#Pittsblog: Imagining Pittsburgh

Contemporary Pittsburgh is still mostly missing a writer who distills its emerging, collective voice, meaning a forward-looking imagineer to complement the marvelous visual nostalgia of Rick Sebak.  The expressive identity of the city and region are probably the things that I’ve wrestled with the most since moving here and writing about the place myself, on and off, for close to 15 years.  And when I come back to the topic from…

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Pittsburgh Has Bookstores, Still

@NEXTPittsburgh recently published a nice roundup and review of the independent bookstores in the region that are standing proud for print as well as text. Pittsburgh isn’t as publicly bookish as say, Boston, but it’s nice to know that there are a few outlets left for those of us who like to browse in person as well as online. http://www.nextpittsburgh.com/features/11-independent-bookstores-in-pittsburgh-worth-browsing-often/ My favorite, for entirely idiosyncratic reasons, is the decades-old Penguin…

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Pittsburgh: Lagging and Leading

There was an interesting juxtaposition in Pittsburgh economic development news last week, courtesy of the @pittsburghpg @rczullo: Lagging: “Brookings high-tech list a holy Toledo moment.” According to a recent Brookings Institution report, Pittsburgh is lagging other metro regions in its concentration of so-called “advanced industry” jobs. (Here is a link to the full report.) It’s possible to parse the data so that Pittsburgh doesn’t look quite so bad, but really,…

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In Pittsburgh: Kevin Sousa is Right!

Kevin Sousa, Pittsburgh chef and entrepreneur extraordinaire, has a plan to rescue the Pittsburgh region’s signature communal failure, Braddock, Pennsylvania, by opening a high-end restaurant there. It will be an unusual restaurant, “Superior Motors,” with some local sourcing and some local hiring, but a high-end restaurant nonetheless.  The other day, EATER magazine published an interesting overview of Sousa’s prospects — can culinary tourism bring hipster credibility and economic success to…

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