Life in Da ‘Burgh


Downtown Pittsburgh from Troy Hill.

I thought San Francisco had left me too bitter to ever truly love another urban area again. But maybe not.

Pittsburgh really is sort of an amazing place, as I’ve mentioned before: urban without being pretentious, distinctly affordable, and possessed of a surprisingly stable population of working families. As I become more familiar with  the city, I find that there are very few neighborhoods that make me nervous as I drive through them (yes, there are still a few). And there really is some new little bit of wonderfulness around every corner. Of course, your definition of wonderfulness may vary.

And after a (very) few initial moments of skepticism, I’ve come to love my neighborhood, Lawrenceville, as well. It’s nice to be able to walk to the supermarket and pick up something I’m out of while cooking dinner, or to a really good diner for breakfast. And Lawrenceville has urban texture like almost no other place I’ve ever seen. It ranges from the beautiful to the butt-ugly, just like a real urban neighborhood should. And I think I would actually be a little surprised to find my car window broken here, unlike South of Market, where I sort of expected it.

In fact, it has been suggested that part of my problem with San Francisco stemmed from the neighborhood I lived in, and there may be some slight validity to that. That said, in San Francisco, mere mortals can’t just pick and choose their neighborhoods, either. Nor can they afford whole houses in them.

Anyway, I don’t live here full-time now, and it’s not really likely that I’ll be doing so anytime soon. I hope my fascination doesn’t wear off. I don’t think it will.

I have lots of thoughts and little attention span. Thus, here are some more pictures. Pictures are easy.


South Side.


Carson Street, South Side.


Strip District from Troy Hill.


Downtown Pittsburgh from South Side Slopes.

2 thoughts on “Life in Da ‘Burgh

  1. I myself just moved out of San Francisco. I can now breath! The thing about San Francisco is that although it’s quite densely populated, it’s damn hard to find decent groceries (along with most other basic necessities) within walking distance to most points within the city. I now live in the northern suburbs of Seattle, and it’s actually more convenient to walk/bus to places here than in the Inner Sunset and Outer Sunset neighborhoods I used to live. I now live right across the street from a Fred Meyer, which is a Pac NW store that’s similar to a Super Wal-Mart. I’m also about 1 mile away from a 24 hr Safeway, another 24 hour grocery store, and a health food supermarket. When I lived in the Sunset, I had my choice of a bunch of liquor stores, Asian Markets selling food of questionable quality, tiny convenience stores, and an Andronicos (overpriced Safeway and more expensive than Whole Foods). The nearest supermarket other than Andronicos was a really tiny and run down Safeway 2 miles away. To get there, I’d have to take two muni buses or walk 0.7 miles from the nearest stop. Or I could have taken the N-Judah to the depressing Market and Church Safeway 3 some odd miles away, which would have taken about 25 minutes one-way. Isn’t living in an dense urban environment suppose to be convenient? San Francisco is pretty pretty, but that’s pretty much all it has going for it. But forking out $1300 for a bottom of the barrel studio isn’t worth the pretty. I’m guessing that Pittsburgh isn’t half as bad as SF is.

    * end rant *

  2. You are experience the “burgh rush” and it won’t fade, but a little, when that school tax bill hit homes. I pay my elderly Mom’s school tax bill every year, and it’s her biggest bill.

    Pittsburgh’s best three seasons are late spring, summer and fall.

    I suppose you will be a snow bird and head back to Carolina before Thanksgiving. That would be my plan.

    Again, extending a welcome mat to you and your guy.

    And don’t forget to tune in and get hooked on WQED and Rick Sebak’s interesting programming about the Burgh and its surroundings.

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