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Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen.
Downtown Reflections. Photograph by Brian Cohen. | Show Photo

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Visual feast awaits in Pittsburgh, says Post Bulletin

PostBulletin.com features two Pittsburgh artists who have become a part of their neighborhood by transforming their turf into works of art. "Like other urban areas, Pittsburgh artists moved into dicey pockets of the city seeking larger spaces for their studios. In doing so, they became modern pioneers, transforming the districts into more livable and attractive areas. Unlike a lot of other cities, in Pittsburgh, the artists stay and become part of what they have created. Such artists include James Simon, a sculptor and a mover and shaker behind the 'Art on Gist Street Project.'" Featured also is Randy of Randyland located in the Northside.

To read more about Gist Street and Randyland, click here.

Culinary ventures with Sherrie Flick

The fabulous Pittsburgh writer Sherrie Flick was recently interviewed by Ploughshares, an online literary magazine, about her many roles as a professional food writer.

"Sherrie’s flash fiction often incorporates food as a driving metaphor too, and her novel, Reconsidering Happiness, primarily takes place in a bakery. But in recent years, Sherrie’s culinary ventures have moved out of the kitchen and off the page—she teaches food writing at Chatham University, and she is a food columnist, an urban gardener, and the series editor for At Table, an evolving book list at University of Nebraska Press that seeks to 'expand and enrich the ever-changing discussion of food politics, nutrition, the cultural and sociological significance of eating, sustainability, agriculture, and the business of food.'"

To read Sherrie's interview, click here.

The write stuff: making a success of Note Bene

The now successful Nota Bene in Aspinwall didn't start out as a $500,000 a year business. Like most businesses, it had its share of roadbumps on the way. But buoyed by the response from friends, Diamond rented a booth at the 2007 Stationery Show in New York, which landed her several small orders. Then she thought she got her big break: 5,000 cards for a prestigious New York shop. Only that $12,500 order was canceled before she got paid -- and she was left holding the cards. "I knew I could sell them, but it wasn't going to happen out of my garage."

To read about Nota Bene's success story featured in CNN Money, click here.

10 British things about Pittsburgh

'Ello, guv'na! Pittsburgh was recently featured on BBCAmerica.com in an article citing its more English attractions. The list includes Piper's Pub, an authentic British pub right on East Carson street, and the non-profit group Shakespeare in the Parks, which does exactly what the name suggests.

To read more about Pittsburghs insulated British Invasion, click here. Cheerio!

How Randyland revived a street and more

The happy-go-lucky renaissance man and proprietor of Randyland is featured in RoadsideAmerica.com.

"Lack of forethought has never bothered Randy, who told us repeatedly that he knows nothing about painting, art, or gardening. He has nonetheless used all three to transform the formerly derelict street corner into a showcase of outsider art, although he insists that it's merely proof that anyone can do anything if they just give it a try."

To read more about Randyland and how it helped revive a community, click here.

Pittsburgh's Grindhouse Wetware represents the brave new world of biohacking

Al Jazeera America reports on six science enthusiasts in Pittsburgh who are determined to create the first real-life RoboCop.

In the basement of a suburban two-story house on a quiet road just outside Pittsburgh, six mostly self-taught scientists tinker with an assortment of computer parts and electric equipment. They plan one day on becoming cyborgs — a future that may be closer than you think.They are Grindhouse Wetware — three men and three women — and they describe themselves as a "ragtag group of programmers, engineers and enthusiasts" who build cybernetic devices. They find inspiration in both current technology and science fiction.

"I don't want to go to space in a spaceship. I want to be a spaceship," said Tim Cannon, Grindhouse's 34-year-old co-founder whose basement serves as the group's headquarters and scientific lab.

Today, at an international body-modification conference in Essen, Germany, Grindhouse will make history as the first in the DIY-science community — i.e., not affiliated with any academic institution or corporation — to develop and implant an interactive electronic device in a human being. The implantable biosensor is called Circadia and is slightly smaller than a credit card but thicker than the average paperback.

To read more about Grindhouse, click here.

Steelers bars are sweeping the nation

Even when the Steelers are struggling, Pittsburgh pride nationwide remains strong.

"The Pour House is one of more than 700 Steelers bars from Anchorage, Alaska, to Key West, Florida. That’s according to the website steelerbars.com, a comprehensive listing of Steelers bars all over the world. Over the years, I’ve been to Steelers bars in Syracuse, San Francisco, New York City, Vermont, and here in Washington, D.C. 

“You can take the person out of Pittsburgh, but you can’t take the Pittsburgh out of person,” said Neena Rawls. She’s president of the DC Steeler Nation. She grew up in Pittsburgh and moved to the DC area 10 years ago."

To read more about Steelers bars and their passionate patrons, click here.

Environmental group seeks strength in diversity

Pittsburgh was featured in The New York Times for hosting the Power Shift conference, the first time it has been held outside of D.C. "The four-day Power Shift conference beginning Friday takes on some traditional issues in a new way. Organizers are fighting coal mining, fracking for oil and gas, and climate change, but doing it through sessions such as "Racism and the Climate Movement," ''Sex and Sustainability," ''Young Leaders from Puerto Rico's Frontlines," and "Lessons from Transgender Activism."


To read more about how Power Shift is taking on environmental issues with a social-justice edge, click here.

Voices Carry: Hear Me project allows students to be creators, not just consumers

Slate.com recently featured the innovative and powerful Hear Me project,  meant to empower children and make their opinions heard.

"Hear Me has all the ingredients of a feel-good activity for our time: using digital recorders to capture moments and rebroadcast them; linking technology to physical, face-to-face spaces; and giving students a chance to use new tools for self-expression. In education technology debates, excitement always builds when people talk about the power of technology to enable students to see themselves as creators (not just consumers) by posting their projects on sites like YouTube."

To read more about Hear Me and it's website, click here.

The 10 best cities for movie lovers ranks Pittsburgh at number five

Pittsburgh placed number 5 in a top 10 list for movie lovers by Movoto Real Estate's blog. "Each city was ranked from 1 to 100 based on these criteria, with 1 being the best and 100 being the worst for our movie lovers. The results were then totaled, averaged, ranked, weighed (more weight was given to number of specialty theaters, for example), then stuck in a super-secret envelope, delivered to Movoto headquarters by a guarded car, and read aloud from behind a podium to an office with bated breath."

To see who else placed on the list and why Pittsburgh was 5th, click here.

Niche expands work of CollegeProwler with the power of user-generated reviews

Carnegie Mellon graduate Luke Skurman is retooling his website to cater to a wider audience, and it's showing a lot of promise.

"College Prowler founder and CEO Luke Skurman says he thinks the Internet needs more user-generated reviews, which is why he's expanding his 11-year-old user-curated online college guidebook and rebranding it as Niche, a site that allows students and families to grade high schools and will eventually give them the ability to evaluate grade schools, cities, and neighborhoods. 'The 2.4 million people go to college [straight out of high school]. That's a great market size," Skurman says, "but what can we do that's bigger than helping students choose a college?'"

To read more about Niche, click here.

10 up and coming international destinations features Pittsburgh

"No longer the smoky city made famous by the coal and steel industries, Pittsburgh is enjoying a modern day renaissance. A juxtaposition of historic and modern architecture, the city has made a conscious effort to invest in the arts, culture and environment. Nine theaters, surrounded by galleries and trendy restaurants reside neatly in a 14-block radius, and public art has pushed through the downtown core into the neighborhoods. The city of bridges has also reclaimed its river-fronts, boasting three healthy rivers and 24 miles of trails. Now if they would only stop putting fries on their salad."

To see the list of 10 up and coming destinations, click here.

17 awesome things about the Pittsburgh Pirates

Not like we need to tell you, but "the Pittsburgh Pirates advanced to the NLDS on Tuesday with their 6-2 win over the Reds at PNC Park. If you haven’t been following baseball this season, feel free to read that sentence a few more times to let it sink in. The Pirates won 94 games in 2013 en route to a Wild Card berth in their first winning season since 1992." And now, they've received one of baseball's highest honors--a "17 Awesome Things About" list in USA Today.

To read the best things ever about the 2013 Pirates, click here.

Weird rooms in Pittsburgh

Installation art has a way of getting to you. It takes a very familiar idea--a room--and turns it into something more."Putting elaborate theories aside, 'installation art' is the art of weird rooms. And, as a general rule, the more specific the room the more effectively weird and wonderful the installation. My two favorite things in the 2013 Carnegie International, which opened this weekend, were installations sited within the specific idiosyncrasies of the Carnegie Museum of Art."

To read more about the Carnegie International's collection of weird rooms and more weird rooms in Pittsburgh, click here.

Pittsburgh offers more to do than one weekend can handle

David and Nick are two high schoolers from Manhattan who've only heard about Pittsburgh through movies and TV. But they made it here. And they did not expect what they saw. "Yes, Pittsburgh. We went -- David and Nick, two teenagers with learner's permits, and their weary parents, Dan and Louise -- largely because the place is on the way to Chicago, our driving destination. But we stayed long enough to discover what a cool and affordable town it is. About six hours from Long Island by car, it offers every urban feature you can think of, except snobbery."

To read more about two Long Island teens' trip to the 'Burgh, click here.
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