News Around the Neighborhood

Cocktail Corner

The Cranberry Flip

  • 2 oz dry gin
  • 4 oz cranberry juice
  • 2 oz lemon juice (about one lemon’s worth)

Fill a tall glass with ice, add ingredients, and stir.
Garnish with mint and orange slices

Judge Jr., Here’s How!, 1927


  • As always, drink responsibly.
  • This is, possibly, a pre-cursor to The Cosmopolitan or “Cosmo”, which was so popular in the 1980s (and into the 2000s for some Sex and the City fans).
  • Leave out the gin for a “mocktail” that also promotes urinary tract health!
  • Mint is still available at some grocery stores. It’s far cheaper, though, to grow your own crop each year. But beware! Mint spreads like a weed, so you may want to isolate it in a planter, or between the walk and your house.

PHLF: Virtual Tour of Market Square

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Thursday, February 10
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Fee: $7.50

This tour will be conducted via Zoom Conference. Click here to purchase a ticket. Disregard the QR code in the confirmation email. You will receive an e-mail with a link to the Zoom event on February 10. Please log in at 5:45 p.m. to allow us enough time to let you into the tour.

Market Square Tour

Ever since surveyor George Woods laid out the plan of streets of Pittsburgh in 1784, Market Square has occupied an important place Downtown—geographically, economically, and culturally. In this area where historic architecture meets recent construction, we will see how PHLF’s work has helped to revive a Downtown core that was once threatened by extensive demolition.

The tour includes residential, commercial, corporate, and hotel buildings, several of which the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded its highest certifications for environmental sustainability. Together, the sites on the tour demonstrate how the combination of historic preservation and thoughtful new development can create a livable urban environment.

America’s Top Immigrant Lawyer in Conversation

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Susan Cohen: Journeys from There to Here

Monday, January 31
7:00 pm

Susan Cohen is an internationally recognized immigration lawyer known for her work fighting the 2017 Travel Ban and representing hundreds of thousands of foreign students in litigation opposing dangerous COVID-related student visa policies. Susan visits City of Asylum to discuss her new collection of essays, Journeys from There to Herea collection that walks us alongside her clients as they share their incredible journeys coming to America while overcoming unimaginable obstacles abroad.

Journey from There to Here

Sprinkled with amusing anecdotes, tense junctures, and heartwarming segments, Journeys from There to Here brings us front and center at the courtroom learning about US immigration policies and systems-which often become an immigrant’s greatest hurdle. Susan is joined by Gazmend Kapllani whose story is prominently featured in Susan’s work.

(Run time: 75 minutes). There are two ways to watch the program: in-person at our venue Alphabet City or live-streamed online. Please review our Covid-19 safety policies for indoor programs @ Alphabet City.

PHLF: A Virtual Tour of Historic Mexican War Streets

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Thursday, January 20
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Fee: $7.50

This tour will be conducted via Zoom Conference. Click here to purchase a ticket to RSVP and you will receive a login e-mail on January 20. Please log in at 5:45 p.m. to allow us enough time to let you into the tour.

Historic Mexican War Streets

Explore one of the most colorful sections of Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood. You’ll learn about the history of the neighborhood, including creation of Allegheny Commons and the Mexican War Streets, and become familiar with the picturesque variety of Victorian architectural styles there. Historic preservation figures prominently in this tour, highlighting how PHLF and the Mexican War Streets Society used preservation strategies to reverse neighborhood decline and disinvestment.

The tour also features historic structures that have been creatively re-purposed by individuals, including the Mattress Factory, City of Asylum/Alphabet City, and the whimsically artful world of Randyland.

Letter from the President – December 2021

Contact: Bob Griewahn |

Greetings from a December morning, as I write this. December brings colder weather and shorter days, so enjoy the long evenings in your cozy home (or the home of a friend). I hope you were able to make it to the Allegheny West Christmas Tree Lighting event at the beginning of the month. We had a lovely time, and the tree looked beautiful. Actually, it still does, and if you missed the lighting, you can still admire the tree at the northeast corner of Western and Galveston Avenues.

Although the tree looks magical, it didn’t get there purely by magic. Many thanks are in order for the volunteers who made it happen. First and foremost, thanks go to Sally Graubarth who coordinated the tree raising and decorating. She also rolled the tree base (an electrical cable spool from Graybar Electric on N. Lincoln Avenue) down Galveston. What a sight that must have been.

She had some elves to help, in setting up the tree and decorating it. Aaron, Trish, Nonie, Carol, Mary, Holly, and Penny were all out there hanging lights and ornaments when I stopped by to “supervise”.  And, I’m sure there were others who lent a hand as well.

Thank you to all the volunteers.

A very special thank you, also, goes to John DeSantis, who allowed us to use his property, and his electricity, for the tree.

The lighting ceremony was well-attended, and several folks brought refreshments for the assembly.  I can attest that all of the cookies were delicious, since I felt it necessary to try (at least) one of each variety.

The tree will be up for several more weeks, I believe.  So, again, if you haven’t yet seen it, please head down to Western Avenue for a look.  I recommend going at dusk or in the evening, if possible, but the tree looks wonderful at any time.

In more mundane matters, we’ll have the final AWCC membership meeting of 2021 on Tuesday, December 14 at 7:30 pm.  This will be a virtual meeting using Zoom.  You’ll find the agenda and Zoom link elsewhere in this copy of the Gazette.

That wraps up my December message.  I wish you all a safe and merry holiday season!

Bob Griewahn
AWCC president

Cocktail Corner

Philadelphia Fish-House Punch

It’s the entertaining season, so let’s make some punch.

Combine in a punch bowl:

  • 1 pound of superfine sugar
  • 16 ounces of lemon juice (or lime juice)

Stir to dissolve. Add:

  • 3 cups of Jamaican rum
  • 12 ounces of cognac
  • 12 ounces of peach brandy
  • 3½ quarts water

Approximate yield: 25 cups

Adapted from the Philadelphia Telegraph, 1880 from a recipe dated 1795.


  • As always, drink responsibly.
  • You’ll need a large punch bowl, since the recipe yields over 6 quarts of punch.
  • Chill with a block of ice.
  • You might be able to use lemon sorbet as well, but then cut back the sugar a bit
  • Any golden, full-bodied rum can be substituted for the Jamaican rum.

Miss the Paper Gazette?

Contact: Cathy Serventi |

You may have noticed the absence of the paper version of the monthly Gazette for the last couple of months.  First, we want to send out our sincere thanks to Karen Beer for her years of service creating the paper version of the monthly Gazette!  If you see Karen out and about (usually with her adorable pup) please take a moment and express your appreciation.  Unfortunately Karen has had to step down from the editor position in October.

Special thanks also to the Sweeneys, the Kutters, Elizabeth Barbush, Tim Zinn, and the Beers for take the time each month to distribute the Gazette to each house every monthly.

We are looking for a volunteer to take over editing and managing the distribution of the paper Gazette to the volunteers who hand them out.  If we are unable to identify a volunteer we will be switching permanently to an electronic version of the Gazette.  If you’re interested in hearing more about the role please contact Cathy at

Calvary United Methodist Christmas Open House

Contact: Brian Burns at either or (724) 388-3246
Date and Time: Saturday, December 18 from 1:00-7:00 pm

Please join us as Calvary presents a Christmas Open House! This free event features tours of the church, live music with choir and organ, a vintage item sale, homemade soups for takeout, cookies and refreshments, a kid’s area with crafts, and a Special Jolly Visitor! Beech Avenue will be open for a self-guided stroll down the historic festively decorated street, featuring carolers.

We are looking for donations for cookies and homemade soup. Also, volunteers are needed for setup, cleanup, crafts, food sales, cookie and refreshment table, question/answer time, and carolers. Please contact Brian Burns at either or (724) 388-3246 with any questions or if you would like to help out with a donation or volunteer.

Visit our website for more information! –


01:00-7:00 pm — Vintage sale, soup takeout, refreshments, kid’s crafts
03:00-3:15 pm — Music
03:15-4:00 pm — Tour, questions, and fellowship
04:00-4:15 pm — Music
04:15-5:00pm — Tour, questions, and fellowship
 * 5:00 pm — “Special Jolly Visitor” arrives *
05:30-6:00 pm — Final tour, questions, and fellowship
06:00-7:00 pm — Final purchases, church closes at 7:00pm

Bell’Art Ensemble Live in Concert

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Bell’Art Ensemble: TREASURES

Monday, December 20th
7:00 pm

Think for a moment about the struggles of the world in these past two years. What did we learn? What did we cherish the most? Were these thoughts precisely the ones that inspired this journey of music that evokes hope, loved ones, optimism, laughter—all the things we treasured along the way. Bell’Art Ensemble will explore all these cherished emotions and memories through stirring song. City of Asylum fans will remember their intimate virtual concerts last year and their soothing in-person performances over the years, live from our stage. You choose which way to watch them now.

Music by: Händel, Finzi, Adams, Guastavino, Amaya

With flexible instrumentation, guest musicians and eclectic programming, the Bell’Art Ensemble commits to breaking down preconceived ideas about classical music in order to connect chamber music with a new audience. They produce the Living Room Chamber Music Project, a decade-long series of concerts designed to bring classical music out of the concert hall and into intimate spaces.