Heather Johanssen


Review: Hibiscus Berry chocolate bar

chocolateSan Diego's Eclipse Chocolate Bar and Bistro make excellent confectionary, and in my capacity as a part-time chocolatier I had the pleasure of sampling their latest weird flavor, "Hibiscus Berry," before it headed to retailers.

The bar is 85% dark, with blueberries, raspberry, cherry, goji and candied hibiscus. Myself, Rob and our friend, David Mizejewski, each sampled a section.

Heather: It isn't very bitter or acidic for 85 percent. The berries really balance with it nicely. But I am not always a fan of florals in my chocolates. Drink? Needs a spiced port, or perhaps a stout. The finish is smooth as well.

David: I really get the notes of fruit when I take the first bite. A hint of vanilla as well. This is super-good.

Rob: I ate a flower.

A visit to the Scarehouse—and its creepy, adults-only basement

Every year, The Scarehouse, 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, puts on what many locals consider the best Halloween haunted house-type show in the region--with USA Today and Yahoo both ranking it among America's best. This year, I headed over to check it out, and received a highly-polished and extremely scary experience--and a backstage tour! Here, a makeup artist turns a performer's face into a gruesome work of art.

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Warhol gravesite livestreamed to celebrate 85th birthday

Yesterday would have been Andy Warhol's 85th birthday. To mark the occasion, the Warhol Museum and @EarthCam are livestreaming footage of his gravesite. The broadcast is the work of Madelyn Roehrig, a part of her Asking Andy anything project.

Some passers-by wave at the camera. Some talk on their cellphones, apparently unaware of the countless invisible observers. One man, dressed in a kilt, spent many hours at the graveside, playing “Happy Birthday” on a horn and chatting with other Warhol pilgrims. Finally, alone in the dark, he lit up cigarette and took a closer look at Warhol's grave.

The live stream continues today, and visitors still file in and out of the frame to pay their respects—often for 15 minutes or so. Warhol would be amused.

The fable that helped me find the others

Fables are portals to other worlds, writes Heather Johanssen—and to new places in this one.

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