COLD BLACK HEART

Finding my Pittsburgh. Mostly art, music, and coffee.

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Photography: Ka-Man Tse and Aaron Blum @ Silver Eye Center For Photography, 1/29/16

This friday is the opening reception for Ka-Man Tse and Aaron Blum’s solo shows at Silver Eye.

Fellowship 16: Projects by Ka-Man Tse & Aaron Blum features solo exhibitions from our International Award and Keystone Award winners, selected from an open call for entries in mid-2015.

Join us for an opening reception on Friday, January 29, 2016, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Remarks by award winners Ka-Man Tse and Aaron Blum will be at 6:30 pm. This event is free and open to the public.

The exhibition runs through April 2, 2016.

Facebook event page is here. I’ll be there.


 

 

The Coffee Hunt: Cafe de Noir

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

I really dig Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood: it feels like old-school Pittsburgh, it’s generally very friendly and down-tempo, and it’s the home of local gems Pitaland, Las Palmas #1, and Rather Ripped Records.I was looking forward to sitting down in Cafe de Noir to check out their espresso game. But while their Mediterranean treats look pretty tasty, the coffee was only so-so.

6/10

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The Coffee Hunt: Big Dog Coffee

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

In the South Side of Pittsburgh, on the mostly-residential Sarah St. is Big Dog Coffee. (Be warned that their Web site commits one of the cardinal sins against good design: it plays music automatically upon page load. No one likes this.) It’s a parlor-esque place and I was immediate struck by the friendliness of the two baristas. They serve Intelligencia Black Cat which make a tasty shot.

 

9/10

bigdog

Poetry: Robin Clarke, Crystal Hoffman, and Charles Legere @ SPACE

Tonight, Friday 1/5 @ SPACE

As part of SPACE gallery’s current exhibition, The Mountain and the Bumblebee, three poets will be reading poems about landscape, capital, and survival. Featuring Robin Clarke, Crystal Hoffman, and Charles Legere.

Facebook event page

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The Coffee Hunt: 21st St. Coffee and Tea

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

I was in The Strip yesterday, and having already tried La Prima Espresso, I opted this time for 21st St. Coffee and Tea. They serve Intelligentsia (as do many other local joints) so I knew this shot would be decent as the least least. The verdict: nicely executed, nice shop, I’ll be back.

9/10

21st St. Coffee and Tea

21st St. Coffee and Tea


 

The Coffee Hunt: La Prima Espresso

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

A couple of days ago I finally got around to trying La Prima Espresso in The Strip. I’ve been looking forward to this place as it’s definitely old-school (complete with Italian dudes playing cards in the corner) and has a good reputation. They serve their own roast, so the “house” espresso truly is from the house. Overall: a very good coffee and well worth the visit. To me though, it’s a little too smooth as I prefer more bite and fruitiness in a shot.

8.5/10

la_prima

The Coffee Hunt: Espresso A Mano

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

Today I tried espresso a mano in Lawrenceville. Unlike most coffee shops I’m encountering in Pittsburgh, espresso a mano offers two “house” espressos: Counter Culture and Coava. Since I’ve had CC many times, I went for the Coava El Gorrion. Absolutely PERFECT cup of coffee, and the best I’ve had in Pittsburgh so far.

10/10

espressoamano

The Coffee Hunt: The Ace Hotel cafe

As previously stated:

…I figured I would set out to try every espresso in The City (and some in the South Hills burbs)… if you want to find the perfect coffee, you have to put in the legwork. In the interest of simplicity, here’s how it’s gonna go down: single shot espresso, rating from 1-10 based solely on that shot. No further justification. Just because.

Today I found myself at the cafe in the lobby of the Ace Hotel in East Liberty. This was my first time walking into this place, and for a second I thought I was in the Twilight Zone: it was the most Brooklyn-y scene I’ve seen since leaving Brooklyn after a ton of years this past summer. I have no idea if that is good or bad– depends on who you are, I suppose.

Anyway, while hanging out in hotels kinda makes me itchy, I have to admit that they NAILED the coffee.

10/10

ace_hotel

TEEN @ Club Cafe 2/18/16

TEEN‘s new release “Love Yes” is out February 19th and they are in Pittsburgh at Club Cafe the day before that in support. Worth checking out.

Tickets here.


 

Julien Baker / Cold Weather @ Club Cafe 1/19/15

I don’t know much about Julien, but I have several Pittsburgh friends who are deep into the American singer/songwriter scene and I kind of happened onto her that way. Her songs are super nice and she definitely has some kind of vocal power that sucks you in and makes you stay for a while. Looking forward to seeing her live for the first time.

I know a little more about Cold Weather. I met Mark at a party not long after arriving in Pittsburgh, and after our first conversation I quickly realized that we had a lot in common and he was someone I wanted to talk to more. Cold Weather’s debut full-length is so cohesive and visual– I was instantly a fan. Are you a Heatmiser or Elliot Smith fan? Then you might dig this too.

Here’s the Facebook event page.

Tickets here.


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