Kendra Steiner Editions

August 5, 2013

Pittsburgh and West Virginia sojourn, late July 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 5:50 pm

coraopolis

Back in San Antonio now after a wonderful 10-day sojourn in Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Pittsburgh has always been one of my favorite cities…having the best qualities of a northeastern city and a midwestern city.

pittsburgh card

It was a productive ten days. Hanging out with old friends and new friends, doing a successful poetry reading with Jim D. Deuchars at Amazing Books (which now stocks KSE poetry chapbooks and music CDR’s), filming some poetry videos which will appear on You Tube in the coming weeks, getting to meet and visit with the music writer Honest Bagger (who turned me on to some exciting new music and also some under-the-radar vinyl reissues of obscure 60’s psych), making a few trips to Jerry’s Records, spending a day at the Warhol, hitting a number of other museums and galleries, living on pizza and pierogies, visiting in person (finally) two West Virginia racetracks that I’ve watched via simulcast, Also, while at the luxurious Motel 6 in Coraopolis late at night and early in the morning, I composed a complete poetry chapbook set in the Pittsburgh area called THAT ECCENTRIC RAG, which will come out later in the Fall of 2013. I need to get out of my home area each summer to recharge my batteries, and this Pittsburgh/West Virginia trip more than satisfied that need.

Now it’s back to the saltmine in about a week…and also getting caught up with the various KSE activities…

pitts 8Spent some enjoyable hours at this neighborhood watering-hole, the 4th Avenue Grill in Coraopolis, Brad Kohler’s home bar…

pitts 1

Holding a 1950’s 10″ LP, on RCA’s “X” subsidiary, of Benny Goodman 1928-31 sideman work with Ben Pollack’s band. One of the many great finds I got at Jerry’s Records in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh…

pitts 2

Nice to finally make it to Mountaineer Park racetrack, near Chester, West Virginia. I’ve watched Mountaineer simulcasts for many years, and those do not capture the beauty of the track’s setting, nestled in a wooded valley in that strip of northern West Virginia right next to Pennsylvania. We made TWO visits to Mountaineer Park, and I look forward to visiting again.

pitts 3

This is the grandstand/clubhouse at Mountaineer, a trackside view.

pitts 4

Also made the pilgrimage to Wheeling Island greyhound racing track (formerly Wheeling Downs), where we spent an exciting evening catching the Friday night racing card and getting that “Wheeling Feeling.” Wheeling has a double-header of Fridays, with 15 races in the matinee and 13 races in the evening.

pitts 5

The Wheeling Island racino is literally on an island in the Ohio River, at the bottom of the island, mixed right among the neighborhoods. Here is a view of the nearby residential area as seen from the Wheeling trackside…


pitts 6

Spent a day at the Warhol, as always. Here is Brad Kohler outside. We caught the Genesis Breyer P-Orridge exhibit, S/HE is HER/E, which was quite interesting and should be a must-see for anyone who has followed his/her work over the years (as I have since the early TG singles). There is a haunting quality to much of the work, combining spiritually-charged and/or sexualized (and no one does a better job of blurring the lines between those two areas) images that are decontextualized and/or juxtaposed in such a way as to contrive a kind of transcendent experience for the viewer. But this has always been an important mission of P-Orridge’s work, going back to the Coum Transmissions era. I was sorry to see that no exhibition catalogue was for sale (at least when I was there), but I won’t be forgetting the images anytime soon, and the issues the exhibit raised still remain fresh and I am still applying them to what I encounter, which I’m sure the artist would be happy with.

moon

And how convenient to have a first-rate pierogie place right down the road from my hotel, on Beaver Grade in Moon Township (and a fine bagel place a block away)

pitts 7

The Bill Shute/Jim D. Deuchars poetry reading at Amazing Books (above is the poster in the window) on July 28 had an attentive audience, and I think we were both happy with our performances. Jim read  “Monongahela Abstract Construct,” part of his Pittsburgh trilogy, along with a number of short pieces that were new to me. His usual wit and authority and verbal dexterity came through well. I read “Marion, Texas” (from one of the Next Exit chapbooks, always a good ice-breaking opener with an unfamiliar audience) and the chapbooks “Led Along”, “Acres,” and the new “Worried Men And Wooden Soldiers,” which will be issued by KSE in the coming weeks. The audience was attentive and responsive, and we sold some chapbooks after the performance…and the event was listed in the Pittsburgh City Paper and a number of others arts calendars…so thanks all for a positive experience. Our readings will be posted on You Tube soon.

pitts 11

Want to give a plug to Sammy’s New York Style Famous Corned Beef, right down the road from Amazing Books, where we had some delicious brews before and after the show…and I can see why those hot corned beef sandwiches are famous!

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Also during my trip, at a secret Northwest Pennsylvania location, and then later at a seedy pizza parlor outside Youngstown, Ohio, a meeting of the Black To Comm/Blog To Comm cabal (Chris/Brad/Bill) was held…we managed to get a shot of a wall at the BTC offices, a place as secret as the Batcave or a meeting of the Trilateral Commission, and also the pizza place (where they were nice enough to make a pizza in thirds: 1/3 anchovy, 1/3 green pepper, and 1/3 black olive) where we finished up. A trip to the Bus Eubanks School Of Announcing was planned, but it was closed that afternoon, alas…

a rare view of BTC Central, in a bunker somewhere in NW Pennsylvania…

pitts 10

and outside Youngstown, Ohio…

pitts 9

Don’t know when I’ll get back to Pittsburgh and West Virginia again, but I hope it’s sooner rather than later…

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