Ep 24 Meet storyteller Willy James & the Pittsburgh Sleep Podcast

Willy James tells us about his coronavirus collaboration with Rick Sebak. We also talk about how The Warren and Flower City Printmakers are giving back. 

by Lindsay Patross
April 21, 2020

Willy James describes himself as a “friendly neighborhood filmmaker.” He is well known for some of his YouTube videos about Pittsburgh people and places. Willy has used his camera to bring the stories of Pittsburgh businesses like Gus and YiaYia’s and The Humble Barber Co. to a larger audience. In this episode of The Slaw: Staying on Top of Pittsburgh, we talk with Willy about his new project, the Pittsburgh Sleep Podcast and telling Pittsburgh stories.

Follow Willy James online:

Willy James: A Pittsburgh Storyteller

Willy has been making videos to tell Pittsburgh stories for several years and has used his YouTube channel to share the stories of local businesses.

Some of the videos we discuss in this episode:

Most recently Willy teamed up with Rick Sebak to collaborate on a video about a day of quarantine in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Sleep Podcast

Willy’s latest project is the Pittsburgh Sleep Podcast – an audio experience of the city to help you sleep. Visit PittsburghSleep.com to take a listen.

On camera, Willy is high energy, the Pittsburgh Sleep Podcast is all about using audio recordings to share a calming message. While he has only published two episodes thus far, Willy hopes to grow this podcast to bring more mindfulness to Pittsburghers. In the second episode, Willy takes the sound from a Mardi Gras celebration on the Northside and turns it into audio that can help you drift off to sleep.

Flower City Printmakers

While Flower City Printmakers has had to keep the doors closed on their storefronts in Bloomfield and Bridgeville, they are still open for business and taking orders online.

Flower City Printmakers is also selling coloring books featuring the work of local artists.


The coloring books are $25 and can be purchased online here. $12 from the sale of each coloring book goes to the artists.

The Warren: Serving the Service Industry

Located on 7th Street in the Cultural District, The Warren is a bar that is known for cocktails and great food. Since mid-March, The Warren has worked with other restaurants to provide free meals to restaurant employees, every evening. The Warren continues to offer free meals to those in the service industry and has partnered with Frontline Foods to provide meals for employees at Allegheny General Hospital.


Support The Warren:

  • Donate – You can donate money to support the Service Industry Meal program on The Warren’s website.
  • Order takeout – The Warren is still open for takeout and they have a wine store that is open and selling bottles of wine.
  • Buy wine – The wine shop at The Warren is open and selling bottles of wine.

The Very Local team is a big fan of the toki highball, and The Warren is one of just a few places in town to find this bubbly beverage.


Subscribe to The Slaw: Staying on Top of Pittsburgh podcast

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And you can join our Facebook group for The Slaw here.

If you would like to see some more Pittsburgh videos…you can check out all of the Very Local Pittsburgh videos here or on the Very Local Pittsburgh YouTube channel.


Pittsburgh born and raised, Lindsay has been writing about the people who love Pittsburgh since 2008.

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