Thursday, November 29, 2007

Morning Walk in Allegheny Commons

This morning I was diverted from work to a walk in the Allegheny Commons park in the North Side. This is why I love that the spanish word "divertido" means "fun." Because when I get diverted from what I intended to do, the diversion often ends up being quite fun, and probably more fun than what I intended to do... Anyways, I got a little turned around in the park as I was probably too busy looking at everything, so it took me much longer than it should have to make my way through. However, the fruit of this is I have some neat pictures to share with you. I took them on my cell phone, so they are not the best quality, but I just really loved the yellow yellow leaves on the ground and the wrought iron fencing above the railroad tracks. I also liked all the juxtapositions of old buildings with newer downtown buildings in the distance and natural elements like the trees. Without further ado...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Geçmiş Olsun

I was feeling a little under the weather yet, so I had some red lentil soup at the Istanbul Grille on Center & Craig. But I added some Frank's hot sauce....

Friday, November 16, 2007

First Snow of the Season in Pittsburgh

park in the north side from north ave this am as the first snow fell, 16 november 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Gray Skies of Pittsburgh

When I was walking to my car in the Strip District this evening I was overcome by the heaviness of the air and the sheer depth of the sky. It had been gray all day, but now it was so complex and had a beauty of its own to rival a sunny sky. I only had my cell, so these pictures aren't the best, but...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Letter Writing

It's like Tom Brokaw said. Was it Tom Brokaw? Well, lots of people have said it anyways: Letter writing is a lost art. I mean, when's the last time you sat down and wrote a letter? I mean a pen and paper kind of letter. The kind of letter that goes on to backs of pages and more pages and you lick the envelope to seal it and put a stamp on it and physically walk it to a mail receptacle.....? I had been in the habit of writing letters to various pen pals throughout my life. There was Niall, my friend in N. Ireland, but that communication has evolved to e-mail. I kind of miss those Aerograms. Then there was my San Juan Pueblo, NM friend, whom I wrote to in NM and when he was with the Army Reserves in Iraq, but he stopped writing real letters to, and succumbed to the e-mail trend. Now I am trying to write letters to my friend, also named Sarah. She is basically me, so I think she enjoys this process as well.

I went to a letter writing event at Beleza Community Coffeehouse in the North Side (mex war streets part) of Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon. I didn't write any super long letters, but I did make this card for my friend Sarah. I hope she'll like it!

Finally, as a bonus for reading all of these posts tonight (ha, I'm in da zone or something) here is an interesting and related link to how a letter took 64 years to be delivered:

Japanese Soldier's Postcard Reaches Friend After 64 Years - Yahoo! News

What's an Adventure Without Friends?

They were in some of the previous South Side Slopes pictures, but this post is more specifically about my travelling companions in this journey, Vijay and Rachel. Vijay introduced me to the spot on the South Side Slopes, then we just drove randomly up narrow winding hills where you even have to go up steps to get to the sidewalks and there are tunnels through houses to get to the backyard. Here's one of the two of them:

Good thing they were there too, they picked me up when I fell down:

And they humoured my love of trees:

Here are two pictures that Rachel took-- I think she has a good eye for photo composition, don't you?:

Where does this road go?

Onto other places to explore:

South Side Slopes Photos 2

More Steps

Here is a staircase. I *think* I took this in the South Side Slopes, but I can't remember *for sure*...

I mentioned a book about Pittsburgh steps before, and here are some quick facts from it:

Step by step
Some facts about Pittsburgh’s steps:

Number of staircases: 737

Total number of steps: 44,770

Total number of feet: 24,176, or about 4.5 miles

Number of staircases that are legal “paper” streets: 334

Number of staircases with more than 300 steps: 5

Number of staircases with fewer than 25 steps: 189

Number of wooden staircases: 80

Number of brick steps: 1

Neighborhoods with the most staircases: South Side, 70; Beechview, 39

Number of neighborhoods with no staircases: 24

Decades in which most staircases were built: 1940s, 204; 1950s, 137

Longest staircase no longer in existence: Indian Trail steps, more than 1,000 wooden steps up Mt. Washington from Carson Street to the intersection of Shaler Street and Grandview Avenue, Duquesne Heights

For more information about Pittsburgh’s steps, visit:

Source: Bob Regan, author of “The Steps of Pittsburgh: Portrait of a City”

South Side Slopes Photos 1

There are still too many photos to post from my adventure in the South Side Slopes, but here are a few more. From a quick google search, I'm pretty sure this was at the South Side Park. The Getting Outdoors Website says it's:
reached from Quarry Street (18th Street to St. Patrick to Quarry). The park features 65 acres of ballfields, walking trails, a playground, and a former ice arena. South Side Local Development Company and South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association recently convened a task force to plan park improvements.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Views Around Pittsburgh

From South Side Slopes and Mount Oliver, mostly. Exploring the higher parts of the city. Perhaps found the highest point? At the peak of Climax Street in Mt. Oliver???