyside 43 | Neighborhood Conversation EXTRA 50 | News of the Weird 50 | Crossword 51 | Savage Love

Thomas Leturgey, Nick Eustis info@pittsburghcurrent.com Logo Design: Mark Adisson

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ADMINISTRATION Operations Director: Thria Devlin thria@pittsburghcurrent.com Office Manager: Bonnie McConnell Bonnie@pittsburghcurrent.com 4 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

THE FINE PRINT The contents of the Pittsburgh Current are © 2018 by Pittsburgh Current, LLC. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this publication shall be duplicated or reprinted without the express-written consent of Pittsburgh Current LLC.The Pittsburgh Current is published twice monthly beginning August 2018. The opinions contained in columns and letters to the editors represent the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Pittsburgh Current ownership, management and staff. The Pittsburgh Current is an independently owned and operated print and online media company produced in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Beechview neighborhood, 1665 Broadway Ave., Pittsburgh, PA., 15216. 412-204-7248. Email us or don’t: info@pittsburghcurrent.com.


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NEWS

A man puts his hand on a woman’s throat during the Steelers-Chargers game Dec 2 Photo: Shelley Lipton

MAN STRANGLES WOMAN AT STEELERS GAME, APATHY ENSUES BY CHARLIE DEITCH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT EDITOR CHARLIE@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

T

he morning following the Steelers-Chargers game at Heinz Field, we all awoke to a ton of news coverage about a viral video of one jackass Steelers fan headbutting another jackass Steelers fan. The story and the video were everywhere. KDKA’s website labeled it the “Head-Butt Seen Round The World.” Deadspin headlined it: “Steelers Fan Eats Headbutt, Refuses to Stay Down.” Whenever something 6 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

like this happens, we all love to laugh at stupid sports fans and share the video. Violence is part of sports afterall, for the players and the fans. The probability of getting punched by someone who disagrees with you after an evening of gladiatorial-like combat and drinking is all part of the fun! Except when it’s not. On Monday afternoon, we obtained sickening photos of a male Steelers fan grabbing a woman in an L.A. Chargers

jersey around the throat with what appears to be a tight grip. Photographer Shelley Lipton, says she saw a man and a woman, both Chargers fans, standing up during the final few seconds of the game as Los Angeles kicked a field goal to win the game. According to Lipton, the unidentified man told the couple to sit down. The couple told the Steelers fan that “it was their turn” to stand and cheer. When they refused, the man lunged at the male Chargers fan and “was

beating on him.” The male Charger fan told the Steelers fan that he was not fighting with him. Lipton says the Chargers fan was almost pushed over a railing. The female Chargers fan then got in between the two. Lipton was shooting the game and when the fracas in the stands continued, she got closer and began taking pictures. It wasn’t until she processed the photos a short time later that she realized what she had captured. Her photos clearly show


the man with his hand wrapped around the woman’s throat. A hand can be seen on the Steelers fan chin and Lipton says she believes it was the woman’s hand when she got in between the Steelers fan and the Chargers fan during the altercation. “She stepped in to try and help,” Lipton says. I can’t even wrap my head around this kind of behavior anymore. On a weekend when yet another NFL player is released by his team for assaulting a woman. Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt was cut 10 months after he allegedly pushed and kicked a woman in Cleveland. No charges were filed and the NFL investigation didn’t lead to discipline. TMZ released a tape of the incident a few days ago. Hunt is one in a long line of NFL players who’ve put their hands on a woman. Why wouldn’t this behavior filter down to the fans eventually? We buy the jerseys and play fantasy football, maybe this is just another level of fandom! It’s a nightmare is what it is. A man strangled a woman who was apparently trying to help someone else while others stood by and simply watched. Did you see the photo? Look at the guy behind her. Has anyone ever seen more apathy from a bystander during the commitment of a felony? At press time, there was no active police investigation. I’m hoping by the time you read this, that will have changed. VIolence against women has reached disgustingly high levels and there needs to be examples made. If you know who this person is, reach out to Pittsburgh Police, let them know. In fairness, I don’t think they are ignoring this incident; I just don’t think they knew about it. Think about that. A woman was apparently strangled by a man more than twice her side and nobody, it seems, called police. That’s abhorrent. But maybe our levels of common decency have disintegrated so far, that this is just another day at the ballpark.

For information go to: AACC – AWC.org PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 7


OPINION

SETTING THE TABLE BY ARYANNA BERRINGER - PITTSBURGH CURRENT POLITICAL COLUMNIST ARYANNA@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

I

f you thought this was going to be a piece on the proper etiquette when setting your holiday table, clearly you have come to the wrong column and it’s obviously your first visit. And if you thought this was going to be another one of those exhaustive “how to” guides for talking at the dinner table to your crazy uncle that never agrees with you about politics, you too will be disappointed. Rather than argue over where the salad knife goes depending upon whether there is fish being served or the results of the election and who really won, introduce a new topic that will give your dining companions something to really chew on. A few days before the Novem-

ber 6 midterm elections, the all-political-consuming publication, Axios, released results from a SurveyMonkey poll they had commissioned. In what Axios was anticipating to be a big year for women becoming elected to office (which it was, no argument there), they surveyed head-to-head matchups with President Trump and seven potential female candidates for the 2020 election. It may have been their way to make a subtle prediction about a female wave of candidates winning across the country. In every hypothetical matchup scenario, the female bested President Trump to varying degrees. The top two with the largest, double-digit margins of victory? Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, respectfully. The bottom four, Sen. Amy Klobucher (MN), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

8 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

(NY), Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, respectfully, and all with single-digit margin leads. And about that third-ranked candidate? That’s where it gets interesting. It was Sen. Kamala Harris, an African American from California who has been in office less than two years. We’ll come back to her and this poll later. Following the 2008 presidential campaign, many analyzed how it was that a black man, with a funny sounding name and very little experience in the Senate could become our Commander-in-Chief. One piece of that puzzle is the theory that because of how horrendous the Bush Administration had been, it set the table for a dramatic change in how we as voters would view how our next president would look. Basically,

if it weren’t Bush, there would have never been President Obama. And we’re already beginning to see signs of this theory percolating due to black voter turnout in the 2018 midterm. The African American Research Collaborative conducted two surveys this year, one just prior to Election Day and one back in July. What that study found was that nine out of 10 black voters stated that they had either voted early or were going to vote on November 6 for a Democrat. That was up from 77 percent in the July round of testing the same question. When you dig a bit deeper into this same study, 85 percent of black women said President Trump made them feel “disrespected.” Aretha Franklin may no longer be with us, but damn if her words about respect for a black woman don’t continue to have a “well-heeded, well heard” warning behind them. Now, let’s revisit that SurveyMonkey poll. The biggest takeaway for me was one that wasn’t discussed in the Axios dissection. The top three female performers against President Trump are all African American. The bottom four, all White. Like so many others predicting the field of candidates, let’s place the likelihood of Michelle and Oprah jumping in, as much as I would love to see it, in the slim-to-none category. That brings us back to Harris. She’s black. Not a household name. Obviously a woman. Whip-smart. Former prosecutor. Checks the box with a funny sounding first name that everyone on TV seems to have a personal favorite way of pronouncing. And we are living in the era of Trump; one in which women will not soon forget or forgive his braggadocious admissions of sexual harassment and abuse. In short, they are nothing alike. As the yinzer colloquialism that my father-in-law endearingly injects into all his stories goes: Long story short, because of Trump, the table may now be set for the first black woman to be President.


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TOP OF THE LIST BY PITTSBURGH CURRENT STAFF INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

2018 PITTSBURGH CURRENT

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE BY CHARLIE DEITCH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT EDITOR CHARLIE@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

YES, THE HOLIDAYS ARE ABOUT TOGETHERNESS AND IN THE TIMES WE LIVE IN, IT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER. BUT LET’S BE HONEST, WE ALL LOVE THE PRESENTS. Big gifts, little gifts, great gifts and even bad gifts can brighten the holidays. How can a bad gift be a good thing, you might ask? It’s all in how it makes you feel really. One year in a family gift exchange, I was given an autographed copy of Going Rogue by Sarah Palin. I’ve never read it, I’ve never wanted to, but seeing it makes me laugh. It brings me joy. In the coming pages we’ll share some gift ideas that will hopefully make the holiday brighter or, at least, will make you smile a little bit

Regardless of age, when the holiday season hits you can’t help but get caught up in the magic. And by magic, of course, we mean getting the gifts we always wanted. Folks in the media are no different. So, below is a list of presents that the Current’s intrepid staff would like to get this year … or ever. Charlie Deitch, Publisher/Editor As I get older, I’m finding out that the only gifts I really want are things I’ve gotten over the years and no longer have, mostly toys. So, this year I’m wishing for a Stretch Armstrong action figure, a Star Wars Millennium Falcon, A complete set of Welcome Back Kotter action figures and mid-70s Batman and Robin. All of these things can be found in the Hills Toy Department in 1978. Thria Devlin, Director of Operations A check for $42,026.71 to pay off my student loan debt. Haley Frederick, Food Writer A KitchenAid Stand Mixer. They’re a great tool, but they’re expensive. I feel like society has made it an unspoken rule that you can

only get them as a wedding gift. So, I guess I’m quite a few years out from getting mine. Andrea James, Senior Account Executive I would love to receive an Audi Q5 crossover for Christmas. They are sleek and stylish and I’ve always wanted to receive a christmas present surprise with the big red bow across the top. Jake Mysliwczyk, Visuals Editor A new desk that doesn’t squeak and a chair that doesn’t roll backwards Amanda Reed, Arts Writer An acoustic guitar and guitar lessons so I can impress love interests with “Wonderwall” and “Freebird” Bethany Ruhe, Associate Publisher I love road trips, and I’ve always wanted to take one on a Harley. I think it would be amazing to hit the road on a bike. This hair ain’t going to whip itself. Margaret Welsh, Music Editor All I want for Christmas is universal healthcare. Actually that can be my birthday AND Christmas present. But as long as Santa is still giving

Pittsburgh Current’s Bethany Ruhe tries out a 2014 Harley Davidson FLHXI retailing for $18,951 at Leopardi Auto Sales, 2435 Saw Mill Run Boulevard (Current Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk)

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QUEER GIFT GUIDE: MAKE THE YULETIDE GAY

BY SUE KERR - PITTSBURGH CURRENT COLUMNIST OPINIONS@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM A tangible way to show your support for the LGBTQ community this holiday season is to invest in our businesses. Here I’ve compiled a list of 19 queer businesses—18 of them from this region. Please note that every one of these vendors has other items for sale as well as custom and commissioned works, so please explore their full inventory online. Unless noted, all of these artists and businesses are part of the LGBTQ community.

Apparel

“Yinz is a Gender Neutral Pronoun” T-shirt, XS-4XL, from Etna Print Circus, $25. Shop at etnaprintcircus.bigcartel.com. #AMPLIFY T-shirts promote LGBTQ storytelling in Western PA, S-3XL, $25. Shop at compressmerch. com. AmTrans Beanie/Winter Hat. Handmade by Sam Thorp $6 and available on their Etsy shop, samthor. Custom fit undies created by Glitter Grandpa for all body types. Starting at $35. Select your own fabric and waistband at shopsteerqueer.com. “That’s What Ze Said” and “Nubiyinz” shirts and totes via Pittsburgh queer RocketArt on teespring.com. Starting at $22.99.

Books

mont has a huge range of reading gift options. Self-styled as a ‘very strange bookstore in Dormont’ They can order any book you like. Classic Lines bookstore is a gay owned business in Squirrel Hill. Classic Lines is the place in Squirrel Hill for buying new and used books, vintage housewares, home decor, fine art, gifts, gardenalia, and more. “Troubleshooting” by Selene dePackh, a searing dystopian saga through the eyes of her fiercely female-genderqueer narrator, who learns what it is to be autistic in the new world order.

Health and Wellness

Body Harmony Pittsburgh specializes in supporting your overall wellness through the combination of focused muscular work along with creating a peaceful state of mind during the session. Gift certificates available. Located in the East End and online at pittsburgh-massage. net. California Cycle Path safe, effective and fun classes intended for all fitness levels variety of class formats including Indoor Cycling, TRX Suspension Training, Heavy Bag Training, Indoor Rowing, POUND and Zumba/Dance Fitness. They also offer open gym time. Find more information at californiacyclepath. com.

Counting Sheep Sleep Mask by Khadijat Yussuff. $15. Handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces for the bedazzling Renaissance kid. Find it at monamona.us.

The official soundtrack to City Theatre’s production of “Pipeline” as written by Dominique Morisseau. Featuring original music featured in the play written and composed by 1Hood artists, including local queer musician, Brittney Chantelle. Available at 1hood.org.

House and Home

Dark crepe paper floral arrangement in indigo, purple, silver, and black, from The Garden of Artificial Delights. Or order a custom arrangements in your preferred colors from Soren Lundi’s Etsy shop online. $65 (prices vary by item). Salvaged wood photo frame with your choice of a Pittsburgh image from Abandoned Pittsburgh for $35. Shop at abandonedpittsburgh.com.

Jewelry

Golden Girls Friendship Rings, choose from the Rose, Blanche, Dorothy or Sophia, or buy a set of all four from Steer Queer at shopsteerqueer. com. $15 per ring. Rings are silver in color and adjustable. Must Love Goats Porcelain and Pearl Bracelet from Archaeotype’s shop on Etsy. $25. Confetti and death hair clip at Drag’n Fyre Designs which offers unique, one of a kind inspired glass and gemstone jewelry, paintings, hair accessories, wands and more. $10 and up. Check their Facebook page for more information.

Queer scouts badge screenprint by Mary Tremonte for $20+

Other

This book A-MAZE-ING America: 50 Mazes of the 50 States by local artist and ally Joe Wos is a terrific holiday gift for kids of all ages. The pop-rock band HAIM has a very cool long sleeve “Haimmukkah” T-shirt for sale to benefit the 3 congregations targeted in the October shooting in Squirrel Hill - Tree Of Life/Or L’Simcha, New Light Congregation, and Dor Hadash. One drawback is the shirt only comes in sizes S-XL, but hopefully the band will add sizes to future runs. Honorary yinzer and bisexual singer-songwriter Jill Sobule released her first album in over a decade, titled Nostalgia Kills, and she’s offering all sorts of discounts and autographed dreidels with every purchase. $15 and up.

Beagle and Rickert Books in Dor-

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 11


A. ADD MAGIC AND SPARKLE TO YOUR HOLIDAY EVENTS

What started as an etsy store selling ugly holiday sweaters has evolved into a retail phenomena. The tops from TheUglyHolidays.com, a Pittsburgh-based online retail shop, will have you looking festive and ready to party. Need a party to try out your new look? Try TheUglyholidays. com Ugly Sweater Fest from 1-7 p.m. on Sat. Dec. 8 at Presidents Pub in Washington, Pa. 12 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

A. Like a little tinsel to go with your sweater? Current Senior Account Executive Andrea James is the life of the party in her light up tinsel-trimmed red top with Christmas tree and snowglobe. ($64.95) B. Pittsburgh Magazine Food and Drink Columnist Celine Roberts looks downright mythological At Maggie’s Rum Distillery in this Unicorn sweater with matching horn. ($64.95)


C. B. D.

E. C. TheUglyHoliday.com owners Jessica and Ivan Larmore look cool, but not cold in their “Get Frosty” sweaters. The left sleeve allows you to hold your beer without freezing your hand and in this little number, you’ll never have to search for an opener.

E. Need a great place and a good drink for your holiday get-together, head on over to Maggie’s Rum DIstillery in the Strip District. In addition to their White Rum they’re featuring their Queen’s Share and Pineapple Rums for holidays. maggiesfarmrum.com

D. That opener will come in handy when you give the gift of craft beer. There are tons of winter beer selections at Vecenie Distributing Co., 140 North Ave. in Millvale (beersince1933.com). Be especially on the lookout for Winter White Ale from Bell’s Brewing, Winter Cheers from Victory Brewing and Blizzard Hops from Troegs. PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 13


POLITICAL GIFTS

DON’T BRING THEM SOME FIGGY PUDDING:

BY CHARLIE DEITCH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT EDITOR CHARLIE@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

BY HALEY FREDERICK - PITTSBURGH CURRENT STAFF WRITER HALEY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

It’s true that politics and holidays don’t often mix. Especially when your opinions don’t mesh with your “I’m not racist, it was different back then” grandfather. But for some people, politics is their life, so a gift rooted in politics might be the best thing. If you decide to get political in your gift giving, here are a few ideas. My Place in the World. Written by Aryanna Berringer and Illustrated by Liz Beatty Yes, Aryanna Berringer is the Current’s political columnist, but her children’s book empowers kids and their parents to be politically active and, well, find their place in the world. $13.50. aryannaberringer.com “Trump is a Jagoff” T-shirt These shirts are brought to you by Pennsylvania’s Lt. Governor-elect, John Fetterman. Like Trump’s presidency, these shirts are only around for a limited time. $25. tinyurl.com/ y8esrfcj

Make a Donation to an under-fire organization This gift is great because you can give in of two ways. Your like-minded politically active friends would appreciate if you made a donation in their name to Planned Parenthood, CeaseFire Pa., the ACLU, GLAAD, NORML, Black Lives Matter, the National Immigration Law Center or any other such organization. On the other hand, feel free to gift a donation to any of these groups in the name of your NRA-lovin’, InfoWars-missing cousin. Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward If you’re going to gift just one book this year about how Donald Trump is driving the country into the crapper, make it this book by the famed journalist. The book has bombshell after bombshell from one of the most prestigious and unimpeachable journalists in our country’s history. And when your Uncle Jimbo says Woodward made it up, remind him that’s what Richard Nixon said about Watergate.

Looking for the perfect gift for the nature-lover in your life?

Give the Gift of Membership this holiday season. Memberships include free admission to our Garden, discounts to our Gift Shop, educational programs, classes, and lectures, and much more! Visit PittsburghBotanicGarden.org for additional details

14 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

A FOOD AND DRINK GIFT GUIDE

Here are some unique gifts that the foodie in your life will be salivating over this holiday season, whether they’re a baker, caffeine addict or simply bursting with Pittsburgh pride. From gifts that are edible to gifts that will bring them new experiences, we’ve got you covered.

Baker’s Goods

A breadmaking class at the Enrico Biscotti Co. in the Strip is perfect for those who need a push to get kneading their own baked breads. Upcoming classes on Jan. 6, 13 and 27 cost $85. Register online at enricobiscotti. com. Penzeys Spices Bakers’ Assortment gift box of nine baking necessities like natural high fat cocoa, vanilla sugar and minced lemon peel. Shop online at penzeys.com or at their storefront in the Strip. $59.95. The Christmas Cookie Greeting Card from Black Dog Print Shop depicts a beautiful cookie table and offers the perfect place to write your favorite baker a holiday message. Pick it up for $3 on their Etsy shop or at Wildcard in Lawrenceville.

Beer, Wine and Liquor

Brewed2Burn candles are handpoured in Pittsburgh, with beer-inspired and seasonal scents like Vanilla Coffee Porter, Winter Pine Pale Ale and Winterberry Wheat. $21.50. Shop at brewed2burn.com. Palate Partners’ (Wine) Tour de

France series. Once a month in 2019, Palate Partners is hosting a tasting that focuses on the wines on a specific region of France. Register on palatepartners.com. A single tasting is $55, or register for the whole series of 12 for $480. The Moscow Mule Gift Set from Boyd & Blair includes their award-winning potato vodka, two bottles of ginger beer, and their handcrafted hammered copper mugs. Find it for $89 at boydandblair. com.

Coffee and Tea

A Coffee Passport for $20 will get it’s carrier one coffee from a specially curated menu at ten different coffee shops around the city. Passport #2 is active until April 1, giving you three months to complete the caffeine quest. Check out coffeepassportpgh. com. Garbella’s “Always Be Snackin’” mug or any of the other adorable coffee and tea vessels you can see on garbella.net for $12 and up. The Yinzer Tea Sampler Box from Tupelo Honey Teas. Buy it at Love, Pittsburgh in store or online for $25. Find individual Tupelo blends at tupelohoneyteas.com.

Global Cuisines

A Chop, WOK & Talk! cooking class could cover anything from Thai to Tex-Mex. Look at the calendar of


events on chopwoktalk.com. $80 per person. The American Kitchen pack of eight spices from Penzeys brings together global flavors like cajun seasoning, sweet curry powder and chinese five spice for a modern cook’s kitchen. $49.95. Available online only at penzeys.com.

and Sriracha salt bundled together for $21.95. Shop online at steelcitysalt.com. A Pittsburgh Landmarks Flour Sack Tea Towel from Worker Bird depicts everything from Dippy the Dinosaur to PNC Park. $22 at workerbird.com.

Pittsburgh Pride

Pierogi Bath Bombs are the perfect gift for the Pittsburgh foodie who also likes a soak. Available in scents like, marshmallow bomb, coconut snowball, sugar plum fairy and sparkling snowdrop. $5 from Yinzersaurus Rex’s Etsy shop. The Steel City Classic Gift Set from Steel City Salt Co. features their alderwood smoked sea salt, black Hawaiian sea salt, Peruvian pink salt,

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A.

LOAD UP THE TREE WITH GIFTS AND DECOR FROM AREA MERCHANTS 16 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

A. Santa knows that one of the best place for bikes is Bear Dog Bicycles on the North Side. They have bikes for everyone including this Raleigh MXR 12. The solid steel frame and training wheels make it the perfect first bike. (901 Western Ave., North Side. beardogbikes.com/)

B. Decorate your tree with a handmade pierogi ornament from love, Pittsburgh. This shop has two locations Downtown (535 Smithfield St. and 805 Liberty Ave.) and in Mount Washington (301 Shiloh St.). ($9)


B. F. C. G. D. E. C. Heads and hearts will be warm with this Keystone Heart Beanie from love, Pittsburgh. ($24) D. Your mom always told you to put on your toboggan before you heat aht’side to play in the snow. Now you can have one for your tree. (Love, Pittsburgh ($6)

H. E. This Studabaker Cuff bracelet is hand forged metal made of brass, polished brass, copper, polished copper, and sterling silver. F. Stay warm over the holidays with this Zeke’s sipping chocolate from love, Pittsburgh and Zeke’s Coffee. ($12)

I. G. To celebrate 25 years of watchmaking, Luminox offers this 25th Anniversary Swiss-made timepiece. The craftsmanship shines through in every detail. (Anthony Arms, 2980 Lebanon Church Rd., West Mifflin. Anthonyarms.com. $300)

H. Show your love for Pittsburgh with this mug from love, Pittsburgh ($12) I. Finally, show that your heart belongs in Pittsburgh with this Heart Keystone sweatshirt from love, Pittsburgh, ($35) PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 17


GIFTS FOR ALL

Hippie & French CBD Oil Organic, full spectrum and CO2 extracted; Hippie & French’s oil uses industry best and premium practices. With 600mg of CBD in each 30ml bottle, it delivers a great value for a small price. $50. hippieandfrench.com Lord Jones CBD Gum Drops Lord Jones CBD infused all-natural fruit gum drops are handcrafted to melt in your mind. Made by hand in small batches from simple ingredients to deliver the perfect experience. $45. hippieandfrench.com

Nicky’s Thai Kitchen Nicky’s Gift Cards A local Thai food favorite, Nicky’s has three locations so that you can give the gift of spring rolls and dim sum to anyone near Downtown, the Northside or the North Hills for dine in or take away any day of the week. nickysthaikitchen. com

Ten Thousand Villages Shalom Candle Located in the heart of Squirrel Hill, Ten Thousand Villages is selling a chamomile and sage scented Shalom candle with proceeds benefiting Tree of Life Synagogue. $16. tenthousandvillages.com Sassy Sensations Aromatics Kama Sutra Massage Oils Help promote deep relaxation with an all over body massage. Made with essential oils and Vitamin E for a silky smooth, long-lasting massage. Available in 2 oz. for $9.99 and 8 oz. for $21. sassysensations.com Santa’s Little Helper This red velvet, hooded dress features a sleeveless design, v-neck collar, and is trimmed with white faux fur for that perfect holiday look. Available in sizes small to large. On sale for $59. sassysensations.com

The Sewickley Spa Sewickley Spa Organic Soap Nestled in picturesque Sewickley, The Sewickley Spa offers gifts to pamper and care for your loved ones. This holiday season they’re offering Sewickley Spa Organic Soap, handmade in Boulder, CO

18 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

exclusively for The Sewickley Spa, the soap lathers beautifully and and boasts their signature aroma, lavender and vetiver. $8. sewickleyspa.com Sewickley Spa CBD Scrub You can also pick up some CBD Scrub. Customized exclusively by Pass the Remedy for the Sewickley Spa, this Organic Body Scrub is scented with our signature aromatherapy blend of lavender and vetiver and contains 1500mg of CBD Oil. $40. sewickleyspa.com

Geology Rocks! Grape Agate and Flourite Head down to Butler Street in Lawrenceville to Geology Rocks! You can find unique gift items, like Grape Agate, a cluster of purple, grape looking rocks, or Flourite, a purple, cube-shaped formation. Stop in for pricing. facebook.com/ GRAMSPittsburgh/

Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens Membership to the Pittsburgh Botanic Gardens Give the gift of nature with a membership to the botanic gardens located in Oakdale. THere are several membership levels from an individual membership for $35 up to the Brackenridge Circle for $1,000. You will be given unlimited admission to the garden and its “three miles of groomed trails. pittsburghbotanicgarden.org

Tony Savatt Inc. Import Beer Distributor Delirium Noel This dark winter belgian is full flavored and its 10 percent ABV will keep you warm and toasty. Imported by Savatt and available where ever fine beers are sold. tonysavatt.com

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Lichtenberg Figures Necklace This eco-friendly necklace by Arteco (aka Stewart and Susan Webb) was designed through the use of high voltage electricity, creating a lightning-like pattern known as a Lichtenberg Figure. Arteco strives to make the unseen visible and to display the inner beauty of items rarely seen. $35

Pittsburgh Pirates Gift cards or Season Tickets to the Pittsburgh Pirates Give the gift of Pirates Baseball. A Pirates gift card is great for people who want to pick out the perfect Pirate swag for themselves. You can also spread cheer and joy with single game tickets, a 6 Pack, or, if someone is really on the Nice List, a full season! pirates.com


Holiday Shop Nov 16 - Dec 30, 2018 Pittsburgh Center for the Arts 6300 Fifth Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15232 412-361-0873 | bit.ly/pca-holiday

Members Weekend

Dec 8 - 10 15% off for all PF/PCA members, as well as one guest of your choice!

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 19


ART

Die Hard N’at Rehersal. Current Photos by Jake Mysliwczyk

YIPPEE KI-YAY NEBBY JAGOFFS!

BRICOLAGE GIVES “DIE HARD” THE PITTSBURGH TREATMENT BY NICK EUSTIS - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

A

s we start to get deeper into the holiday season, classic seasonal films of old begin to emerge from DVD cases to be watched on a loop for the next month. While A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th Street may warm the hearts of many, some crave a holiday classic with a different message, like the 1988 Christmas action film, Die Hard. While the original film was set in a downtown Los Angeles office building, locals are about to see it reimagined with a Pittsburgh twist. Bricolage Production Company will open its Downtown headquar-

ters December 6 for a new installment in their Midnight Radio series, Die Hard N’at. This production will see the Bruce Willis action drama reinvented with a Pittsburgh audience in mind, but delivered in a format that allows more audience interaction. “‘Bricolage’ is a word that means ‘making artful use of what’s at hand,’” says Jeffrey Carpenter, artistic director and cofounder of Bricolage. ”We are really obsessed with the audience, and creating a heightened experience for the audience. That’s really where we began.” Midnight Radio is Bricolage’s

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longest-running recurring program, featured in eleven of the company’s 16 seasons. The format takes its inspiration from the live audience radio shows of the 1930s and ’40s, with the actors using the art of sound effect creation, called Foley, to create the show’s soundscape in addition to their characters. “We’re not pushing a button to make a sound effect. We’re using a pot, or a pan, or a fan, or other household items to create the world we live in,” said Tami Dixon, principle creative and cofounder of Bricolage. Midnight Radio has evolved as a format over the past decade. Original scripts now make up the vast majority of Midnight Radio productions, which was not the case when it began. This is also the first edition where Dixon and Carpenter have not written and directed. “It was sort of Mystery Science Theater-style where the audience watched an abridged version of the movie, and we wrote whole new dialogue, with the actors talking over the movie like they were the characters,” said Gayle Pazerski, scriptwriter for “Die Hard N’at.” Pazerski, who has contributed writing for a number of Midnight Radio productions since 2006, wrote the script for “Die Hard N’at” single-handedly. “I had to watch it over again while taking notes, then pull the whole script to make sure I had all the scenes in order,” Pazerski said. “Then, also making it sit for radio play format. That was challenging, too.” Pazerski was also responsible for “yinzerizing” the movie, filling it with Pittsburgh-isms sure to make locals bust a gut. It is a subject that comes to Pazerski naturally, even if the jokes are corny much of the time. “Both of my parents are born and raised here, that’s the way they talk, those are the phrases they use. My whole family talks that way,” Pazerski said. A born and bred Pittsburgher, Pazerski took much inspiration from her family for many of the jokes

and comedic moments. One of her favorite moments in the show is a joke simply based on John McClane staying on his friend’s couch. “One of the words my dad says that used to confuse my friends is the way he said ‘couch,’ like ‘cahch,’” Pazerski said. “So in that scene, I made it all about that joke. The main characters are having this tender moment, and I’m just making jokes about the word ‘couch!’” This is not Bricolage’s first Midnight Radio to “yinzerize” its source material. In years past, Midnight Radio has featured Pittsburghese renditions of Night of the Living Dead, A Christmas Carol, and even the works of Shakespeare. Three special editions of the production have also been arranged. On December 13, the cast of “Die Hard N’at” will welcome audience members to experience how the art of Foley is done, and get a handson workshop in the craft, led by the actors. This will begin at 6:45 p.m. before the show. On December 15, the matinee performance will have a pay-as-youwish admission, with tickets on a first come, first serve basis. December 20 is the only performance to feature an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, a new challenge for the Bricolage crew. Whichever performance one sees, though, Dixon and the crew at Bricolage can guarantee a ridiculous good time to cut through the stressful preparations of the holiday season. “Let’s let go of the internal drama in our families, the crazy political climate, and the insanity of what’s happening in the world, and for 85 minutes, be enveloped by this ridiculous world of Yinzers fighting to save Christmas Eve.” “Die Hard N’at” will run from December 6 to 22, with evening performances at 8 p.m. and Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $35 for general admission, and $25 with a valid student ID. A free 30-minute happy hour will be held before each performance.


Rashaad Newsome Photo by: Seth Caplan

ARTIST RASHAAD NEWSOME

DEBUTS “SHADE COMPOSITIONS” AT PITTSBURGH’S WARHOL

R

BY AMANDA REED - PITTSBURGH CURRENT STAFF WRITER AMANDA@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

ashaad Newsome, a New York-based multidisciplinary artist, says if Andy Warhol were alive today, they probably would have collaborated, given both artists’ work with queer people of color. “Since the beginning of my career I have always worked with queer people of color,” Newsome says. “It’s sort of an organic relationship for me to do something within these walls.” Newsome’s long-running work, “Shade Compositions,” presented by

the Andy Warhol Museum, makes its Pittsburgh premiere Dec. 12 at the Carnegie Music Hall, combining live voice, video and audio to explore social power structures and agency. Newsome has also brought the work to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen in New York City and the Glassbox Gallery in Paris, France. “Shade Compositions” has four main elements: the ensemble of locally cast self-identifying black female and femme performers;

csa community supported art

PORTO DOMI December 6-7 8pm New Hazlett Theater

Purchase your tickets at the box office or online at

NewHazlettTheater.org/CSA PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 21


video; audio; and hacked video game controllers. Over the course of the performance, the ensemble introduces staple gestures of the “Black Vernacular” — a variety of English natively spoken by most working and middle-class African Americans, particularly in urban communities. Newsome records these gestures — which include teeth sucking, finger snap, sighs, lip rolls and local gestures wherever “Shade Compositions” is performed. Newsome then becomes the conductor, creating a multisensory improvised vocal orchestra. A reprogrammed Nintendo Wii controller becomes his baton: an upward motion fades a gesture in, a downward motion fades it out and the press of a button cues a video. The lip rolls turn into 808 drums, and teeth sucking becomes the chick of a hi-hat. The experience also has a scientific element to it. Newsome uses Maximus P, a visual programming

language for music and media, to create the software that makes “Shade Compositions” happen. Newsome says that, when asked to perform the work again, he thinks about what he can introduce to enhance the experience, like adding another Nintendo Wii system or screen. According to Newsome, this — along with the people and the technology — keep the work fresh despite performing it for almost a decade. “Everytime I do ‘Shade Compositions,’ it’s like doing it for the first time because I’m working with a whole new cast [and] I usually update the programming. There’s sort of like the pressure or uncertainty of how the program that you built is going to work in real time, and then there’s also this sort of pressure of working with a whole new group of people,” he says. “It’s like an experiment.” “Shade Compositions” is performed in conjunction with Devan

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Shimoyama’s “Cry, Baby,” which opened at the Warhol Museum in October. Jessica Beck, the Milton Fine curator of art, who curated the exhibition and organized its programming, says that the decision to include “Shade Compositions” came out of an early conversation with Shimoyama, who presented work across from Newsome in 2016. According to Beck, Shimoyama thought Newsome would be a good addition to the program. “I wrote to Rashaad and did some research about his performance work and we agreed that ‘Shade Compositions’ would be a really great complementary program to the ‘Cry, Baby’ exhibition,” Beck says, adding that both works speak to themes of joy, beauty, agency and love and celebration of black culture. “Shade Compositions” is free and will be performed in Carnegie Music Hall, which seats about 2,000 people, making it accessible for those in the community to engage with it. But,

with Newsome’s local casting, the community is involved on a new level. “My hope with the programming has always been that it would bring the exhibition to life outside of the walls of the gallery and within the Pittsburgh community,” she says. “And that seems to have been what’s already been happening.”

“SHADE COMPOSITIONS”

Wed., Dec 12. 8 p.m. Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland. 412237-8300 or www.warhol.org


PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 23


MUSIC

hackedepicciotto (Photo: Sylvia Steinhäuser)

TRAVELING LIGHT BY MIKE SHANLEY - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

L

ife on the road can be hard on a band, especially one that regularly plays smaller venues. For Alexander Hacke and Danielle de Picciotto, though, it’s just another day. The duo, who perform under the name hackedepicciotto, have been nomads since 2010, when they left their home in Berlin. The decision was less an artistic one than a reaction to their surroundings. “In 2010, gentrification was starting up here in Berlin,” de Picciotto says, on the phone from that city during a recent visit. “In comparison to the ’80s when we

started out, we were like, ‘Oh my God, commercialism has arrived. We don’t like this, and we’re going to go and find a place where that’s not happening.’ So we left everything here and we started traveling and we realized that it’s actually happening everywhere! “Originally we wanted to be traveling for 18 months. Now it’s been eight years because it’s really hard to find an ideal space.” Their journey has taken them throughout Europe, Australia, Mexico and the United States. It has also served as the inspiration for two al-

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bums, 2016’s Perseverantia and this year’s Menetekel. The duo considers both albums to be soundtracks to their travels, incorporating exotic folk instruments together with throat singing, intense low-end drones, spoken word and heavy guitars. The results consist of equal parts beauty and darkness. Intense music is nothing new to Alexander Hacke. He has played bass in Einsturzende Neubauten for most of the band’s three-decade lifespan. That group took the term industrial music literally, creating songs with electric tools and found

objects as well as instruments. So the story goes, some early shows were cut off when the band’s drills and jackhammers started to destroy the stages. Blixa Bargeld’s lyrics, which he frequently delivered in brutal screams, often read (in translation) like well-crafted poetry. Neubauten still continues to perform. In fact, Hacke missed the interview for this article due to a delayed train following a performance of Lament, a piece they were commissioned to write to commemorate the end of World War I. It was also released as an album in 2014.


Current Comics

Matt Bors

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ANDREA SHOCKLING

CART

D E N T A W T S ONIS

ics featured like to have their com rrent.com al artists who would hcu loc urg for g sb kin itt loo @p is rlie cha The Current funny pages. Email: hly ont -m ice tw on our PITTSBURGH CURRENT | OCT. 23, 2018 | 19


Jim Benton

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PITTSBURGH CURRENT | OCT. 23, 2018 | 21


Danielle de Picciotto moved to Berlin in 1987. “I came from New York, and New York in the ’80s was pretty dangerous and scary,” she recalls. “Berlin in the ’80s was just as creative but it had no crime whatsoever. It was incredibly cheap. My first apartment cost 30 marks which is about 15 dollars. And it was … huge! Really huge.” Once there, she sang in the band Space Cowboys and launched the Love Parade, an electronic dance music festival. Menetekel, the newest hackedepicciotto album, translates to “writing on the wall.” Its predecessor, Perseverantia, took more of a first-person perspective, telling the duo’s story of determination as they traveled. The newer album reflects more on what they have seen on their quest. “In general, we have the feeling that the writing on the wall is very clear,” de Picciotto says with a bit of a laugh, “We’re all in a state of crisis. That’s what that album is all about.” Hacke’s throat singing, like that of a Tibetan vocalist, can sound eerie, as do the low frequency bass notes that provide the foundation of some songs. At the same time, the album opens with “All Are Welcome,” where the duo chant-sings positive messages: “Come into my home…come and rest your head…come and eat my bread/all are welcome here.” These aren’t merely lyrics either. “The whole thing is really influenced by our travels. All of it — the atmospheres, the people we meet, the sounds we hear,” she says. The duality between the dark and light is something they take seriously in the music too. “It’s kind of what you experience in the world too. You see all these terrible things happening but at the same time there’s such beauty, [in] nature or also in human interaction. Or the things you can experience in culture. And it’s really important especially nowadays to not forget that. So we think if our song is getting too dark, we have to add the other part of it, which is the beauty and the light because it’s not balanced enough. That balance is what we’re trying to achieve not only

in our music but also in our lives.” Although they travel light, de Picciotto has acquired several instruments that factor into the music. Among them, she plays a hurdy gurdy, which breaks from its association with street musicians or the song by Donovan. “It always has this ominous dark sound to it, which immediately gives you the feeling of [thinking], ‘Oh no, what’s going to happen? Something’s in the air,” she says, adding, enthusiastically, “So I love it!” Another instrument in her arsenal is the cemence, a Turkish stringed instrument the size of a violin, which is held and bowed like a cello. It adds a dark, rough squeak to the music, which compliments the foundation laid by Hacke’s instrument collection, which on any given song can include guitar, drums or banjo. De Picciotto also plays violin and piano on many tracks but revels in instruments like the cemence, which she found in Turkey on a street lined with instrument vendors. “I love instruments that have unusual sounds. It’s kind of what I specialize in. I got this one and I love the way it squeaks. I got a great flute there too that sounds like a dying duck,” she says. Hacke and de Picciotto would like to settle somewhere eventually. “Being a nomad is liberating and great on one hand, and it’s been an incredible learning experience in very many ways,” she says. “But it can also become superficial because you’re traveling all the time you don’t have time to go into depth, spending a lot of time with friends. But the experience is definitely one that’s changed our lives completely, in every single way, be it philosophically, be it awareness. It’s definitely been worth it.”

HACKEDEPICCIOTTO WITH ERIC HUBEL, HEX HOLLOW.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12. Spirit Lodge, 242 51st Street, Lawrenceville. $16-$20. www.spiritpgh.com

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 29


SAXOPHONIST JAMES CARTER

RETURNS TO PITTSBURGH TO PLAY TRIBUTE TO RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK BY MIKE SHANLEY - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

James Carter (Photo By: Monica Morgan)

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T

o put it mildly, Rahsaan Roland Kirk laid claim to many attributes. Blind since he was an infant, he could greet people when they walked in the room, before they said anything to him. He could play two or three saxophones at once, employing circular breathing so the inspiration didn’t have to stop to take a breath. With musical knowledge that he seemed to absorb without limit, his performance never became a gimmick. Saxophonist James Carter recalls a live Charles Mingus album that put Kirk on his radar. Kirk was one of five saxophonists in a jam session, which included George Adams, Mingus’ then-current tenor man. “George Adams thought he was going to mop the floor with Rahsaan,” Carter says. “George was playing cool. He did his upper register thing and went all up and down on the axe. Here comes Rahsaan right behind him. He starts out with just a simple, swinging solo. On that second chorus he just cuts loose with the upper-end polyphonics, and held onto it for a chorus and a half. Later on, he started playing in the style of Ben Webster and Lester Young, came back to his own and he quoted ‘A Love Supreme.’ I mean it was a total history of the saxophone in one solo. Totally shut George Adams down.” Carter himself is unique in the saxophone canon as well. One of the few that regularly plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone, his style straddles tradition and avant garde. His style draws as much from free squonkers as gutbucket blues players, with an equally musical knowledge added to it. If his vast catalog of albums as a leader and sideman didn’t offer enough evidence, he also took part in a jazz tribute to the illustrious indie-rock band Pavement. When Carter returns to Pittsburgh this week, his performance will pay tribute to Kirk, with a band that includes trombonist Dick Griffin, who worked extensively with the multi-instrumentalist in the ’60s and ’70s. When asked about any impact


Kirk might have had on his playing, Carter takes a long pause. “When you think about people that were paradigm players in the history of this music, you have individuals such as Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum. Not only individuals that influenced people on the instrument they were playing. They influenced everybody across the board. Rahsaan is the chrysalis of all of that. He perfected it and he was still looking for other things to do as well.”

M O N DAY, D E C E M B ER 31

6 PM – M ID N IG HT

JAMES CARTER QUINTET.

Saturday, Dec. 8. New Hazlett Theater, 6 Allegheny Square East, North Side. $35. 412-320-4610

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FOOD

Bob’s Garage’s holiday lights cast a red glow on Teresa Roberts Logan. (Photo by Haley Frederick)

THIS TASTES FUNNY:

LUNCH AT BOB’S GARAGE WITH TERESA ROBERTS LOGAN BY HALEY FREDERICK - PITTSBURGH CURRENT STAFF WRITER HALEY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

B

ob’s Garage isn’t an autoshop, I explain to the Lyft driver who’s taking me there to meet up with Teresa Roberts Logan for lunch. It’s a bar, restaurant and the eighth wonder of the world. It’s decorated to the max all year long, but naturally right now it’s Christmastime at Bob’s. Every nook and cranny is covered in wrapped gift boxes, twinkling lights, ornaments, stockings, garland—the works. Logan works under the title of “The Laughing Redhead” in her cartooning (which can be found in each issue of the Current), and that red hair makes her easy to spot at the bar. She’s doodling santa hats in a notebook, brainstorming ideas for future cartoons. I can’t think of a better place for some holiday inspiration.

“I love that they put this much heart and soul into it,” Logan says, remarking on the decor. Though, she admits she’s more of a Halloween person. She likes the bats, zombies, and ghosts. Logan has put a lot more thought into holidays than most people, given that out of college she went to work for Hallmark as an artist and writer in Kansas City for several years, and she still makes and sells cards today. I ask her if being in the greeting card business ruins the holidays. “It doesn’t affect how I feel about holidays, but it does make me break things down,” she says. “I brainstorm and take everything in; like I’ll do all the jokes I can think of about a santa hat, or I’ll draw the shape of a santa hat and think is there anything funny about that.”

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It takes two weeks for the decorations to be put up at Bob’s Garage. (Photo by Haley Frederick)

We’re both especially excited for our lunch at Bob’s. Logan tells me that she lost her senses of smell and taste a few years ago due to sinus problems. “When I can’t taste or smell I’m really into the texture and visual, so what I find really satisfying is sushi and Japanese food,” Logan says. But, good news; today, she’s getting over a bout of laryngitis for which her doctor has her on steroids that have temporarily made her able to taste again. So she happily orders the Ramblin Rachel sandwich, which is a sister to the reuben, filled with turkey and coleslaw instead of corned beef and sauerkraut. I’m excited to finally have the opportunity to try a Pittsburgh dish that’s eluded me in the years since I moved to the city—Turkey Devonshire. Our server says that the recipe for the creamy, cheesy Devonshire sauce that blankets the open-faced turkey, bacon, and tomato sandwich is more than 50 years old. You might be afraid that a place that puts two weeks of work into their decorations each year would be neglecting the stuff that really matters, but Bob’s manages to be garish-as-hell and yet somehow avoids gimmick. There are regulars

and the staff is friendly and apparently there’s great karaoke nights. Everything is done with a sincerity that shows Bob’s isn’t trying to make a buck off of holiday cheer. Bob’s is just being Bob’s. Logan isn’t just a cartoonist and card-maker. Once, in a presentation at Hallmark where her coworkers gave slideshow after slideshow, Logan and friends decided they wanted to do something different. “We did a game show called ‘You Bet Your Job’ and I dressed up like a gameshow host in a leisure suit and a mustache and this real pretty blonde friend of mine was the silly assistant and we improv’d this whole thing,” Logan says. A coworker came up to her afterwards and asked if she’d done stand up before. She hadn’t, and he said she should give it a go. So they started going to open mics together and she loved it. “Soon I had to make a decision: do I keep working at Hallmark fulltime or do I hit the road and really try to do this?” she says. “And I hit the road.” Logan started putting a thousand miles on her car each week in the late 80’s, travelling around the midwest doing shows in clubs. She


opened for Jerry Seinfeld in Kansas City on a night when the whole Royal’s baseball team had come out to see the show. Logan moved to Colorado and opened for Ellen Degeneres at a club there. Afterwards, they did karaoke together. “We did Lady Marmalade,” Logan remembers. “So I kind of feel like I should never do karaoke again because that’s my story now.” Between cartooning, stand up, and also her paintings (one of which hangs in Whoopi Goldberg’s dressing room at The View) Logan is juggling a lot of creative ventures. She goes through phases where one will fill more of her time than the others, but she isn’t willing to abandon any of them entirely. “I used to feel a lot more sensitive about that, like maybe I should just focus on one thing, but I thought, all of these things feed me and I feel really successful that I get to do these things,” she says. “I’m just happier when I’m doing all of it.” Logan’s brand of comedy used to be family friendly, and it still is for the most part. But she’s finding as time goes on, she’s not as concerned with keeping to that standard. She’s feeling more driven to talk about politics and to use her stand up as a way to work through the things life throws at her. “Moving here from DC was really hard for me because I’m in love with DC, and I like Pittsburgh a lot but it’s a new place,” Logan says. “I was just in this period of moving from a place I really loved to a place I didn’t know that well, and within two months, my father passed away, I lost my senses of taste and

smell, we moved and I was t-boned in a car accident in Colorado. “I hadn’t been doing comedy very much, and I just thought, I have to do comedy about this because that’s all you can do. You have to do something with it.” And so she started opening her set by rattling off that list: the passing of her father, the loss of her senses, the wreck. Logan even did a whole seven-minute set on death. She’s found that the more personal you get, the more universal it is. “It’s interesting to me doing real, real stuff that is close to your heart, but everybody can relate to it, and we have to laugh about this because it’s so tragic,” Logan says. “There’s not much I can’t laugh about.” After two years in the city, she still feels new in town. But Logan is liking what she’s seen in Pittsburgh so far--both in the food scene and the comedy community. “I’m really impressed with the comedy here, and I came from the Denver comedy community [which is] known to be one of the best, the hottest. Pittsburgh’s there. They’re amazing. And of course the fine arts and the cartooning community is great here, too.” As we’re leaving Bob’s Garage, we tell our server how much we enjoyed our meal. We’re both already planning return visits with family and friends that need to experience Bob’s around the holidays. He tells us to come back for karaoke some night and we laugh to ourselves, because we know why Logan can’t do karaoke. Well, unless maybe Ellen comes to town.

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Bob’s take on the Pittsburgh classic, Turkey Devonshire. (Photo by Haley Frederick)

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 35


10 HOLIDAY FOOD, BEER AND BOOZE EVENTS TO GET YOU IN THE SPIRIT BY HALEY FREDERICK - PITTSBURGH CURRENT STAFF WRITER HALEY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM THE HOLIDAYS ARE FULL OF FOOD- AND DRINK-CENTRIC EVENTS TO MAKE THE SEASON BRIGHT. HERE ARE 10 YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT.

Dec. 7

Holiday Sparkle Dinner Cruise Gateway Clipper gatewayclipper.com Every Friday from now until the 21, the Gateway Clipper will be cruising down the river for its Holiday Sparkle Dinner Cruise. Holiday decor and music will set the mood, and a buffet featuring dishes like garlic and pepper rubbed beef loin, parmesan crusted chicken, and dark chocolate molten volcano cake or lemon roulade for dessert. Adult tickets are $47, children are $22. Holly Jolly x Oakmont Bakery Donut Pairing Fat Head’s Saloon fatheads.com Oakmont Bakery is teaming up

with Fat Head’s on a festive donut creation in collaboration with their Holly Jolly Christmas Ale. The seasonal beer brings together flavors like sweet malt, ginger, honey and cinnamon spice. Oakmont’s special donut comes free with the purchase of a pint of Holly Jolly at the South Side saloon.

Dec. 8

Wigle Spectacular Christmas Tree Sale Wigle Whisky Barrelhouse wiglewhiskey.com It’s the last day of Wigle’s christmas tree sale benefiting two local nonprofits: Biggies Bullies, which rescues and fosters pit bulls, and Grounded, which helps communities create green spaces. Sip on a complimentary spiked hot choco-

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late or Hot Toddy while looking for the perfect tree. Samples of Wigle’s new Rudolph Whiskey will also be available.

Dec. 11

Adult Gingerbread Class Fairmont Pittsburgh Always wanted to build your own gingerbread house, but don’t know where to start? The Fairmont’s team of pastry pros will give you the tools and the know-how to build and decorate your own cookie construction. Tickets are $82 and include two drink tickets for holiday cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a hot cocoa bar, and peppermint macaroons to take home. Call 412-773-8904 to reserve a spot.

Dec. 13

Holiday Cookie Decorating Soergel Orchards soergels.com Soergel Orchards in Wexford is a popular spot for fall festivities, but the celebrations continue with their Snowflake Festival on Dec. 8, and events like this Cookie Decorating class for $35. If you want to master classic techniques like piping and flooding with royal icing, this is the class for you. Buddy’s Bar The Commoner thecommonerpgh.com Inspired by the holiday film favorite, “Elf,” Buddy’s Bar is a two night popup event at The Commoner in Hotel Monaco. On the 13th and 14th, a special menu of cocktails inspired by the movie’s charming characters and


quotable moments will be available at the pop-up bar.

Dec. 14

12 Bars of Charity Downtown 12barsofcharity.com/pittsburgh This holiday bar crawl embraces the generosity of the season. Participants register online for $30 and choose a “team,” that decides which charity will receive a portion of their registration fee. A shuttle will take them between bars like Industry Public House, The Abbey, Nico’s Recovery Room, Lot 17, Round Corner Cantina, Remedy and Blue Moon, where they’ll get special discounts on drinks.

Dec. 15

Threadbare Winter Market Threadbare Cider House and Meadery threadbarecider.com At the second annual Winter Market, you can do your holiday shopping from local artisans while you sip on Threadbare’s cider. Kids are welcome to attend and can decorate a crown at this free event. If you RSVP online, you get a complimentary pour of Threadbare’s Perry the Pear Cider.

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Holiday Crafts and Drafts East End Brewing Eastendbrewing.com Local artists and vendors will set up shop at East End Brewing. La Palapa will be there serving up traditional Mexican food, Leona’s Ice Cream will have your sweet dessert fix and East End Brewing will, of course, provide the beer at their brewpub in Larimer.

Dec. 16

Ugly Sweater Holiday PAWty Allegheny City Brewing alleghenycitybrewing.com Finally, a holiday party where your date can be your dog. Put on your ugliest sweater and go grab some beers at this event that benefits the nonprofit Pet Match Rescue. There will be raffle baskets, 50/50 drawings and Ranger Wear merchandise for sale.

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DAY DRINKING:

KEEPING TABS ON PITTSBURGH’S CRAFT BEER SCENE BY: DAY BRACEY - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CRAFT BEER WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m.: Chili is by far my favorite dish and I’ve been invited to judge 18 different recipes at Shubrew’s inaugural chili cook-off. The judges’ panel includes Lauren Baker of North Country Brewing, Jack Smith of Three Rivers Alliance of Serious Homebrewers, and Brian Reed of Milwaukee’s Alliance of Evil Mass Brewers. Dave Ieong brewed an altbier, which Zach Shumaker describes as a dark kolsch. It clocks in at around 4% and pairs well with seasonal depression and chili. I can pound these all night long. All night! Nov. 30, 7:30 p.m.: Somebody killed a bear and made it into a stew. There is no hyperbole in my statement. I’m eating pure testosterone right now. Nov. 30, 8 p.m.: It was a tough competition, except for the chili that tasted like Sambuca. Only a European would think to add anise to an otherwise perfectly good chili. Homeland Security should look into these people. Somehow, bear chili only came in second place. Pittsburgh’s couple around town, The Conways, defeated it with a brownie chili. Yes. A brownie-topped chili. I’m just as surprised as you are. Kathleen Conway: My thing is baked goods. I’ve tried to pair them with different brewery releases in the past. When I was thinking about the heat in the chili, I thought chocolate

would go great with that. So, I went with a brownie instead of cornbread. Me: What was in the brownie? KC: I used a Kenyan hot sauce, which was the secret ingredient. Me: Where’d you get a Kenyan hot sauce? KC: You can find it in the Strip District. The sauce gives it a little heat, but there’s also molasses, brown sugar, dark chocolate, cayenne, chili powder, and cinnamon. Nov. 30, 8:30 p.m.: Mrs. Shumaker’s delicious taco chili didn’t win, but she has a winning charity she’d like to share with you all, Izzie’s Gifts of Hope Foundation (IzziesGifts.org). Their mission is to enrich the lives of children with chronic illness. I suggest everyone use the money they saved reading this free article to make a donation. Nov. 30, 9 p.m.: Everyone who didn’t win hates me. I hope they didn’t see which car I pulled up in. Nov. 30, 10 p.m.: I’m at Abjuration Brewing located in the Parkway Theater & Film Lounge in McKees Rocks, which also houses two theaters and a kitchen. It’s comedy night, hosted by Zach Cieply. The place is beautiful and packed with people. Comics are getting shithoused and telling jokes in front of a silent movie. I’m chatting with brewer Tom Glover.

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Me: What is an abjuration? TG: The word breaks down in Latin to mean to go against the laws of tradition, to break oath. We don’t care about styles as much as we try to make tasty beers. It’s important to make beers people recognize. You don’t want to be too weird. But if I think the beer needs to be something for a particular artistic endeavor, I’m going to do that rather than worry about a style guide or critique. Me: So, Fuck the German purity laws? TG: 100% correct. Me: How did you hook up with the theater? TG: Aaron ran into us at a festival and told us he wanted to put us in his theater. When we came by, we saw that we could fit in the space. And now we are sort of an anchor for Mckees Rocks, because we see a lot of businesses moving in, and it really reaffirms that we made a good decision jumping onto his passion project.

Me: How do you revitalize a community without gentrifying it? TG: You have to be a part of it. A lot of our beers are $2. The idea is that if you work here and you have a struggle in life [and] you got $5 you can come in and have a beer in your own backyard. It’s your brewery then. It’s not strangers coming in and taking your parking spot. We’re here for the people who live here. Dec. 1, Midnight: Abjuration is no longer allowed to serve alcohol, but lucky for my alcoholism Parkway serves till 2am, and has a bar full of local spirits. Aaron Stubna, owner of Parkway, makes me a Long Island iced tea, and it tastes like a hangover. I should eat something before I go to bed, but their kitchen is closed. Dec. 1, 2 a.m.: That Sambuca chili doesn’t sound so bad right about now…

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NEIGHBORHOODS

NEIGHBORHOOD PROFILE:

Photo: Looking down Walnut Street from South Aiken Avenue, February 19, 1935. Image courtesy of Historic Pittsburgh, the Digital Research Library at the University of Pittsburgh.

SHADYSIDE

Current photo by Jake Mysliwczyk

SHADYSIDE’S PAST IS STILL SHAPING ITS FUTURE BY BETHANY RUHE - PITTSBURGH CURRENT ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER BETHANY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

N

eighborhoods don’t become destinations by accident. It takes a lot of collaboration and the ability to get a large group of people on board for a single vision. And because, well, people die and things change, you have to do it over and over again, and get it right most of the time. It’s pretty daunting, but it can be done. You don’t need to look any further than Shadyside to see a successful result. Today’s proprietors of Shadyside’s restaurants and shops might not even realize it, but they are continuing to build on the ideas, legacies, and even methodologies, of the people who settled the area hundreds of years ago.

In the early 1850s, Pittsburgh’s elite were concentrated around the city center. The centralization of resources and lack of transportation tended to keep folks in the city, even if it was a sooty, polluted mess. Shadyside, then, was pastoral farmland, unremarkable in every way except one; the rail cars were coming. The Oakland Passenger Railway started commuter trains between Shadyside (which at this time was just unnamed land spread between Peebles and Liberty Townships) and Pittsburgh. Suddenly, there was an efficient way for Pittsburgh elites to escape the dirt and the noise. By 1866, annual ridership on the line was 716,482.

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Shadyside as we now know it was beginning to form. “Where the enjoyment of the country could be combined with the convenience of the city”, is how an 1875 city engineer described it in his annual report. The elites were moving there; names we are familiar with: Aiken, Negley, Castlegate. They were buying what is known in modern parlance as a “shit-ton” of land. Because there were such large swaths of land owned by a relatively small number of people, something unique started to happen. They didn’t operate through an official subdivision plan. Rather, they managed the sale of their lots privately. This allowed them a large

degree of control in the sizes of the lots and who they were sold to. The Aikens started this trend and other landowners followed suit. They kept lot sizes large and a tight eye on who bought them. Shadyside became affluent by design. The original Aiken house still stands, owned by Jack Cohen, owner of S.W. Randall Toy Stores. Cohen bought the house in 1973. Asked how he came to own the oldest home in Shadyside, Cohen says, ‘We were just lucky.’ Cohen knew the historical value of the house, and quickly set about investigating its history. In 1910, Aiken’s widow decided to move it from the middle of the street to the end, a


feat accomplished by the rolling of many logs. Shadyside continued to grow, and attracted a lot of businesses along the way. By the 1960s it was a thriving, vibrant neighborhood, and very popular with women who loved to eat lunch and shop. Another demographic was also making its presence known: young people. Lisa S. worked in Shadyside in 1964, during her teen years, splitting her time between The Listening Post and The Village Seat. The Listening Post sold “records, speakers, stereos, tvs, this was all before Best Buy and Sam’s Club,” she recalls. Her Shadyside, the Shadyside of the late ’60’s and early ’70’s, was a patchwork of independent stores, a movie theater, restaurants, and clubs. It was a place to gather. A place to enjoy. It was also a time when Walnut street had parking on both sides of the street. “But it was still two lanes of traffic,” Lisa recalled. “Can you even imagine? I don’t know how anybody managed

to get through there,” But get through they did. College students especially liked the area, taking advantage of the multitude of places to congregate. People called them hippies. When asked if she was a hippie Lisa countered, “Hippie is a term that gets misused. It was more about the way people dressed. Folks were still wearing hats and gloves to go downtown, and here we were in jeans and fringed vests.” Jeans or not, Shadyside was still a draw for the wealthy. There was a jewelry store, The Collection, owned by a well-known jeweler, Ron McNeish. It was on the corner of Flibert and Walnut. “One day this big, black limo pulls up,” Lisa recalls. “It was huge, with leopard print lining inside. Out comes Phyllis Diller, into The Collection.’ By the time Jack Cohen bought the old Aiken house in 1973, the college kids had mostly gone, lured by the newly developed South Side. He tried to get a storefront on Walnut for his toy store, but none were avail-

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able. He landed on Ivy Street, where he’s been for 30 years. And unlike his house, he isn’t planning on going anywhere. Shadyside has managed to keep its identity as a destination neighborhood, regardless of the times. Specific businesses come and go, but the fact remains: people come here to shop. One such shop was owned by Richard Rattner’s family, William Penn Hat and Gown. The shop was more than 100-years-old, first downtown, then moving to Shadyside in the ’70s. In 2001, Richard made the difficult decision to close the shop. “I just didn’t see a future for a women’s couture brick and mortar dress boutique,” he said. What he did see, however, was a future for a homegrown, welcoming bar and restaurant. Soon after closing the dress shop, he opened the doors to William Penn Tavern. William Penn Tavern is a Shadyside staple, popular with families, grandparents, and college kids alike. While it’s cemented its place as a Shadyside destination over the last 17 years, at least one person misses the old Hat and Gown. Lisa got her wedding trousseau there. “When I got married in 1971, you still had your rehearsal dinner dress, your wedding dress, and your party dress,” she wistfully recalls. Rattner is also the president of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce, helping to oversee some of Shadyside’s most beloved events, like Jam on Walnut, The Shadyside Arts Festival, and Run Shadyside. He’s also quick to point out that Shadyside is home to three distinct business districts, Walnut, Ellsworth, and Highland Avenue, each with their own unique characteristics. Ellsworth doesn’t have the chain stores you can find on Walnut, but it is home to many unique businesses that are imbued with Shadysideness. Like Petagogy, the pet store that was hatched over a beer with friends sick of traveling to the North Hills to get high quality, small company pet food. Or 5801, a bar bought by patrons of its predecessor, New York New York, and turned into not

just a vibrant club but a platform to help the LGBTQ community. There is a quote in the Volume 62, Number 4 issue of the Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, in an article written by Richard Juncha in October of 1979: “Shadyside was not built by a few powerful speculators, but instead by hundreds of individual decision makers.” The quote was referring to Aiken’s time, but could easily apply to present-day Shadyside. As Ratner points out, “We (the Chamber) have over 100 members, and they all have their own unique interests. We have to balance that as well, and get everyone on board with one focal thought, one vision.” And like their founders before them, they find ways to make it work. They gather, support, sometimes argue, but they all get on board for that single vision and they work hard to make it happen. Over and over and over again.

Current photos by Jake Mysliwczyk

42 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT


Richard Rattner Current photo by Jake Mysliwczyk

NEIGHBORHOOD CONVERSATION:

RICHARD RATTNER, OWNER OF WILLIAM PENN TAVERN AND PRESIDENT OF THE SHADYSIDE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE BY BETHANY RUHE - PITTSBURGH CURRENT ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER BETHANY@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM

R

ichard Rattner opened William Penn Tavern 17 years ago, but his roots as a Shadyside business owner go deeper than that. His family owned a dress shop on Walnut Street for years. His dedication to his neighborhood also runs deep. He is the president of the Shadyside Chamber of Commerce. How did the William Penn Tavern come to be?

We are in our 17th year here. I started from scratch. This used to be the old Rollier’s Home and Garden Center. My family had a business, a 100 year old dress business, which I shut down, up here on Walnut Street. I needed something to do, I had three young children, and I wanted to stay in the neighborhood. I went and worked at the Pittsburgh Deli while we built this out.

What makes Shadyside different? What makes Shadyside unique to Pittsburgh is that it’s almost like a little town unto itself. Everything, you have all your goods and services, you have restaurants, bars, independent owners of stores that are neighborhood people who listen to their customers and adapt accordingly. The chains we have are all the

highest end, one-of-a kind stores in the area, such as Patagonia, Apple, Talbot’s. Our landlords have done a very good job of hand-picking national chains to bring to this area to keep it competitive but not kill it with off-price retailers, or banks, or all of the things that can make it harder to do business here on a day to day basis. Does the Chamber influence

PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 43


William Penn Tavern Current photo by Jake Mysliwczyk 44 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT


that at all? We meet monthly, weekly, whatever it takes, with the building owners. We have a great relationship with them, so we’re able to explain to them what we’re looking for. These people also realize they have a lot of money invested in this neighborhood, and the value of their property is going up because of the tenants they have chosen. Most of our landlords have owned these buildings for years and years and years, and they’ve updated them accordingly. They’ve kept up with the times. But at the same time, they’re Pittsburgh-based people who are aware of what Shadyside means to the city, And a lot them live here. A perfect example is Walnut Capital’s headquarters is on Walnut Street. Talk to me about the famous William Penn Tavern Kitchen Sink Sauce. It came from the close bond we all have, and from staying after-hours and trying new things. Bear has been

here 17 years, Rob in the kitchen right now has been here nine years, I have four or five people that are 17 year employees, I have 3 or 4 that are 15 to 10. We’ve really formed a family bond here. We support each other, we pick on each other. We would just try different things. We make all our own sauces, ranch, buffalo, hot, bbq. Once we defined all of our base sauces then we were able to take it to the next level. Initially folks thought the kitchen sink everyone was like, you have to put everything in there. And we were like, yaaaa….. That’s disgusting. So we omitted a few things. And that is what become the Kitchen Sink, our award-winning sauce. We ship it all over the country.

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EVENTS

THE CAN’T MISS AMANDA REED AND MARGARET WELSH - PITTSBURGH CURRENT STAFF INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM FEATURED EVENTS IN AND AROUND THE PITTSBURGH REGION

Dec. 7

Now this is a fuckin gig: Hounds of Hate, everyone’s favorite Braddock-based, hook-laden, straightedge hardcore four-piece, is reuniting for one night only. What’s the occasion? To raise money to help Bernie Pilz (mother of certified Western PA rock ‘n’ roll wild man Nick Pilz), who is battling cancer. In addition to the Hound Dawgs, the lineup is a regular who’s-who of Pittsburgh punk rock, including Eel, No Time, De Rodillas and Detainees. Stay after the show for a Second Skin DJ set featuring post-punk, goth and new wave favorites. Plus there’s a punk raffle, and vegan food provided by De Rodillas front-woman/ chef extraordinaire Ana Armengod. 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7. Babyland, 460 Melwood Ave., Oakland. $10 suggested donation. In conversations about Esperanza Spalding, you’ll usually hear some pretty heavy words: Genius. Prodigy. Triple threat (that is, bassist, vocalist and composer). Her mix of jazz, neosoul, bossa nova and R&B has always raised eyebrows among jazz purists, but her skills and her compositional imagination cannot be denied. She’s described her latest record, 12 Little Spells, as a move away from song-oriented performance – “What I know that I do not want to do anymore is stand up in front of a microphone and do a preordained list of songs,” she explained in JazzTimes earlier this year. That, she says, simply doesn’t inspire her anymore. On Friday, Dec. 7, see her in this artistic

form at the Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall. 8 p.m. 510 E. 10th St., Munhall. $25.87-60. www.librarymusichall.com

Dec. 8

I’m not sure I really understood the band Sleep until several years back when I stumbled on a particularly magical photo of bassist Al Cisneros and guitarist Matt Pike from back in 1990. Then still in high school, Pike, in a backwards baseball cap, squints and grimaces at the camera, cigarette dangling from his mouth. Floppy-haired Cisneros, clad in black leather over flannel over a band tee, stands grave-faced beside him. In other words, the two were the Platonic ideal of cool teenage stoners, and it’s no surprise that they were destined to form the Platonic ideal of cool stoner metal bands. Does this sound like high-person logic? Regardless, don’t miss these gods-among-men when they stop by Stage AE Saturday, Dec. 8. Weather Warlock opens. 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Drive, North Side. $25. www. stageae.com Tonight is your last chance to see “In The End There Will Be Tears,” produced by the Alumni Theater Company. Written by ATC Professional Ensemble member James Perry in collaboration with Jerome Kirkland, the musical explores the life of a young artist, Donovan, who struggles to find his place in the world. Donovan is a high school student whose talents and strengths don’t lend themselves to academic success. He tries to reach out to

46 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

those around him to let them know how he is feeling and what he needs, but they don’t seem to hear. 7 p.m. $20 ($15 for students). 6601 Hamilton Ave., Larimer. 412-945-0282 or www. alumnitheatercompany.org

Dec. 11

It’s tricky business to try to invent new, or rehab old holiday traditions (looking at you, Elf on a Shelf ), but the Hip Hop Nutcracker is one reimagining that may be worth incorporating into your holiday. Tchaikovsky’s score remains, but it sets the stage for dazzling hip hop and breakdancing by world-class dancers, plus an on-stage DJ (DJ Boo) and an electric violinist (Jarvis L. Benson) and special guest MC, hip-hop luminary Kurtis Blow. The tour comes to the Benedum Center Tuesday, Dec. 11 and Wednesday, Dec. 12. Don’t miss the chance to experience familiar seasonal magic in a whole new way. 7:30 p.m. 237 7th St., Downtown. Tickets start at $30. www.trustarts.org.

Dec. 13

Beginning tonight, Pittsburgh Musical Theater presents Ken Gargaro’s “A Lyrical Christmas Carol.” Gargaro’s adaptation of the 1843 Charles Dickens novel has been a mainstay of Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s season, first premiering in 1991 at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland. Now performed at the New Hazlett Theater, the production is peppered with holiday carols and tells the story of miserly

Ebenezer Scrooge, who sits alone in his home on Christmas Eve, waiting for the holiday’s end, He is visited by four ghosts — his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, who open his eyes to the true meaning of the holiday season. 7:30 p.m. Through Dec. 16. $15 for adults, $10 for students, seniors and military members ($20/$15 at the door). 6 Allegheny Square East, Allegheny Center. 412-539-0900 or www.pittsburghmusicals.com

Dec. 14

If you missed Thalia Zedek’s intimate house tour back in early November (or even if you didn’t), you’re in luck. The singer/guitarist, best known for her work in noisy underground outfits like Live Skull and Come, returns for a performance at the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls on Friday, Dec. 14. Zedek has built up a healthy cult following over the last few decades and rightly so: over the course of her career she’s progressed through various variation on her own sound – on her most recent release, Fighting Season, with the Thalia Zedek Band, she digs into what could almost be called alt-country. But no matter what, she always sounds fully like herself: emotive, raw and honest. 10 p.m. 400 Lincoln Ave., Millvale. $10-12. www. mrsmalls.com


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THE DOG POUND

ELF IN MYSELF

A CHRISTMAS LOVE STORY BY: JIMMY CVETIC - PITTSBURGH CURRENT CONTRIBUTING WRITER INFO@PITTSBURGHCURRENT.COM “The Distance of the Road Not Taken Is measured by all the foot tracks that were never made” -- The Grand Elf A story usually begins at the beginning … That’s usually the best place to start any story … As the story begins … “As the story goes … it was written for all the Big People, so they could learn the Way from the Little People and remember all that is magical and find the Elf in Myself … And the Secret … there is no secret only the Tao of Elves …” -- The Grand Elf A time ago, And it could have been a long time ago Or maybe it was a short time ago, Something magical happened And nobody really knows why … it just happened … it happened just like magic always happened and nobody really knows why … it just happened … It happened just like magic always happens and it was such a magic happening a

time ago … I guess it should be told It was the time elves and it’s so easy to understand because everything was a time of elves then, and let’s just say it’s always an elfish time. Now let me tell you what happened next and I know for sure it did happen and I really don’t know why but it all just happened as magic happened a time ago … A star was brightly shining And it cast a bright light. Many say it was just wonderment And the magic of the night. In fact, many say the light and followed the star as start-followers have always followed the stars that move across the sky. Then the star stopped for just a moment and a child of the universe was born. (But that’s another story altogether and that was no less a magical story from a time ago.) But our story has a beginning And must be followed and told as any story follows from the beginning just as any story is to be told.

48 | DEC. 4, 2018 | PITTSBURGH CURRENT

Soooooo … this is what happened, and I already said that I don’t know the reason why. A star was traveling North and, at the same time, a snow cloud was traveling South. Well, the star and the cloud bumped, of course. Star Dust and Snowflakes fell and fell at the same time a Northern Wind and Southern Wind blew spin and spun around in the circle of twirl and whirl and no one knows quite why the magic happened … Colorful lights music from the sky and earth a special innocence and quite often a reason has no reason and nobody knows why … it was just because … because … and that was reason enough … just because A little elf was born. Now it is well known and all know, that in the North Pole that the Grand Elf the wisest of elves and he was to teach the little elf. And by the way the little elf’s name was … -- Alfie

The Grand Elf taught Alfie things like … What do you have? What do you want? What do you need? How bad do you want it? Please define It and It is as easy as Magic once you define It… In the first place, who determines first place in the first place … Anything of Value probably does not belong to you … be careful not to break It off you will own It or It my own you. The best lie told is the one you tell to yourself, and the greatest lie is the one that you tell and believe… There is nothing more profound than trying to make sense out of the profound. It’s like having an itchy itch in the middle of your back and you can’t reach it to scratch ... You’re never less alone when alone … It’s never the fall that hurts but the sudden stop … followed by the bounce. The End … And sometimes The End … Is just the … Beginning.


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NEWS OF THE BY THE EDITORS AT ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION WEIRDNEWSTIPS@AMUNIVERSAL.COM CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY A Bank of America ATM in Houston was the scene of a near-riot on Nov. 25 when it began dispensing $100 bills instead of $10s, reported Click2Houston. After the first lucky driver posted his score on social media, a crowd showed up and stood in line, with a few fights and arguments breaking out over about two hours, until police were summoned and the free money was shut down. Bank of America released a statement the next day that would have galled Ebenezer Scrooge: “Customers will be able to keep the money dispensed.” Turns out the blame lay with a vendor who incorrectly loaded $100 bills into the $10 slot. There was no report of how much money was withdrawn. LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS Richard Robert Langely, 46, of Kansas City, Missouri, was working part time for the Platte Woods Police Department in October when he decided to take part in the department’s drug take-back program. Except, according to court documents, Langely wasn’t disposing of drugs; he was helping himself to pills that had been collected in Lake Waukomis. And to make matters worse, the Kansas City Star reported, his own body camera captured evidence enabling prosecutors to charge him with felony theft of a controlled substance. Langely is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 10. COMPELLING EXPLANATIONS It happens all the time: A vehicle crashes into a building, causing damage and sometimes injury, because brakes don’t function or a driver steps on the wrong pedal. In

the case of Keith Rio Cavalier, 28, however, there was more to the story. WLOX reported that Cavalier drove his 1997 Toyota Tacoma into a glass wall at the Harrison County courthouse in Gulfport, Mississippi, on Nov. 10 at around 6 a.m. The building was empty, so there were no injuries, and Cavalier can be clearly seen on surveillance video climbing out of the truck and leaving the scene. When police caught up to him, Cavalier told them he intentionally struck the building in order to report drug paraphernalia had been stolen from him. It will come as no surprise that Cavalier was found to have been driving under the influence and arrested; he was held at the county jail on $25,000 bond. CRIME REPORT Suspected car prowler Isaiah John Gellatly, 31, of Vancouver, Washington, was going about his business late on Nov. 19 when Happy Valley police were called, according to Fox12 News. Responding officers found Gellatly lying fully reclined in the driver’s seat of a Honda Accord matching the suspect vehicle’s description. Suddenly Gellatly sat up and sped away, leading to a pursuit and the use of spike strips. As his ability to control the car decreased, police said, Gellatly opened his door to flee, but forgot to put the Honda in park, so it rolled alongside him as he ran. Eventually he tried to run in front of it, as the car hit a tree, a building -- and Gellatly, breaking one of his legs. Suspected stolen items found in the car included a tennis racket, a Ping-Pong paddle and a Texas Instruments calculator, begging the question: Was it worth a broken leg?

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Savage LOVE BY DAN SAVAGE MAIL@SAVAGELOVE.NET

I’m a mostly straight guy in my 40s and I’m married to a woman. I don’t know if it’s a midlife crisis or what, but I’ve decided that I want to get fucked in the ass once in my life. I will be visiting Hamburg soon, and it’s my understanding that sex work is legal in Germany. I want your help sorting out the legal, ethical, and practical issues. 1. Legal issue. Paying for sex in Germany is legal, right? But even if sex work is legal, that doesn’t mean every sex worker is doing it voluntarily. I prefer people closer to my own age, and I imagine a 40-year-old sex worker is less likely to be exploited, right? What else can I do to ensure that I’m not with a trafficked individual? 2. Ethical issue. After many years and many near-divorce situations, my wife and I have adopted a more tolerant (or more apathetic) posture toward each other. She has on several occasions told me that she doesn’t care who I fuck. While I haven’t acted on it, she has said it often enough that I believe her. We’ve talked about an open relationship, but she wasn’t enthusiastic. My best guess is that she doesn’t want to know if I do anything “gay,” while also not wanting me to form any emotional attachments. Do I ask her again if she really doesn’t care who I fuck? Or do her previous statements suffice? 3. Practical issues. Is a condom enough protection? How do I avoid things like herpes and crabs? Other than emptying ye olde bowels, what other steps should I take before asking a male German escort to fuck me in the ass? And how do I ask? Google Translate suggests “Fick mich in den Arsch,” which is an unappealing thing to say. Maybe there’s something sexier? Legal, Ethical, And Practical 1. Sex work is, indeed, legal in Germany. You can minimize your chances of hiring someone who may

not be doing sex work of their own free will by avoiding agencies and finding yourself an independent escort. But seeing as how you’re looking to hire a male in his 40s, LEAP, your odds of hiring someone doing sex work under duress are very, very low. 2. The wife who lovingly and apathetically tolerates your soonto-be-fucked ass has already told you—and told you more than once— that she doesn’t care who you fuck. She also doesn’t want to know if you fuck someone else. Asking if she meant it immediately before flying off to Hamburg—double-checking to make sure she really doesn’t care who you fuck—would basically mean telling her you know you’re going to fuck someone else in Hamburg (and fuck them all “gay” and shit), and she’s already told you she doesn’t want to know. Taking her at her word, i.e., allowing her previous statements to suffice, is the right thing to do. 3. A condom offers highly effective protection from HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia. For added protection, LEAP, ask your doctor about getting on PrEP, aka Truvada, before your trip. It’s a daily pill that, once built up to full strength (roughly a week), provides highly effective protection against HIV infection. While condoms do provide some protection against herpes, neither condoms nor PrEP will save you from crabs. To make sure your oneand-only ass fucking goes well, empty ye olde bowels and then douche ye olde rectum. Since most German escorts, like most German everybodies, speak English, LEAP, there is no need for an English-to-German dictionary. Just say, “Fuck my ass, please.” On the Lovecast, the Atlantic’s Kate Julian on why the kids aren’t having sex: savagelovecast.com. PITTSBURGH CURRENT | DEC. 4, 2018 | 51


THIRD THURSDAY: Throw on some leg warmers and meet us on the dance floor! We’re hosting an 80s Flashdance party with live dance performances, tours of neon art, sweatband bedazzling, and screenings of this cult classic film. Cash bar. 18+ Sponsored by:

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December 20 8–11 p.m. tickets: cmoa.org/3t online advance: $10 ($8 members; $5 students) door: $15 ($10 members and students)

Pittsburgh Current Vol. 1 Issue 10  

Pittsburgh Current Holiday Gift Guide

Pittsburgh Current Vol. 1 Issue 10  

Pittsburgh Current Holiday Gift Guide