Thursday, January 5, 2012

Positively Pittsburgh Live News 1-2-12

Happy New Year! 

As You Like It
As You Like It Sizzles in the New Year at the O'Reilly Theater
Pittsburgh Public Theater continues its red hot season with a glowing new production of William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, directed by Ted Pappas. As You Like It runs January 19 – February 19, 2012 at the O’Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater’s home in the heart of Downtown’s Cultural District. For tickets call 412.316.1600 or visit As You Like It is Presented by PNC.

2012 Chinese New Year
As We Say Goodbye to the Rabbit, the Year of the Dragon is Most Welcome

An Ancient Tradition in Modern Times

As the most important and festive of the traditional Chinese holidays, the 2012 Chinese New Year of the Water Dragon starts January 23 and will end on February 9, 2012. The celebrations begin New Years Eve and continue on until the full moon 15 days later.

Every year, the New Moon in Aquarius marks the Chinese New Year. Rather than have a fixed date each year, the Chinese culture tunes into more natural celestial events. Aquarius is the sign that represents humanitarianism so there may be something to this approach that we in the west can learn from this ancient civilization.

The origin of Chinese New Year is itself centuries old. Honored in countries with significant Chinese populations, it is also celebrated in countries that don’t recognize it as their own national holiday, such as Canada, United States and Australia. For many, the spectacular New Year parades throughout China towns are the main attraction, showcasing colorful costumes, elaborate floats and performances, fireworks, lion dances and the hundred foot-long dragon puppet made from silk, bamboo and paper.

The tradition is that every family thoroughly cleans their house to sweep away any ill-fortune with the intention to make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors are decorated with red color paper cut-outs with positive themes of "happiness", "wealth", and "longevity". Living rooms are adorned with blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth, platters of oranges and tangerines and a candy tray with eight varieties of dried sweet fruit are there for the celebration.  Each following day of the 2 week celebration marks customary activities, and the 15th day is the Lantern Festival celebrated at night, with children carrying lanterns in a parade.

The Year of the Water Dragon
 According to the Chinese Five Element Astrology Calendar, January 23, 2012 marks the year of the Water Dragon, with the Water Element providing better communication and endurance, and the elemental colour of black or dark blue.

Dragons are known to be one of the most auspicious animals in the Chinese Zodiac and have the intelligence and drive to bring all projects to a great conclusion.  

Those lucky enough to be born in the year of the Dragon are passionate and magnificent.  Their inner energy is bold and strategic and they most always are successful.

The Chinese New Year is a celebration of change; out with the old and in with the new! A Chinese proverb says that all creations are reborn on New Year’s Day. We can all benefit by celebrating this ancient tradition to bring renewal into our own lives.

Forbes One of the Top 20 Most Influential Women for Entrepreneurs Featured Guest at January #smallbizpgh Twitterchat 
Influential entrepreneur and author, Melinda Emerson (@smallbizlady) will answer questions from local entrepreneurs via Twitter on January 17, 2012 between 7 pm and 8 pm in the third installment of Pittsburgh's first small business Twitterchat presented by Building Bridges for Business (bridges4biz).

The virtual event, which is aimed at providing valuable, free resources for small business owners and leaders in Allegheny County, will feature Emerson, who will answer a set of questions from Building Bridges for Business and other questions posed by entrepreneurs from the region and can be followed live using hashtag #smallbizpgh on either or

The Twitterchat will be presented by Building Bridges for Business, as well as its partners, including Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh Mayor's Office, Duquesne University Small Business Development Center and the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University.

For more on the event, visit Building Bridges for Business' homepage at, follow Building Bridges for Business (@bridges4biz) on Twitter or contact Building Bridges for Business by e-mailing

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Roving Pittsburgher Report
Nutcracker Review
I took my almost 4 year old granddaughter to see the show and I was truly amazed that she never budged. I watched her enjoy every second of the show and many times she turned to me, with that look that only a child can have, and told me what a great job they were doing dancing. And of course a magical moment for her was when the crown was placed on the little girl’s head in the show and she knew that she was now a princess. It was outstanding and you can read my entire review here

Pittsburgh Social Exchange
They hosted a great party at Savoy that was packed with people. Maybe a little too packed for my taste, but really a good crowd with some dynamic individuals. The food was excellent and the heated outdoor patio is such a special touch. Savoy is located on
Penn Avenue
and you can check out their website here

Tanger Outlets
I know I’ve mentioned Tanger before, but there really are some spectacular deals. We visited Van Heusen, Bass, Ralph Lauren… I definitely splurged and bought myself a pair of lace-up women’s combat boots. Those will really go along with the bling I bought, too. Hey – everyone needs a little retail therapy these days.Tanger is located in Washington, right across from the Meadows Casino. You can check out their website here

Taj Mahal
I also had the chance to eat at this restaurant with some friends and it was truly outstanding, great authentic Indian cuisine. Taj is located on
McKnight Road
in the North Hills. You can check out their website here

Carnegie Library Christmas Trees
Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to this exhibit, but I’ve heard it was really something to see. This is a 150-year old exhibit and it’s filled with character. 

DiBella’s Old Fashioned Subs
Talk about a sub! This family-owned chain makes their own bread and it’s for sure in my top three steak sub joints in the whole of Pittsburgh. There were also, and don’t tell my kids, HUGE chocolate chip cookies. What a treat. DiBella’s has quite a few locations in and around Pittsburgh, so if you have a chance, stop by. You can check out their website here

Jackie Evancho Concert
This was a magical show. I give kudos to her parents for making sure she is still dressed like a little girl and not in a hurry to grow up too fast. But her voice doesn’t match her size or her little princess dress. When I closed my eyes, I could have sworn it was a much more mature singer up there. It was remarkable and an all-around great evening. It’s such a treasure to have a native Pittsburgher bring so much joy and hope to people all around the country at such a young age. You can visit Jackie’s official website here

Joanne’s Traditional New Year’s Party
I just wanted to say what a great time was had by all at our annual party. The wind was whipping, but no snow.  Thanks to JoAnn Forester for adding that the food was phenomenal and that everyone had a stellar time just sitting around and talking to one another.

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith.
Listen to the show here.
(c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2012 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here

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