This summer has just been … madness.
I’m eagerly awaiting fall not only because you know how much fall and I are bosom friends, Anne Shirley, but also because then my life will slow down a bit. And I can breathe. And respond to Twitter replies. And stop opening my inbox only to go [retch] and then close it again.
Needless to say, I’m behind. If you’ve emailed me, I suck. If you’ve tweeted at me, I suck. If you’ve said to yourself, “She sucks,” I say to you, “That’s church.”
I’ve written lots of stuff over the summer at my other home, Pittsburgh Magazine, and wanted to be sure you knew about it in case you only visit me here.
1. UPMC banned smoking, on campus and OFF CAMPUS, for all of its employees, and of course the shit hit the fan. My take on it is over here.
And speaking of breaks, let’s not forget the animosity non-smokers often feel as they watch their colleagues take 20-minute smoke breaks four times per work day while the non-smokers are left behind to passive-aggressively stab away at keyboards thinking, “I wonder if the boss would mind if I took four Nutella breaks every damn day.”
2. I am so effing tired of hearing the word “smoky” to describe Pittsburgh’s recent past, so I wrote a column about what Pittsburgh is NOT. We’re not smoky. We’re not Primanti’s. And three other things we most certainly aren’t.
This isn’t Snake Creek, Okla., where your best bets for diversion include the upending of snoozing bovines or climbing the town’s water tower even though your sheriff cousin expressly forbade you from doing so. Choose to open your eyes to the sporting, cultural and social options available daily. There’s nothing boring about Pittsburgh — except maybe the room at PPG where they watch the paint dry.
3. I love writing the back page for the annual City Guide because it gives me an excuse to spend hours and hours researching Pittsburgh. I came up with seven things I’m almost positive no one single Burgher, except maybe God and Rick Sebak, knew about our city. Let me know how many you knew, and don’t lie, Senor Fuego Pantalones.
>> Back when the Squirrel Hill Tunnels were young, all traffic was stopped as a safety precaution when a gasoline tanker approached. The tanker proceeded through the tunnel completely alone. This happened 1,100 times a month. And you think Parkway East traffic is bad today.
4. Senor Fuego Pantalones would be a super kickass band name. Or Mexican porn star name. Or Anthony Weiner online handle. Or …
5. This amazing building, the old Municipal Hall, used to stand where Saks Fifth Avenue is now, and inside were priceless artifacts that seem to have disappeared, including the first stone ever cut from Western PA onto which Henry Bouquet carved his name way back in the 1700s when the stone was used in the old Fort Pitt redoubt.
Here’s my column on WHERE THE HELL ARE THOSE ARTIFACTS?!?!
The mystery of the bell seems to have been solved as indicated in this document found by @shadow on Twitter.
Onward to the others.
Someone check Lukey’s office.