In Response to Steelers as SVU Characters

Author: Kaitlyn Shirey

Recently I saw a video in my feed of the “Law and Order SVU,” intro where the characters were replaced with players for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  It was meant to be a fun watch for fans, seeing our city’s football stars compared to the often triumphant police officers and detectives depicted in the television show.  Those images of big beefy men in costume-like suits were also meant to be intimidating, the sepia harkening back to old Hollywood detective aesthetic.  A well-made video for a city that loves its team…

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Students come together for GlobalPittsburgh’s annual picnic

On Saturday, September 19, GlobalPittsburgh — a local nonprofit dedicated to fostering an international community in Pittsburgh — hosted its annual picnic at North Park. They welcomed over 200 international students, community members, and globally-minded people to the event, which boasted the Brassero Grill Food Truck and the PGH Halal Food Truck, as well as family friendly games, a photo booth sponsored by Zipcar, music, and dancing.

Chatham University’s participants gathered in front of Chapel at 11:15 a.m. with the intention of leaving at 11:30 a.m., but the van was severely delayed due to a misunderstanding about the location of the meeting place.  The mix-up left students feeling frustration.

“There are many troubles in this event,” junior Kaho Akai said, going on to describe problems at the event itself.

“Suddenly one of the Arabic student playing soccer shouted and fell down,” she said.

The student in question broke his leg because of a dislocation of the knee, and he couldn’t stand up. A GlobalPittsburgh member called police and an ambulance.  

“However, it happened during ending ceremony, so we ended the event without finishing the ending ceremony,” Akai added.

Although there were a lot of troubles, Akai added that she really enjoyed the event.

“The activity was really enjoyable,” she said.

One of the activities played at the picnic was Human Bingo. The participants wrote 25 things about people’s cultural behaviors, characteristics, or knowledge on a paper — for example, people who know the words “good night” in German, people who can use chopsticks well, and people with tattoos. Participants had to seek out people who met each characteristic and get a signature from the person.

“The game was really good opportunity to talk with strangers,” junior Ayako Inoue said. “Usually I am afraid of talking with strangers in English because my English is not so good. However, thanks to this activity, I could talk with many people. This activity was really good for international students who are learning English.”

Inoue was moved by the fact that there were so many people talking to each other in the same language, English.

“I don’t know why, but I was surprised and moved very much,” said Inoue. “Perhaps, it was because many people from different countries can communicate with each other only they can speak English. This experience became my strong motivation to study English.”

Akai was also thankful for the activity.

“I am originally a sociable person in my native language, but in English, I couldn’t talk very well. The game gave me opportunity to talk with many people,” she said.

“Many international students, even if they are originally sociable, can’t communicate well in English,” Akai added. “I want to participate in more events like this event, and I want to talk with more and more people from various country.”

Foodie on the Half Shell: Pittsburgh farmers’ markets

You may think that farmers’ markets in Pittsburgh will be closed now that summer is over, but that is incorrect! Most farmers’ markets actually go into November, selling fall favorites, such as pumpkins and apples.

Farmers’ markets are not just a place to go and buy produce; they are also a great place to buy local products such as organic beauty products, baked goods, and fresh pasta. I love going to the markets all around the city to see new business ideas and catch great deals on incredible goods. My favorite markets are Lawrenceville’s, East Liberty’s, and the North Side’s because of their size and the vast amount of unique vendors.

Lawrenceville’s market is unique in the sense that they have specially placed the market in the middle of the neighborhood where there aren’t accessible groceries stores in walking distance. By placing the market there, it allows people who do not have easy means of transportation in the area to buy reasonably priced food near their home. One of the cool features of this market is its broad range of quality vendors, like A519 Chocolate, which makes artfully decorated chocolates and colorful macaroons; and Fallen Aspen Farm, which brings fresh chicken and duck eggs every week. Lawrenceville’s farmers’ market is open every Saturday until Halloween from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Closest to Chatham’s campus is East Liberty’s market, which is easily one of the largest. You can come here and buy veggies and fruit from at least ten different vendors that range from your basic carrots and tomatoes, to the farms that are selling unique items like romanesco and purple bell peppers. Even if you aren’t looking to buy a bunch of veggies, it’s a great place to wander around and maybe get an all-organic basil lemonade slushy (best lemonade I’ve ever had). East Liberty’s farmers’ market is open every Monday until Thanksgiving week from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

North Side’s market is my favorite because it’s in my neighborhood and my favorite farm crew, Freedom Farms, is there. If you know anything about Freedom Farms then you know that they had a TV show, that their produce is incredible, and that you won’t find better looking farmers. Seriously, though, these “farmers” look like movie stars, just with a little more dirt under their nails. You can also get some amazing snacks at this market such as kettle corn and some of the best gyros and pepperoni rolls that the world has to offer. I’ll even go here for dinner, sometimes! North Side’s farmers’ market is open every Friday until Thanksgiving week from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Farmers’ markets are booming here in Pittsburgh, which is a great sign for businesses, farmers, and even customers. Fresh and local food is more important than one can imagine. The nutritional density of fresh food is so much more than frozen or canned foods, and the impact that buying local has on the environment and the economy is incredible. Taking a little extra time to check out these accessible markets can make a huge difference to the businesses in our city and to your own health.

It’s that time of year again

The weather is changing here at Chatham. The leaves are starting to become brown and it is becoming cool enough for sweats. This change of weather also signifies the ending of another season.

Our summer vacations have come to a close, and we have been in school for four weeks. We have to put away our sun screen and pull out the books. Baseball season is coming to a close, and football has started back up. People pack Anderson Dining Hall on Sunday afternoons ready to watch their beloved teams.

It’s a hard concept for us students to grasp, no more beach vacations or late night adventures with friends. Late nights will be spent in the library with our heads in our books surrounded by cups of coffee. Soon enough the grounds of campus will be covered with brownish yellow leaves and barren trees.

For most students, especially for first-years, it will be a rough time. Having to adjust to living in a different city and getting acclimated to the harsh winters of Pittsburgh is just one of the many weather hardships. By December time, Chatham’s campus will be covered in snow and ice. Snow balls will fly across campus, and lunch trays will be used for sledding. The winter will bring temperatures below zero which is, for some of us, a huge change. Before you know it, Winter Break will be here. That means lights and wreaths will decorate the homes of Squirrel Hill.

After we shovel our way out of winter, we head into spring. Trees will grow their leaves back, and the snow will be all melted. School will be winding down, and the temperature will get a little warmer. Shorts and shirts will be worn, and occasionally flip flops will be seen, signifying summer is close.

With the change from winter to spring, comes the idea of finals. The last few weeks of school will be spent inside, heads in books just like the beginning of school. The late nights of studying and coffee drinking will be well worth it, for summer will be right around the corner.

Once that last exam is finished, we will rejoice that school will be done for the summer. We’ll go back home and reminisce about the good times and bad from the past year. Then we are able to unwind with our family and friends and enjoy the sun shine for a few months.

Then, about this time next year, we come back to do it all over again.

Foodie on the Half Shell: You are where you eat

I am so happy to be back writing for the Communiqué this year. Last year was my first year as a food writer, and I have a bunch of new inspirations for cooking, health, and stories that I collected this summer.

I think that the theme for my foodie adventures this year goes something like, “eat sustainable food” and “Pittsburgh is becoming a foodie paradise.”

That doesn’t sound extremely eloquent so we will not make it official, but seriously, I went to so many restaurants this summer and it is becoming clear that Pittsburgh’s food scene is high caliber.

How does a town, city, or region become known for its food scene? I think there are three main categories that a city’s food providers must check off before they can be considered superior.

First of all, the restaurants, cafes, etc. must be inventive in their preparation of food and also how they present themselves as a business. If your town is full of checker-printed-table-cloth restaurants, I would not consider that a progressive food scene when it comes to display.

Also, the food should be new and inventive. We usually don’t see regular grilled cheese sandwiches in our new favorite restaurants. What we do see is grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon, chipotle mayo, and grilled onions, or even a grilled cheese with soy cheese, kale, and hemp seed filled bread.

Our food habits are changing. I know more people who are on the vegetarian scale than I know unbounded meat eaters.

I think the next category goes without saying. We want the food that the city provides to be delicious. That isn’t always easy, though. There is a grilled chicken salad, and then there is a salad made up of spring greens, heirloom tomatoes from a local garden, fresh spring onion, and grilled chicken that had a happy and healthy life before it was butchered for our delight. That love within food is what makes it extra yummy.

Finally, we want a food system in a city that has their sustainability together. With sustainability comes support of an environmentally friendly food system. With an environmentally aware way of producing food, comes more food without harmful chemicals in the plants and animals, thus healthier food.

We all like the idea of eating healthy. Some people don’t like the “taste” of healthy foods (and I plan to change your views on healthy food by giving you simple recipes full of whole foods), but even if they only eat chicken tenders, chicken tenders without hormones and from an organic farm down the road is “healthier” in the long run.

We want lettuce without pesticides, and we want salmon that was sustainably caught in the wild. We just don’t like how hard it is to find, and we don’t like the prices that go along with it. When a town is able to have relationships with gardens and farms, their level of natural and sustainable food goes up.

I believe that Pittsburgh has qualities that fit into every one of these categories. Although, we are not Asheville, N.C., or Portland, Ore., we are on our way to making a name for ourselves in the foodie paradise checklist. Follow my column and learn about restaurants in our area and easy recipes that will improve your health, or are just tasty.

Also, if you want more foodie ideas, follow my blog!