Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mysteries of Pittsburgh

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was written by guest blogger Frank Anthony Polito.)

For those of you who've just tuned into the (212)...

In case you're not recognizing the format here, I should probably re-state that Kenneth is off the (323). In his absence, he's left me (Frank Anthony Polito, author of the soon-to-be published novel, BAND FAGS!) in charge of Ye Olde Blogge.

I just got off the phone with Craig (my partner). He's at LaGuardia, en route to Pittsburgh where he's working as a spokesperson for Hyundai at the Auto Show. (When you're an actor from Detroit, this is what you do to make $$ when you're not acting!)

For those of you who don't know me, I have a bit of a fascincation with Steel Town... The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon is my all-time favorite book. (Though you won't hear me praising the film adaptation by the writer/director of Dodgeball!) Btw, I can't stand this new cover from 2005. First of all, I know for a fact that is not the REAL "Cloud Factory," and the guy in the picture totally looks like Michael Jackson to me! (Is that a "cloud" in his hand or a white sequined glove?)

Secondly, I got my MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon in 2006. Did I mention that in addition to novel writing (and acting), I'm also a playwright? You may have read about my play Another Day on Willow St here in the (212) last summer after Kenneth took in its premiere at the New York International Fringe Festival. (How's that for yet another plug?!)

If you ever get a chance to visit, Pittsburgh is indeed a nice place. I highly recommend taking in some "pan-Asian" cuisine at Spice Island Tea House in Oakland (near the University of Pittsburgh--where all the HOT guys wear PITT zip-up hoodies). And if you're looking for a friendly bar of the G-A-Y persuasion, check out 5801 (formerly New York, New York) at 5801 Ellsworth in Shadyside... Tell Kevin (the manager) that "franQ" sent you!

Sadly, I haven't been back to da 'burgh in almost two years... I miss it.

The real Cloud Factory, aka the Bellefield Bolier Plant, behind the Carnegie Museum, with the Cathedral of Learning in the background.


Countervail said...

It's so nice to hear someone speak fondly of da Burgh.

Grew up closeby in Ohio and did my master's at Duquesne. Big fan of the city and all it has to offer. Just wish the downtown area could step it up and get something going on. The cultural district is nice but could use more downtown living and afterhours eating and fun. But then I'm a little jaded living in New York now for 8 years.

Dwight Supremacy is another P'burgher. You might check out his sexy sexy blog here.

Steve Reed said...

FranQ: I liked "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" too -- maybe the original cover was just way too eighties? (Though we know nothing is way too eighties for Kenneth!) Somehow, the movie doesn't look very appealing.

Frank Anthony Polito said...

Thanks for your comments! I can't tell you how exciting it is to know people are reading MY words...

Yes, I really enjoyed Pittsburgh. It's a beautiful city with amazing bridges and (for the most part) friendly people. And I LOVE that accent!

The movie, I'm afraid, is a wash out. I've read the script and it's not bad. Just not the MOP we all know and love. I only wish Michael Chabon would have trusted the rights to an up-and-comer like, I don't know... Me!

If you'd like to give it a read, let me know: bechstein[at]yahoo[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Mysteries of pittsburgh is one of my favorite novels also. is it loosely based on Chabon's life?

ArchitectDesign™ said...

i also went to CMU -graduated in 2003. I read that book my 5th year there and it was so amazing to be walking through that wonderful book everyday (i lived on the same street as the character in the book in squirrel hill!). I get back to visit pretty often and miss it in many ways -it's a special city! I was so excited to see you mention it here!