Tag Archives: Rick Sebak

FREADom Songs

Do you love Pittsburgh? How about karaoke? Are you a little rebel who reads banned books? Do you like free stuff, games and prizes?

If any of those things sound like your cup of tea (or coffee or hot chocolate), celebrate your freedom to read at FREADom, the ACLU-PA’s 20th annual reading of banned books tonight at 7pm at the Carnegie Museum of Art Theater (that’s on the lower level).

image courtesy of the PA ACLU - click through for event page.

image courtesy of the ACLU-PA – click through for event page.

A veritable rogue’s gallery of greats from the event’s past twenty years have assembled for tonight. Scrapbook documentarian and Pittsburgh treasure Rick Sebak will read from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Talk-show host Lynn Cullen will read selections from the Bible. Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes will read some of Vladimir Nabokov‘s Lolita.

Pittsburgh’s best jazz vocalist, Etta Cox, will sing “Strange Fruit,” Billie Holiday’s banned song that protested lynchings. There will be more singing throughout the night in the form of a banned-song karaoke singalong. Fun fact: I’m banned from this part of the event because my singing voice sounds like a cat giving birth to a helicopter and can literally cause paint to peel.

If you’re over age 21, don’t forget to get your Banned Books Week cocktail from the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC).

There will also be a Banned Books Quiz, featuring questions about frequently challenged Young Adult books (like The Bluest Eye, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The House on Mango Street), organized by your favorite CLP librarians. And of course there will be prizes!

Best of all, it’s free!

FREADom is also sponsored by CLP, 90.5 WESA-FM and 91.3 WYEP-FM. For more information call 412-681-7736, email pghinfo@aclupa.org or go to www.aclupa.org/takeaction/events/2015freadom.

–Ross

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Hollywood of the East: A Top Ten List of Pittsburgh-filmed Movies

With Josh Boone’s adaptation of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars opening in theaters across the country today, the long history that Pittsburgh has with film continues to grow. In case you didn’t know, the movie was filmed around here last year in places like Oakmont, Bellevue and a soundstage in the Strip, just to name a few spots. Sadly, this isn’t a review of that film. I guess I’m not a prolific enough reviewer yet for theaters around here to give me advanced screening tickets and whatnot.

Anyway, I’ve previously mentioned Pittsburgh’s history with film and how much I love seeing our city on film. It seems like every week a new project is green lit for Pittsburgh and I couldn’t be more excited about all of it. The city is becoming so well known for its films that bus tours of filming locations throughout the city started on May 31.

And with good reason. Seriously, our city is beautiful.

 

All the talk of tours, Foxcatcher gaining early Oscar buzz and great reviews at Cannes and Aaron Paul and Amanda Seyfried chilling at Jack’s on the South Side got me thinking about all the Pittsburgh-filmed movies I’ve seen. So if you didn’t get any advanced screening tickets like me or can’t get out to the theater this weekend to see the latest addition to Pittsburgh’s filmography, maybe you can check out one of the following.

This is my list of the top ten films filmed in and around the Pittsburgh region.

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My Love Letter to the South Side

Did you know that the South Side has a beautiful, newly renovated library? And that it’s open for business? And that I get to work there? It’s the best!

Photo from the South Pittsburgh Reporter

I love my neighborhood. I love the energy of East Carson Street and the (relative) tranquility of the Slopes. I love that I have so many bars, restaurants, galleries, theaters, bike trails and parks in my backyard. We even have a new dog park, so my girl Ozzy is happy on the South Side, too!

You know who else loves the South Side? Rick Sebak. Check out his DVD South Side. Learn about Veronica’s Veil and what the heck a StepTrek is. Or check out Greetings from Pittsburgh: Neighborhood Narratives, an “omnibus film created by Pittsburgh filmmakers features nine short fictional films set in diverse Pittsburgh neighborhoods, linked together via short sequences of a bus traveling throughout city streets.”

Did you know there is a work of fiction specifically based on the South Side? Scotch and Holy Water : A Pittsburgh Story by Gini Sunner. It tells the story of three immigrant families (Irish, Jewish, and Polish) who all lived and had businesses on Carson Street during World War II.

For more serious fare, check out Pittsburgh’s South Side by Stuart Boehmig. It’s part of the excellent Images of America Series and includes information about the historic buildings, people and events in the early days of Carson Street. Or visit the amazing Pittsburgh Iron and Steel Heritage Collection online and check out old South Side photographs.

Here are some of my personal favorite South Side things. (Besides the library, of course.)

I eat here. And hereHere, too. Oh, and here. I eat and drink here. I met my husband here. Look at art. Here, too. Watch art. Watch movies. Buy a bike. Get your bike fixed. I buy shirts here. I buy jewelry here and clothes here. I get my hair cut here. I get beautified and massaged here. Get coffee. Get more coffee. Get even more coffee, because there’s never enough!

And always, always, ice cream and candy.

So come visit the new South Side library! I’m always happy to give the nickel tour. Ask me questions about the geo-thermal heating and cooling system and LEED certification; because I can answer them!

–suzy

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It’s a Beautiful Day

 Fred Rogers would have been eighty years old last week. Pittsburgh’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Days celebrates his legacy, especially what it means to be a caring neighbor.  

Pittsburgh is a city of neighborhoods. With 88 geographically distinct domaines, how could it be otherwise? (And to know that it’s the topography and/or geography that is responsible for the burgh’s hoods, just think of how many named areas there are in Pittsburgh that have one of these words in them: Wood, Woods, Land, Field, Glen, Park, Vale, and – Pittsburgh’s favorite – Hill.)

But to me Pittsburgh is a city of neighbors. My sense of Pittsburgh hospitality began the day my husband and I pulled our rental truck up to the curb, unfolded our cramped limbs and unlocked the door of our rental house. Strangers who lived nearby offered to help move heavy furniture and feed us dinner. By the time we’d unloaded our possessions we were too tired for dinner, but that night as we fell asleep we knew the names of our four nearest neighbors and wondered if we’d landed in Mister Rogers’ actual neighborhood.

The neighborhood’s real life cast of characters included a chatty corner crossing guard, the reliable postal deliverer (“Hi, I’m Bill and I’ll be bringing your mail!”), and the furnace repair man who, at his second house call, nodded at my husband and punched me on the arm with a “how yinz doin’?”

My goal as librarian at CLP is to be another purveyor of this Pittsburgh hospitality. I like to think of myself as one of Mister Rogers’ neighbors.

The First Floor – New and Featured Department will remember Mr. Rogers  by hosting two events in April.

I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers , by Tim Madigan, is this year’s One Book One Community  program selection. A discussion focusing on this book will be held on the First Floor, Tuesday, April 22, 1:00 – 2:00 PM, with a second session from 6:00 – 7:00 PM.

Saturday, April 26, 2:00 – 5:00 PM, join us on the First Floor for Celebrate Oakland!: A One Book One Community Event. Find out what makes Oakland so special in “Something About Oakland,” a documentary film by Rick Sebak. It’s part of the Pittsburgh History Series  produced for WQED. Afterwards, meet Mr. Sebak and enjoy a neighborhood open house with light refreshments.

Please won’t you be my neighbor?

–Julie

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