Plus, a farewell from Francesca, The Incline director.

💛 The Incline readers share their bright spots of 2021

Plus, a farewell from Francesca, The Incline Director

By Francesca Dabecco

Welcome to Wednesday, Pittsburgh.

Well, we’re here: the final Incline newsletter of 2021. It’s been a long, strange, winding road up to this point, but I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to share stories from the 412 with you this year.

Today’s edition is centered around closing things out on a cheerful note, which is why the spotlight is on our adoring audience: scroll on to read about the special things that stood out to Pittsburghers this year. Plus, we’re announcing the winners in our Holiday Gift-away!


And on a very bittersweet note, I’ve got some news: I — Francesca, your newsletter writer and Incline Director — will be moving on from The Incline in the new year. I can’t tell you how much it has meant to me to share this space with all of you. The good news is that I’m not leaving Pittsburgh or local journalism. (Let’s be honest, you couldn’t take me out of the ‘Burgh even if you tried.) I hope you scroll down to the end of this newsletter to read my farewell message. 💛

It’s been a wonderful ride, Pittsburgh. Let’s take The Incline together one last time.

What Pittsburgh is talking about


2021, like the year before it, was definitely a weird one. Even so, Pittsburgh found plenty of ways to keep its collective chin held high and maintain its lust for life. 

Here’s what The Incline heard from all of you about the good that stood out in 2021…

🏠 “We moved to Pittsburgh in June for my husband’s job, and we are loving our new city” — @becky_joy_jones

📸 “As a photographer, I enjoyed capturing the city in new and exciting ways. But I enjoy making friendships along the way to share these experiences with.” — @redhead15014

🌳 “Lots of incredible growth personally and professionally!” — @monsterandskittles

❤️ “Meeting, greeting, and sharing in person again. New friendships and old ones have provided deeply valued camaraderie.” — @scottgoldsmithphoto

☀️ “I started my retirement on January 1, 2021” — Diann C.

🎁 Congratulations to our winners!


This year, we teamed up with local businesses featured in The Incline’s holiday gift guide to offer an exciting yinzer holiday gift-away. We want to give a huge shout out to all the participating vendors; thank you for helping us create a fun and engaging way to celebrate the holidays with our readers and local businesses!

And the winners are…

🌟 Yinzer sticker package from 1flychickenBryce K.

📖 5 copies of Cookie Table Cookbook from Belt Publishing — Beth B., Elizabeth M., Amie S., Dawn C., Zack D.

🖼️ A mini print of a Pittsburgh landmark by Buildings By ShaneAnna B.

🛍️ ”Thank Yinz” tote from Commonwealth Press — Michael C.

🍦 Copy of Brian Butko’s newest book with the Heinz History Center, “Islay’s Chipped Ham, Klondikes, and Other Tales from Behind the Counter.” Plus, a pass to the Heinz History Center — Kathy L.

🍳 1 cast iron conditioner and 1 cast iron scraper Lovett Sundries — Katie S.

✨ $25 Gift Card to LuluZ Design - Yinzer Apparel & Accessories — Kiera C.

🍓 Seasonal Holiday Trio from Maple Street Jam including Winterberry, Gingerbread & Figgy Pear Jam — Dominick M.

💛 Captain PACKPACK: 1 piece x kid size from PACKPACK — Molly A.

🍏 Getting Juicy variety pack of (12) juices from Pittsburgh Juice Company — deRicci G.

🌆 Steel City puzzle from Puzz — Morgan T.

🌸 Full size Dusk Bath Salts and 2 oz. Dusk Body Buttah from Tonic and Sage — Kelli F.

🐾 Triple AAAniamals bandana supporting the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy with Love, Pittsburgh — Erinn B.


🎄 Get your holiday cheer on at Home for the Holidays Concert by the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra at Pittsburgh Playhouse (Downtown)


📖Join Phipps for a special virtual series of virtual stories with Santa (Online)

🎶 Enjoy live music by Acoustic Appalachian at the Bakery Square Conservatory (Bakery Square)


📽️Watch a holiday movie marathon and eat Chinese food at Row House Cinema, today and tomorrow (Lawrenceville)


🎄 Tune in to WQED-FM 89.3 for three hours of holiday music and storytelling from Rick Sebak and Jim Cunningham (Anywhere)

💛 A farewell from your editor…


After operating The Incline for the past 10 months, it is bittersweet for me to say that today is my very last day as Director of The Incline. There were a lot of ups and downs, but every ride was worth the view. (Get it?😉) From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank each and every one of you who read this newsletter. It has been my absolute honor to land in your inboxes every day with delightful, informative, and important news in the city we all love.

It wasn’t easy for me to make this decision. I’ve loved The Incline since the early days (back in 2016) when it was run by a team of inspiring and innovative local journalists. I remember being in my second year of college and admiring how the writers captured the essence of Pittsburgh through such creative storytelling. The Incline has been more than just a job to me: I really care about this city, and I understand the value of uplifting local journalism in the age of declining trust in the media. I also believe that we live much more fulfilled lives when we are engaged with what is happening in our communities. I hope that in my time writing this newsletter, I was able to provide that for all of you.

Like I mentioned above, I’m still going to be working in local journalism. I hope you keep your eyes 👀 (and *hint* ears👂) peeled for me in Pittsburgh media. If you’d like to keep in touch or send me a message, feel free to follow me on Instagram at @francesca_dabecco or send an email to

I send my very best to the next Incline director, which by the way, we'll be hiring for very soon. Know someone who loves Pittsburgh so much that writing about it comes naturally? Someone who is comfortable managing projects, producing daily social and digital content, and has a strong record of community engagement? You should send 'em our way —

'Til next time. Happy holidays, Pittsburgh. I’ll see yinz out there!

💛 412 forever,

— Francesca at The Incline

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