kxm's Guide to the 'burgh

An idiosyncratic, indubitably incomplete, sporadically updated, guide to my favorite city in the world...

There is surely plenty missing here. I tried to focus on higher level sites--that is, sites that will lead you to others, rather than trying to cover everything.  That said, please feel free to make suggestions in the comments (and let me know if any links are broken or pages have moved). I'll try to keep this periodically updated.

Also, a lot of these places/organizations are on Facebook, so if you prefer to get your info in your News Feed rather than your inbox, look 'em up there. 
E-mail lists—if yinz want to be in tha know, n’at.
Daily Deals
City of Pittsburgh
News & Public Media
    Blogs & Other Sundry Sites
    Some Places I Happen to Like

      Why is this place called Rough Branch?

      Rough Branch is a reference to Wendell Berry's "mad farmer" poems. Berry is an agrarian populist poet, and advocate for sustainable agricultural practices. I don't agree with every position he takes, but his reverence for the beauty and balance of the natural world, for the preciousness of the life that runs through it (including our own), and of the community that sustains both the land and each other, speaks to my heart.

      Over the past few years, I have sunk myself into the soil in my back yard, and into the community of neighbors that surrounds it, and it has begun to restore me. My garden is not just a plot of dirt providing vegetables for the salad bowl, it is an act of love, a place of profundity and awe. If you knew about the ecosystem that lives in but one gram of good earth, you would be humbled, literally, to the ground.

      Berry's poems are passionate calls to live--deeply, profoundly, fearlessly. To step out of narrow-minded egotism, to secede "[f]rom the union of self-gratification and self-annihilation, [to] secede into care for one another, and for the good gifts of Heaven and Earth."

      And so I have made my own nation small enough to walk across. I have named the small corner of the earth I steward Rough Branch. I have declared myself free of ignorant love, and I secede...

      From the union of power and money,
      from the union of power and secrecy,
      from the union of government and art,
      from the union of science and money,
      from the union of ambition and ignorance,
      from the union of genius and war,
      from the union of outer space and inner vacuity,
      the Mad Farmer walks quietly away.

      There is only one of him, but he goes.
      He returns to the small country he calls home,
      his own nation small enough to walk across.
      (From "The Mad Farmer, Flying the Flag of Rough Branch, Secedes from the Union")
      The Mad Farmer challenges us to reconnect, to resurrect our land, our communities, and our souls.
      So, friends, every day do something
      that won't compute. Love the Lord.
      Love the world. Work for nothing.
      Take all that you have and be poor.
      Love someone who does not deserve it.

      Denounce the government and embrace
      the flag. Hope to live in that free
      republic for which it stands.
      Give your approval to all you cannot
      understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
      has not encountered he has not destroyed.

      Ask the questions that have no answers.
      Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
      Say that your main crop is the forest
      that you did not plant,
      that you will not live to harvest.

      Say that the leaves are harvested
      when they have rotted into the mold.
      Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
      Put your faith in the two inches of humus
      that will build under the trees
      every thousand years.

      Listen to carrion -- put your ear
      close, and hear the faint chattering
      of the songs that are to come.
      Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
      Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
      though you have considered all the facts.
      (From "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front")
      All quotes from Wendell Berry.