« All Events Inspire Speakers Series and p4 Present: The Story and Power of Place with Joel Glanzberg, Valerie Goodwin, and Majestic Lane

There is something quite special about the Pittsburgh region that makes it unlike any other place. But what is it: the topography? The accent? The cuisine? The black and gold? Our story of place includes of all these, but also touches on something deeper. How do we express a place’s uniqueness in a way that captures the spirit of who we are, where we are, and where we are headed? We think our speakers have the answers.


Joel Glanzberg will share his life’s work on creating a symbiotic relationship between human existence and natural systems, and the role of mindfulness and self-reflection in understanding our place in the complex world around us. Valerie Goodwin will share how fabric, paint and thread can be used to map narratives through three lenses: the personal narrative, the fictional map narrative, and the political/sociological narrative.

Local guest to be announced soon!


** Please note: registration for this event closes at 12:00 noon on Thursday, March 10. If you miss the window for online registration, not to worry! You can register at the door.

More About Our Speakers:


Joel Glanzberg

Joel is a tracker and teacher of patterns in landscapes, and has focused on the integration of humans in their place. He works to help people learn to understand their places and how to live in them as inhabitants and co-creators. Drawing from two or three decades of experience in permaculture, traditional tracking, martial arts practice, as well as living systems thinking, he helps people to see and think as nature does and to solve problems by finding the “difference that makes a difference.” An

active author and educator in the fields of permaculture and ecological restoration, he is skilled in cross-cultural communication and teaching. Joel has taught throughout the U.S., South and Central America as well as Africa, and worked with a number of Native American tribes and communities. His research has focused on the application of patterns and the integration of traditional agricultural/agro-forestry techniques and species from dryland areas world-wide.

Classes and projects have spanned four continents including writing the living systems portion of green building standards for Abu Dhabi, co-writing regional sustainability and economic plans, designing several thousands of acres of farm and forest lands, watershed wide restoration projects, as well as the well-known Flowering Tree homestead, the development of Regenesis Collaborative, and ecological arts projects with internationally known artists Helen and Newton Harrison. His work has been chronicled in the books: Designing for Hope, Gaia’s Garden, and A People’s Ecology. For more information visit: patternmind.org, regenesisgroup.com and thetrackingproject.org.



Valerie S. Goodwin

Valerie S. Goodwin is a Fiber Artist and Associate Professor of Architecture at Florida A & M University’s School of Architecture and Engineering Technology in Tallahassee, Florida. She is also author of “Art Quilt Maps: Capture a Sense of Place with Fiber Collage-A Visual Guide”. She became very interested in designing and making quilts in 1998 as an outgrowth of her architectural background. Her interest began as part of her involvement in teaching architectural design classes at Florida A& M University’s School of Architecture. Her students investigate parallels between architecture and quilting as an introduction to ideas about composition, ordering systems, color and pattern. Her work as an artist uses architectural elements such as built form, city grid, mapping and composition as a source of inspiration. These pieces are part of a continuing investigation of ideas that focus on geometrical relationships, patterns and ordering principles found in architecture. Her work conveys these ideas abstractly, through the use of collage, layering, transparency, density and improvisation. Visit her website to learn more about her artwork and fiber art workshops at:www.quiltsbyvalerie.com

More information at this link!


our downtown Pittsburgh apartment experiences

We have lived at two different apartment buildings (soon to be a third) in downtown Pittsburgh. We’ve looked at almost every one in the city.

Apartment buildings we’ve lived in:

The Penn Garrison at 905 Penn Ave. It’s run by PMC Property Group:

We ended up taking over a lease in what I think was the best unit in the building – 1A on the Mezzanine level. We had no neighbors on two of the four sides of the unit (below and beside). We were able to open the windows that faced Penn Avenue and actually talk to people on street level. It was cool to watch the city go by like that. Our unit was a 1,000 square foot, one bedroom apartment with the only bathroom access through the bedroom. It seemed to have a lot of wasted space as the bedroom and bathroom were along a hallway that came from the front door of the unit. We could hear our next door neighbors pretty easily. The drywall that made up one set of walls wasn’t fastened to the studs properly and we could plainly hear the neighbors on the other side of the wall.

The building has a great gym and deck on the 9th story. From the deck you can look down the Ohio River and see into PNC Park and Heinz Field. The deck was the BEST feature of the building!

We were able to get repairs pretty quickly and the property manager was responsive to our overall concerns. I was able to introduce them to Uber when they first got to town and the GetCreative classes at the Art Institutes.

I’m not going to say what we paid in rent but it was comparable for similar size apartments in Pittsburgh.

Lofts at Liberty at 915 Liberty Ave. It’s run by a husband and wife team:

Large (500 more square feet than our unit at the Penn Garrison), box like split-level open floor plan with 20 foot ceilings and windows that are almost as high. The unit is so open and large I feel cramped in a more traditional floor plan. The building is small – 8 units – so you could live your life without seeing anyone for days or weeks. There is no front door security but the front door of the building is a small store front and you get a key. The rent was a little bit less than what we paid at Penn Garrison for much more space.

As of April 10, we’re waiting to get our security deposit back. We cleaned, painted and fixed everything we could.

We are now living in River City Flats in uptown Pittsburgh.

Uptown has been called one of the area’s up-and-coming neighborhoods. Costs are low and it actually can make renting just as smart of a financial decision as buying. We have two – very close – areas where we can park. We are paying a lot less in rent than the average 1 bedroom in the Golden Triangle.

I noticed this site is coming up in searches for a downtown Pittsburgh grocery store. The blunt answer to any question about that search term is…THERE IS NONE. I talk about what is available in a few other posts but figured it would be a good addition to this page. In downtown Pittsburgh proper (also called the Golden Triangle) the closes thing is the Market Street Grocery but it is sorely lacking in…almost everything. The costs are high unless you go in for omething very specific and my wife has been panhandled inside the store twice. I tweeted to the store about it twice…with no response.

Take some time and walk to the strip or to the Shop n Save in the Hill District. You’ll get more for your money.

…more information to come…

#pittsburgh http://bit.ly/1okeifO