Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yinz Weekly Cleveburgh Links

I think it's been more than a week but here's a random assortment of links and stories I came across. I know I missed a lot of stuff and need to get back to tweeting. What happened is I had some trouble with my password and havent bothered to fix it. I like Twitter.

Many of these links are worthy of stand alone posts, if I or someone else can get around to it. We need a at least one reporter from Cleveland.


A few blogs comment about the recent Cleveland International Film Festival, an event that seems to becoming one of the most loved city institutions.

Exraordinary Observations on CIFF . Favorites included The Joneses, Youngstown: Still Standing, and The Great Contemporary Art Bubble.

Brewed Fresh Daily offers further suggestions.

"I honestly think the film fest is one of the greatest assets to downtown Cleveland, and I only want to see it improve in the future. For that reason, I offer a few suggestions and other food for thought."

Extraordinary Observations talks about the myth of the electric car as cure for all environmental ills.

"Traffic - if you switched every vehicle on the road today into a pure electric-vehicle, you would have exactly the same amount of traffic that you have now."

Parking: "Replace every car on the road with an EV and you've solved none of the parking issues."

"Mutilated Urbanism - you know all of those suburban subdivisions and strip malls and car-dependent suburbs? Switching to EVs won't reverse any of that. "

Infrastructure (all those costs still exist and they are far higher than most people think)

I added this comment, Depending on the way the electricity is generated, electric cars could actually be a step backwards.

"In case people don't know this, Coal is the primary electric generating fuel (in America) which means that unless there are radical changes, electric cars would actually be burning coal. It just wouldn't be coming out of the tail pipe.Given that the country is both broke and the Saudi Arabia of coal, doesn't bode well for our environmental future."

Cleveland Scene reviews the Fiber Arts Show @ Wall Eye Gallery

Cleveland Scene has a good Video of the North East Ohio band, Case Sensitive Music.

Reason Magazine posts a series of videos on saving Cleveland, hosted by Drew Carey. Freedom is the answer but it ain't gonna happen.

Renovating The Rust Belt muses about development and gentrification. reports that a foundation is giving 12 million dollars to renovate a wonderful synagogue into a performing arts center for Case Western. The trick is that it will still be used as a temple part time! Exiting, but they need more $$$$$$$$.

"It is such a win, win, win, win, win," said Rabbi Richard Block, senior rabbi of the temple. "When this thing is finished, it's going to be something that's bigger than any of us could have imagined. There are concentric circles of joy in this project."

The Maltz gift brings the university nearly halfway to its goal of raising $25.6 million for the renovation of the 100,000-square-foot temple complex, at 1855 Ansel Road, just west of East 105th Street in University Circle."

Cleveland Area History blog talks about the (somewhat convenient) loss by fire of a historic church in the shadow of The Cleveland Clinic.

Face it, anyone familiar with the way Cleveland treats it's history and the way it's giant "non profits" treat the city knew it was a goner anyway.


The Post Gazette talks about a project in Braddock that could seriously help purify drinking water in developing countries.

"We're going to train people to make [the water filters] in Braddock," he said. "Braddock will be our worldwide training center to make filters to save people who are less fortunate. We're entrepreneurs. We'll get [workers in Braddock] set up, teach them the technology, quality control and marketing. We can build an industry right here."

Dick and Jeff Schwarz, an adjunct professor at Allegheny College, have already turned the basement of the Braddock Carnegie Library into a training center for teenagers and retirees eager to learn how to make the life-saving devices."

Real Clear Politics pegs PA as the most competitive political battlefield in the 2010elections.

An EPA report linked by Null Space shows relative strength in inner city housing markets particularly those supported by mass transit.

"The data show that, compared to the early 1990s, the share of construction in urban neighborhoods was up 28 percent in mid-sized metropolitan regions that have promoted redevelopment of underused sites and development around transit, such as Portland, Ore; Denver, Colo.; and Sacramento, Calif. For example, in 2008 Portland issued 38 percent of all the building permits within its region, compared to an average of 9 percent in the early 1990s; Denver accounted for 32 percent, up from 5 percent; and Sacramento accounted for 27 percent, up from 9 percent.

The latest report shows that an even stronger trend toward urban redevelopment in the largest metropolitan regions continued in 2008. New York City accounted for 63 percent of the building permits issued within its region. By comparison, the city averaged about 15 percent of regional building permits during the early 1990s. Similarly, Chicago now accounts for 45 percent of the building permits within its region, up from just 7 percent in the early 1990s."

Next American City talks about "Pittsburgh's Biking Moment." Also via Null Space

Null Space also clued me in on what looks like a must read on a subject that deserves serious thought.

The new Pitt Magazine published By The University Of Pittsburgh, has a nice article, which barely touches on the long proud and very important history of The Pittsburgh Courier

The August Wilson Center names it's new Director--(kind of old news.)

Pittsburgh's First Eco, Art and Technology Festival debuts on This Friday, April 2!

The Geek Art / Green Innovators Festival
Friday April 2, from 5 to 11 pm

CLUSTER 1 –(Glass Lofts Sector / near 5491 Penn Avenue)
Featuring: Pittsburgh Glass Center Highlights! "Hot Jam,” art exhibit, Exhibit,
Live Music and a Fashion Show "Pedal to the Metal" @ 9:30 pm
Lofts "Eco Living" for sale + art exhibits and displays
Society of Sculptors, ETC Global @ CMU; Pittsburgh Filmmakers and artists on
3 floors! Also in the area: Dance Alloy, Voluto Coffee, Edge Studios and more!

CLUSTER 2 (Quiet Storm Sector/ near 5430 Penn Ave)
Featuring: Grow Pittsburgh’s "Twilight Farmer's Market
Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest exhibit,
Sprout Fund Showcase of great projects!

CLUSTER 3 (Family Dollar Sector /Intersection N and S Pacific)
Featuring: Eco-Tech Fun for all! The Power Flower by Art Energy Design, ZipCar, CTSI Science Mobile Lab, CMU ChargeCar, (Hula) Hoop Union, Verizon Fios
and much more in our Eco-Tech info Center @ 113 N. Pacific Ave with children’s activities; free samples of Glaceau VitaminWater.

CLUSTER 4 (Penn Avene and Winebiddle Sector)
Featuring: The Gallery Cluster: Awesome Books
ARTica Gallery Irma Freeman Center, Image Box
Most Wanted Fine Art, Modern Formations
International Children's Museum, Space and more!

From your Camera Phone
To our GA/GI Festival
Slide show @ Pittsburgh Glass Center for more!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Pittsburgh and Cleveland Artist And Gallery Links Up

I'm slowly building up my Cleveburgh artists and art organization links which are finally starting to seem worthwhile. As, you can see, there are more assets there than a lot of people might suspect.

One big thing that attracts me is that unlike Pittsburgh, Cleveland really seems to have really large amounts of the kinds of large scale warehouse and manufacturing spaces perfect for artists. Imagine if we started to look at the region as a greater whole--someday linked by efficient rail networks. This deep well of available space should enable us maintain a cost advantage long after Pittsburgh has become hopelessly hip. (which I'm afraid is really a threat) Whatever, one thinks of Pittsburgh, it really is hard to really do growth here because of the hills and weird geography. Cleveland doesn't have that issue in the same way.

My guess is that these warehouse and old manufacturing buildings and districts are more interesting than a lot of it's single family housing stock most of which never reaches the critical density levels needed to support real neighborhoods.

Comment with your opinions please. I don't know Cleveland in the way I should. Like it or not it ain't moving away.

Zamboni Driving Lessons

No reason for posting this other than it was there.

Rock, Paper, Scissors @ AIR, Space And FE Gallery: Opens Friday

Chances are I will only be able to glance at this multi part show at best on Friday.

Great to see a collaboration with AIR, a place far too few people know about.

Also great to see Jill Larson curating a show outside her own space, FE. I find it pretty shocking and boring how rarely new guest curators are used. Seems like some of this insular clubiness is breaking down.

Plenty Of Sleep When We're Dead @ Fast Foward Gallery Opens Friday

Got this email from Christian Breitkreutz.

"Make sure you don't miss out on my latest art show, Plenty of Sleep When We're Dead, coming up this Friday, April 2nd! It will be at Fast Forward Gallery in Lawrenceville/Bloomfield area."

We have a very, very busy art weekend coming up another really totally insane number of shows/ events opening on Friday, with the coming together of The Green Arts & Technology Festival, along the Penn Corridor and a Three Part joint project aligning FE Gallery in Lawrenceville with Space Gallery downtown and AIR, on the North Side.

This show at Fast Forward is not directly related but will open with the Unblurred. It looks like a must see!

Fast Forward Gallery
3710 Penn Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15201

San Francisco Becomes The First American City to Count It's Parking Spaces

Drum Rolllllll Please! After an attempt at a comprehensive study, the answer is 441,541. Streetsblog has a good story about how even making this attempt is groundbreaking. Most cities answer is always Not Enough! Even if their town could be mistaken by pilots for 1945 Dresden.

Should it be a surprise, people waste and demand more and more of something if it's given away?

"Using data from the MTA's Transportation Fact Sheet, Weinberger noted that despite 28.5 percent of San Francisco households not owning cars, "enough households have multiple vehicles that the city's population, collectively, owns over 8 percent more vehicles than households."

"As we all know, the more parking there is available, the more convenient car use becomes relative to other travel options," said Weinberger. "The more convenient car use is the more likely a car will be used."

Shoup marveled at how much parking in San Francisco is free, especially when compared with the price of housing. "One surprising result is that 72 percent of all the publicly-available parking spaces in the city are free," he said. "In San Francisco, housing is expensive for people but free for most cars."

Todd Litman, the director of the Canadian think-tank Victoria Transport Policy Institute, said the census showed that "in many situations there is not actually a shortage of parking spaces, rather, the available spaces are not being well-utilized." Litman said the solutions were parking management strategies such as more car sharing, efficient pricing, and parking cash out, which "can address parking problems in ways that also help achieve economic, social and environmental objectives."

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jane's Walk Will Happen Saturday, May 1st : Details To Come

Good news, odds are very high that some kind of Jane's Walk will happen in Pittsburgh because at least one other very serious person is willing to work to put this together. Likely, I will be guiding or co-guiding at least part of it.

Stay tuned here for more info and also look for updates here.

Interested in helping--guiding? Email me

From what i can tell so far, fewer cities in the U.S. are doing this than last year, but a good number of these are hosting multiple walks, or rides or other related events.

Also, I think a lot of things will likely pop up in new cities and be listed in the next few days.

Still, no word on progress in Cleveland, but we know people were very interested in the idea on Rust Wire. Momentum and real progress will come for much more activity next year.

Should Obama Use Billions In Scarce Tax Dollars To Subsidize Broadband In Rural And Exurban Areas?

We all know that a very high Obama/Democrat agenda item will be massive, most likely multi trillion dollar set of policies to lower the America's greenhouse gas emissions which they assure us pose a threat to our very survival.

Perhaps, they should think about the logic behind at the same time engaging in huge new programs to use tax dollars, regulations and subsidies to speed up broadband in America's rural areas--at the same time.

The real answer to rural poverty, used to be pretty clear--move to a town or city, where the cost of infrastructure is more easily supported by a larger number of people. The "right" to free roads, airports and other infrastructure is a vast hidden entitlement that actively harms those who live in urban areas, by forcing them to subsidise the very sprawl that is destroying our cities.

Face it, it ain't the Amish who are demanding things ike this.

Quest Communications a huge telecom firm for example is now asking for a 350 million dollar "stimulus" grant to speed up rural "broadband". Nice to know the visitors to many of the country's wealthiest resort communities will be getting higher speed Internet connections. They seem happy.

"There is no reason that tax payers should be forced to subsidize rural internet services. It is nice for farmers and other rural dwellers, but it is not really fair that they should pay less than the cost of service to them at the expense of the taxpayer. If they want this service than the only fair and right thing for them to do is either pay a premium and make it worthwhile for providers like Qwest to provide service in their area or to create a community co-op type of arrangement to get service by pooling resources with other rural people living nearby. the answer is not to turn to welfare to subsidize relatively well off people, and relatively rich corporations like Qwest. Besides the need is diminishing as wireless broadband becomes more widespread. This just becomes a gift to Qwest so their wireline service can more easily compete with wireless services in rural areas without really adding much benefit to the rural dwellers. "

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Hitler's Last Pick Goes Down: WVU Heads To Final Four

Hitler finally put his last remaining chips on Kentucky. WVU hadn't been to the final Four since Jerry West. Sure, they are good and veterans of the Big East but this was KENTUCKY!

"As a testament to his toughness, West once had his nose broken against Kentucky. Despite intense pain and only being capable of breathing though his mouth, he scored 19 second-half points and led WVU to an upset win over the Kentucky "Wildcats"."

Butler Wins: Will Play In Final Two Games In Home Town

I really haven't watched this much ball since the 1980's and many years I couldn't tell you who won but It's pretty rare for a team to end up with a Final Four home court advantage and much rarer for an upset team to do it.

Very exiting. By the way Butler will not actually be playing on their home court---the place where this happened, The Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Indiana.

WVU, now on the court. (this is not a sports blog so don't count on blow by blow coverage here) I will say however that after watching them a bit, it's very possible they will win it all.

Jane's Walk Update: Short Notice But We May Have One

I was honestly just too reluctant to keep on banging the Jane's Walk drum since I didn't want to put it together. However, it looks like at least one person is very serious about this. I'm taking a chance and cutting and pasting their entire email except the contact email.

If you are interested email me-- John Morris: and I will pass along your email.

There is not much time.

"Hello All,

I am trying to organize an event called Jane's Walk in Pittsburgh for Saturday, May 1st, 2010 and wanted to see who would be interested in helping.
The event is held throughout the US and Canada annually on the first weekend of May, to coincide with Jane Jacobs' birthday. I'm sure all of you have read the classic 1961 book by Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. The tours try to pick up on what Ms. Jacobs did so well; walking the streets, observing the surroundings, listening to stories and meeting neighbors face to face.

For detailed information, please visit the main website:
This will be the first year for the event in Pittsburgh and I'm not sure what to expect; How many neighborhoods will be included, the audience that would turn out, etc.
Since there isn't much time till May 1st, we need to start right away in organizing this in Pittsburgh.

There are multiple ways to get involved: Serve on the Steering Committee to work out logistics in Pittsburgh Volunteer to give a tour of your neighborhood on May 1stForward this information to others who might be interestedDetermine if a local organization would be willing to host this Pittsburgh eventPlease let me know if you are interested.

Thank you for reading and I hope to hear from you soon! Chuck Alcorn"

From the Jane's Walk website:

"Jane’s Walks are best organized by a broad network of people and groups who share a common concern for making cities more livable but a spectrum of approaches and observations about the neighborhood, the city, the past and future are welcomed. As with all community organizing, the wider the network, the lighter the organizational load for everyone.Jane’s Walks are a walking conversation. Tour guides lead the conversation with interesting insights and stories about their neighborhood, but also encourage people to share their own opinions and observations. Participants really enjoy the opportunity to meet neighbors face to face and hear each others’ ideas.A key principle of Jane’s Walk is that it is self-organizing and self-selecting. Anyone can sign up to give a walk by getting in touch with the Jane’s Walk USA team via the web, phone or email.Tour guides don’t have to be familiar with Jane Jacobs’ work to lead a tour, but we encourage people to find out more by reading her books or consulting our website for more links and primers on her ideas."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pittsburgh Art Events 3/19-20/10

Atypically for the middle of the month, there are some art-related events to enjoy this weekend. Unfortunately for those on tight budgets, a few of the best things happening cost money.


The Mattress Factory is unveiling work from a handful of artists who have completed residencies at the museum. Karl Burke, Rhona Byrne, Brian Griffiths, Bea McMahon and Dennis McNulty (all from either London or Britain) are all included. Mark Garry and Georgina Jackson are the curators. The reception for the show (7-9PM), entitled "Nothing is Impossible" costs $10 to attend.

Meanwhile Manchester Craftsmen's Guild is having their annual fund-raising event. There will be over 100 pieces of art in various mediums from 80 artists, as well as food and music. "Table of Elements 2010" runs from 5:30-8:30. It'll cost you $30 at the door.

CMU offers "wats:ON? Festival 2010: Adventures In Virtuality", an interdisciplinary festival featuring artist who work in both analog and digital media. You can read all the details about this multi-day extravaganza HERE. And if you do make your way over to the fancy college,stop by at the Miller Gallery for the Carnegie Mellon MFA Thesis Exhibition. The reception runs from 6-8PM. To my knowledge, these events should all be free.

Finally, Melwood Filmmakers highlights the work of Heather Joy Puskarich with an opening from 6-9PM. "My Deviant Muse: Photographic Imagery in Glass" sounds fairly self-explanatory. Let this Texan show you what "Kilnforming" is all about.


Come back over to Oakland for the Black Maria Film Festival at the aforementioned Melwood Filmmakers. Every year I have the best intentions of checking out the "most prestigious annual touring festival of independent film and video". Hell, it's even 'cutting edge'! It starts at 7:30 PM, and you'll even have the chance to meet the founder.

If you still have energy on Saturday night, stop by the Meter Room for the "Re-Model Gala" (7PM). It's a fashion show displaying belly-dancer apparel and accessories made from recycled materials. Of course you'll see these costumes in action, worn by the members of Tribe of Azhar. Featured designers include John Ross, Marcel Walker, Bella Bloom, Phillipe Velasquez, and Beth Steinberg. Suggested donation is $10.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guerilla Girls @ Benefit For CAPA: Friday At 7 PM

Image from GuerrillaGirls.Com

I suppose a lot of "activism" can be irritating, but it's hard to dispute the points they make. In the last few years, one really has seen a dramatic increase in the profile of female artists in the art world, often showing some IMHO, very strong work.

It's pretty ironic that the glass ceiling for major dealers was probably broken earlier than in most fields by the likes of Peggy Guggenheim, Grace Borgenicht, Betty Cunningham, Holly Solomon, Paula Cooper. You really would have a hard time skipping over their role or that of the later group like Mary Boone, Annina Nosei, Andrea Rosen, Lisa Spellman of 303 Gallery, Pat Hearn , Barbara Gladstone, Gracie Mansion and many, many others.

Even so, until very, very, very recently women were really showing dramatically less in commercial galleries (even those run by women) and were a tiny part of most art museum collections. The stats, Patricia Lowry has in her well written article are both shocking and very true.

A guerrilla movement of anonymous antics, posters, billboards, perfomances and protests emerged, a lot of which were very creative and entertaining.

No one knows who's behind these masks, but it seems someone at CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts magnet school) knows one or two.

"This Frida Kahlo, and maybe one of her cohorts, will appear at 7 p.m. Friday at Pittsburgh CAPA's theater in a show designed to raise awareness of how women and people of color are progressing -- or not -- in the visual arts.

"We do a kind of enlightened slide presentation about the work we've done over the last 25 years," Frida Kahlo said last week over the phone from Las Cruces, N.M., where she and Guerrilla Girl Kathe Kollwitz (named for the German painter and sculptor) were appearing that evening at New Mexico State University. Tomorrow night, they'll be at California University of Pennsylvania, kicking off its Conference on Arts and Activism."

•Where, When: One or two of the girls will be appearing Friday, at 7 p.m. at the Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 theater, 111 Ninth St., Downtown, for a fundraiser to support the school's visual arts department.

•Tickets: $3 for students, $7 for adults. Reserve by calling 412-338-6129 or purchase at the door. There also will be a student art show and sale in the school's lobby.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Drew Carey And Reason TV Look At Cleveland

Enough about the mistake on the lake already. No doubt, we would rather not think about Cleveland or Ohio in general, but like it or not our city, which was built largely on the manufacturing relationships and rail and water based transport links to the Midwest, cannot fully separate our fate from theirs.

As the recession drags on, the region is getting more press coverage as some of it's cities can no longer avoid radical transformations. The America of the near future will have to do much more with much less and face a lot of the issues that have hit the rust belt first.

The first three episodes are up and more will come in the next few days. Follow it here.

Monday, March 15, 2010

International Green Drinks Mixer being held This Friday, March 19 for the Geek Art Green Innovators Festival

Come And Bring a Friend!
Green Drinks International is a self-organizing phenomenon that began several years ago, and has gone global! Now there are "green drinks" happening from Argentina to New Zealand! Please come to meet, greet and share your thoughts for a greener Pittsburgh!

SAVE THE DATE! Green + Art + Technology Networking Event!

Friday, March 19, 2010 6-9 p.m

Time: March 19, 2010 from 6pm to 9pm
Location: Shadow/Ava Lounge (Near the East Liberty Carnegie Library)
Street: 5972 Baum Boulevard

City/Town: Pittsburgh, PA 15206-3815
Website or Map:

Event Type: green, drinks
Organized By: Geek Art and Green Innovators Festival

(Just two days after St. Paddy's Day....)
A must-do event for anyone in the green, art and technology industries! Mix, mingle and network with peers in your field! Plus a short presentation by Team GAGI (pronounced GAH-gee). Find out how Pittsburgh's premiere green, tech and arts event is all coming together; Hear about the exciting development updates on the Penn Avenue; Plus opt in for a special screening of "Of Engineered and Pioneered in Pittsburgh," ( Also available at the Senator John Heinz History Center.)
For more Festival 411, visit our blog.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mentor Ohio's Katie Spotz About To Become Youngest Person To Row Atlantic Ocean

Row for Water on Sports Time Ohio
Uploaded by katiespotz. - Discover the latest sports and extreme videos.

This will mark us as both crazy and awesome, I guess. Katie is from Mentor, Ohio, very nice city of 50,000 I never heard of that includes one of Ohio's most beautiful beaches. Previously, Katie swam the length of the Allegheny River and biked 3000 miles.

Of course she has a blog on which one can follow her and as you can see her row boat is not exactly average.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gulf Tower Falcon St Paddy's Day Parade.

Weird, you can hear the bagpipes on the Gulf Tower Peregrine Falcon live cam.

Cathedral Of Learning Cam.

Some Pittsburgh and Cleveburgh Artist Links Up

You might have noticed the evolving sidebar, now includes a somewhat more rational breakdown of my link list. Media, and blog links are separated from other arts institutions and now there are links to a sampling of local artists which will get a bit longer.

I will not be linking to every artist in Pittsburgh. This list is an attempt to show some of the richness around here but it's also a bit tilted towards artists that have achieved some level of "success" beyond the local area. They do exist and more are coming. Artists are rarely considered to be a significant economic asset in the region.

Also, one may have noticed that I included a lot of people who's work blurs the line between art and technology. It's entirely possible that the next big job creating tech startup will emerge from one of these artist's efforts. Obviously, a lot of these people have "day jobs" in those fields and are feeding off a growing community here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ohio Band: Drummer : Feel Good Together

Not too bad. Like the video.

Rated three stars by Rolling Stone.

"So there's clearly some perverse pride in this project, a band composed entirely of moonlighting Ohio-based rock drummers. The most well-known is Patrick Carney of the Black Keys, who plays bass here. But it's the wiry, hyper guitars and weird, snarly keyboards that spark this fatty up."

Found this on I Tire Akron

Cleveland Ranked 13TH Craziest City: Pittsburgh Ranked 18

Putting up posts like this may improve my blog stats which is why they will never go away.

The Daily Beast has it's list of "America's Craziest Cities" which of course use highly subjective criteria. How did they know which cities are most "stressful"? Will Pittsburgh lose the Furry convention to Cleveland?

Cleveland #13

Psychiatrists per capita: 11
Stress: 2 (tie)
Eccentricity: 43
Drinking: 29

Pittsburgh #18

Psychiatrists per capita: 22
Stress: 18
Eccentricity: 39
Drinking: 16

Can this be an asset? Both Pittsburgh and Cleveland are unique places--yet this is rarely played up.

Number one Crazy City------- Cincinnati #1

Psychiatrists per capita: 31 out of 57
Stress: 5 out of 57
Eccentricity: 12 out of 57
Drinking: 17 (tie) out of 57

Does the Queen City get it's drinking water from the Ohio River? The beer runoff from the South Side has to have an effect. They had the world's best mayor, an alumn from Forest Hills High School in Queens!

Jerry Springer profile by Laure Quinlivan from Laure Quinlivan on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yinz Cleveburgh Links

I know I said this would be once a week, but I have a backup. I also promised chaos which is what I deliver.


Governor Strickland ads support for bike and pedestrian access on new inner belt bridge.

“With a strong and growing bicycling community in Cleveland, a sizable carless population, and new development in nearby neighborhoods, it would be penny-wise and pound foolish to build this bridge with only cars and trucks in mind,” wrote Brown."

Rocked out Vivaldi birthday video.

The New York Times talks about ways states are trying to "help", small businesses, that includes the "I Buy Neo". campaign in Ohio.

"Last year, the Council of Smaller Enterprises began a Web site called “I Buy NEO” — that’s Northeast Ohio — where consumers can search for discounts and bargains at participating local businesses. So far, about 300 businesses as diverse as art galleries and home-improvement stores have signed up to offer rebates or discounts. About 11,000 cards, which cost $10, have been sold. “When a resident buys locally,” said Dan Roman, the council’s director, “independent studies have found 68 cents of each dollar stays in the community.” The current average for the region is 43 cents.

There is no charge for small businesses to join, and about two dozen companies have been signing up each month. Even though the program’s $150,000 budget for marketing, Web development, printing and postage is modest, Mr. Roman says, sales activity tied to the loyalty cards has increased 40 percent over the last six months."


Rust Wire posts the short documentary, "A Dream Of Youngstown", by Sean Posey.

"This documentary looks at the individual stories and struggles of
Youngstown citizens who still believe in the city despite all that has
transpired. These are people still fighting the good fight in a town
once given up for dead. As we enter 2010, we should not forget the
tribulations of the past, nor the trials of the present; instead, let
us look to a future where both can inform the tough choices that will
have to be made so that future generations may be willing to call
Youngstown home."


Null Space does a post comparing 311 systems around the country.

Aspects Of Lincoln, a comprehensive show of most of the known photos of Lincoln @ the Carnegie Library in Carnegie. (via Blog Lebo)

"Norman Schumm, 78, of Mt. Lebanon spent three weeks printing the 100 black-and-white photos from copy negatives of Lincoln photographs originally made from 1847 to 1865."

Active Mount Lebanon blogging community troubled by threats. Some may stop blogging.

I Heart Pittsburgh's, Lindsay Patross shares food and housing ideas on AOL's Rented Spaces.

"The top two housing markets in the nation right now are.... drumroll, please... Pittsburgh, PA and Louisville, KY. So says MSNBC.

Both cities have what a bunch of others do not: middle class affordability, low numbers of foreclosures, and stable pricing that indicates the market is neither too hot, nor too cold, but a Goldilocks-approved just right for buying or renting."

(Just wait till the angry bears get home!) Will comment on this later.

Big Flea Market coming to The Strip.

"Most cities have large flea markets. Even though Pittsburgh neighborhoods have their own niche flea markets, we don't have a big city centric flea market," she said.

For the April 18 debut, Ms. Surman expects to have more than 100 vendors set up in a lot at 21st and Railroad streets. There will be vendors selling antiques, collectibles, jewelry, vintage clothes and toys, plants, produce, recycled goods, furniture, and "garage clean out" fare.

Pittsburgh Post podcast about She's Out Of My League, which was shot in Pittsburgh in 2008.

Robert Morris makes it to the big dance for second straight year.


Israel based biomed company opens U.S. headquarters in Akron, to take advantage of close access to the Cleveland Clinic.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Yinz Cleveburgh And Random Art Links

OK, I am going to try to bring back Yinz links on a weekly basis.

Not all the links will be from recent "up to date news", but will be more a sample of things I found online that could be of interest.


CMU, will buy and convert building into student apartments for 93 students.

Came Across great Franktuary website and blog (via I Heart Pittsburgh)

Report and ideas from the midsize cities conference in Pittsburgh.

Active debate about "Hipsters in Pittsburgh" on Pittsblog.

New York Times looks @ East Liberty. Discussion on Pittsblog.

Brent Burket Looks @ his latest Pittsburgh Art Trip @ Heart As Arena. (really a link to a two part post on Hyperallergic)

Brent posts on Hyperallergic about trip.

Silliman's blog posts video about Gtech project in Pittsburgh.

Roberta Fallon of Art Blog rides Amtrak from Philly To Pittsburgh, visits Giant Eagle that sells beer in Homestead and other stuff.

City in Iowa thinks it can learn from Pittsburgh.


Cleveland thinks about downtown casino design.

Cleveland admires Penn Ave Arts Initiative(via Null Space)

Photography of Cleveland SGS on Rust Wire.

Month of huge positive economic development news in Youngstown on Defend Youngstown.


Talent retention expert,Joe Cortright talks in Akron.

Sorry, many more but burned out.

New Suburban Trend: Young Without A Car

Luckily, I don't live in a place like this, but stories are emerging of more and more kids aimlessly hanging out in the suburbs (even more than usual). Recent legal changes and the poor economy have made it harder and harder for kids or their parents to support that second or third car.

Generally, this is all good, except that they live in places where driving is needed for almost all mobility. Where, all this will lead is anyone's guess but a deep transformative moment may be at hand. The sidewalks and corner stores people traded for a bigger TV room might be looking pretty good right now.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Nothing Is Impossible

"With each new exhibition and event, we are consistently blown away by the support from our online community. And we could really use your help again! I've embedded two sizes of electronic flyers (complete with corresponding HTML code) below. Feel free to help spread the word by posting these awesome MF Shannon-designed flyers within your social networks and emailing to the art-loving friends in your contact book. Anything you can do is greatly appreciated by the artists and all of us here at the MF! I hope to see you at the opening next Friday."

Yinz be down and jiggy with the latest way to buzz up their "product", down @ The Mattress Factory.

Lucky for us, the product itself is almost always worthy of the hype and that's the first rule of internet buzz. Deliver an experience people want to share and shout about and then let em do it for you.

Cleveburgh Collaboration Idea # 1 : Mega College Art Exhibit

This is a copy of a post I first did in 2006, very soon after I started this blog, when my gallery alive. It seemed pretty self evident, at least from a distance that the "Cleveburgh" region, spanning say, Morgantown/Wheeling/Pittsburgh//Youngstown, Akron/Cleveland/Erie gathered in a lot potentially deluxe and valuable assets. Why don't we use them better?

"When I came to Pittsburgh, I did so with the awareness that the region is home to a lot of respected art programs. CMU, WVU, Penn State, IUP, Edinboro, and Kent State come to mind. I knew a few great artists who had gone to these schools while living in NY and I hoped to be making it out to see a lot of the MFA shows but this has not happened. I was very lucky to catch LeRoy's great show at IUP almost by chance.

In NY right now it seems like the MFA shows are not to be missed part of the scene. Here is some blog buzz to give one an idea of the fever here, here, here, here, here, here, and in LA, -- here, here, here, and in San Francisco-- here, here and Philly--- here.

Now we are all by now aware and a lot of us are a bit mad about the almost pedaphilic interest that the current art world has for hot creative flesh and the MFA's evolution and merger with the debutante ball seems gross. But in this region one can see that the reverse is not good either. There are many serious artist's flowing through these schools whose work deserves to at least be seen. For many, the MFA show is the culmination of some of the most concentrated studio work they will ever have a chance to do. Unfortunatly, most of it will just be seen my a tiny number of academic insiders and students. This is wrong and a huge lost oportunity for the students.

Wouldn't it be so great if these schools started getting serious about interacting with the wider world and started working on joint MFA shows. For the last 2 years 8 schools in Southern California have worked thier MFA shows into a single art blitz called "Supersonic". ( here, here and here is more dope on Supersonic )Couldn't something like that be done in Pittsburgh, using empty spaces in the city?"

A great idea for any city in the Cleveburgh Region. I doubt you lack the space.

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Creative Class Saves The World

OK, we all need to work together to make the kind of open, collaborative environments in which this can happen.

Penn Avenue in March

The Irma Freeman Center for the Imagination has an amazing textile-based exhibit up. The work, created by Joan Brindle, is richly ornamented and gorgeously presented. The works are based in narrative quilts, using a combination of techniques. A lot of depth, in the technique as well as the content of the work.

Irma Freeman Center for the Imagination
February 5 - March 13th
Gallery Hours are Saturdays 2 - 5 PM or by appointment
5006 Penn Ave

New Works, by Carolyn Wenning, are on exhibit at Modern Formations. Ms. Wenning, always consistent in the quality of her work, has mounted an exceptional exhibit. There is a series of small, luscious works in the first room of the gallery that are a delight.

Modern Formations
Thursdays 7pm - 9pm
Saturdays 1pm - 4pm or by appointment
4919 Penn Avenue

Also, check out "Picture Burgh" at Most Wanted fine Art - a collection of photos of the Pittsburgh scene scape by Jamie Sauer & Dan Thompson. The exhibit will be up throughout the month of March.

Opening Fri. March 5th 6-10pm.
Most Wanted Fine Art
5015 Penn Ave.

A couple asides: Bob Ziller has begun his second month with Awesome Books (5111 Penn, formerly the Clay Penn). The bookstore is open regular hours and is definitely worth checking out. Everything from art books to women's studies is available. The C Space Collective is going strong at 4823 Penn Ave.

Another Blog Name Change

I'm trying to get the blog's title to match up better with it's broader focus.

When, one thinks of reaching out to the wider world around here, most either show little interest or say, cool--wow, we need to link to NY and Philly. Yes, we do but we also need to understand and focus on the advantages, assets and opportunities in our own hood.

Geography is a hand you are dealt and our hand is not bad at all. We are pretty close to Harrisburg, Philly, NY, Baltimore and DC--but by travel time should be much, much closer to the cities in Ohio. Combined, there are many more assets here than we understand or fully leverage.

Still organizing blog and other links.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Cleveland Ranked Most Miserable: How The City Is Haunted By Corruption

OK, we are starting with one of those irritating Forbes lists again from last month. Mostly it's reasoning is a subjective joke. Snow and cold are listed as big negatives, even though many people love it. Is the heat in Houston and New Orleans counted the same way?

But, digging underneath one gets to a bunch of things like unemployment rates, foreclosure rates, crime and public corruption that few can dispute are bad.

In fact, public corruption seems to have been the key to making Cleveland this year's winner. Cleveland Scene has an article about the way the city is still scarred by past mistakes and the deep perceptions they have left. It's filled with stories one really finds hard to believe.

"The Justice Center was the largest public project of its time and was ripe with cost overruns and rumors of corruption. I remember sitting in the old Pewter Mug on Public Square while politicians and businessmen handicapped the payoffs and the recipients. No major investigation was launched, but street talk spoke of sums of money so large that retirement from public office was a possibility. There is no doubt that the failure to install light switches was a byproduct of corrupt and incompetent management."

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Detroit Shrinks To Survive (Or Thinks About It)

Sorry, once again for not posting more--it's not that there isn't news, in fact I'm overwhelmed with things we should be thinking and talking about.

When I made my post about the snow, I meant to do a follow up delving into the issue it opened up. Are all people entitled to the same level of government funded infrastructure, schools, roads, snow plowing, transit etc... no matter where they choose to live--or is it reasonable for a city to limit services and use prudent cost benefit judgments to focus money on places where it would be most productive? Should it charge according to cost? Believe it or not, in places like Hong Kong and Singapore, transit either breaks even, or is operated by a company with real estate interests along the line.

Infrastructure, is the great unspoken entitlement program, so embedded in our culture few ever think about it.

Detroit, never ever thought about these things. All people were entitled to live anywhere they pleased regardless of cost and as the city shrank, tax dollars by default flowed towards the areas of greatest "need". The final result, was a regional population spreading out and shrinking at the same time. Detroit's land area today could hold all of Boston + all of San Francisco + all of Manhattan and a nice chunk of some other city and still have room.

Boston Population 620,535 ('08 estimate) Land Area 48.43 sq mi
San Francisco Population 808,976 Land Area 46.7 sq mi
Manhattan Population 1,634,795 Land Area 33.77 sq mi (area includes bulk of NY regions good jobs)

Detroit Population 912,062 (estimated to now not be much over 800,000) Land Area 138.8 sq mi

Finally, the city and entire state of Michigan are beyond broke and beyond temporary bailouts or fixes. The subject is on the table in a big way.

"Bing's (Detroit mayor) staff is using its own data and a survey released last weekend by Data Driven Detroit. The block-by-block study of the 139 square-mile city showed that roughly one in three parcels are vacant lots or abandoned homes. The mayor's staff didn't elaborate on Bing's comments to WJR beyond a statement saying, "the mayor will utilize data from several sources including city departments, Data Driven Detroit, as well resident input, to prepare a viable land use plan."

Steven Ogden, executive director of Next Detroit Neighborhood Initiative, is using the group's data to come up with a plan for which neighborhoods his nonprofit should target in the next several years with time and money. He submitted a proposal to the Bing administration within the past several days on what areas he wants to partner with the city to target."

I don't have time or details on this. It's pretty clear using force to physically remove people from their homes and neighborhoods is wrong and not likely to be possible on a large scale. (even though the city has done this over and over in the past) Equally clear is that one way or another some type of triage in terms of providing city services will likely be made either now or in the future. Already, Detroit's utilities are making these choices and cutting more and more blocks off from power and gas.

An extreme example of issues many cities in the former rust belt are facing.

Related articles.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Pittsburgh Art Events 3/5-6/10

There sure are a lot of fish fries and church socials this weekend in honor of Lent, but if your tastes run toward art, you have some additional options.


Yay. Once again we come to another Unblurred on Penn Avenue. Don't expect the maelstrom of snow that we experienced in February, but make sure that you wear a lot of warm clothing, because I hear it's going down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

A personal highlight for me will be "Focus Your Attention", the juried photography show at Fast>>Forward Gallery (3700 Penn Ave) from 6-10PM. I've got a couple of images in the show, but I haven't seen anything else to be included so I'm expecting some great surprises.

And Carolyn Wenning is unveiling her new work- not at her own SPACE (4823 Penn), but rather at Modern Formations (4919 Penn). She's making room at her gallery for Michael Benedetti, who is informed by his emplyoment in Pittsburgh factories.

We've also got local photographers Dan Thompson and Jamie Sauer at Most Wanted Fine Art (5015 Penn), a group show of environmentally-themed artwork at the Pittsburgh Glass Center (5472 Penn), Steven Miller at ImageBox (4933 Penn), and a special surprise at Bob Ziller's Awesome Books (5111 Penn, formerly the Clay Penn).

Down in Lawrenceville, Zombo Gallery brings back CZM for a display of fake vintage album covers. She's got a hard-on for 50's-60's abstract art, adverting, and science fiction imagery, so I'm sure it ought to be fairly "groovy" (if you're into that sort of thing). And up the street at Remedy Lounge you can check out the works of Ginger Green, which will be hanging in this alcohol-saturated environment starting at 8PM.

If you get a hankering to head downtown, drop by the 709 Penn Gallery for Jennifer Howison's "Nesting". You might have seen her small limbless hand-painted wooden dolls (reminiscent of the classic Fisher Price Little People), but this show consists of gouache paintings and original drawings. That runs from 6-9PM.


I guess the Irish are getting an early start on their annual orgy of bacchanalia this weekend, as evidenced by the number of ethnically-themed options for getting soused. But of course that's nothing especially new for the 'Burgh, where oftentimes little excuse is needed for getting drunk enough to puke in public.

Meanwhile the aforementioned Zombo is helping to turn the Arsenal Bowling Lanes into a semi-permanent art gallery, with revolving shows on its walls. Take in the music of the Surf Zombies and the advertised Go-G0 girls between lanes starting at 6PM.

Panza Gallery rolls out its reception for two painters named Bill (Pfahl and Vrscack) from 6-9PM. Stop by and see the competent craft of two artists who have been working in their medium for decades.

If you want to take in a great night of Rock-n-Roll, stop by the Brillobox for a show (10PM) headlined by Slim Cessna's Pittburgh outfit (which includes his son George Cessna, Rob Levkulich and Ian Green). George is heading off to college, so you'll want to make sure to see him before he splits town.

Saturday and Sunday

While I'm not in the habit of mentioning music in this blog, I feel compelled to drop a note on Fantastic Voyagers 3- a quirky mini-fest of "mellow mutant music madness" curated by Mike Tamburo that's happening this weekend at the charming Morning Glory Coffeehouse in Morningside. There are 20 acts playing and the full-schedule can be found here. A $5-15 donation is requested.

Pleasures of Pittsburgh: Construction Junction

Holly Golightly went to Tiffany's when she needed a pick-me-up. I go to Constructon Junction. It is always a repository of fascinating stuff. From old and rusting and unidentifiable (but possibly useful in art work) items, to truly magnificent architectural artifacts.

Here is a quote from the website

Wow is this place amazing! Construction Junction is a place where you can donate construction or building materials that can be reused and also buy them. If you are trying to build green this is the place to get quality materials at a reasonable price. One of my company employees went there to take some paint that we needed to get rid of. Construction Junction will take paint (for free) as long as the can is half or more full and not rusted. I also was surprised to hear that their paint sells almost as fast as it comes in! It is nice to know that people are taking advantage of this resource. Check out Construction Junction on the web! They feature some of their new and unique items on there. They do sell some rare architectural details and other period items which have been salvaged from buildings.

Another plus about Construction Junction is that it is just HUGE. And, if you have an old house like we do, you can find replacement parts there that you would perhaps never find any other way. Because frankly, no one would bother to sell them.
We are really lucky to have this resource in the city.
Construction Junction website:

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


A couple of things have come through my inbox over the last week or so that I wanted to share. TRAF is reviving its juried exhibit and CMoA has a free admission program this month. So, two do not miss opportunities for artists. All you painters out there, let's bombard the festival with some smashing good work!

New Juried Visual Art Exhibition - Three Rivers Arts Festival
Back by popular demand, this juried exhibition will showcase the Pittsburgh region's vibrant creative community. The exhibition will take place at an indoor Cultural District gallery during the 2010 Three Rivers Arts Festival, June 4-13, in downtown Pittsburgh.

Submissions are welcome from across the spectrum of visual arts. Works will be juried by a panel of Pittsburgh-based artists and curators.

Artists who meet residence requirements may enter up to three qualifying individual pieces for jury. The goal of the New Juried Arts Exhibition is to showcase the best art produced in the Pittsburgh region. Decisions will be based solely on aesthetic quality as determined by the jury panel in an anonymous jury process.

More information about the exhibit. Download a prospectus and application.

Carnegie Museums
During the month of March, admission to the Carnegie Museums will be free on Thursday evenings form 3:30 - 8PM. Visitors on Thursday nights may enjoy an exceptional array of special exhibitions --

* Forum 64: Cecil Balmond
* The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs
* Caricature, Satire, and Comedy of Manners: Works on Paper from the 18th through 20th Centuries
* Gods, Love, and War: Tapestries and Prints from the Collection
* Imagining Home: Selections from the Heinz Architectural Center

-- as well as the permanent exhibits. If you've been meaning to go, now would be a good time.

Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in Oakland