New York, Pittsburgh


writer and editor
content manager and communications consultant


The Beginner's Garden: How to Easily Create a Summer Eden

From ferns to forsythia, there are ample growth opportunities for creating a gorgeous, low-maintenance garden this year in your own backyard. It's easy to develop a serious case of garden envy in Pittsburgh. Many homeowners in Shadyside make the most of compact, manicured plots that surround their houses.
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story

Water Works

An elaborate waterfall and pool in Wexford make a splash every day of the year. Few homeowners attempt to take on a project as elaborate as Aaron and Lauren Salko’s. Their sloping backyard in Wexford, once a simple expanse of green grass, is now home to a spectacular waterfall and pool. The details read like an ad for a Caribbean resort: A wading pool that comfortably seats six rests at the top of the structure.
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story

Unforgettable Farm

Crowing roosters, nibbling goats and buzzing honeybees: Fritz and Jim Mitnick's farm in suburban Indiana Township is truly peaceful-but far from quiet. It's hard to know where to begin in describing the Mitnick farm. For starters, there's Mike and Harry, the pair of plant-nibbling goats that Fritz Mitnick calls "self-propelled weed eaters."
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story

Want to learn about the polluted air you breathe? Start here.

Pittsburgh’s air was once so soot-filled that Downtown office workers would bring a second shirt to work each day, changing midday so they wouldn’t be walking around with a fine dusting of ash on their collars and sleeves. But while our air quality has improved since that era, residents of southwestern Pennsylvania still face a significantly higher risk of developing cancer, asthma and cardiovascular diseases due to exposure to toxic air pollution. Link to Story

Pittsburgh to Chicago in an hour by train? Hyperloop is another step closer to reality

You can’t buy tickets yet, but research into a possible high-speed regional “hyperloop” connecting Pittsburgh with Chicago and Columbus is taking another step forward. “This is the first route in the world that incorporates Hyperloop technology into both a feasibility study and an environmental impact study,” MORPC Executive Director William Murdock said in announcing the studies. Link to Story

In Pane Sight

Walls of glass give rooms with a view new meaning in this North Hills home. "Our neighbors call this the ‘see-through house,’” Sharon Basick says with a laugh. Standing in her sunny living room almost made entirely of glass, it’s easy to understand why. Many walls and nearly every door in the sprawling home that Basick shares with Valerie Morris are made of glass.
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story

Once again, Pittsburgh air ranks among the worst. Here’s what you can do about it.

The bad news delivered in the American Lung Association’s 2018 “State of the Air” report is leavened with encouragement for some cities. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh isn’t among them. The report, based on data collected from 2014 through 2016, says that “many cities across the nation experienced more days when ground-level ozone, also known as ‘smog,’ reached unhealthy levels, including most of the cities with the worst ozone problems. Link to Story

Landforce wins $50k Google Impact Challenge grant, thanks to public voting

Your voices were heard: Landforce, one of the four winners of the Google Impact Challenge, was chosen via public voting to receive an additional $50,000 grant. Three weeks ago, Landforce was named a Google Impact Challenge winner along with Idea Foundry, Pittsburgh Community Kitchen and Prototype PGH. Link to Story

Hazelwood Green’s public space moves forward with designer announcement

Design firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) has been chosen to create the first public plaza at the 178-acre Hazelwood Green site. GGN will work with Pittsburgh firms including Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Klavon Design Associates, KU Resources, and Santangelo & Lindsay on elements of the project. Additional partners will include DCW Cost Management, SITEGreen Solutions and Tillett Lighting Design Associates. Link to Story

How to Use K-Cups, Guilt-Free

Maybe it happened over the holidays: Someone gave you one of those coffee makers that take single-use pods. Before you know it, you’ve got an entire kitchen drawer filled with tiny plastic cups that turn into caramel lattes, peppermint mochas, or steaming cups of espresso at the touch of a button.
TakePart Link to Story

Talking Trash: Recycling in Pittsburgh

Are clunky computer monitors, old cellphones, expired prescription bottles and other “junk” cluttering up your home? Now you can give them a second life by barely lifting a finger. Clarence Harms is worried about your old batteries. He’s also worried about that old cell phone you don’t use anymore.
Pittsburgh Magazine Link to Story



For nearly two decades, Melissa Rayworth has explored the building blocks of modern life -- the ways we design and organize our homes, how we interact with entertainment and pop culture in our marketing-saturated society, parenting, relationships and marriage, and much more -- as a writer for regional, national and global media outlets. She's also served as a print and online magazine managing editor and media consultant.

That work continues, and has grown to include the launch of a private storytelling service called Breadcrumbs, which Melissa has created alongside her husband, writer Ted Anthony.

After three years living and working in southeast Asia, Melissa currently splits her time between Pittsburgh and New York.