Press release via the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust: The Capitol Steps at the Byham

If you haven’t heard about this show yet…The Capitol steps are hilarious!

Thanks to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for the press release:




Pittsburgh, PA—The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces The Capitol Steps, a Washington, D.C. based comedy troupe that began as a group of Senate Staffers, will present a show based on songs from their current album “How to Succeed In Congress Without Really Lying” on Sunday, November 2, 2014, at 4:00 p.m., at the Byham Theater.  This event is presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series.

Tickets ($20-$45) are available at, by calling 412-456-6666, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.  Groups of 10 or more, call 412-471-6930 or visit online

For over thirty years, The Capitol Steps have been a Washington, D.C. institution providing a unique blend of musical and political comedy to our nation’s capital.  Each show consists of tasteful lampooning guaranteed to leave both sides of the political spectrum laughing. The troupe started in 1981, when John McCain was only 63 years old!  Since then, they have appeared on “The Today Show,” “Nightline,” “CBS Evening News” and for many years in specials for National Public Radio. “We put the MOCK in Democracy!”  ̶  The Capitol Steps

Their show is constantly changing, strenuously bi-partisan, and includes songs about everything in the news, such as “Putin on a Blitz,” “The Big Benghazi Theory,” and “Everybody Must Get Droned.”  If you’ve ever wanted to see Barack Obama sing a show tune, Nancy Pelosi sing a rock song, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie do a classical ballet, this might just be the show for you!

The Capitol Steps won first place in the Washington City Paper, 2014 Best of D.C. Reader’s Poll, “Best Place to Take an Out-of-Towner” category.  Readers said, “They are to D.C. what Second City is to Chicago!”  For more information about The Capitol Steps, visit

Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity.  Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.

Follow us on Twitter @CulturalTrust, and like us on Facebook.

weekly wordpress photography challenge from Pittsburgh: cover art

This week’s challenge was pretty difficult. According to the actual text of the challenge, I need to post an image that would look good on the cover of a book or CD/album.

Here is my entry. I took it yesterday pointing into the fountain at Oxford Center in downtown Pittsburgh. What do you think? I look at it as something that would work well as CD cover art.

fountain oxford center downtown pittsburgh

weekly wordpress photography challenge from Pittsburgh: dreamy

I took this at Pittsburgh’s Wood Street Gallery which is a very short walk from our apartment. It was during a very unique exhibit that started Tesla Coil type machinery when a visitor walked into the room.

taken recently at Wood St Galleries in Pittsburgh

taken recently at Wood St Galleries in Pittsburgh

Here is a link to a short video.

Going to Wood Street Galleries is an adventure in itself. The building is an old, industrial era piece of classic architecture. I have other pictures of it on this website. You should make it a point to visit! If you are unsure of how to come downtown to visit, using our Uber code could get you into town at no cost (depending on how far out of town you live).

I love these challenges from WordPress. They really help bloggers continue with new content.

a brief interview with Sean from the Pittsburgh office of the Green Building Alliance

A HUGE thank you to the Green Building Alliance for taking the time to answer these questions for me. I love how Pittsburgh’s landscape and cityscape has changed since I lived at Point Park University in the late 90s. This office has been one of many forces behind that change.

According to their website the local office was founded in 1993 and was the first US Green Building Council affiliate. I love this text from their About page:

“A Connector: GBA’s members are on the ground building, designing, consulting, commissioning, and advocating for better buildings and spaces in the region. Interested in learning about green building? GBA’s got you covered. Looking for help on a project? Green Building Alliance’s expert staff members can put you in touch with the right people. Want to meet others in the industry? Events hosted by GBA are perfect for networking. In short, GBA is here to connect the dots!how proud are you of Pittsburgh’s leadership on the green building movement?”

These questions were answered by staff member Sean Luther. He is the Pittsburgh 2030 Districts Senior Director according to their website.

Sean Luther | photo credit: GBA website

Sean Luther | photo credit: GBA website

How proud are you of Pittsburgh’s leadership on the green building movement?
I think one of the most understated aspects of Pittsburgh leadership in the healthy and high performance building movement has been its evolution over the past ten years. Success in this sector was originally a very tight collaboration between nonprofits like GBA, the public sector, and private business and real estate companies. Increasingly however, the private sector has embraced sustainability – and the LEED standard in particular – without the direct intervention of government. This evolution typifies the region’s business community, and the unique public/private relationships that have driven Pittsburgh’s success over the past few decades.

How excited are you for the new PNC structure to be completed?
The Tower is certainly one of the most exciting real estate developments in the country right now. I think all of us who are promoting sustainability in the building sector are very excited to see the cutting edge technologies that PNC is incorporating into the project come online. In particular, the solar chimney and passive cooling program that is integral to the building has the potential to radically change the way we think of building operations in this region.

More than just as a sum of next generation technologies however, I am personally excited at what the Tower represents for Pittsburgh and for Downtown. A project this substantial represents the continued economic stability of the region, the importance of Downtown as an employment center, and Pittsburgh’s tradition of innovation.

And personally, I have enjoyed rising into the skyline from my apartment in Downtown over the past two years. It has been such a thrill to watch the structure, and now the façade rise into the skyline.

How do you feel about Pittsburgh’s green building revolution erasing some history? (I LOVE Pittsburgh’s mix of the old and new)
Downtown Pittsburgh’s density, tight street grid, and service as a job center all but ensures that we will always be having to be mindful of the balance between the historic fabric and new development. Our Downtown has so few building sites compared to our peer cities (something we should be thankful for, surface parking lots are the bane of successful downtowns), and the building sector evolves so rapidly that we cannot always rely on redevelopment to drive our region forward. That being said, it is always more efficient to re-use and existing building because of the high impact of materials and energy required for new construction.

I think Downtown has been generally very successful at finding the balance between need for modern office space and reuse of our spectacular historic structures. Many times, as in the Clark Building and the James Reed Building, maintaining historic buildings requires a change of use. It is important though that we hold the new construction that emerges to compliment these historic buildings is held to the highest possible standard for the community; including pursuing high performing building systems and ensuring occupant health. Projects like the Tower at PNC Plaza and re-investments in our existing buildings are pushing these trends forward in an important way.

What would you like to see as Pittsburgh’s next step?
I think Pittsburgh is at a very critical junction in terms of understanding how to continue to grow the economy without the knee jerk of greenfield development to accommodate it. For every Google at Bakery Square and Show Clix in Downtown, there is two or three growing companies that feel compelled to make their home in Cranberry or at the airport. Pittsburgh’s urban centers have remained robust because of how history of job decentralization. The rapidly increasing focus on sprawling job centers not only blunts our region’s success in sustainable buildings, but also directly imperils the success of Downtown.

weekly wordpress photography challenge from Pittsburgh: signs

Hey guys,

The theme for this week’s photography challenge is “signs”.  Any kind of sign that I see in daily life. There are plenty of possible subjects in downtown Pittsburgh as you may expect.

As someone without a professional camera – only my cell phone – I wanted to focus on subjects that are new to the blog and apply a few filters.

Here is my first:

This alley has been used in many movies.

This alley has been used in many movies.

Here is my filtered shot:

filterest strawberry way in Pittsburgh.jpg

Here is another original shot:

Harris Theater Pittsburgh.jpg

This is the last one. This sign is a great example of urban decay. It’s been attached to this building for a while…I see it in older pictures of Pittsburgh.

older sign in downtown pittsburgh.jpg

Here is a link for one of the ghost sign posts I’ve done. Downtown Pittsburgh has a TON of ghost signs!


I’m back with a few pictures from my recent wedding


After taking some time off for my wedding, I’m officially back. I have some huge plans for this site!They range from varied Pittsburgh based content…to more interviews…to redirecting it to my own domain! :)

I’d like to say thank you to the Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie for the recent guest post! It was an awesome article and you should pay her a a visit if you haven’t already.

Here are a few pictures from the day I became a married man. The ceremony was held just outside Pittsburgh at Jess’ childhood home in northern West Virginia.

A huge thanks to Joe Riebling for taking these great photos!

The wedding was at Jess' childhood of the highest points in the panhandle of West Virginia. It was about 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh.

The wedding was at Jess’ childhood home…one of the highest points in the panhandle of West Virginia. It was about 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh.


LOVE this shot! I have a link for the photographer on my blog!

LOVE this shot! I have a link for the photographer on my blog!


Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie’s Review of eatPGH & Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Urban Supper

Urban Supper Table

Urban Supper Table

*DISCLAIMER*: I do not seek monetary benefits from neither eatPGH, nor Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, nor from any of the sponsors of the Urban Supper. I’m just a Pittsburgh Foodie, who enjoys sharing foodie adventures with others. All photos were captured on an iPhone 4S, utilizing Instagram. :)

Saturday evening marked the third Urban Supper, hosted by the ladies of eatPGH and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. eatPGH & P.D.P joined forces to turn a Downtown parking lot into a sophisticated “pop-up” restaurant for the night! This special evening included a D.J. Jarrett Tebbets playing swanky tunes, samplings of wine from the Pittsburgh Winery (Strip District) and beer from the Four Seasons Brewing Company (located in Latrobe, PA). In addition, two mixologists dressed in their finest prohibition-era attire served a special “punch”, infused with spirits from Wigle Whiskey. Volunteers were ever present throughout the night; they served appetizers, cleared dishes and re-filled water glasses & helped the night run smoothly.

When I first arrived to the Urban Supper, I was welcomed by Julia Gongaware of eatPGH with a friendly greeting and assurance that my Mother and I were included on the guest list. The chefs (Richard DeShantz of both Meat & Potatoes and Butcher and the Rye, Keith Fuller of Root 174 and Brian Pekarchik of Grit & Grace, SpoonBRGR & Willow) were already making preparations for the evening ahead of them. My Mom and I sampled wine from the Pittsburgh Winery (Merlot- so good!), and conversed with each other while we nibbled on the two “small bites” that were served during cocktail hour (a pate and devil’s on horseback).

Once the clock struck 6:30, Wes and Tom (the two mixologists) assembled “the punch”, which consisted of Wigle Whiskey’s Wheat Whiskey and Landlocked (which is a spirit made from buckwheat honey, and falls between being a brandy and a rum). Wow- the punch was strong, but oh so tasty! The punch was a beautiful deep cranberry color, and was served in these petite and elegant punch glasses. Dinner started promptly at 7:00pm with the first course:

Salmon Tartare

Salmon Tartare from Keith Fuller

Salmon tartare- cream cheese/everything/hard-boiled egg/black caviar/pickle/ marble rye

Salmon Tartare close-up

Salmon Tartare close-up

This dish was prepared by Keith Fuller. One of the reasons why I wanted to attend this Urban Supper was to FINALLY sample some of the incredible food that Chef Fuller serves! This was a very clever dish! What a creative concept to deconstruct the classic salmon & lox bagel, sans the bagel! I loved scooping up the salmon with a little bit of the cream cheese, the black caviar and the marble rye. Salmon is one of my favorite fish dishes; you can never go wrong with salmon. :)

Ginever Collins

Ginever Collins from Wigle Whiskey

Next up: Ginever Collins- Wigle Organic Ginever/yuzu/lime/pinot grigio/hopped bitters/grey sea salt/seltzer. This drink had a very interesting taste! This cocktail definitely had a savory favor. Also, I could not taste the alcohol in it; thank God I only had one of these drinks! I loved the stripped straw inside of the drink as well.

Heirloom Tomato

Heirloom Tomato from Richard DeShantz

After the first cocktail of the night was served, course number two arrived: heirloom tomato- whipped ricotta/grilled bread/olives/cucumber/picked red onions. This dish was by Richard DeShantz.

It was evident that this was DeShantz’s dish- Meat & Potatoes and Butcher & The Rye’s signature grilled break was utilized in this dish. Those restaurants have the best bread EVER! As soon as I took my first bite of the heirloom tomato, I was in foodie heaven. Now, I wonder: “why can’t every tomato be an heirloom tomato”? This was just sooooo good! The ricotta cheese paired so well with the tomato, and the olives and cucumber brought a complexity of tastes and textures. In other words: I loved this dish! :D

Hot Dog dish

Hot Dog by Keith Fuller

Course #3: hot dog- black mustard/mustard seed/sauerkraut/brown butter/relish. This was by Keith Fuller of Root 174! One of the reasons why I wanted to attend this Urban Supper was to FINALLY sample some of the incredible food that Keith Fuller serves!

This was my favorite dish of the night! Chef Fuller deconstructed the hot dog and created an artistic yet scrumptious presentation of the hot dog on the plate! The hot dog was INCREDIBLE! I LOVED the black mustard, the yellow mustard and mustard seeds, as well as the sauerkraut, brown butter, relish and little bits of hot dog bun. Comfort food at its finest!

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned from Wigle Whiskey

Cocktail #2: Old Fashioned- Wigle Whim: Hopped Rye Whiskey/apple cider/allspice/bitters/lemon oil. This was one of my favorite cocktails of the night! Great work, Wes & Tom! So tasty, and the color of the cocktail in the star-lit night was (dare I say it) sexy. ;-) While I sipped this drink, I felt as if I was transported to the set of Mad Men, but one of my fellow diners reminded me that Don Draper wouldn’t be drinking his Old Fashioned with apple cider (lol). Nevertheless, I thought this was the PERFECT Old Fashioned Cocktail!

Pork Belly

Pork Belly from Richard decants

Dish #4: duroc pork belly- pastrami smoked/pretzel spaetzle/onion pumpkin beer puree/pickle mustard seeds/sauerkraut cracker. This course was by Richard DeShantz. I love me some pork belly! I am happy to report that this pork belly was even better than the Pork Belly taco that I had at Meat & Potatoes in May. The combination of the pastrami, pretzel, pumpkin beer, pickled mustard and sauerkraut was a heavenly combination! Even the gentleman sitting across from me was raving about this dish! Also, the pork belly paired well with the Old Fashioned cocktail.

Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak from Brian Pekarchik

Course #5: grilled hanger steak- corn, tomato, and zucchini sauté/bone marrow custard/chimichuri. I have to admit, I’m not usually a big steak fan, but Chef Pekarchik really made this dish work for me! I really appreciated that he substituted these wonderful summer vegetables in place of potatoes. A healthier take on this classic dish! Also, I could taste the bone marrow (which, thanks to Meat & Potatoes, I have grown to love), which added a sophistication to this dish.

Apple Coffee Cake

Apple Coffee Cake from Brian Pekarchik

Last dish of the night: apple coffee cake- poached apples/streusel/salted caramel. This dish was INCREDIBLE! I loved the fact that Chef Brian made me forget that I wasn’t having chocolate for dessert. This dish was just a beautiful dessert! It was tasty and visually vibrant. What more could any man or woman ask for in a dessert?


Pousse-Cafe from Wigle Whiskey

The final cocktail and toast of the night: Pousse-Café: Wigle Applewood Wheat Whiskey/spiced pear/cinnamon/maple bacon. This was my FAVORITE cocktail of the night! Dessert in a glass! I watched Wes & Tom meticulously craft this dessert cocktail, too. It’s evident that these two gentlemen take pride in their work and seriously love cocktails!

Tom & Wes

Tom & Wes hard at work on the last cocktail of the night

Well Pittsburgh Foodies, that’s my review of the Urban Supper! Make sure to stay tuned to eatPGH’s blog to discover when the next Urban Supper will be held! I highly recommend attending this event, and buy your tickets as soon as they go on sale (this event will sell out)!

Three Cheers to good food, fabulous art and cultural events,

-Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie

Friendly Pittsburgh Foodie’s blog

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eatPGH’s website

eatPGH’s Facebook page

eatPGH’s Twitter page

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Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s website

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Twitter page

Wigle Whiskey’s website

Wigle Whiskey’s Facebook page

Wigle Whiskey’s Twitter page

Four Seasons Brewing Company website

Four Seasons Brewing Company Twitter page

Pittsburgh Winey website

Pittsburgh Winery’s Facebook page

Pittsburgh Winery’s Twitter page

Meat & Potatoes’ website

Meat & Potatoes’ Facebook page

Meat & Potatoes’ Twitter page

Meat & Potatoes’ Instagram page

Butcher & The Rye’s website

Butcher & The Rye’s Facebook page

Butcher & The Rye’s Twitter page

Butcher & The Rye’s Instagram page

Root 174’s website

Root 174’s Facebook page

Root 174’s Twitter page

Grit & Grace’s website

Grit & Grace’s Facebook page

Grit & Grace’s Twitter page

BRGR’s website

BRGR’s Facebook page

BRGR’s Twitter page

Spoon’s website

Spoon’s Twitter page

Willow’s website

Willow’s Twitter page