How often to do you find yourself foraging desperately for bike parking? You've pedaled to your local cafe or to the hardware store or to the bar and you have to scrounge around for some viable place to lock up your wheels. A parking meter perhaps? Maybe there's a free street sign? Or a tree? Figuring out what to wrap one's U-lock around is part of the urban cyclist's conundrum.
Birthday parties are a childhood rite of passage. For the over 1.6 million homeless children in the U.S. though, birthday parties are rare. In Pittsburgh though, there are still candles. There a non-profit organization called Beverly's Birthdays is keeping birthdays an essential, memorable part of every childhood.
Sure, Ahmadinejad is bad, but kubideh sandwiches are great. Just because America has differences with some despot, that doesn't mean we can't appreciate his country's culture. That's the idea behind Conflict Kitchen, a take-out restaurant in Pittsburgh that "only serves cuisine from countries that the United States is in conflict with."
Right now, Conflict Kitchen is serving Iranian sandwiches with spiced ground beef, basil, mint, and onion on barbari bread. Each one comes in a special wrapper that features information about Iranian poetry, food, film, and history. Every four months the menu (and facade) will change to highlight a different nation, and each new version of Conflict Kitchen will be supplemented with events about the featured country. Next up: Pyongyang manduguk, perhaps?
Yesterday, Pittsburgh native Liana Maneese was trying to get to a meeting in East Liberty for an organization called GET Larimer (short for Green Environmental Tourism). The organization is composed of thirtysomething, sustainable-economy-minded business owners, social innovators, engineers and real estate developers who are working together to transform Larimer-one of Pittsburgh's most blighted neighborhoods. Through revitalization efforts like urban gardening and solar-panel powering, GET is turning lifelong residents into entrepreneurs and shareholders of new neighborhood businesses. Their first event, which is being held today, was on the agenda for the meeting. Maneese was sidetracked.
On her way to the meeting, she was derailed by the hundreds of riot-geared police who inconvenienced not just protesters, but also locals trying to get around town. "Regular, everyday, normal people were kinda turned into protesters by the police just because we didn't know what was going on," says Maneese. "I felt like, if this is how they're treating us, how are the people who are actually fighting for human rights being treated?"