Caruso Heating

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 6.09.06 PM.png

Originally Published through The Reader’s Choice – Southwest Edition

Caruso Heating was founded over two decades ago and continues to be a family-owned business at 98 McNeilly Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15226. They earned the 2017 Reader’s Choice Southwest Silver award for Best Heating and Air Conditioning.

Caruso heating has been owned by Tony Caruso for the past 25 years. According to him, their services include heating and air conditioning, air quality and humification products. They offer affordable pricing on HVAC units and installation, which includes making their prices fit within your budget.

Caruso discussed how his business follows old school values. The company is dedicated to 100% customer satisfaction. He wants his customers to know that he will tailor their services to fit within the boundaries of their budget.

“We treat and deal with every one of our customer’s on an individual basis. We try to do the job right on the first time around. We try to meet and adjust to customer’s needs on heating and cooling,” Caruso said.

The technicians that work for Caruso are NATE-certified which means that installations will be done right. They rate high with the A+ Better Business Bureau and their workers are NATE-Certified technicians.

They are currently looking to hire HVAC Field Service Technicians. If you are interested in the position, you can call 412-882-6080.

Caruso Heating offers a variety of deals on their HVAC services, including 36-months of no-interest financing and saving up to $1650 in instant rebates.

In response to what customers should know about their services, Caruso said “We are committed to integrity, customer support and product quality.”

They guarantee that customers will be satisfied with their work on the first installation.

When asked about what Caruso believes is unique about his business, he said “We treat the customer’s house and property like it’s our house. We take the same amount of care as if we are working on our own house.”

Railyard Grill and Tap Room

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 6.09.20 PM.png

Originally Published through The Reader’s Choice – Southwest Edition

Railyard Grill and Tap Room, opened in October of 2016, and is known as a New American Craft Cuisine to loyal workers and customers. They are located at 413 Railroad Street in Bridgeville, PA.

“Our goal is to put Bridgeville on the map with quality of food. You don’t have to go downtown to experience a vast beer selection and elevated food selection. We are trying to bring that downtown feel to the South Hills,” said general manager Jeremy Rob.

Railyard and Tap Room has 50 rotating taps along with locally sourced food. They carry drinks from all over the world, but they focus their taps on local Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania beers, ciders and meads. They won two Reader’s Choice awards including a Gold award for Sports Bar and Silver Award for New Restaurant, both in Southwest.

As for their food, Rob said that “Railyard Grill and Tap Room is unique because we source all our beef, pork, all the stuff we get from local farms. It is all local grass-fed and cruelty free. The fish we sell can be swimming around the warm pacific ocean waters of Hawaii one day and in our kitchen 24 hours later.”

The food found at Railyard is homemade or sourced from other nearby businesses. They like to try different dishes at the restaurant but some of their speciality food includes local grass-fed steaks and burgers and craft-beer infused wing sauces.

“Being a new business in the area, we try to partner with other local businesses. Like we use a salad dressing from a place up the street. We are trying to grow the businesses of our partners that we team up with,” said Rob.

In doing this, Railyard is hoping to increase the impact of sustainability in ingredients and food. They make sure that they are creating an environment that helps to build the communication and execution of these ideas while giving people a place to enjoy their food.

On top of the normal dining experience, Railyard also offers a large space to host events and they include a full-banquet menu. They also host a trivia night once a month.

“It’s a neighborhood gathering place where you can get elevated food and a vast beer selection in an environment where the staff is friendly and knowledgable and where people like to keep coming back,” said Rob.

You can find them on Facebook as Railyard Grill and Tap Room and on Instagram @RailyardTap. They are open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Cenacolo

Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 6.13.38 PM.png

Originally Published through The Reader’s Choice – Westmoreland Edition

Cenacolo Restaurant started as a small pasta business in Steve and Jen Salvi’s basement. They began selling pasta to Pittsburgh restaurants in 2005 and eventually the business grew into Cenacolo in 2013.

Cenacolo’s is located at 1061 Main Street in North Huntingdon, Pa 15642.  It seats over 120 people and provides a full bar to customers.

“Being in an industrial park, I like when people enter the restaurant for the first time and are taken back by the design of the restaurant” said Steve Salvi in response to what he liked the most about his restaurant.

The pasta they serve is made by them with Italy-imported machines and some of the speciality dishes include tagliolini with crab meat and ricotta gnocchi with short rib ragu.

When asked to describe his restaurant’s services, Steve Salvi said “We are strictly a fresh pasta restaurant.  It is a dining experience that should not be rushed.  From the olives to the lemoncello, it is time to sit back and relax.”

The dining experience he discusses takes about two hours and his food is only a part of it. He believes that the company people bring and his food together create a great time for his customers.

Cenacolo won three awards from Reader’s Choice, including Gold for Ethnic food and Bronze for Romantic Restaurant in Westmoreland  and Bronze for Restaurant in North Huntingdon.

“We are very grateful for the rewards given, but the only rewards we strive for are the smiles at the tables” said Steve Salvi. “I would like our customers to know how grateful we are for their support. To know that we will always strive to give you the best in food, service and experience.

The restaurant also offers pasta classes once a month, sometimes more. You can make Cenacolo favorites and then enjoy them afterwards. To reserve a spot, call 724-515-5983.

“I welcome anyone who is looking for a great pasta meal. It is a dining experience that when you are finished, you feel that it was the best meal you have had in a long time, you feel refreshed and cannot wait to come back and bring your family and friends” said Steve Salvi.

Cenacolo is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday they have brunch from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and dinner from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can make reservations by calling 724-515-5983.

 

Trib Reader’s Choice “Advertorials”

During March of 2017, Autumn had the opportunity to write “advertorials” for the Trib Total Media Reader’s Choice. She wrote about Cenacolo’s in the Westmoreland edition and about Caruso’s Heating and Railyard Grill and Tap Room in the Southwest edition. To prepare for these pieces, she conducted short interviews with the owners and did research about the businesses on their respective website

The complexities of feeling safe

It’s more than using your common sense

By: Autumn Barszczowski

If I had written this piece one week earlier, I would have focused on how paying attention to my surroundings in downtown is what makes me feel safe at Point Park.

It would have been about how people do not always pay attention like they should because they do not look up from their phones or they listen to their music too loudly.

However, on March 6, the body of Dakota James was found in the Ohio River. From that moment on, my idea of safety was turned upside down and lost amongst the unknown facts of this case.

It was no longer just about paying attention and being able to save myself by controlling my own actions. After a case so close to home leaves more questions than answers, it is hard to prepare yourself to face the day as you usually do.

I have been going Downtown for school since I was 14 years old. That means the coming fall semester marks the beginning of my sixth year as a commuter student. I thought I knew a lot more than most about staying safe in the city.

In fact, the moment my family knew I would be in Downtown Pittsburgh, they began lecturing me on the importance of always keeping my head up and surveying my surroundings. In doing this, they often talked about the situations that everyone fears, including the one that James’ family has been facing since his disappearance.

Up until this point, I thought that being aware of my surroundings was enough. That if I stayed alert and used my “common sense” by never traveling alone or not going home on the bus after a certain time, I would be fine. Surveying my surroundings was supposed to be enough to keep me safe on my way to classes.

Clearly, this is not the case. There are tragedies that can happen no matter how much you look around or how many precautionary steps you take to protect yourself. We cannot control the actions of others simply by controlling our awareness of those people.

Paying attention does not save us from everything. It can help us in small situations like avoiding traffic when crossing the street and staying away from that one student you just cannot stand, but not all situations are that simple.

I feel for the James family and the loss they are enduring. I can’t tell you how future situations like this will pan-out or my ideas on what should happen in terms of safety of going forward. These scenarios are complicated and the solutions will probably not be simple.

All I can tell you is that I hope the family and friends of Dakota James can heal from this loss and that the city can continue to work on creating the best solution for us. It will not come easily, but I hope that with some effort we can grow to make our home a safer place.

Originally published in the Globe

The flaws of American nationalism

Citizens can’t ignore our nation’s past

By: Autumn Barszczowski

When you grow up in the United States, especially after 2001, you are bombarded by American flags and overly-patriotic songs, encouraging you to sing about how you’re obviously proud to be an American.

Well, here it goes: I am not proud to be an American. Or at least, I am not proud of what the reality of being an American means today.

Let me explain. On paper, the United States is meant to be all about freedom for all people, but in translation from paper to reality, we have somehow forgotten the rights that this nation was built on. In the past few weeks, we have taken a step backwards for transgender rights, freedom of the press and have taken a step closer to the nationalism that I fear.

This nationalism I speak of is this idea that the United States is the best country in the world. That this country is the greatest, can do no wrong and is always the winner. In the past few years, the nationalism that I witness the most, is a blind love for a country whose flaws people refuse to recognize.

The more I learn about the United States, the more I realize how willing we are to cover up the dark spots in our history.

I did not learn until 10th grade about the treatment that was received by Vietnam soldiers after they returned from a war that many were forced to fight. It wasn’t until 11th grade that I learned about the amount of indigenous people that were enslaved or killed by Christopher Columbus, our national hero. It took me until high school to see that our history is not as squeaky clean as I once thought.

I have learned that growing up in this country after 9/11 meant that I would continue to be taught this clean history, expected to stand for the national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, even when I didn’t agree with the words and that I would keep my mouth shut about the glaring flaws of our country.

I cannot let myself stand by and watch as these groups of people who cannot see the hatred that is brewing at the core of their nationalism. The hatred that is taking away rights that people have just gained. The hatred that has taken away the voices of the people who continue to be oppressed in this country.

I can’t be proud of a country that says that all men are equal, but only means that all white men are equal. That being a woman, or being black, LGBT, Muslim, Mexican, disabled or anything outside of the realm of the “perfect American” means that your concerns will not be heard.

That instead, you’ll watch as your media becomes “fake news” for millions of people just because the president says so. That you’ll watch as your rights continue to be dismantled before you and that everything that has been gained in the past eight years continues to crumble.

America is meant to be for all people. I cannot find myself being proud to call myself a citizen of this nation until we truly take into account the writing that our country was built on and work on making that written freedom into a reality for everyone.

One day, I think that I could be proud of our country. The numerous protests that have happened in Pittsburgh alone have given me faith that we can restore what has been damaged. Maybe not for a long time but, eventually, it could happen.

So I’ll keep my faith in those people who continue to fight back and until then, I’ll stand my ground about why I cannot be proud of this country until it recognizes its flaws and finds a way to improve them.

Originally published in The Globe

Ranking important issues in your life

It’s all a matter of perspective

By: Autumn Barszczowski

The other day while sitting in my research class, a fellow student handed out a survey about his client’s brand. One question stood out to me as it asked respondents to rank a number of issues (like animal rights, feminism, etc.).

The idea of ranking the most important human rights or environmental causes in order from one to seven was a strange concept to me. However, since I am an advertising student, I understood that this helped researchers to establish my lifestyle, feelings and personality.

Ranking these issues felt like deciding which wound to try and heal first, at least in my mind. In some ways, it almost makes me feel guilty because in a perfect world, you would not have to decide which was more important to you because you’d be able to dedicate the same amount of time to worrying about each.

But the world isn’t perfect so without consciously knowing it, we begin to rank the issues in our mind. As a bisexual, cisgender white woman who grew up in an impoverished neighborhood, I have been faced with and witnessed a variety of issues in my life.

I was presented with the grief and stereotypes faced by my black classmates. I was faced with the beauty and lady-like standards that I was supposed to follow as a woman. I watched as my friends feared for how society would view them due to who they loved or who they were.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, when these issues are constantly in your face, they tend to rank higher. Putting a numerical value to an issue almost seems silly, but they speak a lot to who you are as a person and what you are faced with in life.

You do not consciously decide that something is less important; it just doesn’t feel as urgent when it is not constantly affecting how you live your life or even the lives of those around you.

I attended a public middle school with a large population of black students in a poor neighborhood. We did not focus much on climate change because we were focusing on diversity, and acceptance was much more relevant to the students.

Immediately following that, climate change and environmental issues grew in importance for me because my high school focused on recycling and emphasizing environmental issues alongside diversity in race, gender and sexual orientation.

Over the course of the past few years, I’ve been able to see how these issues became more or less important as you grow and learn more about the world. The importance of these issues at that time in your life reflect the world you were faced with and the perspective that you had.

That is perhaps the one upside to examining our own individual rankings. You can see exactly where you are or were in life just by the issues you fight for, and how you have grown as an individual.

Originally published in The Globe