Saturday Features

Teaching self respect and discipline

“We don’t teach young kids Kung Fu, we teach them self-respect and discipline while practicing Kung Fu,” said Bao, founder of Win-Win Kung Fu Cultural Center in Squirrel Hill. Win-Win Kung Fu offers classes to youth beginning at age 5 and free lion dance training and Chinese language classes for students.

Layal Kusti, 6, of Jefferson Hill, practices Chinese martial art at Win-Win Kung Fu Cultural Center in Squirrel Hill.
Martial art students slaute to masters Krista Angiler, left, and Jing Wu prior to their class.
5-years-old Justin Lee Kragten, of Squirrel Hill, shouts out loud while practicing Chinese martial art.
Hesheng Bao, founder of Win-Win Kung Fu Cultural Center, practices Tai Chi sword at the center in Squirrel Hill. “We don’t teach young kids Kung Fu, we teach them self-respect and discipline while practicing Kung Fu,” said Bao.
9-years-old Oliwia Saykiewicz, of Squirrel Hill, grimaces while balancing and squatting at the same time in a Chinese martial art class.
Layal Kusti, 6, of Jefferson Hill, practices Chinese martial art with her classmates.
Master Jing Wu adjusts the gesture of Oliwia Saykiewicz,  9, of Squirrel Hill, in a Chinese martial art class.
Ebtehal Badawi of Jefferson Hill, practices Tai Chi with some traditional Chinese weapons in the background.

 

 

Pix 2017: the Pittsburgh Indy Comix Expo

If you grew up with Marvel and DC comics, no matter how heroic the characters were or how interesting were their flaws as anti-heroes, they were still the creations of large publishers seeking the mass audiences ten cents, or 25 cents or a buck. Then came Robert Crumb and his infinitely layered worlds and such visionaries as Art Spiegelman and Harvey Pekar , who reached the international and national stage, and who helped make comics ( or graphic novels ) a way to release pent-up angst and deal with complex social issues. At Pix 2017, the Pittsburgh Indy Comic Expo, one could see how comics take on an intensely personal twist while artists still tried to reach a visually sophisticated audience with their art, an increasingly shocking pantheon of twisted humans and creatures trying to fit into a society that maybe is just not quite ready for them. But for the crowds who searched the tables for art and words which pulled them into the artist’s or writer’s worlds, the event was worth every moment spent looking and seeing and talking and buying. View The Gallery >

In Focus: A very Northside Mardi Gras

Outside the red door to the Allegheny Elks Club, two of Cheryl Capezzuti’s shimmering puppets dance to the quiet street sounds of a Tuesday night in February. Open the red door, and the brass and drums of big band music pour out the door, setting the mood for revelers draped in shiny beads and feather boas, their eyes shadowed by glittery masks. The line for jambalaya and shrimp po’ boys runs to the back of the wood paneled room. In time, Jack “Johnny Angel” Hunt calls 2016 Northside Mardi Gras King Rick Sebak to the stage to pass over his beads, scepter and crown to his 2017 successor, Randy Gilson of local Randyland fame. As the crowd cheers and cameras flash, Seback reluctantly allows Gilson to pry the crown from his head, and the start of the 2017 Northside Mardi Gras is officially proclaimed. View The Gallery >