Stories from the Neighborhood

Stories from the Neighborhood

Hello Everyone,

I’ve been a bit scattered and unproductive since I found out last week that my friend John Metzler was unexpectedly killed last Thursday. John was well known and loved around Pittsburgh for his disarming personality and his work salvaging trees from around the city and giving them a new life in his sculptures and furniture.

Photo of John Metzler in front of the Urban Tree Forge, Robin Rombach/Post-Gazette

I’ll write more about him later when I’ve had more time to think but if you’d like to learn more about John Metzler and his amazing work, here are some resources: You can find out more on the blog for his project, the Urban Tree Forge, the Pittsburgh Art Blog has a lovely memorial with great pictures, the Post Gazette, which had profiled him just two weeks prior has an obituary.

There will be a tree dedication ceremony in John’s honor held at Allegheny Commons Park on Sunday, May 23rd at 12:00 P.M. Potluck lunch to follow at the New Hazlett Theater.

Here are some other news from around the neighborhood, nation, and world.

Adrienne Maree Brown issues an invitation to attend the US Social Forum. The USSF will be held in Detroit June 22-26 with over 1,000 workshops and over 20,000 grassroots activists from around the world.

Let’s Go Ride a Bike published a lovely interview with bikey future-mama Joanna Goddard who goes everywhere by bicycle in New York City. Joanna writes her own blog Cup of Jo as well as writing for a number of other publications and riding her bicycle throughout her pregnancy.

And by way of Free Public Transit: Clemson Area Transit has become the nation’s largest fare-free transit service, providing 2 million free rides per year, and growing.

And in parking news, a few weeks ago Streetsblog made the case that the best real estate in a city should not go to parking:


It might seem like a simple idea — that having an enormous parking lot in front of a business makes it unattractive to pedestrians and disrupts the fabric of a neighborhood. Unfortunately, this is the way that huge swaths of American towns and cities are designed.

It’s worth checking out Kaid Benfield‘s longer and more thorough piece “For walkability and community, put the building on the street and the parking in back” from the NRDC Switchboard.


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