Polish Hill Arts Festival vendor preview #1

We got a record number of applicants for vendor spaces this year.  With some returning vendors and some exciting new arrivals, we’re really looking forward to seeing all of this great work on July 20.

In the meantime, here’s a peek at some of the great work artists will be bringing to this year’s festival.  First up is Adam Waddell, who makes ceramics and jewelry.




Jason Barkley:  ink and watercolor paintings




Lisa Parker:  jewelry in silver, enamel and glass




Pittsburgh Pottery:




The best of Pittsburgh’s food all in one place (and PHCA members get free admission)


This Saturday June 21 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., celebrate Pittsburgh’s passion for food at the third annual Hometown-Homegrown event at the Heinz History Center.  Enjoy samples from dozens of local vendors at this fun and flavorful food expo.

Presented in partnership with GoodTaste! Pittsburgh, Hometown-Homegrown will feature samples from nearly 40 local food vendors along with cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, kids activities, and more spanning all five floors of the History Center.

Hometown-Homegrown activities are free with museum admission.  For those of you who are PHCA members, you can get free admission for yourself and up to three other people.  Just show your PHCA membership card at the entry desk and tell them that you’re a member of a History Center affiliate organization.

Click here for more information and details about this year’s vendors.

Public meetings to help with search for a new police chief


Mayor Peduto and acting Public Safety Director Stephen A. Bucar have announced that the upcoming public phase of the city’s search for a new Pittsburgh Police chief will include six public meetings and a site for online remarks.  They’ll use that input to help write the standards profiling the best applicants for the position.

The first public meeting will be in Zone 2 and will take place on Thursday, June 26 at 6:00 p.m. at the Teamster’s Temple at 4701 Butler Street in Lawrenceville.

Throughout the summer, Public Safety Councils in all six of Pittsburgh’s policing zones will hold forums to provide residents with the opportunity to be involved in the process of selecting a chief.   During these community forums, residents in each zone will have the opportunity to share their ideas about how to improve policing in Pittsburgh, identify their priorities, and suggest the qualities they believe are essential in the new chief.

In conjunction with the meetings to gather feedback on this important decision, the city has set up a platform for citizens to register their opinions online. The formal launch this week of the city’s Mindmixer site is the latest digital component to the administration’s community engagement efforts.

Mindmixer is a site for encouraging and collecting community input on civic issues. Those interested in the search for a police chief may log on to http://pittsburghpa.mindmixer.com/ and answer three general questions:

- What priorities does your community need the new Chief of Police to address?

- What qualities and skills does your community need the new Chief of Police to have?

- What can you and others in your community do to help realize the vision of policing in partnership with the community?

Read the Post-Gazette article about the search for a new police chief.




Volunteers come out to clean up and maintain green spaces on the east side of Polish Hill


Ten hardy volunteers came out on Saturday to tend green spaces and pick up trash on the eastern side of the neighborhood.  An earlier date for this cleanup was cancelled due to weather.


Weather was no problem on Saturday — it was brilliantly sunny and very warm.   First, volunteers weeded and cleaned up the parklet at Melwood Avenue and Finland Street.  They picked up trash  and cut vines that were choking trees on the hillside by the Melwood steps.


The next stop was the Knotweed Knockout site, then Gold Way.  Volunteers also took the opportunity to clear some vegetation that blocked the sidewalk.




Finally, picking up trash and clearing vegetation on the Apolo steps.



Thanks to everyone who came out to help — it looks great!  The next cleanup and green space maintenance day will be on August 9.  For more information, email valerie@phcapgh.org.

Please donate to support the Polish Hill Arts Festival!


We’re still working to raise the rest of the money we’ll need to produce this year’s Polish Hill Arts Festival — to get the street closure permit, the large tent, to pay the bands, and more.  The festival is a gift to the neighborhood — the PHCA doesn’t make any money on the festival, but donates staff time and materials.

We’ve launched an online fundraising campaign to raise the rest of the funds needed.  It’s easy and secure, and you get to pick a perk.  And you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you helped to make sure this great event could happen for the seventh year.  Please consider donating, and share this with others who might want to support this great event.

To read more about the event and to donate, click here.

(photo from the 2011 Polish Hill Arts Festival by Leslie Clague)

Summer Reading Extravaganza at Carnegie Library in Oakland on June 8


Enjoy an afternoon of free family activities at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s 14th Annual Summer Reading Extravaganza on Sunday, June 8 from noon – 5 pm at CLP Main branch, 4400 Forbes Avenue in Oakland.  Here’s a sample of some of the fun things you can do at this year’s Extravaganza:

Be inspired by musical and theatrical performances (see full schedule here)

Browse the annual book sale

Check out a demonstration of a 3D printer

Personalize a Smiley Cookie with Eat ‘n Park

Rock out with Radio Disney and Friends

Take a ride on Molly’s Trolleys

Get some temporary ink from Rankins Airbrush Tattoos

Try your hand with science experiments

Support your Library and so much more!

For more information, call 412.622.3122 or email children@carnegielibrary.org.

Call for volunteers: help plant flowers at West Penn Park on May 27


It’s that time of year again:  time to turn the hillside below West Penn Park into a vibrant display of annual color.  The Green Team needs help getting hundreds of these flowers in the ground.  This relaxed volunteer event is kid friendly, and it’s a great way to meet neighbors.  It’s also satisfying to watch the flowers you planted grow during the season.


Volunteers should meet at 5:30 p.m. on the  corner of 30th and Brereton streets.  Gloves and tools will be provided.  For more information, email valerie@phcapgh.org.

(Above:  flower planting volunteers in 2012.  PHCA photo.)

Photos from the May Day Parade


Saturday, May 3 was the fifth year of the May Day Parade, a new Polish Hill tradition.  The parade is organized by an independent group of musicians and artists who live in the neighborhood.



The parade started on lower Melwood Avenue, just outside of Polish Hill, then proceeded along Gold Way and along Melwood Avenue.



The procession stopped for music and a speech, then continued to Herron Avenue, across to Dobson Street, then up to the church for a brief stop for a song, then down Brereton to West Penn Park.

Many residents came out to watch this joyful procession go by.  Others donned costumes and joined the parade.  The parade organizers say, “Anyone who wishes to participate is welcome”.  That the parade has continued and grown for five years is a testament to this positive spirit.

(First four photos by Marc Rettig; last photo by Alyson Knights)

A chance to share your thoughts on the future of public transportation in Pittsburgh


Transit riders and local citizens are invited to share their vision for the future of public transportation in our region by visiting Port Authority’s new community engagement website, Forward Thinking.  The site presents a variety of questions on topics including capital projects, barriers to transit use, and accessibility for seniors and riders with disabilities. Participants can share their thoughts or weigh in on ideas submitted by others.

Also participating in the site discussion are local officials and Port Authority leadership, including CEO Ellen McLean, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Port Authority Board members Sen. Jim Brewster, Rep. Dom Costa and John Tague.  The site will be active through June 13 at minimum.

The website launch also coincides with this week’s Urban Land Institute (ULI) advisory panel on public transportation. The ULI panel will be focusing on strategies for improving transit, interviewing local officials and stakeholders, and presenting its recommendations at the end of the week.

Riders and community members who do not have internet access are invited to share their vision of a modern public transportation system by mailing their ideas to:

Port Authority of Allegheny County
Forward Thinking
Attn: Communications Department
345 Sixth Avenue, Floor 3
Pittsburgh PA 15222

(Above: the East busway as it passes through Polish Hill.  Photo by Patrick Singleton)



The May Day Parade is this Saturday, May 3!

The May Day Parade is organized by an independent group of Polish Hill musicians and artists.  Now in its fifth year, the parade has become a new Polish Hill tradition.  Residents step outside to watch the procession of bright costumes, floats, and — of course — lots of kids.


This year, the theme is Symbiosis.  (definition:  the living together in more or less intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms ; a cooperative relationship as between two persons or groups).   Anyone who wishes to participate is welcome.  Wear a costume or a mask, make a float, bring bells, umbrellas, or flowers.  Meet up on lower Melwood Avenue (near Pittsburgh Filmmakers) at noon; the parade starts at 1:00 p.m.  Check out the parade website for more information.

(These wonderful photos of the 2012 May Day Parade are by Mark Knobil)