Sunday, December 19, 2010


Hi Everyone!

On Wednesday some crazy stuff went down on Pittsburgh's South Side.  I attended a live airing of 'Black and Gold Uncensored', a sports radio talk show hosted by James Farrior and Larry Foote.  My friend Amy and I have been planning to attend for several weeks now, and the stars must have been in alignment because this turned out to be their last show ever.

Both Farrior and Foote are sweet guys with great senses of humor.  Foote had some very complimentary things to say about women sports fans in Pittsburgh..."There's no other place in the world where you can go and have a conversation with a woman about football except Pittsburgh.  Women outside of Pittsburgh do not have a clue about football.  They might be a fan, but you can't get on the barstool and have a conversation about the game."  Damn straight, Larry!

I was BEYOND EXCITED to meet two linebackers who I have watched for so many years!  INTENSE!!!  I have watched countless Steelers games in my life and have spent the majority of my years in Pittsburgh, yet before Wednesday, I had never encountered the line that separates the fans from the players.  When you think about it, watching football and being watched playing football are two entirely separate but parallel experiences, never to converge.  I will never play football professionally, and not until the players retire will they know what it's like to be a spectator and perhaps a fan.  The way in which we fans know the bodies and movements of our players is very intimate.  You know them in a sense, but they sure as hell don't know you.

I gave both Farrior and Foote Yinz Yang shirts and I hope they will enjoy them!  I was so excited to meet them that I wasn't able to muster a photogenic camera face, but Luca (Amy's baby and Yinz Yang model) was able as always to pull off a casual look.

The people at Black and Gold Uncensored raffled off a pair of tickets to today's game against the Jets.  We narrowly missed winning those tickets.  Having not eaten at BnG Uncensored out of pure excitement, we meandered to a nearby restaurant that was--get this--also hosting a sports radio talk show and also raffling off two tickets to the Jets game.  I ordered a whiskey to calm my nerves and we all ordered food.  When Amy submitted her raffle entry for the tickets, the guy asked her if she was going to stay until the end (9pm) when they were drawing the raffle winner (he was doubtful on account of her having a baby with her).  She said yes and we waited.  We were both sure that one of us was going to win, it being a bizarre and magical night.  I felt sure that my emotional unrest at having met a few linebackers would be repaid in the form of tickets to the game.  Sure enough, Amy was the winner of the tickets !!!  She and I are attending the game today to watch our Steelers cream those Jets!  Here's the proud winner flashing her tickets.  Probably the only time in his life that Luca has not been the foremost figure in the picture!

Thanks Amy for having me as your guest today, I can't wait!!!
xo Ms. Pittsburgh

Friday, December 17, 2010

Tender Moments between Troy and LeBeau

Did anyone notice this scene after Troy's second interception off the arm of Palmer last week?  It was really intense from where I was sitting.

You can tell that Dick is pissed that Troy handled the ball so riskily, almost turning it over; at the same time there is a sort of paternal pride and bewilderment at 'TROY EN GENERAL' in his expressions.  Troy seems humbled by both his incredible feat and his own near destruction of that same feat.  Yinz Yang!  Where would the Steelers Defense be if not right on a razor's edge between glory and defeat?   It was nice to have some off the field coverage of our Steelers D at work.  To my recollection it was the most in depth sideline coverage Dick has ever received!

Michelle Michaels on DVE just reported that Troy is most likely out of this Sunday's game against the Jets; let's wish him a speedy recovery and hope that his wizardry will be in effect on a spiritual level, should his powers be limited to the sideline come Sunday.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Rewind: Black (n' Gold) Friday at Consol Energy Center

On Black Friday 2010 I was fortunate enough to unexpectedly receive a ticket to the Pens game against the Ottawa Senators. Supremely pumped to visit the Consol Energy Center for the first time and to see the Pens (and our beloved and recently departed Gonchar) up close from my amazing seat in the First Niagara Club Level, I felt a level of status I had only dreamt of previously.

Black (n' Gold) Friday 2009 was spent at the lovely Nassau Coliseum watching the Pens play the Islanders.  Here's hoping for a third consecutive Black (n' Gold) Friday in 2011!!!

The Hill District area to the rear of the CEC is beautiful.  There are many old buildings that have been interestingly adapted over the decades, surrounded by flat, empty, terrace-like yards that used to have houses on them.  As seen in the above shot, the CEC makes for a nice transition between such relatively small neighborhood buildings in the foreground and the city's notable skyscrapers in the back ground.

I was pretty impressed with this translucent, digital-print "brick-wall" privacy tarp that covers the chain link fences that enclose the CEC's loading zone in the rear of the building.  If you look closely at the second picture, you can see the fence through the bricks.  Awesome! and definitely not dorky, right!?  Now you know why I'm a painter.

On the way in I stopped for one of those obligatory portraits with the larger-than-life digital representation of Sidney Crosby... (note that 'Destiny' flows from his hockey stick and down the side of the building in the form of a golden rod of electricity!)

...and a life-sized Malkin who stared lovingly into my eyes, if only for an imaginary moment 

Since it was Black Friday, people were getting their shop on big time.  

Traipsing through the pro shop felt like more of a dazed, tryptophan-induced herding than an active pursuit.  I spotted these officially licensed hats which looked MEGA bootleg:

The food at the CEC is upscale for a sports arena.   There's sushi and better than average sandwich offerings, including a Philly cheese steak disguised as an egg roll.  Even the unbranded food was presented in a very particular, classed-up manner.  The cheese steak egg roll is the bottom-most food item in the below picture.

General fashion impression: I've never seen so many licensed Pens jerseys in my life!  It was as if someone was handing them out at the door.  It was kind of like being in New York because everyone was wearing black.  Astounding contrast to the marked absence of official hockey gear I remember from childhood.  People generally wore whatever Steelers or Pirates gear they already had.  A lot has changed in 20 years.  

Quite noticeably, there were zero Pens jerseys queuing for Tim Hortons, the arena's only Canadian establishment, which I took as proof positive that there were lots of Canadians in attendance, all of whom were in line and hungry for donuts.  Makes sense, Eh?, given that they must have been much hungrier than all the Americans still nursing their Thanksgiving indulgences.  Yoi!

Our seats were about 15 rows up from the visitor's bench, so we were fortunate enough to witness a verbal incursion between Chris Neil and a member of the crowd.  The guy (wearing the red-billed Pirates hat in the image below) must have really gotten under Neil's skin because they furiously yelled back and forth for several minutes.  I was too astounded to document the fight (apologies!).  Soon after his inappropriate verbal fight, Neil picked a fight with Fleury, who played a hell of a game.  To make a long story short: Pens 2, Ottawa 1, final score.

Thank you and congratulations to Blanca and Ignacio!  Here's to 33 more happy years!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nose Jobbin

Truly, you gotta love those 'markers' that the announcers use to draw play routes on still images and what not.  I remember being genuinely dazzled by their power to 'draw' directly to TV when I was a kid.  We captured two screen images from last Sunday night's Ravens game which inspired this little animation...

...which I believe leaves my audience with one question.  Has Ben, with his many, many facial/head injuries, gone MJ on us?

The Steelers announced today that as of this Sunday, Ben will be wearing a face shield to protect his nose from re-injury.

Thank you Amy for the screen grabs!  I love watching games on your new-fangled computer-TV!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sonoran Hot Dog! The Primanti's of south east Arizona

While visiting my friend Marissa in Tucson, AZ, I had the pleasure of visiting El Guero Canelo, the home of the now-famous-via-the-food-network Sonoran Hot Dog.  The in-house promotional materials, and abundant pride and friendliness of this place reminded me of Pittsburgh eateries in many ways, not the least of which was their over-stuffed, overflowing hot dog which is akin to Primanti's sandwiches.

Below you will find nice homemade T-shirts and printed/laminated additional menu items behind the registers.  Not to mention 6 varieties of Agua Fresca, a delicious, natural juice-infused water beverage from Mexico.

I love these Mexican flag picnic benches.  

Here's the meal...

...and here's the Sonoran Hot Dog in all it's glory

Gotta love a place that offers sliced radishes in their condiment bar, and a hot dog that's named after the desert in which it is made.

xoxo, Tucson!

-Ms Pittsburgh

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bye Bye Jeff Reed

Today, the Steelers have officially cut Jeff Reed from their roster. 

In lieu of a photo post for this blog entry, I suggest you do a google image search for 'jeff reed'.  Anyone feeling ambivalent about the loss of our kicker of 9 years should be comforted by the results of this image search.

Its been fun, #3.  We bid you a fond farewell.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Ms. Pittsburgh has hit the road!  I am currently in Colorado, doing an artist residency, taking in the majestic Rocky Mountain sites, and experiencing the local Pittsburgh diaspora / Steelers Nation culture.  Today I visited Manitou Springs, a small mountain town just outside of Colorado Springs for the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Race.  The event was basically a big pre-Halloween whole-town party with more than a few great surprises.  After yelling "Go Steelers" to this fella on the sidewalk, he raised his #43 jersey to reveal the following real world Yinz Yang:

These were our real outfits!!!  Motörhead over Polamalu and Polamalu over Motörhead!!!!!!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Sound of crash = sound of ca$h


The moment I heard the dull crashing sound of James Harrison's now infamous tackle of Mohammed Massaquoi, I thought/said "He's gonna get fined for that".   Not because I think it's right, just cause I know that's how the NFL rolls.  I know of no other institution that fines its members for doing things that are legal and just thinking about a contradiction like that makes my head spin.  How's this guy supposed to play football?  How's anyone supposed to play defense anymore?  How can James Harrison simultaneously be paid and fined for doing the same thing?

Props to Hines Ward, the blocking-est receiver in the league, for coming out and acknowledging that some of the burden in this lies on the offensive players and that there's good and bad ways of taking tackles.  I don't know how any offensive player coming into the NHL from college is in anyway prepared for players like Harrison as there doesn't seem to be any defense in college football.  I genuinely hope that players will be coached to play in ways that protect themselves from major injury and the game from being watered down into a useless, boring puddle of fines and contradictions.

Pittsburgh Pirates: "HURTIN FEELINZ" since 1990somethin'

To the author of this window decal:

I'm not sure if this message is solely addressing the damage the Pirates have done to us over the last 18 years, but whatever the case, well done.

Ms. Pittsburgh

Quotes from Big Ben's Big Day Back on 10/17/10

Hey everyone,

Sorry this is a bit late; I misplaced my camera for about a week with all my images for my posts.  Lets get to it now...

I figured all responsible parties would be doing their darnedest to make Big Ben look like an upright guy on the day of his big return to NFL play in the Steelers' Week 6 game against the Cleveland Brownies.

Did anyone else out there in TV land notice the overcompensation on part of the network in depicting B.B. as a resurrected hero?

Did anyone else notice that the commentators' reverent praise also had an unintended ulterior dimension of interpretation...?  As in the kind of innuendo that reminds of you of Ben's off-season follies rather than having you forget about them?

Here are the quotes that I managed to write down while watching the game:

"You ask what R brings to the this 'bout an explosive weapon"

"Ben's pump fake makes his receivers open and extends the play"

"He already has pushed it to the edge.  He continues to live on the edge."

"Talk about QBs being smart enough to say the play is over..."

"R is one of the best QBs in the NFL and his return makes the Steelers all the more dangerous"

"The slippery Roethlisberger" (after evading a pass rush)

After a incompletion thrown well over the head of Heinz Ward (the intended receiver), the commentators said that Heinz didn't move vertically enough, resulting in the incompletion.

After two consecutive bad passes the commentators comment on how consistent he is.

Best quote of the day came from R himself: "I have to learn to live to fight another day and not expose the ball".  Yep, that's Life 101 dude.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sweet Onion: To Die For

Ms. Pittsburgh here.  How's fall treating everyone???

I can go no further without addressing the single most important short coming Pittsburgh presents as I transition to living here again...The problem is one of supply.  I wonder if it is also one of demand.

Specifically the problem is one of chip supply.  Potato chips.  Kettle chips.  My favorite chips.

While living with my cousin Evan in NYC, our evening diets became gradually rooted in the delicious, mildly onion-riffic taste of the 'Sweet Onion' variety of Kettle Chips made by the company with the solid color bags.  The more hockey we watched the more serious the addiction became because there wasn't enough time to prepare dinner before a 7:07 faceoff; I'd get off the train directly from work at 6:45, turn the corner to the store and grab a bag (or two) of chips, and head home for the game.  We'd go through bags of these things like they were going out of style, and the problem is: maybe they are?!

Other popular Kettle Chip varieties include 'Spicy Thai', 'Yogurt and Green Onion', 'Sea Salt and Vinegar'.  I can't find a consistent source of Sweet Onion Kettle Chips anywhere in the burgh.  The Co-op and Giant Eagle NEVER carry them.  The Food Whole carries them ON OCCASION (notably when there's a promotion).

A recent trip to NYC presented troubling findings: All of Evan's sources are now dry!  He can no longer get them at our corner store,  C-Town (the equivalent of a shrunken Kuhn's or Shur-Save).  Looks like our original plan to order Sweet Onion by the case may be in order.

Check your local purveyor for Sweet Onion Kettle Chips.  You'll know them first by their deep burgundy colored bag, second by their amazing flavor and crunchy texture, third by the surprising bevy of intense seasoning found on the chip shrapnel that inevitably gathers at the at the bottom of each bag.

If you find Sweet Onion please try them and spread the good word so we'll amp up demand, and hopefully amp up supply.  WOW!  I never imagined I'd make an internet appeal to grassroots support of a commercial food product, let alone a potato chip, but here we are.  This is 2010--wierder things have happened this year alone.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

TV Shopping

Why Dick's, Why?

WTFdoweneedtheseoutoftownjerseysinSteelerCountry?  Seriously,whowouldbuyoneofthese?

Various Forms of Bootleg

A recent journey through Millvale (the town formerly known as "The gateway to the North Hills") produced the following:

Really nice homemade hand-painted fence signage.   This sighting made me recall how excited I was to learn to draw the new version of the Penguins' logo as seen above when it was unveiled in 1992.  I'd guess that this sign was originally painted around then and has been maintained throughout the years.

What visit to Millvale would be complete without some goodies from the Jean-Marc bakery?
That's where I found these black and gold bootleg smiley-face cookies.  An interesting spin on two home town staples, the Eat n' Park smiley cookies and of course everything B n' G.  Leave it to a Frenchman!

Later I showed the photo to my friend Rob, who provided his own bootleg version of his favorite 'moody' cookie face, as seen here:

That evening, in making my way back through Millvale after a trip to the North Hills, I found this:

This painting which appears to be in progress is on the back side of a sports bar called Sidelines.  I love it in its current state because with very limited geometric/color information it is able to convey exactly who and what it is intending to represent.  Also it is interesting that the person most articulated in this painting is Heath Miller, who is not usually the first in the who's who among Pittsburgh football and hockey personnel.  I also love that the triangles on the two hockey players, presumably Fleury and Crosby, hearken back to the 1990's version of the Penguins logo, as seen in the above fence painting.  I eagerly anticipate the completion of this painting (will the receiver on the right be a super-muscely Hines Ward?!?  Will the passer be ID'd as Roethlisberger?!) and/or it's ongoing incompletion.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


....and its gonna be "all-access, uncensored, (and) behind-the-scenes" so ladies, it's time to break down and subscribe to HBO or find a friend who already does and invite yourself over.  

Check out details here:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


All pictures and videos taken en route to or at the 2010 Steelers home opener on September 12, 2010

#5: Via your red jeep with incredibly self-declarative vanity plate

#4: March there with your band of colonial era red-coats and be sure to take a picture so everyone will believe you actually did this

#3: On foot wearing your Steelers Hawaiian shirt


#2: Via rickshaw loaded with pals

#1:  THE BEST/WORST WAY OF GETTING TO A STEELERS GAME, EVER:  Via your customized Steelers Segway with side cars for your twin Shih Tzus.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bloggin about bein' Blogged about

Great news! Yinz Yang got a shout out in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's "Blog n' Gold" Steelers blog, which I have to say is not only a great name for a blog, but a great blog in general.

Check it out here: Blog n' Gold

I'm not sure what to say about the game yet, but when I collect my thoughts I will write something.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

DVE comedy archives meets Shellac

During a typical Q & A style audience/band interlude at the Shellac show last night in Pittsburgh, an audience member asked the band "Where can I get cool pants?" There was a bit of a pause before another audience member chimed in: "PANTS ENAT". Everyone in attendance laughed except the band. Then someone started a "LETS GO PENS" chant which was cut short when Shellac SHREDDED into their next song. Totally classic Pittsburgh moment. Long live DVE and it's ridiculous 90's comedy sketches.

Sid hits a sweet homer at PNC park: is there anything this guy can't do?

If Lemieux can assemble a hockey team with guys like this, imagine what he could do if he owned the Pirates?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BOGO at PNC Park 2010

Some BOGO coupons valid for admission to (almost) any 2010 Pirates game came across my desk, so on Friday September 3 some pals and I headed 'daun the North Side for my first game at PNC Park since its inaugural season in 2001.  I was eager to experience the ballpark anew having heard frequently that PNC Park is the most beautiful ballpark in the country.  The fact that the Pirate's losing streak is "now old enough to legally buy cigarettes" has kept me and I suppose many would-be fans away, but on Friday night I put sports aside for the most part and was pleased by the pastoral-meets urban feel of the place.  Each seat offers immaculate views of Pittsburgh's skyline and several yellow-painted and black steel bridges, as well as tree covered hills and an open, glorious, sun-setting sky that made me think Tiepolo should have been sitting in the empty seats behind us. 

The park boasts a fine beer selection, and some hilariously generic and 'punny' signage

As an added bonus it was "snuggie" night so everyone in attendance received a complimentary Pirates / snuggie made of a super low-grade synthetic fabric that I presume to be high in petroleum content and thus to be extremely flammable so I'll be sure to use it ONLY at indoor hockey games (where there's always lots of frozen water and absurdly low air temperatures).  And maybe occasionally as a wizard costume...

Monday, August 30, 2010

2010 Roethlisberger Scandal-Themed Design Award

Of the many Roethlisberger scandal-themed designs on the market, this one takes the cake for brevity, directness, and subtlety...all the makings of good graphic design.   Major accolades to this sticker's unknown maker.

Spotted on a utility pole in Pittsburgh, 8/27/10

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


On August 14, 2010, I attended the first preseason game of the Steelers' 2010 season.  
Upon entering Heinz Field I was greeted / welcomed / astounded by the above sighting...a BLUE Penguins jersey, in a seat at the football stadium.  Seated next to a generic Steelers shirt.  Pretty amazing.  'Used to be that hockey fans wore Steelers gear to the Arena, cause all you needed was some Black n' Gold to show how you feel.  Any gear you owned, which was most likely Steelers gear, would cover you for whatever event you attended.  This remains and always will be the case, but this sighting shows that the hegemony of football over hockey in steel town has officially come to an end.  I welcome this new era of equal opportunity fandom with open, wide-receiver type arms.  THIS IS THE NEW PITTSBURGH.

Prior to the toss, the incomparable, inimitable Dick LeBeau was recognized by all in attendance with a standing-O in honor of his arguably long-overdue Hall of Fame induction, which had occurred the Sunday prior.  Dick looked totally classy and 'NTBFW' on the jumbo-tron, as seen above.  I felt immense gravitas as I stood clapping and tearing for this great man who, as mastermind of our Steel Curtain defense, has in a very quiet, almost unseen way engineered an unquantifiable portion of my personal emotional fabric.  It was a rare moment when the unseen-but-felt becomes seen & very clearly felt.  

As my pops and I dined pre-game at Max's Allegheny Tavern, we discussed the ever-tenuous Roethlisberger situation.  Throughout summer 2010 I've observed small colonies of Roethlisberger jerseys in the windows of Pittsburgh's many thrift stores, having sprouted up in no time, just like all the off-the-highway-suburban-shopping-center-towns that seem to appear simultaneously, contents totally predictable and invariable.  Once the prized belongings of adoring fans, these castaway jerseys apparently can't even be sold from the prime real estate of a Goodwill window.  In the days leading up to the first preseason game, I anticipated that fashion choices on that day would serve as an unspoken and powerful litmus test for the Roethlisberger situation.  Would anyone wear a #7 jersey?  The answer as seen above, is 'YES.  Our entire family will wear our Roethlisberger jerseys.  Young girls included.'  On the other hand I have since spoken with many parents who have forced their children to give up their #7 apparel and will no longer wear it themselves.   2010 is undoubtedly a good time to monitor the jersey situation as public opinion on Roethlisberger's character / worthiness continues to split and shift.

It is worth noting that 4 plays into the Steelers' opening drive, a chant sprung up on the other side of the stadium and gained considerable momentum before dying away: "WE WANT BEN".  

REALLY?  Four plays into pre-season offense?  It's generally not the stuff dreams are made of, Ben or no Ben, 1st or 4th stringer.  So both on the apparel and mass-chant fronts, Ben's reputation appears to be at least somewhat unscathed, if not brazenly unscathed, here in Pittsburgh.  2010.  

This is Ms. Pittsburgh, over n' aut.