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!

Soundscapes & Postcards
11:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Listen: At Banjo Night, Some Old-Fashioned Fun With 'America's Instrument'

The Pittsburgh Banjo Club holds its public rehearsal every Wednesday night at the Elks Lodge in Pittsburgh's North Side. Even though it's not an official show, the group entertains the diverse audience week after week.
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.

Soundscapes & Postcards
12:28 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Take a Ride with the Gateway Clipper Fleet

The Empress is just one of the six ships that make up the Gateway Clipper Fleet.
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. 

Soundscapes & Postcards
8:12 am
Tue June 18, 2013

On the Trail: Travel Through Frick Park and Hot Dog Dam

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.

Soundscapes & Postcards
6:46 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

On The Trail: A Moment on the Great Allegheny Passage

A group of cyclists on the GAP trail
Credit 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.

Soundscapes & Postcards
1:37 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Meals on Wheels: Pittsburgh's Food Trucks 'Take Food to the People'

Food Trucks take advantage of big events like the Penguins "Big Screen."
Haldan Kirsch WESA

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

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Soundscapes & Postcards
12:23 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

For Students, Pens Hockey is Worth the Wait

Hundreds of students wait in line for hours in freezing cold temperatures for Penguins tickets.
Credit 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.

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Soundscapes & Postcards
12:21 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Giggles the Kookaburra Stays True to His Name

Giggles the Kookaburra
Credit 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.

Soundscapes & Postcards
12:08 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Lawrenceville Cookie Tour a Real Treat

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.

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Soundscapes & Postcards
12:00 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Chandelier Cleaning a Delicate and Difficult Affair

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.

Soundscapes & Postcards
11:58 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Grumbling and Creaking, the Duquesne Incline Climbs On

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

Soundscapes & Postcards
11:52 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Can Pittsburgh Survive a Zombie Apocalypse?

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

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Soundscapes & Postcards
11:48 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Games as 'Social Grease' and 'Spatial Glue'

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.

Soundscapes & Postcards
11:42 am
Mon April 15, 2013

For Mustache Champ, a Growing Sense of Community

Adam Paul Causgrove
Credit 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.