ShareThis Page
Real Estate

Homework: City of Asylum offers home tours, wine tastings

| Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, 8:55 p.m.
The Jazz House is one of the City of Asylum homes on the North Side.
The Jazz House is one of the City of Asylum homes on the North Side.
'House Poem' is one of the City of Asylum homes on the North Side.
City of Asylum
'House Poem' is one of the City of Asylum homes on the North Side.

City of Asylum, which rehabilitates houses on Pittsburgh's North Side for use by writers-in-residence, will host a tour and wine tasting at four of these homes from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 21.

Each of the four houses on Sampsonia Way has a public artwork that incorporates a literary text on its facade. City of Asylum calls this process “house-publishing.”

At each home, a resident writer of City of Asylum or a host will discuss the history of the house and offer samples of a different Beaujolais Nouveau wine.

The evening will conclude at the home of City of Asylum/Pittsburgh co-founders Diane Samuels and Henry Reese, where the executive director of the International Cities of Asylum, Helge Lunde, will be.

Tickets are $25.


Rent a designer

Have goals to improve the look and feel of your living space? Home projects you talk about constantly but have yet to act upon?

Turning goals into reality might require calling in the pros. Savvy startup Homepolish makes enlisting interior-design help easier than ever. The company enables you to book a designer online for decently priced, by-the-hour services. It's basically the GrubHub of home (or office) decorating.

How it works: Whether you're planning an ambitious renovation or simple space refresh, you'll meet with a Homepolish designer for an initial one-hour consultation in your home or via video chat ($50 for a junior designer, $80 for a senior designer). If you decide to move ahead with the project, you'll buy time by the hour ($100 per hour for a junior; $130 per hour for a senior) to bring the plans to life, whether that's choosing paint colors, sourcing artwork for the walls or rehabbing entire rooms.

So far, the designers are in a dozen major cities (the closest are New York and Philadelphia), but the program is still expanding.

Where's Doug?

• Doug Oster, the Tribune-Review's Home and Garden editor, will be at the Drew Mathieson Center at noon Nov. 21 for a free, hourlong, how-to presentation on poinsettia care during the center's annual open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. He'll also be signing books and answering garden questions. The center is at 1600 Metropolitan St., North Side. Details: 412-231-7200 or

• Oster will be joined by fellow Trib columnist and radio partner Jessica Walliser on Nov. 22 at three Giant Eagle Market District stores for their monthly free gardening and cooking demonstration. They will present “Winter Houseplant Care” and cook celery root cutlets and tuscan kale with raisins. The pair will be giving away daffodil bulbs, gift certificates and more at the Bethel Park Giant Eagle Market District at 9:30 a.m., Waterworks at noon and Pine at 2:30 p.m.

— Staff and wire reports

Send Homework items to Features in care of Sue Jones, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA 15212; fax 412-320-7966; or email

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me