Unusual Events & Things Good to Know in Pittsburgh

This month: The Hunt at Hartwood, Energy Flow at the Rachel Carson Bridge and Pittsburgh-based flavor suggestions for fast food restaurants.

photo by ray via flickr creative commons



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

What: The Hunt at Hartwood
Where: Hartwood Acres
When: Oct. 5

As a native of Virginia, I’ve met several people who have assumed I must’ve grown up with fox hunts as a near-constant presence in my general milieu. But, no, the 2016 “hunt” at Hartwood Acres — the location’s first in decades — was my first ever.

The whole affair was picturesque. My affable toddler Wee Dude and I strode through crystal-bearing tailgaters (9:30 on a breezy, blue Sunday morning — better here than a North Shore parking lot) to the green-grass field where red-coated members of the Sewickley Hunt Club sat atop the kind of horses you see in portraits; attendees were allowed to ask questions and take pictures. A kind woman with a gilded tray handed me a communion-sized shot of sherry (other options: brandy or apple cider) and offered Wee Dude a muffin from an autumnal wicker basket. 

Lest you immediately think of the skittery animated fox Mary Poppins swooped to save while sitting on her wayward carousel horse (as I did), know this: No actual foxes were harmed in the event. This 21st-century hunt had the hounds chasing a pre-sprayed fox scent. The sport was in the agility of the horse and its rider at the behest of the hounds as the party wound its way through the park’s vast trails and fields. A win all-around.

photo by mike vosburg via flickr creative commons 

#PointbyPoint: Energy Flow Brings Light to the Rachel Carson Bridge

Move over, Giant Rubber Duck. There’s a dazzling, new large-scale art piece Downtown. On Light Up Night (Nov. 18), Energy Flow — an environmental art installation that combines artistic lighting and wind turbine technology — debuted on the Rachel Carson Bridge as part of the city’s bicentennial celebration. Created in partnership with the Bridge Lighting Committee of the Bicentennial Commission, Allegheny County, Covestro and Duquesne Light, the bridge features lighting by New Mexico artist Andrea Polli and wind turbine technology by Windstax, a Pittsburgh-based wind energy company. —Amanda Reed

  • The 27,000 LED lights on the bridge are powered by energy collected from 16 turbines; you can interpret the wind speed based on the light pattern on the bridge.
  • It took a whole city to make this art installation happen. From Mayor Bill Peduto to Jay Sukernek, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Riverlife, and Jeremy Waldrup, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, and with major financial support from Covestro and logistical support by Duquesne Light, an entire team of Pittsburgh people and businesses brought the project to life.
  • This project is designed to be aesthetically pleasing, experimental and scientific. Energy Flow pushes the limits of what public art projects can do with technology; meanwhile, the turbines track the exact wind speed on the bridge, gathering useful data. 
  • New year, a new look for the Rachel Carson Bridge? Sadly, no. Like most art installations, this one is not permanent and will run through New Year’s Day only.

photo courtesy of arby's


In November, fast-food chain Arby’s utilized several Pittsburgh-area locations as test markets for a new venison sandwich, citing the area’s high population of hunters as a natural audience. While we appreciate the opportunity to evaluate the new offering, we would counter that the world of fast food could learn a thing or two from Pittsburgh cuisine, not the other way around. Here are a few humble suggestions for national chains — it’s time to inject some Steel City flavor into your grub. —Sean Collier

KFC: You guys are all about the bowls, right? A bunch of different stuff stacked up, served with a spork? Behold: the Pittsburgh Bowl. Cole slaw and chipped ham atop a bed of fries. Add hot sauce to taste.

Long John Silver’s: Take a note from every church in western Pennsylvania. Call it the Fish Fry Special — a fried fish sandwich the size of a hubcap for about five bucks. Must be served by a strongly accented woman wearing a hair net.

Taco Bell: This one’s easy. The Pierogridilla. Basically just wrap some cheese and a tortilla around, like, three pierogies and call it a day.

Subway: Yinz think yinz know hoagies? I want to be able to walk into any Subway location and ask for it Swissvale Style — 3 feet long and drenched in Italian dressing.

Got any more Pittsburgh culinary tips for fast-food giants? Email Sean Collier at scollier@pittsburghmagazine.com.


A FUNNY THING HAPPENED … You’re sorting through a box of junk or cleaning out a closet on a ho-hum afternoon. Suddenly, you’re slapped in the face by your own past — a memento or trinket of a long-gone relationship, with meaning and emotion pulsing through it. Do you throw it out? Hide it away? Or perhaps donate it to a museum?

The Museum of Broken Relationships (brokenships.com), established in Zagreb, Croatia by Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubiši, collects items donated by people around the world that serve as an exhibit of their romantic past.

Project Ex, a team of students and instructors from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, are planning a local version of the Museum, set to open in early December at the Mine Factory in Point Breeze; for more information, head to etc.cmu.edu/projects/project-ex. —SC


The City of Pittsburgh on Oct. 31 introduced Burgh’s Eye View, a new web app that shows neighborhood data including public safety information, “311” requests, building permits and more. Find it at: analytics.pittsburghpa.gov/BurghsEyeView


Congratulations to the Three Rivers Rowing Club, which on Nov. 1 was named the USRowing Club of the Year. It’s Three Rivers Rowing’s fourth selection as Club of the Year since the award’s inception in 2002.


A festive celebration is in order (as always) for the 15th anniversary of The Nutcracker at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. The beloved holiday tradition runs from Dec. 2-27 at the Benedum Center.


Categories: Things To Do