Awesome Aside: Carla Garfield

Carla's killer City view
Carla’s awesome view

Awesome Pittsburgh is only possible because of the grant winners, trustees, volunteers, and other patrons of awesome who keep this thing going month after month. In our Awesome Asides, we find out what really makes awesome Pittsburghers tick. Our third profile features Carla Garfield. Her application earned the Bandi Schaum Art in the Garden project our 30th $1,000 award.

1) Who are you?  What do you do for a living?

I’m an empty-nester and grandmother living with my husband in a converted loft in the Southside flats.  I teach history to eighth graders at Sewickley Academy, and before that taught 4th and 8th graders in Fairfax County, Virginia.  Like so many Pittsburghers, I returned after living elsewhere for 30 years.  Gardening is my biggest hobby, and I’m currently helping to create and tend seven different gardens!  I’ve played the viola since fourth grade, but I’m not playing in a group right now, so I’m trying to drum up a quartet or chamber group in the Southside.

2) Do you have any Sunday morning rituals?

My Sunday morning ritual is longstanding: listening to bluegrass music while treating myself to pastries from the Strip or La Gourmandine and reading first the local paper and then the New York Times.  During the winter, we often spend part of the afternoon at the library.

3) What food or meal could you eat 7 days a week?

I’m lucky that my husband, Allen, does almost all the food shopping and cooking.  He has favorite stops on the Strip and different farmers’ markets.  So, I gratefully eat whatever he makes.  If I had to pick one meal every day, right now I’d pick the meatloaf at Grit & Grace.

4) What’s the last book you read/piece of music you listened to?

The last book I read was Unbroken, which cost me a lot of sleep because I stayed up so late every night reading – couldn’t put it down.  I love everything Laura Hillenbrand writes.  I’m also a big fan of Erik Larson and David McCullough.  Even when I do read fiction, it’s usually historical fiction.

We have a rooftop deck and spend many summer evenings up there listening to music.  We love nearly every genre of music and tend to go through phases, except on Sunday mornings.  Right now we’re listening to a lot of Django Reinhardt and Regina Carter.  Before that, it was Nina Simone and Mose Allison.  On my own, I listen to a lot of classical music, especially Rachmaninoff and Bach.

5) Why are you glad you are affiliated with Awesome Pittsburgh?

I love that Awesome Pittsburgh has created a new path for embracing the minds, hearts, and dreams of fellow Pittsburghers, and that the members feel personal and collective joy in in making those dreams come true.

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