Pittsburgh: Gay Vacation Destination, Since When?

January 24, 2008

I wanted to share some excerpts from “The Out Traveler: Andy Warhol’s Pittsburg” by H. William Bain

From the spring 2008 issue of The Out Traveler.

“I am from nowhere,” Andy Warhol was known to say when asked where he grew up. With these four words, he often gave the impression of a strained relationship with his hometown of Pittsburgh, the working-class city that fostered his talents as a child and gave rise to many of the themes that recurred throughout his work and defined his career.  Today, Pittsburgh stands as a paradigm of urban renewal, shedding its reputation as the Smoky City and officially claiming the title of “America’s Most Livable City.” In fact, Pittsburgh is quickly becoming a haven for “gay nesting” among settled Eastern same-sex couples.

You’ll find Andy’s boyhood home (3252 Dawson St.) in Pittsburgh’s university section of Oakland. The humble brick house has been privately owned for many years, but plans are being made to restore the home to appear as it did during Warhol’s childhood and open it as private housing for art students. Throughout his childhood, Andy’s family attended Mass each week at St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church (506 Saline St.; 412-421-0243).

Visitors to Pittsburgh will find a majestic theater nearby at the Benedum Center (719 Liberty Ave.; 412-456-6666), built in 1927 and restored to its original splendor as Warhol would have seen it.

It was while studying in the commercial art program at Carnegie Institute of Technology that Warhol first began to develop his ideas about the relationship between capitalism and art. Now called Carnegie Mellon University (5000 Forbes Ave.; 412-268-2000), this Pittsburgh institution is recognized as one of the world’s top arts and technology schools. Carnegie Mellon also borders on Shadyside, a mainly residential area where many gay couples now settle. While Pittsburgh lacks a true gay area, one can find several gay bars here, and it’s not uncommon to see shops flying the Pride flag.

Not far from Carnegie Mellon, you will find the Carnegie Museum of Art (4400 Forbes Ave.; 412-622-3131), which houses a number of Warhol’s works. Called the world’s first museum of modern art, it was envisioned as a showcase for the “Old Masters of tomorrow” by its founder, Andrew Carnegie, in 1895.

…the city is now ground zero for Warhol art, thanks to the Andy Warhol Museum (117 Sandusky St.; 412-237-8300), one of the most extensive museums dedicated to a single artist in the world. Opened in 1994, it houses more than 12,000 of his works, including homoerotic drawings, portraits of gay icons, and films that explore the connection between voyeurism and desire, like Blow Job and My Hustler, as well as important documents, records, and source material. Together with the Mattress Factory (500 Sampsonia Way; 412-231-3169), an avant-garde art museum exhibiting room-size installations, the Warhol plays an integral part in the contemporary art scene touted by Pittsburgh’s urbane gay set.

Advertisements

More Crazy Ass Kids

October 11, 2007


Another story of a bat shit crazy kid, but what is most striking this time is the parents. Fortunately the boy was unable to ever actually execute his plans, but the thought of a 14 year old filled with that much hate is still chilling. The boy had a virtual arsenal in his house, including working homemade grenades. Thankfully, another student tipped off the police after the boy tried to recruit him. (Note: I think there should be some praise/reward placed on the kid who turned him in, to encourage people across the country to notify authorities when people make these sorts of threats/plans even if they don’t seem likely to follow through with the plans) In this case it is hard to believe the typical parent lines of “I had no idea” or “he was always such a good boy”. They purchased at least one, if not more, of the guns for him. Additionally police believe they may have purchased the powder necessary to make grenades. WTF??

My parents look at me like I am crazy if I want them to buy me a video game or a CD with violent talk in it. If I asked for a gun (even though I am legally old enough to own one) I am pretty sure they would seek immediate help. I don’t hunt and I don’t target shoot, so do you know what I don’t need? A gun, let alone several. Oh wait no one needs a gun. If you don’t have enough judgment as a parent to buy your, chronically angry, cruelly teased 14 year old a gun, I hope he shoots you first.

(CNN) — Police have taken into custody a 14-year-old boy who is suspected of planning a “Columbine” type event at a Pennsylvania high school, a police spokesman said. Police in Plymouth Township near Philadelphia took the boy into custody after a search of his home turned up a number of weapons, including a 9 mm rifle with a laser scope and dozens of air guns, said Deputy Chief Joe Lawrence. Police also found an operational hand grenade, three other hand grenades in the process of construction, bomb-making equipment, manuals and 30 powered weapons that fire BBs. In addition to the weapons, authorities found a hand-painted Nazi flag and a video about the Columbine shootings, District Attorney Bruce Castor said.

The boy’s mother bought the rifle for him several weeks ago at a gun show, police said. Lawrence said police are also investigating whether the boy’s mother bought him black powder used in the grenades.

The 14-year-old is expected to appear in juvenile court Friday to face charges that could include making terroristic threats, criminal solicitation, weapons possession, and possession and manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction, police said. The boy’s mother and father may face criminal charges pending an investigation, police said.

Police acted on a tip they received at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday from a Plymouth Whitemarsh High School student and his father, school officials said. The 14-year-old was taken into custody at his home about 10 p.m. “The boy who gave the tip was one who was trying to be recruited,” Castor added. “He was a friend of the boy in the loosest terms.”