A Publication of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Squirrel Hill Magazine
Holiday Traditions Then and Now
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 MAGAZINE STAFF: Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Editor CONTRIBUTORS: Ray Baum, Camille Chidsey, Richard Feder, Melissa Friez, Carolyn Ludwig, Sonia Panic, Meghan Poisson-DeWitt, Ian
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: From the SHUC photo archives: residents skate at the Schenley Park rink with the skyline looming in the background
G. Rawson, 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 4, 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 Spring 2016 issue!
Squirrel Hill Magazine
Alternative Eating for the Holidays Cookbook Reviews ByShayna Ross
Squirrel Hill Treasure Awards
Festive Holidays A Guide to Holiday Lights in Pittsburgh By Sonia Panic
Adventures in the Land of Libations What to Drink This Holiday Season By Michael Jehn
10 Pittsburgh Holiday Traditions By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt
Popular New Cafe Opens in Squirrel Hill Cafe 33 Taiwanese Bistro By Ian G. Rawson
Vegan and Craving Holiday Dessert? Pittsburgh is the Place to Be By Camille Chidsey
Hanukkah The Jewish Festival of Lights By Marshall Hershberg
Reflection of Christmas in a Catholic Household By Rosemary Bernth
In Every Issue 3 5
Whatâ€™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 Celebrating the New Year in Squirrel Hill By Helen Wilson
Dear ReadersThis issue is my last issue as the Editor of Squirrel Hill Magazine. These last 3 years have been an amazing experience but I'll be heading off to new adventures! In December, I'll be moving to South Korea to teach English. I want to thank all our loyal readers for all their kind words and support of the magazine. I know how much you value the work we do, and will continue to do, for many years to come. Stay the way you are, Squirrel Hill!
SHUC Presidentâ€™s Message Celebrating Good
33 35 37
Good News From Our Schools Neigborhood Notes Events Calendar
-Meghan Poisson-DeWittSquirrel Hill Urban Coalition
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President’s Message Celebrating Good By Richard Feder, President Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition info@SHUC.org
6th Annual Treasure Awards
Each year, the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition honors one place and three people or organizations that have had a strong impact on Squirrel Hill. They’re designated as ‘Treasures.” I’d like to congratulate the honorees this year who have been declared “Official Treasures of Squirrel Hill” and given Treasure Awards at the celebration dinner on November 2. This year’s awardees were Friendship Circle, a dynamic civic organization leading the way to greater neighborhood inclusion; Classic Lines Books & More, for being a vibrant independent business which brings stories to life; Citiparks, an essential community partner revitalizing our urban backyard; and Community Day School, the 2016 Place Treasure, for its beautiful, historic space for Jewish education. This year’s awardees have great importance to me personally as well as to Squirrel Hill. My daughters graduated from Community Day School, and I am so proud of the education that they received. Friendship Circle and Classic Lines Books & More not only provide valued services to the community, but I also think that they enliven the streets of our neighborhood business district. The major parks that surround Squirrel Hill on three sides are tremendous community assets and are great contributors to our quality of life; Citiparks, working with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, Pittsburgh Public Works and others have improved and maintained these assets over the years. Citiparks is also responsible for contracting for and staffing the Squirrel Hill Farmer’s Markets.
Board Members Awarded
President Richard Feder
Mary Shaw, the Alan J. Perlis University Professor of Computer Science at CMU, received the annual George R. Stibitz Computer and Communications Pioneer Award on Friday, October 7, at the American Computer and Robotics Museum in Bozeman, Montana. The award recognizes Mary for “seminal and pioneering contributions to software architecture and computer science curricula.” Also on October 7, Mardi Isler received the Root Award from Tree Pittsburgh. The organization, founded in 2006 out of a growing concern for the health and well-being of Pittsburgh’s trees, is dedicated to enhancing the city’s vitality by restoring and protecting our tree population through tree care, planting, education and advocacy. Tree Pittsburgh honored Mardi for her contribution as an organization founder and long-time commitment to protecting and growing our urban forest. Mardi received special recognition from the Pittsburgh City Council for this award. Congratulations to Mary and Mardi for being recognized!
News on Forward-Murray-Pocusset Area
As you may know, we have been working in support of economic development in Squirrel Hill’s Gateway District for many years. The 2009 Gateway Plan identified a number of potential public realm improvements. Many of these have since been implemented, including the Squirrel Hill welcome sign on lower Forward Avenue, the nearby “Remembered Garden” by the inbound I-376 entrance, pedestrian-scale lighting, street trees, murals and the Post Office parklet. Since 2015, the City of Pittsburgh has been pursuing the certification of a portion of the Gateway District as a “Redevelopment Area” (as distinct from a redevelopment plan). This is a technical certification that does not directly affect properties, but does allow for additional funds to be solicited to help address needs for affordable housing, other development projects and supporting public infrastructure.
I am pleased to note that two of SHUC’s board members recently received accolades. Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
The public process kicked off in January 2016 when Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority released the Basic Conditions Report for the Murray-Forward Study Area, done by a consultant. The report found, among the deficiencies of the area, poor conditions for pedestrians; a prevalence of vacant and underutilized land, including the sites of Poli restaurant, the Squirrel Hill Theater, the former karate school building, the former Hirsch funeral home site, and the former Poli Restaurant parking lot near the I-376 entrance; and poor lot layout that make it hard to attract tenants and customers. Most obviously, the 5-point intersection does not work well from a traffic perspective and has safety concerns.
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URA’s effort was initiated and developed under the Redevelopment Law of 1945, which identifies areas potentially eligible for such certification because they fall under one of the following categories: faulty street and lot layout, inadequate planning, excessive land coverage, economically and socially undesirable land uses, lack of proper light/air/open space, or defective design and arrangements of buildings. Other city areas that have previously received this certification include Hazelwood, Summerset, Bakery Square, and SouthSide Works. 20-621_2048 Squirrela public Hill Magazine, Holiday, 2016 SHUC and Councilman O’Connor’s office conducted Ten Thousand Villages Pittsburgh meeting in March 2016 to gather input on the proposed 3.625"was wide x 4.875" tall Redevelopment Area certification. The input received positive, including interest in slightly expanding4C the size of the area along lower Forward to include additional ©property. Ten Thousand Villages
Permission to use this resource as it appears. Any alterations or use
of graphic elements apart from this design must be approved by On October 18, the Pittsburgh City Planning Commission held a the Ten Thousand Villages Marketing Department, (717) 859-8170. public hearing on the proposed Redevelopment Area certification. Based on input received, SHUC submitted a letter in favor of the proposed Redevelopment Area.
The process we have followed in addressing this proposal is typical for SHUC, which is to gather public input, compile information on the benefits and impacts that might be expected on the community, and develop a position on the proposal based on public input and the relevant facts of the proposal.
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Posner Center Presents “Carnegie Mellon’s Shakespeare” By Kelly Saavedra At roughly 900 pages, the First Folio — one of the most valuable books in the world — was quite a large printing project. Seven years after Shakespeare’s death, a five-man syndicate of publisher/printers and actors gathered 36 of his plays into a collection they titled “Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories & Tragedies.” About 750 copies were printed. The book sold so well that a second folio was printed in 1632 and a third in 1663. The fourth and final folio was published in 1685.
William Shakespeare fans will have a rare opportunity this year to view the first collected edition of his plays, known as the First Folio.
The Posner Center’s exhibit, “Carnegie Mellon’s Shakespeare,” showcases the role that Shakespeare has played in Carnegie Mellon’s history, as well as the role that Carnegie Mellon has played in the promotion of Shakespeare as a cultural icon, worldrenowned poet and enduring source for theatrical performance.
The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., has sent dozens of copies of the First Folio on the road to a number of U.S. cities in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the playwright’s death. But as a member of the Carnegie Mellon community, you only have to travel as far as Posner Center to see the First Folio. The university has its own copy, and it is on exhibit in the Posner Center now until the end of November.
If you are looking for a new place to pamper yourself or struggling to decide on gifts for the holidays, checkout The NAILSPA. This hidden gem of Squirrel Hill is centrally located, deep in the heart of Forbes Avenue. The NAILSPA is known for providing exceptional client care and unique party accommodations for all your nail care needs. Services include foot reflexology, waxing, facials, haircuts, manicures and pedicures. Their staff are extremely talented and experienced, making your relaxation their primary goal. The NAILSPA is a perfect place to book wedding parties, girl getaways, birthday bashes and employee appreciation celebrations. Holiday specials include $2.00 off any nail service and 10% off all other services.The NAILSPA also offers a 20% student discount. Need stocking stuffers? Grab a NAILSPA gift card today! It’s the perfect place to relieve holiday stress and get a head start on looking your best for all your festivities! Stop by today and treat yourself, a friend or a family member to a day of stress free bliss! Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
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Alternative Eating for the Holidays Cookbook Reviews
By Shanya Ross, Carnegie Library - Squirrel Hill
Wheat flour—which is forbidden for those on a gluten-free diet—is a prime ingredient in most traditional holiday baking. But, using alternative ingredients, cooking expert Ellen Brown has crafted a tempting collection of gluten-free recipes—from rich cakes to crunchy breads and luscious pies. Gluten-Free Holiday Baking includes basic building-block recipes, such as wheatless pie crusts and empanada dough, as well as festive baked goods from around the world. Your friends and family will love:
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Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Bites Flourless Chocolate Nut Torte Baba au Rhum Chocolate Bûche de Nöel Gooey Sticky Pecan Buns Old-Fashioned Southern Biscuits Brazilian Garlicky Cheese Rolls Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie
Gluten-Free Holiday Baking
When the holidays come around, a number of traditions dangerous this can come to mind: decorating, traveling, seeing families, gift be for a number giving and celebrating. While every winter holiday is of people, also unique, there is one common ground to all of them: food. these recipes are Family members gather together for an all-day affair to just as delicious cook up delicious treats and meals for their loved ones. as the original! Don’t one let wheat worries crimp your holiday style!like How do families still cook when their loved pledges Withbaking cakes veganism? What about those diagnosed with celiac Coconut Rum Gluten-Free disease? Maybe they found a new dietary trend? Have no Torte, to pastries fear, for the library is here to chase your concerns away! like Profiteroles and, breads like Vegan for the Focaccia, this Holidays by Zel book will keep Allen has you you covered ELLEN BROWN covered from throughout the Thanksgiving to meal. New Year’s Day and all the holidays It’s wonderful in between. The living in a primary focus is not community that just to take away is supportive and the animal-based mindful of the products used in many types of dietary restrictions cooking, but to and choices made, both inside reinvent and dish and outside the home. Whether out a new way you are looking to learn more of experiencing about celiac disease or find common delicacies. yourself wanting to try new From “Mashed recipes throughout the year, Potatoes with Onion-Chardonnay Gravy” for Thanksgiving stop by the library in Squirrel to “Eggplant with Creamy Beet and Horseradish Sauce” Hill to check out the for Hanukkah and “Mustard Greens with Tempeh Bacon vast collection! for Kwanzaa”, your dishes will be brightly colored, healthy and quite delicious for everyone at the table. Printed in China
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While many of our readers are certainly familiar with local bakery Gluuteny, it is also possible to try your own hand at gluten-free baking for your family. Gluten-free Holiday Baking by Ellen Brown is sure to get your taste buds drooling. This book contains a brief explanation on why we should show concern for celiac disease and how Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
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This Just In The Olive Tree Opens in Squirrel Hill Squirrel Hill Magazine is happy to announce the opening of a brand new fine foods store in Squirrel Hill! The Olive Tree, located at 5824 Forbes Avenue, opened in mid-October and specializes in both local and imported products. This family owned store offers a wide range of products, from fresh eggs and milk, to fine meats and international sweets. Their opening phase of business includes products from Turkey, France, Spain, Italy, Australia and much more! They also offer an assortment of breads made by local vendor Mediterra Bakeshop. In the second phase of business, The Olive Tree will offer a coffee corner and fresh, homemade baked goods for your morning commute. The store hopes to eventually expand their selection to include bulk spices and grains, as well as seasonal, local vegetables. All of their products are high quality but also affordable. Stop in today for a tour or a chat! Winter Hours: Sunday-Thursday – 10am-8pm Friday & Saturday – 10am-9pm
In stock just in time for Christmas morning is a new collection of super comfortable PJs! Kickee Pants brand PJs from LA are made with all natural bamboo fibers, while Books to Bed, also made in the USA, are based on storybook favorites like Madeline, Angelina Ballerina, Mousetronaunt and many more! Stop in for these and other great products!
Cafe 33 Opens on Shady Avenue On September 6th, Squirrel Hill welcomed their newest addition to the local food scene: Cafe 33 Taiwanese Bistro! Featuring traditional Taiwanese dishes, this popular new cafe, located on Shady Avenue beside Starbucks, specializes in a collection of protein-rich soups, noodles and rice dishes. Customer favorites include their seafood casserole and short ribs. International students often come for the savory and affordable ‘over rice’ dishes, including chicken and porkchops. Don’t forget to check out their rotating stock of fresh, readyto-purchase appetizers, including drunken chicken legs and marinated seaweed. For a more in depth, behind the scenes look at Cafe 33, go to page 22.
Kidz & Company on the Move!
Hours: Monday-Thursday – 11am-10pm Friday- Saturday – 11am-11pm Sunday- 12pm – 10pm
Local small business gem, Kidz & Company, has changed locations! This high end children’s clothier, not to be missed this holiday season, has made a small change with a big impact. Moving their retail space further down Forbes Avenue into what had recently been the Christine Frechard Gallery has allowed owner Paul Kenney to reinvent his store layout and expand his selection. “It’s a great space,” Paul told us. “We decided to do a more open layout. So I think people with strollers will find the space a lot more accommodating.”
Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
2016 Squirrel Hill Treasure Awards Weâ€™re happy to announce that our 6th annual Treasure Awards were a huge success! This year, we honored Friendship Circle, Classic Lines Books & More, Citiparks and our 2016 Place Treasure, Community Day School.
Board Member Emerita, Ceci Sommers and Board Member, Lori Fiztgerald Left to Right: Marian Lien, Executive Director of SHUC; Rich Feder, President of SHUC; Dan Iddings, Owner of Classic Lines; Honorable Mayor Bill Peduto; Avi Munro, Headmistress of Community Day School; Rabbi Mordy Rudolph, Executive Direcor of Friendship Circle; Jim Griffin, Dorothy Pollon; Tracy Prisant Levy
The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition would like to thank our generous sponsors of the 6th Annual Treasure Awards: Platinum Level ($5000+) Levin Furniture & Levin Matress Company Gold Level ($2500+) Debbie Demchak Vivian & Rocco Didomenico/Rockwel Realty PNC Bank Silver Level ($1000+) Harriet and Ray Baum Eyetique S&T Bank Susan and Richard Nernberg Paul Peffer and Leslie Miller Summerset At Frick Park Howard Hanna Reality Services Silk & Stewart Development Company Serta Mattress Brandywine Agency Walnut Capital Management Helen and Richard Feder McKnight Realty Partners
Robert Levin sings “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” alongside Mr. McFeely, who delivered our Place Treasure plaque with Speedy Delivery!
State Representative Dan Frankel presenting a citation honoring Citiparks. All four treasures received one!
Avi Monro accepts the plaque on behalf of Community Day School
Raymond Baum, Board President of SHUC from 2010-2016, receives his unexpected award for his contributions to our efforts Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
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Familiar Faces: Your Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition Board Members By Raymond N. Baum, Board Member Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and our community are fortunate to have so many people who are dedicated to our community. This is the fourth of a series introducing you to the Coalition’s stalwart board members and other key volunteers.
Rita Botts Rita is our newest board member, though she has been a Coalition member and volunteer for years. She is part of both our Litter Patrol Committee and Solarize Squirrel Hill Taskforce. Rita also helps organize and operate our annual community-wide spring cleanups. Rita is a wonderful, community minded volunteer. She served in AmeriCorps from 2003-2005, promoted family literacy and worked with the English as a Second Language community in Seattle, served in Peace Corps 2005-2007, taught English in the Ukraine and raised awareness of human trafficking and HIV/ AIDS. She has also been a member of the Group Against Smog Pollution (GASP) for many years. Rita has worked at the main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh since 2010. Rita “loves Squirrel Hill because it has so many independent businesses and is leafy, walkable, unpretentious and great for transit, which is how my husband and I get to work.” She also loves “Pittsburgh for its parks, relative affordability (my friends on the West Coast or in Brooklyn can’t fathom being a homeowner as I am), and cultural riches (gallery crawls, Banff Mountain Film Festival, Maxo Vanka murals, and fantastic libraries, to name a
An advanced city is not one where the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport
few).” She is interested in urban spaces and inspired by the work of people like the former mayor of Bogota, Enrique Penalosa, whom she quotes, ‘An advanced city is not one where the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport.”
Bobbie Marks Bobbie Marks has been volunteering in the Coalition office four to eight hours a week for over two years. She graciously Squirrel hill is a agrees to accomplish vibrant community and anything we put before her, a great neighborhood to including correspondence, spreadsheets, accounts raise a family. and mailings. Each address on the envelopes of all 650 Treasure Awards invitations are the work of Bobbie’s beautiful penmanship. We (especially Marian!) could not get along without her. Prior to volunteering for the Coalition, Bobbi volunteered as a teacher’s aid at Colfax Elementary. A hometown gal, Bobbie is Squirrel Hill all the way. She attended Colfax Elementary and Taylor Allderdice High School and then went on to get a bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Pittsburgh followed by a Masters in Library Science from Duquesne. She retired after working at Buchanan Ingersoll for 22 years. Bobbie raised three children, mostly as a single parent. All three have graduate degrees. Bobbie now enjoys time with her five grandchildren. Bobbie volunteers for the Coalition for a lot of reasons, including her love for Squirrel Hill and the opportunity to work with Marian. In her words, “Squirrel Hill is a vibrant community and a great neighborhood to raise a family. It, also, is a great place for shopping. I am sure it will remain a special place and vibrant community for years to come.” We hope Bobbie will remain a vital part of the Coalition and our community for many years of come. Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
What does your child buy at convenience stores?
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.
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Festive Holidays: A Guide to Holiday Lights in Pittsburgh By Sonia Panic
The seasons shine bright here in Pittsburgh! Holiday lights have been around since the 1700s, although not in the same convenient and colorful way we know today. What started as placing burning candles onto the branches of trees has evolved into creating magnificent light shows. Gone are the days of dull golden lights. Today’s holiday lights incorporate music, color and other special effects to make the holiday season even more special. And with the holidays right around the corner, people all over Pittsburgh are creating elaborate displays to show just how excited they are for the festive season. Here are just a few holiday light spectacles happening near Squirrel Hill:
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Friday November 25, 2016 through Sunday, January 8, 2017
Pittsburgh’s 56th Annual Light Up Night Friday, November 18
Celebrate the kick off to the holiday season in beautiful Downtown Pittsburgh! With so many family friendly activities, it’s hard to pick one. Consider starting the evening ice skating at PPG Place, then watch any of the tree lighting ceremonies happening throughout downtown. Go to www.visitpittsburgh.com for more information.
Oglebay’s Winter Festival of Lights
November 11, 2016 through January 8, 2017 The Winter Festival of Lights has been astounding visitors since 1985 with its 300 acres of beautiful light displays. Take the whole family to Oglebay resort and drive along the epic 6-mile path, oo-ing and aw-ing at the colorful lights. Visit ww.oglebay-resort.com for more information.
The Winter Light Garden will take viewers on a trip through time, covering 200 spectacular years of Pittsburgh History. It will feature a new tunnel of lights designed to imitate a twinkling winter sky and many interactive features for children to enjoy. Visit phipps.conservatory.org for ticket prices and more information. Kennywood’s Festival of Lights November 25, 26 & 27 December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18 & 23 See Kennywood like never before! The amusement park we know and love will be transformed into a winter spectacular with nearly two million lights throughout the park, performances by local choirs and the tallest Christmas tree in Pennsylvania. While at Kennywood, stop by their 4-D theater and catch a showing of The Polar Express. Visit www.kennywood.com/holidaylights for more information. Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Thinking of moving?
Take a tour of Weinberg Terrace and the Residence at Weinberg Village today. Call George Maloney at 412-420-3342.
Not yet ready to leave your home?
Let our home modifications team work with you. Call Nadine Kruman at 412-420-4000, x. 2252. These facilities and the Home Modification Program are affiliated with AgeWell Pittsburgh. JEWISH ASSOCIATION ON AGING
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News and Notes from Your Squirrel Hill Urban Coaltion Shop with SHUC on December 12th! On Monday, December 5th, join us from 6 to 8pm at Ten Thousand Villages on Forbes Avenue for the 2nd Annual Shop With SHUC event! Come pick out beautiful holiday gifts for your loved ones and support the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition in the process. Ten Thousand Villages offers gifts ranging from toys and home goods, to kitchenware and their new collection of women’s clothing. The event will also feature live musical performances from Allderdice High School students and free gift wrapping Up to 15% of the proceeds from the night’s purchases will be donated to the Coalition to help preserve, improve and celebrate Squirrel Hill. Don’t miss out on the last fundraising event for 2016!
Squirrel Hill’s 2nd Annual Lunar New Year Celebration SHUC is proud to announce the return of the Lunar New Year Celebration in Squirrel Hill! The two-week celebration begins with the LNY Kick Off event at the Jewish Community Center on January 28th. The Kick Off will feature live demonstrations of the traditional lion dance, martial arts , classical Asian dances and much more. Local groups will also offer up Asian snacks and Lunar New Year crafts. Culminating the two-week celebration will be a festive parade up Murray Avenue on February 12th. Lead by our Grand Marshal, restaurateur Mike Chen, a menagerie of local dance groups, martial artists, musicians and groups from across the city will march from Beacon to Darlington Avenue. The Squirrel Hill branch of the Carnegie Library will also be hosting Lunar New Year events throughout the two week period. Visit www.carnegielibrary.org for dates and times.
SHUC Joins in 2016 Day of Giving On September 21st, SHUC participated in the Pittsburgh Foundation’s Day of Giving. The Day of Giving is a 16-hour online donation event that raises funds for non-profits in Allegheny, Westmoreland and Butler counties. The fundraising day was held initially on May 3rd of the year, but due to technical difficulties, was canceled midday and rescheduled. The rescheduled event included more prizes for contests and the ability to schedule your donation in advance.
Lunar New Year PGH is a partnership between Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, Uncover Squirrel Hill, Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Chinese Cultural Center and OCA Advocates for Asian Pacific Americans. Connect with us on Facebook at Facebook.com/LunarNewYearPGH!
This ws the first time SHUC has participated in the Day of Giving, and we’ve been thrilled by the response. Our amazing board, members and supporters raised a $10,000 pool of matching funds from January to April, which allowed us to join in the Day of Giving. We raised an additional $1,250 in donations onthe 21st. We have to give a big thank you to everyone who participated this year. We’re hoping to make an even bigger impact during next year’s event! Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Adventures in the Land of Libations: What What to to Drink Drink This This Holiday Holiday Season Season I’m not a wine connoisseur
or craft beer expert but, like many of my fellow Pittsburghers, I enjoy trying new things and having a good time out on the town with friends. When it comes to my taste in beer, cocktails and wine, my philosophy centers on actively seeking out and sampling libations that I’ve never tried or heard of before. The more unusual or interesting it sounds, the more likely I am to request it. If it comes from a local (or regional) brewery, distillery or winery, even better. If it’s brand new to the menu and the resident mixologist is excited to try it out on customers, yes, please. I never hesitate to place my trust—indeed, my entire evening drinking experience—in the competent hands of a bartender eager to make recommendations. As the holiday season looms close, I thought I’d share some of my recent adventures in tasting. This assortment of tidbits may read like a travelogue of main destinations—more like motley unexpected roadside stops— with plenty of space for the drinkseeking reader to fill in. Murray Avenue Grill (1720 Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill) If you’re planning a visit to the Murray Avenue Grill, check out the ‘Seasonal Warmers’ menu, which includes a Caramel Coffee, Hot Apple Grog and Warm Pumpkin Pie Cider. I tried the Pumpkin Patch Martini (vanilla vodka, Irish cream, coffee liqueur, pumpkin pie syrup); it was very sweet, not too heavy on the vodka and decidedly dessert like. I prefer drier, straight-up, no-frills martinis, but this one was fun and great as a dinner closer. Pittsburgh Winery (2815 Penn Avenue, Strip District) My first experience at the Pittsburgh Winery was a WYEP-hosted member appreciation concert in October. Aside from a moody, lounge-like 18
By Michael Jehn atmosphere and eye-catching artwork adorning the intensely red walls of the downstairs space, the wines themselves are fantastic and a must-try if you’re into wine. All the grapes come from California, and the wines are produced on-site. Recommended bottles for the season, straight from the Winery’s Tim Gaber, are the 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Reserve (described on the website as “captivating, opulent, and vibrant”) and the 2012 Chilean Malbec (described as “earthy, dry, and spicy”). I sampled both of these as well as the 2014 Chardonnay, which, although described as “golden toasty, slightly oaked, with vanilla, peach, and lemon aromas—balanced, integrated, and structured,” seemed to linger as an astoundingly pleasant popcorn-like aftertaste. Independent Brewing Company (1704 Shady Avenue, Squirrel Hill) The staff at one of my favorite local taverns, the Independent Brewing Company (recently featured more extensively in Squirrel Hill Magazine), enthusiastically recommended three particular cocktails appropriate to the season and the approaching holidays. To be perfectly honest with the reader, I drank them in fairly quick succession—with gulps of palate-cleansing water in between—in order to squeeze them all in before closing time. I loved each one (and, as you might imagine, I left the Independent in a remarkably jovial spirit). The Newark (a combination of bonded apple brandy, sweet vermouth, Fernet) was assertive with a classic feel, the kind of drink that one could enjoy sipping next to the fireplace on a cold night. The Gin Lizzy (gin, lemon, Pimm’s, sage, soda, bitters) was a bit more refreshing and less heavy. Lastly, the Jack Rose (bonded apple brandy, lemon, grenadine, Peychaud’s Bitters) was a tangy cocktail with a strong punch. The Independent Brewing Company has lots of other fantastic regional beers, hand-crafted cocktails, wines and straight spirits to choose from, along with an impressive food menu. The offerings change quite often, so stopping by semiregularly promises something new with each visit.
they offer. Pumpkin beers and ginger beers have taken off in the last few years. There’s no shortage of winter warmer ales and dark stouts and porters out there to choose from.
Recommendations from Craft Pittsburgh columnist Joe Tammariello I recently caught up with home brewer and fellow beer enthusiast Joe Tammariello who, along with his fiancé Amanda, writes a column for Craft Pittsburgh, an excellent local craft beer magazine. (Look for them as the Hoppy Couple.) Joe very generously shared some of his knowledge and recommendations When I think holiday/winter beers I normally think about two things: dark and spicy. Darker, heavier beers tend to be a better drink in colder weather—spicy because of all of the ginger and pumpkin spice things that invade during the holiday season. People generally don’t want a thick, smoky stout on a hot day. Personally my favorite beer around this time has both of these qualities: Brew Gentlemen in Braddock [512 Braddock Avenue] has what they call “Mexican Coffee.” It’s an oatmeal stout made with coffee, cinnamon, and vanilla. So it’s dark and it’s spicy. My second favorite fall/winter beer is Sly Fox [original location in Phoenixville, PA, brewery headquarters in Pottstown] Christmas Ale—a bit lighter in color and feel but still spicy.
I think with regard to other types of drinks you can’t go wrong experimenting with ciders around this type of year. Arsenal in Lawrenceville [300 39th Street] has a lot of great options. Maybe take one and warm it, or add some spiced rum or fireball whiskey to it. Goes great with winter temperatures. I was asked if I had heard of a fall Moscow mule. Apparently cider plays a role in those as well but I’ve never tried one. Mead is another interesting drink that can be spiced in a wintery way as well. Apis Mead & Winery in Carnegie [212 East Main Street] would be the place for that. Joe notes that warm, dark, spicy drinks are generally more popular at this time of year, whereas hoppy beers and wheat beers tend to become more popular again in the spring and summer. With winter encroaching and personal stresses mounting, remember to have fun and embrace the blessings in your life. Define spaces of relaxation and quiet, and defend them against superfluous concerns and pressing demands that can always wait. And, of course, if you’re one to indulge the taste buds on feel-good libations, take some time to explore the countless offerings that are popular at this time of year.
Another dark beer I like around this time is DuClaw’s [Baltimore, Maryland] Sweet Baby Jesus. Again, another dark beer but with peanut butter and chocolate. Imagine that over some ice cream? Penn Brewery [800 Vinial Street, Pittsburgh] has a couple, Nut Roll and maybe a pumpkin roll one too. Last year I had a beer [from Timber Creek Tap & Table—locations in Meadville and Grove City] that was made with a small hint of peppermint. I didn’t think I’d like that but it was surprisingly awesome—just the right amount of mint. Most major craft breweries have a few holiday beers that Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
10 Pittsburgh Holiday Traditions By Meghan Poisson-DeWitt Wintergarden at PPG Place PPG Place has been a Pittsburgh icon since its construction began in 1981. While the 5.5-acre complex is not lacking in ameneties, it’s the glass enclosed Wintergarden that makes our list. Over the holiday season, the warmth and light of the Wintergarden beacons with its seasonal displays. Every year from late November to January, the Wintergarden hosts annual Spirits of Giving Around the World and Gingerbread House and Train Exhibits. These combined exhibits embody holiday celebrations around the world with displays of gingerbread houses, paintings and international Santa Clauses, Stop in today!
Ice Skating at Schenley Park Nothing is more nostalgic than a day of ice skating with family. Every year, hundreds of skaters young and old, flock to Schenley Park to take to the ice. From kids just learning to stay upright to seasoned skating veterans, the Schenley rink has something to offer everyone. Open from November to February, the rink hosts several themed skating events throughout the winter season, including “Skate with Santa” in December. Make magical holiday memories with your family today! For dates, times and prices, visit pittsburghpa.gov/citiparks/schenley-skating-rink
WPXI Holiday Parade Holiday parades have been part of festive celebrations across the United States for generations. Featuring giant balloons, creative and colorful floats, marching bands, celebrity guests and Santa’s first appearance of the year, the WPXI Holiday Parade presented by Pittsburgh Public Schools is no different! First marching down Fifth Avenue in 1980, the parade celebrates its 36th anniversary this year. The event takes place on November 26th from 9-11am. Can’t make it down the parade route? Don’t worry! The parade will be broadcast live on WPXI-TV and stream live on wpxi.com.
Miniature Railroad & Village at Carnegie Science Center The history of the Miniature Railroad & Village at Carnegie Science Center began over 70 years ago as the in-home display of Charles Bowdish of Brookville, Pennsylvania. After 34 years, the display was moved to Buhl Planetarium in 1954 before making its permanent home at the Carnegie Science Center in 1992. The display features hundreds of animated scenes depicting life in the region from the 1880’s to the late 1930’s and beyond. Iconic buildings dot the landscape, including Falling Water, Forbes Field and even the Monongahela Incline. The Village will premier its new holiday display on November 17th. 20
A Musical Christmas Carol This year, join Pittsburgh CLO in celebrating the 25th Anniversary of A Musical Christmas Carol! Charles Dickens’ classic characters come to life on stage in a vibrant, song-filled feast for the senses. Full of spellbinding special effects, memorable songs and spectacular dance numbers, A Musical Christmas Carol is not to be missed. and Join Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim at the Byham Theater from December 9th to December 23rd!
The Nutcracker Very few things embody the holidays quite like The Nutcracker. Pairing mesmerizing choreography with the iconic Tchaikovsky score, The Nutcracker has fascinated audiences for generations. The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater (PBT) has created a very Pittsburghcenteric production, featuring locations and icons from turn of the century Pittsburgh, including the F.W. McKee mansion (once located on Fifth Avenue) and the Kaufmann’s Clock, which still adorns the Macy’s building downtown. The PBT version of the Nutcracker, complete with new choreography by artistic director Terrence S. Orr, has graced the Benedum stage since 2002. Don’t miss out on this Pittsburgh tradition December 2nd through December 27th!
Nationality Rooms The Nationality Rooms are on the first and third floors of the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning. These classrooms, designed to represent the cultures of the assorted ethnic groups that settled in Allegheny County over generations, allow visitors to “experience their ethnic identity and ancestral roots.” Every holiday season, from November to January, these rooms are decorated in the traditional holiday styles of their representative countries. Many religious beliefs, traditions and holidays are represented. Guided group tours for ten or more people are available with an advanced registration. Smaller groups and individuals can take a self-guided tour.
People’s Gas Holiday Markets A local family favorite, the People’s Gas Holiday Market takes place downtown in Market Square during the holiday season. Inspired by the original German Christkindlmarkets, the Holiday Market offers an international holiday shopping experience to local Pittsburghers. All of the holiday themed shops are tucked inside of Alpine-style wooden cottages and illuminated by holiday lights. Don’t forget to check out the daily live performances and take a picture with Santa. The Market opens during Light Up Night on November 18th and runs through December 23rd. For more information on the Peoples Gas Holiday Market, visit www.downtownpittsburgh.com Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Popular Popular New New Cafe Cafe Opens Opens in in Squirrel Squirrel Hill Hill By Ian G. Rawson “When they come here, they find real traditional Taiwanese cuisine,” Jenny said. “My husband creates the cooking sauces himself every morning while I am shopping at the Asian stores in the Strip District. We call our cuisine farm cooking.” At the entrance to the café, a glass-fronted cooler holds a display of the day’s cold appetizers, an Asian approach to tapas. She offered me several beautifully presented small plates, one with “Golden Paired Mushrooms”, and another with a cluster of small, marinated, dried tofu cubes with a dark syrup combining rich, sweet and tangy flavors.
enny Tao greeted me with a broad smile as I came into Café 33, the newest addition to Squirrel Hill’s burgeoning Asian restaurant scene. Tucked into a narrow lot facing Shady Avenue south of Starbucks, the former laundromat has been transformed into a cozy nook with banquettes on either side and seats for up to 40 people. “We usually are fairly busy,” Jenny said. “But this is a quiet time between the lunch and dinner servings, so there are only a dozen guests now.” She explained that they have not advertised yet, but have built a clientele through word of mouth and electronic messages among the city’s Chinese communities. “We get a lot of students from the local universities here,” Jenny said, “and even from Penn State.” Jenny and her husband Asan left Taiwan in 1983 to work at restaurants in Manhattan for about ten years and then came to Pittsburgh in 1995. They have worked at a number of Asian restaurants in the Pittsburgh region, but their dream had always been to have their own restaurant. Their dream is being fulfilled now at their quiet and comforting space. Muted colors on the walls, plain wooden furniture and delicate Asian art create a calm environment inside, while the glass doors open up to a small outdoor space with room for four tables. The café’s large menu includes many authentic Taiwanese dishes featuring seasonal vegetables, and a white board announces daily specials in English and Chinese.
I asked Jenny how they decided on the name for the restaurant, Cafe 33. She said her husband’s nickname is Asan Ke, or Small Three, because his father’s name is Asan, Three. “So we combined the two names to thank his father and his support for us on this new venture.” His parents are not able to travel to America, but they are proudly honored in the café’s name. Jenny’s warm welcome and an accommodating wait staff ensure that the café’s guests are welcomed graciously, and can expect a unique dining experience, prepared and served by new friends.
Vegan and Craving Holiday Dessert? Pittsburgh Is the Place to Be By Camille Chidsey
The Holidays are a time of connection,
conversation and my personal favorite – good food! But what if you have dietary restrictions? Many of us have friends or family members who identify as Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten-Free. Particularly if you’re vegan (no dairy, meat, or animal products of any kind), it might be hard to watch loved ones enjoying plates of cookies, slices of pie or Grandma’s famous nut roll without us. However, with its plethora of unique and tasty dining options, several Pittsburgh eateries are well-stocked with delicious vegan alternatives for Holiday treats. Perhaps most well-known, is the Squirrel Hill bakery, Gluuteny, located on Murray Avenue. Gluuteny boasts an impressive full menu of vegan and gluten-free dessert options. Their chocolate, almond, and red velvet cakes are offered year-round, as well as maple and chocolate chip scones, peanut butter cookie sandwiches (vegan peanut butter wedged between two peanut butter cookies) and vanilla and chocolate donuts. Their donuts can be further outfitted with cinnamon, coconut or maple glazes. Seasonally, they offer specialty decorated cookies. In the Fall, pumpkins, sugar skulls and spider webs are available toppings, while Santa Clause, Christmas trees and menorahs are offered closer to Christmas and Hanukkah. If you’re in the mood for denser carbohydrates, another bakery in Squirrel Hill, Allegro Hearth, offers vegan banana bread, banana nut muffins and carrot raison muffins year-round. Vegan apricot and raspberry crisps are also available. However, what if you are dining out in the area? Aladdin’s Eatery, a LebaneseAmerican franchise, has an outpost on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill. Many of their dishes are vegetarian and vegan, but they also maintain a rotating list of cookies, baklava, brownies and bars. Complementing their traditional dinner menu, Aladdin’s makes vegan and gluten-free peanut butter jam
cookies and blueberry spice and cucumber bars. Outside of Squirrel Hill, other Pittsburgh neighborhoods contain restaurants and cafes that cater to those with similar dietary restrictions. Apteka, a Central and Eastern European cuisine based restaurant and bar in Bloomfield, is noteworthy for their entirely vegan menu. Started by Pierogi Night founders Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski, Apteka’s menu concentrates primarily on hearty foods such as pierogi, stuffed cabbage and haluski. However, they also make an impressive vegan apple tart. Located on their traditional menu, tarta jablkowa (apple tart with dried fruit compote), makes a wonderful addition to any Holiday meal. Additionally, Zenith, a unique combination vegetarian/vegan restaurant, art gallery, and antique shop located in Pittsburgh’s South Side, provides rotating menus catering to alternative crowds. While their menu changes weekly, Zenith is worth researching as their seasonal desserts are customarily vegan. Cafes are also optimal places for enjoying vegan desserts. The Umbrella Café’s baked goods are all vegan and gluten-free, and available singularly or if you call ahead, in small amounts. They make chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies, apple cinnamon and chocolate donuts, and chocolate brownies. Be sure to stop in and grab a few goodies! Similarly, The B52 Café in Lawrenceville also provides pastries, coffee and food
vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cookie dough and pie mixes. menus. B52 offers a range of treats, including vegan chocolate chip cookies, banana walnut and carrot raison muffins, and namorra, a semolina cake with almond. The staff also prepares house-made chocolates in a variety of flavors. Current chocolate flavors include: tahini, sea salt & almond, espresso & cardamom, pistachio shortbread, sea salt & caramel, cherry bourbon, peanut butter, and coconut macaroon. Groceries provide another option for vegan Holiday desserts as well. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and East End Food Co-op all offer seasonal combinations of
Another great resource for vegan Holiday treats is Gluten Free Goat Bakery, a wholesale distributor of glutenfree and vegan baked goods. They are available for catering, consultations, and special orders as well. Perhaps most exciting in the business’s future is their brick and mortar bakery and vegetarian/vegan café set to open in soon in Garfield. Check out www.glutenfreegoat. com for complete listings of the wholesale coffee shops and cafes they deliver to. Even if you have dietary restrictions, the Holidays should not prohibit you from enjoying delicious, affordable and local sweets!
Where to Go Gluuteny 1923 Murray Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412) 521-4890
The B52 Café 5202 Butler St Pittsburgh, PA 15201 (412) 408-3988
Allegro Hearth Bakery 2034 Murray Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412) 422-5623
Trader Joe’s The Village of Eastside 6343 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (412) 363-5748
Aladdin’s Eatery 5878 Forbes Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217 (412) 421-5100 Apteka 4606 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15224 Zenith 86 S 26th St Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (412) 481.4833 The Umbrella Café 951 Liberty Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15222 (412) 391-8500
Whole Foods EastSide 5880 Centre Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (412) 441-7960 East End Food Co-op 7516 Meade St Pittsburgh, PA 15208 (412) 242-3598 Gluten Free Goat Bakery 4905 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15224 (412) 206-5553
Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
The Jewish Festival of Lights By Marshall Hershberg Chair of the SHUC Ped-Bike Commitee For the Jewish people, late fall/early winter brings Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. It begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew Calendar month of Kislev, which usually occurs in December, and continues for eight days. Hanukkah commemorates a successful revolt of Jewish patriots in Judea that began in 167 BCE against the Greco-Syrian rulers. During the two centuries following Alexander the Great's death, Greco-Syrian influence over Jewish religious and secular life in Israel grew, but not without a degree of resistance from the people. Specifically, In 167 BCE, Antiochus Epiphanes, then the Greco-Syrian king, embarked upon a radical policy of forced Hellenization by issuing a decree forbidding Jewish rituals, such as Sabbath worship, circumcision, and the practice of sacrificing only kosher animals in the Jerusalem Temple. In that year, a contingent of Greek troops came to the Judean village of Modi’in, set up an altar, and ordered the Jews to sacrifice a pig – a nonkosher animal, directly defying Jewish religious law. According to Jewish sources, Mattathias, a charismatic, traditional Jewish spiritual leader in Modi’in, reacted violently to that order. He and his five sons attacked the Greek troops and sparked a popular uprising and guerrilla war against the Hellenic rulers and their local Jewish sympathizers. Their revolt lasted approximately two years. The rebels recaptured the Jerusalem Temple, purified it, and liberated the City and virtually all the Land of Israel of that time. They established a sovereign state known as the Hasmonean Commonwealth, which continued even as the Roman Empire replaced GrecoSyrian control over the Near East. The Roman conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 CE. marked the end of Jewish 26
independence in Judea/Palestine until the establishment of the current State of Israel in 1948. Despite that loss of sovereignty, through their celebration of Hanukkah, the Jewish people have, to this very day, continued to be inspired by the Hasmonean revolt with its commitment to religious freedom and its opposition to forced assimilation. Equal to the Festival’s political significance, its religious significance grows out of the rededication of the Temple by the Hasmoneans – “Hanukkah” translates to “dedication” – and the story of a related miracle. According to Rabbinic tradition, when the Hasmoneans purified the Temple, there was only one day’s supply of olive oil for fueling the great lamp (“Menorah”) that was supposed to burn eternally in the Temple proper. The Menorah guarded the Temple’s innermost and holiest chamber – the “dwelling place” of the Almighty’s spirit and the very purpose of the Temple’s existence. By a miracle, the one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days, until new oil could be properly prepared. Today, Jews commemorate this event by lighting candles on each day for eight days, starting on the 25th of Kislev, in special candelabra, properly called Hanukkiot, but also called Menorot (plural of Menorah, whose Hebrew root-word means “light”). Often there is a Hanukkah lamp for each family member. These lights serve only as a display in honor of the Festival and can have no other purpose. This display is a symbol of the return to Jerusalem of the Almighty’s spirit and the ideals it commands, not only for the Jewish people, but for humanity. Hanukkah ia also celebrated in other ways: The olid-miracle is commemorated by preparing and indulging in fried foods such as potato pancakes (“latkes”) in the European tradition, and filled donuts (“sufganiyot”) in the Israeli/Middle Eastern tradition. In addition, there is a special spinning top called a “dreidel” (“spinner” in the
Yiddish language). It has four sides, each with a Hebrew letter corresponding to the sentence, “A great miracle happened there.” In Israel, appropriately, the fourth letter replaces “there” with “here.” Children of all ages “play dreidel,” spinning the top in a gambling game for pennies, candies, or other fun objects, where each letter represents a different amount of the pot. Members of the Jewish community also exchange presents during Hanukkah. Along with the Festival’s usual December appearance, this custom creates a parallel with the Yuletide Season, despite the holidays’ difference in origin and character. Further, in keeping with the dedicatory spirit of Hanukkah, some congregations devote this period to conducting special projects of good deeds for the Jewish and general communities. For example, in 2015, Young Peoples Synagogue in Squirrel Hill collected winter clothing for donation to Goodwill Industries, food items and household goods for the Kosher Community Food Pantry, which serves any and all residents of Greater Pittsburgh, and funds for Reading Is Fundamental. Hanukkah is a manifestation of the Jewish people’s aspirations for the continuity and well-being of the faith community and cultural traditions. However, these occasions also demonstrate a commitment to social justice in the world at-large .
Jewish Community Center of Greater PiƩsburgh Call 412-697-3522 for more informaƟon • JCCPGH.org
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Celebrating the New Year in Squirrel Hill Squirrel Hill Historical Society By Helen Wilson Vice President, Squirrel Hill Historical Society Celebrations are passed down from generation to generation. “We have always done it this way,” people say. But they didn’t. The way people did things in colonial times changed as time passed. Customs brought by immigrants changed as well when they were transplanted to the New World. Later generations reinvented them further to suit their own conditions. For instance, take the illustration for this article. It’s from the Squirrel Hill News, December 23, 1941. It’s doubtful that few, if anyone, in Squirrel Hill had a sleigh by then, but the image lingered because in the past, people did use sleighs to get around in winter. In Right Here in Squirrel Hill, a humorous book written in 1953 about Squirrel Hill’s early days, Hodge MacIlvain Eagleson relates what happened when a young woman “who looked like her veins held angel blood” began to play the piano in a small Squirrel Hill church in the 1850s: “Attendance picked up right away. Charles Andre, for one, never missed. He sat every week in church praying it would snow before next Sunday, so that he could bring sweet Mary Jane to church in his sleigh.” A sleigh was a good thing to have on rutted, unpaved country lanes when it snowed in winter. By the late 1800s, as Squirrel Hill was becoming an upscale residential neighborhood, sleigh riding had taken on a more festive aspect. Squirrel Hill researcher Wayne Bossinger discovered that after Beechwood Boulevard was constructed around 1898, its wide, sweeping curves became a favorite place to sleigh ride. Wayne found an article in the Pittsburgh Daily Post that said, “it was not unusual to have more than 100 sleighs gliding along.” Naturally, impromptu races occurred, which were so much fun that the races became a festive annual event that attracted large crowds. The onset of the automobile age in the early 1900s ended the sleigh-riding era, but the nostalgia remained. Squirrel Hill’s many festivals, of course, didn’t originate in the neighborhood but were brought in by the people who moved there. Most, but not all, of the celebrations had their beginnings as markers for the change of seasons during the course of the year. Survival depended on knowing when to plant and when to harvest, and festivals marked those times. New Years Day was a holiday celebrated on different dates depending on culture. There is no break in the continuity of the earth’s trip around the sun to mark the beginning of the year, so each culture chose its own day to celebrate it. The decision wasn’t arbitrary. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated in autumn at the end of one agricultural cycle and the beginning of the next. The beginning of the Christian liturgical 28
year is the first Sunday in Advent, four Sundays before Christmas—the time when light was returning to the world after the winter solstice. Unlike other New Year holidays, January 1 was political rather than seasonal. It was designated as New Year’s Day by Julius Caesar when he rearranged the calendar back in 46 BC. The influx of Asian cultures to Squirrel Hill brought another New Year festival, Chinese New Year. Unlike the other New Year holidays, it lasts two weeks. It is celebrated between late January and the first three weeks of February with feasts, celebrations and fireworks. It, too, is related to the cycle of the seasons. It marks the time when the earth is awakening from its winter slumber and farmers start to prepare their land for planting. Celebrating the New Year in Squirrel Hill in winter left a lot of cold weather to still get through. When the first signs of spring arrived, people were happy to venture out of their closed-in houses and celebrate. Vestiges of a rite of early spring in Squirrel Hill was the Maple Sugar Festival at the old Frick Nature Center that burned down in 2002. Squirrel Hillers might remember the steaming pancakes smothered in butter and maple syrup with bacon or sausage on the side. After stuffing themselves to the brim, they wandered along the thawing trails to see maple trees being tapped. In the clearing outside the center was a large shed where the sap was being boiled away to make the syrup. Old writings about Squirrel Hill mention a large grove of maple trees at Douglas Street and Shady Avenue that were tapped every year until residential housing replaced the grove in the 1900s. More groves likely existed in the area. Not only did they provide maple syrup to the community, they were reported to be the scene of much merriment in early spring. Festivals provide breaks from the monotony of daily life. Squirrel Hill’s diverse mix of cultures and ethnic groups makes it an especially rich place to find celebrations. 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 pm at the Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Ave. Go to www.squirrelhillhistory. org to view upcoming lectures and events. Events 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.
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$500 and above James and Anne Burnham David and Carol Eibling $200 to $499 Bob Danenberg Steven & Karen Feinstein Mark Fichman Andy Dlinn Cynthia Morelock Brooks and Jeanie Robinson Bruce Rabin and Maurice Nernberg $100 to $199 Robert I Glimcher Family Foundation Gloria Kleiman Sidney Stark Scott Wirtzman Frank Wirtzman Invitations Plus Lisa Silberman Alan & Lynne Colker G L Kusic Kevin Baum Jamini Vincent Davies Sharon Semenza John & Lucy Douglas Walter Jacob Wayne Gerhold Tom Lippard Reid Ruttenberg Martha Funderburgh Carl Krasik Kenneth & Sara Segel Francis & Charlotte Lann
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$100 to $199 (con't) Hilary Spatz Lloyd Myers Robert Kraut & Aya Betensky Sanford Berman Harvey& Carole Wolsh
improve, and celebrate our community
Reflections on Christmas in a Catholic Household By Rosemary Bernth When I was a child, Christmas was my favorite season, and is even more so now that I’m an adult. To me, the holiday was more than just one day of unwrapping presents underneath a decorated tree or singing cheesy carols as the snow piled up outside. It was a celebration of life that lasted weeks, forming a link between the old year and the new one. In the liturgical calendar, Advent is the four-week period before Christmas Day. While attending a Catholic grade school, I learned the word advent means “coming” in Latin, which sounds appropriate since we were waiting for Jesus’s birthday. Just like in the church, we created our own Advent wreaths in school with construction paper and toilet paper rolls, one for each of the four candles to mark off another week. Three candles were purple and one was rose. This one was to be lit on Gaudete Sunday, the week before Christmas. I remembered that by using a track race analogy—the officials ring the bell when the lead runner has only one lap left. While most kids in my class went to sleep on Christmas Eve, dreaming of Santa and the presents they’d open the next morning, I headed to the church with my family for Midnight Mass. My mother would remind me, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” The stained glass windows would be dim with the night, but it only made the many candles and white Christmas lights around the nativity and the sanctuary glow brighter. The figure of Baby Jesus was the same size as the Cabbage Patch doll we used in our school play, except it looked more fragile from years of use. I would glance from the nativity scene to my family sitting with me. Since my father wasn’t Catholic, he never went to Sunday Mass with us. But for Christmas, it seemed he would make an exception. For us, Christmas didn’t end on December 25th. Our church wouldn’t add the three wise men to our nativity scene until the Feast of the Epiphany, which is celebrated on the Sunday closest to January 6th. The word epiphany comes from a Greek word that means “to appear or manifest.” That’s why the feast day celebrates the moments Jesus was revealed to be the Son of God through his humanity. Candlemas, or the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, is celebrated on February 2nd, the same day as Groundhog’s Day. On this day, we attended Mass to have the priest bless the candles we brought, to symbolize Jesus being the “Light of the World.” It would also mean the end of the Christmas liturgical season. My family made a holiday out of taking down the tree and packing up the ornaments. We would look at each one and reminisce about the memories surrounding it before wrapping it up in tissue paper to be saved for next year. Now that I’m married and hoping to have children of my own, I want to continue celebrating these traditions of faith. Not only do they connect me to my family and friends, they also connect me to a history that spans larger than my lifetime.
Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
A curriculum that challenges. Learning isn’t about memorization or passing the test at Shady Side – and our students appreciate this. Faculty members urge them to think expansively, read deeply and stretch ideas broadly. Which is why our students develop into critical thinkers who can write analytically and articulate their point of view confidently. With small classes, individual attention and a rigorous curriculum, we prepare students to shine brighter in all that they do.
Explore • Engage • Excel PK-12 • Four Campuses Admissions: 412-968-3180
Winter Open Houses December 1– 8. RSVP online at ShadySideAcademy.org/Visit
Discover St. Edmund’S AcAdEmy 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
PreSchool through 8th grade coeducational indePendent School 5705 darlington road, Pittsburgh, Pa 15217 | 412.521.1907 | www.stedmunds.net
11/9/16 10:11 AM
Good News From Our Schools Enrichment Thriving at Colfax By Carolyn Ludwig Enrichment activities permeate the daily curriculum at Colfax. Every morning, Colfax students engage in rich, targeted instruction designed to help them progress. Long-term community partnerships continue with The Frick Environmental Center Habitat Explorer Program, CMU Science Squad and Dancing Classrooms (a prevention program of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System). The Edible Schoolyard, in partnership with Grow Pittsburgh, continues offering gardening and cooking science lessons. “Chef in the Garden” will return again this autumn. Chess Club, Coding Club, Challenge 24 and Kangaroo Math have strong participation across many grades. For the fifth year, Colfax middle-level students will participate in the Shakespeare Monologue & Scene Contest (in conjunction with Pittsburgh Public Theater). In the spring, the opportunity continues with the August Wilson Monologue Competition. This fall, the 8th grade will participate in the JFilm Teen Screen Program with “Run Boy Run”. This program provides both before and after classroom instruction, and a very special visit will be made to the classroom by a Holocaust survivor. These invaluable enhancements accompany their reading of The Diary of Anne Frank. Colfax teachers, staff, and passionate volunteers work hard throughout the school year to keep all students engaged and excited about enrichment.
Making Great Strides at Hillel Academy By Danny Shaw At Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh, we educate young men and women with unlimited capacity to compete in a superior manner in all challenges undertaken. What we ultimately achieve each day is the gift of instilling each student with the foundation for a life spent actively serving and leading the Jewish community and society. The 2016-2017 academic year has brought many new exciting programs and initiatives to Hillel. This year, we introduced our largest ever student body to a more robust STEM program which now includes a full coding and robotics curriculum, starting in our ECC and ending with six STEM related AP courses. Additionally, we embraced a new model to understand student behavior and school discipline based on the work of Dr. Ross Greene, a child psychologist and noted author. At its core, Dr. Greene’s theory rests on the assumption that, “kids do well if
they want to”, as opposed to many behavioral systems which assume, “kids do well if they can”. This simple change of perspective, enables educators to get out of the business of making kids “want to” do good through extrinsic motivators and punishments. Instead, it focuses on teaching skills such as cognitive flexibility, adaptability and problem solving, which are necessary for students to succeed. It has only been a few months of this initiative and we have already seen many positive results. We expect to see more enduring effects of this program over the coming months and years.
Allderdice Students Awarded By Melissa Friez, Allderdice Principal This year Pittsburgh Allderdice High School is proud to recognize five National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, eight National Merit Commended Students and one National Hispanic Scholar. These students met the requirements based on their 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test scores (PSAT/NMSQT). From approximately 1.5 million entrants, each of these students is among the 50,000 highestscoring participants. Please join me in congratulating them on their accomplishments! National Merit Semifinalists Johan Berger Sarah Grill Natalia Hajlasz Benjamin Mathier Alexander Novara National Hispanic Scholar Gabriela Golin
National Merit Commended Students Vikaas Arunkumar Adam Assaad Maxwell Fortna Xiaoxi Gao Jahnik Kurukulasuriya Astrid Mueller Jeremy Sarfin Joseph Vresilovic
Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Carnegie Mellon University
Kentucky Avenue Children’s Center
Preschool Pre-Kindergarten Ages 2-5 n Locatio at Mifflin Avenue UMC Regent Square kentuckyavenuechildrenscenter.org 412-371-6554
Registering Now for 2017-2018! Developmentally appropriate early childhood programs in a research university context.
Now Accepting Pre-K and Kindergarten Applications for 2017-2018 Carnegie Mellon University Children’s School, MMC 17 Pittsburgh, PA 15213 • 412-268-2199 http://www.psy.cmu.edu/cs/ email@example.com
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Neighborhood Notes Allderdice Artist Presents First Solo Gallery Exhibit
New Housing Developments Slated for Squirrel Hill By Lori Fitzgerald Chair of the SHUC Commercial Development and Residential Quality Committee
On November 18th, high school artist Teddy Caplan will experience something that many adult artists are still striving for: his first solo gallery show. Caplan, a junior at Allderdice High School, will be filling the walls of Perlora Loft on the South Side with a collection of 40 of his paintings. The gallery event runs from 6 to 8 pm that night, but his art, available for purchase, will be up all weekend. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Caplan has always been passionate about the arts. “I’ve loved art my whole life,” he told us. Aside from the classes taken through school, Caplan has also studied with the Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Carnegie Museum of Art and, most recently, the Manchester Craftsman’s Guild (MCG). Caplan is so passionate about MCG that he’ll be donating 15% of his proceeds to the organization, whose mission is to “educate and inspire urban youth through the arts.” While Caplan has dabbled in many forms of art, including ceramics and photography, his favorite medium is painting. “I love the line and the movement of the paintings that I do now,” he said. “I guess you could call them a character. I love the modern simplicity. That’s what I’m kind of inspired by.” Congratulations, Teddy! Squirrel Hill Magazine wishes you many more future successes.
Community Feedback Requested for Hotel Project As part of a class project researching the feasibility and marketability of a hotel in Squirrel Hill, graduate students from the CMU Real Estate Design and Development class are asking feed back from the community. Please help us by filling out this online survery: surveymonkey.com/r/MB36B8G
New multi-family housing options have been coming online all over the city, and a corner of Squirrel Hill may soon be the latest location for a developer who has already achieved success in other neighborhoods. Solara Ventures, led by Mr. Jack Benoff, has developed and completed condominium projects at 941 Penn Avenue, Downtown, and in the former Otto Milk building in the Strip District. Another project, Smallman Place, is currently under construction across the street from the Otto Milk Building Condominiums. Mr. Benoff is proposing new construction of 37 for-sale condominium units at 2710 Murray Avenue, across from the Morrowfield Apartment building, on the site of the Colonial Cleaners and the former Burton Hirsch Funeral Home. Indovina Associates Architects has designed an entirely red-brick exterior featuring an irregular arrangement of windows and balconies and a sloping, asymmetrical roofline that is shown at a height and elevation lower than that of the Morrowfield. Two levels of interior parking, each accessed separately from Murray Avenue, will provide 60 parking spaces exclusively for the condo owners residing in the five residential stories above. The top floor will showcase a shared roof terrace overlooking Forward Avenue. At a public meeting held on September 2, 2016, co-hosted by the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition (SHUC) and Councilman Corey O’Connor, Mr. Benoff stated that the condominiums may range in size from approximately 900 Sf to 2000 Sf, with a possible price range of $300,000 to $900,000, which he said is comparable to the other condominiums he has built. There are no public funding or tax incentives being requested to help finance the project, but it is expected to request variances for height and Floor Area Ratio (FAR) before the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) on December 1, 2016. Attendees at the community meeting raised questions about the impact of the development on traffic, parking and the general streetscape. At the request of attendees and SHUC, Mr. Benoff commissioned a traffic study by David E. Wooster and Associates, Inc., which found that the proposed development would present “…no tangible traffic impact to the surrounding roadway network…” and “…no tangible impact to the existing on-street parking”. It is hoped that the project will have a positive impact, however, on the Forward/Murray Gateway area, and Squirrel Hill as a whole.
Please direct your questions or comments to the Squirrel Hill Urban Coaltion at firstname.lastname@example.org or (412) 422-7666. Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
Celebrate Lunar New Year!
Saturday, January 21, 2017 University of Pittsburgh Alumni Hall Event 1: 5:00pm-7:00pm Doors open at 4:00pm
Event 2: 7:30pm-9:30pm Doors open at 6:30pm
H G R U B S T T I P S A E C T O BRA
! A I AS
E L E C
OCA Lunar New Year Banquet
NEW R UNA
SHO R EA
Traditional Chinese Dinner, Entertainment, Silent Auction, and more! Early Bird/Student/Senior $10; General Admission $15; Group Rate: 20% off for 20 or more. OCA Lunar New Year Banquet tickets sold separately.
Get details and tickets for both events at: www.OCAPGHPA.org Embracing the hopes and aspirations of Asian Pacific Americans since 1973
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Squirrel Hill Branch 5801 Forbes Ave. (412) 422-9650 or www.carnegielibrary.org Times and dates are subject to change. Please call to confirm events.
Chinese for Beginners Saturdays, 2–3pm This class is for those who are new to Chinese. Experience the Chinese language through fun story-based exercises geared towards helping you develop fluency. No registration is required. New participants are welcome at any time. Chinese II Saturdays- 3–4pm Chinese II is geared toward those who already have a basic understanding of the language and are interested in increasing oral proficiency. No registration is required. New participants are welcome at any time. Let’s Speak English Every Tuesday - 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
36th Annual WXPI Holiday Parade Downtown Pittsburgh November 26, 2016 - 9am Formally known as the My Macy's Holiday Parade... bring the whole family downtown and enjoy Pittsburgh's annual Holiday Parade, it's the perfect way for all to begin the holiday season. This year's parade will feature colorful floats, national and local celebrities, marching bands and, of course, the all-important arrival of Santa Claus. First Night Pittsburgh 2017 Cultural District - Downtown Pittsburgh December 31, 2016 Come be a part of the largest New Year's Eve party in Pittsburgh - First Night Pittsburgh 2017 promises fun for the entire family, featuring over 100 events at numerous indoor and outdoor facilities throughout the 14-block Cultural District in downtown Pittsburgh. Enjoy access to an entire evening of family-friendly festivities and entertainment, including live concerts, comedy acts, variety shows, crafting stations, visual arts, plus there is even a festive holiday parade that traverses down Penn Avenue. Everything kicks-off at 6:00 PM, and culminates at midnight with a traditional countdown and spectacular fireworks display. Buttons only cost $8 in advance and $10 at the gate. Children 5 and under are free.
Pittsburgh Writer’s Studio Every Sunday 2-4pm Join us each Sunday as we draw from creative exercises to free the muse and get to the stories we want to tell. Using various writing tools and discussion, we will embark on a journey to engage our creativity on the page. Fiction, nonfiction, poetry and memoir samples will be used as springboards to spark the imagination for our own writing. Each week we will bring into play themes from our lives that crisscross literature such as: choice, risk, change, relationships, work, spirituality and dreams. There will be time to share our writing and learn from each other. Beginners and experienced writers alike are welcome! Free.
2nd Annual Lunar New Year Events
Squirrel Hill Historical Society The Church of the Redeemer, 5700 Forbes Avenue Events are held on the second Tuesday of each month FREE at 7:30 pm Upcoming Events: December 13: "Pittsburgh Holocaust Center" Speaker:Lauren Bairnsfather, PhD., Director
2016 Lunar New Year Parade Murray Avenue February 12, 2017 - 11am-12pm The 2nd Annual LNY Parade in marches up Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill, starting from Phillips and ending Forbes. Throughout the two weeks, the Asian restaurants of Squirrel Hill will have specials celebrating and commemorating the Asian holiday.
January 10: "The Map in the Image -- A 50 Year Effort to Combine Pictures and Maps" Speaker: Doug Cooper, Andrew Mellon Professor at Carnegie Mellon University
The Carnegie Library of Squirrel Hill will have an interactive exhibit of must reads as well specialized activities for children and teens to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
February 14: "Examining the History of Squirrel Hill through its Buildings: How to Research the History of Your Own Building" Speaker: Kelley Stoup, Founder of House History
For even more holiday events in Squirrel Hill and greater Pittsburgh, check out our Event Calendar at SHUC.org!
2016 Lunar New Year Kick-Off Jewish Community Cennter Saturday, January 28, 2017 - 12-5pm Join us at the Jewish Community Center in Levinson Hall for a Lunar New Year kick off event, which starts the twoweek celebration. The day's event includes: Pan-Asian cultural performances and demonstrations including lion dance teams, martial arts, Chinese ribbon and fan dance, Taiko drumming, geisha dance, K-pop and more. There will also be traditional foods and arts & crafts tabling through out building.
Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
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Where families join together...
The Homewood Cemetery is a resource of education, history, architecture and green space. The Homewood Cemetery was designated a Nationally Recognized Arboretum, an honor that extends the cemeteryâ€™s commitment to community outreach and education. We host a variety of programs throughout the year to bring the community together and we invite you and your family to tour our historic grounds, Chapel & Reception Center.
1599 S. Dallas Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Your Squirrel Hill
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Come in and shop Haveselection Delicious ourWegreat Kosher Pareve Pies!! of Kosher foods!
Try our fresh-made items in our Kosher Pareve Bakery Baked Fresh Daily, For Your Enjoyment
Apple, Cherry & Apple Crumb Kosher Pareve Bakery on-site for special orders Store: 412-421-8161 Fax: 412-422-3128 1901 Murray Ave. Pgh. PA 15207