Category Archives: Ongoing History

Looking Out and Looking In (and In and In and In)

As they emerged from the Fort Pitt Tunnels, the painter Robert Qualters asked his far more famous colleague Edward Hopper whether the view would be “good to paint.” The tiny aperture of the tunnel had suddenly expanded to a panorama … Continue reading

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La Hütte Royal (1812 Rialto Street)

“In the steam-heated and electric-lighted homes of today there is no place for the old genii, either of fire or of darkness. The superstitions that once vapored from isolation as miasma exhales from stagnant pools finds no place since we … Continue reading

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A Tale of First-Generation Grease

JoAnn was second-generation grease. Her father, José, born and raised in Corpus Christi, was twenty in 1958, washing dishes in a hospital cafeteria in Pittsburgh, when a man came in and offered twenty dollars for the grease drum in the … Continue reading

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Smoking Break

15th Street Parking Lot (Strip District) — October 17, 2013 — 12:24 p.m.

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The Last Note of the Evening

After Sergey Shepkin finished playing three intricate and beautiful works for solo piano last night — by Bach, Beethoven and Schubert — he stood before his scuffed Steinway, bowed low to enthusiastic applause, bowed again (as is the custom) and … Continue reading

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Carrying Weights (A Story In Four Parts)

These two men got off a bus at Penn and S. Atlantic at 4:01 p.m. on Saturday, each carrying a bag and a free weight. Over the next 90 seconds, they covered one block. 

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A Hole In The Wall

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