Pittsburgh

Social Club for the Weekend of Oct. 10

Oct 9, 2014

For the beer lovers out there — you might be able to call us that — 90.5 WESA's Josh and Yelp's Rachel brought in a special guest. Scott Smith, head brewer at East End Brewery, joins the Social Club this week. On tap in this episode: carefully-placed T-shirt racks, twirly hot dog machines, brewing for charity and the controversy of pumpkin beer.

Johnny Appleseed: Beyond the Myth

Sep 25, 2014
Rudolf Vlček / Flickr

You may not recognize the name John Chapman from your history books. The pioneering American nurseryman is better known as Johnny Appleseed, who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and the Midwest. We’ll mark the 240th anniversary of Johnny Appleseed’s birth and his connection to Pittsburgh with culture contributor Joe Wos.

Robots Are Big Business in the Burgh

Sep 23, 2014
oomlaut / Flickr

In a November 1999 article the Wall Street Journal dubbed Pittsburgh “Robo-burgh.” The city is one of a handful of locations in the U.S. leading in the development of robotics technology. This week contributor Rebecca Harris looks at the business of robotics.

The weather is beginning to dim—RIP summer—but the Social Club is still burning bright. 90.5 WESA’s Josh and Yelp’s Rachel have a lot on tap this week. In this episode, Rachel and Josh talk the loss of Smoke, the Big Pour and the pitfalls of peppermint stouts. Listen in for why “I was about to say something uncharitable and entirely unfair to New Jersey.”

Social Club for the Weekend of September 5th

Sep 5, 2014

The summer has begun to fade, but the Social Club keeps trucking on. 90.5 WESA’s Josh and Yelp’s Rachel have some great outdoor activities to help you take advantage of the warm weather while you still can. This week’s episode features pie of dubious nationality, foot wine and the revival of Tupperware sales. Listen in for why, “You’ve got to let the summer breathe a little bit."

90.5 WESA’s Josh and Yelp’s Rachel are back to get you into just the right amount of trouble with this week’s Social Club. In this episode, topics include the Mistake on the Lake, the hidden treasures of Bloomfield and the best burger in Chile. Listen in for how you can, “Enjoy being Italian, or fake being Italian.”

Jessica Nath / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh has been described as “hip,” “organic” and “authentic” by a slew of travel publications over the past few years, but what does all this recognition mean for the city and its residents?

It means money and a boost in the economy, according to Craig Davis, CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH, Susan Corbett, the First Lady of Pennsylvania, and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

They gathered Tuesday at PNC Park, voted one of the best views in the country, in recognition of Pittsburgh being named as a “Top 10 All-American Travel Destinations” by the Travel Channel.

90.5 WESA’s Josh and Yelp’s Rachel are back as The Social Club looks into the future. This time around, Rachel has some week-long and month-long events to keep you occupied long-term. Listen in for tips on yinzing ironically, unicycles and the importance of style.

For the podcast this weekend, 90.5 WESA’s Josh and Yelp’s Rachel ask the deep questions: What's your favorite animal, and are meerkats related to cats?

Of course, the Social Club has some suggestions for how to spend your weekend beyond these animal-related inquiries. Listen in for why, “Adults and face painting don’t often go together, but I think whiskey maybe is the missing ingredient there.”


We love our booze — ahem, our craft beers — here at the Social Club podcast, so of course the upcoming Beer Fest is one of Josh and Rachel’s favorite happenings this weekend. For the sober-minded, however, there’s no need to worry: this week’s events include yoga in the square, fashion trucks, and overlooked Pittsburgh barbecue. Listen in for why, “This is like, deliberate yoga, not just a weirdo running around the Square.”

Jacket Design by Eric Fuentecilla
Eric Fuentecilla / Penguin Books

There aren’t too many writers whose first attempt at a novel gets published- and even fewer have the movie right to their debut scooped up immediately by a major film company.

If Thomas Sweterlitsch's experience in literature has been anything but ordinary, that’s because his first novel, Tomorrow And Tomorrow, has been too.

The book tells the story of John Dominic Blaxton, an investigator living in the future who explores a digital recreation of Pittsburgh, in order to explore the city a decade after it was reduced to dust by a nuclear detonation.

The Social Club podcast gets charitable this week, as Yelp’s Rachel throws out some weekend suggestions for those in need of a good cause. Don’t worry, though, lovers of debauchery: 90.5 WESA’s Josh made sure to pull Rachel back to talk about something “entirely frivolous.”

Listen in on their conversation for a Pup (not pub) Crawl, '90s covers, a secret song, and for why, “It’s good luck to get pooped on by an exotic bird in the jungle.”

With the Fourth of July weekend upon us, 90.5 WESA’s Josh Raulerson and Yelp’s Rachel Carlson have a special Staycation episode for your listening pleasure. Since yinz probably finalized your plans for the Fourth long ago, Rachel whipped up a list of the best things you can do in Pittsburgh this summer regardless of the date, including kayaking, a secret Potato Patch, the Sounds of Science, and a chance to Go Ape. Listen in for why “you could get some maybe uncomfortable insights into your relationships.”

In this episode, we have a beer tracking app, a pile of trash in Heinz Field, food trucks and the opportunity to get your wino on. Josh Raulerson is back from vacation in Colorado, and he brought with him some recommendations on the best local brews in Boulder. He trades them with Yelp’s Rachel Carlson, in exchange for some weekend party tips. Listen in for why there’s, “a time and place for every wine.”

As the summer officially begins, 90.5 WESA’s Josh has a bad case of whiplash from this already fast-moving season. Thankfully, Yelp’s Rachel Carlson, has the know-how to pull him out of his funk.

In this episode, the dynamic duo tells of the event of the summer, the difference between plates and bowls, the best sandwich on the Northside, and the pitfalls of sugar. Listen in for why, “It’s worse than cocaine and tobacco put together.”

90.5 WESA's Josh Raulerson has a confession to make: He doesn't get out much. Thankfully, Yelp's Rachel Carlson is on hand to pick up the slack for this episode of the Social Club.

This weekend, we have a few good reasons to be feel Pride, a trail of libations, and ... a cat stroller? Listen in for why, "Pets and booze and beer are our thing."

The temperatures are rising and the social scene is heating up. 90.5 WESA’s Josh and Yelp’s Rachel have some tips to keep you cool with this weekend’s Social Club. In this episode, chill out with a cocktail tip-of-the-week, take a petty cab for a joy ride, and collect some affordable local art. Listen in for why, “if you show up as an adult unaccompanied, you might get some looks.”

Social Club for the Weekend of May 30th

May 27, 2014

They're back! 90.5 WESA's Josh and Yelp's Rachel are back to give you the weekly skinny of happenings in Pittsburgh. This week learn how to swap clothing with strangers and friends and gorge on gourmet Mac-N-Cheese.

The City of Pittsburgh has landed a highly regarded candidate to head the Department of City Planning.

Ron Gastil formerly served as planning director for Seattle and director of the Manhattan office for the New York City Department of City Planning. He said he is excited about the new administration.

“One that has a combination of real commitment to neighborhoods, and a big picture vision,” Gastil said. “It is also a city that is excited and believes that you can plan your built environment and plan your communities, and address questions of sustainability and equity.”

Photo courtesy of the Heinz History Center Library and Archives

Sports teams enjoy an intense amount of popularity in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers hold more Super Bowl victories than any other franchise, the Penguins enjoy the highest TV ratings for any NHL team since 2000 and the Pirates are experiencing a surge in popularity following their first winning season in 21 years.

Even college teams like the Pitt Panthers or the Duquesne Dukes hold strong followings.

So why doesn’t Pittsburgh, with its avid sports fans, have a major league basketball team? And will we ever get one?

Internet search engine company Google Inc. is expanding its Pittsburgh office in the city's Bakery Square development, but not commenting on a developer's estimate that it could increase the company's employees to 1,000.

Google has confirmed the lease for 66,000 additional square feet, giving the company about 200,000 square feet in a development linked to the city's repurposed Nabisco bakery.

George Washington's Near Death Experiences in Western PA

Dec 18, 2013
Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

260 years ago this month, a 21-year old major in the Virginia militia named George Washington had two brushes with death in the Pittsburgh area, which could have dramatically altered the course of American history. Decades before he became the father of our county, Washington was on a dangerous diplomatic mission in the Western Pennsylvania wilderness.

We explored this little known chapter of Washington's life with historical re-enactor Daniel Nehrer, and retired Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Martin J. O'Brien at the Harmony Museum, not far from where Washington was on December 27, 1753, at the boundary of French and English territory.

What Conventions Mean for Pittsburgh

Oct 8, 2013
glindsay65 / Flickr

Pittsburgh may be known as the city of bridges, but it also holds many different conventions.

The reason for the popularity of Pittsburgh for conventions comes down to accessibility, maximum capacity, pricing, availability, and external attractions according to business contributor Rebecca Harris.

The Pittsburgh Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority has a new chairman.

The resignation of former chair, Dana Yealy, was announced at the group’s October meeting. The board appointed member Nicholas D. Varischetti as the new chair.

“I think you’re going to see the ICA working very closely with all the city stakeholders to come up with smart solutions on how we can be an asset and not a hindrance to helping the city,” Varischetti said.

Is Pittsburgh a Baseball Town Again?

Oct 7, 2013
Flickr user RJ Schmidt

From the days of the first World Series game, played here in 1903, Pittsburgh was considered a baseball town. That is, until the Steel Curtain and the Super Steelers seemed to take over in the 1970s.

But Bob Dvorchak, sportswriter emeritus for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and creator of the website Sports ‘n ‘at, has a different view of Pittsburgh. “Pittsburgh is an event town.”

An Uncertain Future for the August Wilson Center

Oct 4, 2013
AWC / Facebook

When it comes to the August Wilson Center's current financial situation, cost and constructions fees caused “substantial debt” from the beginning, says Mark Clayton Southers, a playwright and former producer at the center.

Charlie Humphrey, CEO and Executive Director of Pittsburgh Filmmakers, says a problem the August Wilson Center faces now is that “nobody wants to fund debt” people want “to fund programs.”

Southers agrees that it's hard to fund a sinking ship and adds that some creative solutions are needed to gather enough funds to clear $7 million in debt.

"En Plein Air" - Painting the Town in Mt. Lebanon

Oct 2, 2013
David Csont / Mt. Lebanon Plen Air

This Monday marked the beginning of the week long 2nd Annual Plein Air Mt. Lebanon Arts Festival where twenty-five artists from around the country are quite literally painting the town.

The festival gets its name from the French expression “en plein air”, meaning “in the open air” and describes the style of painting outdoors. Plein air painting began in the impressionist era led by famous artists such as Claude Monet and Edouard Manet who took their easels, brushes and tubes of paint into nature.

Linda Csont, co-organizer of the art festival and competition says last year’s event was inspired by a similar plein air painting exhibition one summer in Easton, Maryland, which her husband competed in. Their goal was to bring plein air painting to Pittsburgh to showcase the area of Mt. Lebanon and raise funds for the town’s art programs. Artists paint scenes, architecture, fall foliage and people from all around the city, rain or shine. 

Travel and tourism generates $28.6 billion a year in Pennsylvania, but Allegheny County’s official promotion agency thinks Pittsburgh is not living up to its potential because of its smoky history.

VisitPITTSBURGH hosted a photo contest with the goal of attracting tourists to Pittsburgh by showing it as a “vibrant” city.

Spokeswoman Connie George said the agency wanted to break the stereotype associated with the city.

Giving Voters a Say on Natural Gas Drilling

Aug 22, 2013
Flickr

When it comes to drilling for natural gas in the county’s parks, Allegheny County councilman Matt Drozd thinks the decision should be up to the voters. That’s why he recently introduced a resolution that will require the board of elections to ask voters if they should be consulted before the county approves drilling beneath a county park.

“Let them make a decision too and join in. They’ll learn more and they’ll feel more a part of the process,” Drozd said of his proposal.

Trailblazing Admiral Visits Pittsburgh

Aug 15, 2013
US Navy

Being promoted to the position of Rear Admiral in the US Navy is both a tremendous responsibility and an honor. But for Rear Admiral C.J. Jaynes, it was even more than that. Along with the promotion came the understanding that, as the first female Rear Admiral in the Naval Air Systems Command, she would serve not only as a member of the navy, but a role model for female naval officers to follow.

“It means that I have to be a trailblazer, and I have to be looking out for all the other women that are coming up behind me,” Jaynes says, also adding that this realization fully set in when she was told by other women that she served as an inspiration.

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