thoughts on food, culture, and community

Archive for the month “April, 2013”

Friday Photo: Father and son, Hot Metal Bridge, Pittsburgh

Hot Metal Bridge, April 2013

Hot Metal Bridge, April 2013

This week’s Friday Photo is for these two men, strolling close and talking softly on the Hot Metal Bridge across the Monogahela River.

Friday Photo: Springtime on the Strip, Pittsburgh

Lefty's Store, Strip District, April 2013

Lefty’s on the Strip, April 2013

Brightly colored scarves, handmade wallets. Beaded earrings and Steelers neons. Crates of old records, homemade cannolis sold on the street, and the sweet sizzling smell of glazed chicken and roasted nuts.

I seem to always sense the seasons on the Strip.

Cupcakes fit for spring, Dozen Bake Shop, Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh


Vanilla cupcake with passionfruit and coconut, Dozen Bake Shop, April 2013

I have a weakness for good cupcakes, especially those, like this one from Dozen Bake Shop, that taste like springtime and are made from scratch daily.

This moist vanilla cupcake with deliciously thick passionfruit icing was crowned with coconut for a not-to-sweet but altogether beautiful crunch.

Be sure to call ahead for the day’s flavors and read up on their “best bakery” praise in Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Magazine, Forbes, and

Dozen Bake Shop
3511 Butler Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15201
(412) 683-2327

Friday Photo: Graffiti and musical rebellion, Metz, France

Metz, France 2008

Metz, France, 2008

Just days after a friend of mine visited Metz, France, and questioned why the French would ever deface their beautiful, ancient buildings with graffiti, I stumbled across this phrase, barely visible in the dark: “Beethoven is a revolutionary.”

While I didn’t answer my friend at the time, I should have told her that I love thought-provoking graffiti not only because of what is says but also how it says it and where. The combination between images and words, medium and method, never ceases to amaze me.

Here, I imagine some French teenager, in the classic image of rebellion, scampering off with a can of spray paint in the dark, only to paint a statement about classical music and Beethoven’s unorthodox take to it. Alan Woods summarizes: “After Beethoven (1770-1827), it was impossible to go back to the old days when music was regarded as a soporific for wealthy patrons who could doze through a symphony and then go home quietly to bed. After Beethoven, one no longer returned from a concert humming pleasant tunes. This is music that does not calm, but shocks and disturbs. it is music that makes you think and feel.”

In other words, even though Beethoven’s music is now considered standard in classical repertoire, his music in his time was emotional, nuanced, and breaking musical taboo.

Graffiti like this makes me rethink the purpose and the place of public thought. It makes me rethink my typical image of a graffiti artist. It also reminds me that change — even through music — is rarely appreciated until after it manages to happen.

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