Category Archives: Downtown happenings

Random n’at

1. In addition to not being able to drink alcohol or caffeine (I went from five caffeinated beverages a day to zero, cold turkey. Pretty sure I hallucinated Elvis at one point during withdrawal), I recently decided that eight months of comfort-eating was plenty, smacked myself around a bit, and then put myself on a low-carb diet.

Not being able to eat chocolate or sugar or bread or fruit or PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING GOD CREATED THAT IS DELICIOUS is making me a little stabby and a whole lot punchy.

You’ve been warned, pidgees.

2. Speaking of pigeons, they are incapable of forgetting a face.

This explains why when they see me they’re all, “Hey, you, bitch, with the face.”

The fact that the pigeons appeared to know that clothing colour was not a good way of telling humans apart suggests that the birds have developed abilities to discriminate between humans in particular. 

Future work will focus on identifying whether pigeons learn that humans often change clothes…

Oh, how these scientists are underestimating pigeons. Of course they know humans change clothes!

They’re probably up in their coops all, “That PittGirl is wearing Target again today. This is a step up from late-90s Goodwill. Let’s go poop on her.”

3. I was honored to be invited, along with Jonathan Wander, to the adoption hearing for Fredo as Jamie and Ali McMutrie’s parents officially adopted him last week. Jamie flew in from Haiti to surprise them at the hearing.

(photos courtesy of Jonathan Wander)

It was all so touching to see things wrapped up like that, especially such happiness rising out of such tragedy.

4. Don’t forget the A Night for Tassy 2 taking place on Thursday at the Priory! I’m baking cookies!  They will not have worms in them! They will have sprinkles on them!

Other highlights:

  • Ticket price includes heavy hors d’oeuvres as well as a carving station and mashed potato bar and a cookie table.
  • The Ambridge Steel Drum Band, Jeff Jimmerson and Tassy will be the musical entertainment.
  • A silent auction, raffle prizes, 50/50 and cash-and-carry items will all be on hand. Silent auction items include sports memorabilia, art work, jewelry and more!
  • Randy Baumann and Sally Wiggin are hosting!
  • And in case you missed it up there … JEFF JIMMERSON!

Also, when I saw the picture of the new “Tassy” my heart melted into my shoes and my ovaries exploded.

True story.

Here they are:

They’re sick and they need help and we can do that.

Tickets here!

Let’s save a couple of lives, you guys.

5. Unless my words are being written on parchment paper, rolled up, sealed with wax and being delivered by a horse-riding courier to the King of England, I keep my words as straightforward as possible. “This is this. This is that. This is what needs to be done. Let’s do it. Bye.”

However, Detective Christopher Jordan of the computer crimes unit in Pittsburgh, seems to think he is in fact delivering an urgent message to the king 100 years ago, as he sent an email to Lukey about the recent rash of city employees having their identities stolen.

“Your cooperation is paramount, and I look forward to making the acquaintance of a certain few to ascertain further information germane to the case,” he said.

Someone has been taking PoliticoBot2000 lessons from Lukey. Let me put that in regular email speak: “Your help is important and I look forward to meeting you and others soon to talk about this case.”


6. A Burgher tried to carjack a plainclothes detective last week and when the detective drew his gun on him, the perp claimed they were in the Batman movie and this was in the script.

First, I did not make that up.

Second, I’m going to try this.

  • “Daniel. Please remove your shirt. It’s in the script.”
  • “David. Hurry up and take me to lunch before Christopher Nolan gets pissed at us for not following script! Also, hold my hand and laugh like I amuse you.”
  • “No, Mr. Parking Enforcement Officer. I’m SUPPOSED TO PARK THERE FOR SIX HOURS. It’s in the script! Look up there! The batsignal! [swishes cape and runs away]”
  • “But sir, lighting the pigeons on fire IS IN THE SCRIPT!”
  • “I’ll take six donuts please. They’re carb-free in the script.”

7. I think I want my next car to be a Tumbler. Just gotta figure out a way to keep WPXI’s Rich Walsh from climbing on it every time I park it.

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8. I think this guy maybe thought he was in a movie too.

When LoCastro was told that he would be cited for public drunkenness, police said he became aggressive and screamed, “I will tear your eyes out. I’m Dino Vincent LoCastro. I’m Sicilian. You are dead. Your wife and children are dead. I’m coming after your family. You are going to pay. I’m going to bury you. I will hunt your family for the rest of my days. You can let me go and be my best friend or I will never leave you alone for the rest of your life.”

Right after, “My name is Virginia Montanez. You pooped on me. Prepare to die,” this is almost the exact thing I say to the pigeons before I kick them.


What would you do?

I linked to this video last week on my Twitter account with two separate tweets.

The first was all, “This city done lost its damn mind.”

The second was all, “God bless the gentlemen that helped her.”

Now, the video is here. I’m not going to embed it because I keep thinking, “What if that was my sister?”

The video is starting to go viral, so I thought maybe we should chat about it.

1. I get how that’s a weird thing to see in the middle of the street, in the middle of the city, in the middle of the afternoon, and if I’m being honest and I had been walking by, I don’t know that I wouldn’t have initially snapped a cell-phone picture from the sidewalk without really thinking about it.

I hate that. I wish I could say for certain that had I been there, I’d have immediately rushed to help her. I don’t know that I would have. I know for certain that I would have eventually helped her once I realized she was legitimately not well, but I think my first reaction would have been to chuckle all, “This heat is gettin’ to errrybody. [snap snap] [upload] [send].”

Realizing that about myself is going to force me to take note and be sure that I’m more careful the next time I see something like this.

Like, see the Running Lady, take a picture to prove she’s still running and bow down to her awesomeness. Crazy old lady laying pounds of bird seed in Mellon Square for Satan’s minions? Shame her publicly with great gusto and finger-wagging. Dude standing on the corner busting a move to music it seems only he can hear? Snap a video and post it all, “This guy kinda rules.”

Half-naked woman standing in the middle of a busy downtown street clearly not mentally well or clearly under the influence of something and putting herself in danger for an extended length of time?


2. On the other hand, if she was drunk or high, is it really our responsibility to care considering she’s doing it to herself? I’ve watched enough Intervention on A&E to say yes, we still have to care, but what do you think?

3. How would this have played out before the cell phone?

4. There are many videos of this incident, this longer version with the most views. For a special dose of hate, read the comments to the video and then place your trust wholly in the Karma Boomerang finding the tender asses of each one of those racist assholes and lodging itself so deep that they’ll need a butt-doughnut for at least a month.

5. Reminder to self: In addition to the “I brake for tunnels” shirt and the “Jagoffs make me stabby” shirt, get busy designing the “I live in fear of the Karma Boomerang” shirt.

6. If it’s you in the video that ran into the street and DIRECTLY UP TO HER FACE AND HER ACTUAL BUTT to take a picture … I just … I don’t want to be Judge McJudger the Judge of All Things Judgey, but that was NOT VERY NEIGHBORLY OF YOU.

Somewhere, Mister Rogers shakes an angry blue sneaker at you.

7. So, to sum up.

Running Lady: Picture. We love her.

Pigeon feeder: Picture. We need to make her stop.

Crazy half-naked lady in the street: Help her.

Mister Rogers: Probably pissed.

Your chance to perpetrate

This weekend the first Pittsburgh open casting call for The Dark Knight Rises was announced, so those of you who have “Appear in a Batman movie as a victim or perpetrator in a city besieged by crime and corruption” on your bucket lists, here’s the details!

“Magnus Rex” (“The Dark Knights Rises”)

A Warner Bros. Film requires extras to play as Victims and Perpetrators within a city besieged by crime and corruption. Take part in the urban action adventure ripping through the streets of Pittsburgh from July 28th through August 21st.

Casting Dates:

Sat. June 11th – 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm

Sun. June 12th- 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 6pm

Sat. June 18th- 9am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm

Sun. June 19th- 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 6pm

The Omni Hotel 530 William Penn Place Pittsburgh, PA 15219 in the William Penn Ballroom (ground floor/downstairs)- Use the Oliver St. Entrance, please

Men and Women ages 18 and over. ALL ethnicities!!!! No experience necessary!

Some specific types we are looking for are: Prisoners/Thugs, Guards, Police Officers, Business men & women and Sports Fans- ALL types are needed!!

For more information, visit SWD Casting.


1. Would you be insulted if you went in hoping to be a victim and they cast you as a perpetrator? Are you just violent-looking then?

2. Would you be insulted if you went in hoping to be a badass perpetrator and they cast you as a sobbing, begging-for-life, pants-peeing victim?

3. In a city beseiged by crime and corruption, I will pay the Batman producers the sum of one million dollars if they manage to work a shot of a free-range diaper-wearing one-shoed toddler in there somewhere. For added Burghy-ness, tuck the corner of a Terrible Towel in the back of the diaper.

4. Other perps I’d like to see in this besieged city are the Pittsburgh-standard zombies, ninjas, taser-resistant drunks, and a meter-maid who tries to boot the Batmobile for not paying the meter after 6:00 p.m.

A new skyline for “little” Pittsburgh

PNC announced yesterday that they’re building a 40-story tall green skyscraper that will alter the Pittsburgh skyline.

Here’s what we’ll be seeing come 2015:

I like. I like tall buildings in our skyline. I like tall glass buildings in our skyline.

Another view:

Over in Philly, they’re scratching their heads as to why PNC chose Pittsburgh over them.

The biggest bank in Pennsylvania plans a 40-story, $400 million, 800,000-square-foot, “green” downtown office tower that will put 2,500 tradespeople back to work.

That tower will rise, not in Philadelphia, but in little Pittsburgh, where PNC Financial Services Group Monday announced its new headquarters.

“LITTLE” Pittsburgh?

I understand Philly is bigger than Pittsburgh, but “little” Pittsburgh?

It’s not like PNC chose to build the tower in Erie or Altoona or Conshohocken, which by the way is a fun word to say.

I like to use it as a swear word. “I can’t get this conshohocken’ stain out of the carpet. I’m going to kick the conshohocken’ dog.”

But yes, “little Pittsburgh” won out over “big, giant, dirty, smelly, conshohocken’ Philadelphia.”

What? Isn’t that the opposite of little?

Monday morning reading!

Good Monday morning.

As a solar-powered human being (yes, they make those, ’cause I’m one) this weekend was heaven. Now back to the daily grind, here’s two things for you to go read while I work on a few other posts (Morton! Maholm! Random n’at! Steelers house in Texas! JIM LOKAY IN SLOW MOTION! HERMIONE!).



My June column is up over at, this one about my misguided ten-minute notion that living in Paris would be a dream come true. A snippet:

My impression is that all French women are model-thin with long hair that smells of hazelnut and angel wings. Their lips are perfectly pouty. They exit the womb with a tiny French manicure. And they apparently receive lifetime couture wardrobes from the priciest fashion houses—simply because they were born in France.

It’s kind of like how we’re given a Social Security card. Here’s a little blue card with a 10-digit number we made up just for you, Mary. Custom-made, insanely expensive wardrobe for you, Sabine.

Go read about how in France, you’re supposed to go grocery shopping EVERY DAY or the French people will give you snotty, haughty, poopy looks. Also, they’ll bitchslap a soda can right outta yo hands.

Hat tip to the great Brian O’Neill for coining the phrase “Paris of Appalachia.”

Next month … my letter to Roberto Clemente. It gets real.


I also have a new post up, this one about a flash mob dance that took place at the CASA Rally for Children on the steps of the City County Building last week. You remember CASA because Bruce Arians’ wife is one of the advocates that works with the children and it was their event that I met Mike Wallace.

Like I say in the post, the lone male in the dance group makes me happy. He dances like no one’s watching. I have never danced like no one is watching, not even when I’m dancing and no one is watching.

Also, I have had “Firework” stuck in my head since then. Ridiculously catchy chorus that kicked “King of Wishful Thinking” to the ear curb.

Click here to read and see the video I took. As you watch it, remember, they’re dancing for forgotten children. That makes it so much more powerful.

More soon!