Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Unusual Events & Things Good to Know in Pittsburgh

This month: a beginner's jam for ukulele players, Pittsburgh's marijuana reforms, and other cool things to implode.




photo via flickr creative commons

 

#UnusualEvents

Each month, PM asks contributor Amy Whipple to attend an out-of-the-ordinary happening somewhere in the city.

What: Steel City Ukuleles Beginner’s Jam
Where: Mt. Lebanon Public Library
When: Dec. 22, 2015

As Wee Dude, my trusty toddler/reporting sidekick, and I embarked on this month’s adventure, a friend sent a word of caution: “I’m just warning you, the ukulele is a gateway instrument.”

Scoff. Scoff, scoff, scoff, scoff. It’s a ukulele. I’m in Pittsburgh, not Hawaii. And I’ve successfully bombed out of playing the violin (elementary school) and the guitar (college).

But the beginner’s jam — hosted by Steel City Ukuleles (meetup.com/Steel-City-Ukuleles) — beckoned as joyfully as the bright blue baby uke Wee Dude received as a present.
And that was before we even set foot in the Mt. Lebanon Public Library. The “can’t wait” comments on SCU’s meetup.com page betrayed the group’s overall enthusiasm for the instrument and for each other. The atmosphere in the basement meeting room at the library did not disappoint.

For those worried about jumping in with an established group, the regulars welcomed us, folding everyone right into the session with friendly banter. (Note: While everyone was very kind to Wee Dude, the atmosphere definitely did not have a kid vibe overall.) The skill sets ranged from one-chord to accomplished; the songs, from American folk to Irish pub to golden oldies. We even got to sing along (badly, if you’re this reporter).

Steel City Ukuleles offers about 10 jams a month for all skill levels in several parts of the city and suburbs. Their meetup.com page boasts almost 300 players and 11 organizers.
The beginner’s jam is the perfect kind of low-intensity socializing for the end of a weekday. Next time, I’ll leave Wee Dude at home and bring his baby blue uke with me. I’m sure he won’t mind.
 


photo via flickr creative commons

 

#PointbyPoint: The city’s marijuana reforms

On Dec. 21, Pittsburgh City Council approved a bill that would decriminalize the possession and use of marijuana within city limits. While what was previously a misdemeanor now can be regarded as a summary offense — similar to a parking ticket — by city police, that does not mean that possessing, growing or selling marijuana is now legal within city limits. A few things to know:

  • The new penalties go like this: Possession of a small amount of marijuana (30 grams — about an ounce — or less) will incur a $25 fine. Smoking in public bumps that fine up to $100.
     
  • This applies only within the city limits. For now, nothing has changed elsewhere in Allegheny County, and marijuana remains illegal within the state of Pennsylvania (and on a federal level)
     
  • The presence of marijuana still could qualify as probable cause for a search. So while police now can simply write a ticket, confiscate the weed and send the offender on his or her way, they also can opt to conduct a search of that offender’s person, car or home.
     
  • Police still can arrest an offender at their discretion. For example, if police have reason to believe a crime other than possession and/or smoking in public has taken place — as in, say, driving under the influence, a charge which incorporates alcohol and all drugs — they still have the right to handle things the old way.

It’s not yet known how Pittsburgh police plan to change enforcement. As of press time, they’re still studying how to implement the changes, according to Mayor Bill Peduto’s office — and the interplay between local decriminalization and state and federal law remains a gray area. —Sean Collier
 


photo by dave dicello

 

#WhyStopThere? Blowing stuff up

The overwhelming popularity of recent bridge implosions sends a clear message: many Pittsburghers get really excited when things go boom. To further cater to this segment of the local population, we humbly suggest the following list of other potential implosion subjects:

  • The decaying, former Bayer sign on Mount Washington. (PittGirl was right!)
     
  • The vast majority of Parkway Center Mall. (You got to know when to fold ’em.)
     
  • The ramp connecting I-579 and the Liberty Bridge. (Because it’s quicker to swim across the river than wait in the left lane during rush hour.)
     
  • A large pile consisting of every colored beltway sign. (It’s been 65 years; I don’t think we’re ever going to figure these out.)
     
  • A 50-foot-tall pierogi. (I know that this would be very difficult to build, I just think it would implode really well.)

––SC

The preceding was a work of satire; Sean Collier does not actually want to destroy anything of value. Got anything you’d like to implode? Let him know at scollier@pittsburghmagazine.com.
 


photo courtesy of havefundogood.co

 

#You Should Try it

For those with the urge to give back but might not know where to start, local organization Have Fun. Do Good. could be the perfect answer.

Volunteers sign up for weekend journeys, RV trips or one-day activities benefitting a variety of nonprofit organizations (which will be featured on the group’s blog); Have Fun. Do Good. handles the logistics, gets volunteers to where they’re going and provides opportunities for volunteers to socialize and explore by night.

Founder Adam Kunes says making the trips about socializing in addition to volunteering is vital.

“It’s always great meeting other like-minded people,” he says. “If you can incorporate a social component to it, [people are] going to be much more likely to come out.”

Next up for the group: a weekend trip to volunteer for a number of organizations in Washington, D.C., with plenty of time on the town packed in. $200 covers your transportation and lodging; sign up for this or future trips at havefundogood.co. —SC
 

 

#Props: Kennywood

And they did it without any meaningful snowfall! Kennywood’s annual winter celebration, Holiday Lights, was voted one of the Top 10 Holiday Theme Park Events nationwide by readers of USA Today’s travel website, 10best.com.—SC

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Adda Coffee and Tea Expands to a Second Location

The coffee house brings its international focus and welcoming atmosphere to the North Side.

The 400-Word Review: Mortal Engines

Another attempt to start a dystopian franchise can't deliver on its strong premise.

Do You Know Uber's Top 10 Pittsburgh Destinations in 2018?

The rideshare company collects data on just about every aspect of the rider experience, including the most frequently visited locations.

Steelers’ Finishing Stretch Smells Like a Tomlin Referendum

In a season that remarkably could still go either way as Christmas approaches, we’re about to find out if Mike Tomlin still has the coaching chops that have allowed him to succeed at such a high level for so long.

The 400-Word Review: The Favourite

The quirky period drama starring Emma Stone is one of the year's best films.

My Favorite Room with Heather Abraham

Each issue, HOME goes inside the room of one of our favorite Pittsburghers.

Look Inside a Home That's a True Gateway to Pittsburgh

After 50 years away, Dick and Vicki Mallary returned to Pittsburgh and spent years painstakingly remodeling a condo in the heart of Downtown.

This Old Pittsburgh House: A Ghost in the Library

It's said that the mischievous spirit of Amanda Bayne Balph still haunts the red brick Victorian home in Bellevue.

“Trocking” Along: Living the Art-Filled Life in Pittsburgh

Patricia Sheahan’s home in the Brewhouse Art Lofts on the South side doubles as a gallery space showcasing her collection of art, antique finds and roadside treasures.

Down to Earth is the Hottest Trend at High Point Market

Get the scoop on the furnishing and decor trends to come out of the influential High Point Market trade show, including a return to natural materials.

Winter 2019: Things We Love

Here are the local gems worth obsessing over.

The Best New Restaurants in Pittsburgh in 2018

Our dining critic picks the eight top openings of 2018 and suggests one more to keep an eye on.

A Guide to Under-21 College Nightlife in Pittsburgh

Guest blogger Sarah Connor helps college kids head out at night, whatever their birth year.

The 400-Word Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The animated wing of Spider-Man's movie world proves to be a groundbreaking step in animation.

New Venue To Serve as Downtown's Home for Magic

The intimate venue will offer close-up, "parlour" magic shows for small audiences beginning in February.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Do You Know Uber's Top 10 Pittsburgh Destinations in 2018?

Do You Know Uber's Top 10 Pittsburgh Destinations in 2018?

The rideshare company collects data on just about every aspect of the rider experience, including the most frequently visited locations.

Comments

New Venue To Serve as Downtown's Home for Magic

New Venue To Serve as Downtown's Home for Magic

The intimate venue will offer close-up, "parlour" magic shows for small audiences beginning in February.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Adda Coffee and Tea Expands to a Second Location

Adda Coffee and Tea Expands to a Second Location

The coffee house brings its international focus and welcoming atmosphere to the North Side.

Comments

First Look: Seasons in Etna

First Look: Seasons in Etna

David Bulman’s hyper-local, 12-seat restaurant has the potential to become a dining destination.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Don’t resign yourself to the gym treadmills just yet – fall is one of the best times of the year to get outside and pound the pavement, surrounded by falling leaves and the possibility of grabbing a hot latte on the way home.

Comments

Love Sourdough? Find the Best There Is at These Five Bake Shops

Love Sourdough? Find the Best There Is at These Five Bake Shops

We dove into the local artisan bread scene to find the best places that bake naturally leavened bread in Pittsburgh.

Comments


A Guide to Under-21 College Nightlife in Pittsburgh

A Guide to Under-21 College Nightlife in Pittsburgh

Guest blogger Sarah Connor helps college kids head out at night, whatever their birth year.

Comments

At Jergel's, It's Beers and Grub Near Some Rock and Roll

At Jergel's, It's Beers and Grub Near Some Rock and Roll

The Warrendale venue makes seeing a show feel like an easygoing night out.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers’ Finishing Stretch Smells Like a Tomlin Referendum

Steelers’ Finishing Stretch Smells Like a Tomlin Referendum

In a season that remarkably could still go either way as Christmas approaches, we’re about to find out if Mike Tomlin still has the coaching chops that have allowed him to succeed at such a high level for so long.

Comments

When I Realized the True Meaning of the Army-Navy Game

When I Realized the True Meaning of the Army-Navy Game

As Army veteran and Pittsburgh Steeler Alejandro Villanueva sees it, Army-Navy is football at its core in a setting that transcends the sport.​

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Mortal Engines

The 400-Word Review: Mortal Engines

Another attempt to start a dystopian franchise can't deliver on its strong premise.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: The Favourite

The 400-Word Review: The Favourite

The quirky period drama starring Emma Stone is one of the year's best films.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Overseas Adventures Lead to Pittsburgh Weddings

Overseas Adventures Lead to Pittsburgh Weddings

These couples made the trip that would take them from dating to engaged.

Comments

On Theme Weddings with Style

On Theme Weddings with Style

These brides went beyond a color scheme for their wedding day to work in an entire theme.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Historic Larimer Schoolhouse Will Graduate to Apartment Complex

Historic Larimer Schoolhouse Will Graduate to Apartment Complex

Federal funds will be used to turn to the vacant Romanesque-style building into 35 mixed-income apartments.

Comments

Allegheny County Could Pay You to Convert Your Wood Burning Fireplace

Allegheny County Could Pay You to Convert Your Wood Burning Fireplace

In the hopes of reducing air pollution and improving indoor air quality — particularly for those with asthma — the county health department is conducting a program to convert open-hearth fireplaces into vented gas-burning appliances.

Comments