Pittsburgh Orbit seeks to squint through the dusty windows, climb the overgrown hillsides, dip a toe in the muddy river, unfurl the platte maps, and poke a finger into the little corners of Pittsburgh (and environs) art, history, and culture that may not usually get their due.

The city’s (and region’s) obvious greatest hits–The Andy Warhol Museum, the nationality rooms at the Cathedral of Learning, the view from Mount Washington, Fallingwater, the symphony, parks, professional sports, french fries on salads and sandwiches–these are all fine things, but we’ll let VisitPittsburgh and Rick Sebak handle those.

Instead, The Orbit focuses on the deeper-dive and the day-to-day. Sad toys, roadside memorials, and Lenten fish sandwiches are our beat; onion dome churches, heavy metal graffiti, and Striking Distance our raison d’être.

Nied's Famous Fish Sandwich bar/restaurant with glowing neon sign at night

If there’s a famous fish sandwich, we will find it, and we will eat it.

Who the Hell is Pittsburgh Orbit and what are you up to?

The Orbit‘s award-winning staff hunts with a meager camera phone and a rattling bicycle and a funny idea about what looks good. But (and there’s always a big butt) we also know some actual persons experienced (and even degreed!) in the worlds of entomology, architecture, history, librarianing, graveyarding, highpointing, pizza consumption, etc. We call on these renowned experts regularly to round out and inform the worldview of Pittsburgh Orbit and make sure we’re kept at least a little bit honest.

a painting mounted on a pegboard of a naughty lady with a weird disembodied hand grabbing at her

If there is a painting mounted on a pegboard of a naughty lady with a weird disembodied hand grabbing at her, we’ll contemplate it.

Where did We Come From?

We’re excited to be the first of hopefully many Orbit franchisees originating from (old accomplice and infamous raconteur) David Craig’s fine Portland Orbit blog.  If there’s one thing that the late, great Indian/ex-Arby’s Get-n-Go restaurant taught me it’s that you shouldn’t mix your raita and roast beef.  Yes, I got sick from a Sikh (twice! and I went back two more times!)  The second thing is to tread carefully when kicking your franchise father to curb.  Respect The Orbit‘s orbit.

Tree growing through a car in a former dairy in an alley in Pittsburgh, Pa.

If there’s a tree growing through a car in a former dairy in an alley in Manchester, you’ll find us there.

How Can I Follow The Pittsburgh Orbit?

What a fine question! There are numerous ways for your orbit to intersect with ours:

  1. Probably easiest is to “like” the Pittsburgh Orbit FaceBook page, or “follow” the Pittsburgh Orbit Twitter account, if you do those sorts of things. We also have the @pittsburghorbit Instagram where we try to post a photo-a-day.
  2. If you’re on a desktop, you should have a “follow” link in the lower right-hand corner of the browser; mobile version probably has some comparable way to follow.
  3. Many people like to include blogs in their RSS feeds. If how to do that is not obvious to you…let us go figure out how that works.
former Tasty Queen restaurant, West Virginia

If there’s a former Tasty Queen, we’ll be nearly vehicularly homicided taking a photograph of it.

Contact Us:

Please do! If you have an idea for a great under-told Pittsburgh story, let us know.  We’d love to get on the beat.

Orbit photographer taking picture of colorful deer sculpture

Orbit staff tracking the stories that make a difference to your world [photo: Nancy Simmons]

5 thoughts on “About

    • Will says:

      Not sure if you meant this comment for public consumption or not, but it seems like a reasonable question:
      YES: there are a couple means to subscribe:
      1. The bottom right of your screen should offer a “follow” option
      2. If you have a WordPress account and are logged-in, I think you get some extra options for following (but no need to sign up for an account just for this)
      3. Perhaps easiest, we have a FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/pittsburghorbit “Like” it and you’ll get our stuff.


  1. Robin Metz says:

    Ok, so I am late to this party, but I wanted to thank you for the wonderful piece on Rising Main Way steps. As a genealogist, I try to gather as much information as I can about my ancestors. To wit: I was google-driving on Warren Street to find where my 2nd great grandparents lived. (It would have been the 4th house up on Warren St from Rising Main. It is a vacant lot now, but the steps are great historical context for their story.


  2. Kate says:

    Found you via a post on Next Door.
    Article was about anti-dog poo in our neighborhoods.
    So informative and humorously written. It did not indicate the author which I would love to know their name if possible.
    Will def follow on Facebook & im super picky about following anyone!!
    Keep up the good work. In another lifetime I wld ask to join you and your inquisitive crew. ☺️


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