Tag Archives: Pittsburgh

Wakanda on Tour


Photo from Black Panther film (Source: Heroes & Sheroes) 

The badass looks of Black Panther are bringing a blast of Wakanda to Pittsburgh, before embarking on a world tour.

Currently on display at the Heinz History Center, “Heroes & Sheroes: The Art and Influence of Ruth E. Carter in Black Cinema” showcases the costumes, career and inspiration behind Academy Award and Emmy-nominated costume designer, Ruth E. Carter, the woman who helped create the cinematic worlds of Malcolm X, The Butler, Selma, Amistad and Black Panther, among others. “The exhibition is a celebration of film culture, Black culture, African culture, American culture,” said Carter.

The multi-media exhibit uses sketches, stills, behind-the-scenes media and (of course) costumes to celebrate a thirty-year career, while tackling the complicated ways in which underrepresented communities are displayed in film. “I will have to rethink ever dressing a young African-American man in a hoodie in a film ever again,” Carter said after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Heroes & Sheroes” will be on exhibit in Pittsburgh until December 2, before touring to Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Paris, with additional cities planned.

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Pittsburgh Goes Dutch

Dance Works Rotterdam/André Gingras

The arts in Pittsburgh are enjoying the Dutch touch in 2012. As the birthplace of pop art giant Andy Warhol, modern dance pioneer Martha Graham, and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson, Pittsburgh is no stranger to artistic innovation.  This year the city is collaborating with more than 75 Dutch artists to present the Distinctly Dutch Festival, through May 20.

One of the greatest concentration of Dutch artists to be seen this year—anywhere—the Distinctly Dutch Festival will showcase the dance, theatre, music, visual art, film and literature of the Netherlands.  This three-month, interdisciplinary cultural festival will offer something for everyone: dance premieres by Jiří Kylián & Michael Schumacher and Dance Works Rotterdam/ André Gingras, multi-media theatrical performances by PIPS:lab, and concerts including Dutch Women of Jazz and the percussive rhythms of Drums United, among many others…

To learn more, read the IQ article published in Out Traveler.

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Happy Halloween!

Lady Gaga and Traveling IQ wish you a Happy Halloween!

I took this picture while touring the Strip District in Pittsburgh earlier this year.  If you are interested in learning more about Pittsburgh, read the IQ article published in Next Magazine or listen to the Proud FM radio segment.

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Pittsburgh is Poppin’

Forget any preconceived ideas; today’s Pittsburgh is thriving with art, culture and a gay scene capable of satisfying your diverse desires. 

Greatly evolved since the days of the steel industry, today’s Burgh of Pitt is bearing much fruit—in every sense of the word.  Christened “America’s Most Livable City” for the past four years, Pittsburgh is increasingly becoming one of our gayest and most diverse.

Just last month, the city’s Pride weekend featured both an outdoor concert by R&B legend Patti LaBelle, and a decidedly more private performance by porn superstar Matthew Rush at Club Pittsburgh (1139 Penn Ave-4th floor, clubpittsburgh.com), the city’s “24- hour, private men’s club.”  From July 28-31, the city hosts Black Pride (pittsburghblackpride.org), and on October 14, kicks off the 26th Annual Pittsburgh International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (pilgff.org).

But you don’t need to wait for a special event.  Pittsburgh was the home of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and its friendly residents will happily be your neighbors any time of the year.   Head to Spin (5744 Ellsworth Ave, spinbartini.com) and 5801 Video Lounge (5801 Ellsworth Ave, 5801videolounge.com) in the Shadyside neighborhood for a fun, loungey vibe; Images (965 Liberty Ave) and 941 Saloon (941 Liberty Ave) for a downtown, neighborhood bar; P-town (4740 Baum Blvd, ptownpgh.com) for sexy, nude dancers; and Donny’s Place (1226 Herron Ave) for its basement leather bar and backroom.  This summer is also welcoming Cruze (1600 Smallman St, cruzebar.com) and Headquarters (2016 Smallman St), two new dance clubs within blocks of each other in the trendy Strip District.

If daylight still finds you in the Strip, stumble over to Pamela’s Diner (60 21st St, pamelasdiner.com) for their famous Crepe Style Pancakes, so popular President Obama invited their chef to make a special stack at the White House.  After, it’s time for a tasty tour of Pittsburgh, led by the knowledgeable guides of ‘Burgh, Bits & Bites (burghfoodtour.com).  Sample the city’s diverse culinary history while walking through the unique neighborhoods featured on these deliciously informative food tours.  Still hungry at dinnertime?  Choose from the extensive wine list and savor the variety of the tasting menu at downtown’s Sonoma Grille (947 Penn Ave, thesonomagrille.com).

It’s time to explore the city’s art scene.  Pittsburgh is considered the birthplace of Pop Culture, and there’s no better place to celebrate this heritage than at the shrine of the world’s most famous Pop artist.  The Andy Warhol Museum (117 Sandusky St, warhol.org) is the largest single-artist museum in the United States, housing an extensive permanent collection of the artist’s work along with temporary guest exhibitions throughout the year.  For full artistic immersion, hop over to the Mattress Factory (500 Sampsonia Way, mattress.org).  This contemporary art museum and laboratory allows artists complete freedom to create site-specific art installations in each of its rooms.  Complete your artistic tour viewing distinguished American and European works from the 16th century to the present at the Carnegie Museum of Art (4400 Forbes Ave, cmoa.org).

You’ve earned a little fresh air.  For the best view of the city, take a ride on the Duquesne Incline (1137 West Carson St, duquesneincline.org).  This wooden cable car has been climbing to the top of Mt. Washington since 1877, staging breathtaking views of Pittsburgh’s rivers, bridges and soaring skyline.

Tired yet?  Stay classy at the historic, grand Omni William Penn Hotel (530 William Penn Pl, omniwilliampenn.com), or sassy at the sleek, modern Fairmont (510 Market St, fairmont.com/pittsburgh)—both centrally located downtown.

Forget any antiquated ideas of a gray, second-tier city.  The Pittsburgh of today is vibrant, with world-class museums, a multi-cultural heritage, and a thriving gay scene.  Popping with culture in every neighborhood you will find “America’s Most Livable City” truly is full of life!

(This article was originally published in Next Magazine)


Filed under Gay/ LGBTQ, Publications, U.S.A.

Pittsburgh’s “Mixed Signals”


Photo by Catherine Opie, Josh, 2007, courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum

We’ve feared and revered them.  They’ve taunted and titillated us.  Now, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh explores the stereotype of the aggressive, sexualized American athlete in “Mixed Signals:  Artists Consider Masculinity in Sports,” on exhibit through August 7.

Featuring the works of 17 contemporary artists, including Matthew Barney, Catherine Opie and Collier Shorr, “Mixed Signals” challenges traditional assumptions about gender, while emphasizing the ways masculinity is performed and constructed in American society.  Additionally, the exhibit examines a social phenomenon that has become known as homosociality, the ritual of male bonding incorporating aggression and affection, homophobia and homoeroticism.    From the hot jock to the threatening locker room, “Mixed Signals” revisits both the fantasies and fears of our last Phys. Ed. class.

Article originally published in OutTraveler.com

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Filed under Gay/ LGBTQ, Publications, U.S.A.

Photos of Pittsburgh Pride

Here’s a look back at Pittsburgh Pride 2011

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Click here to learn more about this year’s Pittsburgh Pride festivities.

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Pittsburgh Loves Mommy

On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, I was reminded of the gift that are our mothers.  In the lobby of the The Andy Warhol Museum, hung an art installation by Yoko Ono, titled “My Mommy is Beautiful.”  The temporary exhibit was essentially a long board where visitors could leave their pictures, thoughts, notes, poems, etc., celebrating the mothers  in their lives.  Simple, and yet surprisingly powerful.  Who knew scribbles of “I love you, Mom” could be so moving?

Ydo, IQ's Beautiful Mommy

The exhibit has since closed, but you can still share your mama-memories at www.mymommyisbeautiful.com.

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Pittsburgh’s Proud New Attitude

Splash Pool Party, Pittsburgh

This week, Pittsburgh Pride is feeling good from its head to its shoes, celebrating a “New Attitude” with parties, parades and an outdoor concert by Patti LaBelle.

First, we get soaking wet at the SPLASH Pool Party on Thursday, June 9.  Bring your bathing suit to cool off in the pool or warm up in the hot tub while enjoying drinks, food and beautiful views from atop Mt. Washington.

On Friday, June 10, we crawl (well, technically we are driven) through the city’s gay bars, pubs and clubs.  Leave your car at home, and hop on the Pub Crawl bus, making stops from 8pm to 2am.

Saturday, June 11, welcomes R&B legend Patti LaBelle to Liberty Avenue for the Pride in the Street event.  The original Lady Marmalade will perform a 45-minute outdoor concert for an expected crowd nearing 5,000 attendees.

And on Sunday, June 12, we march, cheer and celebrate.  At 12pm, the Parade kicks off down Grant Street and flows into the PrideFest entrance on Liberty Avenue and Sixth Street.  The daylong event features vendors, street performers, live entertainment on two stages, and the optional Beer Garden.

Visit PittsburghPride.org for tickets and information on all the events.  For a good time with considerable savings, purchase the Pittsburgh Pride Pass including the Pub Crawl, Pride in the Street and PrideFest Beer Garden for only $50.

Photo courtesy of Visit Pittsburgh

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