Unique Streets: 57
Miles Walked: 6.41
Street Names (italicized have been walked on another day): Boundary Street, Juno Street, Diulus Way, Dawson Street, Oakland Avenue, Oakland Way, Jet Way, Parkview Avenue, Oakland Square, Bolair Way, Semple Street, Cable Way, Cable Place, Melba Place, Urie Way, Saint James Place, McKee Place, Zulema Street, Welsford Street, Coltart Avenue, Louisa Street, Halket Place, Iroquois Way, Euler Way, 5th Avenue, Chesterfield Road, Terrace Street, Buffalo Street, Darragh Street, Lothrop Street, Sutherland Drive, De Soto Street, O’Hara Street, N. Bouquet Street, Forbes Avenue, Bigelow Boulevard, Amos Hall, Thackeray Avenue, University Place, Gen Matthew B Ridgway , Parkman Avenue, Lytton Avenue, Tennyson Avenue, Ruskin Avenue, N. Bellefield Avenue, Bayard Street, N. Dithridge Street, Centre Avenue, Dollar Street, Trulo Place, Gold Way, Baum Boulevard, Melwood Avenue*, N. Craig Street, S. Craig Street, Henry Street, Zebina Way, Spring Way**, Filmore Street, Flossie Way, Winthrop Street, Utica Way, S. Dithridge Street, Schenley Drive Ext., Schenley Drive, Joncaire Street, Isis Way, Yarrow Way
*Melwood Avenue is also in Polish Hill and they almost meet. Melwood from Polish Hill turns into Gold Way which is right next to the Melwood in Oakland. Weird!!
**There is also a Spring Way in Lawrenceville/Strip District!! They run parallel so this is another case of two streets with the same name (see Plum Way in Eslpen and Lawrenceville)
I spent a lot of time in Oakland for the first years of the new millennium. My husband and many friends went to Pitt for their undergrads and I got my Masters of Library and Information Science there in 2006. I used to be pretty familiar with this area but in the past 13 years, things have definitely changed. I knew all of the shortcuts to get from the Oakland exit on 376 to where my classes were in North Oakland. That route is now inaccessible (Ophelia Street at Lawn Street is now closed to Forbes Avenue.) My shortcut would bring me down into Panther Hollow and up to Forbes Avenue near the Carnegie Museum of Art. Panther Hollow is an isolated neighborhood that was originally settled by many Italian immigrants. You can still see benches and fences painted red, white, and green like the Italian flag. I decided to park in the Hollow because there are many ways to loop around to it and honestly, I wanted to see some of its famous wild turkeys (I didn’t.)
I knew it was going to rain so I chose my long green jacket. It had served me so well when it was raining the time I walked in the Hill District. When I got out of my car on Boundary Street (later I would find out it’s the same Boundary Street that pops back out in Four Mile Run) it was sprinkling lightly. I was in Panther Hollow and headed towards the stairs at the end of Juno Street. I’d walked them before and Google Maps reminded me of their existence.
I passed (and smelled) this rotting thing.
I made my way up Juno which was surrounded by Japanese Knotweed on both sides.
I stopped to take a picture of this sign without even thinking about why it was there and what it meant.
Then I realized my mistake. The stairs must be closed and the property owner at the end of Juno has made it apparent they don’t want anyone even trying to access the stairs.
I turned around. As is almost always the case when I have to backtrack, I saw something truly marvelous on my trip back into the Hollow. I probably wouldn’t have seen it if I didn’t have to go back. My first Pittsburgh Protractor!
The Pittsburgh Protractors are a mystery to everyone but the person (or persons) who have glued them to random surfaces all over the Burgh. No one knows who or why but there does seem to be a system in place. Each protractor is numbered (the one above is #282) and they can be found in the most random places. There is a Google Map of the protractors (linked in this article about them) but I’ve purposefully refused to look at it. I wanted my first protractor spotting to be serendipitous, and it was!
After getting way too excited about spotting a piece of plastic, I took the stairs on Diulius Way up to Dawson Street. I’d walked near this area back on Day 26 so I was careful to spend little time on streets I had walked already. On Oakland Square I was delighted by this view of Panther Hollow.
While much of Oakland has changed (new businesses and buildings popping up seemingly out of nowhere) it seems that a lot is the same.
I also spotted a sign that Oakland has always been this way.
I saw a lot of students walking to class, laughing together, pranking each other.
Today was the Friday of finals week. The anxiety and subsequent relief that finals bring was in the air. Or maybe those were rain drops? It started raining a bit heavier now. Ok, now it was pouring and my jacket finally revealed itself to be permeable. Turns out water resistant is not waterproof. I paused under the roof of the Salk building to snap this picture and reevaluate my wet situation.
I really wanted to keep walking but I was uncomfortably soaked. Idea: The Pitt Shop! I floated down to Forbes and dripped into the store. I asked if they had any waterproof jackets. I also needed another layer since my shirt was soaked. Might as well add an umbrella, oh yeah, and one of those license plate frames too. I changed in the fitting room and felt like a new person with a large bag they would now have to carry while holding an umbrella and taking pictures. I’m not so smart sometimes.
Another reason to doubt my intelligence: coming to Oakland while students are moving out. They closed off University Place right by Soldiers and Sailors to allow parents to help their children load up their packed (or semi-packed if you’re like me when my dad came to pick me up at Marquette University) belongings.
The Cathedral of Learning was glorious in spite of the weather.
Soldiers and Sailors was holding some sort of ceremony when I walked by. A man was outside selling flowers.
I walked up into the Schenley Farms Historical District where I’ve heard many professors live. I paused to take a picture of these neat inlays and a mailman asked me if I was lost. “Nope, but these are pretty cool!” He seemed unimpressed and told me to stay dry.
The rain was still coming down hard and the birds seemed to love the ponds and rivulets it created.
I found myself near the School of Information Sciences where I had most of my MLIS classes.
I made sure to walk by my friend Kristin’s old apartment on N. Dithridge and took a picture for her. She tells stories of a ghost that lived there who would call out her name and would turn the TV red randomly.
The rain was still coming down and the rivulets were now torrents.
I spotted this Frankenstein’s House:
and the apartment where my husband lived Junior year.
I was soaked from the legs down (where the new jacket didn’t cover,) hungry as a wolf, and tired of carrying my bag of wet clothes. I found a restaurant on the corner of N. Craig (or Howard Hanna Way depending on which sign you ask) and Bayard Street called Pie for Breakfast. With a name like that, you can’t go wrong. I sidled up to the counter and ordered a Ginger Beer (on tap!) and eggs & greens. It reached into my cold, wet soul and warmed it right up.
I made sure to hit some more small streets by N. Craig and found this old Inspection Station sign in an alley. It seemed very out of place. Maybe it’s a secret speakeasy.
I made sure to walk by a ready-to-graduate Dippy.
I noticed this neat tin can star at the top of the Joncaire Street stairs that lead from Schenley Plaza to the Hollow.
I also saw another type of bike rail on the stairs.
And finally some deer taking a rest in the rain.