Cybertainment: City of Asylum app and website look at North Side

Share with others:

Print Email Read Later

City of Asylum’s Digital Sanctuaries Pittsburgh project, which was unveiled earlier this month, combines a self-guided walking tour with elements of music and poetry. Its website and companion app adds thought-provoking new layers to familiar neighborhood places, using music and poetry to create a soundscape that redefines and transforms urban spaces into places of thought and reflection.

Founded in 2004, part of City of Asylum/Pittsburgh’s mission is to give sanctuary to writers living in exile and help them establish a life in a new community. 

The Digital Sanctuaries smartphone app takes users to several places of interest on the North Side. Sites featured on the app include the Alphabet Reading Garden, a City of Asylum project designed by a group of artists and consisting of bricks with hand-written alphabet characters in different languages; City of Asylum’s group of houses on Sampsonia Way that now serve as homes for exiled writers; the George Ferris House on Arch Street, where Ferris was living when he invented the Ferris Wheel in 1893; the Olde Allegheny Community Gardens; the National Aviary; and Alphabet City, a new literary/cultural center being developed by City of Asylum. 

Original music heard on the app was composed by percussionists Susie Ibarra and Roberto Juan Rodriguez. Poets whose work is featured include Richard Wilbur, Osama Alomar, Toi Derricotte, Wislawa Szymborska, Willa Cather and others. 

The app is free and available for Android and iOS mobile devices. Users also can view the content through any Web browser at the Digital Cities Pittsburgh website. 


The Streamy Awards, which honor work in online video, will be held at The Beverly Hilton on Sept. 7. The awards ceremony will stream live, starting at 10:30 p.m. on the Streamy website. 

Comedians Grace Helbig of the YouTube channel It'sGrace and Hannah Hart, creator of the MyHarto YouTube channel, will host the show.

Categories include best comedy, drama, nonfiction/reality shows, gaming, pranks, sports, dance and more. They’ll also present Audience Choice awards for entertainer of the year and show of the year.


Now there’s a social network where humans whose best friends are dogs can connect with other canine enthusiasts. 

The free iTunes app Dog Land, which was launched by BetterPet, Inc., gives people a varied social network that enables them to connect with other dog owners, post photos, find nearby dog parks, dog-friendly restaurants, pet stores, vets and more.


Adrian McCoy: or 412-263-1865.

Join the conversation:

Commenting policy | How to report abuse
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Commenting policy | How to report abuse


Create a free PG account.
Already have an account?