... during a pandemic.
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❄️ How to enjoy Pittsburgh in December

... during a pandemic.

Hey there, it’s Wednesday

Come fly with us — and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.  

We've been watching this drone-shot, PDP-made video of Downtown's holiday decorations on loop, and while we're starting to get a little dizzy, we're feeling more festive than ever. 

Back here on land, we have a lot to get to today, including: The end of self-driving Ubers, a look at Pitt's anti-Black racism course, the real heroes of 2020, a special members-only meetup, and our guide to making the most of this long December. 

What Pittsburgh is talking about

Walk tall. | Tag #theinclinepgh to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @simplyurbann

5 things to know today

🚘 Uber is ending the self-driving vehicle program it launched in Pittsburgh in 2016. Uber will sell its self-driving unit to Aurora Innovations, a one-time competitor with its own Strip District presence. But that doesn't mean autonomous technology is fading away. Need proof? Pennsylvania quietly legalized autonomous delivery robots just last month, and City Paper has more here on why that's so controversial

💰 Corporations in Pittsburgh raked in millions in emergency COVID-19 loans while small businesses "scrambled for crumbs," KDKA-TV reports. Curtis Drane, owner of Flavors Famous Street Food in Brighton Heights, told the station his small business couldn't navigate the loan process as quickly or easily as its larger competitors, adding, “We couldn’t get anything because big corporations had already taken it.” Find KDKA-TV's full report here.

🗞 The sexual misconduct allegations that surrounded the sudden resignation of a powerful labor leader at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this fall are getting a closer look from The New York Times. The paper found a decades-long pattern of abuse and a union and employer that "looked the other way." The full story can be found here.

📖 Lecture materials from Pitt's anti-Black racism course will be made available to all for free. The university made national headlines earlier this year when it announced a new, required course for first-year students on "Anti-Black Racism: History, Ideology, and Resistance." Now, anyone can access the course's recorded lectures, readings, and more online.

✍️ Reporter JoAnne Klimovich Harrop locked down in a Squirrel Hill nursing home with her 93-year-old mother during the pandemic. Here are the powerful dispatches from a daily diary kept during that 84-day act of devotion. 

3 things to make you smile

👽 Utah and Romania it isn't, but there is a mystery surrounding that metal monolith that appeared outside Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop in the Strip recently: Who stole it? TribLIVE has more on the stunted PR stunt here.

💥 Marvel Comics and Allegheny Health Network have teamed up to honor the real heroes of 2020: health-care workers. The "True Nurse Stories" comic is based on the real-life experiences of AHN nurses. Find more here, via CNN.

📚 City Books provided real books for the set of "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom" last summer. This thread explains — and ensures you'll be noticing the books when you watch or rewatch the Netflix film based on August Wilson's play.

😢 Don't miss us 

Our members are getting a private party.

What's it all about? Imagine this newsletter come to life: We'll be gathering on Zoom to play games like I Spy and our news quizzes live and in person (*not really in person). We'll also have a quick cooking demo from Shannon Daly, the Pittsburgh food blogger we profiled in this newsletter a few months back. And, of course, hilarity and high jinks will ensue. 

Want in? Become an Incline Insider today, and we'll see you there.

The Decemberists

(📸: Incline illustration)

It's been a looooong December 🎶 … and it's only nine days in. 

But the pandemic doesn't mean you can't still have a little fun, amirite? 

So we put together the above list of things we'll be doing to avoid a winter of our discontent — and we already got started.

Shoveling for neighbors? Check. 

Rocking a cool, locally made mask while doing it? Check (and my face has never been warmer). 

Shopping at Handmade Arcade? Payday's a-comin'. 

Walking Downtown to gawk at the trimmings? Mentally, we're already there (*see the opening of this newsletter).

Local coffee and tea? I'm brewing some as we speak. 

And, lastly, welcoming the end of 2020? Literally counting down the days.  

Let us know what you're doing by replying to this email, and make it a good month. 

Things to do

Submit your events to our calendar.


🎄 Get into the holiday spirit with "Liza, with a Tree! A Holiday Drag Variety Show" hosted by Schwa de Vivre (Online)

🎶 Tune in for a free livestream of Pittsburgh Opera's Soldier Songs, a libretto about the soldier’s experience (Online)

🎩 Get tickets to see actor Scott P. Calhoon portray Charles Dickens in this one-man performance for the holiday season (Online)


🎉 Hear breathtaking renditions of holiday classics with Pittsburgh Opera's resident artists at the Holiday Hoopla concert (Online)


👀 Peek inside one of Pittsburgh's most unusual mansions — the Bayernhof Museum — with this Doors Open Pittsburgh virtual event (Online)


🎭 Join the Riverfront Theatre Company for a virtual performance of the holiday classic A Christmas Carol (Online)

Wednesday, December 16

✋ Get your stampers ready for a virtual Bingo bash benefitting the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Western PA/WV chapter (Online)

One more thing ...

One more idea for the hard-to-buy-for Pittsburgher on your shopping list (or yourself!). 

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a clothing collection, featuring t-shirts, beanies, and totes to carry your favorite books. And for more gift ideas, don’t miss our Pittsburgh gift guide

Thanks for reading to the bottom. We'll see you back here tomorrow.

Copyright © 2020 The Incline, All rights reserved.
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