806 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

CoLab18 Open House

CoLab18 is a 4,600 square foot space that will serve as the epicenter for creativity, collaboration and technology. This space was created for Northside residents, businesses and community partners, and it includes conference rooms, a classroom space and state-of-the art technology.

February 14th, 2018

Open house at 8:30 am
Ribbon cutting at 9:30 am

Please RSVP at

Please note: There’s on-street parking around Nova Place (formerly Allegheny Center Mall). If you choose to park in the garage, enter through Gate #4. Once you enter Gate #4, you will take the CENTRAL elevator bank to the PLAZA and make a left upon exiting. We will not reimburse for parking.

2018 Wine Tour and Tasting : A Toast to the Central Coast

You may be thinking, “Wait, didn’t I just finish an article about the Christmas tour?” Well, as hard as it is to believe, now is the time to start preparing again for our annual tour and tasting event. This year, we’ll feature California wines, specifically from the Central Coast of California. I lived in San Luis Obispo and is in ‘SLO’ where I was first introduced to these amazing wines and this beautiful region.

Paso Robles, north of San Luis Obispo, is an incredible wine region. The award-winning wines and my fond memories are minor reasons why I’m focusing on this region. The primary reason is the pioneer (Godfather) of Paso wines — Gary Eberle — is a Penn State graduate and Pittsburgh native. Gary co-founded the appellation in Paso and introduced Syrah grape vines into the US, using cuttings he brought over from France. At one point, his vineyard was the only source of US Syrah. His amazing story doesn’t stop there. I’ve included addresses to some articles below. (Or, get the electronic version of the Gazette at our website — — and click on the links.) I just had to share his story, and the indelible connection of Pittsburgh to CA wines.

I’ve been to the Eberle Winery many times, but never met Gary until I went to one of his events in Pittsburgh. He is incredibly personable, and is fascinating to talk with, as he imparts his vast knowledge about what it takes to get the grape to the glass. Listening to Gary talk through the science behind wine-making inspired me to put a twist on the wine tour this year. I’m introducing showcase event that I’m calling “Ground to Glass.” This will be an exclusive event at Holmes Hall, pouring only higher-end Eberle wines. The ticket will also include a lovely food pairing and a host talking with the guests on how the particular wines they’re drinking got from the ground to their glass. Eberle is also providing wine to be served at one of the homes on the tour. Gary will not be able to come to the event, but I’m working with him to ensure guests have a memorable evening.

Details About this Year’s Tour

  • Price and dates: $75 pp, Friday 6/22 5:00–9:00 pm and Saturday 6/23 1:00–5:00 pm and 5:00–9:00 pm.
  • Showcase Event at Holmes Hall: $150 (max 50 tickets available), Saturday 6/23 7:00–9:00 pm.
  • Note that the dates are later in the month than normal due to competing events in Pittsburgh and other calendar conflicts, but good for the gardens to thrive!

How can you help? Please email me directly ( if you are interested in any of the following.

  • Homes: If you would like your home on the tour (focus on the garden). A total of 6 properties needed. The home must have a garden space.
  • Advertising and Social Media: Work with local media outlets, promote through social media and help secure program advertisers.
  • Food Committee: Work with friends to confirm the pairing menu and prep food for the event.
  • Tour Guide Lead: Make sure the docents know the route, their shifts and neighborhood history to lead the guests.
  • Volunteers Lead: Oversight of tour volunteers (help for the homeowners). We will need additional volunteers for the Showcase event.
  • After Party Planners: Always one of the most fun volunteer opportunities!

So many of you made last year exceptional, I hope you’ll consider pitching in again this year. If you haven’t volunteered for a tour before, this is a really great opportunity to join the fun. Looking forward to getting this going and working with you!

Don’t forget to read more about the ‘Godfather of Paso’, Gary Eberle.

Wrap Up of the 36th Annual Christmas Tour

Submitted by Carol Gomrick

Was it smell of fresh pine from the recently hung swags in the neighborhood? Was it the bright blue skies contrasting with the chill in the air? Was it the sound of Dr. Dan’s leaf blower wiping out every trace of fall on Beech Ave? It was that and so much more which marked the coming of the 36th Annual Christmas Tour. This year, almost 1,600 people ushered in their Christmas season by walking through the lovingly decorated homes of Allegheny West. The weather was perfect, the glitches were few, and—if I dare say—by all accounts, the tour was a great success. As my first time managing the Christmas tour, I cannot thank everyone who stepped in and stepped up to make daunting tasks seem easy and the unintentionally overlooked details, a non-issue. It is truly because of you that the tour was such a success.

A very special thank you goes to the homeowners. I received a lot of feedback a how impressed the guests were with the homes this year. One guest, who has taken the tour over 15 times, actually took the time to email me directly to share that she thought 2017 was the best selection of homes she has visited to date. No doubt this guest and others came to this conclusion in no small way by the decorations at the Flashlight Factory. The re-purposing of flashlight pieces and parts was beyond ingenious, and such a tremendous addition to the tour. Congratulations to John Engle and Tom Cihil on tackling the after party. A lot of people needed some extra sleep on Sunday, so it was a great success! I would be completely remiss if I didn’t thank Tony and Diane Caruso. You both seem to always be there to jump in whenever needed and for whatever needs done. The list of how you both helped on this tour is too long to write, but beyond appreciated. Thank you.

I have to share that this tour was not without its challenges. It was the first time a service dog was on the tour. The homeowners were made aware in advance and all agreed they would accommodate. However, none of us expected a Great Dane! I should have taken pictures.

There are so many stories from the tour. Two are from the “Great Beech Ave Clean Up of 2017”. I’ll never forget Dr. Dan leaping through Beech Ave (with the greatest of ease), wielding his leaf blower like a warrior’s sword going into battle. Those leaves didn’t have a chance! OK, I’m using some dramatic license, but I’ll never be able to convince my mind’s eye from seeing a cape flowing behind him as he valiantly traveled up and down Beech Ave! My fondest memory is also from that day (not just because of Dr. Dan). Many saw Gloria Raymond and myself chipping away and cursing at the leaves stuck to the street. Trying to remove them was a formidable task. One by one, people stopped their cars, opened their front doors and came out with shovels, spades and whatever was needed to get the street cleaned and we did. The spirit of Christmas and the spirit of this neighborhood shined brightly that day. It will be forever etched in my memory as to what made this tour and what makes this neighborhood so special.

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and I wish the blessings of the season to carry through for you in 2018.

Please contact me ( with any feedback for how to improve the tour for 2018.

Alleys, Axles & Ales 2018

This year’s Alleys, Axles & Ales tour will be held on September 29th. Tom Barbush and Cecile Canales will be leading this year’s tour. They’re looking for garages and cars to feature, as well as volunteers to help with the tour. Please contact Cecile ( if you’re willing to help with the tour!


Submitted by Ritsu Shimizu

All of our AW residents are cognizant of observing the Design Guidelines for the Allegheny West Historic District, enforced by the City’s Historic Review Commission. Perhaps what I am going to share with you might not be anything new, but it still strikes me how closely some people adhere to these guidelines. Here are the examples:

  • My new neighbor, Mr. Greg Kobulnicky, used the very old historically authentic mortars, a special order, of course, in restoration of his apartment building in the back of his residence. In fact, his mason even conferred with me (behind Greg’s back), saying, ”This old stuff wasn’t as strong as new one.”
  • Our AWCC Housing and Planning Committee Chair, Mr. Timothy Zinn, brought new life into my half-moon shaped, 147 year-old, third-floor attic window by using the Abatron products and also old glazing for window glass. Probably no one would notice if replaced by a window company’s product because of the location. Tim said pointing the restored window, “Here this window will live for another 100 years.”

Both of them carry out their work with scrupulous attention.

Young Neighbor Hits the Airwaves

Tune in to the Saturday Light Brigade on 88.3 FM, on February 24th from 10:00 – 10:30 am to hear your neighbor, Amelia Beer, playing the violin. Eight-year-old Amelia will be featured with two fellow Northside students from the Givi School of Music, alongside their teacher. The girls will be playing fiddle music, and will be interviewed about their music instruction. The broadcast can also be downloaded at

Disclaimer: This is, in fact, shameless promotion of the editor’s daughter, but several neighbors have asked where they can hear her play, so I figured I’d share!

Free Tickets for Northsiders: Apart From Me

Apart From Me

Part of the CSA Performance Series
February 8th at 8:00 pm

Using a combination of touch sensors, soundscapes and wearable fabric sculptures, artists H. Gene Thompson, Arvid Tomayko, Anna Azizzy, and Ru Emmons create a language around the push and pull of human connection.

The performers activate their environment with embedded sensors that control the soundscape, taking the audience on an abstract journey of language through touch and separation.

You’re Invited

Thanks to the generous support of the Buhl Foundation, Northside residents and workers are invited to attend this performance for free. A limited number of tickets are available online, so reserve your seat today.

Reserve Your Seats

ReelQ Returns to Alphabet City!

City of Asylum (2018)

The Last Match
(La Partida)

Monday, February 19th
7:00 pm

ReelQ is back with a screening of The Last Match (La Partida), the first in a series of films they will be presenting here at Alphabet City in 2018!

Rey lives with his girlfriend, son and grandmother in a poor Cuban neighborhood. At night, Rey rents his body to foreign tourists. By day, he does the only thing that interests him in life: playing soccer.

The Last Match

When Rey begins to develop a romantic relationship with his teammate Yosvani, he is forced to keep this affair a secret or jeopardize a possible pro-soccer career that would allow him to escape poverty and prostitution. In this hostile environment—and in secret—Rey and Yosvani will begin a love story, for which they will have to fight against all odds.

This film is for mature audiences only and includes scenes with nudity and sexual situations.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

The Border is in His Blood

City of Asylum (2018)

Francisco Cantú

Saturday, February 17th
3:30 pm

Author José Ángel N. will read from his memoir, the valiant story of a man living the American dream — illegally.

“”A devastating narrative of the very real human effects of depersonalized policy.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred)

Pushcart Prize-winning writer Francisco Cantú served as an agent for the United States Border Patrol from 2008 to 2012, working in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Parts of Francisco’s story were included in Best American Essays and were the focus of an episode of This American Life.

In bestowing a 2017 Whiting Award upon him, the judges called his writing “an urgent moral report [that] shows us just how much there is to learn about this contested land…seldom does a writer of such depth and passion come along to explore the place he calls home.”

Francisco Cantú

Francisco’s new memoir The Line Becomes a River interlaces his haunting personal experiences with ruminations on the nature of borderlines, grappling at once with some of the largest political and social questions facing America today and the intimate stories of the hopeful and desperate who set out on a perilous crossing that many will not survive.

Francisco challenges us to hear, absorb, and question the politics, policies, and ingrained ideas of borders that not only derail countless migrants’ lives and tear apart their families but do violence to the humanity of us all.

At this moment of rhetoric and fury around the border, a voice like Francisco’s feels essential and urgent.

Reserve Your Free Tickets

A Memoir Shining a Light on Undocumented Immigrants Living in the Shadows

City of Asylum (2018)

José Ángel N.

Monday, January 15th
8:00 pm

Author José Ángel N. will read from his memoir, the valiant story of a man living the American dream — illegally.

“With great eloquence and pathos, N. draws on his daily life and references philosophers from Socrates to Kant to describe the netherworld of the undocumented.” — Booklist

Arriving in the 1990s with a 9th grade education, N. traveled to Chicago where he found access to ESL and GED classes. He eventually attended college and graduate school and became a professional translator.

Jose Angel N

Despite having a well-paying job, N. was isolated by a lack of official legal documentation. Travel concerns made big promotions out of reach. Vacation time was spent hiding at home, pretending that he was on a long-planned trip. The simple act of purchasing his girlfriend a beer at a Cubs baseball game caused embarrassment and shame when N. couldn’t produce a valid ID. A frustrating contradiction, N. lived in a luxury high-rise condo but couldn’t fully live the American dream. He did, however, find solace in the one gift America gave him – his education.

N’s story represents the triumph of education over adversity. He debunks the stereotype that undocumented immigrants are freeloaders, uninterested in education or opportunity for advancement. With bravery and honesty, he details the constraints, deceptions and humiliations that characterize alien life “amid the shadows.”

Reserve Your Free Tickets