Once again, Pittsburgh Magazine has published its "25 Most Beautiful People" list. Once again, no one I know has managed to get within spitting distance of its pages.
(And not that I'm bitter about being shut out again. As several colleagues have pointed out, I belong on the list of the "25 Most Annoying People Who Wear Black Turtlenecks and Jeans to Work Everyday.")
But after a while, even beautiful people begin to look like the usual suspects.
I canvassed colleagues and friends to help me create a parallel list: "The 25 Most Beautiful People for Now" in Pittsburgh. I am grateful for all their suggestions, but the final list (in no particular order) was concocted according to standards known only to me:
Judith Horgan is founder and president of Child Watch of Allegheny County. Her advocacy for more judges in family court make her a genuine hero.
David DeAngelo and Maria Lupinacci are co-founders of "2 Political Junkies," one of the most popular political blogs in town. David is no Adonis, but he and Maria do have "beautiful minds."
Kate Dewey of the accounting firm McCrory & McDowell has probably helped every foundation and nonprofit agency in Pittsburgh get its act together by conducting strategic planning exercises. Way to go, Kate.
Donald Jefferson is the shoeshine man at PPG Place. If you want to know what's really happening on Grant Street, ask Dapper Don.
Andrea London, photographer extraordinaire, captures the soul of her subjects in any setting.
Chris Ivey is an award-winning filmmaker and documentarian who spends as much time at film festivals in Europe as he does in East Liberty. (Ask him about the girls in Norway and watch him blush.)
Pastors Jim Walker and Jeff Eddings are the co-founders of the Hot Metal Faith Community on the South Side, the fastest growing church in town. Yes, they're "holy hotties," but they're spoken for.
The brainy Bill Benter made a fortune overseas. But he brought it home to Pittsburgh, launching a thriving medical transcription service (Acusis) and donating liberally to universities and cultural groups.
Lorys Crisafulli is the 80-year-old organizer of the 2008 charity calendar that benefits the Monongahela Historical Society. And she's a looker.
Jerry Webber is the owner and operator of Jerry's Records in Squirrel Hill. He's arguably the coolest man in Pittsburgh. Want vinyl? Jerry's got it.
Mayor Sophie Masloff is about as sexy as they come. Who's going to contradict me?
Mark Geppert used to sell pizza, but now has a ministry in Tibet that specializes in cardiac care for children. He's a saint.
Jeffrey Cohan, a former PG reporter, is director of community and public affairs for the United Jewish Federation. He gets things done.
Larry C. Pickett is an astonishingly wise gentleman at Highmark who reminds me of Sidney Poitier crossed with Martin Luther King Jr. He's in the company's Corporate Learning, Leadership and Career Division. He walks on water in his spare time.
Erick Irvis is a playwright, actor, a gainfully employed high-tech whiz and one of the city's most eligible bachelors. Somebody marry him, please!
Tereneh Mosley just got her master's of science and fashion design from Kenyatta University in Kenya. She'll be rich and famous in a year.
Kate Daher is a teacher at the Pittsburgh High School for Creative and Performing Arts and an activist for Mideast peace as a principled advocate for the Palestinians. She still has hope in the future.
Jean-Jacques Sene teaches history and cultural studies at Chatham University. Born in Senegal, educated in France and enthusiastic as a Pittsburgher, he puts the "global" in global studies.
Susan Shahade is executive director of Women's Help Center in Johnstown. She snagged Lynn Redgrave for the agency's keynote dinner in April. She's tireless.
Gus and Stella Kalaris have been purveyors of ice balls, peanuts and popcorn on the North Side "since your Dad was a lad." They treat every customer like an old friend.
And last, but not least: My beautiful wife for putting up with my nonsense for 20 years and her friend, whom I inadvertently insulted on Christmas. Um, I'm sorry.
Tony Norman can be reached at email@example.com or 412-263-1631.