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THE COMMON THREAD

of today's comments is Pittsburgh's rivers. Since mid-August the Andy Warhol Bridge over the Allegheny has been covered with 580 knitted and crocheted blankets as part of the Knit the Bridge Project, sponsored by the Fiberarts Project of Pittsburgh with help from the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. This grand exercise in so-called yarn bombing, the largest in the United States and maybe the world, is being taken down this weekend after drawing much media attention. Everybody associated with the project and many visitors declared it a great success, but all good things must come to an end, especially knitting left out in the elements.

THE WARHOL Bridge has been just one part of the excitement along the river. As the Post-Gazette's Amy McConnell Schaarsmith reported, the Riverwalk outside PNC Park has become the place to be for boaters and others when the Pirates are playing inside. The Bucs, of course, have finally broken the spell of 20 consecutive losing seasons and everyone's in a mood to celebrate. (Go, Bucs!) But the action will shift today to Heinz Field, where the Steelers open their season against the Tennessee Titans. (Go, Steelers!) No disrespect to the artists, but it is sports teams that do the most to knit the Pittsburgh community together.

THE RIVERSIDE buzz has not always been there. It owes a lot to the group of Pittsburgh community leaders (one of them was the former Post-Gazette editor, the late John G. Craig Jr.), environmentalists, business owners and urban planners who saw the need to develop a master plan for the rivers. That led in 2001 to the formation of the Riverlife Task Force to take back and transform the city's riverfronts for the benefit of its people. On Friday night, Riverlife (the name was shortened in 2008) held its annual fundraiser, the Party at the Pier, near the Rivers Casino. The party had a fire-related theme -- appropriate for the new Pittsburgh, where what's hot is usually around the water.

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