Phil Cynar
Warhol's grave marker in his hometown of Pittsburgh is not as he envisioned.
Warhol’s grave marker near his hometown of Pittsburgh is not as he envisioned.

Happy Birthday, Andy Warhol!

If he were still alive, the Pittsburgh born King of Pop Art would be celebrating 85 years of life today, August 6. Warhol’s time here was cut short when he died unexpectedly in 1987 while recuperating from a standard gallbladder removal surgery, but his impact on the art world has never been truncated.

To honor the anniversary of his birthday, The Andy Warhol Museum, located on Pittsburgh’s North Side, and Earth Cam have launched a collaborative projected entitled Figment. Figment is a 24/7 live feed of Warhol’s gravesite, viewable worldwide at Warhol.org/figment. The project takes its inspiration from an infamous Warhol quote (no, not his “everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes” quip), but rather this more morbid line: “I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name. Well, actually, I’d like it to say ‘figment.’”

He didn’t get his wish with regard to the tombstone, which you can visit at the St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery in Castle Shannon, one of the communities comprising Pittsburgh’s South Hills. The tombstone simply bears his name and a three-barred cross, indicative of the Byzantine Catholic faith which he practiced as a child with his parents in Pittsburgh and as an adult in New York City. His parents are buried directly behind their beloved son and the world’s King of Pop Art.

Gone, but not forgotten, and certainly no figment. Happy birthday, Andy.

Phil Cynar

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Thursday Farmer’s Market in downtown Pittsburgh’s Market Square

Restaurants and residences of some 8,000 people, boutiques skyscraper offices and a weekly seasonal farmer’s market featuring fresh produce, flowers, healthy eats and artisan-created treats to heart of downtown Pittsburgh – that’s what Pittsburgh’s Market Square is all about.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership  – a nonprofit organization providing energy, vision and advocacy for downtown Pittsburgh – says that a $5 million Market Square improvement project has become a major stimulant for private investment in and around the urban core. PDP President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup notes that Market Square, more recently a bus thoroughfare with little to offer in the way of fun or inventive dining, has now become a destination with “meet me in the Square” being a catch phrase among downtown residents and employees. With its European piazza feel and inviting public spaces, Market Square beckons year-round for coffees or cocktails, and there are always plentiful lunch and dinner options. When you’re downtown, it’s the place to go.

And from mid-May through Halloween, a weekly farmers’ market on Thursdays from 10 a.m. -  2 p.m. brings even more buzz to Market Square with live music and about 25 vendors featuring wares from breads and biscotti to fresh flowers, live herbs, all-natural dog treats, Angora goat yarn and more. With such diversity, there’s a find for every market-goer, every time.

Watch the video below to what PDP’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications Leigh White has to say about why a farmer’s market in Pittsburgh’s urban core is a “really exciting idea” and why Market Square, suggestive of a strong-beating heart at the center of town, is causing new life to be pumped into the rest of downtown Pittsburgh via major investment projects such as The Academic Village at Point Park University and The Tower at PNC Plaza (to be the world’s greenest skyscraper) – to name just two.

All work and no play can make a downtown dull, but thanks to Market Square and other developments in the neighborhood, downtown Pittsburgh is all live, work and play today.

Bonnie Pfister

Kate StoltzfusKate Stoltzfus is on a mission:  to meet, interview and write about 100 Pittsburghers.

This Goshen, Ind. native is well on her way with her website Yinzpiration, curating stories of individuals and offering shout-outs about upcoming fun events and interesting places, and stories like 57 Reasons to Love Pittsburgh.

Stoltzfus, who now hangs her hat in Garfield, is one of the Neighbors at ImaginePittsburgh.com, a virtual concierge that highlights work, play and live options in the 10-county region. On the site you can look for a job among the nearly 30,000 gathered by our powerful job aggregator, sign up for updates about the region through our social media channels or RRS feeds and take the “Find Yourself in Pittsburgh” quiz to be matched up with Neighbors who may share your interests and have tips on what’s fun and engaging to do in the region.

ImaginePittsburghNow
Evening at Point Park. Photo Copyright Julia Rendleman/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Evening at Point Park. Photo Copyright Julia Rendleman/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Spend romantic evenings next to a gloriously restored fountain at Point Park. Amble over the Roberto Clemente (Sixth Street) Bridge to catch the barnstorming Buccos at PNC Park. Enjoy cocktails and an inventive food scene at Market Square and beyond. Live it up in luxury – if only for a month – at the River Vue, just steps from it all. There are just a few hours left to vie for a month or rent-free luxury living at Millcraft’s new highrise, complete with furnishings by CORT. Enter to win by taking the “Find Yourself in Pittsburgh” quiz at ImaginePittsburgh.com, the region’s virtual concierge.

And while you’re there check out our powerful job search engine and other offerings – including profiles of the Neighbors, who can tell you how they found the 10-county region to be a great place to advance a career and build a life to love. Deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 31; the stay at River Vue must be taken on or before Dec. 1, 2013.

Check out these videos to learn a bit more.

ImaginePittsburghNow

Pittsburgh turns heads globally with its innovation in information and communications technology – one of the region’s key industry sectors, which employs more than 32,000 individuals across 1,600 companies.

The Pittsburgh region’s IT prowess was on display earlier this summer to visiting national journalists from such outlets as The New York Times, U.S. News and World Report and Popular Science, for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance’s annual information technology and digital innovation mixer. The event, which was hosted as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s 2013 InfoTech Media Fellowship, provided an opportunity for movers and shakers from the region’s IT scene to mingle with the visiting reporters to showcase why the region is sometimes called the “Silicon Valley of the East.”

ITMixerFeature

Held at the offices of IBM in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, the mixer featured a presentation from IBM’s Anthony Ciccone who spoke about how the region is becoming a major “big data” hub and why IBM decided to make a major investment in Pittsburgh with its acquisition of Vivisimo last year.

CMU Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jonathan Cagan and co-author of Creating Breakthrough Products, was also on hand to speak about what leads to successful innovation and offered his insights on what it takes to build products and services that redefine markets – or create new ones.

Concluding the program, 34-year-old mega-tech entrepreneur Luis von Ahn, creator of the ubiquitous reCaptcha, and now CEO of Duolingo – a venture that uniquely combines language learning with web page translations – talked about his achievements and the advantages of innovating in Pittsburgh.

Hear from Luis von Ahn and Jonathan Cagan in the video below about what makes Pittsburgh ripe for tech innovators and why the region’s reputation as a technology center continues to grow.

Phil Cynar

Phipps for article
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens in Oakland’s Schenley Park

Now online is Part 1 of a three-part series on Pittsburgh and its “green museum innovators” by suburban DC-based Roberta Faul-Zeitler, editor of the digital Green News Update.  The introduction and first installment cover the Children’s Museum, Heinz History Center and Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens – three very distinct Pittsburgh area destinations, but each embracing sustainable operations that complement the region’s leadership in the innovation and practice of intelligent building systems.  Parts II and III, coming in July and August, will cover the Natural History Museum, Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden.  Faul-Zeitler visited Pittsburgh in May 2012 as a participant in a “Green Pittsburgh” media study tour co-sponsored by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, VisitPittsburgh and Phipps.  The tour showcased Pittsburgh as energy provider, innovator and the Center of American Energy.