News Around the Neighborhood
Presented with RealTime Interventions and
Rusted Radishes, Beirut’s Literary & Arts Journal
From Pittsburgh to Beirut
Wednesday, June 9
How can a literary journal survive when a country’s economic free-fall makes paper impossible to buy?
Tune in for a Pittsburgh-meets-Beirut event that celebrates of music, literature, and paper. This program is organized to support Rusted Radishes, the pre-eminent literary & arts journal of Beirut, whose upcoming issue “Money,” explores (and is hindered by) the extreme economic trauma in Lebanon.
The evening also spotlights RealTime Intervention’s upcoming virtual show The Birth of Paper. A work written in Pittsburgh and performed live from Beirut that honors the postal service as an ancient, global technology of connection.
Featuring readings, spells, melodies, literature, and paper arts, this is an evening of literary collaborations and connections from across the globe.
Artists and performances live from Pittsburgh and Beirut, including Celeste Gainey, Crystal Woodling, Nur Turkmani, Patricia Ward, Milia Ayache, and Rima Rantisi.
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss within the cup,
And I’ll not ask for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
From To Celia (1616)
Welcome to June. I hope you enjoyed May before it hurried past.
Good news, everyone! With increased vaccination rates comes the imminent possibility of in-person gatherings. Thus, we have decided to hold our Independence Day block party once again. Please mark your calendars for this event (note that Independence Day falls on July 4 this year). I suspect that the format will be similar to past years, but we will follow whatever official CDC guidelines are in place. Details on food and beverages will follow in an eNewsletter. I hope to see you all at the party.
This also means the re-introduction of full membership meetings. As many of you know, the AWCC typically does not hold membership meetings during July and August, so we’ve scheduled the first live membership meeting for September. It’s my sincere hope that, by that time, we will have achieved a very high rate of full vaccination and there will be no need for masks. Again, though, we will follow CDC guidelines.
My last bit of information to impart concerns a September wine-tasting event. AWCC will sponsor Pours and Plates that month, to be held at Holmes Hall. You will be receiving more information on this fund-raising event as the plans firm up.
With that, I wish you all a wonderful June.
Via Zoom (details)
Tuesday, June 8 at 7:30 pm
- 7:30 – Gather, Say Hello, Meet New Neighbors
- 7:35 – Update: City of Pittsburgh Zone 1 Police (Officer Burford)
- 7:40 – Update: City of Pittsburgh, Mayor’s Office (Leah Friedman)
- 7:45 – Update: Councilman Wilson’s Office (Mohammed Burny/Faith Mudd)
- 7:50 – Update: Representative Wheatley’s Office (Thomas Graham)
- 7:55 – Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (Erin Tobin)
- 8:00 – Treasurer’s Report (Aaron Bryan)
- 8:05 – Executive Committee Reports
- Independence Day Block Party
- September In-Person Membership Meeting
- “Pours and Plates” Possible Autumn Event
- 8:25 – Much Ado About Nothing
- 8:30 – Conclude
1 oz. rye whiskey
1 oz. dry vermouth
1/2 oz. blackberry-flavored brandy
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
Stir vigorously with ice, then strain into a pre-chilled Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with a lemon twist or a fresh blackberry (or both). Sip in the warm June twilight, perhaps while listening to something pleasant on the gramophone. As always, please drink responsibly. For those wishing to have a non-alcoholic beverage, simply replace the first three ingredients with some water and a little sugar. A tip of the hat to Martha Helmreich, cocktail muse.
We’re grateful to all neighbors who help keep Allegheny West neat, tidy and—now that we’ve begun planting—beautiful! A few special shout-outs:
Dr. Dan Strinkoski deserves huge applause for his daily sweeping and delittering. Dr. Dan also has been attacking the alleys and keeping the ever-elusive street sweeping machine as much on track as possible.
My Parklet team has worked many hours on what seemed like the hottest days of spring to weed, transplant perennials, buy and plant annuals and then spread about 40 bags of mulch at the corner of Brighton and Western Please thank Holly Pultz, Sally Graubarth, Nonie Knaus, Penny Martin, and Bonnie Fordenbacher when you see them (and consider joining us. Beers at the Modern are part of the gig!))
Frank and Sue Remcheck continue to pick up litter around the park along West Ohio Street, and so much of the fast-food detritus along Allegheny Avenue down to the T Station. Thanks for continuing to make that effort!
Finally, our hanging baskets on Western will be hung soon. Please thank (& patronize) our sponsors this year.
Allegheny City Realty
Eugene Beck Co.
A Good Neighbor
William Hodgdon (in memory of)
Donna Otto (in memory of)
Pittsburgh Home & Garden
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Patricia Rooney (in memory of)
R. Ashley Webb/Wealth Mngt Partners
This is a first for Calvary! We are taking orders for pies and other goodies from The Pie Shoppe in Laughlintown, near Ligonier. The pies are made from the finest ingredients and will be baked right before they are delivered to us for pick-up and are individually boxed. They DO NOT arrive unbaked or frozen. This will be a great addition to a Father’s Day dinner! All proceeds will go to the Calvary United Methodist Church (CUMC) Pastor’s Discretionary Fund which has been depleted during the past year.
Please print and submit the form on the last page of this month’s paper Gazette.
Sous La Peau
Wednesday, May 26
Join us for the regional premier and unreleased screening of Sous La Peau, a film by Robin Harsch hosted by ReelQ. This program includes an exclusive interview with the director and some of the documentary’s subjects.
“If my son ever told me he’d like to change his sex, I think that the ground would collapse under my feet. Understanding it could save me. But how? For 2 years, I followed 3 trans teenagers going through this battlefield where clashes gender, and essentially, identity issues.” – Robin Harsch
Film synopsis: A film about the transition of three trans teenagers, the upheaval it causes in them and their loved ones, as well as the quest for identity buried deep within them.
ReelQ: Pittsburgh’s International LGBTQ Film Festival
The Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities in Pittsburgh and the surrounding tri-state region. In addition, PLGFS provides a crucial service to the cultural vitality of Pittsburgh, designed to support lesbian and gay artists, and to provide a much-needed cultural outlet for the lesbian and gay communities in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas.
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Live Reading & Discussion
Wednesday, May 19
“One of our great chroniclers of displacement…All Nguyen’s fiction is pervaded by a shared intensity of vision, by stinging perceptions that drift like windblown ashes.”
— Joyce Carol Oates, New Yorker
Vietnamese-American novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen continues to receive praise and attention for his witty, arresting, and masterful storytelling. His interviews are thoughtful and entertaining and you are invited to join him virtually, live from his home, as he discusses The Committed, the much-anticipated sequel to his Pulitzer-Prize winning novel The Sympathizer. This newest novel is fierce in tone, capacious, witty, sharp, and deeply researched. The Committed marks not just a sequel to a groundbreaking predecessor, but a sum total accumulation of a life devoted to Vietnamese American history and scholarship. It asks questions central to Vietnamese everywhere—and to our very species: How do we live in the wake of seismic loss and betrayal?
Format: Live conversation; viewed virtually
Thursday, May 20
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
(You will receive an e-mail with a link to Zoom at on the day of the lecture. Don’t see the e-mail? Please be sure to check your spam or junk folders. Log in at 5:45 pm to allow us enough time to let you in to the lecture.)
The story of the public realm is not just of streets and sidewalks and parks. It is also about the buildings that border public space, from shops and offices to homes and restaurants. Before air conditioning and the rise of the automobile, the structures that lined public spaces opened to the street in multiple ways, from covered second-story porches so familiar to many Pittsburgh neighborhoods to the fronts of workshops and wide-doored storefronts.
As we reopen our business districts and neighborhoods, yet at the same time design for a new normal, the places where the private realm opens up to the public are more important than ever. They have been and may continue to be seen as a kind of “safer” space for social interaction and exchange. The practice of earlier generations can contribute to designing future urbanism that opens up buildings to the public realm in new and historic ways, from industrial legacy structures to neighborhood main streets and beyond.
About the presenter: Ray Gastil is the Director of the Remaking Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he holds the David Lewis/Heinz Endowments Directorship of Urban Design and Regional Engagement. A former Director of Planning for the City of Pittsburgh, Gastil led neighborhood planning, resilient community, affordable housing, waterfront, preservation, and mobility initiatives. He previously served as a director in the planning departments of Seattle and New York City and was also a founding director of the Van Alen Institute.
Presented in Partnership with Archipelago Books
Sunday, May 16
Award-winning Rwandan author Scholastique Mukasonga welcomes us virtually into her home in Paris to answer your questions, share her collection of autobiographical stories, and discuss the challenges and creative opportunities of writing memoir in exile.
Her gut-wrenching stories are honest, yet restrained, and move us through the simple joys of her early life to the horrific atrocities of displacement, genocide, and loneliness. What better way to learn more about them and her than the intimate setting of your own home?
Featured novels include Igufu and A Barefoot Woman, translated from French by Jordan Stump. Scholastique is joined by Johns Hopkins professor of world literatures, Jeanne-Marie Jackson.
Later this month, also in Paris, Scholastique accepts the honor of being the first African woman to be awarded with the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom, an international human rights prize for women’s freedom, awarded since 2008 to individuals or groups fighting for gender equality and opposing breaches of human rights. Upon receiving the news, she responded “It’s a pleasant surprise that arrives just as I’m in the process of writing my most feminist novel.”
Format: Artist live from France with English interpretation; viewed virtually