Cybertainment: City of Asylum app and website look at North Side
August 29, 2014 12:00 AM
One stop on the Digital Sanctuaries tour is the Alphabet Reading Garden, an artist-designed garden that is a project of City of Asylum Pittsburgh. The Garden is paved with custom-made bricks that are inscribed with hand-written alphabet letters in numerous character systems.
By Adrian McCoy / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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.
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.
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