806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

Thank You!

Thanks to all who helped with the 2015 Wine and Garden Tour! We are deeply appreciative of neighbors who guided tours, cooked delicious appetizers, attended meetings to help us plan, recruited volunteers, designed the brochure, helped homeowners during the tour, found parking for visitors, hosted the after-party, planted flowers and otherwise helped to beautify the neighborhood by cleaning and weeding…and most especially to those who opened their homes and gardens to our visitors (after working for months on their properties): John DeSantis, Eleanor Coleman, Doug Lucas , Howard & Shirley Brokenbek, Cathy Serventi & Gene Wilson, Brian O’Neill and Jim Wallace.

June 7, 2015

Letter from the President – June 2015

I thought I understood what kind of work went into putting on one of our house tours. After all, I had been working on the tickets sales for something like 5 years; sat in on countless committee meetings; set up a couple of spreadsheets for managing volunteers; even lead a tour or two (it’s probably best for everyone if that doesn’t happen again). Once, I even dressed up in 40lbs of velvet in August (and showed up at the wrong house with a group of 20 people – seriously, I’m not guide material).

Yeah, I had no idea.

No idea just how many people have to come together and contribute time and talent to pull off one of these tours until I added the perspective of the home-owner. And it’s the spring tour (which is basically the starter tour) – and it’s just our garden not the house so we’re not quite all in. Even still, there are a crazy number of people helping me and Gene at our house, just to make sure visitors get in and out of the garden with a glass of wine and an appetizer for 3 sets of tours. And there are 7 (7!) other houses. And 2 tours a year. And the neighborhood has been putting these tours on for over 30 (30!) years. I can’t even fathom just the raw number of volunteer hours those pretty little tour booklets represent.

By the way, if you’re feeling stalled on a home improvement project I would definitely recommend putting your house on tour. I think we’ve finished more projects (yay, no more chain link) in the last 3 months than we have managed to finish in the last 2 years. But as much as our new gate makes me smile, what I appreciate even more is that every time I think I can’t be surprised by our neighborhood, that I’ve lived here long enough to really understand how lucky we are to live here, I am yet again amazed by what our neighbors have managed to accomplish and sustain over decades of dedication.

Lots of other stuff is going on too! Please join us at the Tuesday membership meeting for an update on what’s going on with Lake Elizabeth and other updates for the Commons, a new One Northside project to catalog neighborhood resources and, fingers-crossed, a proposal for the Stables building that looks very promising.

June 4, 2015

AWCC Membership Meeting Agenda – June 9, 2015

Guest Speakers

  1. One Northside AIM Project
  2. Stables Proposal
  3. Erin Tobin, Parks Conservancy


  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Nominations for Secretary, Sgt. at Arms
  • Vote on the Budget
  • Neighborhood Clean-ups
  • Wine Tour Recap
  • Upcoming Membership Events
  • Housing and Planning Updates
  • AWDC Updates
  • Committee Q&A
    • Housing & Planning
    • Membership
    • Property
    • Friends of Allegheny West
    • Communications
    • NSLC
June 4, 2015

Thanks Cleanup and Garden Volunteers!

Submitted by Michael Shealey 

Over the weekend of the May 30 – 31 (the weekend of the Kenny Chesney concert) AW had a very successful cleanup that cleaned the neighborhood before, during and after the Kenny Chesney concert as well as doing two days of gardening work on the AW parklet. Thanks to Fran Barbush and Howard Brokenbek for handing out flyers. Mary Callison, Holly Pultz and Carol Robert worked on the parklet as well as Michael Shealey’s 84-year old father, James, visiting from Virginia. Gloria Rayman tackled Dounton Alley herself. Trish Burton, Cathy Serventi and a new neighbor on W North Avenue, Carol Domrick, did a fine job of post-Kenny Chesney trash removal as well as weeding.

Our June neighborhood cleanup will be on Saturday, June 27th from 9:00 to 11:00. We will meet at the AWCC office at 806 Western Ave and refreshments will be provided. Based on the May cleanup experience, more donuts will be provided and fewer bagels. Come out, meet and work with your neighbors.

June 4, 2015

Above & Beyond

If you’d like to recognize a neighbor who went above-and-beyond for you or the neighborhood this month please send a note to or give Cathy a call at (412) 418-2027 and we’ll make sure they’re recognized in the Gazette.

We ran into Carol S. and her mom walking past with bags of weeds and clippings that turned out had come from the garden on Brighton & North. Loved her observation that she caught herself thinking that that “wow, someone should really trim those peonies that were squashed in the rain” quickly followed by “wow, I could take 20 minutes and trim those peonies”.

Michael S. has been a litter fighting MACHINE over the last few weeks. If you felt a little disappointed that Kenny Chesney turned out to be pretty much a non-issue and so you missed out on an opportunity to get snarky about folks from the suburbs, you can thank Michael. He spent that weekend walking around talking to folks, modeling proper behavior by preemptively picking up litter and leading a clean-up so that the neighborhood looks awesome for the tour.

So picture this, Tom B, chaining himself to an Allegheny West light post facing off a group of probably pretty confused electrical workers, until Councilwoman Harris swooped into rescue him (and us). Basically, rather than listen to Fran B explain where the conduit for the light poles was buried in the gutter, the power company, after drilling some random holes in the sidewalk, was planning to put in a “temporary” fix for the Beech Ave lights that have been out for a few weeks. It involved a random telephone pole and very un-decoratively strung wires (all wildly historically inappropriate). Everyone is back to focusing on actually fixing the lights.

“Many hands make light work.”  John Heywood

Nonie sends a big “Above and Beyond” to the committee who worked together for the Memorial Day Block Party. Chairwoman, Mary Callison, Michael Shealey, Trish and John Burton, Gloria Rayman, Howard Brokenbeck, Tom Barbush and Greg Coll (Sorry if I missed anyone). Their efforts gathered many neighbors together to welcome “unofficial summer” to Allegheny West. For those of you who have never helped or chaired this committee, you may not realize how much hard work, mentally as well as physically, is involved. The work begins before the day of the party, and as many of the helpers are aging, the schlepping, hauling and lugging is really a hard task. Nonie hopes that at the next party, those who are on hand could lend a hand during the set-up and clean-up. This would be GREATLY appreciated. It would be terrific to have more people get involved. Again, many thanks to this wonderful committee. For those of you interested in helping with the July 4 party, please contact Mary Callison by e-mail at:

June 4, 2015

You’re Invited!

32nd Annual Scholarship and Awards Dinner

Northside Leadership Conference
June 11, 2015

Begun in 1984 as a fundraiser to pay an overdue phone bill, the Annual Dinner has grown to be the largest such community gathering in the region, with close to 400 attending annually. It is a celebration of Northside neighborhoods, volunteers, students and partners. NSLC and its sponsors have recognized over 360 community volunteers and awarded over $187,000 in scholarships!

RSVP by June 8:

June 4, 2015

June Membership Activities

Submitted by Mary Callison
June neighborhood mixer will be at Peppis on Western Ave, Friday the 19th at 6:30 PM. If it is not raining
we will meet in the patio at the back of the restaurant. Bring your own wine or beer or you may order
fountain drinks there and anything else you want from the menu.

Bocce will begin on Thursday, June 11th, 6:30 at the court on Western Ave. Everyone is welcome to play, no
prior experience is necessary. We will play every Thursday unless it is raining. In prior years we played on
Wednesdays, because several indicated conflicts with the day we are trying Thursday.

The 4th of July 4th Block Party will be on Saturday the fourth in the 900 Block of Beech.

Many thanks to Dennis, Doug and Linda Iannotta for all they did for the May Mixer/1st Annual Allegheny
West Art Show. An added attraction was Ann Gilligan’s sorbet. There was a great turnout, around 70
persons. Already there is discussion for the 2nd Annual Art Show for next year.

The Memorial Block Party had a great turnout and we were fortunate no rain came as was predicted. It
would not have been possible without the help of the following: Tom Barbush and Greg Coll for all the
grilling; Gloria Rayman and her brother John who moved paper supplies; food and beverage; Doug Lucas
who personally patted out all the burgers; John Burton who secured the wine and beer; Howard Brokenbek
for moving tables and trucking supplies back to the office. Several others helped with setting up and
cleaning up, and since I did not keep a list that day I cannot list everyone. Thank you to all the helpers.

June 4, 2015

Free Tickets for Northsiders: My Good Side and RETREAD/together/apart

My Good Side/RETREAD

Part of the CSA Performance Series
May 11 | 8PM

Two Shows, One Night…

The Community Supported Art performance series concludes its current season on Thursday, June 11 with our first ever double feature: Teena Marie Custer’s My Good Side and fellow Northsider Roberta Guido’s RETREAD/together/apart.

My Good Side examines how we create personas on social networks, “curating” our lives for general consumption. Using the street dance styles of wacking, breaking, house, and locking, Teena explores how lines of privacy, fantasy, and reality are blurred.

RETREAD/together/apart focuses on ways sense memory, particularly touch, affects human emotion. There’s a very visceral sense that the skin isn’t a barrier to these experiences but is permeable and affected, as individuals and as a collective.

You’re Invited

Thanks to the generous support of the Buhl Foundation, Northside residents are invited to attend The Mousetrap for free. A limited number of tickets are available online. Reserve your seat today!

 Thursday, June 11 at 8:00 pm
May 31, 2015

Last Call: Tickets for A Tour & Tasting in Old Allegheny on June 5 & 6


We wanted to make sure folks who signed up for notifications had one last reminder to purchase tickets for the tour before the write-up about the tour runs in the Post-Gazette this weekend. There are only a few places left for Friday. Saturday afternoon has the most openings if you’re hoping to bring a larger group. There will be no tickets available at the door; advanced purchase required.

It’s a house and garden tour.

Guests will visit some of the most lavishly decorated homes and gardens in the Pittsburgh area. Learn about French architectural and literary influences in the neighborhood.

It’s a wine tasting – featuring wine from France.

Guests will sample a variety of regional reds and whites from France, one at each stop on the tour, and hors d’oeuvres to accompany them.

Dates & Times

Friday, June 5

5:00 – 9:00 pm

Saturday, June 6

12:30 – 4:30 pm or 5:00 – 9:00 pm

Free Parking

We have made arrangements for free parking for people with tickets attending the tour.

Learn More

Questions? Contact Us Getting Here Buy Tickets →

May 29, 2015