Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lazy Wednesday

What is it about Wednesdays that makes us lazy?

Maybe its because we don't like Hump Day.
Maybe it's because days that start with the letter
W freak us out.
Maybe it's because Tuesday night is a great night
to have a few drinks with friends.

Whatever the case may be.

We are lazy today.

And it's Wednesday.

Hence the name of this post.

So instead of making some lame news story seem way
more interesting than it actually is.

We decided to post a youtube video that makes us laugh.

We know, we know...

It's a total cop out.

But don't get mad until you watch this.

There may be a few swear words contained in this
little video.

But we're sure it's nothing that you haven't
heard while walking down Fifth Ave.

(Chatroulette is a video based chat site that connects
you with random strangers.)

Meet Merton.

You will probably watch that like 10 times in a row.

We understand.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Fire Down Below

It may come as a surprise to some of you, that
we here at theNewk can to more than just
peck at a keyboard with two fingers.

It may come as an even bigger surprise, that
we sometimes leave our parents basement and
get outside and breathe some fresh air.

And the most surprising fact of all, is that we
participate is sports and games.
(More than just fantasy baseball and football.)

So when we heard about the recent fire that
destroyed the newly built clubhouse at Rolling
Fields Golf Course, we were quite saddened.


All of last year, we watched that building go up.

And now, the night before it's grand opening, it
burns to the ground.

Taking 100 golf carts, rough cutter, fairway cutter,
green cutter, backhoe, and aerators.

All that equipment probably had a total value near

Plus who knows how much money the new clubhouse
cost to build.

We actually have tons of great memories of that
golf course from when we were growing up.

The old building that got blown over during a
microburst wasn't much of a clubhouse.

But it worked.

And now, after all that time and energy to put up
a new one, this happens.

Good grief.

So yeah, we think it sucks.

We also think that you still don't believe we are
any good at golf.

So we'll tell you what...

Send us an email, and offer to buy us a round at
your favorite local course.

We'll meet you there, and give you 3 strokes a side.

And win or lose, you can still buy us dinner and drinks
when we finish up our 18 holes.

We look forward to hearing from you all.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Random Picture Monday (03-29-10)

Was it called Riverview Plaza when Gold Circle
resided there?

Today is 3/29/10
And I could care less.

Friday, March 26, 2010

You Should Help Us

Another crappy news day in the Newk.

We had no idea what to write about.

Then a friend asked us a question about something
we said yesterday.

So here is Friday's post...

In yesterday's post, we told you that our
one year anniversary is quickly approaching.

It got us thinking...

What should we do to celebrate this monumental

We were planning on giving you a big and
slightly humorous list of options.

But we don't feel like helping you.

It's your job to help us today.

So leave us a comment on here.
Say something on facebook.
Send us an email.
Blow up our pager.

Just get that idea to us.

We think you should throw us a party, and it should
feature some delicious fried chicken and cake.

But that's our idea.
We are just putting it out there.

Here is your Newk Weekend Weather Report:

"This weather does nothing good for my hair plugs."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

It's Official: We Are Awesome

We started this little site a little less than
a year ago, back in April of 2009.

We really weren't sure if anyone would care.

We also were fairly sure nobody would read it.

But we wrote, and laughed, and made fun
of stuff.

We were having a grand old time, just entertaining

Then the weirdest thing happened.

People started caring.
And responding.
And emailing.
And commenting.
And suggesting.

Then websites such as the official site for the city
of New Kensington started linking to us.

It was pretty cool.

We participated in parades.
We visited and reviewed restaurants.
We interviewed interesting people.
We proved to old high school classmates that we
were more than just lazy dopers.

It's been a good ride so far.

And we will be sad to see it end.

That's right kids, we here at theNewk have decided
to end our run while on top.

We appreciate all of our readers, as you really do
have a great sense of humor, which is what we dig the
most about you.

We will miss your emails, and comments and all
the other stuff we already mentioned.

But most of all, we will miss jaggin' you around.

Wha wha what?!?

We are just playing around.

We aren't going anywhere, people.

Calm down.

This post started off as a puff piece, because we've hit
a few milestones recently.

We have gotten over 20,000 unique page views.
We have over 1,000 amazing fans on facebook.
We have at least 2 groupies, that we know of.

For us, these are pretty big deals.

As we said before, we had no idea what was going to
happen when we started this thing.

But with people like you all around, we shouldn't be

Thanks for everything!

-The Newk Team

Don't forget to tell all your friends about us.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yo, What Up Dog?

We here at theNewk love dogs.


We would be lost without our pooch.

Why are we talking about our dog?

Because we love her, and she's totally awesome.

But the real reason dogs are today's subject, is
because later this month, the state dog wardens will
be canvasing New Kensington looking for unlicensed
and non vaccinated dogs.

They will be handing out hefty fines for said

And they should.

Because a dog license is only a few bucks, and you
deserve a fine for more than just not getting
the license.

You should also be fined for being cheap and lazy.

That's an interesting point we make.
(Oh thanks for noticing.)

How fun would it be, if it were your job to uncover and
fine people for annoying personal traits?

Here are some fines we would hand out:

Nose Picking - $200
Fingernail Biting - $150
(An additional $50 if they spit them)
Lazy Dog Owner - $250
Sweaty Palmed Hand Shakers - $175
Political Facebook Status Updater - $500
Know It All - $325
Constant Interrupter - $200
One-Upper - $375

We know a few people that would go broke if we
had this power.

So to wrap it up...

Get your dog a license, and get them vaccinated.

And stop being so annoying.

See ya tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Warm Weather, Cool Treats

Yeah, that's right people...

Glen's is open.

We know, we know, Glen's doesn't reside in the Newk.
(People love pointing out our geographical errors.)

But Glen's is a part of who we are.

Also, we love it, and don't care what you think.

So when a friend of ours told us that the custard
was flowing like, well... custard.

We had to go get some.

And what was our first choice of custard season
going to be?

That's right.

We went with a basic small chocolate cone with
chocolate jimmies.

Now, some of you may be saying...
"After that long winter, all you got was a basic small chocolate
cone with chocolate jimmies? What's up with that?"

Well, we don't believe in jumping right in and having
the most exotic item on the menu.

We prefer to go slow, take our time, and make the
custard ecstasy last all season long.

Some may call it "Tantric Dessert Technique."

We just call it "Romancing the Custard."

All we know is, we missed Glen's over the winter.

And we are happy to see the scoops a scoopin'.

(Any chance they also play poker back there?)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Random Picture Monday (03-22-10)

Always a welcome sight.

Friday, March 19, 2010

No Catchy Title... Sorry

So now that you trust us with your lives.

We are once again going to prove to you that
our word is bond.

Because this final reader submission of the week
makes us feel all warm and gooey inside.

Not only is it well written, but it brings up a great
topic about this area that we sometimes forget about.

(That, and they talk nice about us.
Which earns this
writer extra brownie points.)

So sit back, grab some sweet tea, and let that
southern breeze blow through your hair...

No Catchy Title... Sorry

I read theNewk on a daily basis, probably for the last 6 months or so. Being a nice person in general, as well as friends with the great people at theNewk, I decided to honor their plea for help. Oh, and then there’s that part where they said “we’d love you forever”… and I can’t pass that up!

I was born in the area, grew up here, but decided to leave after college… you know, a small town girl wanting more. So I headed where every good Yankee wants to go… the South! I quickly found other young ‘transplants’ around town, enjoyed having the beach 2-1/2 hours in one direction and the mountains 2-1/2 hours the other way, met lots of Steelers fans. Things were good, really good. While I loved the Carolina Blue skies, the flowers and the smell of freshly cut grass (10 months out of the year), something was missing. My family didn’t relocate with me, so obviously I missed them, but there was something else too. Not until I returned to my roots did I realize what it was…

… the heritage – the heritage of this area and the people. The South has heritage, but it’s different. It doesn’t feel the same. You don’t have the major ancestry groups and everything that goes along with that, the churches, the family-owned/run stores, the activities. Well, I’m sure they exist in the South, but they don’t seem to be recognized like they are here. This area has people of Greek, Irish, Polish, Italian, and Syrian decent to name a few, and all the delicious food too (I like those at theNewk love a tasty meal). So next time you’re fixin’ to go out and you see a sign for the Italian Day picnic, or drive past the Ukrainian Orthodox Church or have a hankering for homemade kibbeh and meat pies… remember to celebrate the vast ethnicity and heritage of the area and where you come from. I know I am, y’all!

Apologies for the Southern terminology – it’s only been a few months

So, before we say goodbye for the weekend, we would
like to take a moment and thank those of you that
decided to take a chance, and help us out.

It's not easy putting yourself out there like that.

(Actually for us, it is that easy, because we lack any
sense of tact.)

But anyways, we thank you all.

Well done, you.

And for anyone that considered writing something, but
decided for one reason or another not to...

Please reconsider, cause we would love to hear from you.

Here is your Newk Weekend Weather Report

"This weekend is gonna start out good, and end rather
badly. Pretty much like Honeymoon In Vegas."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Cleaning

We have a really good reader submission for
you all today.

Seriously, this is some quality stuff.

Don't believe us?

Read this...

Spring Cleaning (or, Douchebags Never Change,) (or, Don’t be an A-Hole.)

Ahhh, spring. The time when a young man’s fancy goes to one thing. (No, not that, you pervs.) I’m talking exterior home and neighborhood improvement. It’s still a bit early to be thinking about paint and landscaping (although you should be planning now,) but it’s not too early to take a walk out in the beautiful sunshine we’re going to have the next few days to scope out the damage that Old Man Winter left behind.

I remain astounded and slightly appalled by the tremendous amount of litter on my street. I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but I always am. I know it’s been cold, but now’s the time to get out and pick it up. It’s surprising to see what the monster snow left behind as it melted away, glacier-style. McConnell’s Mill got giant boulders; I got candy wrappers.

I just came in from spending about thirty minutes picking up some random litter directly in front of my house, which then spread to the empty house next door, which eventually got me all the way up and down the street. I filled an entire garbage bag. Not a Giant Eagle bag...a garbage bag. In my travels I picked up a lot of candy and fast food wrappers, several shirts, some underwear, and one shoe. (How do you lose one shoe?) By watching a lot of CSI I can deduce that the litterbug profile is a thoughtless obese smoking douchebag who goes commando. I know this because I’ve seen evidence of your diet and I’ve picked up your underwear (with gloves.)

To the litterbugs, I say stop it. Right effing now. You know better. Don’t be an a-hole. Five-year-olds know better, you dick.

I also paid some random contractor who happened to be down the street twenty bucks to cut down a tree that was growing out of the sidewalk of the empty house next door. It started as a weed, but grew into a tree 7” in diameter. Best twenty bucks I’ll spend today. After saturating the stump with weed killer Agent Orange-style, I dragged the scraps into their backyard. Their tree is still on their property; I simply moved it from the front to the back.

Again, don’t be an a-hole. Take care of your stuff. A little effort by everyone goes a long way.

Trash day is Friday. Go pick up the crap in your street. I can’t do it alone. If there’s no crap in your street, good for you...but I’ll bet those gutters could stand a little paint...


So from here on out, when we tell you something,
will you trust us?

We told you that was some good stuff right there.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sports Cards And Collectables

Alright people, this weekend up at the mills mall,
there will be a ...

Ah wait.

Why don't we just let Dave tell you all about it.

I found your site because with me being a fellow st. joes falcon and st. joes spartan you did an interview with a fellow schoolmate of mine, anthony breznican. I found a link to your site to read the article on facebook. Not sure if you would be interested in doing anything with this, but I am promoting my 7th collectible show at the galleria at pittsburgh mills on march 19, 20 and 21. I know that there are a lot of sports cards and toy collectors in and around the new ken area and I'm just trying to get the word across that there is going to be a collectible show this weekend right in their own backyard. This is going to be the biggest show to date (over 34 tables) and am just trying to drum up some advertising for it. Any questions feel free to email me. I lived in new ken for 25 years and am currently working on my 5th year right down the street in arnold. Thank you for your time!
Dave Arvay
That's right, get off your butts and get to the mills
and buy a Honus Wagner rookie card or something.

But you better beat us there if you expect to find
any Charles Barkley memorabilia.

Because not liking Sir Charles, is turrable.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ramblings Of A Displaced New Ken Native

Yesterday, we asked for your help this week.

Read our request

Here is one we got...
Ramblings Of A Displaced New Ken Native

Let's see... If I take the Orange Belt to the Yellow Belt then pick up the Green Belt. That'll take me to the Blue Belt and then... I'll be hopelessly lost.

I remember growing up in New Ken back in the '70s and driving a truck for Monarch's Furniture. Following those belts drove me crazy. Narrow, winding roads winding their way along through the middle of nowhere down roads that always seemed narrower than my truck.

Fast forward to the summer of '09. I'm back home visiting my folks who still live in the area. Late afternoon and it's time to unwind so I kick the side stand up on my motorcycle and try to remember where to find some quiet back-roads. Up ahead I see a familiar sign, "Orange Belt" next left. With a smile on my face, I flick the turn signal on and lean the bike into the turn. I headed out through Plumb and leaned the bike into the twisties, enjoying every mile as the bike climbed through the hills. Somewhere along the way I zigged as the Orange Belt zagged but by the time I noticed it I was already on the Yellow Belt. I chased those yellow signs through countless little towns until I came across a Classic Car show in a small shopping center parking lot. What a treasure. I'm not so sure I liked seeing cars I grew up with being called "Classic" but I certainly enjoyed the trip down memory lane. I couldn't help but smile as I watched people pointing at the Minnesota plates on my bike. Back on the road, I decided it was time to get a bite to eat and headed into the 'Burgh. It took a few wrong turns "dahn-tahn" before I found Primanti Brothers in the Strip District, but it was worth the search. I took my sandwich to go and headed across the River and sat in front of Heinz Field watching the boats going by as the sun set on another beautiful day back home. Gotta love those crazy belt highways.

Mike Maloney
VHS '74
Shakopee, MN

Thanks Mike!

We really enjoyed that a lot.

Please people, keep them coming.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Random Picture Monday (03-15-10)

You know you just got hungry.


Sometimes life throws you a curveball.

Sometimes that curveball hits you right in the face.

That pretty much just happened to us.

Here's why we're telling you this...

We need your help.

Our time this week will be rather sparse, so we would
like you all to do our work for us.

Write something.

As long it's about this area, and doesn't talk too
much about boobies...we are cool with it.


This is your chance to see your name in the
bright lights of theNewk.

C'mon people, we don't ask for much.

Write it and email it to us.
Let us know if you want credited, or to
be anonymous.

Send your submissions to:

We really hope you do this.

We'd love you forever.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Are We In The Clear?

We've been reading all kinds of predictions about
where and how much flooding Southwest Pa. is
going to get.

They are saying that some streams and creeks
will start flooding today.

Then the river is supposed to crest later
this weekend.

The normal spots in Pittsburgh will be under water.

The question we have is...

Will we get any flooding here in theNewk?

We have another question...

Why isn't is spelled "fludd?"


Take the word 'food,' and add an L in
there. Then pronounce it the same way.


Now take 'Fudd' (as in Elmer Fudd) and add an
L in there. Tell us that wouldn't make more sense.

Okay, what were we talking about?

Oh yeah, we were hoping that theNewk wasn't
going to experience any significant fludding.

Cause that would suck.

We apologize for getting sidetracked back there.

It won't happen again.

Oh look, a shooting star...

Here is your Newk Weekend Weather Report:

"It could get a little ugly out there."


Happy Birthday, A.
Enjoy your Glen's custard.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shop N Save Update

Back in late January, we wrote about the
closing of the downtown Shop N Save.

Read about it

Well, we heard some good news recently, that
the store will reopen soon under new

How about that?

Looks as though it will open as soon as next month.

The new owners also own the Shop N Save
in Russelton.

They say that about 25 jobs will be filled at the
revamped location.

And they have long term goals to re-do the bakery
and deli sections of the store.

The store will be open 7 days a week
for your convenience.

All of us here at theNewk plan on shopping there
as much as we possibly can.

Because the feeling of guilt that we shared when
we told you of the closing really sucked.

We would like to thank the new owners for taking
a chance on a New Kensington location.

And wish them the best of luck.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Meet The Man, That Meets The Stars (Part 2, The Final Chapter)

Yesterday, we introduced you to Newker
Anthony Breznican.

Read Part 1 here.

This interview was so good, that we decided to
split it up into 2 parts.

We apologize for not reminding you to go to the lobby.Let's get right back into it, shall we?


theNewk: You really have a great head of hair, Anthony. What’s your secret?

A.B.: Just good Slovak genes, I guess. I don't do anything else. Maybe a little Dapper Dan now and again when I'm looking like Doc Brown from Back to the Future. For most of my life, I had a third-grader haircut. When I turned 30, my wife suggested I let it grow long. So it grew for more than a year and went down to the middle of my back. I was just experimenting, but that was a bad look. No pictures of that are allowed to be displayed in our house. Now I look like a '90s era hockey player.

theNewk: You are going to a deserted island that has a blu-ray player. Which 3 movies do you pack in your satchel? (Men in California wear satchels, right?)

A.B.: We call them purses. Okay, so three movies … I won't be a smart-ass and be like, "How 'bout a documentary about how to build a lifeboat, n'at?" So I'd say Avalon, this 1990 Barry Levinson movie with Elijah Wood as a little kid, and this German actor Armin Mueller-Stahl (you'd recognized him) as his grandfather. It's about an old-guy storyteller, and the little boy's connection to him, and it reminds me a lot of my own grandfather, who was a housepainter, but in his later years that was just an excuse to go to people's houses and gab and tell stories. It's my favorite movie. The end of that flick … Jesus. For me, it's always Niagra-f**king-Falls.

After that … Gremlins. It's my favorite Christmas movie, and we'll need something for Desert Island Christmas. You laugh, but Gremlins is deep sh*t. Those little green guys represent greed, and our consumerist culture, where even our holiday is overrun by our need for gifts and gadgets. The Gremlins show up and f**k all that up, causing havoc and unhappiness for everybody. Everybody would be better off without all that stuff, maybe. Especially Mrs. Deagle. It's Walden, man, with green scaly monsters. (I'll shut up now.)

Third movie -- Citizen Kane. Is this a cop out? Everybody says it's the best movie ever made … yeah, yeah, yeah. You know why? Because it f**king is! Believe me, when I saw it for the first time as a teenager, I was like 'Oh great, a classic black and white movie from forever ago …" But Charles Foster Kane is totally gangster! Forget Rosebud, and all that … The greatest line in that movie (and there are a lot of them) is right after the rally with that giant photo of Kane. He's running for governor, and winning, but his rival has the dirt on him and his mistress. He gets word that news will break in a rival newspaper, and goes to the mistress' apartment, where his opponent Gettys is going to blackmail him to drop out of the race. Kane refuses, the story is published, and his political campaign is ruined anyway. Gettys says to him: "I can see you're a man who's going to need more than ONE lesson … And you're going to GET more than one lesson." I use that line all the time.

theNewk: Do you have hobbies (other than being awesome)?

A.B.: I'm not awesome. I'm weird and goofy. I love birds. Show me a bird from North America, and I'll bet you I can identify it. My Nunie and Pap had all these birdfeeders when I was a kid, and I used to go collect the feathers -- bluejays, cardinals, goldfinches -- and keep them in a photo book, all labeled and everything. I don't do that anymore, but I still love birds. There's a feeder outside my office window. The bluejay comes around and squawks and knocks over the feeder, and irritates all the other birds. My wife says she understands why I like those.

Otherwise, I like to garden, and I like to cook. So the best is pulling in a bunch of tomatoes and then making them into sauce. Hiking is fun, though I don't get to do it too much. It's not like growing up on Mt. Vernon, where you just walk a couple of blocks and all the sudden you're in the woods on Farm Hill, climbing around the middle of nowhere. If my favorite thing was sitting in traffic, I'd be one happy motherf**ker because I do way more of that out here in L.A.

I write fiction in my free time. I just wrote a book all set back in the Valley. Maybe it'll be published someday.

theNewk: We now invite you to namedrop. Let’s hear some of the famous folk you have met.

A.B.: I've already done enough of that uninvited. The truth is, I've met a whole lot of people. I've been doing this for quite a few years and in that time you get to talk to pretty much everybody who is working in movies. For example, I've interviewed the Olsen Twins! (Boring interview.) And The Crocodile Hunter. (Great fun, but he was nutty.) But I do have some favorites …

The thing is, a lot of entertainment reporters get their interviews from junkets -- these press days at a hotel, where 1,000 reporters get a few minutes with the people in a movie. I hate those, however, because you get terrible interviews. So, working for a large paper, I try to negotiate separate, longer access. Interview at the person's office, or home, or wherever … a museum. Anywhere but a hotel, and anytime except on a day where a million other reporters are talking to them. To get that kind of access, you have to have a lot of good relationships. I'm kind of proud to have reached that level. And it makes for better stories.

You should never expect to be remembered (these folks deal with a lot of faces) but it's nice when you interview someone multiple times and can build a rapport. I feel like I've done that with Spielberg. I can't just call his cell and be like, "Hey, Steve-O! Turn on VH1! They're playing that Chumbawumba song!" But if I need him for an interview, I can usually get him. And that's flattering -- that he takes you seriously, and will make himself available.

This is a good one with him: Spielberg's family values --

Also, Clint Eastwood has always been one of my favorites, and I've gotten to interview him many times. People are very intimidated by him, because he is soft-spoken. Not shy, just a quiet man. Since he is Dirty Harry and The Man With No Name, that silence makes people wig out and get nervous and giggly and loud when they talk to him. So he gets quieter, because who wants to talk to a reporter like that? He doesn't do a lot of interviews, so I feel lucky (ha ha, no pun intended) that he seems to like me and will talk to me. That came from many years of interviews going well. Each one builds on the other, and the publicists see you get along and aren't an idiot and that leads to other good interviews with other people who are hard-to-get. In college, I had a poster on my wall of Eastwood from The Outlaw Josey Wales, where he has two giant guns crossed over his chest and a mean squint aimed right between your eyes. When he sees me now, he smiles and says "Hi Anthony, how've you been?" I play it cool, but I always want to be like: "WHOA! CLINT EASTWOOD SAID MY NAME!!!!"

Eastwood Stares Down War --

I like doing interviews with difficult people. Kristen Stewart from Twilight is known as kind of a morose presence in interviews, but she's actually intelligent and fun to talk to if you do it well. I mean, who wouldn't be sullen when every middle-aged Jiminy Glick-esque reporter sits down and is like, "OMG, what's it like to kiss a VAMPIRE!?" We met to talk about Adventureland (filmed in Pittsburgh at Kennywood!) and had a great talk.

Kristen Stewart and the secret life of teenagers …

Tommy Lee Jones -- awful interview. Hostile, nasty, just looking for a reason to give you sh*t and call your questions dumb. I made it through by playing it all formal and business-like. Not an easy interview at all, but I got good, controversial stuff out of him about the war and his movie In the Valley of Elah.

Tommy Lee Jones is so ready for a fight he doubts there'll be much of one:

What guy doesn't dig Harrison Ford? But he's very tight-lipped. Not known as a good interview. I thought if I got him outside of a hotel, he might be a little looser, and it worked great. He agreed to meet me for a hike in Santa Monica to talk about Indiana Jones 4, temple of the crystal skull, or whatever. Kind of wild walking up this trail with Han Solo and seeing the faces of the people: like, WTF? He was awesome. Cracked a couple Chewbacca jokes, told me about how a studio tried to get him to change his name when he was just starting out as an actor, and said Han Solo should have died in Jedi. Sweet! Best line, talking about being embarrassed when he flew the helicopter that rescued a lost Boy Scout in Wyoming: "Suddenly, I'm swanning around as some kind of (expletive) hero." THAT'S what I consider a great interview and a good day at work.

Take a Hike, Harrison Ford --

Sidebar: Why Han Solo should have died --

theNewk: Wow, that’s an impressive list. But be truthful for a minute…you were more nervous to talk to us here at theNewk, than any of those people, huh?

A.B.: Oh yeah, always better to be the interview-ER, rather than the interview-EE. Though, I apologize for rambling. I don't mean to be the Grandpa Simpson of interviews.

This is fun though, because I love my hometown and it's always good to talk to a fellow Kensingtonian. New Ken is a part of my DNA. I have lived in LA for 12 years, been doing THIS job for about 8, and L.A. is not home. Home is back there. But I think that has helped me in my work. I don't go into interviews popping my fingers, and winking like a slickster. I'm not Billy Bush. I just try to be a regular person, a movie-fan, but not a suc-up, and never forget that I'm just a kid from Pittsburgh. I don't go around starstruck, but treat the famous and unfamous (and in-famous) just like people. And I try to be myself. I'd like to think that they respond to that, and that makes for better interviews.

There are certainly times when I feel like I don't belong. Some big party, limousines pulling up, and everyone is trying to strike a pose, and I feel like … okay, clearly I am an infiltrator here. I'm just a New Ken kid. But in a place like Hollywood, where everyone is trying to be someone, it's a good thing to already know who you are.

theNewk: Now is your chance to tell all of our readers where they can find your work. Plug away, my friend.

A.B.: I think I did that already. If anyone wants to read those stories, I hope they like them.

theNewk: Let’s get down to brass tacks. Would you have any interest in becoming theNewk’s West Coast Correspondent? (Let it be known that this position doesn’t pay anything. Also, we aren’t really sure what the term “brass tacks” means, so we hope we didn’t offend you.)

A.B.: I'm ready. Let me know what you need. (I'm not sure of the etymology of that phrase either. If only there were some resource where you could type in something like that and "search" for some kind of answers within, like, some kind of inter-connected web of date. Call it like an, I don't know … INTER-web, or something.)

theNewk: We would like to thank you for taking time out of your day to talk with us. We only have one final question. Any chance of you wearing an I <3 Biff t-shirt (available at the site) to the Oscars?

A.B.: You bet! But I'm writing this ON OSCAR DAY, and I'm heading to the theater in a few hours. So … send me one and I'll do it next year. Damn … send Biff! I'll bring him, too.

Once again, we would like to thank Mr. Anthony Breznican
for taking the time to humor us with an interview.

We know that we're not a real news source.

Which makes this piece all the more special.

We hoped you all liked it.
As we are quite proud of this one.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meet The Man, That Meets The Stars (Part 1)

Today's interview is a biggie.

His name is Anthony Breznican, and he is a local
boy, living it up in Hollywood.

And before we start telling you all about him.

You should just continue reading.

(Anthony's official staff photo)

theNewk: What is your name, and what do you do?

A.B.: My name is Anthony Breznican, and I am a film writer for USA Today. I watch movies, go to sets, interview actors and directors. The job is to try to tell the story of storytellers. Fun work. Especially if you like that sort of thing.

theNewk: Whereabouts were you raised, and where did you go to school?

A.B.: I grew up at 411 Vernon Street, on Mount Vernon in New Kensington. Went to St. Joseph's grade school in New Ken, where I was one of only five boys in the class -- Billy Peters, Chad Fularz, and the twins, Matt and Mark Junod were the others. Despite the high girl-to-us ratio, they always seemed more interested in the St. Pete's guys. For high school, I put on a blue blazer and red tie and rode a bus over to St. Joe's in Natrona Heights.

theNewk: When you visit home, what are some of your “must stops?”

A.B.: Mazziotti's Bakery in Arnold. They have some of the best bread to be found anywhere on the planet. I'm also happy that P&M Pizza came back. I love that stuff, though it's an acquired taste -- and I still can't figure out how it goes from mouth-scaldingly hot to ice cold in an instant.

If it's warm weather, I have to hit Glen's Custard. All of the flavors are good, but above all, their banana custard is sublime. Something is going on there that I have been unable to replicate in my home ice cream maker. They roast the bananas or something. I have a theory they use baby food banana to make it. Is that possible?

This one's a little weird, but my favorite cookie is the chocolate fudge walnut thumbprint at the New Ken Giant Eagle. The NEW KEN Giant Eagle. I've hit other Giant Eagles, and the crew in New Ken is doing something different. I once tried to pay one of the bakers $50 for the recipe. She wouldn't give it up. "Anyway, it makes, like, 200 cookies a batch." She didn't understand how much I liked those cookies. (Or that I could do long division.)

I'm always on the hunt for homemade pierogies. If you want to capture me, put a sign saying "Pierogies" in front of a church and wait by the back door with a net. I love going down to the Church Brew Works because they make weird pierogies, not just the usual potato-cheese kind. If they renamed it Church Pierogie Works, I'd be just as happy.

theNewk: How did you hear about, and how has it changed your life?

A.B.: I think I found it searching around for news about New Ken. I like to keep up on what's happening in my old hometown. And I keep waiting for the reappearance of Lizard Man.

theNewk: Better movie: Red Dawn or Young Guns?

A.B.: Red Dawn. I got a copy at work a few years ago and put it in the DVD player as a joke, since my wife had never seen it. I thought we'd watch about 15 minutes and turn it off. It's cheesy as hell, but … a bunch of kids turn themselves into an armed militia and set off suicide bombs in their hometown to fight off an invading force? It was actually pretty chilling. Watch that movie and you'll understand the mind of an insurgent. It doesn't justify anything they do, but it makes you see things from their perspective. Funny, because that was never its intention. It was just a rah-rah right-wing "Fight the Commies" movie from the '80s. It sort of accidentally becomes a deeper movie by showing violence as a viable option for people in an occupied country. "AVENGE ME!" and all that. They're remaking it now. I wonder what that movie will be like.

Anyway … Young Guns is good, too. I don't remember much about it, actually. But I about freaked when that school teacher gets machine-gunned at the start of Red Dawn, and the dead kid is hanging out the classroom window. Remember THAT vividly.

theNewk: We understand you travel a lot. What is the coolest place you have ever been?

A.B.: This may sound like pandering, but if I was being honest -- the coolest place, the place I'd wish I could be at any given moment … That would be my Nunie and Pap's house in New Ken or my Grandma B's house in West Tarentum. Those were my vacation spots as a kid. Get away, nobody hollering at you, just sit, read, eat, watch TV, hang around with the grannies …

But I know what you mean. I do get to travel a lot for this job, and that's a nice perk, though going somewhere for work isn't the same as going just to visit. I go to the French Riviera for the Cannes Film Festival, and Park City, Utah, for Sundance each year. If I weren't trying to see 30 movies at Sundance, I would try the skiing, but that hasn't happened yet. That's a cool, scrappy get-together, where big-names, no-names, fans, wannabes, and up-and-comers all mingle instead of existing behind the usual walls or velvet ropes. A guy bumps into you coming out of the bathroom, and you're like, "Uh … hi, Al Gore."

My greatest Sundance experience was about two years ago. U2 was there to premiere U2 3D, and I was lined up for an interview. But then the guys cancelled everything. It was a Saturday, their movie premiered that night, and Bono and The Edge decided to skip press and have lunch with Robert Redford at his resort waaaay out in the mountains. I talked them into letting me meet them at Redford's place, and ride back to Park City for the interview. It was just me, The Edge in the backseat, the driver, and Bono riding shotgun. Cool, right? Plus, they'd just done some shots with Redford, so they were really loose and chatty. It was like a road-trip. Took more than two hours to get there, and they played me rough-cuts of songs from No Line on the Horizon, which was then about two years away from release. By the end, I was out of questions and we were just shooting the sh*t about movies, books, music they were listening to. Their music means a lot to me, so that may be my favorite interview.

U2 Writes Sundance Soundtrack --

And outtakes from the interview --

Cannes is beautiful, but to truly enjoy that city you need to be super-rich, which I'm not. I am merely a barnacle on the yacht of the famous. But chatting in a French coffee shop about lost movies with Martin Scorsese, or sitting Indian-style on a giant bed in a 5-star penthouse, shooting the breeze with Angelina Jolie while a Mediterranean breeze comes in the window. She's cool. Very funny, and easy-going. Tomboyish, like the cool girl in school who hung out with the guys, instead of the girls. You know what I mean? That became the focus of the interview -- she's this terrifying, sexual presence onscreen, but much more goofy and regular as a person, despite the whole image thing fleeing from the paparazzi.

Okay, I'm rambling. But a few other places -- This crazy, remote spot in the Atacam Desert of Chile where they filmed the climax of the 007 movie Quantum of Solace. It's this deep space observatory located 70 miles out in the middle of the red-rock Martian moonscape, where it never rains (perfect for looking at the stars.) James Bond series takes 'Quantum' leap:

And going to the Bahamas to watch them shoot Casino Royale -- Bond reloads Image --

The best set-visit, though, was Transformers 2. Michael Bay is a nutcase, but we get along. So he let me hang around in White Sands at the Army missile base, where they built this Egyptian city to blow-up. I was given such great access, that I could easily have blown-up myself. They used real military people, too, firing tank rounds into the set, and divebombing from the sky in F-22s and A-10 Warthogs. I wrote two cover stories out of that, which are among my favorites. (I'm also a child of the '80s and just love Transformers. Still have a lot of the original toys.) Also, White Sands was gorgeous. Miles and miles of pure white dunes, which look like giant piles of sugar. But it's a missile range, so you couldn't wander off into them -- they used minesweepers to clear the area where they filmed, but the dunes beyond that were marked with signs warning of potentially unexploded bombs buried everywhere.

Transformers recruits military to break out big guns for sequel --

Michael Bay likes to blow things up --

Be sure to stop back tomorrow, and read part 2
of this interview.

Where we ask hard hitting questions like:

theNewk: You really have a great head of hair. What’s your secret?

And just so you know, this is really what
Anthony looks like.

(We can kinda see the Koko B. Ware resemblance.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Random Picture Monday (03-08-10)

Okay, we lied.

Today's picture isn't random.

Fact is, there are more than one picture.

Which makes us double liars.

These were shot by our homie David Cooper of the
fire that burned down the old church on Constitution.

Check them out, then try and tell us he's not the man.

We dare you.

Told ya.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Biggest Cat In theNewk?

Just like with many of the news items we get
around here, we got this story from a reader email.

Dear Newk,

You gotta see the size of my friend's cat. The thing is huge.

We got the contact info, and nicely asked for some photos,
and general large cat info.

Here is what we got...

Meet Simba
(Notice how he was photographed by a rather large
remote control, so you could get a better feel for his size?)

They tried posing him near a Rosa's sausage pizza, but he ate it.

His life started in North Carolina, where someone left
him on the side of the road.

He was found, and taken to a vet, where he was later
adopted by his current family.

He is known by a few different names.
One of them being OCDC.
(Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Cat)
"If you pet his butt, by his tail, he will automatically
start licking (cleaning) himself."

His hobby...go figure, is cleaning himself.

When Simba is ready for his breakfast (24 hrs a day)
he jumps in bed with his owner and begins the double
wake up call of purring and kneading.

He will actually knead directly on the bladder region,
to cause his human the feeling that they must urinate.
Thus, waking them up.

And if all that doesn't work, he just attacks her feet
like a spider monkey.

So how much does Simba weigh?

He comes in at a healthy 20 lbs.

Here are some other things that weigh 20 pounds:

2 sacks of potatoes
A car tire
A portable karaoke machine
80 sticks of butter
25 - 20oz bottles of Pepsi

(That may look like an ottoman, but it's actually
a refrigerator box.)

Editor's Note:
If the Valley News Dispatch runs a similar piece about this subject within the next week, something is fishy.


And here is your Newk Weekend Weather Report:

"Things are starting to look up."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It Takes Balls To Play Tennis

Not only does it take balls.

It takes:
A Tennis Racket
Tennis Shoes
Tennis Court
Tennis Elbow
Lord Alfred Tennyson

To be honest, we don't know much about tennis.

But we do know that you will soon have another
place to play it in this area.

And this one is going to be indoors.

Yep, this 70,000 square-foot complex is going
to be built where the 84 Lumber used to reside
on Alpha Drive in Harmar.

It's going to feature tennis courts, a gym and a
running track.

Memberships will range in price from $50 - $130.

Do you wanna know the best part?

The best part is that it will only be a couple hundred
yards away from the only Burger King in this area.

And you know how we feel about Burger King here
at theNewk.

It's our mecca.

So if you like to get your serve and volley on, you
are probably getting rather excited.

If not, just think of junior whoppers and
BK chicken fries.

Where are our kleenex?

All hail the king!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wanna See The Goods?

We here at theNewk aren’t ashamed of a little blatant

Besides, it’s a slow news day and sometimes the burden
of being a creative genius gets in the way of mid-week drinking.

Go check out theNewk’s favorite photographer’s work at the
Clearview Credit Union in Sewickley, on display until the
end of the month.

Yeah, I know Sewickley’s not in the
immediate area, but that’s their problem, not ours.

David’s cool.

Go see his stuff.

Bring your checkbook.

Check it here:

Peace, yo.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Peep This

We heard about a contest that the Trib is running.

They call it:
The Trib's 2010 Peep Show Contest

So here's the deal.

• Choose a scene from history, a movie,
advertising or pop culture.

• Build your diorama using a shoebox or similar-sized space.
Create a setting, furnishing, a backdrop you are limited
only by your imagination and your glue gun.

• Take digital photos of your diorama from several angles,
and send them two of the best as high-resolution JPEG
attachments via e-mail. Include your name, address, telephone
number and the title of your masterpiece. Extra credit goes
to those who know how to cleverly fling a good pun.
Entries are due by March 22.
Email them to
We've seen last year's entries, and they are pretty good.

But we feel that our readers have much more skill.

And obviously, you have great taste, because you
are reading our website.

Sounds like fun, huh?

So why are we really telling you about this?

Because we want to have a little bit of fun.

And our idea of fun is crashing parties.

Wait, that doesn't make any sense.

Oh, but it does.

We want you to try and sneak our name into
your creation.

The sneakier, the better.

Go ahead and impress us.
We dare you.

Now, our entry will be obvious.

You'll see.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Random Picture Monday (03-01-10)

I spy a salt truck.