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Cecil with her son

Only in Pittsburgh: The new work of artist Ashley Cecil

Ashley Cecil could be a painter anywhere. It’s in her blood. But would she have still challenged herself to become a textile designer, seamstress and full-time entrepreneur if she hadn’t moved to Pittsburgh? She doesn’t think so.

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'Tis the season for shopping local: 6 can't-miss holiday markets

Support Pittsburgh's arts-and-crafts entrepreneurs on Small Business Saturday and every day through the holidays. With so many choices for locally made gifts, you're sure to find a special something for everyone on your list.

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VIDEO: Hundreds find new ideas for their cities at inaugural Urban Innovation Exchange

In September, innovators from around the country convened in Detroit to exchange their ideas for building better cities and stronger communities. For three days, Detroit was transformed into a marketplace for ideas for cities.

Night of the Living Stout

Candy + local craft beer = Halloween heaven for adults

Pittsburgh brewers treat us to their tricks for pairing local craft beers with classic Halloween candy.

Lightwave International has designed laser sets for artists like Lady Gaga, Pink Floyd and Madonna.

Lightwave International designs laser sets for concerts all over the world

Lightwave International, based in Eighty Four, Washington County, travels the globe designing concert lasers for big-time performers like Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Pink Floyd. 

Artist Jessie Rommelt is one of the founders of Bunker Projects, an experimental gallery in Pittsburgh's East End.

Bunker Project experimental gallery offers live/work space for artists

Bunker Projects in Pittsburgh's East End is an experimental gallery that offers live/work space for artists to engage the community.

Robin Fusco takes notes during the first residency.

Point Park University's new low-residency MFA program attracts students from around the world

Point Park University's new Master of Fine Arts program in screen- and playwriting allows students to benefit from Pittsburgh's rich cultural history without leaving their hometown.

Matthew Buccholz displays his inventory at his home in Friendship.

Alternate Histories: Q&A with pop artist Matthew Buchholz

A love of sci-fi kitsch led Brooklynite-turned-Pittsburgher Matthew Buchholz to populate historic, public domain images with space creatures and UFO for a line of cards and posters. Now, he's gotten his hands on some old film scripts that he's turned into pocket-sized editions with the help of Kickstarter.

At Downtown's Seviche, you'll find Teresa Fera shaking up custom craft cocktails.

Great bartenders in the 'Burgh

We polled numerous bartenders and attended multiple drinking establishments to find five of the best barkeeps in the city. From picking the ideal vintage to crafting a custom cocktail, these experts make Pittsburgh a great place to grab a drink.


Girls of Steel compete in the FIRST Robotics competition.

Planting the seed: Local organizations create opportunities for girls interested in STEM careers

In America, women are significantly underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math fields, but several Pittsburgh organizations are working to change the statistics. Through mentorship and hands-on experience these local programs are working to pave the way for a more gender balanced generation of STEM professionals.

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Where old-timey and online collide: A Q&A with Toby Greenwalt, CLP's director of digital strategy

From his blog, TheAnalogDivide.com to his new gig as the first ever director of digital strategy at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Toby Greenwalt is shaking the conservative librarian stereotype by using his interest in technology to keep the public library relevant to communities.

Nicole Aquillano

There's no place like home: A Q&A with Pittsburgh-born ceramic artist Nicole Aquillano

The Society For Contemporary Craft's summer resident, Nicole Aquillano, creates usable, ceramic art deeply rooted in place. Her inspiration comes from a longing she often feels for the home where she grew up in Beaver County.

Dan Rugh and his Children

Local biz in da' Burgh: A Q&A with Dan Rugh of Commonwealth Press

Commonwealth Press is the perfect example of the Pittsburgh startup dream—an entrepreneurial web designer made good. Learn more about how Dan Rugh translated tech and design skills into a successful branding firm and silk screen press.

PNC Bank in Lawrenceville

Over a century of startups: the top ten Pittsburgh-founded businesses of all time

Recently, Pittsburgh has become known as a great city for tech startups, but its history as a prime location for founding a business is much longer. Read on to learn about over 100 years of top businesses that started their booms in the 'Burgh.

Chris Hale

Q&A: Chris Hale of Victory Media talks about what's next for veterans returning home

With five media brands under the Victory Media umbrella, Hale and his troops are working to help veterans bridge the gap between active duty and active employment.

Anne Lopez and Kylie Walker of Romeo Delivers at AlphaLab

The battle for talent: What cities are doing to attract urban professionals

For today's top talent, the job market is only one thing to consider when choosing where to live. They also want a vibrant city to plug into, a creative place where they can network with other smart people, and a dynamic place where they can find their next job.

Gabriella Gasparich won Robert Morris University's highest undergraduate honor.

Rising stars: Four Pittsburgh undergraduates to watch

From engineering to psychology, these scholars have made an impact through academic performance and civic engagment, not only in their university communities, but also in Pittsburgh as a whole.

Thread founder Ian Rosenberger

Steel City keeps entrepreneurs coming back

Thanks to a vibrant startup scene and resources such as Innovation Works, PGH is growing in popularity for new companies.

Looking out of the Penn X Roup Gallery. Photo Courtesy of 5450 Modern

There IS foot traffic in Garfield: A Q&A with Nico Hartkopf of the Penn x Roup Gallery

Nico Hartkopf swapped his services as an architect and designer to offset the cost of rent at 5450 Penn Ave. As he looks to make businesses in the building viable, he contends that the East End community is the next big thing.

PennLive's new workspace

State of PA: Pennsylvania's coolest workplaces

Pittsburgh's own Wigle Whiskey is on the list!

Beth Corning of The Glue Factory.

Disruptors: Five Pittsburghers shaking up the status quo and reshaping our world

Using the power of art, technology, community and academia these citizens are creating the critical differences that will propel Pittsburgh forward.

Tyler Crumrine, the founder of Plays Inverse. Photo by Brian Cohen

Plays Inverse creates a literary experience for readers of the printed play

After years of reading poorly produced editions of his favorite shows, Tyler Crumrine indentified an opportunity to improve the printing quality of theatrical literature by starting a small press here in Pittsburgh.

Anna Martemucci, director of Hollidaysburgh. Photo by Sarah Cunningham

'The Chair' project demonstrates the film industry's impact on the Pittsburgh economy

The Chair, a 10-part documentary film series, depicts two directors making a film from the same script here in Pittsburgh. Hollywood producers partnered with Steeltown Entertainment and Point Park University to showcase the Steel City's versatility for shooting a feature film and benefit our local economy.

Rachel Carlson on the Gateway Clipper

Connecting local businesses with the Pittsburgh community: A Q&A with Rachel Carlson of Yelp!

Carlson uses her passion for Pittsburgh to bring the online experience of Yelp! offline, connecting business owners with their communities in a visceral way.

Dora Walmsley

Four young female entrepreneurs building networks in Pittsburgh

Four young women entrepreneurs, with work that spans from political fundraising to opening a local market, say Pittsburgh is a great city to start a company and make business relationships.

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A letter from the editor of Pop City

Pop City's new editor, Erin Keane Scott introduces herself and talks about the state of Pop City.

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Sixteen Pittsburgh social media mavens to follow

Because eight is never enough, this week we bring you eight more Pittsburgh social media-ites who are using the power of their networks for good.

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A fond farewell from the editor

After seven-plus years, our publisher and editor bids a very fond farewell to Pop City, while exceeding word count and spouting philosophy from a Johnnie Walker ad.
Talent 

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Pop Stars: 3 people making Pittsburgh pop

From energy to food to music, here are three people in Pittsburgh making a difference: Randy Francisco, Jamilka Borges and Fawzi Haimor.

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How public art is changing the urban landscape

Once the province of sculptors, public art is now essential in urban placemaking and social engagement. Think: Love Front Porch and Conflict Kitchen. From murals on vacant buildings to art in laundromats, we take a look at how public art is transforming our cities.

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Why I moved to Downtown Pittsburgh

She's a writer and yoga instructor and a New Yorker who was looking to move somewhere after 10 years in the Big Apple. Why Pittsburgh and why downtown? Because it's on the verge. Like her.

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Photo slide show: AIA Pittsburgh Design Awards

AIA Pittsburgh will reveal the winners of the 2013 Design Awards at its festive gala this Thursday night. Get a preview here with a look at the nominations for outstanding design here in Pittsburgh and see why design matters.

Pittsburgh Opera

The Three Tenures: A tale of the Pittsburgh Opera

What happens when three Pittsburgh Opera general directors, past and present, reunite to celebrate the Opera's 75th anniversary? Having worked with all three--Tito Capobianco, Mark Weinstein and Christopher Hahn--this writer knew her reunion with them would be filled with glorious memories and an inspired look to the future. Encore!

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The smart alternative called PittMoss

Mont Handley questioned why we were draining the world's carbon-absorbing peat moss habitats to fill flower pots. He not only came up with a smart alternative that recycles newspaper, but he also created a catchy name for the Pittsburgh-based product. Hail to PittMoss!  

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Pop Star: Bobby Zappala of Thrill Mill (and Thrival and more)

Bobby Zappala and his friends started with Baller BBQs in an open parking lot, which grew into BusinessBout, which morphed into Thrill Mill and its offspring Hustle Den, the business accelerator. Most recently, they created Thrival Festival. So when he says East Liberty is a mecca of entrepreneurship and innovation, you want to join the party.

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Why I moved to Pittsburgh from Italy

She started with a fine Italian leather boutique in Shadyside and is now adding a second location in Ross Park Mall—and designing a new building in Squirrel Hill for retail establishments and more. Barbara Gambotto moved here from Rome and is finding Pittsburgh to be "the best city in the world" as she discovers more opportunities for her and her family.  

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Behind the 2013 Carnegie International

It's more than bringing international art to Pittsburgh; it's bringing the artists to Pittsburgh, too. The 2013 Carnegie International is a sensation on its own but this year the CI is tying into the community with cool ventures, from an Art Lending Library to photo portraits of 200 residents in Homestead.

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Great advice from the (amazing) Athena and Young Athena finalists

Get your tickets now before it sells out, to see the outstanding Athena finalists at the annual Athena Awards, this year on September 30. Read about them here first.

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What's with the cluster of new women-owned businesses in Lawrenceville?

Why do young female entrepreneurs feel so at home in Lawrenceville? We look at four new businesses that recently opened – from Werk to Jules – and the talented women behind them.

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Know of newcomers to Pittsburgh? Invite them to dinner with us.

It's back! Our second round of welcome dinners is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, where hosts throughout the area open their homes for dinners to small groups. Newcomers can sign up to attend here and we're still looking for a few more hosts. Show the world how welcome Pittsburgh can truly be.

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Q&A with Dr. Vonda Wright, the Mobility Doctor

She's a rock star, appearing on Dr. Oz and The Doctors, and writing books and blogs on why it's so vital to stay in good health. UPMC's Dr. Vonda Wright, who wants to change the paradigm on aging, thinks there's nothing better than aging well. You can be an athelete into your 50s and beyond, she says. Her question: how far do you want to go?

Adam Nelson

The City of Play and the playful guy behind it

What began as a friendly pastime became a profound exercise in community-building. Adam Nelson is the force behind the City of Play which brings to town The Best New Games in the World this Saturday.

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Why are women still making less than men in this town?

The latest research shows that it's still the case that women in Pittsburgh are earning less money for the same work as men--74 cents to the dollar. This author has researched why and poses three key questions that allow us all to examine the problem and help do our part to change things. 
Talent 

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Co-working spaces in Pittsburgh: cheap digs and collaboration

Looking for your own office space that's cheap, convenient and makes you feel part of something bigger? For a range of reasons, including the chance to cross-pollinate, many are opting for co-working spaces which are popping up all over Pittsburgh.

The Moth: True stories told live

Don't miss! The Moth Mainstage on August 22

Pop City is happy to be the media sponsor of The Moth Mainstage, the iconic storytelling event that has regaled Pittsburgh audiences, selling out every year. Now it's bigger and better than ever in its new home at the Byham. Check out the lineup on August 22 and get your tickets now.

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On the Road: To Kathmandu to adopt our son

This first-person account of a couple's trek to Kathmandu to adopt their son is a touching story of love and adventure. And it includes a small-world encounter with a reference to Mr Rogers.
Talent 

Why I serve

Why I serve: on the school board

At first he said no to an offer of serving on the local school board. Then he reconsidered. And now after more than two decades of being a school board member, this writer highly recommends you do the same. Ready to be convinced? If you have a good story of why you serve your community, let us know.

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Pop Video: The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

Did you know Pittsburgh is the Vintage Grand Prix capital of the United States? And it's the only race of its kind that takes place in the city. See the race on Sunday but first meet the founder in this exceptional video and learn how he has raised more than $3 million for autism through this event.

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Pop Star: Laura Ellsworth

"Let's be number one in the country," Laura Ellsworth suggests, "and show how powerful women's philanthropy can be." Think she's kidding? The hard-to-resist Jones Day partner-in-charge is making a deep impact in the community in a number of ways as an activist and volunteer.

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5 things not to miss in Lawrenceville

In a city known for cool neighborhoods, Lawrenceville is one of the coolest. There's plenty to explore and savor but we'll start you off with five spots not to be missed.

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MeetUps: a fun, low-stress way to get connected

Yes, there's a meetup for you. And you and you and you. From the Pittsburgh Vegan Meetup to the Dining 'n at Meetup, local meetups are a great way to meet people with similar interests. Read how one newcomer to Pittsburgh used Meetups to her advantage.

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Start up? Start Young. Entrepreneuring Youth shows the way.

The goal of Entrepreneuring Youth is to instill early experience in running a business and get teens stoked to start their own some day. The yearly George W. Tippins Business Plan Competition scheduled this week gives them a taste of the big time.

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5 Pittsburgh theater troupes that continue to surprise

Want to get turned on to eccentric, cutting-edge theater where you'll see something you’ve never seen before? Here are five Pittsburgh theater groups that are hard to categorize but well worth watching.

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A day in the life of: Chef Bill Fuller of Big Burrito

As corporate chef for Big Burrito, the restaurant group credited with starting the transformation of the Pittsburgh food scene, Bill Fulller has a big-city appreciation for restaurants and the way they should work. 

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Mentoring women business owners in Pittsburgh

There's no better time for women to own a business in Pittsburgh. More than ever, resources for mentoring women are helping them bust through barriers and grow, grow, grow.

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Pop Star: Leah Lizarondo of The Brazen Kitchen

Why can't healthy food taste great? That question launched the now popular blog, The Brazen Kitchen, and turned its writer into a food activist and now ambassador for Jamie's Food Revolution. Meet Leah, an inspiration for food that's shamelessly good for you.

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The Rise of the Rest

Has Silicon Valley jumped the shark? Ask many keen observers of technology communities from coast to coast, and they'll tell you that 2013 is prime time for startups to bloom in unexpected cities—like Pittsburgh.    

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Awesome ideas, Awesome Pittsburgh

How do you make a city awesome? One way is to award one great idea every month with a micro-grant. That's the strategy behind Awesome Pittsburgh and the diverse board that funds it. Now just over a year old, the group is most famous for its award to ZipPitt. But more are coming every month and here's how.

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5 Pittsburgh crafters

From boat and soap makers to artisans who craft lamps and arcade games, here are a few of the more unusual local DIY practitioners to watch in Pittsburgh.  

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Q&A: Kacey Wherley, TEDxGrandviewAve

Pittsburgh now offers several local TEDx events, from TEDxCMU to TEDxPittsburgh. After a successful debut downtown, we caught up with the person who got TEDxGrandviewAve together and got the inside scoop. What does it take to pull one off and what's next for this one?

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How to film a music documentary in Mongolia

It's a great story of a courageous young woman entering a new country cold to research rock bands and a lesson on how to get connected anywhere. Read the story, then see the outstanding trailer.

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Pop Star: Gisele Fetterman

Meet Gisele Fetterman, the real deal in Braddock who's giving her famous mayor husband a run for the money. From opening The Free Store, a shipping container filled with donated goods to adding a DIY bike shop and signage project, both coming soon, the native Brazilian is making a big difference.

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How to get connected to Pittsburgh

Want to meet more people and get better connected in your city? Here's an informal guide to get you started, from finding events you'll enjoy to networking to help your career and helpful tips along the way.

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Photo Slide Show: Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre students get their first pointe shoes

Once a year, a new group of young students at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre earn their first ever pair of pointe shoes. In a sweet and touching slide show, our photographer captured the special moment.

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Innovators in Pittsburgh education

Meet the innovative people who are launching big, bold ideas that are changing the face of education in Pittsburgh, from fighting inequity to preventing gun violence to making teachers more effective.

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Pop Star: Kate Stoltzfus of CreativeMornings and Yinzpiration

When a group decided to form a local chapter of CreativeMornings, they tapped Kate Stolzfus--"one of our city's most dedicated champions"--to lead the event series. She's the blogger behind Yinzpiration, where she's on a quest to interview 100 inspiring Pittsburghers before her 30th birthday.

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Photo Slide Show: The Center for PostNatural History

Did you know? In the Penn Ave. Arts District, there's a center for postnatural history that explores life forms that have been altered by man such as the red canary or rats that are connected to the atomic bomb program. Nearly a year old, and six years in development, there's nothing else like this place in the world.

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Pittsburgh teens who are changing our world

Think one person can't make much of a difference? Wait until you meet these change makers--all of them teenagers, and all of them appearing at the Be Inspired: Girls Can Change the World event this Saturday. 

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Ones to Watch: Four under 40

From opening a hot new cafe off Market Square to representing voters in Harrisburg, these four exceptional people are making our region a better place to be.

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Cultural gems: City of Asylum Pittsburgh

The founders of City of Asylum Pittsburgh, and creators of one of the most colorful and cultural blocks in Pittsburgh, are embarking on yet another venture--Alphabet City. It's like nothing else in town, but then what would you expect?

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The Third Place: Maggie Connor and Buena Vista Cafe

Do you have a "third place?" It's that place outside of work and home that you make your own in some way. A favorite coffee shop, perhaps, like Maggie Connor has in the Cafe Buena Vista on the North Side.

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Some standout 20-something Pittsburgh entrepreneurs

Meet a new breed of young Pittsburgh entrepreneurs -- some still in college -- who hope to make a mark on the world. So far so good.

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Top Chefs: Rick DeShantz, Meat and Potatoes

Following his success with the upscale Nine on Nine, owner/chef Rick DeShantz turned toward comfort food with his hip Meat and Potatoes in the heart of the Cultural District. As part of our series on Top Chefs, we explore why DeShantz is one of the reasons Pittsburgh's culinary scene is hotter than ever.

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The Top 10 Tech Companies to Watch in 2013

Pop City launches the first of a two-part feature on home-grown companies poised to hit their stride in the coming year. Among our brightest tech stars, one helped both presidential campaigns while another just added Dallas Maverick owner and Mt. Lebanon native, Mark Cuban, to its board. Find out who they are and what's next for them in 2013.

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Dreadnought Wines: the big thinking behind the little wine store

Just in time for the holidays, a look at a one-of-a-kind place in Pittsburgh which has many followers (called sippers!). Read about the various wines and tastings and classes available at Dreadnought wines and the personalities behind the scenes--and don't miss the suggested wines for your holiday drinking.

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The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project: the photographer's perspective

The Marcellus Shale Documentary Project began two years ago with a desire to document the social and environmental effects of Shale drilling in this region. The results--a travelling photo exhibit currently at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, a book and a digital archive--have gained international attention. In a story that could only have happened in Pittsburgh, our photographer gives us the inside scoop on this bold and eye-opening project.

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The Shepherd Wellness Community, with thanks to Beverly Pollock

When she lost her son to AIDS decades ago, Beverly Pollock discovered the support she needed at the Shepherd Wellness Community. That's when community became family and Beverly found a strength she never knew she had. As a tireless volunteer there for 22 years, they now bid her farewell as she leaves at the age of 88 to be with her daughter in Arizona.

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Engage! Pop City: Join the online conversation or start one of your own

If you had anything to say about our city, what would it be? Check out Pop City's new civic engagement platform where you join the ongoing conversations about making Pittsburgh a more welcoming community, or the one on diversity or you can start a conversation of your own. Click here to see Engage! Pop City.

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Pop Star: Mark Hayward

Pittsburgher Mark Hayward has wowed them on Letterman with his blowgun-mousetrap-marshmallow trick and recently had his own one man show in New York. Now the amusing world-class juggler and World Champion Yo Yoer performs this week at the Union Project. And wait til you see what he can do.

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Eureka moments that made local teachers great

Eureka moments for great teachers come in all shapes and sizes -- just like their students. We talked to outstanding local educators about the moments in teaching when they discovered their own voices, fresh instructional methods and new paths to success.

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Chef Profiles: Trevett Hooper of Legume

In the first of a series on chefs, we visit chef and owner Trevett Hooper and his gem of a restaurant, Legume. His philosophy of whole-animal cooking, along with an intense commitment to serving local foods, makes Legume stand out on the Pittsburgh food scene.

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SiX: Sprout announces more funding for connecting Pittsburgh

Got a new and innovative idea to better connect Pittsburgh? The Sprout Fund is waiting to hear from you. Read about our latest social innovation exchange and find out how you can help move our city forward.

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Beverly's Birthdays: a reason to party

When Megs Yunn met a young girl who never had a birthday party, it motivated her to create an organization that throws birthday parties for at-risk kids. In a remarkable and touching story, the kids at Sojourners House look forward to the monthly bash where everyone gets to celebrate in style.

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A day in the life of Rich Fitzgerald

What's an average day like for a county exec? If you're Rich Fitzgerald, it's stacked with events, speeches, appearances and meetings on issues ranging from public transit to protecting our waterways. Tag along as we get insight on his leadership style and perspective, not to mention energy level.
Talent 

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A Pittsburgh welcome: One Young World

Pittsburgh shined in hosting One Young World, an impressive summit featuring 1300 dynamic young people from 183 countries. The message of inspiration and change permeated throughout, from talks from Nobel Laureates and presidents to 50 breakout sessions throughout the city.

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Meet 5 One Young World reps from Pittsburgh

As One Young World gets underway here, Pop City introduces you to five impressive young people who will represent our city at the event. Discover what they're thinking, from global concerns to local matters, such as working and living in Pittsburgh.
Talent 

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SiX video: Headlines for Pittsburgh's future

Missed our recent SiX event? See it in action in this short and lively video, from choice bits from speaker Josh McManus to highlights of discussion and final ideas. Then see more in this issue on our next social innovation exchange.

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Why I moved to Pittsburgh from Brooklyn: Gab Cody

Moving from Brooklyn, NY to Pittsburgh has paid off in spades for the very creative Gab Cody. Lawrencevile, says the creator of the movie Mombies provides space in every sense of the word and views the world as a place where you can make art.

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Meet the Athena Young Professional finalists

Three dynamic women were named finalists for the Athena Young Professional Award at this year's event. Find out more about these leaders of our future, from their dreams for Pittsburgh to one's dream of being a Superhero, complete with cape and heels.
Talent 

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Slide show: A tour of Randyland

See the whimsical and colorful creation dubbed Randyland on Pittsburgh's North Side, proof of how one person can transform a neighborhood.

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Seeing the world without leaving Pittsburgh

Want to feel like an international traveler without ever leaving town? Take a cue from this native Pittsburgher who found her connection to potluck international dinners, Bangra dancing and a multitude of cultural activities.

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Q & A with Josh McManus: What's next for cities?

Get a preview of our featured speaker at the upcoming SiX event as he talks about what's next for cities, why it's essential for people to connect in smart ways and why some talent attraction intiatives in cities are doomed from the start. Not to mention the importance of donuts with bacon on top.

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Meet The Athena Awards finalists

You'll learn all about these five outstanding Athena Award finalists at the upcoming luncheon where the winner will be announced. But for now, find out more about them on a personal level--from the importance of daily journaling to the pet dog who is called "too big to fail."

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Photo slide show: Love Front Porch

"I’ve seen acts of love and bravery here that would leave you slack-jawed and damp-eyed with awe," writes artist Vanessa German of Homewood. Hers is one of them. As kids stopped at her house to ask what she was doing, she invited them to join her in creating art. Now her Love Front Porch art project has expanded to a house nearby. See her story in photos.

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How do we make Pittsburgh a more welcoming community?

While Pittsburgh is known for many great things, diversity isn't one of them. Are things changing? In this personal essay, our writer tells of a troubling conversation he had with a successful business person and then presents different views of what it's like for African Americans in Pittsburgh. Mostly, he challenges us to do better. Read on and then join the conversation.

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The PortaKeg story: Get your beer here! Or anywhere.

What happened when guys on a camping trip tried to haul along a makeshift draft beer unit? Out of the suds of foamy failure grew an idea for a portable keg. And that grew into a startup company. And that is being launched with a lot of encouragement from the business community. It's the power of Pittsburgh, claims this partner.

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Robot parenting is still not recommended, but local companies use high-tech to help you raise kids

Self-folding strollers. Quality entertainment in hospital waiting rooms. Video-game school lessons. Pittsburgh parents want -- and need -- high-tech kid products. Local companies are coming through with great inventions.

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What would you do in this space? The story of Marty's Market

From the sleek coffee bar open to the street, to the glass garage doors by the cafe, Marty's Market aims to be an inviting community gathering place around local and very good food. Owner Regina Koetters, who recently ran Iraq's largest air base, seems up to the task.

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Youth of the Year: Nick Foley of the Sarah Heinz House

How does a child morph from shy and insecure with a string of foster homes as his legacy, to a confident ambassador for Boys and Girls Clubs? Ask Nick Foley, a product of the Sarah Heinz House, who is now meeting folks such as President Obama to tell his tale.

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Photo slide show: The artsy side of Gist St

Seen Gist St. lately? Check out this photo slide show, a fun tour of a short few blocks in Uptown that have been transformed by art by the sculptor, James Simon (currently in Paris unveiling another work) and other artistic friends. Do try this at home!

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Fast-forward Pittsburgh: A time-lapsed video project

See what results when an Art Institute student set aside time each weekend to photograph Pittsburgh in an unexpected--and rapidly changing--way in this fun video project.

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Why are so many parents talking up Dr. Todd Wolynn?

What's so unusual about the pediatrics office of Dr. Todd Wolynn? "We view the practice as a living lab," he says.  If you can think it up, and it helps patients, and it makes business sense, we're going to try it." Could be one reason parents are flocking to him with their kids.

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The visitors guide to the Hill District

While it's known for a vibrant past, the Hill District is very much alive, filled with people and places building on its legacy of jazz, art and community. With its outstanding location between downtown and Oakland, it's also a hub of redevelopment right now. Read about the people and places making the Hill a better place to be.   

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Photo slide show: The Hill District

Read the visitors guide to the Hill District then take a tour through photos of the people and places renewing this one of a kind Pittsburgh neighborhood.

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The city as a startup

Would our perspective of our city change if we viewed it as a startup? The ingredients are similar: great talent, sufficient capital, and a top-notch culture. A recent conference of CEOs for Cities explored this theme of City as a Startup and we report on some of the big themes and interesting ideas.

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Rebuilding Pittsburgh's Entrepreneurial Economy: The talent search

It's easier to recruit top talent to Pittsburgh than it used to be with Google, our great research universities and a growing roster of startups. Recent data shows that Pittsburgh employed computer and information research scientists at more than twice the national rate and nuclear engineers at more than ten times the national rate. So why look elsewhere? In the second of a series, we take a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of our talent pool in bolstering our economy.

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The Lady in 38C: a poem about travel

To usher in the travel season, we treat you to a touching and whimsical poem about a plane passenger by Lori Jakiela, who teaches at Pitt Greensburg and Chatham University. It's one poem from her new book of poems, Spot the Terrorist! and it might leave you wanting more.

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Coming Home: The making of a film about female soldiers in Afghanistan

Hauling more than 100 pounds of camera equipment during a three-and-a-half month embedment in Afghanistan, JulieHera De Stefano endured dozens of missions and helicopter flights in order to meet with more than 100 military women. Her film, Journey to Normal, will document it all.

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City Vitals 2.0: How does Pittsburgh stack up?

How does Pittsburgh rank in the areas of most importance to a city's success? In four categories: connection, innovation, talent and distinctiveness, we give you a snapshot of how our fair city is benchmarked against others in a series of indicators from walkability (we do well) to venture capital (not bad) to restaurant variety (not good) to college attainment (better!).

Linda Lane: Keep the main thing the main thing

Linda Lane has a daunting task: shepherding the city’s school district through some of its biggest challenges in history while remaining a hands-on educator.

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Pop Star: Lynn Johnson, global photographer

Renowned photographer Lynn Johnson travels the world as the invisible voyager, capturing images that inspire viewers to act. Read about her latest project in India which was featured in National Geographic, and then see the stunning photo slide show.

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How to really use social media effectively: an interview with Dr. Andrew Stephen

When a trusted grad student told us about his "brilliant and pragmatic" social media professor at the Katz Business School, we bit. In this interview, Dr. Andrew Stephen answers our many questions, from the biggest mistakes made in social media to what national companies and local groups are doing it right, and why.  

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Dozen, rebaked

When it closed last summer, cupcake fans throughout the city mourned. But since re-opening in September under new ownership, Dozen Bakeshop is back with cupcakes and more, including sculpted cakes--think military boots--crafted by a Pittsburgher who was a finalist on the Cake Boss competition.

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Shepherd's Heart: Helping returning vets find their way

As part of the "Coming Home PA" series about returning vets, presented by PublicSource and Pittsburgh media partners, Pop City offers a powerful story about homeless veterans finding their way through Shepherd's Heart. This organization has served as a lifeline to many vets, including one who now works there, Chuck Webb, who just won first prize in the recent PSVP Fast Pitch contest. (He got the standing ovation that night.)
Talent 

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Only in Pittsburgh: Cyberpunk Apocalypse, a literary lab

Cyperpunk Apocalypse is a one of a kind writers project--the only zine residency program in the US, and the only residency program that puts zinesters, novelists, and comic artists on equal footing. "We’ve grown organically," says its founder, "and consider ourselves a kind of literary laboratory--a place to experiment in a changing world."

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Turning 50? Start a rock and roll band.

In his 50s, John Vento became lead vocalist of Nied's Hotel Band. And why not? Here's a sweet tale of Pittsburgh rock and roll and an admirable second act about never giving up on your dream.

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Vote in the Experienced Dreamers contest: winner gets funds to pursue their dreams in Pittsburgh

Voting begins today to select the winner of the $100,000 Experienced Dreamers contest. Read about the five finalists and their dreams of moving to Pittsburgh to launch their second act. And then help decide who will get to do just that.

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Parties, Apps, and Panels: SXSW Interactive

Leave it to DeepLocal for the insider's view of SXSW Interactive. While they were there in Austin to present a mind-bending presentation on the Prius mind-controlled concept bike, they also got connected and enjoyed some great parties, too. Headed there next year? Here are some tips.

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Tech Talk: Flashgroup, made in Pittsburgh. Staying in Pittsburgh.

Who says you can't grow a startup in Pittsburgh with top-tier VC funding from elsewhere? Meet Flashgroup, and the two Carnegie Mellon computer science profs behind it.

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Pop Filter Hot Pick: get UNBLURRED by the arts along Penn Avenue

The mild temps aren't the only reason to be out on city streets this Friday. From the grand opening of the one-of-a-kind Center for PostNatural History (think taxidermy meets Sea Monkeys!) to an open art studio at Assemble, Unblurred is your passport to experiencing local arts talent.

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Rock to rap: Five on the rise

Note the range and diversity of these five musical up and comers, from Joy Ike and Kellee Maize to 1,2,3, Donora and Big Snow, Big Thaw. With varying levels of success and fame, these Pittsburgh acts are all ones to watch, and listen to.

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A call for refinement. Not retirement.

Some people have a flair for living. Which is why this playwright suggests we rebrand retirement as refinement and dedicate ourselves to what he calls the pursuit. Fall in love with it, and that will decide "what seizes your imagination, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude." After reading this, you won't want to miss his new trilogy, Elder Hostages.  

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Why I moved to Pittsburgh: DeAnne Hamilton, GM of Essential Public Radio

DeAnne Hamilton was lured to Pittsburgh by a job, as general manager of WESA, also known as Essential Public Radio. So what's in store? Besides the public radio offerings, including favorites such as Fresh Air and Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me!, there will be more local programming. And while she's helping to build a new radio station, she and her husband will be enjoying the urban lifestyle the new job affords.

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Pittsburgh Mom bloggers create online community (because no parent is perfect)

From a doctor's advice on childrearing to great winter activities for kids, anything goes in the world of Pittsburgh parenting bloggers. They're the first to admit about how hard it is to get everything right when it comes to raising kids and glad their blogs make other parents feel less alone.

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Reflections on my year of Leadership Pittsburgh

If you haven't done Leadership Pittsburgh yet, you might be asking yourself: should I?  Consider this outlook from a newly minted graduate. From intense discussions and unusual site visits (think jail) to eye-opening exercises and chocolate deprivation, it was one heck of a year. (Pictured: Lauri Fink and Dan Taylor, class XVII)

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Best brunch spots in Pittsburgh

From E2 to Meat and Potatoes, Pittsburgh's brunch scene is better than ever. Find out who's doing what in the way of Sunday brunch (and is it too much to ask for Saturday, too?)

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The sweet aftertaste of success: local author eats it up

In her new book, Aftertaste: a novel in five courses, Mt. Lebanon's Meredith Mileti has created a strong female heroine who moves back to Pittsburgh after a failed foray as chef and co-owner of a chic trattoria in New York City. In this interview, the author and devoted foodie dishes on her inspiration for the book and why Pittsburgh is such a great food town. She also reveals her favorite coffee shops and restaurants.

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What makes a region great? PUMP Futures wants you to vote

PUMP, the Urban Pittsburgh Magnet Project, is asking the community to select an audacious goal for our city then challenging everyone in the region to work to achieve it. They want your help in choosing from six options, from zero poverty to 100% voter participation. Vote here now.

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Ben Hardt, ready for Prime Time

With the recent launch of his three-album set, the talented Ben Hardt, named Artist of the Year by WYEP, is "raising the bar" for local music. Read all about him and listen to his music here.

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How to attract young talent to Pittsburgh? Internships

Here's a proven way to attract hundreds of young people to our city every year: hire them after they complete their internships. From PNC to Heinz, many corporations and businesses are bringing in young talent from all over the country and--this is key-- making sure they engage in the community during their stays.  


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A zentimental journey: life coaching the Buddhist way

Yes, you have a job, lucky person. But are you waking up each morning feeling like something's missing – like, maybe, your soul? Or a bigger purpose than a paycheck? Meet two Pittsburgh professionals who uncovered their true talents and found occupational bliss with the help of a Zen-inspired life/work coach and Buddhist chaplain.

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Why I Moved to Pittsburgh: Dr. Nadine Aubrey of CMU

Parisian native Dr. Nadine Aubry, a leading researcher into fluid dynamics and related nano applications that could save countless lives, could be anywhere in the world yet she chose to head the Mechanical Engineering department at CMU. Hear what the school does better than others and why she wishes she'd moved her family here sooner.

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Photo Slide Show: Pop City's Birthday Bash

If you couldn't make it, here's your chance to see what you missed. And if you were there, you'll want to check this out. Thanks to the more than 450 who helped us celebrate our fifth birthday party!

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Kids + Creativity + the Master Scaffolder

What happens when you connect the dots and bring a community together around an issue? Quite a bit if you're involved in Kids + Creativity, a group of more than 300 Pittsburgh leaders--with techies, artists, educators and more--working together to spark new ideas, innovative projects and surprisingly cool ways to get things done. All in the name of kids.

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New Orleans' Influence in Pittsburgh

New restaurants have brought Cajun and Creole culture to the forefront in Pittsburgh.  And with more venues booking New Orleans style jazz and blues, it's as if Mardi Gras has come to town.

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Pop Star: Melanie Harrington of Vibrant Pittsburgh

Who better to lead a new group that connects diverse newcomers to Pittsburgh than a diverse newcomer? Meet Melanie Harrington, the new leader of Vibrant Pittsburgh, who arrived last summer to make Pittsburgh a better, more welcoming place and find out why it matters so much.

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Meet Moscow Mule: A Band Kind of Like No Other

They're just guys in a band, not giving up their day jobs, and playing for charity. They include some rock stars in the tech and sports world (a former Steeler to boot) and others who just long to play good music. Meet Moscow Mule. 
Talent 

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Faces of Energy: Don Shields, Energy Center at Pitt

As the energy sector heats up in our region, Pop City takes a closer look at the players and organizations behind it in a Faces of Energy series. First up: Don Shields who heads the Energy Center at Pitt and what he has to say about who's hiring in town, what we really need to do to get the Marcellus Shale done right, and more.

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Let's Get This Party Started

It's that time of year when parties rule. Check out the best of the season with your go-to guide for the coolest parties in town that won't break the bank. 

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More Reasons Why Artists Should Move to Pittsburgh

Two weeks ago we ran the article Top Reasons Why Artists Should Move to Pittsburgh and now, as promised, we present part two. From an abundance of arts funding, to a long history of industry, to an atmosphere of support, here are five more ways Pittsburgh welcomes artists.

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Pop Star: Dara Ware Allen

Known as one of the most outstanding advocates for children in the region, Dara Ware Allen is well suited for her position as director of YouthWorks and her role on the board of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. "She lights up when she hears about kids succeeding."

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The Five Women I Fear the Most in Pittsburgh

John Denny takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the women who scare him the most--in a good way. Substitute your own word: powerful. Impressive. Change-making. These women are for real and while we could add dozens to this list, we only wish there were more like them in Pittsburgh.

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Top reasons artists should move to Pittsburgh

We have at least 10 reasons why artists should make their home in Pittsburgh, from the ease of making your mark to the revved-up café culture. We'll outline five reasons here and then five more in a future issue. Got your own reason? We want to hear it.

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Q&A with Brian Cohen, Pop City photographer

Brian Cohen and his family moved here after falling for Pittsburgh after a single visit. Now he spends his time photographing his adopted city and the many cool people who reside here. See some of his work and find out more about him, from what he would change about Pittsburgh to his favorite subjects to photograph. (If only he were one of them!)

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In Tune with The Living Room Chamber Music Project

Who says you have to go to a concert hall to listen to great classical music? The twenty and thirty-something musicians who make up the Living Room Chamber Music Project hope to dispel the highbrow stigma of classical music. They perform in homes, creating a personal and powerful performance, complete with stories, all for a free-will donation.

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Q & A: Rick Landesberg

Why should we care about design? Because on a civic level it broadcasts a powerful signal about how a community thinks about itself, says  Rick Landesberg. Find out more, from what he wishes he could re-design in Pittsburgh and his all-time favorite font. Then watch his well-received TEDx Pittsburgh video about design and generosity.

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HackPittsburgh: The Creative Tinkers

No, not that kind of hacking. The good kind, where creative and inventive types get together to fix, build and design things. Think: wearable computers and launched weather balloons. This group, which is open to all, is an important part of the ecology, what keeps the city vibrant and vital, says one.If you want to support a population who can invent things, make things, fix things--and we do!--the hacker space is the main informal channel where it's happening.

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Q & A: Steven E. Sokol, World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

If there's one question Steven Sokol gets a lot, it's about moving here from New York. Now living in downtown Pittsburgh, he explains why he's excited to be here, why it's so important that we connect on a global level and what pressing problem that we all share keeps him awake at night.

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The Story of Iron Eden

In a city once known for iron and steel making, John Walter continues the tradition with a modern take on organic iron that is his signature. This Pittsburgh blacksmith is forging remarkable works of art from iron that are displayed everywhere from Phipps Conservatory to private homes to his studio, Iron Eden.

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Why I Moved to Pittsburgh: For the Music

Returning to Pittsburgh from Los Angeles, Melinda Colaizzi was surprised to discover the number of great musicians here and the vibrancy of the blues-rock scene. Hers is a familiar story. Young musician who can't wait to leave town and then years later looks forward to coming back. Now auditioning for a band of her own, she's confident Pittsburgh will offer everything she needs to make it here.

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The Five Styles of Pittsburgh (and Other) Mayors

In one of his most unusual yet intriguing columns yet, John Denny defines the five styles of past mayors and highlights what they did for Pittsburgh. From the mayor dubbed Nobody's Boy to the one called I've Got a Deal for You, Denny presents a broad view of how Pittsburgh evolved since the days of Pete Flaherty and Sophie Masloff to our current mayor. And yes, of course, there are mentions of Bruce Bedspring and The What. 

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Pop Star: Kim Graziani

In continuing with the Mayoral theme of this issue, Pop City profiles a young woman in the Mayor's office who is championing neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Fresh off a German Marshall fund ideas exchange trip around land use to Germany and England, Kim Graziani explains why she has such passion about Pittsburgh neighborhoods and the innovative strategies they're employing to keep them clean, safe and green.

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The Entrepreneurial City: Part 2

In his second installment on the Entrepreneurial City, Jerry Paytas says we get too caught up in the "one that got away" stories. Dynamic regions have a lot of churn with companies and talent coming and going. We need to focus more on what really matters: not just a deep pool of smart, talented people, but one that is connected with other smart talented people to share ideas and resources.

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Now Hiring: Key Leadership Positions in Pittsburgh

With the large number of leadership positions open in the nonprofit community in Pittsburgh, the time is right to attract a new pool of talent whether we draw from outside the region or promote from within. The good news? Not only is it easier than ever to market Pittsburgh but Pittsburgh is known as a hub of innovation and a leader in the nonprofit world. Bring it on.

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Pop Star: John Meyer

He's a breath of fresh air on TV news--young, good with zingers, and thrilled to be back in Pittsburgh. WTAE's John Meyer thinks being a sportscaster in Pittsburgh is the best gig around.. Watching him, how can you think not?

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Q & A: Dennis Yablonsky

Dennis Yablonsky talks about the region's recent successes, major challenges,where the jobs are, and the ugliness of political discourse today. His favorite restaurant, too. Hint: It's downtown, which is where he would wave his magic wand if he had one.
Talent 

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Gambling on Pittsburgh: The Top 10 Reasons Why It Paid Off

As a kid, he hung out a lot in casinos with his fun-loving grandmother. As a college grad with the lucky number of 10, he decided to gamble on a move to Pittsburgh in the year 2010. And now? He's gathered a list of the top 10 reasons why Pittsburgh is such a great place to bet on.  

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Q & A: Maxwell King

He just published a new book of poetry and now he's writing a biography about Fred Rogers. Max King, former President of the Heinz Endowments who has done so much to shape our region, answers questions on everything from current projects to what he is most curious about these days (and we couldn't have said it better.)

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Why I Moved to Pittsburgh: The Story of Songwhale

Pittsburghers don't know what they've got," says Mateen Aini of Songwhale. It's not just being a big fish in a small pond (he loved how the mayor showed up for his first Tech Council meeting). It's also the mindset and the good work ethic and the large companies here for test marketing. Find out more, including which bar in Pittsburgh is like his favorite in San Francisco.

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Top Chefs of Pittsburgh

What will it take for Pittsburgh to command more national respect for our dining scene? Five new restaurants, with five talented and innovative chefs, could turn things around. 

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The Entrepreneurial City: Pittsburgh?

What can Pittsburgh do to boost business growth? Nurture entrepreneurs, says our author. In good times and in bad, the rate of business startups is stable so the recession is no excuse. And while Pittsburgh's economy is diverse, we need to develop clusters, such as IT, where we have a substantial talent pool and a good record of startups. We have the resources but we need to do many things well to become an entrepreneurial city.

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The Little Victorian that Could

If Ken Gargaro gets his wish, West End Village will soon become Pittsburgh's Off-Broadway with the opening of the Little Victorian Theatre. His hope is that it becomes a laboratory for experimental plays and a major magnet for the young crowd.

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From Mommy Blogs to Mommy Meetups, Pittsburgh's Online Community

Moms are finding their tribes and a great source of support online through Mommy blogs and meetups with other moms with similar issues. As one blogger writes, no one can prepare you for parenthood. But they sure can help along the way.

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Pop Video!: Creative Ideas to Inspire Creative Kids

Creative minds from Carnegie Mellon University, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Disney brainstorm to explore the mind of the child in this short video. The focus is that play is not only fun, but a necessary part of growing up. Watch imaginative minds from all over Pittsburgh come up with some truly creative ideas to spark kids.

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Q & A: Gregg Behr

While Pittsburgh is known for many things, Gregg Behr is behind a community effort to make it known as the best place for kids on the planet. Period. The newly married executive director of the Grable Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children, dishes about everything from who's driving the movement to make Pittsburgh Kidsburgh to his recent moment of perfect bliss.

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The Center for Women in Business: One plus One Equals Big Resource

Attention women entrepreneurs! Now that PowerLink has joined forces with the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, the resources for Pittsburgh women in business are better and bigger than ever. Learn how the dynamic duo of Ann Dugan, moderator for the upcoming Pop City event on startups, and Lee Ann Munger connected to form the Center for Women in Business and what it means for Pittsburgh.

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New Girl in Town: The Women of Steeler Nation

in the words of one female fan, every Sunday is a party. New Girl in Town set out to explore the phenomenon that is the Steeler Nation, that fan base of Steeler fans here and across the country--and how many of them are women.  Meet some here and find out why black and gold is the new black. Here we go...

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Eyeflow: The Search Engine Company That Could

How did Phil LeBoon, owner of SEO company Eyeflow, trick Google into a second place ranking for Pittsburgh as Best City in the World? Read about it here, along with the success of his multi-million dollar company that he started while living at his parents' house in 2001.

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Pop Star: The Warhol's Eric Shiner

Who's got one of the coolest gigs in town? Eric Shiner, for one. The curator of the Andy Warhol Museum works in a one-of-a-kind art museum that lures visitors from all over the world, including recent guests Michele Obama and Carla Bruni. Now he's bringing in 15 artists to reside in factory settings for up to three months in a cutting edge project called Factory Direct.

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When a Restoration Becomes a Work of Art

After running away from home at 17, she never expected to return. Nor did she ever expect to help with the family business of rentals in and around Shadyside. Proving that life is what happens as you're making other plans, Katina Kefalos has not only taken over the business but has discovered and rescued a trove of artwork created by her mother, the renowned artist, Lilian Kefalos.
Talent 

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Pittsburgh Bloggers: Part 2

Welcome to the latest installment of the Pittsburgh bloggers series. In this edition, we bring you a blogger who loves craft beers, a brown-eyed baker, a gardener and a gentleman who, in just a few months, has become absolutely enthralled by the river that flows behind his home.

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How to Fuel Start-ups and Keep Talent in Pittsburgh

When it comes to building Pittsburgh's entrepreneurial community and encouraging college grads to stay in Pittsburgh, Lenore Blum's Project Olympus is succeeding where other efforts fail. An executive coach from Chicago takes note of the cross-generational collaboration behind the student showcase Blum created and why it's so necessary in competing nationally and globally.

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Why I Moved (Back) to Pittsburgh: Squirrel Hill

Who says you can't go home again?  Jodi Weisfield, Director of the Major Campaign for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, has returned to Pittsburgh not once, but twice. What drove her was the family-friendly nature of our city, the vibrant arts scene, and her passion for our world-class symphony. But why did Squirrel Hill win out and what was behind her "Pittsburgh moment"?

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Under Deconstruction: Transformazium

Meet a group of young female artists who are taking an abandoned, rundown building in Braddock and creating an exciting new space for art and community called the Transformazium.  And they're doing it the smart, sustainable way by using a method called deconstruction, a sustainable alternative to demolition that's gaining ground in Pittsburgh. Not only is this movement attracting talented young people from other places, but it also promotes economic, social, and environmental development.

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Photo Slide Show: The Pride Parade, in the Name of Love

We're talking Pittsburgh Pride. Each year, the gay community gathers to celebrate in an always entertaining Pride Parade that takes to the streets of downtown Pittsburgh. Our Pop City photographer captured it beautifully in this special photo slide show.
Talent 

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Dan Byers and Contemporary Art at the Carnegie

Sometimes it's art's job to create disruption, says Dan Byers, the new associate curator of Contemporary Art at the Carnegie. To do that, it's Dan's job to take risks in offering a diversity of art to attract and stimulate as many patrons as possible. So how's he doing so far?

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Why I Moved to Pittsburgh: Lawrenceville

In our continuing series of people moving to Pittsburgh, we focus on Rob de la Cretaz from New Jersey, who was captivated by Pittsburgh after visiting. He saw a sense of promise, and a progressive, forward-thinking mentality. Not to mention the huge arts community and an impressive tech presence. Learn how quickly Rob formed his own community through PodCamp, Bike Pittsburgh, and PGH Tweet-Ups and more.

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Pop Star: Jessica Trybus

After making a name for herself in Los Angeles, Jessica Trybus returned to Pittsburgh at the urging of her boyfriend. How, she wondered, could Pittsburgh compete with the excitement of the entertainment industry? Find out what she says now after launching one of the coolest companies in town, Etcetera Edutainment. Hint: she gets to do exactly what she wants to do and she doesn't know another place in the country where she could do it.

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Cheers to Boyd and Blair: A Story of Love and Vodka

Two Pittsburgh entrepreneurs -- wizards at chemistry and marketing -- have transformed Pennsylvania potatoes into one whale of a premium vodka that Pittsburghers, and others around the country, swear by. Pop City served it at a recent party so it has to be all that.
Talent 

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The ABC Club Pittsburgh Bar Tour

Join ABC Club Pittsburgh as they explore Pittsburgh bar by bar, letter by letter. Started last spring by three young new Pittsburgh residents eager to explore our city, the club is now on its last letters--but there's still time for you to join X, Y and Z. Easy as 1-2-3.

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Pop Star: Vivian Loftness

Vivian Loftness blazed a green trail in Pittsburgh when she arrived at Carnegie Mellon a few decades ago and she continues to be on the forefront of architecture and building performance.  Read about a leader in her field then watch her inspiring TEDxLP video about our mortal imperative to preserve the earth for our children and how we can do it.

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Q & A with Hilary Robinson

Hilary Robinson, dean of the College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon (and quite possibly the Queen of Serenity) answers questions from Pop City, from the one thing she would change about Pittsburgh to her biggest extravagance. Learn more about the very involved, outspoken and highly regarded artist who has greatly influenced Pittsburgh since her arrival in 2005.

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YPA: Preserving Pittsburgh One Teen at a Time

A nationally unique organization is working to turn high schoolers into neighborhood preservationists -- and engines of economic development. What started as a Carnegie Mellon grad school project has morphed into the only preservationist association in the country dedicated solely to youth engagement in architecture, history and civics. Founder Dan Holland explains.


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Working the Green Scene: Pittsburgh's Sustainability Coordinators

Pittsburgh is fortunate to have two sustainability coordinators, one for the City and one for the County, working on issues ranging from recycling to energy efficiency. Learn how the two positions differ as well as converge and what we can expect in making worthwhile green things happen, from green-collar jobs to quality of life.

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TEDx Pittsburgh Profile: Christine Astorino

At the recent TEDx Pittsburgh conference, Christine Astorino wowed them with a presentation on fathom, her research, design and strategy  company that mines consumer needs at a very deep level. One example of their groundbreaking work can be seen in the spectacular design of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. More is coming in the new arena for the Penguins. Read about her here then watch the TEDx Pittsburgh video which vividly demonstrates the intriguing concept.

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TEDx Leadership Pittsburgh: The Power of Ideas

In November, a group of Pittsburghers gathered for the first ever TEDx Pittsburgh, sponsored by Leadership Pittsburgh. Based on the TED concept, that ideas are power and all knowledge is connected, a range of presenters from the Gates Foundation's Vicki Phillips to artist Alexi Morrisey presented an outpouring of ideas designed to stimulate, engage, jolt, entertain, enlighten and inspire. Pop City will be featuring some of these videos in future issues but if you can't wait, we've got the link here for you to see them all. 

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Pittsburgh Bloggers: What's New Out There

Did you know that generations of Italians planted quince and fig trees in Oakland that are still around today? Blogger Daniel Aguera relates this little known fact as he writes about making a Linzer torte from the quince tree fruit. But since this is Pittsburgh, he christened it the Yinzer torte. He is one of the fresh new voices being heard in our blogging community, mostly young people who have something to say about food or fashion or fun discoveries around town. They give blogging a good name.

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Five Pittsburghers I Would Like to Be for a Day

If you could be anyone from Pittsburgh for just one day, who would you choose? Not that we asked, but John Denny supplied us with an answer in this quirky but wonderfully thought-provoking look at 5 people he wouldn't mind being for only 24 hours. From Dr. Mary Hines, who managed to triumph under difficult circumstances to Dr. Jim Withers, "a cross between a modern day St. Franicis and Harrison Ford," he talks about what these five people are doing and why they have inspired him.
Talent 

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5 Ways We Are Already Acting Like a Region

We hear it more and more these days: we have to start acting like a region to better compete in this global economy. But John Denny argues in his latest thought piece that we already are acting like a region. He names five different regional initiatives that have achieved success or are showing promise. And then of course he has to ask: what's on your list?

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Jobs in Energy: Matt Pitzarella, Range Resources

One recent study estimates that the Marcellus Shale and the new natural gas renaissance in Pennsylvania could create 175,000 new jobs in the next 10 years alone. This development could last more than a century, says Matt Pitzarella of Range Resources.  It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we can all play a part, he asserts. The best thing? If we all work together, we can lead the world's new energy evolution from right here in Pittsburgh. The second of a series on energy jobs in Pittsburgh. 


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Photo Slide Show: Why We're Choosing Pittsburgh

Pop City teamed up with G.L.U.E. (Great Lakes Urban Exchange) for a recent event that starred young talent in Pittsburgh. The question was posed: Why stay in Pittsburgh? Or: what would it take to stay in Pittsburgh? See their responses in this enlightening and entertaining photo slide show.
Talent 

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Pop Star: Frank Toker

Why rewrite the definitive tome on Pittsburgh? Things have changed, says author Frank Toker. His new book reflects the idea that the city is dynamic. "It's freer, less constricted, much decentralized.  A thousand voices are rising -- that's all to the good."
Talent 

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Saving Lives One Global Link at a Time

What began as an idea among three friends has blossomed into a powerhouse non-profit that improves patient care for thousands of people worldwide. Now celebrating 20 years, Global Links is a story of necessity, efficiency and most of all, generosity.
Talent 

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Cool Digs: Pittsburgh Architecture Part Two

All across the city, young, visionary architects are helping to reshape the way Pittsburghers think about where and how we live. As one architect says, they're implementing new ideas, improving neighborhoods and proving that good design is sustainable. Not to mention creating very cool spaces for living.

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PPG Paints: The Color's the Thing

What better time to feature a story on paint colors than this colorful time of year? And who better to do it than our color-obsessed writer, Beth Evans, who focuses on the amazing things going on at PPG Paints. Not only can they predict color trends years out but now, through online surveys, they can also determine your color personality. Our writer was humbled at their accuracy.
Talent 

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Pop Star: Esther Barazzone

Can the education of women contribute to the economic development of Pittsburgh? Esther Barazzone, president of the 140-year old Chatham University, says it can. To make it happen, she is promoting diversity in leadership, adding graduate programs and campuses where women can achieve their potential. The newest, Eden Hall, is being remade into a laboratory for renewable resources--a New Economy place for 21st Century problems.

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The Magic of Mentoring

Their stories are many, and inspiring. Read about the people who are mentoring our kids and the new program to attract more mentors for sixth-graders throughout Pittsburgh. If you, too, want to make a difference, this is a great way to do it. 

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Where the Jobs Are: Westinghouse

In the midst of the recession, there is at least one nuclear-bright spot when it comes to hiring in the region and that's Westinghouse. In a profile on the corporate recruiter, Lisa King-Washington dishes about what it's like to work for Westinghouse and how they're now hiring thousands of people in many different kinds of jobs.

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PodCamp Pittsburgh 2009: Wrap up

The fourth annual PodCamp unconference was sold out and drew thousands to its live video stream. For those attending, it was "a social media high."  If you missed it, no worries. Our Pop City Buzz editor fills you in through this report.
Talent 

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Bill Shannon: Skateboard Phenom, Artist and More

An "urban artist" who is also a philosopher and a farmer (his family owns Mildred's Farms), Bill Shannon moved back to the 'burgh and launched a blog on local culture and the best places to downhill on a skateboard-- and crutches. You have to see it to believe it.
Talent 

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Why I Moved to Pittsburgh: West End

When Wendy Downs and Jeremy Boyle decided to relocate their business and their family, they looked for three things in a new city: opportunity, creativity, and a sense of belonging. No surprise they landed in Pittsburgh from Western Massachusetts. Then they narrowed their choice down to the newly renamed West End Village and found they loved it.

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Pop Video: Hot House '09

Anyone needing proof of young talent in Pittsburgh should attend Hot House, the annual fundraiser of the Sprout Fund which draws thousands of party-goers, mostly young, each year. This year the mega-event was at Bakery Square and it was s smash, as always.

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Pop Star: Rand Director Susan Everingham

As the new director of the Pittsburgh office of the Rand Corporation, now 180 strong and growing, Susan Everingham is pleased with its location and the work they're doing here. A transplant from Southern California, she's also pleasantly surprised by what she found here. Now with the upcoming G-20 summit, she hopes the rest of the world discovers it, too.

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Pop Video: Netroots Nation

Last week bloggers from all over the country converged in Pittsburgh for the annual conference of Netroots Nation. Bill Clinton was there, along with Howard Dean and Valerie Jarrett--and Ben Hernstrom, who captured the moment in this video. 

How to Live Like a Millionaire: Live Here

How affordable is Pittsburgh? Ask anyone who has moved here from New York, San Francisco, Chicago or other big cities. Quality of life is key.

Carnegie Mellon Start-Up In the Pink

Think Pink. This newly born Carnegie Mellon start-up is about design for human interaction, whether it's dealing with doctors in Africa to stay connected with each other via cell phone, or closer to home with Glaxo Smith Kline and making the flu shot part of a bigger health picture for customers.

The Light Bright Future of Plextronics

What if you had a reusable fold-up mat from which you could read anything, from newspapers to magazines to maps? Cool, huh? The world's first solar print technology is close at hand and Plextronic's launch of a $6 million manufacturing facility will help to make it happen. All kinds of applications are possible.


Pop Video: The Enterprise Forum

Could you tell the story of your business idea in 60 seconds or less? It's not as easy as you think -- but it makes for a captivating event as captured in this video of the recent Enterprise Forum event on elevator pitches.

Changemaker: Audrey Russo

As President and CEO of the high-powered Pittsburgh Technology Council, Audrey Russo is focusing on attracting people to our region. While Pittsburgh sells itself, she is targeting four specific strategies to bring in more talent while making significant changes in our city.

Young Entrepreneurs: Choosing Pittsburgh

Thinking like entrepreneurs led three Carnegie Mellon grads to launch two successful companies, both in Pittsburgh. With college students on every corner, affordable office space and a chance to buy a house in your 20s, they had many reasons to stay.

Changemakers: Bill Strickland

With a new book, and new initiatives here and abroad, Pittsburgh Changemaker Bill Strickland has influenced the lives of thousands, including the writer of this article who has been his buddy for decades. Get new insight on one of Pittsburgh's most admired citizens.

Devra Davis and Her War on Cancer

With her new book garnering national attention, epidemiologist and ecological warrior Devra Davis sounds the alarm about the carcinogens all around us – and what we can do to combat them.

Pop Star: Jane Werner

She was the force behind the wildly successful design of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum and now Jane Werner is working her magic on the rest of the North Side. Expect great things.

The Courting of Google

Google could have gone anywhere in the world to open their fifth satellite office. So why Pittsburgh? How a small group from Carnegie Mellon got Google's attention -- and what it means to Pittsburgh now that they're here.  
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