A Publication of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Squirrel Hill Magazine
Books & Authors
2016 Squirrel Hill Treasure Awards Finding Courage & Faith in the Israel Defense Force Rick St. John: Poet & Community Activist
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
Your completed Personal Planning Portfolio is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can provide for your loved ones. This portfolio will outline your preferences for the choices you make regarding your funeral and burial options. It will also relieve the stress, anxiety and financial burden that are placed on your family at a very difficult time. To receive your personal planning guide, FREE without obligation, simply call 412-421-1822.
Dolor adipiscing: Cindy Ciccozzi OfÞce: 4129080011 Cell: Mobile Phone Email: Work Email
1599 S. Dallas Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217 firstname.lastname@example.org
Squirrel Hill Magazine
SQUIRREL HILL URBAN COALITION OFFICERS: Richard Feder, President Chris Zurawsky, Vice President Erika Strassburger, Vice President Marshall Hershberg, Vice President Gina Levine, Treasurer Jim Burnham, Assistant Treasurer Barbara Grover, Secretary Cindy Morelock, Assistant Secretary Raymond Baum, Immediate Past President BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Rita Botts, Norman Childs, Vivian Didomenico, Andy Dlinn, Lori Fitzgerald, Ed Goldfarb (Board Member Emeritus), Steve Hawkins, Michael D. Henderson, Mardi Isler, Ari Letwin, Lois Liberman, Lisa Murphy, Melanie Seigel, Ceci Sommers (Board Member Emerita), Josh Sayles, Sidney Stark (Board Member Emeritus), Peter Stumpp, Erik Wagner Marian Lien, Executive Director Ben Kistler, Office Intern MAGAZINE STAFF: Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Editor Meg Cummings, Intern Sonia Panic, Intern CONTRIBUTORS: Jennifer Bails, Ray Baum, Camille Chidsey, Meg Cummings, Richard Feder, Melissa Friez, Carolyn Ludwig, Kimberly McElhatten, Shane McLaughlin, Sonia Panic, Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Ian G. Rawson, Sarah Scott, Eleanor Ruth Smith, Helen Wilson Design & Print: Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Creative Director Knepper Press, Printer Printed with soy inks and 100% wind energy! Squirrel Hill Magazine, Vol. 14, Issue 3, is published through the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, 5604 Solway Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Please direct any questions or comments to SHUC by calling (412) 422-7666 or emailing info@ shuc.org. Please support our advertisers â€“ their ads solely finance this magazine!Reserve your space today for the Holiday 2016 issue!
The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is a non-profit community organization dedicated to preserving, improving, and celebrating the quality of life in the 14th Ward of the City of Pittsburgh. Volunteer supported standing committees provide leadership to our community by studying, debating and advocating positions on issues affecting our neighborhoodâ€™s vitality. Our mission is implemented through a long range planning process, which fosters community-based initiatives in the areas of education, public safety, transportation, parks and open spaces, and commercial, institutional and residential development. ON THE COVER: Community Day School (CDS) is our 2016 Squirrel Hill Place Treasure! Photo by Marian Lien
Squirrel Hill Magazine
Reflecting on Western Pennsylvania Squirrel Hill as Setting By Kimberly McElhatten
From Nurse to Author By Shane McLaughlin
Finding Courage & Faith in the Israel Defense Force By Sonia Panic
Author J.M. Varner Sets High School Novels in Squirrel Hill By Meg Cummings
Introducing the 2016 Squirrel Hill Treasures By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt
Squirrel Hill Featured in Pittsburgh Noir Short Story By Eleanor Ruth Smith
Rick St. John Poet & Community Activist By Ian G. Rawson
A Cup of Coffee & Bagel with Ivan Frank By Sonia Panic
It’s All in the Subtext A Theater Professor Turned Crime Writer By Camille Chidsey
Architectural Preservation on Forbes & Shady By Ian G. Rawson
From the Editor As an avid reader and writer, this issue was a labor of love. My amazing volunteer staff and I did our best to represent as many authors and genres as we could but with so much talent in Squirrel Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods, it was quite the challenge! While we didn’t have enough space to share everyone and everything written, we hope this sparks your interest in locally written reads. For even more content, check out our Online Exclusives at SHUC.org!
3 5 9
In Every Issue SHUC President’s Message Here’s Something to Think About What’s New From Our Advertisers This Just In
Familiar Faces SHUC Board Members
SHUC Snapshots News and Notes from Your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Squirrel Hill Historical Society Reading About Squirrel Hill By Helen Wilson
Good News From Our Schools Neigborhood Notes
Book Review Whiskey, Etc. By Sarah Scott
SHM Oticon Brain 50x_Eartique 8/1/16 4:42 PM Page 1
BETTER HEARING BEGINS HERE.
Improve Your Outlook at The Gateway at Summerset! LARGE 1 & 2 BEDROOMS AVAILABLE IDEAL Squirrel Hill location Walk or bike to Frick Park Gourmet kitchens & walk-in closets 24/7 gym & heated outdoor pool www.GatewayAtSummerset.com
SAVE THE DATE
JEWISH ASSOCIATION ON AGING
110th ANNUAL MEETING
NOVEMBER 10, 2016
50 x faster
Introducing Oticon Opn.
Hearing device that works in harmony with your brain by scanning your listening environment so you can distinguish speech from noise.
Debra L. Greenberger, M.S., CCC-A Serving the Pittsburgh area for over 25 years
The last stop you’ll make in successful hearing aid use
Call today for a FREE consultation!
Squirrel Hill ~ 2703 Murray Ave. ~ 412.422.8006
Gentle Dental Care
6:30pm Tree of Life Congregation
Featuring a talk with JANE BRODY, celebrated health and wellness columnist from The New York Times.
“Living Our Best Lives as We Age” RSVP to Beverly Brinn: 412-521-2586 or email@example.com
Excellent Dental Care with a Gentle Touch Milla I. Openko D.M.D. 2017 Murray Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412) 521-0965
firstname.lastname@example.org 200 JHF DRIVE • PITTSBURGH, PA 15217 • WWW.JAAPGH.ORG • 412-420-4000
President’s Message In Memorium and Moving Forward By Richard Feder, President Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition info@SHUC.org
This is my first President’s Page since becoming President of SHUC on June 1st. I’ll start off by talking about three SHUC Board members. This column would not typically focus on the Board, but I want to thank the previous Board president, Ray Baum, and to remember two long-time and cherished Board members, Roger Westman and Bicky Goldszer, who passed away recently. Ray has been president for the past six years. That is a long time to serve in a voluntary position, and Ray served with spirit, grace, and commitment to the neighborhood. He’s most proud to have helped expand the strength, skill set and commitment of our board and that so many board members and other volunteers have come forward to work for their community through the Coalition He refused to take too much credit for the good work of the Coalition. In his words, it’s “due to all the volunteer effort and the incredible support of our executive directors, magazine editors, members and donors, that we enjoy the respect of the community and government at all levels and can be a much more effective in preserving, improving and celebrating the quality of life in our community. And we have just begun.”
President Richard Feder
in enforcing the ground-breaking and effective Air Quality Program starting in the late 1940s. The Program literally cleared the air, and as such, moved Pittsburgh forward to what it is today: a highly desirable place to live and do business. Roger was a past president of SHUC and a long-time board member. He was highly respected both within the board and in the broader community. He was always the go-to-guy when we were looking for someone to take the lead on an issue, particularly those issues which might involve differences of opinion within the community. Roger had a calming influence in these situations because he knew how to lead public meetings, how to bring out issues and ideas for discussion, and make everyone feel that they were being heard and their views taken into account. I remember one such issue, involving concerns about school bus and van traffic serving The Children’s Institute. I was involved as a neighbor of The Institute. There was never any question that we should ask Roger to help lead the public process. Not only because there were environmental questions involved but we also knew that Roger was the right person to lead the public dialogue and resolve the issues to the satisfaction of those involved in the discussion. He came through that time as he did every time.
Past President Ray Baum
Thank you Ray. Roger Westman has served Allegheny County and Squirrel Hill greatly over the past few decades. For many years, Roger was Manager of Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Quality Program. He worked in the Program for 34 years and headed it for 12 years before retiring in 2008. I cannot stress more the importance of the County’s Air Quality Program, which was instrumental
Among the last things Roger did was to help lead SHUCâ€™s participation in Solarize Allegheny. Our branch, called Solarize Squirrel Hill, was a wildly successful Coalition venture, helping numerous local families make the switch to solar power. We give our thanks to Roger for that and all that he did for the community. He was be sorely missed but never forgotten.
Bicky also was an important part of the founding of the Squirrel Hill Litter Patrol. Not only did she help to initiate this wonderful community program but she actively sought out volunteers to participate in neighborhood cleanup days. Bicky loved her community and her presence greatly improved it. She was an unforgettable person and I still remember vividly and fondly times that I interacted with her. Next, I would like to mention some of what SHUC has been doing to identify issues and possible solutions to address the regional need for stormwater mitigation. There has been a lot of discussion in news media, at community meetings and among political leaders about what the region should do in regards to stormwater. Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities face a daunting and costly challenge: how to reduce the amount of untreated stormwater and sewage that's released into rivers when its outdated infrastructure is overwhelmed following a rainstorm. There is a need to significantly reduce the 9 billion gallons of storm-caused sewage overflow into the region's rivers and streams.
Just before this issue went to press, we heard of the passing of Bicky Goldszer, a long-time community volunteer in Squirrel Hill. Bicky led and participated in a myriad of community activities for the benefit of our city and neighborhood. She was an unforgettable person and I still remember vividly and fondly times that I interacted with her. Bicky passed away August 2, at the age of 92, in Coral Gables, Florida, where she and her husband Lou had moved in December 2012. They had lived on Ferree Street in Squirrel Hill for more than 50 years. During those years, Bicky contributed her time, intellect, creativity and enormously positive energy to this wonderful neighborhood we call Squirrel Hill. Here are just a few examples: As part of the Cityâ€™s participation in the National Night Out activities each year, Bicky recruited at least ten residents to host block parties so neighbors could get to know one another in an effort to strengthen the neighborhood crime watch and police-community partnerships. She also asked local politicians to visit these parties so residents could meet them face to face and share their concerns.. A few years ago, she initiated several elementary echool projects. Bicky and her colleagues engaged school children in environmental awareness projects, such as growing vegetable gardens in schoolyards, creating litterless lunches, decorating cloth bags to use for shopping and decorating coffee mugs with environmental themes.
There is a potential $3 billion cost associated with such improvements, which might include conventional infrastructure improvements like the construction of a water tower and widening of underground pipes. But there is an alternative that would allow us to avoid having to spend money on some of these expensive infrastructure elements. SHUC, along with many other organizations, is considering the potential for Green Infrastructure (GI). In addition to reducing the amount of expensive underground infrastructure needed, GI would improve the community aesthetically and may provide for open space or recreational facilities to be implemented at the same time. The alternative plan would include GI actions such as permeable asphalt, rain gardens, green roofs, rain barrels and landscaped swales. We have focused a lot of our efforts towards educating the community on what may be possible in terms of GI. SHUC was able to obtain a small grant from the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA), and using the grant, we were able to sponsor research at the University of Pittsburgh and to conduct a public meeting in early June. The results of the public meeting were written up in a local newspaper. We will also be looking at ways the community can incorporate GI elements into development projects, as well as identifying where it may be possible to develop open space in a GI friendly manner. Our thanks go to board member Chris Zurawsky, chair of the stormwater task force, and Executive Director Marian Lien for making this happen.
What's New From Our Advertisers
Pittsburgh Opera Brings La Traviata & Salome to Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Opera presents two exciting operas this fall at the Benedum Center - Verdi's La Traviata and Strauss's Salome. Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata is the opera Richard Gere took Julia Roberts to in the hit movie Pretty Woman. Set in 19th century France, it tells the story of courtesan (or high end prostitute) Violetta ValĂŠry, who falls in love with a wealthy man. Alfredo wins Violetta's love and his father's displeasure. His father, going behind Alfredo's back, coerces Violetta into breaking up with Alfredo because their relationship threatens his family's reputation. Will they reconcile before it's too late? See for yourself October 8th -16th at the Benedum. Richard Strauss's Salome was originally censored in Vienna, banned in London and even protested in New York. Now it's considered a classic. Salome helped reinforce Strauss's reputation as "the greatest genius of the age."
Based on the play by Oscar Wilde, Salome recreates the biblical story of King Herod, his daughter Salome and John the Baptist. World famous opera star Patricia Racette makes her Pittsburgh Opera debut as Salome, complete with the famous, seductive "Dance of the Seven Veils.â€? See what all the fuss is about November 5th â€“ 13th at the Benedum. For more information about these and other productions, visit pittsburghopera.org.
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Presents Peter & Paul Travers came together to reclaim folk's potency as a social, cultural and political force. The trio lived their songs. No American folk group lasted longer or amassed a more loyal following than Peter, Paul and Mary. The loss of Mary Travers in September of 2009 was a loss to her family, friends and the nation. Her life and legacy remain a great American treasure. When Peter and Noel perform together, audiences comment that in many ways it feels as if Mary were still on the stage with them. The energy and enthusiasm for the music has not diminished. In fact, it seems ever more impassioned and frequently the audience steps in to sing Mary's part--their voices strong, their hearts full. It's community at its best and what folk music is all about--carrying it on, just as Mary would have wanted. Peter, Paul and Mary arrived on the scene in Greenwich Village in the early 1960's and at the time, for the majority of America, folk was viewed merely as a sidebar to pop music. Peter Yarrow, Noel (Paul) Stookey and Mary
Peter & Paul take the stage at the Benedum Theater on Saturday, September 17 at 8pm. Tickets are available at http://trustarts.org/peterandpaul or by calling (412) 4566666.
OctOber 8, 11, 14, 16 benedum center tickets start at $12
nOvember 5, 8, 11, 13 Understand every Word! English texts projected above the stage.
Reflecting on Western Pennsylvania: Squirrel Hill as Setting By Kimberly McElhatten
he essay collection Western Pennsylvania Reflections: Stories from the Alleghenies to Lake Erie features sixteen creative nonfiction selections with ties to Western Pennsylvania, two written by Squirrel Hill natives, Sue Kreke Rumbaugh and Marjorie Maddox. In her essay, “Playing Among the Dead and Dying,” Rumbaugh recreates the Squirrel Hill of her childhood, moving the reader through memories of ice skating and sled riding in Homewood Cemetery and Frick Park to the darker reality of losing a parent. Her essay shows how Squirrel Hill shaped her early concepts of place, family and faith. Like many of the essays in the collection, Rumbaugh’s essay captures a complex nostalgia that focuses on both the beauty and darkness of place. Grateful to call Squirrel Hill her childhood home, Rumbaugh says the diversity offered by the community in both its typography and people provided her at an early age the opportunity to contemplate the abundant metaphors that surrounded her. Rumbaugh spent twenty-years writing for newspapers, as well as working in the marketing and public relations industries with a specific focus in the nonprofit sector. Her essays have been published in various journals and newspapers, including The Bicycle Review and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. After earning her MFA from Carnegie Mellon, she turned to teaching professional and creative writing. Now a retired Associate Professor from Carlow University, Rumbaugh resides in Florida.
Marjorie Maddox’s light-hearted lyric essay, “Squirrelly in Pennsylvania,” captures the everyday antics of squirrels—“the playful pranksters of our youth, the daredevils we no longer dream ourselves of becoming.” In an interview with Maddox, she shared her “hope is that [people] in all parts of PA and even in all parts of the country, will recognize the oak-lined suburban streets, the nearby bike trails, and especially the sometimes charming, sometimes annoying squirrels of Squirrel Hill and elsewhere.” Like much of Maddox’s writing, this essay presses day-to-day experiences to discover the universal. “Squirrelly in Pennsylvania” is forthcoming in Maddox’s first prose collection, What She Was Saying, to be published by Fomite Press in 2017. Maddox has authored eleven poetry collections and two children’s books. She is currently a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University and lives with her husband and two children in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Both Maddox and Rumbaugh’s essays from Western Pennsylvania Reflections capture the affection we often have for the places we call home, showing pride in their Pennsylvania and Squirrel Hill heritage. As Rumbaugh shared in an interview, “I am grateful for having such a place to call home in my early days.”
From Nurse to Author By Shane McLaughlin From a young age, Point Breeze author Theresa Brown dreamed of a life and a profession where she could talk with her peers and colleagues and argue about ideas and books. Coming from a home with parents who were academics, this is no surprise. However, after getting her Ph.D. in philosophy and teaching English for many years at Tufts University, she realized that there was something missing. She just couldn’t quite put her finger on it. After relocating to Pittsburgh and becoming a mother, she found that her calling was a mix of creativity and care. She now works two days a week in hospice and spends the rest of her time writing, speaking on a variety of subjects and promoting her recent novel, The Shift. Inspired by the events of “one wild day” as a nurse in the oncology ward, The Shift has been making waves across the country. Quoted by President Obama in his speeches about the Affordable Care Act and heralded by nurses as an incredibly accurate representation of the trials and rewards of their day to day work, it has shed a new light for many on the trying, incredible and inspiring work that nurses do. Although she has been published frequently in the New York Times as a columnist and has recently released her second novel, Theresa has shown no signs of slowing down. She splits her time between caring for patients and her family, and is already planning her next novel, which will be “a small book, about the end of life.” Dr. Brown can also be found touring the country, giving talks to nurses and writers alike, mainly focusing on empowering people to tell their
story. To writers young and old, her advice is “Follow your instincts, and write what you want to write. If you want to write a blog, it doesn’t matter if the only people that read it are your mom and your best friend. That is two more people in this world who can understand you better”. In her own writing, she hopes to tell compelling stories that make people question what they know, particularly about the healthcare system. After working in it for many years, as both a nurse and a writer, she uses her insight and craft to tell sides of the story that may not have been told otherwise. One of her favorite questions to address in her writing is how nursing can be promoted so that nurses see themselves as colleagues and not servants. She also wants people to think about how money has infected our healthcare system. “People require attention and humanity, and caring has a cost!” she says. Changing healthcare is at the forefront of many minds in our country right now, and if you are looking for a unique insight at the what it is like from the inside, do yourself a favor, support a local author and check out some of Theresa Brown’s work! You can find links to all of her work on her website: theresabrownrn. com/.
This Just In ACTION-Housing Receives Tax Credit One of Squirrel Hill Magazine’s most discussed and written about topics over the last year has been the revitalization of the Forward-Murray intersection. From hopeful designs created by local graduate students to proposed bike trails, there has been great interest in the future of this area. ACTION-Housing, whose proposed affordable housing project has been in the works for over a year and half, recently received great news to that end. They have been awarded the Low Income Housing Tax Credit by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) The $11.1 million tax credit can be put towards the estimated 16 million dollar building. While ACTION-Housing, a nonprofit organization, cannot use the credit themselves, it will entice investors who can then claim the tax credit for the next ten years after funding the project. The seven story building will consist of two floors of commercial space and five floors of affordable housing units. The first two floors with be purchased by Jewish Residential Services (JRS) and include their administrative offices and the Howard Levin Clubhouse. This will enable them to serve residents of the new building. Seventeen of the units will be reserved for individuals with intellectual
This site rendering was created by FortyEighty Architecture
disabilities while the other sixteen units are open to any low income applicants. ACTION-Housing hopes to break ground in April 2017. SHM staff will keep you updated on any new developments. Stay tuned to our blog, the Burrow, at SHUC.org.
Ten Thousand Villages Has Moved! Ten Thousand Villages, Squirrel Hill’s beloved purveyor of fair trade goods, has moved from its Forbes Avenue storefront to another building...two doors down. While the change in location isn’t drastic, the upgrade in available space is. Their new space, at 5820 Forbes Avenue, offers twice the square footage of their previous store. The larger space has allowed them to display their current stock to better effect while also enabling them to expand the available products. Their biggest addition? They now carry a wide variety of women’s clothing. “The response
has been overwhelming,” said Pat Hartigan, Promotions Coordinator of Ten Thousand Villages. “We are really amazed at how well people have received our clothing.” They also now stock Building New Hope Coffee, a Pittsburgh-based initiative that supports the local farming community of El Porvenir, Nicaragua. The coffee beans are grown and harvested by farming families in El Porvenir and shipped to 19 Coffee in Washington, PA where they are roasted and ground. Volunteers from Building New Hope package, distribute and even serve their brand of coffee all across the city. You can get yours right on Forbes! Ten Thousand Villages has high hopes for the future of their new space. They want to bring in the community by hosting educational events in-store. Like them on Facebook for the latest news and sales. Stop in soon to check out all the new products and help support fair trade across the world!
brooklyn WATERFRONT AT HOMESTEAD 412.462.3547 Â©2016 Ethan Allen Global, Inc.
Finding Courage and Faith in the Israel Defense Forces By Sonia Panic “People who write memoirs are really looking to dig deep and understand something on a level that is beyond just the surface of what just happened.” That is exactly what Squirrel Hill native Dorit Sasson intended to do when she chronicled her experiences in the Israel Defense Forces in her memoir Accidental Soldier: A Memoir of Service and Sacrifice in the Israel Defense Forces. After sitting down with Sasson, it became apparent that writing a memoir was not just about telling her story; it was about finding the courage to embrace a difficult period in her life. Dorit Sasson was born and raised in New York City by an Israeli father and a Polish mother. Her childhood was anything but ordinary. As Sasson describes it, her upbringing was very much pluralistic- she grew up with many cultures surrounding her and in a way, that helped her eventually ease into Israeli culture. The household was very egalitarian and almost a free for all, but it was not always fun and games. Part of the reason Sasson left for Israel was to connect with her father’s heritage. The other part was to free herself from the intense and stifling grip of her overprotective and under-nurturing mother. Sasson’s first experience with Israel was working on her aunt’s agrarian kibbutz, a communal settlement where both potential soldiers and volunteers work. The inspiration to enlist in the IDF came when she struggled to hitchhike back to the kibbutz. In her memoir, she recalls how easily the soldiers around her flagged someone down to give them a ride. Everyone in Israel supported IDF soldiers because they represented the unity and the energy of the country. A year later, Sasson found herself dropping out of university and traveling to Israel to join the IDF. Although the memoir took about two and half years to complete, it took her nearly seven years living in Pittsburgh to feel like she had a voice. Moving to Pittsburgh allowed Dorit Sasson to feel comfortable enough to share her story. “In Israel,” she said, “my story...it was nothing to write home about. It wasn’t special." Sasson did keep journals during her time in the IDF but did not rely heavily on them while writing her
memoir. She looked to them to reaffirm what she thought she was feeling at the time. Instead, she used music to jog her memory. Throughout the memoir, she mentions the songs she listened to, whether it was walking around the kibbutz at night or cleaning and disassembling her gun. Almost 24 years have passed and Sasson’s army years are long gone. She recently embarked on a three-week book tour in Israel and is currently working on a sequel to Accidental Soldier. Aside from being an author, Sasson is also a mother, marketer, ESL teacher, and a mentor to other authors. She and her husband moved to Pittsburgh for greater job opportunities and are very happy to have settled down in Squirrel Hill. They knew many Israelis who spoke about how nice it is to live here, since Squirrel Hill has such a strong Jewish community.When asked if she and her family would ever move back to Israel, she shook her head. “Israel doesn’t have the same mindset as America. In America, age is favorable when applying for a job. It shows experience and wisdom. In Israel, age does not help you get a job. If you’re too old, you’re not useful.” When asked why she wrote a memoir, Sasson had a lot to say. “I don’t agree when people say ‘Nobody would find my life interesting enough to write a memoir’. I think it’s about who you tell your story to. As a memoirist, it’s how you WANT to tell the story, you don’t realize how other people will react to your story. When you tell your story, you don’t anticipate the reader’s reaction.” Sasson enjoys reading memoirs with female centered, heroine journey elements. She highly recommends Cheryl Strayed’s Wild. It is both a soul journey for the reader while also teaching them a lot about writing and literary style. Before parting, Sasson offered some advice to young writers: “Write what you’re really passionate about and what drives you and moves you. Don’t be afraid of getting the help you need and seek support of the community, whether it’s a mentor or a writing group that helps you hone your skills. Really write for the sake of writing and what you believe in because a lot of us get really muddled down with self-doubt and fear of rejection or fear of being judged. For young writers, who tend to be sensitive and vulnerable to being judged, it’s important to have a strong support system. The main takeaway is to have passion and a strong support.” To find out more about Dorit Sasson, visit www.doritsasson.com.
Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey of
Peter, Paul and Mary A 50-year tradition of renowned folk music
Sat•Sept 17, 2016•8pm
TrustArts.org • Box Office at Theater Square • 412-456-6666 Groups 10+ Tickets 412.471.6930
Art Inspired Artisan Made
Art is a universal language that can span years and cultures. How will you decorate your home to express your creative spirit?
OFF one item
with this coupon
5820 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 10–6; Tue, Thu 10–8 412-421-2160 tenthousandvillages.com/pittsburgh Use this logo for reductions only, do not print magenta. Do not reduce this logo
more than 35%. Magenta indicates the clear area, nothing should print in this space. You may reduce the logo to 30% without the tag and strap lines. Offer participating 9/30/2016. Color of valid Woodat Block Motif criticalstores matchuntil to Pantone 1805. Not valid with other
discounts, or on the purchase Letters print Pantone Process Black.of gift cards, Oriental rugs, Traveler’s Finds or consumables. One coupon per customer per day.
Your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition Board Members By Raymond N. Baum, Board Member Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Gina Levine It is time to meet some of our newer board members. Gina Levine joined the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition board in June 2015 and now serves as treasurer as well as a member of our executive and finance committees. Gina is a partner in the Markovitz Dugan & Associates accounting firm where she concentrates her practice on assisting small businesses across a wide range of industries. Gina has always been engaged in the community. She has worked with: • UJF of Greater Pittsburgh’s Community Life Committee and Teen Engagement Commission • Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh Finance Committee and Board of Directors • National Council for Jewish Women Leadership Committee • A founder and officer of the incredibly successful Shadyside chapter of BNI, a worldwide business networking group. Gina is a lifelong Squirrel Hiller. It was here that she met and married her late husband Stuart Levine and raised their three thriving and accomplished daughters, Melanie, Stephanie and Ellie. She keeps fit and well-traveled. She is an avid tennis player, does
I love living in Squirrel Hill!
Pilates and yoga at least 3 - 4 times a week and travels to such mundane places as the Caribbean, China, Hong Kong, London, and Paris with the Netherlands up next. Why Squirrel Hill? In Gina’s words: “I love living in Squirrel Hill. I love that every evening you can see people walking everywhere. I would assume usually ending up at one of the ice cream stores or coffee shops! I love living so close to the business district, often walking to dinner, the movies or just around for exercise. I think the Squirrel Hill residents are very loyal and like that they go out of their way to support the local businesses. I also love that we have the farmers market. I can’t imagine Sunday morning without it! I can walk to that also!”
Joshua Sayles Josh Sayles joined the Coalition board last October after he moved to Squirrel Hill from New Haven, Connecticut to become Director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. For three years prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Josh was the assistant director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Connecticut Regional Office. Josh grew up outside of Boston and was very involved with the Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As Director of Community Relations Josh is the liaison from the Jewish community to the other communities in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He sees his job at the Federation as complementary to his role on our board. To paraphrase the JFed’s mission statement, Josh believes we can create a thriving, vibrant, engaged community by engaging and building strong relationships with all groups across all communities.
Of course, Josh lives in Squirrel Hill as well. In fact, he just renewed his lease. As he says, there’s a unique sense of community that is special to Pittsburgh and also to Squirrel Hill. “I’ve lived all over the country and I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.” Josh is a cyclist and hiker. Most weekends I’ve been all over you will find him out the country and I’ve exploring the trails in never experienced and around Squirrel anything quite like it. Hill or greater Southwest Pennsylvania. He’s focused on the Great Allegheny Passage and hopes to ride all the way to Washington, D.C. in the near future.
steelvalleyexpresscare.com When you can’t wait to make an appointment with your doctor... Get on the express road to wellness.
Oc Op to en be H r 1 ou • 1 se -3 pm
Josh is an up-and-coming community leader. We are very excited to have him on our board.
ENROLL NOW FOR FALL Classes Begin September 12
Our mission: To deliver exceptional, cost effective, physician directed healthcare with special emphasis on patient satisfaction and preservation of community-based care.
Get Well Soon Open 8am to 8pm every day. (Except Thanksgiving and Christmas) Online appointment setting. Ample free parking. Most insurance accepted. 4630 Browns Hill Road Pittsburgh 15217 412-421-1000
• Ballet • Tap • Creative Movement • Hip Hop • Jazz • Tumbling 412-901-8544 • email@example.com Victoriasschoolofdanceandrhythm.com Wightman School Community Building • Squirrel Hill 5604 Solway Street, Suite 304 • Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Author J.M. Varner Sets High School Novels in Squirrel Hill By Meg Cummings
n the very first scene of Digital Me, the first novel in J.M. Varner’s Squirrel Hill High series, one character stands at the epicenter of Squirrel Hill, the corner of Forbes and Murray. At this concrete heart of the neighborhood, she gazes up at the imposing structure of the Squirrel Hill branch of the Carnegie Library and she feels an awe that is often inspired in even the oldest residents of Squirrel Hill. Born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Varner attended Geneva College in Beaver Falls. During his time as a student there, he travelled to Taiwan off and on for about a year. Varner used his travels to inform his descriptions in Mister Teacher Person, the second novel in the series, which takes place partly in Taiwan. Varner found himself in Squirrel Hill and Pittsburgh during his time as a graduate student at The University of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University. After receiving his teaching license at Slippery Rock University, Varner now lives in northern Virginia, where he teaches seventh grade at a public middle school in addition to writing. In his Squirrel Hill High series, Varner tells two overlapping tales set at the fictional Squirrel Hill High. If one were to place the school in the real Squirrel Hill, Varner imagines it located in northeastern Squirrel Hill, in the place of the Children’s Institute. Digital Me is the story of two friends navigating the murky new world of a Facebook-like social media website and an insidious presence on the other side of the world destined to complicate it. Mister Teacher Person, follows the journey of Stacy King, a local broadcast reporter completing a profile on a teacher at Squirrel Hill High, who has recently gone missing. During her investigation, King faces her own past at Squirrel Hill High. “High school, for me, is kind of a microcosm
of society,” says Varner, describing why he chose the setting of his stories. It provided the perfect opportunity to explore the different roles, responsibilities, people, and interactions and how the use of technology affects those therein. Varner was cautious about preaching in his novels about the dangers of technology, ostensibly the theme of the works. “You have to ask yourself, do I want to tell a lesson? And how explicitly do I want to tell it?” Varner intended his stories to hold a mirror up to society and allow the reader to experience connections between the fictional world and the real world. “You’re reading fiction, but you’re aware that there are connections between the fictional story you’re reading and your own life,” Varner says, “when you close a book...you’re left with some lingering thoughts and reflections about how what you’ve read about in the story reflects on your own life.” In Varner's novels, there is a plethora of imagery that would be familiar to Pittsburgh residents. Besides describing the corner of Forbes and Murray, the descriptions in the Squirrel Hill High series illustrate Murray Avenue, the commute to and from Oakland and Squirrel Hill, and several businesses located on Forbes and Murray. Varner chose to set his novels in Squirrel Hill to aid in the arduous process of world-building for fiction writing. By basing his setting and story on a real location, Varner was able to visualize the locations and integrate them with more ease into the story. Squirrel Hill’s busy urban environment was also easier to work with. The thriving setting allowed Varner more freedom in images to choose and off which to build. Though he no longer lived in the area when he wrote the novels, the vividness of the images in his memory and his own photography of Squirrel Hill and Pittsburgh offered Varner the depiction of striking, picturesque views such as looking up at the glass panes of the library or the slope of Murray Avenue. By building his story in the real and thriving location of Squirrel Hill and Pittsburgh, Varner could focus on creating and cultivating the characters and themes of his novels.
News and Notes from Your Squirrel Hill Urban Coaltion September Night Market One of Ten [ ] We Move Celebrations
6th Annual Squirrel Hill Treasure Awards
In July, as part of his Welcoming Pittsburgh Initiative, Mayor Bill Peduto announced the [ ] We Move series, an assortment of ten community-led cultural celebrations. The [ ] We Move events are focused on promoting immigrant, Latino and African American inclusion in Pittsburgh while celebrating our diverse cultures. The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is proud to have been chosen to host one of these events and receive the $1000 mini-grant!
Each year, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition honors one place and three individuals or organizations that have had a strong impact on Squirrel Hill. They are designated as 'Treasures.' As the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, SHUC has raised over $180,000 since its inception. The proceeds provide nearly half of the operating costs for the organization.
As a result, the last Night Market this summer will be an Asian/Pacific Islander inspired celebration. Featuring special performances from the K-Pop Dance Club (KPDC) of Carnegie Mellon University and Steel City Ukuleles, the market will have you dancing in the streets! K-Pop, or Korean pop music, has taken the world by storm. With their infectious songs and intense choreography, K-Pop idols have garnered a huge fan following. KPDC, founded in the spring of 2015, caters to K-pop fans and dancers at both CMU and Pitt. Their weekly dance classes are open to local university students looking for an opportunity to learn some of the moves their favorite groups perform. For more information about KPDC, connect with them at facebook.com/cmukpdc. Steel City Ukuleles players will have you smiling, foot-tapping and maybe singing, too. The five-year old community group plays traditional, Tin Pan Alley, old favorites and modern tunes on a musical mix of ukuleles, banjos and guitars. The club meets every week in Regent Square at the Wilkins School Community Center, and everyone is invited to join in, no experience necessary. Learn more about them at facebook.com/ SteelCityUkuleles. Also scheduled are fun Asian games and traditions, such as the classic board game, Go, origami and a Kimono/ Yukata photo booth! Market goers will also be able to experience a unique summer treat: Nagashi-somen. Part game, part dining experience, nagashi-somen is the act of catching noodles as they rush past on a water filled bamboo ‘stream’ before dunking them in sauce and devouring them. It promises to be a real treat! Mark your calendars for this exciting inclusive community event on September 17th!
Past honorees have included the Manor Theater, Karla Boos of Quantum Theater, Honorable Mayors Sophie Masloff and Bill Peduto, as well as Homewood Cemetery. For our 2016 Annual Treasure Awards, we are honoring: Friendship Circle: A dynamic civic organization leading the way to greater neighborhood inclusion Classic Lines/Books and more: A vibrant independent business fostering community ties. Citiparks: An essential Community Partner enlivening our urban backyard. Community Day School: An Invaluable Historical Building and Educational Institution – Our 2016 Place Treasure For more information on this year's Treasures, dive into our feature on page 18. This year's event will be held on Wednesday, November 2nd, at the Pittsburgh Golf Club. Ticket holders will enjoy a cocktail hour followed by a delicious catered meal. In lieu of speeches, a short, professionally produced film will our honor our treasures. Tickets to the dinner are $90. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to shuc.org.
Join Us for Our 2nd Annual Golf with SHUC Event The Golf with SHUC fundraiser returns to the Bob O'Connor golf course for the second year! SHUC has once again partnered up with First Tee Pittsburgh to present an afternoon of great warm weather, good outdoor fun and plenty of camaraderie. The afternoon features a relaxed 9-hole shamble followed by a catered meal, beer, and other libations. Prizes for exciting contests such as hole in one, closest to the pin, longest drive and putting await the winners. With last year's success in mind, the event is expected to sell out quickly. The outing takes place on Friday, September 9th. Registration starts at 2:30 with a tee time of 3pm. Players get two hours to complete the shamble to join us for dinner at 5pm. Not a golfer but have always wanted to learn? Not to worry, group lessons are available this year! Tickets are also available for just the dinner itself, making it the perfect way to support your neighborhood! Individual tickets are $65 while teams of four are discounted to $200 ($50 per person). Dinner-only tickets are $20 per person. To order tickets or for more information about the event, visit SHUC.org/golf. We hope to see you on the green! Councilman Corey O'Connor at last year's event
Visit comday.org or call 412-521-1100 to join in the Community Day School 45th anniversary celebration and to learn more about our outstanding academic program for Pittsburgh's Jewish children ages 3 to Grade 8.
6th Annual Squirrel Hill Treasure Awards Written and Compiled by Meghan Poisson-DeWitt
Friendship Circle Pittsburgh was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Mordi Rudolph and his wife. An independent branch of a national organization, Friendship Circle is dedicated to helping children and young adults with special needs to become socially integrated into the broader community. While many Friendship Circles focus solely on their special needs mission, the Pittsburgh branch was inspired more by how the organization could affect and change the greater community. “This is not just about trying to find kids with special needs and making their lives better, but this is about making our whole community better,” said Rabbi Rudolph.
When the Barnes and Noble on Murray Avenue closed its doors in late 2009, it left a deep void in the landscape of Squirrel Hill. In a community full of well educated readers, its loss was profound. As time marched on, nothing moved in to replace the retail giant. When Classic Lines, an independent bookstore, opened in 2014, the neighborhood was more than ready for its arrival.
Friendship Circle began with the Friends At Home program, which brings teen volunteers into the homes of special needs kids and teens for friendly, relationshipbuilding visits. Through word of mouth and community connections, they slowly built up their membership. In the second year, they introduced their Out with Friends program, which created other opportunities for kids and teens to mingle. These clubs, which include an art club, cooking club and bowling league, offered a less restrictive method of participation in Friendship Circle. Originally hosted at partner locations across the neighborhood, the hope is to move these events into their new building on Murray Avenue. Friendship Circle has expanded locally to offer their Out with Friends program in the South Hills as well. The evolution of the organization over the last 10 years has been astounding. What started as a program of about twelve teens and twenty-five youth volunteers has expanded to over 500 total participants. Once working out of a small office in Oakland, they are finally settling into their own building on Murray, which provides them with more than enough space to continue expanding their programming while also deepening their connection to the community. Their nomination as a Squirrel Hill Treasure simply proved how much their efforts have impacted Squirrel Hill.
“It had been just long enough that [Barnes and Noble] had been closed that people didn’t forget, but when I opened, they realized how much they missed it,” said owner Dan Iddings. “Timing was everything.” Since its opening, Classic Lines has become a favorite destination for readers across the city. With its wide selection of genres, from poetry and creative non-fiction to children’s literature and science fiction, the Forbes Avenue store has something for everyone. But Classic Lines is more than just a bookstore, it’s a literary hot spot. Hosting mostly local writers, Iddings has been offering his space up for to authors since day one. Formal readings and more casual author meet and greets have become an integral part of the services Classic Lines provides. In addition to hosting their own events, Classic Lines became the official bookseller of the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures series last year. Beyond selling books on-site at the lecture series in Carnegie Music Hall, staff members participate in other smaller events across the city. Classic Lines is proud to be part of the Squirrel Hill community. Iddings himself has lived in and around Squirrel Hill since 1993. “I like its uniqueness and I like its diversity,” he said, while also praising the vitality of the business district and sharing hopes for drawing in more independent retail. Classic Lines has made itself an invaluable thread in the fabric of the neighborhood and is beyond pleased to be recognized as a Squirrel Hill treasure!
Citparks For more than 100 years, Pittsburgh Citiparks has been providing parks management and recreational programming across the city for citizens of all ages. In addition to all of our parks, including both Frick and Schenley, Citiparks supports and manages ten recreation centers, 14 senior centers, and 19 public pools. They offer a wide range of services from their variety of sports leagues, summer camps, aquatic programs and park events, as well as providing over 100,000 meals to seniors and children in the City of Pittsburgh. “We feel ourselves to be essential to the well functioning of families and kids across the city,” said Citiparks director Jim Griffin. Squirrel Hill has benefited from the efforts of Citiparks for generations. Since the inception of our two parks, Schenley and Frick, Citiparks has been there to maintain, expand and develop these local assets. While their park efforts cannot be overlooked, it was a more recent project that endeared them most the community. Last spring, in coordination with several community organizations, they launched the Squirrel Hill farmers market. Located in the Beacon/ Barlett parking lot every Sunday morning, the market was instantly popular and has since flourished, drawing in thousands of visitors each year. “The farmers market was a big win for us last year when we launched in Squirrel Hill,” said Griffin. “We knew it would be successful, but it’s succeeded our expectations.” The farmers market has been a cooperative effort between community groups, local representatives, city services and our own business district. Hailed as one of our most beloved weekly rituals, it’s yet another successful local project headed by Citiparks. Their designation as a Squirrel Hill Treasure comes during a great renaissance for Citiparks, pairing well with their re-branding efforts and the opening of the Frick Environmental Center this fall. They’re thrilled to be chosen and look forward to many more years of serving our community.
To buy tickets or for more info, visit SHUC.org/treasures-reservations or call (412) 422-7666. 19 www.SHUC.org
Community Day School Community Day School (CDS) is a nurturing, academically excellent Jewish day school for the 21st century. As the region’s only independent, co-ed Jewish day school, CDS is a welcoming community where Pittsburgh families who span the spectrum of Jewish belief and practice can learn and connect along with their children. Celebrating 45 years since its founding in 1972, the history of Community Day School joined with that of St. Philomena’s in 1996 when shifting demographics necessitated the closing of the parish. With the help of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, late City Councilman Bob O’Connor, Mayor Tom Murphy, and Mardi Isler of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, the castle-like building in the heart of Squirrel Hill became the new home of CDS. Today, approximately 280 students age 3 to Grade 8 benefit from Community Day School’s rigorous secular curriculum integrated with a relevant Jewish education rich with meaning.The academic program inspires students to love learning through intellectual inquiry and hands-on discovery. The result? CDS alumni are artists, athletes, musicians, inventors, scholars, and leaders at Pittsburgh’s top public and private high schools. They use their gifts and knowledge to succeed at the finest universities and in their chosen professions. And CDS graduates are the future of strong, vibrant Jewish communities worldwide. The CDS campus is a hub of neighborhood activity, with various community organizations using the school’s playgrounds, athletic field, garden beds, and indoor meeting spaces throughout the year. It also is the site of Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs: A Holocaust Sculpture, an internationally renowned landmark of educational and historic significance. Constructed of glass blocks containing six million aluminum tabs, the Keeping Tabs sculpture commemorates each and every one of the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. While much has changed at the corner of Beechwood and Forward since the building was erected almost a century ago, one thing has stayed the same. Across the generations, children have been lovingly educated in a school deeply rooted in religious tradition and strongly connected to the Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
Squirrel Hill Featured in Pittsburgh Noir Short Story By Eleanor Ruth Smith
“...I love the rush. It makes me feel dangerous and exciting, and I am neither of those things without it.” Pittsburgh Noir is a collection of short stories compiled by Kathleen George, fourteen stories by fourteen local authors. Arranged in four geographically themed sections, the story “Cheater” by Aubrey Hirsch, set in Squirrel Hill, falls into the last group, ominously titled, “Neighbors Who Care.” Hirsch’s narrator certainly cares about the people around her, but it is not neighborly concern which motivates her. While the narrator remains nameless, we as the reader are given a name for her immediately: Cheater. It is a moniker, an alias, and a badge of honor that she proudly wears on her ring finger. Her nights are spent collecting new lovers, and her days provide moments of reflection, contemplation, and preparation. While she deliberately obfuscates or ignores any other means of self-identity, Cheater sticks with her like the smell lingering in smokesoaked clothing. “Cheater” is in large part a tour of Squirrel Hill, littered with familiar streets and bars. Fanattics, Pamela’s, and even the local CVS make an appearance. But more than sightseeing, Hirsch uses these places as symbols. They become a means to identify their patrons, and further to divide residents into groups. For Cheater the narrator, they become shops, and she picks up different men like ordering from different restaurants, depending on her taste. The consumable nature of her lovers is apparent. Clearly it is the memories that she collects, and the men are merely the means to acquire them. While this story at the outset presents itself to be about adultery, the matter at hand truly is identity. How do we define who we are? By the items we bring into our home? By the food we eat? By the relationships we cultivate? What makes a person a person, and what makes a person feel alive? I know that I have gone through the same bouts of self-discovery in which Cheater has embroiled herself. Her story begins in medias res and any relevant backstory fills in as we go along. Because concerns like past and future are meaningless. A
person exists in a sort of fugue state, only the present is of any consequence. Past events feel like a dream. Future events are incomprehensible. There is no future. Life is not a path but a bus route. Many stops, but constantly looping. Aubrey Hirsch has a proven talent for short story. Her stories and essays have been published in many magazines such as PANK, Daily Science Fiction, and Fiction Southeast. Her first published collection, Why We Never Talk About Sugar, is a collection of short stories in a similar style to “Cheater” and counts Bad Feminist author Roxane Gay among its fans. While not a native Pittsburgher, she earned her MFA here and stayed to teach creative writing at Chatham University, which she does in addition to her writing projects. In “Cheater,” Hirsch has a firm grasp on setting, building a set of sorts out of the Murray and Forbes area and letting her characters loose in it. We feel as though we might have passed them on the street, sat next to them at the bar, or shuffled past them on the bus. They are our neighbors, both attractive and repulsive, depending on how they are experienced. “Cheaters” is a human story, and never forgets how contradictory, complex, or quiet a person can be. The quiet in “Cheaters” is what strikes me. There is little conversation, and the dialogue we find is shallow, small talk and flirting, all very much expected. The monologue of our narrator exists in a blanket of silence. There is an ironic isolation to this woman who is almost constantly surrounded by people, and shares intimacies with a different man each night. While I feel that Hirsch’s narrator is too detached and matterof-fact to get invested in or really care about as a person, I did very much identify with her character’s situation, and continually drew parallels to my own life. Which may have been the intention. Some narrators, especially in short fiction, exist to be templates, tailormade to wear our projections like a second skin. What I read made me curious to seek out more of Aubrey Hirsch’s work, which I am sure is intentional, as well. “Cheater” is a fine addition to Pittsburgh Noir, providing a moody, contemplative, and youthful take on Squirrel Hill, and the people we count as neighbors.
seaSQHILL.fall16_Layout 1 7/26/16 5:01 PM Page 1
Academics. Character. Diversity.
Kindergarten - 12th Biblical Worldview Co-Educational Classical Curricula
Call Call TODAY TODAY for a a for private private tour. tour.
College Preparatory WPIAL Sports Theater, Band, Choir,
Informational Sessions Thursday, Sept. 29 Early Childhood, 9:30 AM & 5:30 PM Saturday, Nov. 19 All grades, 9:30 AM Thursday, Dec. 8 All grades, 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM
RSVP: 412.521.1907 stedmunds.net
and Fine Arts “Trinity provides a well-rounded, liberal arts education rooted in Biblical truth.” Serving Pittsburgh and areas East for over 60 years!
Age 3-8th Grade Private | Independent | Co-Ed | Nonsectarian Located in the heart of Squirrel Hill
299 Ridge Avenue in Forest Hills 412.242.8886 www.TrinityChristian.net
Rise and shine. Morning hugs and smiles at our Junior School set the tone for a day infused with active learning and joy. As students move on to our Middle and Senior Schools, they learn to write analytically, stretch ideas broadly and articulate their point of view confidently. With small classes, individual attention and a rigorous curriculum, Shady Side Academy sets students far ahead. Wherever our students decide to go next, they have the discipline, drive and intellect to shine brightly.
Learn more at www.ShineAtShadySide.org
Explore • Engage • Excel PK-12 • Four Campuses Admissions: 412-968-3180
What does your child buy at convenience stores?
Kentucky Avenue Children’s Center since 1984
Preschool Pre-Kindergarten Ages 2-5 n io at Mifflin Avenue UMC Regent Square t a c Lo kentuckyavenuechildrenscenter.org 412-371-6554
Registering Now for 2016-2017!
RAND Corporation, in Pittsburgh, is conducting a research study to learn about what children, ages 11–17, purchase at convenience stores. Participation requires one 20 minute phone/internet survey and one 90 minute visit to the RAND study center.
who complete the study will be compensated for their time and effort with $50 in gift certificates. Parking and travel compensation is provided.
C O R P O R AT I O N
you are interested and want to learn more about the study, please call 412-545-3005, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at www.rand.org/storestudy.
Come Visit Us!
Rick St. John: Poet and Community Activist By Ian G. Rawson of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, following leadership stints with community organizations in Oakland, the North Side, and city-wide at the Community Design Center. He says that he has found Squirrel Hill to be an important “billboard for urban living” because of its cultural diversity, wide range of small-scale shopping, and dining experiences, as well a spirit of collaboration. In his work with the SHUC, Rick has enjoyed joining Ray Baum, Rich Feder, Ceci Sommers, Mardi Isler and other members of the Coalition’s board in working on projects such as planning for the Forward/Murray area. With his typical humility, Rick referred to his contributions at the Coalition as merely improving communications among the board, its committees, and other leaders, a process which he characterizes as helping to bring glue to the fabric. The fact that the organization is currently stable and has clear goals would indicate that Rick has provided more than just glue to the process.
ick St. John settled his lanky frame into a wicker chair on my Darlington Road porch, and we took off on a journey through his experiences as a community organization executive and how they link with his career as a widely-acclaimed poet. Rick and his wife Kate live in Greenfield, but they feel themselves to be intimate neighbors of Squirrel Hill in light of their many connections to the community. He recently served as the Executive Director
Rick’s current project is Conversations That Matter, which operates from Community House on the North Side, where a former Swedenborgian church has been redesigned as a space for a progressive church congregation and community learning center. His vision is for the establishment of safe spaces for individuals and groups to engage in reflection, connection, and shared meaning-making. He sees the goals of these dialogues to be multiplication, connection, and depth, allowing participants to learn with each other as they explore their own deep concerns, often allowing them to “move away from the binary,” or overly narrow definitions of life possibilities. Rick is as well known as a poet as he is for community activity. I asked him how his poetry and community work meshed. He suggested that poetry is truth telling about lived experiences and that in his experience with community groups, this parallels a search for the essence of community connection, part of the process of exploring what it means to be human. As a group leader, he often starts gatherings with a poem, chosen to bring a focus to the discussion. Since poets love metaphors, I asked Rick what metaphor might be appropriate for a healthy community. He paused for a moment, and drew out a vision of a garden with a diversity of plants, organisms, bugs, and other elements, each of which are interdependent. Gardens, he notes, need to be nurtured, planted, fertilized, and weeded in order to ensure the growth of all of the plants. Rick has helped to create many such gardens in our communities, with love, concern and creativity.
A Cup of Coffee and Bagel with Ivan Frank By Sonia Panic
hen people think of a coffee shop, they rarely think of integration, education and communication, but Ivan Frank does. Frank describes his coffee shop as “the place that integrated me into my community and into my social justice life.” Though he frequents the many coffee shops that line Forbes Avenue, there is one special place where he sets up camp, grabs a cup of coffee and a bagel nearly every day. There he holds many conversations with the variety of people surrounding him, and these were his inspiration for A Cup of Coffee and Bagel: Sharing Life Stories.
Ivan Frank was born in Oakland but raised in the East End. Although he did not live in Squirrel Hill permanently until much later, he frequently visited the neighborhood to attend meetings of the local Labor Zionist Youth Movement. He later earned a scholarship to attend the University of Pittsburgh, and initially sought a double major in Social Science and History. In 1960, Frank quit school just before his junior year to drive out to California because he “wanted to do something interesting for a change.” He did eventually return to Pitt and obtained a BA in Education in 1963. Frank went on to teach history to students at Westinghouse and Taylor Allderdice High Schools. At Allderdice, he mentored a student-led organization called SHAC, or Student Hunger Action Coalition. SHAC was influenced by Ivan Frank’s work with the Allegheny Food Network in Hazelwood. Though he never set out to be a writer, he would eventually author seven books. Frank’s first books were about his students and how to work with at-risk youth. From there, his writings expanded and he began writing more scholarly works. His most recent academic book is entitled Origins of Democratic Socialism in Israel.
The motivation for A Cup of Coffee and Bagel came from his two children, who wanted him to write something interesting and fun. His daughter mentioned writing about the conversations that he overheard at the coffee shop. It took about a year and four months to complete the book, but the people and the conversations span many years. Some individuals, like the character H.K., he has known for quite some time and had conversed on multiple occasions. Others, like the Friendly Neighbor, were based on a single conversation. He wanted to capture these exchanges like scenes played out in a movie. With that in mind, he wrote in a style very similar to how he speaks. “The chapters and the conversations,” he said, “are more about the relationship I have with that person, if anything”. Since the early 1980s, Ivan Frank and his family have been active members in their community. They participate in many local Jewish organizations and Frank has even held talks about Israel at the JCC. When asked what he likes about Squirrel Hill, he said, “I love it here. I live close to the business section, the library, the JCC. There is a great sense of community. I also got a great deal on my house.” His high school teaching days have been over since 2010, but he still manages to find time to teach at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. He teaches students how to work with at-risk youth while combining formal and informal education tactics. As for new work, Ivan Frank and his business partner John Eastman with Redfish Creative are thinking of another book. It will not be the same conversational style as A Cup of Coffee and Bagel and it is still in the creative stage. His advice to young writers is to “start small. Write for the school paper or a local magazine. Just write to write and have fun with it”. To find more of Ivan Frank’s work, visit amazon.com.
The doctor is in...
This is girl power. There’s a place where every girl is empowered to thrive and excel – to lead and soar. Is this the place for your daughter? To learn more about the excellence of an all-girls education at Ellis, call 412-661-4880, or email email@example.com.
Your eyes are two of your most valuable assets which makes your yearly eye exam a necessity.
Dr. James Lawson
schedule your exam
eyetique.com or (800)422-5320 we accept most major insurances
Reading About Squirrel Hill Squirrel Hill Historical Society By Helen Wilson Vice President, Squirrel Hill Historical Society “Squirrel Hill is one of Pittsburgh’s premier residential neighborhoods and also has a vibrant neighborhood commercial center and three exceptional parks. In a time when city neighborhoods across the nation struggle for survival, Squirrel Hill thrives, develops, and redevelops itself.”
“By the 1930s, many of the Jews who had lived in the North Side, the Hill, and some of the small towns surrounding Pittsburgh moved east to Squirrel Hill. In most cases, their synagogues moved with them.”
Those are the opening lines of Squirrel Hill, an Arcadia book produced in 2005 by the Squirrel Hill Historical Society and written by Betty Connelly, Laurie Cohen (also the editors), and Michael Ehrmann. SHHS members Patti Hughes, Ralph Lund, Esther Tucker, Sanford Baskind, and Mark Iskovitz made important contributions. It is the only book that concerns itself solely with the history of Squirrel Hill from its eighteenth-century beginnings to today. As is usual with books in Arcadia’s Images of America series, the cover is sepia-toned and the format is image-heavy, relying on short introductions and lots of pictures to bring the story of Squirrel Hill to life. The format does not allow for an in-depth study of the neighborhood, so the SHHS is in the process of writing a more detailed text-based history that will be published later this year by The History Press, now part of Arcadia Publishing, Writing a second book about Squirrel Hill’s history illustrates the fascinating process of historical research—moving from the big picture to smaller details that illuminate it. For example, a passage in the introduction to “The Jewish Community” chapter in Arcadia’s Squirrel Hill book says:
Think how many stories are contained in those two sentences! The new book will provide more information about the different groups of Jews who moved to Squirrel Hill and the way they created a cohesive, vibrant Jewish neighborhood. No other book focuses solely on Squirrel Hill’s development. Two other books, now sadly out of print, relate Squirrel Hill’s history from the mid-1700s to the early 1900s. The first, Right Here in Squirrel Hill, was written in 1953 by Hodge MacIlvain Eagleson, who recounts mostly humorous, sometimes poignant, tales of the early settlers of Squirrel Hill and their descendants who lived in the first small farming and coal-mining community in the southern part of Squirrel Hill. Eagleson was pastor of Mary S. Brown Memorial Chapel, now Mary S. Brown MemorialAmes United Methodist Church at 3424 Beechwood Boulevard. He collected tales his flock passed down and assembled them into a narrative that followed the doings of the settlers and their descendants up until the early 1900s, focusing on the Methodists who built a series of churches on the site of the present church. Here is an excerpt that gives a sense of Eagleson’s style: “When Sunday School took up, an earnest man of perhaps thirty-five, Joseph Little, stood up to line out the hymns. After that, he gave a few pointers on approved deportment for marksmen abroad with squirrel rifles. ‘Be sure you do not shoot towards the church,’ he exhorted. ‘So many leaks in the roof did not happen without cause … Any of you shot squirrels
on the roof? Hold up your hands.’ A dozen dead eye Dicks smiled knowingly but no hand went up.” The fact that Joseph Little is buried in Turner Cemetery, the small graveyard next to the church, adds a dose of reality to the story. The second book, The Early History of the Fifteenth Ward of Pittsburgh, written by Mrs. S. Kussart in 1925, gives a more matter-of-fact and detailed account of the same area of southern Squirrel Hill. Both Eagleson and Kussart’s books viewed Squirrel Hill and Greenfield as one community, as they truly were before the area was annexed to Pittsburgh in 1868 and divided into two wards, the 22nd and 23rd, which were changed to the 14th and 15th in 1911. Squirrel Hill does not rate a lot of space in the array of books about Pittsburgh, and its inclusion depends more on topic than on location. For example, Franklin Toker’s detailed book, Pittsburgh: A New Portrait (2009), describes notable buildings in various communities and puts them in context by providing histories of those communities. He combines Squirrel Hill and Greenfield in the same chapter, because, he writes, “Greenfield is topographically indivisible from Squirrel Hill.” If you want to know more about the topography of Squirrel Hill, read the dry but fascinating Geology of the Pittsburgh Area, General Geology Report G-59 (1970) by the Pennsylvania State Planning Board. As for Squirrel Hill’s Jewish history, three books by Dr. Barbara Burstin, one of Pittsburgh’s premier experts of Jewish history, provide invaluable information: Steel City
Jews—A History of Pittsburgh and its Jewish Community, 18401915 (2008), its sequel, Steel City Jews in Prosperity, Depression and War, 1915-1950 (2015), and an Arcadia book, Jewish Pittsburgh (2015). Two more books about Jewish history are The Jewish Experience in Western Pennsylvania, 1735-1945, by Jacob Feldman (1986) and The Synagogues of Central and Western Pennsylvania, A Visual Journey, by Julian Preisler (2014). Other books contain facets of Squirrel Hill’s history. To learn about Squirrel Hill’s historic bridges, read Pittsburgh’s Bridges, an Arcadia book by Todd and Helen Wilson (2015). Squirrel Hill’s many sculptures can be found in Discovering Pittsburgh’s Sculptures by Marilyn Evert and Vernon Gay (1983). Its development as an upper-middleclass neighborhood is examined in City at the Point, edited by Samuel P. Hays (1991). Like any other subject, Squirrel Hill is tricky to research. It is like the coal that used to be mined here—it has to be dug out and examined. Like coal, the information is of varying quality. It is sometimes contradictory. Chunks of it are missing. Mistakes creep in and are repeated in later sources. Yet every piece of information adds new dimensions to a fascinating story. Most of the books mentioned in this article can be found at the library, local bookstores and online. Anyone interested in learning more about Squirrel Hill history is invited to attend the meetings of the Squirrel Hill Historical Society, held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Go to www. squirrelhillhistory.org to view upcoming lectures and events. They are also posted in the calendar in this magazine. Please consider joining the SHHS. Membership is only $15 per year ($25 for families). There is no charge for attending the meetings.
$1500 and up Paul and Leslie Peﬀer Uncover Squirrel Hill
We are grateful to our newest members and to those who have given generously and renewed their annual memberships this past Spring.
Thanks very much!
$25 – $49 $50 – $99 (con’t) Deborah Beth Glosser Joseph Amenta Erika Strassburger Saundra Snyder Kenneth & Sara Segel Gary D ubin $1000 – $1499 Gary & Lori Kaplan Gilbert Schneider City of PiVsburgh Michele Rice Kathy Brown $500 – $999 Peter Baum Roger Dannenberg David & Carol Eibling Steven Irwin Marian Lien Melanie Seigel Alvin S tein $200 – $499 Edith Fisher Robin Wertkin Andrew Dlinn Alan Green Ron B andes Bob Danenberg Richard Kasdan Ira Frank Mark Fichman Gloria GoVlieb Marcia S olomon Barbara & Dave Grover Amy Spear James Funderburgh James Rudolph James & Ann Burnham David Pollock $100 -‐ $199 Roger Rafson Alan Bress Maurice Nernberg Lynne Cur.s Adam Shear Kenneth & Sara Segel Melvin Berkovitz Leonard Plotnicov BeVy Connelly Zelda Cur.ss Constance Rapp Richard Brean Linda Takac Marvin Adelson Gloria Kleiman James & Barbara Weiser David Steinbach Peter Kaplan Howard Grossinger Yanet Kaplanski $50 -‐ $99 Joel Merenstein Hidden Harbor Karen Greb Pat Har.gan Barry Shields CharloVe & Marc Graham Joan Friedberg
The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition relies solely on member dues and grants. Your support is critical for us to continue the programs and projects that preserve, improve and celebrate the community we all love! Be a member today!
I’d like to become a member at the Yes! following level:
____ Steward ____ Advocate ____ Neighbor ____ Friend ____ Household/Family ____ Individual
$1000 $ 500 $ 200 $ 100 $ 50 $ 25
__ Check made payable to Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
City, State, Zip code
Name as it appears on card
_________________________________________________ Account No.
Please Mail to: 5604 Solway Street Pittsburgh, PA 15217
OR join and renew any.me on our safe and secure website www.shuc.org
It’s All in the Subtext: A Theater Professor Turned Crime Writer By Camille Chidsey
f you like a good suspense story with hometown plot twists, consider checking out Kathleen George. Known best for her Pittsburghbased procedural thriller series, George is no stranger to the intricacies of subtle storytelling and verbal wordplay. Currently a professor in the Theatre Arts Department at the University of Pittsburgh (with a secondary appointment in the English Department teaching Creative Writing), George seamlessly weaves foundations of classical theatre training throughout her mystery novels. She describes theatre and crime writing as having a “natural connection,” theater being traditionally built on suspense and dramatic irony, narrative tactics that coincide well with crime writing. A strong understanding of subterfuge and subtext is notably apparent in George’s award-winning crime series starring Pittsburgh police commander Richard Christie. Starting with Taken (2001) and ending with A Measure of Blood (2014), there are seven novels total, with George currently at work on the eighth installment. All of the novels are notable for their deft understanding of characters’ motivations and use of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods for scene construction. As George explains, there are a lot of “parts” to Pittsburgh, and communities built around class, race, and ethnicity provide opportune settings for tensions to escalate and dramas to unfold. Another unique twist and powerful marketing technique in George’s crime series are the incorporation of reallife local culinary hotspots. Police, victims, and criminals are often found dining or interacting with other characters in a variety of Pittsburgh restaurants. Each of the restaurants mentioned in the Christie series are businesses
that George has personally eaten at and reviewed. Squirrel Hill, much beloved for its variety, appears many times. Featured restaurants include local favorites Mineo’s Pizza, Pamela’s Diner, Murray Avenue Grill, Silky’s Sports Bar & Grill, and the old Gullifty’s location on Murray. For further reading, each restaurant and their connections to individual books can be found on her website at www.kathleengeorge.com. A throwback to her theatre background, George has described her writing process as one where the writer “acts all parts inside.” Citing the Edgar nominated novel The Odds (2009) as a model, George reveals that the four children in the novel are based on her and her siblings. While she clarified that she grew up with an attentive and often over-protective mother, she still related to the abandonment in the characters’ lives. This example highlights why she finds the outline process cold and constricting, preferring to “write blindly, letting the characters take me where I need to go.” Nonetheless, utilization of emotional resonance as a narrative technique does not undermine the amount of research George puts into her writing. In particular, her Richard Christie procedural thriller series is noteworthy for its allegiance to accuracy. Close relationships with local police, FBI interactions and personal visits to forensics and computer crimes labs add to the legitimacy of setting and subtext necessary for effective crime scene conflict. Similar to the Christie novels, George relied on continuous research and copious notes to maintain credibility and develop the best story she could for her most recent book. Born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, George’s latest novel is a non-series work of historical fiction, The Johnstown Girls (2014). This project was a twenty-fiveyear labor of love and charts the impact of the 1889 Great
Flood of Johnstown on twin sisters rediscovering the truth about that day. In one day, twenty million tons of water decimated a town and killed 2,000 people in minutes. Growing up, George’s mother would tell her and her siblings stories from her childhood about the subsequent Johnstown flood of 1936. In 1977, there was another flood that George personally remembers as a traumatic day where she pushed her way into the cordoned off city to try and find her mother who was still living there. Relieved to find her safe, this served as a major impetus to research her hometown and spirit of survival and determination against insurmountable odds woven into the fabric of its residents. Along with numerous scholarly theatrical books and articles, George is also the author of a collection of short stories, The Man in the Buick (1999) and
the editor of Pittsburgh Noir (2011) a collaboration of Pittsburgh themed short stories from new and established writers (a story from this collection is discussed on page 20). Currently, she is at work on the next book in the Richard Christie series, a theatre themed project incorporating images taken from her office in the renowned Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. Kathleen George is also returning to her dramatic storytelling roots in a yet unfinished, but upcoming, stage thriller. If you are anything like me, you are eagerly awaiting her next project. Perhaps the most important takeaway from a lifetime of critical and commercial writing success is George’s advice for future writers: “Read everything and write every day.” As someone in love with dark, suspenseful stories and local color, I plan to do just that.
English Lane Nursery
Serving Fox Chapel, Point Breeze, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill & Wexford
il l qu irrel H S u o y f T ha n k leasu re o s! p e h t r o f 9 yea r ou for 10 y g in v r se
complete landscaping services • founded in 1907
Contact Greg Esposito 412.654.5440
Good News From Our Schools CDS Celebrates 45th Anniversary By Jennifer Bails There’s a lot to celebrate this fall at Community Day School as we kick off our 45th anniversary year. We welcome our first cohort of 3-year-old students to our expanded Early Childhood Education program, who will enjoy a natural playground space under construction on our campus. Students will benefit from a revised academic schedule this year with longer periods to allow more time for STEAM and authentic learning experiences. In addition, CDS was named as a 2016 Let’s Move Pittsburgh Champion School for its Farm Stand environmental after-school program, which will be offered in the fall along with programs run by TechShop and Assemble. This summer, CDS teachers underwent training in outdoor teaching strategies, multi-sensory approaches for reading instruction, leadership skills, a deep dive into our ongoing focus on society and human behavior integrated tech for global learning, and Jewish mindfulness, all of which they will bring back to their classrooms. CDS teachers across all grades will continue integrating the Writing Workshop model—a groundbreaking method for writing instruction developed at Columbia University—into our curriculum. Planning is under way for the CDS Winter Gala with the theme “Nosh and Groove Like It’s 1972” on February 4, 2017 at the August Wilson Center in celebration of our 45th anniversary year. For more information about Community Day School, visit comday.org or call (412) 521-1100.
Colfax Inspiration By Carolyn Ludwig
Pittsburgh Colfax, beginning its 105th school year this Fall, served 865 students last year. What a true legacy for our community. Reflecting on legacy, here are a few thoughtful words from four incoming eighth graders, as they prepare for their final year at their beloved school: Isabella – “Going into my final year at Colfax, I feel honored to be part of a close community of students and teachers. Looking back upon my previous years at Colfax from Kindergarten to 7th grade, I have had many great memories and fun events that I have participated in. I’m excited going into the 8th grade to continue my journey.”
Lily – “I had a lot of fun doing the middle school musical the last two years and plan to be part of it this year. It’s a nice way for kids from different grades to work together and get to know each other. We practice for almost 4 months and get to create something that we can share with the entire school, as well as our community.” Hila – “Attending Colfax since Kindergarten, I can say that the K-8 grades are some of the most important for a person. Those are the years that we are learning, not only for that time, but for life. With all the good and bad, Colfax has filled us with experiences and people we will never forget.” Dafna – “When I look back upon my 9 years at Colfax, I see all of the achievements I have been privileged enough to reach, thanks to the tremendous support of teachers, family, and friends. I also got to meet a great variety of people and personalities along the way, whom I’m sure will always be a part of me. Colfax was my past and remembered friends, my classes and teachers, my embarrassing and my sweet moments, and above all, my childhood.” Here’s to a memorable, extraordinary school year!
Allderdice Excels at Academics By Melissa Friez, Allderdice Principal As we get ready to start the 2016-2017 school year, we would like to share some exciting news about 2016. This year we had four National Merit Semi-Finalists and nine National Merit commended students. Of the four semi-finalists, two were named National Merit Scholars. Please join us in congratulating Adam Barsouk and David Frisch on this accomplishment. Allderdice now offers twenty-nine Advanced Placement courses. These courses are offered in the Math, English, Social Studies, Science, World Language, Art and Music departments. This year, Allderdice participated in the National Math and Science Initiative. NMSI provides teachers with professional development, support for student study sessions, partial payment of the English, Math and Science AP exam and teacher incentives for qualifying scores. The AP results are in and Allderdice performed very well. The number of qualifying scores earned by students on math, science, and English AP exams increased by 23% (224 in 2015; 276 in 2016). The national average is 7% year to year increase. Also, the number of qualifying scores earned by students on math and science AP exams increased by 26% (136 in 2015; 172 in 2016). We are very proud of these accomplishments and look forward to similar accomplishments this year.
Neighborhood Notes Bilingual Storytimes Bring Communities Together
Green Infrastructure Projects in Schenley Park and Beyond Take Shape
By Angela Wiley, Carnegie Library- Squirrel Hill
By Sonia Panic
Children’s Specialists at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) developed a pilot program of bilingual storytimes that grew volunteer partnerships and served speakers of world languages. This year, bilingual storytimes have been offered across the city! Partnership with volunteer presenters has allowed for a true skill share – volunteers gain storytime presentation skills, and children’s specialists find ways to learn and incorporate two languages into programs. Everyone at a bilingual storytime is able to encourage early literacy skills while gaining or reinforcing vocabulary in multiple languages. I conducted interviews with my colleagues at CLP – Squirrel Hill to learn more, while also getting the opportunity to observe Spanish & English bilingual storytimes. Megan Fogt, Library Services Manager for Children & Teen Services, and Rachel Nard, Children’s & Teen Librarian, were able to reflect on the prep and delivery at CLP – Squirrel Hill. Nard reflected on the most recent Spanish/English storytime at CLP – Squirrel Hill. “…we had one family in particular whose first language is Spanish, and the other families in attendance spoke some Spanish or none at all. The little girl in attendance who spoke Spanish as her first language was delighted to help teach vocabulary words in Spanish and sing songs in a leadership/teaching role. She was clearly involved in the storytime on a very personal, meaningful level.” Some of the titles that families have connected with at bilingual storytimes include: La Oruga Muy Hambrienta by Eric Carle, Piggies/Cerditos by Audrey Wood and the Chinese language version of From Head to Toe, also by Eric Carle. Fogt reflected on how these programs serve diverse populations, and also build community. “Pittsburgh is home to people from many different cultures and linguistic backgrounds. Bilingual storytimes provide an opportunity to build relationships with all members of our communities by functioning as an access point for other library resources and services. The programs also welcome native Englishspeaking families interested in expanding their exposure to world cultures and languages and will seek to build a greater sense of community by facilitating understanding and communication among neighbors.”
If you picked up our Summer 2016 issue, you may have read about the city’s plan to redevelop the Four Mile Watershed and implement more green infrastructure aspects in the neighborhood. One of the goals in mind is to manage water quantity and quality. With this redevelopment, the new watershed is projected to capture 19,682,000 gallons per single inch and a half rainfall. The teams from Phronesis Landscaping & Burns and McDonnell have both seen their fair share of similar projects from design to completion and this project is no different. The Four Mile Watershed is being looked at from a “systems wide approach,” where each development affects the next. The first stage in this estimated ten year project is to restore the Panther Hollow Watershed. Once the watershed is reconstructed to retain more water, green infrastructure such as permeable concrete and rain gardens will be constructed in the surrounding neighborhoods. At a recent meeting held by Phronesis and Burns & McDonnell in partnership with Parks Conservancy, many residents expressed concerns with managing these new changes. The two teams assured the residents that in conjunction with the EPA, the city will be responsible for enforcing heavy fines as punishments for not maintaining the systems. Another major concern brought up by residents were the benefits of implementing such a huge project. Not only will this new watershed create opportunities for maintenance jobs, it will also revitalize the community, spur economic development, and increase pedestrian and bicycle transit. While talk of this project started in December of 2015, it has not progressed past the planning and design phase. A big focus for Tim Duggan, Landscape Architect from Phronesis, and Andy Sauer, Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Manager at Burns & McDonnell, is community involvement. They’d like to see the community openly discuss the funding, aesthetics, and design of the infrastructure and watershed project. The more transparent this project is, the better the outcome. As one resident said, even if one fourth of the plan is implemented, it would be a tremendous benefit to the community. The next step is to share the designs with the Mayor’s office and prioritize the watersheds.
Book Review: Whiskey Etc. By Sarah Scott, Carnegie Library- Squirrel Hill “She leans discreetly against her car fender. The strike of a match; the lips just so. It means nothing. It’s just one long song lyric about another man about to be done wrong. She knows the words. She knows the tune. She’ll take him in and chew slow like vanilla taffy. She’ll flick him out: a piece of stale gum. She knows the story before it even begins.” So begins one of the many short stories found in Whiskey, Etc., a truly outstanding collection of flash fiction written by local Pittsburgh author Sherrie Flick. Flash fiction is deceptively complex; at less than two thousand words, each sentence is written with care, and meaning hides behind every last word. As the reader, you also have more work to do, as conversations are loaded and all objects have worth. Because of this, it can be incredibly hard to find a genuinely good story written with this method of storytelling, yet Flick’s newest collection is filled with them. The stories in Whiskey, Etc., are a series of moments, a brief snapshot captured in time; Flick provides no “before,” and no “after,” but rather leaves you wondering: what triggered that thought or action? What will happen next? With clear prose, these stories gently move from insightful to unsettling, from comforting to mysterious. Love, loss and food all play a major role; the complex emotions of humankind are gently folded into a hot cup of coffee or bowl of soup. The humdrum of daily life somehow becomes something spectacular.
While this collection could be read in an afternoon, I would advise against it. Flick’s work is best enjoyed slowly, letting each detail swirl around in your mind like single malt in a whiskey glass. If you are equally spellbound by Sherrie Flick’s writing, I highly recommend attending the author talk scheduled for the evening of October 17, 2016, at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill. Immediately following the event, the genre book club will meet for a book discussion of Whiskey, Etc., with Ms. Flick. For more information, contact Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Squirrel Hill at (412) 422-9650.
Classic Lines books and more A Squirrel Hill Treasure
5825 Forbes Ave (412) 422-2220
OPEN HOUSE Saturday, October 22nd 11:00am - 2:00pm
5701 Fifth Avenue (at Negley) Pittsburgh, PA 15232 For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412.228.7127
$25.00 Gift Certificate
5867 Forbes Ave. 412-422-4225
towards any purchase of $100 or more. Not good with any other offer. Excludes sale items. Exp . Oct 31, 2016 www.capriccioboutique.com
A Neighborhood Trattoria Regent Square
Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh Call 412-697-3522 for more information • JCCPGH.org
ContaCt us for a quote
1103 S Braddock Ave
on your home, auto and Business
Pittsburgh 15218 412-371-7829
412.681.2700 www.wagneragency.com Pittsburgh • Penn Township Auto
Architectural Preservation on Forbes and Shady
By Ian G. Rawson
When I first came back to Pittsburgh in 1962, the Forbes/Shady corner offered the choice of gas stations on three corners and Rosen’s drug store on the fourth corner with Dora’s small grocery as its neighbor on Shady. Images from the 1920s, found in the Carnegie Library’s historical online image bank, show a single building curving down Shady and turning west on Forbes, with an ornate façade of glazed turquoise and cream tiles. The corner has gone through several transformations. From the windows of Starbucks, we can look across Shady to see a half-block which has become a migratory stop for flights of millennials. How Lee, the always-crowded Chinese restaurant, holds Rosen’s spot on the corner. Dora’s is now the Independent Brewing Company bar and bistro and next door is the newly-opened and always busy Hidden Harbor. The building is owned by John Katz and his brother who are residential builders and managers, doing business at the Brandywine Agency. They purchased the building from the Winston family, who had built it in the early 1900s. I spoke with John recently, who explained his plans for the building: to restore the exterior to its original beauty, preserving the historical elements, and unifying the buildings with brown spandrel glass. Most of the upper sections of the building were covered by metal sheeting with advertising signage. When these were removed, the original ceramic molding was revealed and found to be in surprisingly good shape, although some parts had been painted over. “I’m invested in this project because I live here in Squirrel Hill,” Katz said. “I saw the potential to bring back an architectural gem and to give an idea of what these streets might have looked like in its early days.” We walked down Forbes toward town and saw only two other buildings on the street that appear to have solid esthetic bones. One is a large 3-story apartment block with a glazed brick frame featuring charming inset balconies on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The other building is on the North side
of Forbes, and currently serves as a law office, with a clothing store where Sir Loin used to serve as one of the only restaurants in the district, with its stolid meat-and-potatoes menu. There may be other interesting facades under the modern sheathing, but they are hidden from view. We turned back to the corner to talk with the restoration crew from David Nadoff Construction standing on a scaffold, painstakingly scraping and wiping the overcoats of paint from the molded designs. The elements of blue-green garlands, inset arches and cast rosettes slowly emerged from under the grit and paint. “We encountered a challenge in putting all of these elements together along Shady Avenue because each of the three commercial structures were at different elevations going up the street.” Katz explained. We worked with a designer to come up with a plan to adapt to that, and at the same time, to maintain the building’s integrity.” Now, each of the businesses flow smoothly together, each unique but unified under a shared roofline and structural details such as the stone-capped marble columns. A new sidewalk establishes a cohesive succession, highlighted by the now-iconic squirrelshaped bicycle racks, a water fountain with doggie bowl, a leash post, planters, and outside tables. “We still have a lot to do,” Katz observes, “but mostly in details, such as LED light bars above the windows and an integrated plan for signage. We’re proud of being able to make a contribution to the quality of life here in Squirrel Hill.”
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill Branch 5801 Forbes Ave. (412) 422-9650 or www.carnegielibrary.org
Genre Book Club: Short Stories- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris Wednesday, September 21, 6:30-7:45pm Join this lively book discussion group! This month’s selection is Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. Me Talk Pretty One Day contains far more than just the funniest collection of autobiographical essays – it quite well registers as a manifesto about language itself. Wherever there’s a straight line, you can be sure that Sedaris lurks beneath the text, making it jagged with laughter; and just where the fault lines fall, he sits mischievously perched at the epicenter of it all. Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl Wednesday, November 16, 6:30 - 7:45pm Join this lively book discussion group! This month’s selection is Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl. The editor-in-chief of “Gourmet,” a former restaurant critic at the The New York times, recounts her visits to some of the world’s most acclaimed restaurants, both as herself and as an anonymous diner in disguise, to offer insight into the differences in her dining experiences. Meet the Author: Nora Zelevansky Wednesday, September 12, 6:30-7:45pm Nora Zelevansky is a journalist, editor and author of Will You Won’t You Want Me? and Semi-Charmed Life. As a freelance writer, she covers style, beauty, travel, design, food, wellness, health, fitness, TV and film and burgeoning cultural trends, as well as writing profiles and humor essays. Her writing has appeared in ELLE, T Magazine (The New York Times), Town & Country, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair, among others. Nora’s latest book, Will You Won’t You Want Me?, is a funny, often surprising, novel about growing up when you are already supposed to be grown. Book Discussion: The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner Thursday, September 22, 1-2pm In The Geography of Genius, acclaimed travel writer Weiner sets out to examine the connection between our surroundings and our most innovative ideas. He explores the history of places, like Vienna of 1900, Renaissance Florence, ancient Athens, Song Dynasty Hangzhou, and Silicon Valley, to show how certain urban settings are conducive to ingenuity. And, with his trademark insightful humor, he walks the same paths as the geniuses who flourished in these settings to see if the spirit of what inspired figures like Socrates, Michelangelo, and Leonardo remains. In these places, Weiner asks, “What was in the air, and can we bottle it?” Storytime: English and Spanish
Saturday, September 24 - 11 am Celebrate our city's diverse culture as we explore new words through songs, action rhymes and stories in both English and Spanish. For children birth – 5 years and their caregivers. Storytime: English and Chinese Wednesday, September 28 - 6 pm Celebrate our city's diverse culture as we explore new words through songs, action rhymes and stories in both English and Chinese. For children birth – 5 years and their caregivers. Let’s Speak English Every Tuesday at 6-7pm If English is not your native tongue, join our group for lively English conversation. You don’t need to bring anything or register Writing a Legacy of Life 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 1 - 3pm Begin a journey of personal exploration, learning and adventure that will result in lasting memories for your family and others. Ellen Dehouske, PhD, will help you organize your memories and get the stories of your life down on paper. No previous writing is necessary, but veteran writers are welcome. Golf with SHUC Bob O’Connor Golf Course, 5370 Schenley Park Drive Friday, September 9th – 2:30pm Join SHUC and First Tee of Pittsburgh for a fun afternoon of golf, good eats, beer and other libations. Registration begins at 2:30 on the day of the event. The 9-hole shamble tees off at 3pm followed by a dinner at 5pm. Tickets range from $65 for an an individual to $200 for a group of four. For more information or to RSVP, please go to www.shuc. org/golf 2016 Squirrel Hill Treasure Awards Dinner Pittsburgh Golf Club Wednesday, November 2nd - 6pm Each year, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition honors one place and three individuals or organizations that have had a strong impact on Squirrel Hill. They’re designated as ‘Treasures.’ As the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, SHUC has raised over $180,000 since its inception. The proceeds provide nearly half of the operating costs for the organization. Ticket holders will enjoy a cocktail hour followed by a delicious catered meal. In lieu of speeches, a short, professionally produced film will our honor our treasures. Tickets to the dinner are $90. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to shuc.org. Squirrel Hill Night Market Murray Avenue September 17th - 6-10pm The Squirrel Hill Night Market is Pittsburgh’s new Continued on page 38
THE LAUNDRESS NEW YORK
AVAILBLE NOW AT:
Carnegie Mellon University
Schiller’s Pharmacy 811 Aiken Avenue Pittsburgh PA 15232 (412) 621-5900
Developmentally appropriate early childhood programs in a research university context.
Now Accepting Pre-K and Kindergarten Applications for 2016-2017 Carnegie Mellon University Children’s School, MMC 17 Pittsburgh, PA 15213 • 412-268-2199 http://www.psy.cmu.edu/cs/ email@example.com
Keystone By Design, Inc. We Help You Say “Thank You” to your Clients and Prospects!
♠ Web Design
♥ Graphic Design
♦ Print & Digital Marketing
♣ Promotional Products
412-421-3999 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.keystonebydesign.com
destination for cosmopolitan fun. Modeled on the best night markets of Asia, NYC, and LA, NextGen:Pgh in association with I Made It! Market, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, and Uncover Squirrel Hill is delivering a marquee nightlife event in a monthly open-street setting. Located on Murray Ave between Forbes and Bartlett, the Squirrel Hill Night Market will feature some of the city’s best shopping, music, food, art, and fun. Join in the fun! Squirrel Hill Farmers Market Beacon/Bartlett Parking Lot Sundays, 9 am – 1 pm Running until late November, this joint effort between NextGen:PGH and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy brings a farmers market right to you! Make sure to stop in and support the 20+ local vendors. Squirrel Hill Historical Society The Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue Events are held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm September 13: “Jewish Pittsburgh” Speaker: Barbara Burstin, SHHS member and faculty member at University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University October 18: ”Historical Overview of Carnegie Mellon University” Speaker: Holly Hippensteel, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at Carnegie Mellon University November 8: “The Story of St. Francis of Assisi” Speaker: Michael Foley, Rector, Church of the Redeemer 6th Annual Point Breeze Neighborhood Yard Sale Throughout the Neighborhood September 17th - 9am-3pm Get your thrift on at the 5th annual Point Breeze Neighborhood Yard Sale, Saturday, September 17, from 9am to 3pm! Food trucks and an estimated 100 houses will participate! Visit www.pointbreezeyardsale.org for more info. 8th Annual Turner Cemetery History Walk Saturday, October 22nd - 11 am - 3pm The event includes self-guided tours of the graveyard, historical displays, military re-enactors and a soup and bake sale. Todd Wilson, author of Images of America: Pittsburgh’s Bridges, will give a presentation, “Evolution of the Roads and Bridges of Squirrel Hill and Greenfield,” at 11:30. Adath Jeshurun Cemetery 4779 Roland Rd Allison Park, PA 15101 High Holidays Visitation Days Sundays: September 25- 9am-1pm October 2- 9am-1pm October 9 - 9am-Noon For more information, visit adathjeshuruncemetery.org or call Susan at (412) 508-0817.
Collect Water in Style.
RAIN BARREL Slim (18” deep) Modern design 116 gallons Made in USA Order online
Your YourSquirrel SquirrelHill Hill
“for all of your holiday needs”
“for all of your holiday needs”
A Come inA and shop We Have Delicious
ourWegreat selection Have Delicious Kosher Pareve Pies!! of Kosher foods! Kosher Pareve Pies!! Baked Fresh Daily, For Your Enjoyment
&our Apple Crumb Baked Cherry Fresh Daily, For Your Enjoyment Try ourApple, fresh-made items in Kosher Pareve Bakery
Apple, Cherry & Apple Crumb
KosherPareve Pareve Bakery Bakery on-site on-site for Kosher for special specialorders orders Store: 412-421-8161 Fax: Fax: 412-422-3128 412-422-3128 Kosher Pareve Bakery for15207 special orders 1901 Murray Ave.on-site Pgh. PA 1901 Murray Ave. 15217
Store: 412-421-8161 Fax: 412-422-3128