Friday, October 17, 2014

Velho é novo outra vez

As things seemingly wind down here, the history möbius continues.  One of the very first posts here was:  Greyfields are getting bigger every year, or Who Remembers Zayre's

The topic was some contemporaneous news of the then-young Pittsburgh Mills mall that had been built with the help of a lot of public investment.   In the news again this week. See:  Pittsburgh Mills to lose Sears store, auto center.  

Just a minor business story generated by the constant churn in retail businesses?  Maybe, except there is the sheer amount of public effort that went into getting the mall off the ground.  

It turns out the hyperlinks in my old post have mostly atrophied, but one was worth updating.  Former Trib journo Mike Yeomans' coverage of the history of the development of the mall is most certainly worth re-reading in light of the news this week.  See his meticulous history included in: Pittsburgh Mills muscles its way into landscape (from 2005). The history is really worth re-reading.  The story this week is not really about Sears closing its one store at the mall...

Still a great site by the way:  No lack of local stories there either. But Jason may need to update the entry on Eastland Mall which has been mostly returned to fallow since that story was written. 

and just in case you think old stories ever die (NOT)...  the most in -epth story on Bernardo Katz comes from just last month in Bernardo Katz, cellist hunted by Interpol. Who knew he owned 250 apartments in Omaha? And what is Michael Diven up to these days? But seriously, never in all of Western history has so much of Pittsburgh politics been translated into Portuguese. Read all the way to the end where you see he has visions of a book or movie on his exploits here.  If that comes to pass I hope there is a voice-over included from Jeff  Habay. (Where is the Angry Drunk Bureaucrat when you need him?) 

The book thing is not as improbable as you might think. Local political history makes it to mass media more often than logic might imply.  If ever there was a political metaphor begging to be expressed in monograph form, read the recently published: The Demon of Brownsville Road. I may have to buy a copy to convince myself that really was published in the trade press.