Soundscapes & Postcards

Western Pennsylvania is brimming with rich sounds and interesting people and places. Soundscapes & Postcards features snapshots of iconic Pittsburgh and peeks into the daily lives of people in our community.

Have an idea for a postcard or suggestion on what sounds we should record? Email us!

Haldan Kirsch / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Banjo Club has been playing together for 25 years, but it still manages to get audiences clapping, singing and dancing along to some of the biggest hits of the 1920s and '30s, as well as a few Pittsburgh favorites.

Every Wednesday night the group puts on a show for a diverse audience at the Elks Lodge in Pittsburgh's North Side. The music starts at 8 p.m.

Haldan Kirsch / 90.5 WESA

The Gateway Clipper is celebrating its 55th year on Pittsburgh's three rivers. Going for a ride on any of the Clipper's six ships gives Pittsburghers a chance to travel under its famous bridges and listen to their voice echo against Pittsburgh steel. 

The Clipper offers one-hour sightseeing cruises, shuttle services to the North Shore for sporting events and specialty and theme cruises. The fleet is also available for event rentals. 

Ed Razanauskas / flickr

For hikers and bikers alike, Frick Park has been a favorite Pittsburgh destination for years.  Visitors can enjoy beautiful trails like Tranquil Trail and take their furry friends to cool off at “Hot Dog Dam.” Software engineer, Paul Heckbert has been riding Pittsburgh's bike trails for nearly 20 years.  He shares his love of the region's trails as a member of the Steel Valley Trail Council, and today tells us about this beautiful piece of nature in Pittsburgh.  Catch a moment on the trail with Paul Heckbert.

On The Trail: A Moment on the Great Allegheny Passage

Jun 13, 2013
Great Allegheny Passage / Facebook

This weekend, Pittsburgh celebrates the completion of the last section of the Great Allegheny Passage, a bike trail that runs from Pittsburgh to the nation's capital. Software engineer, Paul Heckbert has been riding Pittsburgh's bike trails for nearly 20 years.  He shares his love of the region's trails as a member of the Steel Valley Trail Council, and he's already taken the GAP to Washington DC. Catch a moment on the trail with Paul Heckbert.

Haldan Kirsch / WESA

When Pittsburgh's food trucks hit the road, burgers, hot dogs, tacos and pierogies are all on the menu.

For Students, Pens Hockey is Worth the Wait

Apr 15, 2013
Rachel R. Grozanick / 90.5 WESA

High school and college students have the opportunity to buy discounted tickets online for every Pittsburgh Penguins home game.

Giggles the Kookaburra Stays True to His Name

Apr 15, 2013
90.5 WESA

Giggles the Kookaburra lives at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Native to Australia, Laughing Kookaburras have the nickname of the “bushman’s alarm clock” due to their tendency to make their raucous laughing call early in the morning.

Once a year, the Lawrenceville Corporation organizes the Joy of Cookies shopping tour. This year, 26 businesses set out plates of treats along the Butler Street route, giving neighbors a chance to meet in a very merry setting.

One of the three crystal chandeliers in the William Penn Hotel is lowered to the lobby floor for hand cleaning. Dusting and buffing the 1,754 individual pieces takes a three-person team eight hours to complete.

Take a ride on the Duquesne Incline. Its cars have carted Pittsburghers up and down Mount Washington since 1877. And it sounds like it.

Co-owner of Lawrenceville’s House of the Dead, Chuck Cramer believes Pittsburgh stands little chance of surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Adam Nelson plays games and thinks you should, too. Nelson ruminates on how games can change a city’s landscape and its citizens for the better.

Chelsea Banks

Winner of the 2012 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year award, Adam Paul Causgrove ruminates on the past, present and future of the mustache.