The Pitt News

Not adding up: mystery protractors pop up around Pittsburgh

Not adding up: mystery protractors pop up around Pittsburgh

By Sarah Morris For The Pitt News

May 29, 2017


Filed under Culture

Taking a stroll down a sidewalk on Centre Avenue, you might glance over at a utility box on the corner and if you’re lucky, you might see — attached to it with a generous amount of glue — the kind of protractor from high school geometry class. And this doesn’t only happen in Friendship — these protracto...

Moving on: O’Hara says goodbye to Pitt

Moving on: O’Hara says goodbye to Pitt

By Jack Mulligan / For The Pitt News

May 23, 2017


Filed under Culture, Top Stories

Pitt said goodbye to a musical fixture in South Oakland as O’Hara ended their set with a cover of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” to a boisterous crowd the Friday before spring graduation. From their start in a basement on Parkview Ave. to their final show April 28 at Mr. Smalls Theatre, O...

Digital Plaza hosts Pitt musicians

Digital Plaza hosts Pitt musicians

By Matt Maielli / Contributing Editor

May 16, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music

Bathed in a reddish, pre-sunset glow, the Forbes Digital Plaza attracts a crowd of passers-by investigating the dream pop tunes that can be heard around the corner. It’s an image that feels both distinctly Oakland and refreshing. Recently, local musicians have utilized the plaza for live concerts. The Jazz Im...

Rhythm and rhyme: local poets host underground readings

Rhythm and rhyme: local poets host underground readings

By Caroline Bourque / Senior Staff Writer

May 9, 2017


Filed under Culture, Top Stories

Emma Vescio mounted the stage in front of a crowd of nearly 50 people, surrounded by robust white columns, as shoppers quietly wandered the rows of bookshelves off to one side. Backlit by hazy purple light, she began to recite her latest work in a languorous tone, not far off from her regular speaki...

Spring cleaning: [finally] taking the asbestos out of Hillman Library

Spring cleaning: [finally] taking the asbestos out of Hillman Library

By Salina Pressimone / Staff Writer

April 24, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture

When Hillman Library opened in 1968, crates of books waited to be unloaded onto the new shelves — and asbestos lined the building’s infrastructure. Now, renovation will mean some of those same books from 1968 will disappear from the library’s shelves — a process that will also remove the a...

Missing major: making fashion fit

Missing major: making fashion fit

By Emily Brindley and Andrea Spatig / For The Pitt News

April 24, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture, Top Stories

Senior geology major Tomas Monti spends his free time sketching watch designs and raising funds for his watch company. Monti — co-founder and CEO of BJØRN Watch Company, a startup that will donate 10 percent of all sales to philanthropic organizations of the buyer’s choice — formed his sta...

Making fashion fit: reporter’s notebook

Making fashion fit: reporter’s notebook

By Emily Brindley and Andrea Spatig / The Pitt News Staff

April 24, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture

The original story for this reporter's notebook can be found here. Noting a lack of fashion programming at Pitt, we thought this story would be an interesting foray into all the ways student fashionistas flourish regardless. In our reporting, we went to the College of General Studies’ office to ...

Ministry makes room for intersecting identities

Ministry makes room for intersecting identities

By Brandon Marx / For The Pitt News

April 20, 2017


Filed under Culture

As a closeted gay man in a Presbyterian church north of Pittsburgh, a young Wil Forrest often felt alienated by his congregation’s narrow interpretations of scripture. Sunday sermons preached that there were limits to God’s love — a message that did not line up with his understanding of the Bible....

Playing the streets: Pitt students take music outside of the classroom

Playing the streets: Pitt students take music outside of the classroom

By Eric Heckler / For The Pitt News

April 20, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music

Shane McLaughlin, a 24-year-old recent Pitt graduate, finishes singing his rendition of Bill Wither’s “Ain’t No Sunshine” to a group of strangers in Schenley Plaza on a 75 degree day in April. Strumming an acoustic guitar, his case open in front of him, Mclaughlin gets a smattering of applaus...

Education and incarceration: teaching classes in prisons

Education and incarceration: teaching classes in prisons

By Salina Pressimone / Staff Writer

April 18, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Art, Culture

After serving two years in prison, and later being arrested in front of her 4-month-old daughter, Sarah Womack turned to prose and poetry to stage her comeback. “I come from alcohol. Uncle Kenny, glass shaking in his hand — yellow, gray, bloated. / I come from alcohol. I seize and hallucinate ...

Imbibing expectations: alcohol’s effect on behavior

Imbibing expectations: alcohol’s effect on behavior

By Prachi Patel / For The Pitt News

April 14, 2017


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Top Stories

“Wine makes you a little bit tired. Tequila makes you a little more crazy.” Senior Brock Baranowski is confident in these assertions — a firm believer in the concept that certain drinks encourage certain feelings or actions. Gregg Higgins, a second-year graduate student in the School of Pub...

Tracking trivia: the history of quiz night in Oakland

Tracking trivia: the history of quiz night in Oakland

By Lauren Rosenblatt / Contributing Editor

April 14, 2017


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Puzzles, Top Stories

Standing beside a booth sticky from nights of shot pitchers and beer specials, Steve McCalley asked a room full of diners and drinkers if they could differentiate between the names of characters from “Game of Thrones” and players in the National Football League. With Maroon 5 playing in the backg...

Crafting the perfect story: beer writing in Pittsburgh

Crafting the perfect story: beer writing in Pittsburgh

By Lexi Kennell / Senior Staff Writer

April 14, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture, Food & Drink

In the eyes of Hop Culture co-founder Kenny Gould, craft beer isn’t just an alcoholic beverage — it’s an essential part of Pittsburgh culture. Gould got the idea for Hop Culture — an online craft beer magazine — in the spring of 2016 after realizing there weren’t many people writing about beer for ...

Comic culture finds home in Pittsburgh

Comic culture finds home in Pittsburgh

By Ellen Kruczek and Justin Voelzke / The Pitt News Staff

April 13, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Art, Culture

When Tom Scioli visits Phantom of the Attic Comics on South Craig Street, it looks different than what he remembers 25 years ago. In the ’90s, its walls were lined with superheroes, avant-garde art and daily life comics, while now it focuses on handmade comics by local, niche artists. To some, the illustrations ...

Vegging out with heavy metal vibes

Vegging out with heavy metal vibes

By Taylor Pecarchik / For The Pitt News

April 10, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture, Food & Drink

Sometimes you just can’t choose between listening to heavy metal and finding some vegan-friendly eats — and, at Onion Maiden, you don’t have to. At the new restaurant, named for the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden — best known for the songs “Run to the Hills” and “Hallowed Be Thy...

Records on the rise: vinyl making a comeback among Pitt students

Records on the rise: vinyl making a comeback among Pitt students

By Emma Maurice / Staff Writer

April 10, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music, Top Stories

Cassette tapes, eight-tracks and Walkmans may be things of the past, but not vinyl. In the last decade, records have been making a considerable comeback. A large factor to the recent vinyl resurgence? Young adults. Although digital music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and Tid...

Forgive and forget?: When rappers are accused of sexual assaults, fans’ response matters

Forgive and forget?: When rappers are accused of sexual assaults, fans’ response matters

By Matt Moret / Contributing Editor

April 6, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music, Top Stories

A rapper drops his first mixtape and builds a cult following off of a positive Pitchfork review. He steadily expands that fan base, earning critical acclaim along the way. But then, something happens. He gets shot at, he goes to jail or some combination of the two. This story could apply to countless artists ...

CMOA struts stuff with fashion exhibit

CMOA struts stuff with fashion exhibit

By Andrea Spatig / For The Pitt News

April 6, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Art, Culture

Artist Iris van Herpen designs dresses that are so geometrically complex, they literally stand on their own — and her work has caught the eye of big name celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Now, van Herpen’s fashion artwork has found a temporary home at the Carnegie Museum of Art. C...

Magician, advocate takes the stage at the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival

Magician, advocate takes the stage at the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival

By Virginia Homan / For The Pitt News

April 4, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture, Top Stories

In the back room of a small, almost hidden bar called St. Mary’s Lyceum in the North Side, tech crews scurried around making last minute lighting checks. Laughter and conversation from bar patrons and locals faded as a large door slid into place to separate the billiard room-turned-stage from ...

Substance disappears in “Ghost in the Shell”

Substance disappears in “Ghost in the Shell”

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

April 4, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

Visually pleasing but ultimately hollow, “Ghost in the Shell” has problems that go beyond the whitewashing. The Ghost in the Shell franchise began with the Japanese manga series in 1989, which then debuted as an anime adaptation in 1995. The new live-action revision piggybacks off the story element...

Beats and bars: CMU Cyphers make rap a lifestyle

Beats and bars: CMU Cyphers make rap a lifestyle

By Salina Pressimone / Staff Writer

March 29, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture, Music

Without pausing or even setting his backpack down, Oliver Liburd walks up the cement steps to his friend’s porch, where a deep bass beat is pulsing. Still in his CMU Engineering T-shirt, Liburd steps into the loose circle of his friend and launches into a freestyle rap, forming the next line in...

Carnegie Museums explore humanity’s impact on earth’s crust

Carnegie Museums explore humanity’s impact on earth’s crust

By Prachi Patel and Taylor Pecarchik / For The Pitt News

March 22, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture, Movies, Top Stories

It’s become commonplace to talk about climate change, species endangerment and the impact of humanity on the earth. But that impact has become so large that some geologists are proposing we’ve changed the very rock beneath our feet. To explore this possibility, the Carnegie Museums are pre...

Controlled chaos: exploring Oakland’s house show culture

Controlled chaos: exploring Oakland’s house show culture

By Dan Day / For The Pitt News

March 20, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music, Top Stories

On weekend nights and weekday evenings, musicians across the city set up their instruments and step up to the microphone, flanked by eager crowds of modern groupies and casual fans. But a growing number of students and Oakland residents are skipping concerts at Stage AE and the Petersen Events Ce...

Beyond the city lights: stargazing in Pittsburgh

Beyond the city lights: stargazing in Pittsburgh

By Ellen Kruczek / Staff Writer

March 15, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture

Every new moon, a group gathers to stand outside in the cold, mosquito-ridden fields of Deer Lakes Park in Frazer and West Deer townships — a 32-minute drive from the Cathedral of Learning. They’re not a secret society or dedicated “Cinema in the Park” enthusiasts. They’re there to look at the s...

Big city, tiny art: Harish Saluja tracks dreams on index cards

Big city, tiny art: Harish Saluja tracks dreams on index cards

By David Robinson / Staff Writer

March 13, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Art, Culture

In the haziness of morning, before his mind clears for the day, 70-year-old Harish Saluja draws what he can remember of his dreams on a three-by-five-inch index card. Saluja has been doodling for decades, using an assortment of about 100 markers to record his abstract musings — circular blobs overl...

Cats and coffee: Pittsburgh joins growing trend

Cats and coffee: Pittsburgh joins growing trend

By Noah Coco / Staff Writer

March 2, 2017


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Top Stories

When Amy Leone and her daughter, of South Fayette Township, sat down Saturday morning to sip coffee and eat a fresh chocolate chip cookie, they were waiting for something more than the typical Starbucks experience. Leone and her daughter were eagerly anticipating their 11 a.m. reservation to lounge with ...

Q&A: Tommy Emmanuel on music and memories

Q&A: Tommy Emmanuel on music and memories

By Emily Brindley / Culture Editor

March 2, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music, Top Stories, Uncategorized

Tommy Emmanuel picked up his first guitar at four years old — and has spent the rest of his life with a guitar in hand. Emmanuel, a 61-year-old Australian guitarist, has played on stages around the world, from Poland to Italy to Russia. As part of his U.S. tour, Emmanuel played at the Byham Thea...

OBITUARY: Remembering John Goldsmith

OBITUARY: Remembering John Goldsmith

By Caroline Bourque / Staff Writer

February 27, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture, Music

On a cold Sunday afternoon at the end of January, about 50 people gathered outside the home of John Goldsmith, retired director of the Heinz Chapel Choir, to serenade him one last time. Even in his last few days, Goldsmith could make his choir laugh. “[Goldsmith] was singing along and then he ...

Instead of social commentary, Kimmel sticks to tired jokes

Instead of social commentary, Kimmel sticks to tired jokes

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

February 27, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

At the 2017 Academy Awards Sunday night, host Jimmy Kimmel used the Oscars stage to take digs at President Donald Trump — and occasionally to talk about this year’s nominees. During the show, Kimmel — in his first gig at The Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles — spent the majority of his time wr...

Finals and folk music: Pitt professors jam out

Finals and folk music: Pitt professors jam out

By Caroline Bourque / Staff Writer

February 22, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music, Top Stories

The acoustic sound of Patsy Cline’s slow-burner ballad, “She’s Got You,” filtered back from the stage to the brick walls of Biddle’s Escape in Wilkinsburg. An older couple slow danced in the only open space in the packed coffeehouse, while the rest of the 50-person audience cradled steaming...

From Pitt to Hollywood: Eugene Garcia-Cross

From Pitt to Hollywood: Eugene Garcia-Cross

By Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

February 20, 2017


Filed under Culture, Television, Top Stories

Eugene Garcia-Cross was one of us just over a decade ago: holed up in the Cathedral of Learning and studying for exams. “The Cathedral was the center of my universe,” said the Pitt alum, who graduated in 1999 with a degree in history and English, and completed his MFA in creative writing in 2...

Pitt a cappella group snags second place at quarterfinals competition

Pitt a cappella group snags second place at quarterfinals competition

By Emily Brindley / Culture Editor

February 20, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music

Pitt’s all-male a capella group, Pittch Please, took the stage over the weekend with song choices as wide-ranging as their vocals. At a quarterfinal competition for Varsity Vocals International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, Pittch Please sang Andy Grammer’s peppy “Good to be Alive” and Jam...

Spelling bee play takes students back to middle school

Spelling bee play takes students back to middle school

By Matt Maielli / Senior Staff Writer

February 15, 2017


Filed under Culture, Theater, Top Stories

You don’t need to know how to spell “dramaturgy” to see the theatre department’s newest play — but it would probably help. While some of the vocabulary may require a college reading level, the actors in Pitt Stages’ current production ask viewers to think back to a time when even the m...

Stop straightening gay bars

Stop straightening gay bars

By Brandon Marx / For The Pitt News

February 14, 2017


Filed under Culture

As a first-year at Pitt in 2013 — and fresh out of the closet — I felt decidedly excluded from common college experiences. Looking for a space where I could feel comfortable, accepted and safe, I began going to Cruze Bar, a gay club in the Strip District — especially for “College Night” ...

Enough love to go around: polyamory in Pittsburgh

Enough love to go around: polyamory in Pittsburgh

By Virginia Homan / For The Pitt News

February 14, 2017


Filed under Culture, Top Stories

When traditional monogamy failed Jessica Saunders, she looked for something different. When she realized that, for her, there is no perfect match between two people, Saunders turned instead to polyamory — the practice of being romantically or sexually involved in multiple relationships at a time....

Taking charge: student, dominatrix, survivor

Taking charge: student, dominatrix, survivor

By Lexi Kennell and Noah Coco / Staff Writers

February 14, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture

Editor's note: After facing harassment due to her role in the BDSM community, Larissa's last name has been removed from this story.  Instead of letting a sexual assault control her life, Larissa decided to take control in the bedroom. When Larissa, a junior bioengineering major, was sexually assaulted in Ju...

Dust jackets and dog-ears: Pittsburgh’s thriving book scene

Dust jackets and dog-ears: Pittsburgh’s thriving book scene

By James Evan Bowen-Gaddy and Elaina Zachos / The Pitt News Staff

February 9, 2017


Filed under Culture, Top Stories

While brick-and-mortar bookstore chains fight with online shopping giants like Amazon.com for the bookselling market, independent bookstores quietly thrive. With new storefronts sprouting while the internet’s back is turned, Pittsburgh’s independent bookseller scene seems to be staging a revi...

Pitt alum tackles social injustice with award-winning poetry

Pitt alum tackles social injustice with award-winning poetry

By Deanna Druskat / Staff Writer

February 6, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture, Top Stories

There are three things in Daniel Borzutzky’s life that he keeps up with daily: taking his nine-year-old son to school, teaching classes and reading. Though a writer by trade and nature, writing is not on his daily — or sometimes, even his weekly — to-do list. Usually writing in spurts that last...

Don’t expect pop stars to be politicians

Don’t expect pop stars to be politicians

By Emily Brindley / Culture Editor

February 6, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music, Top Stories

When Lady Gaga took the stage for the Super Bowl LI’s halftime show, viewers worldwide stared at their TV screens waiting for an overt political statement about President Donald Trump. They didn’t get it. Instead, Gaga put on a 13-minute pop performance, complete with a sequined leotard, a mid-set costume c...

Mix it up: Pittsburghers make bartending into a career

Mix it up: Pittsburghers make bartending into a career

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

February 2, 2017


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Top Stories

Katie Keenan stands behind the bar at Hemingway’s Cafe on Thursday night, in front of a bar packed with mostly students overflowing the bar stools and infringing on each other’s elbow room. Keenan, wearing a black tank top with the Miller Lite logo across the front, scoops up two bottles of l...

Forget me not: CMOA gives tours for senior citizens

Forget me not: CMOA gives tours for senior citizens

By Lauren Lotka / Staff Writer

February 2, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture, Top Stories

On a tour at the Carnegie Museum of Art, six visitors sat in front of a painting of a somber landscape, talking. The painting’s dark colors signal an impending storm as a group of chickens stand under an elm tree across from a barn. The tour guide questioned the visitors about the painting, ask...

Ditch big-time musicians for local jams

Ditch big-time musicians for local jams

By Emily Brindley / Culture Editor

February 2, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music, Top Stories

Lauryn Hill continued her long string of canceled shows and late appearances at Heinz Hall Tuesday night, feeding into the stereotype that top-notch fame comes with top-notch arrogance. The R&B singer/songwriter — who peaked in the late ’90s — did eventually come on stage, but it was at 11:...

Artist Spotlight: Sarah Krause

Artist Spotlight: Sarah Krause

By David Robinson / Staff Writer

January 30, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture, Top Stories

Instead of eating animals, Sarah Krause paints them. Krause became a vegetarian at age 13 and vegan as a first-year student after seeing “Cowspiracy,” a documentary about the meat industry’s carbon footprint. As an artist, Krause uses her work to depict farm animals in a way that return the s...

Vegans are people, too

Vegans are people, too

By Lexi Kennell / Staff Writer

January 30, 2017


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

When I was still new to veganism, all I posted on social media were facts: “useless” male chicks are often thrown into grinders or suffocated. More than 30 millions cows are killed every year to feed Americans. Farmers often break off piglets’ teeth to make sure they won’t bite each other wh...

Come together: Pittsburgh bands form collective, record label

Come together: Pittsburgh bands form collective, record label

By Emma Maurice / Staff Writer

January 26, 2017


Filed under Culture, Music, Top Stories

WPTS Radio is teaming up with Golden Magnet — a collective of four Pittsburgh-based bands — to show college kids that there is more to music than what’s playing on the Top 40. Golden Magnet is musical support group, a record label and a collective made up of bands Delicious Pastries, Sleep Expe...

Invisible hands: conservators restore and maintain Pittsburgh’s artwork

Invisible hands: conservators restore and maintain Pittsburgh’s artwork

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

January 23, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture, Top Stories

Ellen Baxter, the chief conservator at the Carnegie Museum of Art, has been working on John White Alexander’s enormous 1904 portrait “Aurora Leigh” for nine months. Baxter is nearly finished with treating the artwork — primarily with a light layer of varnish to gloss over the aging paint...

GoPuff brings convenience store delivery to Oakland

GoPuff brings convenience store delivery to Oakland

By Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

January 23, 2017


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Top Stories

As anyone who has ever had an aha moment knows, coming up with ideas is easy. Putting them into action — especially as a college student — is the hard part. That didn’t stop Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, who co-founded the on-demand convenience delivery service, goPuff, in 2013 as student...

Cultural District Gallery Crawl highlights local and international artists

Cultural District Gallery Crawl highlights local and international artists

By Caroline Bourque and Lexi Kennell / Staff Writers

January 23, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture

After a year in the making, David Spriggs debuted his 36-foot-wide art installation, “Gold,” this past weekend at the Gallery Crawl in the Cultural District. The massive structure is shaped like an inverted pyramid and, as the name suggests, glows in an array of golden hues. The pyramid disp...

Lauren Russell balances personal history and poetry

Lauren Russell balances personal history and poetry

By Noah Coco / Staff Writer

January 19, 2017


Filed under Culture

When Lauren Russell found photocopies of her great-great-grandfather’s diary in Texas, it marked the beginning of a journey digging through census records and trekking across the country. She first heard about the diary when her brother saw it mentioned in a genealogical online forum in 2013. A...

Ray Jones wins “Best Professor” for the eighth time since 2001

Ray Jones wins “Best Professor” for the eighth time since 2001

By David Robinson / Staff Writer

January 19, 2017


Filed under Culture, Top Stories

Ray Jones sits at his computer, piles of neatly-stacked papers decorating his desk, Pitt helmets and basketballs covering the window sill and the floor.   Jones has been voted Best Professor for the third consecutive time and eighth time overall since 2001, which was also his first year as a facult...

Another chain moves in, bringing a brighter future

Another chain moves in, bringing a brighter future

By Ariel Pastore-Sebring / Staff Writer

January 19, 2017


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Top Stories

Even before Piada Italian Street Food’s official opening, students had already begun referring to the restaurant as “the Italian Chipotle.” When I first heard the phrase, I thought, “Great, another homogenous chain eats up any authenticity left on Forbes Avenue.” But after snooping aroun...

Chef Trevett Hooper brings farm-fresh produce to Oakland

Chef Trevett Hooper brings farm-fresh produce to Oakland

By Stephen Caruso / Contributing Editor

January 16, 2017


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Top Stories

Trevett Hooper has spent the past seven years crafting fine dining experiences — from the simplest hors d'oeuvres to the most complicated entrees — at Legume on North Craig Street with the freshest ingredients he can find. But starting in June, next door to his former haute hangout, Hooper will u...

With Piada, Oakland restaurant scene expands

With Piada, Oakland restaurant scene expands

By Emily Brindley / Culture Editor

January 16, 2017


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink, Top Stories

Oakland’s food scene is getting an update this month with the opening of three eateries minutes from campus. Though they’re all new to Oakland, the restaurants — all with “build it yourself” options — cater to a younger generation’s appetite. Piada Italian Street Food After a “VIP” opening over the...

Nonprofit turns page in PGH’s indie scene with City of Asylum Books

Nonprofit turns page in PGH’s indie scene with City of Asylum Books

By Elaina Zachos / Senior Staff Writer

January 13, 2017


Filed under Culture, Top Stories, Uncategorized

North Side residents are getting a new neighbor. And that neighbor is serious about books. North Side’s Alphabet City Center will celebrate the opening of City of Asylum Books 11 a.m. Saturday. The event, which will take place at 40 W. North Ave., will kickoff with a children’s story hour at 11:3...

Who’s the father?: Television’s tumultuous history

Who’s the father?: Television’s tumultuous history

By James Evan Bowen-Gaddy / Staff Writer

January 12, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies, Top Stories

When it comes to the origin of the television, there are two competing storylines. One story begins with Russian-born Vladimir Zworykin, lying sick in bed in his family’s mansion, staring out the window. The other begins in Utah with Philo Farnsworth, working on his family’s ranch, plowing a fiel...

Arts and sciences faculty debate changes to gen ed requirements

Arts and sciences faculty debate changes to gen ed requirements

By Caroline Bourque / Staff Writer

January 9, 2017


Filed under Culture, Top Stories

Faculty from a number of departments in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences are playing tug-of-war over general education requirements. An amendment brought to a vote at a full faculty meeting on Nov. 17 proposed eliminating one of the exemption pathways for the foreign language requirement. The meeting,...

“Fences” latches onto August Wilson’s legacy

“Fences” latches onto August Wilson’s legacy

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

January 9, 2017


Filed under Culture, Movies

Denzel Washington added another film to his sparse directorial portfolio and brought Pittsburgh playwright August Wilson to the silver screen for the first time in “Fences” — and the result is exemplary. “Fences” is the first film version of one of Wilson’s works, adapted from the play o...

Pitt owns 6,000 acres of fossils, artifacts and inspiration in Wyoming

Pitt owns 6,000 acres of fossils, artifacts and inspiration in Wyoming

By Marissa Perino / For The Pitt News

January 5, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture

It was a series of fortunate events. Allen Cook had no use for dinosaur bones and, in the late ’90s, he certainly never expected to have an art studio near his property. Now Cook has both. Cook, a rancher in Wyoming, donated 4,700 acres of land to the University of Pittsburgh in December 20...

CMOA revives tradition with 300 year-old figurines

CMOA revives tradition with 300 year-old figurines

By Emily Brindley / Culture Editor

January 5, 2017


Filed under Art, Culture, Top Stories

The Carnegie Museum of Art’s holiday display traces its history back to the 1700s, and dwarfs similar collections nationwide, including one at the White House. The exhibit includes the annual Neapolitan nativity scene, as well as five oversized evergreen trees decorated to fit this year’s theme...

Redhawk brings independent coffee to the streets of Oakland

Redhawk brings independent coffee to the streets of Oakland

By Emily Brindley / Culture Editor

January 3, 2017


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture, Food & Drink

Braden Walter Jr. was driving to Espresso A Mano — where he worked as a barista — on a Sunday morning in February 2015. It was a normal day. Until his car slid into a telephone pole on Butler Street. At least, he thinks it was a telephone pole — his memory of the crash is hazy at best. M...

Through its storied history, Pitt’s Music Building plays a role in Rogers’ legacy

Through its storied history, Pitt’s Music Building plays a role in Rogers’ legacy

By Lexi Kennell / Staff Writer

January 3, 2017


Filed under Culture, Television, Top Stories

Children from around the country grew up singing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” along with the Mr. Rogers they saw on TV. But children in Pittsburgh needed only to walk down the street to see the TV personality in person. Rogers’ presence is still tangible in his steel city hometown,...

Social movements move beyond the limits Pitt’s campus

Social movements move beyond the limits Pitt’s campus

By Salina Pressimone / Staff Writer

January 3, 2017


Filed under Culture, Top Stories

Pitt alumnus and Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai began her work with women in Kenya in 1977. Now, nearly 40 years later, other social change groups are picking up where Maathai left off and using her model as a blueprint. Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement as part of her vision to empower women...

Celebrity deaths: don’t blame it all on 2016

Celebrity deaths: don’t blame it all on 2016

By Amanda Reed / Assistant News Editor

January 3, 2017


Filed under Culture

As I was scrolling through my Facebook page this week reading everyone’s condolences over the recent deaths of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, I noticed a good number of my internet friends posting articles about a GoFundMe campaign to prevent 2016 from laying its grimy, unforgiving hands on precious national angel Betty White....

A place to unwind: No 24-hour diners in Oakland

A place to unwind: No 24-hour diners in Oakland

By Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

December 12, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture, Food & Drink

It’s 3 a.m., and you’re in the midst of pulling an all-nighter, finishing an essay for one course and studying for a final exam in another. Your stomach growls, and you realize you haven’t eaten since breakfast. You examine your options: Market Central is closed, but you can still grab McDonald...

Oakland at 4 a.m.

Oakland at 4 a.m.

By Ashwini Sivaganesh and Brady Langmann / The Pitt News Staff

December 12, 2016


Filed under Culture

Oakland at 4 a.m looks like a scene pulled from a wintery, post-apocalyptic horror movie. A fresh coat of snow covers any surface exposed to the 28-degree windchill, and the streets are empty besides the rare truck or charter bus, racing through traffic lights from intersection to intersection. ...

TPN’s No Sleep Soundtrack

TPN’s No Sleep Soundtrack

By Dan Sostek / Senior Staff Writer

December 12, 2016


Filed under Culture, Music, Uncategorized

Staying up until the wee hours of morning and studying is not fun — and doing so in silence is even worse. During hours-long study sessions, iTunes libraries and Spotify are crucial in preventing your brain from just shutting down and falling asleep at your desk. Here’s 10 songs that will help you get t...

Heroes and victims of finals week

Heroes and victims of finals week

By Brady Langmann / Culture Editor

December 12, 2016


Filed under Culture

When it happens, you know that you’ll tell your kids the story someday — or if booze is involved, your drinking buddies at happy hours when trading old college memories. Your finals week story of triumph or failure. The time you found yourself into a caffeine-induced, heart-exploding panic and...

Going Virtual

Going Virtual

By Brady Langmann | Culture Editor

December 8, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture, Tech Science

Michael Arenth reached for his goggles, strapped them to his head with a rubber band and embarked on a trip 6,000 miles away. He sat in the back of a bumpy brown canoe and watched the bony arms of a 9-year-old refugee paddle across a swamp, enveloped by the emerald-colored fields of South Sudan. With...

Short on the sides, long on top: Barber shops find success in Oakland

Short on the sides, long on top: Barber shops find success in Oakland

By Kevin Lynch / Staff Writer

December 6, 2016


Filed under 2. Featured, Culture

A black and white photograph of Craig Street in the early 1900s hangs on the wall near the entrance of Oliverio Hair, Nails and Waxing — a reminder of the maze of cable cars and brick-paved streets that used to be East Oakland. Craig Street, just a minute's walk from the Pitt’s campus, is now de...

Top 10 albums of the year

Top 10 albums of the year

By John Hamilton / Senior Staff Photographer

December 6, 2016


Filed under Culture, Music, Top Stories

A lot happened in music this year. David Bowie and Leonard Cohen died, but not before they each left behind one last album. Both Beyonce and Solange Knowles examined the experience of black women in 2016, and made some great music in the process. Kanye West released an album, then changed it, redefin...

‘Pokémon Sun’ and ‘Pokémon Moon’ successfully mix fresh features with familiar fun

‘Pokémon Sun’ and ‘Pokémon Moon’ successfully mix fresh features with familiar fun

By Thomas Wick / Staff Writer

December 6, 2016


Filed under Culture

While the popularity of “Pokémon Go” has been fleeting, it looks like Nintendo might have a longer-lasting hit in “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon,” which released Nov. 18. “Pokémon Sun” and “Pokémon Moon,” both available on the Nintendo 3DS, are Game Freak’s celebration of ...

Getting crafty: Crafting gains popularity in Pittsburgh, on campus

Getting crafty: Crafting gains popularity in Pittsburgh, on campus

By Marissa Perino / For The Pitt News

December 1, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture

In a brightly lit room at the William Pitt Union, the Pitterest crafting club gathers on a Thursday night at round dining tables covered with yarn, ribbon and other supplies. Abby Sites, an anthropology major and vice president of Pitterest, has seen the club grow in the past year and a half from ...

Ding, dong: Pitt’s Handbell Ensemble builds its ranks

Ding, dong: Pitt’s Handbell Ensemble builds its ranks

By Rachel Glasser / Staff Writer

December 1, 2016


Filed under Culture, Music

“One, two-and-three-and-one, two-and-three-and-one,” Mary Johnson, student conductor of the Pitt Handbell Ensemble, calls out over a cacophony of ringing bells. The students of the ensemble continue to follow Johnson’s count for a few measures then slowly start to drag behind the beat. Johnson ...

Papa Yinz: ‘Pittsburgh Dad’ creator Chris Preksta talks indie filmmaking, his locale-inspired web series

Papa Yinz: ‘Pittsburgh Dad’ creator Chris Preksta talks indie filmmaking, his locale-inspired web series

By Emma Maurice / For The Pitt News

November 29, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Born and raised in the city, 36-year-old filmmaker and “Pittsburgh Dad” creator Chris Preksta definitely considers himself a Pittsburgher but maybe not a full on yinzer — though he’s happy to hang out with them. “I’d rather spend my days around yinzers than those Hollywood-types uppity peop...

Double feature: University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery shows two concurrent exhibitions

Double feature: University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery shows two concurrent exhibitions

By Ellen Kruczek and Isabelle Ouyang / The Pitt News Staff

November 28, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture

If you’re looking for something to take your mind off of looming finals week exams, the University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery, located in the Frick Fine Arts Building, is showing two concurrent exhibitions through Dec. 9. Organized by graduate students in Pitt’s history of art and architecture...

Diwali celebration showcases Indian culture

Diwali celebration showcases Indian culture

By Rebecca Peters / Staff Writer

November 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Music

The lights dimmed. A voice from above prayed for a celebration where “light wins over darkness when happiness wins over sadness.” “Diwali: A festival of lights, is a celebration of good over evil,” said emcee Deveshi Chandan, her magenta and gold sari illuminated on stage in front of an ...

Review: Short films show glimpses of growing up, forming relationships

Review: Short films show glimpses of growing up, forming relationships

By Stephen Caruso / Senior Staff Writer

November 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

For those who suffer from a short attention span but enjoy a well-told story, the sextuple feature of short films that debuted at the 35th annual Three Rivers Film Festival was an entertaining range of tales, covering everything from alien encounters to costume shops. The films’ directors tried for themes such...

Review: ‘Visaranai’ teases CMU International Film Festival, confronts suffering

Review: ‘Visaranai’ teases CMU International Film Festival, confronts suffering

By Nick Eustis / Staff Writer

November 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Hours before a scuffle between police and students at Pitt last Thursday, Carnegie Mellon University’s International Film Festival showed a film dealing with similar tensions — but in a place halfway across the world. The theme of this year’s festival is “Faces of Conflict,” a theme embodied on...

Review: ‘Tower’ an imaginative, respectful retelling of tragedy

Review: ‘Tower’ an imaginative, respectful retelling of tragedy

By Brady Langmann / Culture Editor

November 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Rarely do moviegoers expect to feel uneasy before the lights dim and the opening titles pop up on-screen.  But it’s hard not to feel a little anxious before “Tower,” Harris Theater’s last screening at the Three Rivers Film Festival on Sunday. It’s likely stuck in American moviegoers’ memory at this poi...

Review: ‘Kamper’ a quirky, challenging intro to Polish cinema

Review: ‘Kamper’ a quirky, challenging intro to Polish cinema

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

November 22, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

In the climax of the Polish romantic drama “Kamper,” the titular protagonist manically tries to escape from his problems as he dances alone in a small, nightclub-like room during a night of unruly drinking. Even with a somewhat selfish lead, the  documentary drama filmmaker Lukasz Grzegorzek creates colorful...

Growing up: Allegra Eidinger releases EP, launches solo career

Growing up: Allegra Eidinger releases EP, launches solo career

By Caroline Bourque / Staff Writer

November 20, 2016


Filed under Culture, Music

One night, senior musician Allegra Eidinger jolted awake, still in that dreamy state between wakefulness and sleep, and quickly typed out on her phone a few words: “My Legs Are Growing.” The phrase, crafted in the middle of the night, would become the namesake of Eidinger’s first solo EP, ...

Past lives of Oakland’s apartments

Past lives of Oakland’s apartments

By James Evan Bowen-Gaddy / Staff Writer

November 18, 2016


Filed under Culture, Uncategorized

Oakland is a nomadic place. Students, businesses and trends come and go, but the one thing that stays the same is the architecture. There’s a strange and rich history left behind in each home by the residents who pass through. Relics of Oakland’s past can be found in surprising corners of hom...

Working together: Shared office spaces take off

Working together: Shared office spaces take off

By Brady Langmann / Culture Editor

November 18, 2016


Filed under Culture

It’s like the setup to a classic joke: An office manager assigns a toymaker, book editor, marketing director and a New York Times best-selling author to a four-desk grouping in a tiny space. But instead of a punchline or antics worthy of “The Office,” the members of The Beauty Shoppe in East L...

Decked-out dorms of Pitt

Decked-out dorms of Pitt

By Caroline Bourque, Amanda Reed and Emma Maurice / The Pitt News Staff

November 18, 2016


Filed under Culture

It’s almost a cliche at this point: the Target sales, Bed Bath & Beyond checklist, raiding your family’s basement for furniture. But moving into your first-year dorm and the excitement of decorating your room — free of parental oversight — is a familiar feeling for most college students. For ...

Artist Spotlight: Sarah Washburn Thornton

Artist Spotlight: Sarah Washburn Thornton

By Yuting Xiong / For The Pitt News

November 17, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture

Oftentimes when Sarah Washburn Thornton sits down to make art, there’s no motive, no intention, no plan. It’s automatic. “[Automatic art is] when you don’t start with a plan to paint and instead you start with a blank piece of paper,” Thornton said. “It’s more about your body than the dr...

Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ missing Rowling’s signature magic

Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ missing Rowling’s signature magic

By Ian Flanagan / Senior Staff Writer

November 17, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

  "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" Directed by David Yates Starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell Back in 2003, BBC News reported that J.K. Rowling was richer than the queen of England — and Harry Potter fans, it seemed, were willing to put the mone...

Review: ‘Hair’ a timely tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll

Review: ‘Hair’ a timely tale of sex, drugs and rock and roll

By Matt Maielli / Senior Staff Writer

November 15, 2016


Filed under Culture, Theater

As the entire cast of Pitt Stages’ “Hair” strips naked under low blue stage lights upstage, a hippie mulling over his Vietnam draft card downstage sings, “Where is the something? Where is the someone that tells me why I live and die?” This is “Hair’s” most iconic scene and is no less...

A wild ride: Pulitzer nominee Doug Swanson joins Pitt’s faculty

A wild ride: Pulitzer nominee Doug Swanson joins Pitt’s faculty

By Ellen Kruczek / For The Pitt News

November 15, 2016


Filed under Culture

Infamous Vegas mobster Benny Binion was the kind of criminal you only see in the movies — two murders, gambling rings, fatal feuds with rivals. But until new Pitt English professor Doug Swanson came along, the mobster’s story went largely untold. Swanson published the story of the “doughy r...

A poem to the Editor

By John Kennick, Senior

November 10, 2016


Filed under Culture, Uncategorized

Editor's note: The Pitt News regularly receives and publishes letters to the Editor. In this case, a reader sent a poem. All indentations, line breaks and misspellings are to the wishes of the poet. "non-reaction non reaction POEM" we do not explain what this is like because analogy is j...

FeelGood Pitt to host weekend grilled cheese marathon

FeelGood Pitt to host weekend grilled cheese marathon

By Brady Langmann / Culture Editor

November 10, 2016


Filed under Culture, Food & Drink

When 2:30 a.m. hits this Saturday morning and bars and pizza shops close, students will finally have a different late-night food option than 24-hour fast food joints. FeelGood Pitt — part of the youth-led movement FeelGood International, which aims to end world poverty by 2030 — will host a 17-hour de...

Setting the stage: Pitt Stages scene shop preps for ‘Hair’

Setting the stage: Pitt Stages scene shop preps for ‘Hair’

By John Hamilton / Senior Staff Photographer

November 10, 2016


Filed under Culture, Theater

The environment of the University of Pittsburgh Stages scene shop is always changing. Some days, a few people quietly paint, listening to music. Other days, they swap headphones for earplugs as their peers cut metal, noise echoing throughout the basement of the Cathedral of Learning. For the p...

Salsa Club heats up O’Hara

Salsa Club heats up O’Hara

By Emily Suruda / For The Pitt News

November 8, 2016


Filed under Culture

Hips moving, Latin rhythms playing and dancers gliding. A man twists his female partner three times, then their hands sway from left to right. Surrounded by four other swinging couples, their feet meet one another’s, and he gives her one more spin. The Salsa Club, a student organization devoted to practicing and...

Drag culture nears mainstream at Pitt

Drag culture nears mainstream at Pitt

By Nick Eustis / For The Pitt News

November 8, 2016


Filed under Culture

In drag culture, sometimes you have to embrace extravagance. At Pitt Rainbow Alliance’s Panther Drag event Sept. 17. — which takes place annually in the William Pitt Union — students drew their drag names on coloring boards, tried on different styles of makeup and, of course, walked the runway ...

Kurlander dreams big for Pittsburgh film industry

Kurlander dreams big for Pittsburgh film industry

By Mackenzie Rodrigues / Staff Writer

November 2, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

Carl Kurlander hated growing up in Pittsburgh. “I was a shy, unathletic kid in a sports town whose mother had been divorced and [run] away from home to become an actress when I was 15 or 16,” said Kurlander. The Squirrel Hill native went on to cultivate a successful career in Hollywood — ...

Like Miles: Pitt musicians turn Nordy’s Place into jazz club

By Sarah Schneider / Staff Writer

October 31, 2016


Filed under Culture, Music

Except for a few commuter students and late-night Taco Bell-goers, Nordy’s Place is fairly desolate after 9 p.m. Last Thursday night, a few guys racked up shots at a pool table in one corner of the room while a small group rallied a pingpong ball back and forth in the other. It seemed like just anoth...

“Forced From Home” exhibit turns Schenley Plaza into faraway land

“Forced From Home” exhibit turns Schenley Plaza into faraway land

By Salina Pressimone and Caroline Bourque / The Pitt News Staff

October 30, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture

When Kumi Matoba was about eight years old, her mother showed her an advertisement for Doctors Without Borders, depicting a picture of a malnourished child in Africa, belly distended. The image seared itself into Matoba’s memory. And soon after seeing it, she knew what her life’s mission would be — joining D...

A cappella groups to unite for annual Halloween show

A cappella groups to unite for annual Halloween show

By Deanna Druskat / For The Pitt News

October 27, 2016


Filed under Culture, Music

The members of Pitt’s a cappella group Pittch Please usually sport matching jet black suits for their performances, belting out renditions of Top 40 and throwback hits. But for this year’s Halloween concert, which will feature all seven a cappella collectives on campus, Pittch Please will di...

Professor of horror: Film picks for Halloween season

Professor of horror: Film picks for Halloween season

By Noah Coco / Staff Writer

October 27, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies

While most 4-year-old children watch Elmo singing tunes on “Sesame Street,” Diana Anselmo-Sequeira was watching horror movies. Her mom showed her “A Nightmare on Elm Street” at an early age, and afterward she was hooked. The ’90s brought her other formative favorites, “Interview with th...

Artist Spotlight: Brent Yingling

Artist Spotlight: Brent Yingling

By Emma Maurice / For The Pitt News

October 25, 2016


Filed under Art, Culture

Although he fell in love with art early in high school, Brent Yingling strayed away from it as a Pitt underclassman to pursue a more practical career in law. It wasn't until he started doing research with Delanie Jenkins, the head of the studio arts department, that he rediscovered his passion. Yin...

After #OscarsSoWhite, TV steps up

After #OscarsSoWhite, TV steps up

By Kelechi Urama / Staff Writer

October 19, 2016


Filed under Culture, Movies, Television

One of the most talked about scenes in FX’s “Atlanta” happens at the beginning of the first episode. The series’ protagonist, Earn Marks, played by creator Donald Glover, lies in bed with his on-again, off-again girlfriend and daughter’s mother Van (Zazie Beetz). Their playful banter about ...

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