Hacking a Better Pittsburgh – The National Day of Civic Hacking is Saturday

I am WAY late writing a blog post about the National Day of Civic Hacking, which is tomorrow, Saturday, May 31.  But I want to make sure you know about all of the great stuff that is happening in Pittsburgh around civic hacking.

Pittsburgh Event for the National Day of Civic Hacking

national-day-civic-hackingOpenPittsburgh Open House

Agenda for the Pittsburgh National Day of Civic Hacking Event:

  • 10 am: Coffee, Donuts and Introductions
  • 10:20 am Welcome and agenda overview (Bob Gradeck, Open Pittsburgh, UCSUR)
  • 10:30 am Why is the Library involved? (Toby Greenwalt, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh)
  • 10:45 am Neighborhood welcome, (Jerome Jackson, Operation Better Block)
  • 11: 00 am Project work – U.S. Open Data Census, Property Survey Training / data collection, and more!
  • (Lunches available 11:45am – 12:45 pm)
  • 1:30 Mayor Bill Peduto – Pittsburgh Data Forum Q&A
  • 2:30-3 (or when the Mayor is finished) Wrap-up

Loving Pittsburgh & Civic Hacking

What is civic hacking and why I think it is the future of Pittsburgh.  Civic hacking is a bunch of citiuzens who want to make their communities better by bringing technology and data together.  In some ways this blog was started as a way to hack the image of Pittsburgh.

I attended the National Day of Civic Hacking here in Pittsburgh last summer (you can read a recap of the 2013 Pittsburgh National Day of Civic Hacking event here) and I’ve been attending the now monthly meetups for the OpenPGH group.  The civic hackers in Pittsburgh are coming up with some incredible ideas and solutions for things happening in the city of Pittsburgh (and the country).

So much has happened in the past year and there has been a ton of momentum around open data in Pittsburgh.  A few highlights include:

open-pgh-logoLinks Civic Hacking and Open Data in Pittsburgh

Secrets of the City: This Sunday Take A Tour to the Top of East Liberty Presbyterian Church

One of the most interesting tours I have taken in Pittsburgh – also offers a spectacular view.  Back in June of 2012 I happened to be at East Liberty Presbyterian Church they day they were offering a tour of the entire church – all the way up to the very top.

I am sure I took some photos of East Liberty from the top of the church, but I can’t find them.  It took some digging – but I found one of the photos I tweeted from the tour…

June 1 –  Tour the Tower of East Liberty Presbyterian Church

The East Liberty Presbyterian Church tower

The East Liberty Presbyterian Church tower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Sunday, June 1, 2014, East Liberty Presbyterian Church will be offering another tour of the building.

ELPC Tower Tour – June 1, 12:15pm
Do you want to scale the ELPC steeple and enjoy the tower and the view that it offers? You have an
opportunity to do so on Sun., June 1, at 12:15 pm.

Architect and ELPC Property Chairman Bruce Pollock will be our host for a climb to the top. Meet at the Hospitality Desk following our 11 am worship service. Wear slacks and comfortable shoes.
The tour will last for an hour, after which, there will be a 45-minute tour of the Sanctuary and Chapel.

Some tips for the tour:

  • Wear walking shoes – you will be walking up many steps
  • The tour starts at the Hospitality Desk – which is right inside the door on Highland Avenue.
  • Street parking is free on Sunday

If you go, please share some photos with us!

More About East Liberty – A History of the Highland Building

One of the other things I shared on twitter in June of 2012 was a link to this blog post on Building Pittsburgh about about the Highland Building, which is located directly across the street from the church.  In the past 2 years, the Highland Building has been completely renovated and is now an apartment building.

Wolfepack Goods is Good Good Good (and the event is Friday)

Sometimes bad things happen – really bad things happen.  Earlier this year sisters Sarah & Suzy Wolfe were murdered in their home in East Liberty.  Out of the sadness, an impressive group of Pittsburgh artists have gathered together to put on one AWESOME art and rock show to raise funds to establish the Sarah & Suzy Wolfe Scholarship Fund at Girls Rock Pittsburgh.

This is just a big bundle of Pittsburgh goodness – a great group of Pittsburgh artists, who are coming together to create a great event and raise money for a really great cause.  I have the honor of being friends with many of the organizers of this event.  As yinz probably already know, this city is filled with some incredibly kind people.  Please take a moment to read about this event and learn more about Girls Rock! Pittsburgh.

wolfepack-goods-buttonsMeet Wolfepack Goods and Shop for Art Online

Visit www.WolfePackGoods.com to learn more about this project, meet the artists, and find out more about the event.

Please take a moment to check out the list of artists who are donating their time and efforts to support this cause and events.

Can’t make it to the event on Friday? Not a problem – you can support Wolfepack Goods by shopping online here.

Wolfepack Goods Art & Rock Show – Friday, May 30, 2014

I promise you this will be an awesome event – great people, amazing art and it ALL supports a great cause.

wolfepack art show girls rock pittsburgh

Wolfepack Art & Rock Show
When: Friday, May 30, 2014, 6-9pm
Where: Commonwealth Press Warehouse, 2315 Wharton St (South Side)
Parking: There is some street parking, you can park at South Side Works Garages, Take the bus or take Lyft or Uber.
RSVP: Click here for the Facebook event page

About Girls Rock Pittsburgh

girls-rock-pghFrom the Girls Rock! Pittsburgh website:

Girls Rock! Pittsburgh is an empowerment program for female youths of all definitions, abilities and backgrounds. Girls Rock! Pittsburgh utilizes the process of making music to instill tools for amplifying self-confidence, creative expression, independent thinking, mutual respect and cooperation, while cultivating a supportive and inclusive community of peers and mentors. Girls Rock! Pittsburgh is committed to community awareness and social agency, fostering a network of role models for the endeavors of girls and women that promote social change amongst its diverse participants. 

Read more about Girls Rock! Pittsburgh here.  Follow @GirlsRockPGH on Twitter.

Learn more about why Wolfepack Goods selected this charity to honor Sarah and Suzy Wolfe here.

Wolfepack Goods in the News

Here is a clip from WPXI interviewing Amy Garbark (aka @Garbella) previewing the event.

Made in Pittsburgh: Gandy Bars


dulcimer kit - ganybar.com

A Gandy Bar, is definitely not a candy bar – but is a whole lot of fun.  A Gandy bar is a three stringed instrument that is a cross between a dulcimer and a guitar.  Each gandy bar is made by hand by Gad and Andy right here in Pittsburgh.

You can purchase a complete  Gandy Bar or a kit to make your own Gandy Bar at home.

Visit www.GandyBar.com to purchase or stop my the IMadeIt Market today (Saturday, May 24, 2014 – apologies to our email readers who might not see this post till the workweek) at South Side works to say hello to Andy and try one out.

Here is a video of Andy explaining the instrument:

Details for the IMadeIt Market on Saturday, May 24.

Pittsburgh Craft Market SouthSide Works

Pittsburgh House Blogs

Pittsburgh House Blogs

For those of you who like browsing photos of houses around town – take a look at this post that I wrote for Habilu.com – which includes a list 5 Pittsburgh house blogs to check out.

houses around here dvd

Habilu.com is a new Pittsburgh startup that helps you find the best real estate agent for buying or selling your home.  If you are a looking to buy a house (or sell a house) take a moment to create a profile on Habilu.

If you are looking for more on Pittsburgh house histories you can pick up a copy of Rick Sebak‘s DVD Houses Around Here.