Written by Amy | 9 Comments

If you live in Highland Park or even in the City of Pittsburgh you probably heard about the robbery and shooting of one of Highland Park’s business owners. See article – click here. I must say that when I received word I felt sad, scared and totally vulnerable.

We have been inundated with questions about what happened and questions about Michael’s condition. We have also found that many of our customers just needed to express their concerns and questions about what is happening to our community.

So, now I feel compelled to offer my 2 cents: First, we must realistically look at our culture and our relationship with it. Then look at our relationships with our neighborhoods and how we participate. Hmmm!

We live in the awesome neighborhood – Highland Park- the park, the Zoo, great houses, lots of green spaces, a committed Community Development Corp and Community Council, Fulton, Dilworth, Peabody Schools, St. Andrews, the commitment to re-vitalize Bryant Street by the Highland Park CDC, East Liberty Development and Senator Ferlo, the community gardens on Stanton, Union Project, Open Door, the Nuin Center, and one of the best damn espresso bars in the city. We have a community yard sale, house tour, fall festival, Jazz at the Park, community tutoring, a community listserve, a super playground, an open reservoir, an historic designated district, picnic areas, volleyball courts, tennis courts, bike racing at the Washington Blvd Oval. But most importantly, we have a community who with all its questions and concerns steps up and asks how to help.

I get to have the perspective, through Tazza D’Oro, that there are many more good things happening versus bad things. I challenge the Highland Park listserve and press to report the positive too.

Yep, I am still scared. I don’t know how to protect my employees and my business. I am angry about how our leadership in the City, State and Country doesn’t address issues like poverty, drugs, guns and a gazillion other issues that affect our quality of life. As you can see we are getting into much bigger issues. Vote, Call, Get Involved.

To Michael and his family – we are praying for you.


  1. Ties allersma


    Amen, well done! No way to say it any better.


  2. Erin Sellner

    Well Said Amy! Thank you for helping us to keep this very sad tragedy in perspective! As a mom when I hear of things like this I want to say “quick lets move to the country” but there are so many wonderful people,places and opportunities in our wonderful neighborhood and city!

  3. Al Clark

    I think it would help tremendously if we could get somehow quality commercial tenants near the market. It is true that the vacancies left from Peppi’s, real estate office and police station made the market more vulnerable. Could we ask the police to reopen their station there?

  4. Al Mann

    You’ve said it well, Amy. Let’s see what we as a community can do, working together.

  5. Al Mann

    You have said it well, Amy. Let’s see what we can do as a community to address this situation.

  6. Anne Franks

    Thanks Amy,

    The most important thing we can all do is to get active. Work for change in the government and stay involved with our community. Let Patrick Dowd and Bill Peduto and of course, the mayor know that we need, demand, expect that along with all the business deals taking place a higher prioity is the health and safety of the citizens of this wonderful (for some) city.


  7. Mary Lee Talbot

    Another Amen and one correction: it is the best damn Espresso Bar in the city.

  8. Amy

    Hi all- thank you for all the comments. I have also received many more comments thru our Tazza D’Oro email. We are in the process of trying to schedule a community meeting and Tazza D’Oro is happy to host it too.

  9. Jenifer Johnson

    I am happy to read your piece and the various replies to it. I now live on King Ave., and have been a part of the Highland Park neighborhood for the past thirty + years, with just 12 years away (in Shadyside and downtown). I believe this kind of incident can happen anywhere. We have seen it in Pennsylvania Dutch country and other idyllic settings. We have a real problem with the loose gun laws in this country and the madness that prevents common-sense restrictions. We have the disastrous absence of fathers, especially in the African American community. I could go on and on…. It would appear that shop keepers must take some precautions, be it installing a bullet proof shield between the cashier and the customers, or hiring off duty policy officers. I do think we should push to have a community based police officer walking the beat. Thank you again. I know I am praying, along with all of St. Andrews, for Michael.