Regarding Pittsburgh

Sunday, December 27 2015

Optimistic Rubbish

A trash bin in a men's room

The message in the Commonwealth Coffee bathroom:


On the topic of: Bathrooms, Graffiti, Pittsburgh, Rubbish, trash

Sunday, August 9 2015

Ma Preps for Lap Swim

Ma puts on her swim cap.

Ma preps for lap swim.

On the topic of: Family, Finer Living, Pittsburgh, Reportage, Snapshots, Summer, Swimming, Western Pennsylvania

Saturday, August 8 2015

Scotch with Pa

Pa hoists a glass

After I got the swim in with Ma, Pa and I went down to Piper's Pub and had some Scotch.

It's a shame Pa can't taste as well as he used to. The surgery altered his whole olfactory setup. On the bright side, that reduced sensitivity means I don't have to buy him the top shelf stuff.

Still, we're celebrating – his 65th year, his recovery and his pseudo-retirement. I ordered us some Laphroaig 18. 

On the topic of: Bandanas, Drinking, Family, Pittsburgh, Scotch, Snapshots, South Side, Western PA

Friday, August 7 2015

Typical Saturday night in Ingomar

Grandma at the kitchen table, clipping coupons on a Saturday night

Grandma clips coupons at my parents' kitchen table. Her hair is up in rollers tonight so it'll look good for mass tomorrow. 

On the topic of: Coupons, Family, Ingomar, Pittsburgh, Saturday Nights, Sunday Best, Western PA

Thursday, August 6 2015

Arrival at PIT

Stillness and silence at 10pm.

On the topic of: Airports, Buildings, Night, PIT, Pittsburgh, spaces, Travel, Western PA

Saturday, June 6 2015

Kool Kones with Grandma

Grandma Kool Kones in Pittsburgh, PA

Ma took Gma and I out for ice cream. 

On the topic of: Eating, Family, Grandparents, Ice Cream, McCandless, Pittsburgh, Roadside attractions, Snacking

Monday, August 4 2014

Hitting the Road, But After Practicing Rudimentary and Stupid Photography

long exposure composite roadside construction zone trailing lights

After dinner with Ma at Lulu's, where our waitress recognized me as a regular from my college days, and sorting through the client tasks that amassed while I was preoccupied with Life Itself, I began the drive back to NYC.

On the topic of: Dad's Laryngectomy, Family, Highway Sideshows, Night, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, Technique, Travel

Monday, August 4 2014

The Point At Which I Am Inclined To Gasp, But Don't

Somewhere after 5pm, we got to see my dad. It looked like they'd cut his head off and reattached it using a staple gun. He was breathing through a tube through a gaping hole in whatever the name is for that divot of a place below your neck, between your clavicles. It was one of the most horrific and miraculous things I've ever seen.

On the topic of: Dad's Laryngectomy, Family, Grief, Hospitals, Pittsburgh, Surgery

Sunday, August 3 2014

Nightcrawling in Bloomfield, Pittsburgh, on a Sunday

Laundromat storefront at night

The birthday festivities over, my parents have gone to a hotel near the hospital to prepare for Dad's early morning surgery.

My way to process things was to take a night drive in and through and out of the city. And while there, wander quiet, empty Pittsburgh streets with a camera.

On the topic of: Bloomfield, Businesses, Darkness, Lights, Night, Pittsburgh, Wandering

Sunday, August 3 2014

Not Just A Pretty Face


Dad said he wanted a new photo for his LinkedIn profile. I think, maybe, he wanted a proper photo of his head and neck before the surgery would forever change these parts.

We took a few shots on the deck behind the house. This was one of the outtakes.

On the topic of: Dad's Laryngectomy, Family, Ingomar, Pittsburgh

Saturday, August 2 2014

A Few Last Words

dad reaching for beer

Tomorrow's my Dad's birthday.

Two days from now he's having a laryngectomy, a surgery resulting in the removal of his voice box and natural ability to speak. Conversation won't be the same after that.

Tonight we had a drink.

On the topic of: Beers, Conversations, Dads, Dining, Family, Pittsburgh, Transitions

Monday, May 12 2014

Tea with Mahsa

To properly process or understand anything, you need a brief reprieve or escape from it. Grief is no exception. 

After saying goodbye to the family in Wexford and packing for the trip back to NYC, I drove into Pittsburgh.

I stopped at Espresso a Mano, my old Lawrenceville Coffice, to catch up with my old friend, Mahsa.

On the topic of: Coffee, Friends, Grief, Personal Time, Pittsburgh, Private Life

Sunday, April 20 2014

Franco Harris Statue at PIT: View #4

steeler statue helmet airport

Know this, fellow traveler: if you whisper a secret into Franco's ear, it will stay there forever.

On the topic of: Football, PIT, Pittsburgh, Statues, Steelers, Travel

Sunday, April 20 2014

Easter Sunday in Pittsburgh

easter basket on my parent's dining room table

I turned 34 this month, the reason for the birthday balloon in the background, but the Easter basket tradition never gets old for my parents.

On the topic of: Easter, Family, Ingomar, Pittsburgh, Sunday, Warped Humor, Weirdness

Saturday, April 19 2014

Grandma in Rollers

woman helping mother put hair in rollers

Grandma used to do this herself, every Saturday, for long as I can remember, but needs help these days.

I haven't witnessed this ceremony in years. When I used to stay at my grandparent's place on Saturday nights, this was part of the ritual of preparation for Sunday morning's 8 am mass, along with Grandma passing out cones of White House (cherry vanilla) ice cream and Pap watching Lawrence Welk and maybe Austin City Limits if he could stay awake.

On the topic of: Easter, Family, Grandma, Hairdos, Ingomar, Memories, Pittsburgh