Sunday, May 30, 2010

End Of May...the Traditional Pittsburgh Moving Weekend...Free Stuff to Be Had...No Dumpster Diving Required

It's the end of May....the traditional time for leases to end and for new ones to begin. And, if you need something...who knows, you might just find it on the street today or tomorrow, as people leave items behind. Ladybug boots anyone? (You can't tell from my pic...but that's what they are). I have found a lot of great stuff at this time of year....some of the highs include an amazing 1950's lamp that appears to be a prototype for a new design, 1950's end tables...and last but not least a terrific black and white lithograph of a man sleeping. O.K., those are unusual finds...but random chairs, microwaves,lamps etc.......those are always around.
The woman above was particulary thoughtful in setting up her own display, and not just clustering things around the apartment building garbage bin!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vanessa German CP Article and Post Gazette Video

If you know Vanessa German's work...don't miss these links. If you don't know her work....don't miss these links.

As I was reading the CP article....the thought..."hmmmm maybe a genius?" crossed my mind a couple of times. At least.

Pittsburgh CP Cover Story 5/19/2010

Pittsburgh Post Gazette" In the Frame" video

Saturday, May 22, 2010

DIVERSE Food Options in the East Liberty Corridor

For a small area of a small city, the East Liberty Corridor offers a startlingly diverse number of eating opportunities.

Starting in the block where the Arists and Craftmens Store USED to be......

Paris 66 Bistro 6018 Centre Ave.
As I understand it , this is a good basic crepe/French restaurant. Nothing groundbreaking. Which sounds wonderful to me. And the chef (Cesar Dubs) looks so happy flipping the crepes in the window that the food has to be good. There is also outdoor seating in the back.

Pizza Sola 6004 Penn Circle South/Centre Ave. (several doors down from Paris 66)
Yes, just one step above a standard Pizza joint, but very good pizza and the hours are GREAT!
Oddly, I couldn't find the hours on the web....anywhere...but I called and closing times are:
Friday and Saturday: 3 a.m.
Sunday and Monday: Midnight
Wed-Thurs.: 1 a.m.

Cross the street for: Plum Pan-Asian Kitchen 5996 Penn Circle South
It is certainly beautiful. And it has the distinction of being the only restaurant in Pittsburgh significantly damaged by a hit and run accident. (All repaired now).

Across the street...opening soon .......formerly the Red Room soon to be the site of two new restaurants (same owner)
"Spoon, an upscale casual restaurant featuring modern American cuisine. The team plans to open Spoon in July. In the fall, they plan to open BRGR, a gourmet burger restaurant, in the former 2Red, which served as a companion to the Red Room before both restaurants closed in late January.
“We were pretty much ready to close on the Cafe Allegro location, and this opportunity came up in the east side,” Stern said. “We just decided that we felt the Red Room location was a better fit for our chef’s style of cooking.”

O.K. Look up...near Borders......
Dinette (also listed at 5996 Penn Circle South).
The chef as noted in the blog some weeks ago, was a James Beard Award semi-finalist!

Back past the Red Room site, around the corner and down to
ABAY Ethiopian Cuisine 130 South Highland Ave.
A very popular restuarant since 2004. And a bit of trivia from Urban Spoon;"If anyone takes issue with the $2.50 corkage fee, according to their facebook page, Abay donates this fee to Doctors Without Borders!"

Global Food Market 132 South Highland Ave.
This place has a very NYC convenience store and market for expatriates look.....could be in Queens or Brooklyn. I am curious to check this place out...I've just never gone in. I may avoid the frozen section though......from City Paper (CP)"And if you need a frozen goat's head, he's your man."

The Waffle Shop 124 South Highland Ave.
An art project that is a resaurant. Yes, there is a bit of everything in this small crosssection of East Liberty. Run by CMU's Department of Fine Arts. To quote Melissa Meinzer of City Paper (CP
)"When it comes to art appreciation, "People being drunk goes a long way," allows Jon Rubin, an assistant professor of art at Carnegie Mellon University.
Or so it seemed late one Saturday night (or early Sunday morning, but who's counting?) at a former tuxedo shop at the corner of Baum and Highland avenues, in East Liberty. Here, in an emerging cultural nexus formed by the Shadow Lounge and a spate of trendy new restaurants, students from Rubin's Contextual Practice course hosted a combination art happening, waffle house and reality-TV show."

Kubideh Kitchen (corner of Highland and Baum)
A very new addition. Also a project of CMU and the Fine Arts Department, the first of a series of "Conflict Kitchens". From the CMU 2010 Press Blog
"Artists Open "Conflict Kitchen" To Stimulate Dialogue About Countries in Conflict with the U.S.Carnegie Mellon University School of Art Professor Jon Rubin, adjunct assistant professor of art John Peña (A'08) and Dawn Weleski (A'09) are opening an Iranian takeout restaurant in the East Liberty neighborhood of Pittsburgh on Saturday May 7 as part of a yearlong art project called "Conflict Kitchen." The kitchen only serves cuisine from countries that the United States is in conflict with to raise awareness of the issues between the countries and to gain a better understanding of the highlighted countries social and culture life.
"Kubideh Kitchen," the Iranian take-out restaurant, will be the first iteration of Conflict Kitchen. Brett Yasko, an adjunct professor in the School of Design, created the graphic design work and Pablo Garcia, the Lucian and Rita Caste Chair in Architecture and assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon, created the architectural design of the storefront (pictured at right). Illah Nourbakhsh, assistant professor in the Robotics Institute and a member of the Pittsburgh-Iranian community, advised the project."
And last not least continue next door to the Shadow Lounge for coffee and music and Urban Poetry. If not for this linchpin....would all of these riches have appreared?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rebuilding the Cities That Built America Conference Was Great

OK, I gotta call a spade on this one. Substantive, in depth, pretty uplifting and crowded with people and ideas.

I swear this time I will really get back with at least one or two in depth posts about it. One negative was that I failed to network more, in that there just wasn't enough time. Don't worry not all my thoughts are positive and my fear that this was nothing more than a shallow lobbying effort was partially, true. But, believe me it was much more. If you live in Pittsburgh, you know about a lot of the great small scale efforts made by thousands of people and dozens of small organizations. It's great to see that similar and sometimes even more uplifting and spectacular things are happening in places like Youngstown.

We broke down into working groups, one of which detailed efforts by University's in Cleveland, Youngstown and Pittsburgh to create and leverage new relationships with their communities. Several bummers. No mayor of Youngstown--a pretty busy guy these days and almost no chance at all to see the city, even though the event was just at the edge of downtown.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

John Metzler Memorial Tree Dedication 5/23/2010

This information is from The Pittsburgh Arts Blog:

tree-dedication memorial :: sunday, may 23, 2010 – 12p.m.Allegheny Commons
Park, West Park, North Side, PittsburghCorner of Brighton Road & West North
Avenue (near the lake)

pot-luck luncheon following :: at the new hazlett
theaterAllegheny Square East, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212412.320.4610 – guests are encouraged to bring a dish to share,
beverages will be provided.

There are also some great pictures of John and of his work on the Pittsburgh Arts Blog:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grand Rapids: ArtPrize 2010 Artist Deadline Now June 17th

For every reason so many hated last years "crass", "commercial", open ended American Idol of art, I loved it. Partly, because it showed an openness to outsiders so rare in the former "Rust Belt".

Warning! Don't enter unless you want feedback not just from curators and the approved arts community; but the great unwashed general public.

$449,000 prize ($250,000 to 1st place)

Top 10 entries receive a prize

Artists can submit one entry

Property in downtown Grand Rapids can be a venue
Venues choose the artists they exhibit
Anyone attending the event can vote
Winner is determined by public vote

They gots the cash we know you want. About ArtPrize

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – May 18, 2010 – While more than 1,000 artists have already begun their registration process to enroll in ArtPrize 2010, several of the more than 220 venues have reported that increased competition for artists has already begun for the 2010 event, and asked ArtPrize organizers to extend the artist registration deadline. ArtPrize officially announced that the artist registration date will be extended from May 27 to the new deadline of June 17, 2010. The matching period between the artist and venue will remain the same as published between June 1 and July 1, 2010.

“There is a huge demand for art this year,” said Bill Holsinger-Robinson, ArtPrize, Executive Director. “We’ve heard that many artists have informal agreements with venues already in place.” ArtPrize has gone from 159 to more than 220 venues. Many of the venues from 2009 have plans to increase the artists they’ll show.

“We showed maybe six or seven artists last year,” says Linda Lafontsee of Lafontsee Galleries, “We plan to fill the gallery with up to 40 artists this year.”

In addition, ArtPrize is seeing a number of curators who have been engaged by venues, such as the Blue Bridge and the Monroe Promenade. These curators bring their own network of artists that they would like more time communicating with.

The new deadline for artist registration is June 17, 2010

Artists have three weeks left to register

The matching period will still begin on June 1

The matching period will still end Thursday, July 1

Between June 17 (end of registration) and July 1 (end of matching) is two weeks for artists and venues to wrap up their agreements and secure each other on

Details Here

Sunday, May 16, 2010

JOHN F. METZLER Founder of Urban Tree Forge Dies at age 46

John Metzler, Founder of Urban Tree Forge died at age 46 on May 13th, 2010. John was an extremely active member of the Pittsburgh art community, both as a creator of imaginative powerful works made from reclaimed wood, and a supporter of the arts who attended countless events, often with his longtime partner, Pittsburgh artist Randie Snow. John was killed in a shocking accident in which a uhaul trailer on a road nearby came unhinged, striking him while he was outside of his studio working on a piece.

John was doing a lot of interesting and important work. The Post-Gazette had just done a profile on John in their May 2nd, 2010 issue: Every city would certainly benefit from having an Urban Tree Forge, and hopefully the work at The Forge will be able to continue.

Sadly, his news obituary can be read here:

John Morris and I really admired his beautiful pieces, his contribution to making Pittsburgh a livable city, and his passion for recycling wonderful old trees. And I am sure we have a lot of company.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Experimental Video : Experimental Popsicles Film Screening @ Fe Gallery Tonight

Sorry, lots of events again many of which are tilt toward the unusual.

Tonight FE Gallery in Lawrenceville will be showing experimental films in it's back courtyard From 8-9. While you watch, enjoy a strange popsicle.

The event is free but Fe is a non profit and a contribution to at least cover the cost of your Popsicle is appreciated.

Artists included in this screening:

Boru O'Brien O'Connell: Understanding Depersonalization Disorder (5min)

Jerstin Crosby: Little Clouds of Smoke (7 min 15 sec)

Megan Sullivan & Rob Allen:The Other Megan (10 min)

Ben Russell:Trypps #6 (12min)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cleveburgh Art Roundup Coming Up

I will finally get a May roundup of regional gallery, museum and other visual arts events up by the end of the day.

The blog's basic concept from the start was supposed to be a group blog with a wide diversity of views about the arts in first Pittsburgh and then the wider region. As it is now, I don't feel entirely guilty about not delivering all my promised reviews and content on schedule. Hopefully, in the near future things will get better. I've had a little positive input from Cleveland and some new contributors may be helping out soon, allowing me to do more in depth posts and follow ups.

If you have thoughts, events, insight or images you want to share about art, music, film, urban design, architecture, transit or history in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Youngstown, Erie, Morgantown, Akron, Canton region--Cleveburgh, email me We can hook you up to post.

This is not Hyper Local media, but regional media seeking local viewpoints.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Frank Lloyd Wright's Point Park Civic Center

I will be publishing a few old posts once in a while.

"One wild design of Frank Lloyd Wright, I think points out the limitations of even a creative genius . One of his most fantastic plans was for downtown Pittsburgh--It was called Point Park Center and here is a drawing.

"Development in Automobile-Scale of Point Park, Pittsburgh," called for a circular concrete and steel building of mammoth dimensions: one-fifth of a mile (300 m) in diameter and 175 feet (50 m) tall, the building would be capable of holding one-third of the city's population. The entire structure was wrapped by a spiraling roadway that Wright called the "Grand Auto Ramp," which accommodated traffic in both directions and would have been four and a half miles (7 km) long.[8] Even Wright's drawings for the project were enormous: Neil Levine describes them as "over eight feet [2.5 m] long by almost five feet [1.5 m] high."[9]

The decks of the Grand Auto Ramp were to be cantilevered from piers of reinforced concrete. The ramp enclosed the interior space, forming what Cleary describes as a vast atrium. Inside are individual structures supported by pylons, containing the main facilities of the building: the theaters, opera house, arena, and planetarium. Bridges and platforms connected the interior structures. The roof of the building was to offer a winter garden and gardens. The main structure was flanked by "Fast Ramps": ramps with a much narrower radius than the main ramp that allowed rapid movement from the higher levels of the Grand Auto Ramp to the bottom of the building.[10] The incorporation of the automobile into the building was a manifestation of Wright's expressed philosophy for the scheme: to provide "newly spacious means of entertainment for the citizen seated in his motor car Winter or Summer. A pleasurable use of that modern instrument is here designed instead of allowing it to remain the troublesome burden it has now become to the City."[11]

A projection from the central building toward the Point terminated in a 500 foot (150 m) tower, equipped for light shows. Multi-decked bridges over the Allegheny and Monongahela were attached to the central building. Pedestrians, cars, and trucks would cross on separate decks. Both bridges passed underneath the central structure, where traffic interchanges allowed travelers to head into the city, across either of the bridges, or up into the Civic Center itself. Open spaces on the site were occupied by parks, an outdoor concert area built to accommodate 15,000 people, and a zoo. "

The original concept ran against a lot of practical issues which Wright didn't feel a genius should have to address.

"Wright's presentation of this plan to the Allegheny Conference in the spring of 1947 was unsuccessful, primarily because of concerns about the plan's economic viability and architectural feasibility. In a meeting with conference officials at
Taliesin West, Wright seemed uninterested in how to handle traffic access to the bridges, and when asked how much the project would cost, answered that he did not care. When the officials returned to Pittsburgh to meet with Kaufmann they recommended against Wright's scheme; Kaufmann decided not to show the plans even to the rest of the committee.[14]"

The scheme was later adapted and there is drawing of this on the Wikipedia. it's great as a fantastical artwork, and also because some of the ideas in it appear in his later works like the Guggenheim in NY.

Wright proved to be, in spite of his genius, very much a product of his age in terms of his negative view of urban areas. Needless, to say he saw Pittsburgh as it was in 1947 as being a place with little worth saving. Thankfully for the city, It seems that nobody had the kind of cash on hand to attempt this lab experiment."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rebuilding the Cities That Built America : Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Cleveland Regional Conference : May 21st

Actually registration for this free event is now closed but at least I can say I gave you a heads up about it a week or two ago. I will be attending. They have done things like this before, usually in Youngstown, but this seems to be somehow bigger and more "serious".

■ Advancing an Older Industrial Cities National Policy Agenda
■ Land Acquisition Strategies
■ Regional Rail, Local Transit: A panel discussion on the benefits of transit for all
■ The University/City Connection
■ Strategies for Creating Greener, Sustainable Cities
■ Changing Times for CDCs
■ Making the Case, Taking it Home: What you can do to bring rail to the region
■ Community Organizing: Going Wide and Going Deep
■ Restoring Prosperity: Transforming Ohio’s communities for the next economy

A long list of speakers.

Co-ordination of regional arts assets not on the official agenda. Also, no mention of regional media either. (even though, small scale grass root things like The Sprout Fund and The Penn Avenue Arts Initiative and alternative media like POP City and Cool Cleveland have been so productive.)

Found a website for Rebuilding The Cities That Built America ,where they drop this bomb. I mean, straight up honesty like that is pretty rare. IMHO--Federal Government Policy and The Root Shock it caused is by far the single biggest factor in the destruction of America's cities, neigborhoods and entire civil society.

"As early as the 1940s, the Federal Government, led by agencies such as the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Transportation, established policies that spawned suburban flight. As people continued to flee older industrial cities, they left behind cities ill equipped to adequately deal with the plethora of abandoned and vacant property. Since then, cities have resorted to dealing with vacant properties as best as their miniscule resources allow as they do not have sufficient funding to implement policies that will lead to sustainable development and community regeneration. Residential streets plagued with large, unsightly gaps between houses stand as silent witnesses to the cities whose budgets do not permit them to rebuild after they demolish properties, while properties that cannot be demolished decay and often become safety threats that they city has no means of repairing. Such unavoidable neglect has resulted in declining property values for the entire city, which has made businesses hesitant to invest in the area, and eventually has led to rampant unemployment, crime, and poverty.

Until recently older industrial cities largely have been neglected by the very government that created the conditions that led to their dilapidated state. However, vacant property has now become a national issue that the Federal Government cannot afford to ignore any longer, and a new piece of legislation introduced by Congressmen Time Ryan (OH17) and Brian Higgins (NY27) and Senators Sherrod Brown (OH) and Charles Schumer (NY) gives these cities reason to hope for restoration. The legislation, entitled The Community Regeneration, Sustainability and Innovation Act of 2009 (CRSI), would provide distressed communities with the resources necessary to implement large scale changes that will approach the issue holistically, thus restoring these cities to their former thriving condition.

CRSI encourages cities to adopt a holistic regeneration model that is used by communities worldwide. It will strongly encourage multi-jurisdictional or regional approaches to transforming vacant and abandoned property. This approach supports policy innovation, experimentation, and environmentally sustainable practices through collaborative efforts to reuse vacant properties in ways that will provide long-term benefits to the public, whether it is through the creation of green infrastructure, economic development, or other strategies. Implementation of such strategies will help reverse the over thirty year trend of depopulation, skyrocketing unemployment rates, and urban sprawl."

Anyway, I gotta go and have some hope this is a good networking opportunity and a chance to see a little bit of Youngstown. Not every city and small town has is gonna have major Research University or a pipe of federal or state cash. Doing more with what you have is the real deal wave of the future and Youngstown is doing that.

Yinz Cleveburgh and Random Art Links (May 7-12)

Another dump of stuff on topics from culture to economic development in the Cleveburgh region in no particular order. A bit of sports cannot be avoided.


The Canton Museum Of Art celebrates it's 75th aniversary by starting a new tradition.

Worthy of a post. (Anyone in or near Canton, Ohio wanna contribute to the blog?)

The Canton Museum sounds pretty sweet--and is collaborating sometimes with The Butler, in Youngstown.


The University Of Akron's University Park Alliance, could be a model for town & gown relationships. (Don't know too much about this, but will follow up) The huge schools in the region often remind one of Ben shouting; "Do you know who I am?!! Yes, we know who you are, perhaps you should get to know your towns better and not assume they are of no value.


Penguins/ Canadians goes to game 7 in Pittsburgh! Two of the strongest fan bases and traditions in Hockey.

Cold Night and another "rebuilding season", empties PNC Park.

The Onion suggests "Fan Euthanasia Night".

"I haven't seen so many people so relaxed and generally happy to be at a Pirates game in a long time." An estimated 200,000 Pirates fans who were unable to get tickets to the game reportedly listened to its radio broadcast while idling their cars inside closed garages." That's what I'm doing--they ain't gettin my money. (Well, as a taxpayer, I guess they already have.)

Major CMU Pow Wow in DC. (D.C. is the other arm of our megaregion) I haven't watched this video yet.


Edinboro University and some corporations in Northwest, PA have a contest called Inovation Erie. (Sorry, Deadline passed---that's why we need more posters and better regional information flow)

"People are inventing the future everyday, and some of them are in northwest Pennsylvania. If you're one of them, there’s a chance to take an idea you have for a product and begin the process of making an idea reality.

InnovationErie: Design Competition offers an opportunity to compete for prizes which provide not only monetary rewards, but chances to advance ideas through the use of contest prizes including prototyping, business plan development, logo design, etc.

The contest is open to all individuals, 18 and over, who reside in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The contest begins by submitting an electronic application by midnight, May 10, 2010. Entries will be reviewed by competition judges who will select semi-finalists. Semi-finalists will exhibit works at the Erie Art Museum where they'll compete for prizes as well as Best of Show, an award selected by the public.

About InnovationErie

A collaborative effort among professionals in the science, art, manufacturing, engineering and design (SAM & ED) industries, InnovationErie: Design Competition is a product design competition allowing people to showcase their product ideas, with the possibility of taking them to the next level: the marketplace. The competition seeks ideas for products that can be manufactured in the Erie region."

A potentially, great idea here. Notice how many colleges are in or not far from Erie, and yet very little seems to gel. Why is that? What can be done or should be done about it? Why is it only open to residents of "Northwest PA" (and how do you define that)? Would it be that bad if someone from Akron, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Morgantown, State College, or even Philly won? Isn't it a goal to come up with a great design or product to create "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs"? Is it any wonder why this contest doesn't get wider attention?


Cool Cleveland has a detailed piece on The Cleveburgh Tech Belt--something that honestly already exists, but that most of us are not too aware of.

"Northeast Ohio and Southwest Pennsylvania together constitute one of the 20 megapolitans Lang and Nelson have identified. They call this region the “Steel Corridor,” a name that evokes its proud past but unfortunately does not point to a promising or particularly innovative and prosperous future. In 2007 Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-17) his counterpart in Pennsylvania, Congressman Jason Altmire (PA-04), tired of the continuing reference to the industrial past, coined the term “Tech Belt” and, in October 2007, convened the first “Tech Belt Summit,” inviting the region’s business and civic leaders to meet at Youngstown State University and begin to explore the shared future of this region.

The Tech Belt is, indeed, an impressively large region. Lang and Nelson note that our megapolitan region is home to 7.1 million people. It is larger than Ohio’s other megapolitan, the “Ohio Valley,” anchored by Columbus and Cincinnati (5.3 million) and is approximately the same scale as the “Carolina Piedmont,” anchored by Charlotte and Raleigh (7.0 million), the “Georgia Piedmont,” surrounding Atlanta (6.9 million), the “Florida Corridor,” linking Tampa and Orlando (7.8 million) and the “Greater Metroplex” of Dallas-Ft. Worth and Oklahoma City (7.9 million)."

Burgh Diaspora gives his thoughts on the Tech Belt and other regional initiatives.


Huge, important decisions about Cleveland's Downtown and the University Circle area and allegedly they want your input. (Sorry for not covering this well--- I don't live in Cleveland and wish someone there would contribute to this blog)

Today--Show up folks.

On Wed 5/12, WCPN’s Around Noon host Dee Perry will engage local college students in a panel discussion on ways to improve University Circle. Hear what young creatives have to say about the neighborhood and hear fresh ideas for improvement. 5PM @ Cleveland Museum of Art’s Gartner Aud.

University Circle is a temporary home for more than 10,000 university and college students. The evening’s discussion will focus on the students’ current experiences in University Circle and whether their plans involve remaining in the area following graduation. They’ll also discuss the changes they’d recommend to businesses and community leaders to make the landscape of the neighborhood and Northeast Ohio region more attractive to them and their friends as a place to plant permanent roots.

“The students who are drawn here for educational purposes represent a very creative population,” says Perry. “It’s also a population that doesn’t often get a chance to share their thoughts in an open forum. I hope the interaction will be an enriching experience for the Circle Neighbors audience and the panelists.”

Participants will include students representing Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Cleveland Institute of Art. The event is a presentation of Circle Neighbors, coordinated by The Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, The Women’s Committee of The Cleveland Orchestra, MOCA, and the Western Reserve Historical Society.

Those interested in attending the discussion should visit the Womens Council Web site and click the RSVP button on the home page or call 216-707-2527."

As one can see town/ gown relations are finally a big topic.

Hands around your ankles Clevelanders, here it comes again. Progressive Field, will be getting some kind of major facelift.

"Progressive Field, first known as Jacobs Field, was built in the early 1990s primarily from revenue from the County’s sin taxes, which raised some $266 million for the stadium and arena. It opened in 1994. The County had to add revenues to the project because of cost overruns. In addition to the “sin” taxes each year the County has had to pay some $10 million on bonds let by Cuyahoga County to cover additional costs. These payments have cost taxpayers more than $100 million thus far and they continue to be paid. The stadium alone cost $176 million to build. It now has a seat capacity of 45,199.

The team is worth, according to a Forbes magazine compilation of MLB teams worth, $391 million. Dolan paid Jacobs $323 million for the team in 2000. Forbes says gross revenues of the team last year were $170 million. The team is 21st of the 30 teams in gross revenues. Gate receipts were $37 million, according to this listing."

That's all for now.

If you have thoughts, events, insight or images you want to share about art, music, film, urban design, architecture, transit or history in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Youngstown, Erie, Morgantown, Akron, Canton region--Cleveburgh, email me We can hook you up to post.

This is not Hyper Local media, but regional media seeking local viewpoints.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Great New Blog : Ninety Hoods

No time to do an extensive post. Finally there are more blogs and sites out there giving one an idea of life in some of Pittsburgh's more obscure and offbeat neighborhoods. Now, honestly some of these exist mostly in the Yinzer's incredibly Balkanized brains along with no doubt many others. But, a city with this many hills and hollows is bound to have lots of places you don't know.

It took me a while to admit that my "fantastic" sense of direction came from living in a pretty simple grid city like NYC.

Take my word for it. It's not just a city it's an adventure.

Ninety Hoods.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

May 10th Monday, Persad Benefit Art Auction at Carnegie Museum, "Celebrate Life Celebrate Art"

Tomorrow is the benefit art auction for Persad "Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art" at the Carnegie Museum. In existence for 20 plus years, it is known as THE model for doing a benefit art auction. Tickets are still available. This is your chance to scoop up some really good srt work and eat some really good food. This is a really fun and worthwhile event. I donate work every year and I go every year.

For a preview of the art:

There is both a silent and a verbal auction.

Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art – Monday, May 10, 2010
Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes AvenuePittsburgh, PA 15213
6pm – 11 pm

Ohio Professional Writers Spring Meeting: May 22

Via Brewed Fresh Daily & Cool Cleveland

Spring Meeting
May 22, 2010
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
1613 E. Summit Street
Kent, Ohio

That's the WKSU broadcast building, I think.

Keynote Speaker: Tom Mulready of CoolCleveland.

View Larger Map

Ohio Professional Writers (OPW) is an organization of professional writers and communicators open to men and women. OPW is dedicated to excellence in communication and to protecting First Amendment freedoms.

OPW is a statewide network of corporate and freelance writers, editors, reporters, photographers, graphic designers, public relations, advertising practitioners and webmasters. Among our members are communication business owners, managers, production personnel, and radio personalities. Also eligible for membership are journalism teachers and college students in a communications-related field.

(Bloggers?--the line between "professional", and non "professional" journalists is blurring more and more. A critical subject I hope this blog can touch on more in the future--If we have more time and if we get more contributors.
Interestingly, the speaker, Tom Mulready is involved in non traditional media.

I think this is a member only event

Benefits and details

How To Join

If you have thoughts, events, insight or images you want to share about art, music, film, urban design, architecture, transit or history in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Youngstown, Erie, Morgantown, Akron, Canton region--Cleveburgh, email me We can hook you up to post.

This is not Hyper Local media, but regional media seeking local viewpoints.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Cleveburgh College List

I'm trying to show on the sidebar a somewhat complete list of the colleges in or very near the "Cleveburgh region" I mentally mapped earlier. It's far from complete, in that I won't list every small branch campus or community college, however vital they may be.

This rich regional asset base, few areas in the entire country can match puts lie to the image of us as a dumb poor area ill suited to the new high skill age. It also, raises the questions--why are we not getting more bang for the buck from these institutions and are they even socially relevant to the "average Joe"? If not, why not?

It's not a joke or something that can be avoided for any school that wants to survive and thrive or for the communities they are in and near.

Antioch College was a private, independent liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It was the founder and the flagship institution of the six-campus Antioch University system. Founded in 1852 by the Christian Connection, the college began operating in 1853 with the distinguished scholar Horace Mann as its first president. The college's educational approach blended practical work experience with classroom learning, and participatory community governance. Students received narrative evaluations instead of academic letter grades. The college's enrollment during the last academic year that it was open for classes (2007-08) was fewer than 200 students.

Not surprisingly, major Venture Capital Firms don't consider either Pittsburgh or Cleveland to be worthy of massive interest. But clear mental maps of the wider region could change that. Pull back a little further and there is The Washington megaplex and the emerging Toronto super region.

By, the way-- Sharon, Youngstown, Warren and Akron form the center of the map, right on or near I 80.

Eyes on the Street Equal Security

This post was prompted by the recent bombing attempt in NYC.......which really highlights the importance of the importance of eyes and ears on the street.

Having read (most of) Jane Jacob's famous book, The Life and Death of Great American Cities" fairly recently, I was struck by the role of the street vendors in preventing the Times Square bombing. Jane Jacobs emphasized the role of eyes and ears on the street in making a neighborhood safe. And gave a ton of examples.For one, deserted, overly quiet streets are dangerous. This is yet another one.

And video survellience can't replace the level of involvement a street vendor may have "we know the cops here by first name, we have their cell numbers." The vendors also have a handle on what looks normal and what doesn't.

Article is here it was titled "Street Vendors' Keen Eyes Alert Police to Threat in the print edition of the NY Times May 3rd’%20keen&st=cse

Not only was a bombing prevented, but the suspect was aprehended.....largely, as I understand it, because the intact van left a lot of evidence for law enforcement officers.

The issue of cutting back permits for street vendors is a hot topic and a continual one in NYC. One frequent argument is that they "clutter" the street. Personally, I think they add to the vibrancy of a city.

As far as our eyes and ears here in Pittsburgh...we don't have many street vendors (yet). But we do have retired people. Seriously.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Foundation makes $2 Million Challenge Grant To Point Park University.

Richard King Mellon Foundation makes $2 Million Challenge Grant To Point Park University. What that means is that they must raise $2 million to match the grant.

They must raise 2 Million Dollars to match the grant!

I know this seems like small change in the context of the mega Pitt/ CMU context but it's the big, big deal for Point Park---One of my favorite Pittsburgh Colleges and one with such an obvious synergistic relationship with Downtown's cultural district.

If the $2 million match is triggered, it, combined with the $2 million foundation grant in hand, would constitute the largest gift by an individual or foundation in Point Park's history. The money will help the university of nearly 4,000 students establish its center in the former YMCA building at 330 Blvd. of the Allies, Downtown.

"The Student and Convocation Center will become the hub of our campus and student activities," Point Park President Paul Hennigan said in a statement. "The support of the Richard King Mellon Foundation is critical to our success in providing academic and recreational spaces for our students and an amenity for the Downtown community."

I wrote this a few years ago about Point Park and it's more true today.

Pittsburgh is the home of a solid number of very important colleges. But if someone asked me which one is the most important to the life and future of the city- I would say Point Park. This is because it one of the few schools here that seems intent on embracing it's location and integrating itself into the fabric of the city. (CMU may be on board with that now)

New York is a city with dozens of colleges which play a huge role in it's life. There is Columbia, NYU, Fordam, Pratt Institute, Saint Johns and the huge City University system. There are also tons of smaller schools scattered throughout the city. Parsons, SVA, FIT, Cooper Union, Hunter College, The New School, Juilliard, Baruch College and John Jay are a few. Not surprisingly a lot of these schools have strong specialties in the major "industries of NY" - art, film, media, fashion, theater, music, law, business , design and food. One is sometimes struck, by the rather unassuming nature of some the schools. Few have stadiums, elaborate sports facilities, fancy campuses or massive buildings. Many of the most respected are pretty low key and functional. But looks can be deceiving in that few of these schools beg for applicants and degrees from a lot of them are highly valued. A few like SVA, started small but have grown into sizable institutions. A lot of them do a booming and I think lucrative business in continuing education. So what makes these schools so popular and successful.

What are they selling if it ain't fancy campuses, winning teams and hot cheerleaders? What these schools got is NY and they have learned to work it. Courses taught by major executives, takeover artist's, art dealers, former mayors, film or television producers and the like are the norm. Internships with major law firms or media companies are integrated into the deal. This is easy because many of these people live and or work blocks away. These schools have a symbiotic relationship with the city. Their street level harmony with NY feeds the city and the city in turn feeds the schools.

Few Pittsburgh schools seem to have or want much of a relationship with the city. But Point Park does and is expanding in away that should benefit the school and enhance the life of Pittsburgh. I also like it's marketing spin which proudly positions itself as an urban school in a great city. I also want to give a shout out to to other schools in the downtown which play a very positive role in the city and have a strong pro-urban history. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is the flagship of a huge for profit education empire and the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute has held on doggedly to a downtown that most ignore. I think that anyone looking for answers to why Pittsburgh has failed to develop a self supporting organic art scene and retain large numbers of it's out of town students should look at the design of the city's colleges.

Recent trends indicate a dramatic shift in CMU's attitude towards the city. It's not acting like it's just too cool and important to be here anymore--something I don't think it's students ever felt.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Russian Film Symposium & Silk Screen Film Festival

Pittsburgh gets some amazing film festivals, and they're not always that well publicized. Since I moved to Pittsburgh, I've seen fantastic films at festivals dedicated to Czech Republic directors, Jewish-Israeli directors, GLBT topics, Chinese directors, Global themes, and local filmmakers. This doesn't even count the many film series and festivals I've missed, such as the Amigos del Cine Latinoamericano, Romanian Cinema on the Edge, the Cine-stan Festival for Turkmen and Kazakh films, the Polish Film Series, the Indian Film Festival, the Italian Film Festival, the Syrian Film Series, the German Avant-Garde Film Series, and many more.

Last night was the kickoff of the public segment of the 12th annual Russian Film Symposium, with the screening (at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Melwood) of a powerful mother-daughter film, "Wolfy." The next three nights continues the Russian Film screenings (all films from 2009), also at Pittsburgh Filmmakers on Melwood (North Oakland). Tonight's film, "Oxygen" (a "rap parable") comes highly recommended.

As Merge Divide has mentioned, starting Friday is the Silk Screen Festival of Asian films (screening at all three theaters connected with Pittsburgh Filmmakers--Harris, Melwood, Regent's Square). This festival is aiming to put Pittsburgh on the map by being the best of its kind.

In one of my Pittsburgh fantasies, I put the Melwood screening facility more obviously on the map by getting a Sprout grant to paint a red carpet on the sidewalks all the way down Melwood Avenue, from two or three blocks away, leading right to the door of the theater. I love this theater and photgraphy/film facility, but I wish it was a little easier for newcomers or visitors to find, and that it wasn't so dangerous to cross Baum Boulevard as a pedestrian.

Pittsburgh Art Events: 5/7-8/10.


Regular readers of my round-ups will note the striking absence of performance from my listings. That's not indicative of any lack of respect for the stage arts, but rather due to my focus on the static and visual. Anyway, I wanted to note the "Vaudeville Circus" that the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is having to benefit the Delta Foundation. There well be music and dance, and (of course) circus performances. It starts at 7PM and costs $10.

If film is your preference, you might want to check out the Silk Screen Asian-American Film Festival down at the William Penn Hotel (530 William Penn Place). Apparently you will be treated to food and "magical performances by some of the region's finest Asian artists". There's a nice-looking website here providing details.

Former co-owner of La Vie Gallery Thommy Conroy is having yet another solo show at the Mendelson Gallery (5874 Ellsworth Avenue) in Shadyside (6-8PM). The artist has strayed from the historical material of Lincoln and Booth and turned toward "New romance". Knowing Thommy, I'm sure the work will be both heartening and charming.

And by now you've realized that this is the first Friday of May, and that means the return of Unblurred on Penn Avenue. Last month saw tons of people out on the street with a carnival-like atmosphere. Graduating seniors from Cal U. mark what might be the very last show at Fast Forward Gallery (3700 Penn Ave). Meanwhile Masha Vereshchenko has been dreaming about sharks, and you can see the paintings resulting from such night-time visions at Modern Formations (4919 Penn Ave.). As always,there's tons of stuff happening during this event. Just make sure you get there early enough (around 7PM if possible) to take full advantage.

Apparently there's a new gallery in Bloomfield called The Shop (4312 Main St.). I got notice via Facebook of its opening (7-11PM) for a group show including Michael Mangiafico, Gwendolyn Korvick, Heather Joy Puskarich, and Ed Pinto. I'm pretty sure that longtime local curator Laurie Mancuso has something to do with this venue, so I'll plan to work in a visit during the night's wanderings.


There's a benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) at the Irma Freeman Center For Imagination starting at 8PM. There will be art plus food, desserts, wine, beer and live music featuring Billy The Kid & The Regulators. It's a good cause and a nice gallery, so if you haven't been there before, make it a point to stop by (and bring $20 for a donation).

If you still have money after the many temptations to spend it this weekend, $10 will get you into the latest installment of the Gestures series at the Mattress Factory (500 Sampsonia Way). This one's guest curated by Katherine Talcott and includes Danny Bracken, Dee Briggs, Matthew Conboy & Heather Pinson, Ryder Henry, Mary Mazziotti, Connie Merriman, Ben Schachter, Paul Schifino, Tugboat Printshop: Paul Roden & Valerie Lueth, Robert Villamagna and Larkin Werner. It runs from 7-9PM.

And finally, former public school art teacher and long-time sculptor James Rettinger will be unveiling his latest series of foreboding assemblage at the Panza Gallery (115 Sedgwick Street in Millvale) from 6-9PM. Check it out!

My Cleveburgh Mental Map Part 1

I never learned any even simple graphics programs, but I thought it might be good to put up a mental map of the region to more clearly define my primary area of interest.

Greater Cleveburgh

Northwest Corner --- Lorain, Ohio (or actually the middle of Lake Erie north of there-if your trying to keep things lined up)

Southwest Corner ---- Athens, Ohio (Home of Ohio University)

Southeast Corner -----Just southeast of Cumberland, Maryland

Northeast Corner -----Around Olean, New York

Why not it stretch a bit east and include Columbus or take it up to include Buffalo or Southeast to Baltimore and DC? Mostly, because one has to stop somewhere and this seems like a very logical place to start.

Why isn't State College included? A better question might be, why is Penn State really in the middle of nowhere at all and what effect does that have on it's value?
Is it really that crude and cras to talk about our return on investments this huge?

By the way, the People who built the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad seemed to have been thinking along these lines. Notice also the dense network of roads and cities in the center of this map--Warren, Youngstown, Akron that were built on a very clear logistical logic. Westinghouse, Cranberry, right near the middle of the map.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

More Yinz Links From Cleveburgh And Beyond

Totally insane amount of press and buzz about the Burgh, Youngstown and the wider region. A taste. Looking to jagoff to a sweet Pittsburgh buzz- look at Pop City which compiles almost every positive story and mention of the city worldwide. I try to be a bit more um fair and balanced.


Pop City, (Which is actually officially totally awesome now) has a great Q&A with Don Marinelli, Entertainment Technology Center.

"I love Pittsburgh, so long as I can continue traveling the world. I know I want to be buried or have my ashes spread in the Burgh. This is home. I feel one with the Burgh, despite--or perhaps because of-- a ridiculous city government."

He said it--I just made it bold.

Pop City: Impressions of Gay Life in Pittsburgh from a newcomer from San Francisco.

Pop City: Loving life without a car in Pittsburgh.

"One of the things about Pittsburgh," offers Anne-Marie Lubenau, Community Design Center executive director, "is that it's much more European in character. You walk a few blocks, get coffee and a newspaper. Walk a few more blocks and do a little shopping. Walk a few more blocks and be in a great park."

What she really means is it was more "European", convenient and walkable before one bombed the place to drop in masses of highways, garages and surface parking lots.

See my tips on how to destroy a city.

POP City :Rethinking The Allegheny Waterfront.

Ding Dong, The wicked witch of the Mon Fayette Expressway may be finally dead, leaving Tube City to wonder and weep about all the lost time. Also, a must read.

"All of these ideas seem in retrospect somewhat obvious, and you might rightly ask why no one has proposed these kinds of things before.

In fact, many of these ideas have been suggested. But no one was listening."

That's right--I think many of these more realistic,detailed, sensitive and rational plans were put forward by CMU or Pitt students and urban activists and planners in the city and were really never listened to. The knee jerk response was always that these "outsiders" were just against all development or transportation in The Mon Valley. (Even though many, like John Fetterman had invested their lives in the area)

Still, this thing hangs over everyone. Would you buy property along Braddock's main street? Can you be sure it's dead?


I Will Shout Youngstown posts a video about efforts to stabilise a neigborhood called Idora.

Model D in Detroit admires the level of public engagement, forward thinking and planning in Youngstown. Shrinking right: How Youngstown, Ohio, is miles ahead of Detroit.

Inc Magazine does a long, interesting and realistic piece about The Youngstown Business Incubator, Turning Technologies and the struggle to build a startup technology base in the city. A must read! (I will follow up on this)


May 11 Willie Nelson show postponed due to "torn rotator cuff".

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Updates Parking Code for Bikes


Ax Falling @ The Plain Dealer

"Advance had warned of the repeal more than six months ago, but Goldberg made it official. A buyout package was offered to dozens of non-union employees. In the newsroom, that includes around 40 editor and manager types — positions spared the axe during a string of reporter layoffs over the last four years."

Be back with more as time allows.

If you have thoughts, events, insight or images you want to share about art, music, film, urban design, architecture, transit or history in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Youngstown, Erie, Morgantown, Akron, Canton region--Cleveburgh, email me We can hook you up to post.

This is not Hyper Local media, but regional media seeking local viewpoints.

See The Idora Park Carousel : In New York

I imagine if your from Youngstown or have any memories of Idora Park, this video is very bittersweet. The truth is that I find this almost too upsetting to post about and I know almost nothing about this.

However, I can tell you as a former New Yorker, Your Carousel is very much alive--or at least perfectly restored and housed almost in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge cause i've seen it.

From The Wikipedia

"The park (Idora) opened as Terminal Park on May 30, 1899 which was Decoration Day. At that point in American history, it was common for trolley parks, or amusement parks, to sprout up at the end of trolley lines to generate weekend revenue. Without an admission fee, anyone who had the money for the trolley fare could go. The park's first season presented its guests a bandstand, theater, dance pavilion, a roller coaster, a circle swing, and concession stands. By the end of 1899, it was renamed "Idora Park" as a result of a contest.

When a bridge spanning the Mahoning River opened on Youngstown's Market Street on May 23, 1899, the entire South Side was unrolled for development. The trolley line linking the downtown to Idora Park ran south on Market, west on Warren, south on Hillman Street, Sherwood west to Glenwood Avenue, then cruised through Parkview Avenue (west) into the Idora terminal."

And then it died slow and ugly like a lot of things around those parts. But never forgotten.

Even more sad is that a lot of folks in NYC, don't even seem to want the Carousel--which to them is little more than an object, now so apart from the place that gave it meaning. Is there even a remote chance it could come back to Youngstown--perhaps as a centerpiece of it's downtown?

Interesting, that's for sure.

Hunter Morrison: Who Defines Northeast Ohio?

The truth is I don't know enough about this subject to wade in here but what he says rings very true. What we have here is neither Pittsburgh+ or Cleveland+ but a series of very significant communities often holding priceless assets we need to figure out how to use better and build on.

Don't let some ex New Yorker, and a few other Pittsburgh residents talk about what's going on in your town.

If you have thoughts, events, insight or images you want to share about art, music, film, urban design, architecture, transit or history in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Youngstown, Erie, Morgantown, Akron, Canton region--Cleveburgh, email me We can hook you up to post.

This is not Hyper Local media, but regional media seeking local viewpoints.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Pittsburgh Named Forbes Most Livable City: Your Thoughts

I really can't let this one go since the goal of this blog is to have a conversation about that very topic. From The Post Gazette.

"Each city's final score was an average of all the factors. Looking at Pittsburgh's numbers, it appears that low crime rate, active arts scene and high income growth put the city over the top. The city's score card:

Low unemployment: 73

Low crime: 15

Income growth: 20

Low cost of living: 52

Arts and leisure: 26

After Pittsburgh in the top slot, ranked these cities: 2) Ogden-Clearfield, Utah; 3) Provo-Orem, Utah; 4) Ann Arbor, Mich.; 5) Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pa.; 6) Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb.-Iowa; 7) Manchester-Nashua, N.H.; 8) Trenton-Ewing N.J.; 9) a tie, with Lincoln, Neb., and Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn."

Honestly, the small size of many of the places listed and the very high percentage of college towns, (Pittsburgh--Pitt, CMU etc, Ann Arbor-University Of Michigan (also a county seat), Ogden, Utah--Weber State Provo, Utah--Brigham Young (also a county seat) state capitals (Harrisburg, Trenton-next to Princeton) probably says more about the poor shape of America's economy than anything else. (towns near big military bases are also hanging on pretty well, with Carlisle home to a major army barracks/depot and The Army War College.)

The question for Pittsburgh's future is, can we build on this base and make it more self sustaining by making our elite universities and emerging educated workforce pay off in a much bigger way--before the spring of government cash that fuels our economy runs dry? A subject that likely involves the wider Cleveburgh, region.

One other big advantage, Pittsburgh should hype more and improve on is it's relatively low crime levels.

Here's the actual Forbes article.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Yinz Cleveburgh And Random Art Links Late April- Early May

A truely random assortment of stuff I came across in the last few weeks. Many very important conferences in which people in Cleveland can hear about all the great things the political class has cooked up for them now.

Also, a very serious Cleveburgh Pow Wow in Youngstown that could lead to some great networking.


CNN visits the nation's biggest indoor mountain bike park--In Cleveland, a great and so far very successful example of creative reuse in just the kind of properties Cleveland seems to have a lot of. Please, please don't tear too many of these babies down if you can help it.

Terry Schwartz, of the Kent State Urban Design Collaborative and founder of Pop Up City Cleveland, participated in a long open forum chat about urban prospects, TOD and other stuff at Pheonix Coffee. A report on Extraordinary Observations.

"Schwarz thinks struggling neighborhoods should be deregulated to the point where property owners can essentially do whatever they think would turn the neighborhood around. There's definitely some compelling arguments in the case that outdated zoning laws and other regulations don't allow for the types of recovery in neighborhoods that they need."

Cleveburgh Talk

Burgh Diaspora, has a post loaded with Cleveburgh thoughts. Hmmmm, too much to digest and respond to yet.

My general feeling "Cleveburgh", however you describe it or define it, has a number of cities and assets in too close a proximity for us to be ignoring each other. There sure seems to be a lot of comparative advantage and synergy. One place has coal or gas, another water and rail links, a cluster of technical knowledge, in nuclear power, medicine, robotics, fuel cells, steel, materials science, urban planning or product design. Also, the plain bottom line is that Ohio's massive supply of good flat land is just a better sight to build a lot of stuff which sooner or later we are going to get back to. People like Carnegie and Henry Ford, figured that out long ago.

Brewed Fresh Daily wonders about Cleveland's hyper negative major media and if perhaps the regional narative is now shifting towards Youngstown/ Akron and Pittsburgh. (If Cleveland at least for now has dropped the ball, it's likely better that it's picked up by Akron or Pittsburgh than NY, Mumbai and Hong Kong.

"The region’s new narrative will emerge elsewhere…from places like Crain’s, Med City News, NEOTropolis, Youngstown Business Journal, Pop City, CoolCleveland, and blogs like Defend Youngstown (Phil Kidd), I Will Shout Youngstown (John Slanina), Burgh Diaspora (Jim Russell), and Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Akron, Cleveland Arts and Livable Cities Blog.

Cleveland’s traditional leadership has been lost for some years now. That’s why the regional conversation about Northeast Ohio’s future is shifting to Akron, Youngstown, Lorain and Pittsburgh. As brother Hunter points out, people are drawing new mental maps of the region, and Cleveland, while still important, is no longer at the center."


The city celebrates the opening of a new arts "incubator" in a very sweet old school building--The Calvin Center Idea Incubator which will house a number of perforiming arts groups. (So far, I can't find a website for it yet)

May 21st Rebuilding The Cities That Built America:

A major conference and workshops with activists, business people and regional leaders from across Cleveburgh. Totally free but you must register.

Mental Maps Of Cleveburgh Part 1

"Amateurs talk tactics, dilettantes talk strategy and professionals
talk logistics." Military saying.

An outsider with even a slim knowledge of geography, and it's role in American economic history has to notice is the way the old mental maps and logical patterns that lead to the region's growth somehow got lost or distorted as state maps grew (based on the false idea that politics trumped physical reality) in importance. The problem is that the basic logistics that Andrew Carnegie and Cornelius Vanderbilt knew so well hasn't changed. We need their maps.

Heads up on a major Cleveburgh planning and brainstorming conference on May 21st in Youngstown.

If you have thoughts, insight or images you want to share about art, music, film, urban design, architecture, transit or history in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Youngstown, Erie, Morgantown, Akron, Canton region--Cleveburgh, email me We can hook you up to post.

This is not Hyper Local media, but regional media seeking local viewpoints.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Gold in Braddock and St. Nicholas Croatian Church

Tonight was opening night of Gold in Braddock at UnSmoke Systems. Definitely check out this playful and thought-provoking exploration of gold, gold, gold, and Braddock, Pa. The show will stay up through June 5th. Above is Abby Manock's mixed media piece, "PreLaunch," listed as a work in progress.
Tomorrow (Sunday May 2, 1:30pm-4:00pm) St Nicholas Croatian Church in Millvale will be open again to show the Maxo Vanka murals. We got an eyeful today, and were they gorgeous. Above is a closeup of the mural depicting the dangers of the New World: After one miner died in an explosion in a Johnstown-area mine, his 3 brothers went down into the mine and met the same fate. That was the 1930s; sad to know that 70 years have passed and we're hearing similar stories still. Thankfully, a painter as talented as Vanka was acting as witness.

Images From Polish Hill Jane's Walk Coming Soon

Um yeah, just like the two book reviews I promised. But seriously, it went far better than we could have expected in it's first year. By great luck, the neighborhood that stepped up happens to likely be Pittsburgh's best example of small scale grass roots oriented bootstrapping almost certain to have won Jane's favor. Not surprisingly, Terry Doloughty the Polish Hill Civic Association president and lifelong resident who guided the tour had read the book. Read The Post Gazette story.

Ms. Jacobs wrote that successful neighborhoods "are not discrete units. They are physical, social and economic continuities -- small scale to be sure but small scale in the sense that the lengths of fibers making up a rope are small scale."

"The Death and Life of Great American Cities" became a classic that masses of sociology, public policy and political science students read. An attack on urban planning of the day, the book was a foundation for the New Urbanist movement.

The national non-profit Project for Public Spaces called it "perhaps the most influential American text about the inner workings and failings of cities, inspiring generations of urban planners and activists."

"All the things she talked about is what we are doing: sidewalk cafes, street trees, merchants groups, festivals," said architect David Lewis, one of the area's most venerable advocates of community-building urban design.

If you have thoughts, insight or images you want to share about art, music, film, urban design, architecture, transit or history in the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Youngstown, Erie, Morgantown, Akron, Canton region--Cleveburgh, email me We can hook you up to post.

This is not Hyper Local media, but regional media seeking local viewpoints.