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Thread: Pittsburgh anyone?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Pittsburgh anyone?

    I just learned we are doing a major project in Pittsburgh so we're establishing a permanent branch office there. Are there any Cyburbanites from there?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Lived there for 3 years. Nice place if yinze are going to be there for a while.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  3. #3
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Well yeah! There's a few of us (non native) Pittsburghers hanging around Cyburbia.

    Chet
    If you don't mind me asking... As there are several going on, what "major project" are you going to be working on? You can PM me with the details if you'd like.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I hope you are trying to wrangle some major economic development incentives from them in order to open an office there.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    I hope you are trying to wrangle some major economic development incentives from them in order to open an office there.
    You're kidding, right? We're probably going to charge the company for moving here in order to pay for the extra police presence and mental health workers we're going to need once Chet gets into town.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by biscuit
    You're kidding, right? We're probably going to charge the company for moving here in order to pay for the extra police presence and mental health workers we're going to need once Chet gets into town.
    Don't forget the extra kitten coroners
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    Pgh

    I was born and raised in New Kensington, about 20 miles up the Allegheny from Pittsburgh.
    WALSTIB

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I PM'd you Biscuit.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    ohh its not too far from DC!
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  10. #10
    Member steveanne's avatar
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    Went to school a little north of there. Good old Edinboro University. Are yunz gonna eat some chipped ham or jumbo while yer there?

  11. #11
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I really like Pittsburgh! The location, among the ridges and narrow river valleys gives great views from practically any location. It has a very east coast look but has a very midwest attitude.

    A little geology lesson (correct if I'm wrong about any of the following):
    Pittsburgh is essentially in a high plateau coming off the western side of the Appalachians. With the city located at the headwaters of the Ohio River (two large rivers converging into one much larger river), all the ridges and valleys of the city have been gouged out of the plateau by the rivers and their tributaries, giving the city a pseudo "mountianous" setting. It's really dramatic. And for people like me, who grew up on a Great Lake shoreline plain, it's really cool.

    The autumn colors must be great.
    Last edited by mendelman; 23 Jan 2004 at 10:35 AM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Chet
    I just learned we are doing a major project in Pittsburgh so we're establishing a permanent branch office there. Are there any Cyburbanites from there?
    Not from there, but for the right job offer may be willing to relocate.

    Pittsburgh is home to one of the best cycling mags out there - Dirt Rag. From reviews and adds in Dirt Rag there appears to be some good bars in town and nice enough landscape around the city.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  13. #13
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    I really like Pittsburgh! The location, among the ridges and narrow river valleys gives great views from practically any location. It has a very east coast look but has a very midwest attitude.

    A little geology lesson (correct if I'm wrong about any of the following):
    Pittsburgh is essentially in a high plateau coming off the western side of the Appalachians. With the city located at the headwaters of the Ohio River (two large rivers converging into one much larger river), all the ridges and valleys of the city have been gouged out of the plateau by the rivers and their tributaries, giving the city a pseudo "mountianous" setting. It's really dramatic. And for people like me, who grew up on a Great Lake shoreline plain, it's really cool.

    The autumn colors must be great.
    You got the geography/geology lesson pretty dead on.

    It's actually a great place to live. The people are friendly, crime is low, the cost of living is lower than other major metro areas on the east coast, and the terrain is indeed very interesting. My only real complaints are the often often overcast days of winter, the older housing stock is a little smaller, and denser, than what I've been acustomed to, and that interesting terrain can sometimes make it a real pain to find your way around if your not familiar with the area - having to cross at least two bridges, go through a tunnel and wrap around the side of hill just to get anywhere can be an experience.

    So come on for a visit... We could use the tax dollars.

    And the fall colors are very nice.

  14. #14
         
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    I've been looking at Pittsburgh for grad school, so rather than posting a new thread I figured why not revive this one.

    My initial impressions of Pitt, from these boards and some internet research, is that it's like Baltimore without the crime. Blue-collar, relatively cheap, experiencing some renewal.. are those impressions accurate?

    How's the area around Duquesne University? Can anyone recommend some walkable neighborhoods within a comfortable distance of DU?

    I'm fairly excited to explore the possibilities of Pittsburgh since it's close to home and appears to be diamond in the rough. Any thoughts appreciated!

    Biscuit??

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    I've been looking at Pittsburgh for grad school, so rather than posting a new thread I figured why not revive this one.

    My initial impressions of Pitt, from these boards and some internet research, is that it's like Baltimore without the crime. Blue-collar, relatively cheap, experiencing some renewal.. are those impressions accurate?

    How's the area around Duquesne University? Can anyone recommend some walkable neighborhoods within a comfortable distance of DU?

    I'm fairly excited to explore the possibilities of Pittsburgh since it's close to home and appears to be diamond in the rough. Any thoughts appreciated!

    Biscuit??
    There are a ton of photo threads on Pittsburgh over at the urbanphoto.net discussion board. The posters generally prefer "grit" but you can at least get a taste of the place.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian drucee's avatar
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    My current boss in the informal planning project I'm doing here in Chicago went to CMU and came up with some pretty involved studies of the Strip District in Pittsburgh--she wants to similarly study Wicker Park/Bucktown in Chicago.

    Here's her link, if you're interested:
    Pittsburgh nightlife

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Interesting article in the Denver Business Journal about all of the engineering firms lining up for a chance at teh $4.7 billion Fastracks program that was just passed - bus rapid transit, commuter rail and light rail - ten years begore it is completed.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  18. #18
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    How's the area around Duquesne University? Can anyone recommend some walkable neighborhoods within a comfortable distance of DU?

    I'm fairly excited to explore the possibilities of Pittsburgh since it's close to home and appears to be diamond in the rough. Any thoughts appreciated!

    Biscuit??
    Well, being that I'm a planner, a non-notive, and not an employee of the Chamber of Commerce I'll try to give you a straight response to any questions you have. Duquesne University is in the Uptown/Bluff area of the city directly East and adjacent to Downtown. Itís a neighborhood that has seen better days but is slowly trying to turn the corner. But to be honest, unless cheap rent is your thing, other than a couple of apt. high rises owned by the University, I wouldnít recommend living there. It hasnít turned the corner just enough yet, and other than some of the few newer developments, has a pretty dumpy housing stock.

    From what Iíve observed a lot of DU students seem to live in the South Side , a neighborhood across the Monongahela River from DU of about 20 blocks of bars, cafes, apartments, and eclectic shops. Itís an interesting place but it might be little loud and too much temptation for a graduate student. You could honestly live anywhere in the City and get to the University with relative ease using the bus system. For walkability, and a little less wildness on the weekends, I would recommend areas in the East End of the city. Squirrel Hill, Shadeyside, Bloomfield, Friendship, etc., are nice neighborhoods with sizable grad student populations.

    Hope that helps.

  19. #19
         
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    Quote Originally posted by biscuit
    From what Iíve observed a lot of DU students seem to live in the South Side , a neighborhood across the Monongahela River from DU of about 20 blocks of bars, cafes, apartments, and eclectic shops. Itís an interesting place but it might be little loud and too much temptation for a graduate student. You could honestly live anywhere in the City and get to the University with relative ease using the bus system. For walkability, and a little less wildness on the weekends, I would recommend areas in the East End of the city. Squirrel Hill, Shadeyside, Bloomfield, Friendship, etc., are nice neighborhoods with sizable grad student populations.

    Hope that helps.
    It does. I'm also looking at U-Pitt and starting to find it more desirable in terms of location and programs offered. The East End neighborhoods do appear to be more to my liking than South Side. Coming from Northern Virginia, I'm blown away by the low housing costs in Pittsburgh and even the most expensive neighborhoods seem reasonable.

    The complaints about nightlife don't bother me. My desires in no particular order are:

    1. Walkability - I hate driving now after commuting two hours a day
    2. Tranquility - ..for lack of a better word. I want to be like a fly on the wall.
    3. Inexpensive - I'm not interested in being rich so I don't manage my money well (would you believe I'm an accountant?) and would like to stop worrying about exhorbitant rents like I do here in metro DC.
    4. Sports teams - I love going to sporting events, especially those that are "downtown" (read: not like the Redskins)
    5. Single people - I'll be 24 and on the prowl eventually
    6. Local bars/diners - I enjoy being a "regular" and having a place other than my home to relax
    7. Cold weather - Fall and winter are my favorite time of year so I want the temperature to drop as it should
    8. A-political - DC is attractive but I can't handle the obsession with political matters. Live and let live I say

    That's all I can think of right away. Does Pittsburgh fit the bill?

    Any other suggestions? Originally I liked Philadelphia, but it might be too trendy for my tastes. Perhaps I should give it another visit though.

    All comments welcome, thanks

  20. #20
    Cyburbian biscuit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    It does. I'm also looking at U-Pitt and starting to find it more desirable in terms of location and programs offered.
    I don't know what you want to go back to school for but Pitt has a fairly decent MPA program that I'm looking at to start next fall, and Carnegie-Mellon has the urban policy program that Richard Florida was once a part of. Should you decide on Pitt my only advise is to find somewhere to live other than Oakland. It's a student ghetto that has little to offer beyond being home to most of the universities and the co-ed undergraduate eye candy.

    The East End neighborhoods do appear to be more to my liking than South Side. Coming from Northern Virginia, I'm blown away by the low housing costs in Pittsburgh and even the most expensive neighborhoods seem reasonable
    Since you're from NoVa you'd probably find most of the nation in general to be reasonable when it comes to housing. Here, it can very wildly between neighborhoods. In the tonier East End neighborhoods you can look to spend about $700 and up for a decent one bedroom and around $900 for a two bedroom. Just don't hold that as the gospel truth as it's just my experience from looking last Spring.

    The complaints about nightlife don't bother me. My desires in no particular order are:

    1. Walkability - I hate driving now after commuting two hours a day
    2. Tranquility - ..for lack of a better word. I want to be like a fly on the wall.
    3. Inexpensive - I'm not interested in being rich so I don't manage my money well (would you believe I'm an accountant?) and would like to stop worrying about exhorbitant rents like I do here in metro DC.
    4. Sports teams - I love going to sporting events, especially those that are "downtown" (read: not like the Redskins)
    5. Single people - I'll be 24 and on the prowl eventually
    6. Local bars/diners - I enjoy being a "regular" and having a place other than my home to relax
    7. Cold weather - Fall and winter are my favorite time of year so I want the temperature to drop as it should
    8. A-political - DC is attractive but I can't handle the obsession with political matters. Live and let live I say

    That's all I can think of right away. Does Pittsburgh fit the bill?
    1. Walkability is not a real problem here in the city, and almost every neighborhood has a shopping district and/or grocery store. In fact yesterday I walked down to the Whole Foods in in the neighborhood next over from ours (about a mile from our apartment) and took the bus back after buying the weeks groceries. I could have driven, but I don't have to, so i didn't.

    2. Nothing ever really happens here, so It's easier to pick out the neighborhoods where you might be bothered.

    3. Already covered housing cost

    4. All I have to say is that the Steelers are the best team in the NFL right now. I'm not a sports nut but minumal knowledge of the local pro teams is kind of required upon moving here.

    5. This town is not really known as a hotbed for singles so that may be a downside. But considering you'll be in school your chances of hooking up are a lot better than most.

    6. What this town lacks in a "club scene" (man I hate meat-market clubs) it more than makes up for in local bars and taverns. They are everywhere and are one of the backbones of many traditional Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

    7. Fall and Spring are incredible in western PA. The winters are a little too overcast and gray for my taste but the snowfall is rarely too much to become a nuisance.

    8. This is a nominal blue county so while it's not a-political there's no real bother over your personal politics.

    Does Pittsburgh fit the bill? That's for you to decide.
    Last edited by biscuit; 09 Nov 2004 at 3:28 PM. Reason: Living in Pittsburgh doesn't help your grammer

  21. #21
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Any other suggestions? Originally I liked Philadelphia, but it might be too trendy for my tastes. Perhaps I should give it another visit though.

    All comments welcome, thanks
    haha, ohh man, !

    I know i'm always talking up Philly but it's funny that you called it trendy (even though i don't exactly know what you mean by trendy). I was in Tyson's Corner over the weekend for a friend's birthday party and started chattin' up a few of his friends and they asked where i lived. When i told them Philly they perked up, asked how i liked it, then immediately started talking about the Real World.

    It's also funny b/c on the way out there we stopped by the Whole Foods near Dupont Circle to hook up the wine&beer discount for the party (the lady friend is their Philly PR gal.) and after driving around the neighborhood and going in the store i turned to my sister-in-law and asked "did i miss something? Brooklyn changed a lot in 6 months."

    I don't know enough about Pittsburgh to make a comparison - but ChevyChaseDC interns here now and he just moved here a few months ago from, as the name suggests, your area. He could give you the DC comparison.

    1. Walkability - It doesn't get much more walkable than this city. Honestly. I'm not even a member of PhillyCarShare because i never need it.

    2. Tranquility - This depends totally on the neighborhood but there are plenty of the quiet kind.

    3. Inexpensive - It's getting more expensive here at a rapid rate but rents are still cheap compared to DC or Boston.

    4. Sports teams - I'm not really into the teams here but everyone knows the reputation. Not downtown but they're a 15 minute subway ride away.

    5. Single people - Plenty, too many to want to not be single.

    6. Local bars/diners - One of my favorite things about living here. Awesome and cheap food and good but inexpensive beer.

    7. Cold weather - Very similar to DC and the northwestern part of the city and the suburbs have great fall foliage

    8. A-political - people here are pretty political during campaign season but off-season it doesn't dominate city life like in DC.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the ťlite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  22. #22
         
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    Quote Originally posted by biscuit
    I don't know what you want to go back to school for but Pitt has a fairly decent MPA program that I'm looking at to start next fall, and Carnegie-Mellon has the urban policy program that Richard Florida was once a part of.
    I'm considering MPA programs, but leaning toward staying in accounting. MSAcc programs are very hard to find though and unfortunately Duquesne is the only school in downtown Pittsburgh offering one.

    Quote Originally posted by biscuit
    6. What this town lacks in a "club scene" (man I hate meat-market clubs) it more than makes up for in local bars and taverns. They are everywhere and are one of the backbones of many traditional Pittsburgh neighborhoods.
    This is very appealing to me and something that knocks DC off my list. Local dives need character and grit, as it appears both Pittsburgh and parts of Philadelphia have. IMO, D.C. is mostly full of shallowness and pretty colors... and more meat-markets than taverns.

    Quote Originally posted by biscuit
    8. This is a nominal blue county so while it's not a-political there's no real bother over your personal politics.
    Is the part you edited? I was originally going to reply by saying any urban center will likely be at odds with my personal beliefs, so my goal is to find one where I'm not bombarded by activists trying to change me. Sounds like Pitt would be ok for that.

    I'm going to research the area further and plan a weekend trip in the near future. Duquesne would likely be the victim of my educational endeavors, so I'll check out Carson St, Bloomfield, and a few other spots. Here's to hoping they're not too scary for a quiet conservative like myself

  23. #23
         
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    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    I know i'm always talking up Philly but it's funny that you called it trendy (even though i don't exactly know what you mean by trendy).
    Trendy to me is girls dressing like tramps looking for Abercrombie guys and those meat-heads ruining otherwise relaxing bars. I want to have a beard and not feel like everyone thinks I'm homeless. Does that make any sense?

    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    I was in Tyson's Corner over the weekend for a friend's birthday party and started chattin' up a few of his friends and they asked where i lived. When i told them Philly they perked up, asked how i liked it, then immediately started talking about the Real World.
    We don't have a lot going on here. Just traffic and cable television.

    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    1. Walkability - It doesn't get much more walkable than this city. Honestly. I'm not even a member of PhillyCarShare because i never need it.
    I spent a weekend in Philly and loved it's density and grid.. very easy to navigate. We stayed in Rittenhouse Sq and had no trouble walking to South St and Olde City. Cabs were also readily available, which was very cool.

    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    3. Inexpensive - It's getting more expensive here at a rapid rate but rents are still cheap compared to DC or Boston.
    This is what scares me. I guess housing costs will go up everywhere eventually, but while in Philly I got the sense it was quickly going start developing the characteristics that make D.C. unappealing to me.

    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    6. Local bars/diners - One of my favorite things about living here. Awesome and cheap food and good but inexpensive beer.
    Definitely. Everywhere I dined was excellent and I've been drinking Yuengling since the high school days.

    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    8. A-political - people here are pretty political during campaign season but off-season it doesn't dominate city life like in DC.
    Yes I noticed plenty of political concern in Philly, but of course that was everywhere this time around. I hope it doesn't dominate city life normally as you say, but I got a keen sense of pent-up liberalism just waiting to explode there. Perhaps I'm just paranoid.

    Other than fears of eventual political persecution, Philly's big negative is education. Temple appears to be the only option for a master's in accounting and I've heard many horror stories about that area. Didn't get a chance to visit for myself, so I'll have to give it another look. Any opinion on the neighborhoods surrounding Temple?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Trendy to me is girls dressing like tramps looking for Abercrombie guys and those meat-heads ruining otherwise relaxing bars. I want to have a beard and not feel like everyone thinks I'm homeless. Does that make any sense?
    I know that scene and you'll find that in the Main Line suburbs, Manayunk and in select bars in University City but even then it's not the same. I've been to bars and clubs in DC and it reminded me very much of a slightly more grown up version of the southern frat scene i saw in Columbia and Chapel Hill. I think people here are a lot more down to earth - even the frat kids. Either way you certainly don't see that in Center City or the surrounding neighborhoods. If the Old City crowd didn't bother you you'll LOVE the neighborhood spots.

    I spent a weekend in Philly and loved it's density and grid.. very easy to navigate. We stayed in Rittenhouse Sq and had no trouble walking to South St and Olde City. Cabs were also readily available, which was very cool.
    The cabs are great and cheap (not like in DC where they charge you by # of occupants) and cross-town transit is abundant and easy. Not only that but if you're feeling lazy you don't even need transportation to have a drink and a meal.

    This is what scares me. I guess housing costs will go up everywhere eventually, but while in Philly I got the sense it was quickly going start developing the characteristics that make D.C. unappealing to me.
    Philly is a lot bigger than the district geographically so it has a long way to go before the housing market reaches that level. I know very few people that still live in Center City because of the prices. All of my friends are north of Spring Garden St, south of South St, or out in West Philly and these are the places i spend most of my time.

    Yes I noticed plenty of political concern in Philly, but of course that was everywhere this time around. I hope it doesn't dominate city life normally as you say, but I got a keen sense of pent-up liberalism just waiting to explode there. Perhaps I'm just paranoid.
    If you want a conservative city you won't find it in Philly or Allegheny County but I hear Cincinatti is the place to be. Seriously though, Philly is Democrat's city. I wouldn't say it's necessarily "liberal" (the image coming to mind for me is the BoBo). It's still a very blue collar town. The liberal activists are in Mt. Airy and the anarchists are along Baltimore Ave. in West Philly. I don't think you should fear moving to a blue county, especially this one, because it's pretty easy to avoid political discussion.

    Other than fears of eventual political persecution, Philly's big negative is education. Temple appears to be the only option for a master's in accounting and I've heard many horror stories about that area. Didn't get a chance to visit for myself, so I'll have to give it another look. Any opinion on the neighborhoods surrounding Temple?
    Haha. Temple. Yeah, it's bad, but getting better quickly. A new wave of redevelopment is hanging in the air waiting to explode up there but for now it's quite short on amenities. There's no reason to live there anyway. I have a few friends who go there and they all live in South Philly and take the subway or they live in Manayunk or the suburbs and take the train (Temple has its own train station).

    Maybe you checked them all out already but what about Penn? Arcadia? Phila U.? Drexel? St. Joe's? LaSalle? Villanova? Haverford? Swarthmore (beware the liberals )? Rutgers-Camden? Widener? Rowan?
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the ťlite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Rumpy Tunanator's avatar
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    valhallan, if your looking for good neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, don't listen to biscuit, those neighborhoods he lists are bad news. Give these a shot

    1. Hill District: They have your goods there, and if you like good art, like cars with missing wheels on concrete cinder blocks, they have you covered.

    2. Uptown: Where else can you find a cheap date at 7 in the morning, wearing a fake fur coat.

    3. East Liberty: Hey, if you like McDonalds and getting shot at one by a crazed shooter, they have your value meal.

    4. Arlington Heights: Keep on driving.

    5. Federal Street on the Northside by the 24 hour beer store: Cops moved there police station from there because property values were skyrocketing

    Actually listen to biscuit because I was kidding around.

    There are some good neighborhoods on the Northside, but that can change within a few blocks. You might want to also look at the Strip District, east of downtown. Also Friendship, Polish Hill, Bloomfield (probally messed that one up), Mt Washington (stay away from Mt Oliver, that place was fun). I lived in the Southside for a while and Carson Street, the main drag can get pretty crazy and hairy at nights. But some of the streets of of it are pretty cool and not as hectic, plus there are plenty of neighborhood bars hidden throughout the area.

    If your going to go to Duke, the southside might be an option because the 10th St. bridge connects the southside with the school practically.
    A guy once told me, "Do not have any attachments, do not have anything in your life you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you spot the heat around the corner."


    Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro): Heat 1995

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