Friday, June 22, 2012

An open letter to Details magazine

Dear Details Magazine,

The Waffle Shop, the CMU-based experiment that combined free-form television broadcasting with a waffle shop, is closing next month.

I thought you might like to know, since you used the Waffle Shop as the lead example in your April story, "Rust Belt Revival: What's Happening in Pittsburgh."

Since the story made Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood sound so cool in some ways (diversity not being one of them), an update might be in order, in case some readers were planning to visit, and to check out the Waffle Shop when they do. You know, a little "Hey guys - that hip cool place we talked about? Goners."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's story about the closure also mentions that the Waffle Shop's next-door neighbor, the Conflict Kitchen - which your story also mentioned - is preparing to leave East Liberty for Downtown. So your update could also mention that.

But lest your readers get totally bummed about East Liberty, Justin Strong, the proprietor of the Shadow Lounge - the Conflict Kitchen's next-door neighbor - says that he's not planning to go anywhere. So the Shadow Lounge, which arguably started East Liberty's rebirth of cool when it opened on June 24, 2000 - long before the Waffle Shop came along - will continue making East Liberty cool after the Waffle Shop and the Conflict Kitchen are gone.

So, East Liberty's still worth a visit. But if you return, please look more deeply to see what makes it so. You'll find reasons that won't disappear within a few months. Diversity being one of them.

Sincerely,
Elwin Green 
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