Unique Streets Walked: 27
Miles Walked: 2.68
Street Names (Italicized streets have already been walked): Wylie, Kirkpatrick, La Place, Vera Cruz, Centre, Chauncey, Humber, Junilla, Hallett, Elba, Watt, Mahon, Webster, Francis, Barnett, Morgan, Bedford, Duff, Verdant, Jacobus, Upfold, Caramel, Somers, Lawson, Midtown, Belinda, Perry, Elmore
Today it was steadily raining but I went for a walk anyways. I made sure I had on my raincoat and kept my phone in my pocket for the most part. The Hill District is perched above Downtown and below Oakland. From an article on PittsburghBeautiful.com:
From the 1930s until the 1950s, the Hill District was known as the “crossroads of the world.” Music, art, culture and commerce thrived in Little Harlem. The Hill boasted the only all-black radio station, its own weekly newspaper (the Pittsburgh Courier), and a vibrantly active jazz scene. The photographer for The Pittsburgh Courier was Teenie Harris, whose work can still be seen today at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Neighborhood nightclub The Crawford Grille boasted such jazz greats as John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie. The owner of the club also owned one of Pittsburgh’s first and only negro league teams, The Pittsburgh Crawfords, which included famous players such as Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson. African-American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker even opened a beauty parlor and school in The Hill. It seemed the Hill District was set to become one of the area’s strongest and most vibrant historical communities.http://www.pittsburghbeautiful.com/2017/08/07/the-rich-history-of-pittsburghs-hill-district/ Accessed 2/25/19.
After World War 2, “urban redevelopment” lead to the uprooting of over 8,000 residents. Many houses were razed to build the new Civic Arena and its parking lot and the area has yet to recover.
I made my way among sparsely housed streets and urban prairie.
My friend Blair told me that I had to stop at Grandma B’s Cafe on Wylie Avenue.
I made my way up there and went in to get some coffee. I told the man behind the counter what I was doing and like everyone I tell, he looked at me like I had three heads. There was a message on the white board above the counter that said:
If you don’t like the food, ya tongue lied.
If you find yourself in the Hill, make sure you stop at Grandma B’s. The food smelled delectable and I wish I had time to have a meal.
With warm coffee in hand, I walked up and down more streets. Many blocks that used to be lined with homes now had 4 or 5 houses that were questionably occupied.
I even saw an old sign advertising a Room for Rent.
The sign listed the phone number in the old phone exchange format. The sign says MU-10894 which would translate now to (414)681-0894. That number now belongs to the Rite Aid in Shadyside. I wonder if they get calls inquiring about leasing opportunities.