News Around the Neighborhood

PHLF: Virtual Tour of Point Breeze

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Live, Virtual Architecture Tour: Western Shadyside

Wednesday, March 31
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Fee: $7.50

Described as “Chateau Country” by PHLF’s co-founder Jamie Van Trump, Point Breeze was once home to Pittsburgh industrialists of great wealth: Andrew Carnegie, H.J. Heinz, George Westinghouse, and Henry Clay Frick, among others. Only Frick’s grand home, “Clayton,” survives, as part of The Frick Pittsburgh, but there is still much to see and explore in this large, residential city neighborhood.

Point Breeze Tour

The tour will amble among Point Breeze’s lovely streets and include the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary (originally the home of Durbin Horne, son of Joseph Horne); Pittsburgh New Church; nearby main street shops; and Engine House No. 16, now the home of Fireman Creative.

This live virtual tour will be held via Zoom Conference. 

Click here to purchase a ticket for your household and you will receive an e-mail with a link to Zoom at 9:00 am on the day of the tour. Don’t see an e-mail? Please check your Junk/Spam folders. Login 15 minutes before the tour’s scheduled start to ensure that it begins on time. Please disregard the QR code in the confirmation you receive. Our link to the Zoom connection is your entry to the tour.

Imbolo Mbue: Live Reading & Conversation

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How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue

Live Reading & Conversation

Wednesday, March 24
7:00 pm

Imbolo Mbue will discuss her creative process in a live conversation and audience Q&A, moderated by Dr. Edda Fields-Black, Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University specializing in trans-national West African farmers.

Growing up in Limbe, Cameroon, a seaside town with an oil refinery, Imbolo Mbue witnessed firsthand life under a dictatorship and was fascinated by the people who rose up against corporate greed and systems of injustice. Profoundly moving, How Beautiful We Were delivers the same storytelling mastery that brought her so many fans and such critical acclaim. 

How Beautiful We Were

In October 2017, Imbolo visited City of Asylum to read from her debut novel Behold the Dreamers. Her powerful reading stuck with our staff these past few years—Imbolo was warm and engaging yet frank and challenging in her descriptions of the difficulties facing immigrants in this country. We knew we wanted to revisit that program in May of last year with a broadcast as a Staff Favorites selection. We are just as excited to welcome her back now in a live conversation about her new book. 

How Beautiful We Were is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghost of colonialism, comes up against one community’s determination to hold on to its ancestral land. Told from the perspective of a generation of children and the family of a girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people’s freedom, this gorgeous novel is destined to become a classic.

Raphael Cormack: Live Reading & Conversation

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Midnight in Cairo by Raphael Cormack 

Live Reading and Conversation

Sunday, March 21
5:00 pm

Midnight in CairoJoin us for a live reading and conversation with award-winning author, Raphael Cormack. He’s joined by moderator Adham Hafetz, a contemporary theater director in Egypt, who will be debuting some performance clips throughout the program. 

Our Bookstore Manager, Lesley Rains, considered Midnight in Cairo to be one of her favorite books of 2020—one that brought her much joy in the early, confusing days of the pandemic. She says:

Midnight in Cairo is a rich and lively portrait of Cairo during the 1920s.  When we think of the Roaring ’20s, we often think of New York, London, and Paris. Cormack rightly reminds us to explore the thriving urban centers of non-western cities. Thanks to his impressive research and sharp writing, we now have a portrait of previously overlooked women who were both talented artists and successful businesswomen. Midnight in Cairo brims with life and will leave you wanting to know even more.”

Interested in Changes to the Residential Permit Parking Program?

RPP Amendments Graphic

Hope this message finds everyone doing well.  The City would like input on changes to the Residential Permit Parking (RPP) Program.  Please share this email with your residents, businesses, and community stakeholders.  

The Residential Permit Parking Program is designed to give residents in designated areas a better chance to park near their homes. Currently, the Department of City Planning is responsible for creating and expanding new areas for this program, but the City of Pittsburgh is in the process of transferring this process to the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, who already manages permits and enforcement in RPP Areas. 

The transfer of this process provides us with an opportunity. Since this change requires a change to the City Code, the City is interested in hearing from residents about any changes to the program they want to see. This will allow the city to make all potential Code changes at the same time. So, this is where you come in: We want to hear from you.  

We have created a survey that will be available to residents until April 25, 2021. This survey covers designation of new districts, fees, permits for residents and visitors, and allows for any other feedback you would like to give about this program. Click Here to take the survey now.  You can also take the survey over the phone. Just dial 3-1-1 and ask the operator to walk you through it. 

Your feedback is important to us. We want to ensure that this program is effective for you and all the residents of Pittsburgh living in RPP areas. For more information about this project, visit https://engage.pittsburghpa.gov/rpp-program-updates 

Stephanie Joy Everett
Senior Planner | Strategic Planning
City of Pittsburgh | Department of City Planning
200 Ross St, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Letter from the President – March 2021

The Fallow Deer at the Lonely House

One without looks in tonight
Through the curtain-chink
From the sheet of glistening white;
One without looks in tonight
As we sit and think
By the fender-brink.

 

We do not discern those eyes
Watching in the snow;
Lit by lamps of rosy dyes

 

We do not discern those eyes
Wondering, aglow,
Fourfooted, tiptoe

                                

Thomas Hardy

(With thanks to Ann Gilligan, who suggested this poem despite Hardy’s not being Irish)

Why a poem about a deer this month? Because the Allegheny West Civic Council will be hosting a presentation on the playground near the iron deer statue in the West Commons. As some of you know, the playground fell into disrepair over the years. Last autumn, our city councilor, Bobby Wilson, made an inspection of the playground with Public Works personnel. They discovered that some of the equipment had become unsafe for the children, and had it removed.

Now the city is designing a new playground for the site and wants to discuss those designs in our neighborhood. So, we will be hosting a presentation by Andrea Ketzel, a Senior Project Landscape Architect with the Department of Public Works, prior to our March membership meeting. This is Allegheny West’s chance to learn how the city designs amenities like this, and to present our ideas and concerns to the designers.

Nota Bene: This presentation will take place from 6:45 pm to 7:15 pm on Tuesday, March 9. That should be enough time for Ms. Ketzel to present her ideas and get our feedback. It will be held as a Zoom video conference. We will be sending the Zoom link in an upcoming e-Newsletter.

Afterwards, at 7:30 pm, we’ll have our regularly scheduled membership meeting.  Please join us as we discuss the current issues and happenings in Allegheny West. We’ll hear from the usual guests from our elected representatives’ offices, as well as reports from some of our committee chairs. And our Sergeant-at-Arms, Colleen Storm, will delight us with her usual selection of virtual refreshments (gluten-free). I hope to see you all there.

Beware the Ides of March, but happy St. Patrick’s Day! That’s all for this month’s missive. I hope you have a great month.

Bob Griewahn
President, AWCC

 

AWCC Informational Meeting – March 9, 2021

Via Zoom (details)
March 9th at 7:30 pm

  • 7:30 – Gather, Say Hello, Make Trivia Contest Side Bets
  • 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 (Sally Stadelman/Mohammed Burny/Faith Mudd)
  • 7:50 – Update: Representative Wheatley’s Office (Thomas Graham)
  • 7:55 – Update; Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy (Erin Tobin)
  • 8:00 – Iron Deer Playground
  • 8:10 – Treasurer’s Report (Aaron Bryan)
  • 8:15 – Executive Committee Reports
    • President (Bob Griewahn)
    • Past President (Ann Gilligan)
  • 8:30 – Conclude

Memorial Tree Planting

Submitted by Fran Barbush

In the past, we have planted trees in memoriam of departed neighbors and friends of the neighborhood. We recently learned of the passing of our long-time neighbor, Mrs. Patricia Rooney.  She was a champion and fundraiser for the Allegheny Commons, and a positive spokesperson for the North Side. We also learned of the death of Greta Coleman. Her husband, Moe, and she were neighbors for many years. Moe passed away last year.

We did not purchase any trees last year, due to the pandemic. If you would like to make contributions toward memorial trees, you can prepare a check and make it out to AWCC, and put it through the mail slot at 806 Western Avenue; or contact treasurer@alleghenywest.org. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sponsor a Western Avenue Flower Basket

We’re delighted to announce that Western Avenue in Allegheny West will once again be beautified by hanging flower baskets provided by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC). The WPC will provide the baskets, flowers, installation, watering and maintenance, “take down” and storage of the baskets. We had 40 baskets sponsored in 2020, but with 32 double poles, there is plenty of room for others to help in this worthy endeavor! We want to ensure that all who would like to participate be given the chance to do so. 

In 2021, WPC is providing a discounted rate of $355/basket — including the sign! — for the initial year, which includes purchase of the basket, as well as plants, hanging, maintenance, take-down and storage. Sponsors will be subsequently reassessed at a $280/basket rate thereafter for plants, hanging and take-down, maintenance and storage. If interested in sponsoring a basket, please respond to Trish Burton (tdburton3@gmail.com) by March 21 to be included for 2021.

Wednesday Night Bowling at the Elks (Poetry)

A few of the Allegheny West bowling regulars, known in some corners as The Alley Cats, were recently reminiscing about pre-pandemic Wednesday nights at the Elks. As often happens on a cold winter night, sitting by the fire with a glass of wine and missing old friends, a limerick contest broke out. Below is what happened next. (Thankfully, most of us are better at bowling.)

There was an old man in the alley
Whose score no one could tally
Every frame, you see
Was marked with a ‘G’
The gutter was his hidden valley
– Ann Gilligan & Bob Griewahn

There once were some cats o’ the alley
Who thought bowling would be a right sally
So the Elks lent them a lane
Then the cats, the cats they all came
And the kitties framed a 300 rally.
-Trixie Burton

Of strikes at the Elks I’ve been dreaming
While pints of beer I am drinking
And banjo tunes are prevalent
Alas, my dream is irrelevant
As a vaccine shot , I still am awaiting!
-Fran Barbush

There once was a man named Bob Griewahn
Who’s hook was described as a mean one
His style never boring
Quite excellent at scoring
’Twas the best in my humble opinion.
– John Engle

Ten pins and a ball.
The pressure mounts. Need a strike.
Where is my whiskey?
– Mark Fatla

When asked what was bowling’s worst chore
John Engle said “Keeping the score”
“Do I carry the ten?”
“And add it again?”
At the lanes two and two don’t make four
– Bob Griewahn

When the goose poop was covered in snow
And the bone-chilling North Wind did blow
We’d head to the lanes
And bowl a few frames
While the Banjo Club played down below
– Bob Griewahn

’Twas in years before the virus
That lanes and banjos inspired us
The food was quite fine
And bourbon poured like wine
Of the Elks on Wednesdays, we are so desirous
– Tom Cihil

There once was a bowler named Bob
Who, concerned ’bout the poetry squad,
Did not work on the law
But limericked—hee-haw—
And told Laura, “No money, no prob!”
– Trixie Burton

Tomoko Omura + Glenn Zaleski Quartet

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Tomoko Omura + Glenn Zaleski Quartet from Alphabet City

Thursday, March 4
7:00 pm

Recently, you may have seen Glenn Zaleski, James Johnson III, and Jeff Grubs perform on our stage (with Yoko Suzuki), tackling the complicated music of Geri Allen. They return, this time with Glenn’s wife, Tomoko Omuro, in a pre-recorded broadcast from Alphabet City. (Run time: 60 minutes)

Tomato Omura and Glenn Zaleski

The Tomoko Omura + Glenn Zaleski Quartet is an improvisational, modern jazz group, featuring two in-demand NYC musicians and two top-talent Pittsburghers. Listen as they play original compositions with touches of classical, folk, and traditional Japanese music. You won’t believe your ears as you hear genres mixing delightfully and effortlessly. You won’t hear anything like this anywhere else.

Broadcast from our stage are jazz favorites: Tomoko Omura (5-string violin); Glenn Zaleski (piano), James Johnson III (drums), and Jeff Grubbs(bass).