Unique Streets: 59
Miles Walked: 9.72
Street Names (italicized have been walked on another day, underlined are not in the city): Wabash Tunnel, Commerce Drive, W. Carson Street, Arlington Avenue, E. Sycamore Street, E. Sycamore Terrace, Lava Street, Neff Street, William Street, Cola Street, Roanoke Street, Grandview Park Access Road, McLain Street, Emerald Street, Hanover Street, Renwick Street, Excelsior Street, Starch Street, Carnival Way, Allen Street, E. Warrington Avenue, Manton Way, Angelo Street, Mt. Oliver Street, Sharon Street, Saint Thomas Street, Watcher Street, S. 18th Street, Rugraff Street, Amanda Street, Freeland Street, Breeze Way, Cedarhurst Street, Ibis Way, Orchard Place, Sylvania Way, Knox Avenue, Jucunda Street, Rentz Way, Charles Street, Chalrock Way, Michigan Way, Zara Street, Amanda Avenue, Middle Street, Brownsville Road, Mathews Avenue, Dove Way, Brick Way, Rochelle Street, Grimes Avenue, Elsinburg Way, Beltzhoover Avenue, Zelda Way, Bernd Street, Michigan Street, Ardale Way, Chalfont Street, Curtin Avenue, Orient Way, Estella Avenue, Cardiff Way, Palmetto Way, Lehr Street, Climax Street, Pear Way, Industry Street, Aztec Way, Craighead Street, Kingsboro Street, Cicero Way, Edgemont Street, Winton Street, Iberia Street, Ruxton Street, Kathleen Street, Tank Way, Science Street, Zuzu Circle, Bailey Avenue, Judicial Street, Kambach Street, Etta Street, Dicktom Way, Bigbee Street, Aline Street, Boggs Avenue, Wyoming Street, Virginia Avenue, Shiloh Street, Schaeffer Way, Grandview Avenue
I only had two things on my to do list for today’s walk: take the Monongahela Incline (from or to my car) and walk on Schaeffer Way. Last week Amy and I had been within feet of it when we were at the Shiloh Grill and we somehow missed it. I parked my car near the Wabash Tunnel across the street from Station Square. On my way east I debated about whether I should walk up the hill and take the incline back down or the reverse. I decided to walk up. I’m a glutton for punishment.
Walking past the busway tunnel, I noticed this sign near a green railing. The railing was rescued from the Brady Street Bridge that used to span the Monongahela River.
I took W. Carson Street to Arlington Avenue to E. Sycamore Street. This street is long, winding, and consistently uphill. I took a break at the E. Sycamore Terrace and saw building foundation remnants and some graffiti.
On Google Maps, the houses that used to sit on these foundations are still visible.
The thing about ascending hills is that the views improve with the grade. On YouTube, there is a supercut of Owen Wilson saying “WOW” and that is probably what I sounded like if anyone had been listening to me talk to myself.
I continued going up until I saw the next street on my list: Lava Street. It sounded exotic and I was not disappointed by the curb appeal.
Lava turned into Neff which was a dead end. There was a rubble filled lot next to a house for sale and I used it to get up to William Street. In the rubble, I found an interesting plate shard.
One house on William had some beautiful sculptures out front.
Down on Cola Street (used to be Coal according to the 1923 Hopkins Map, I saw a cheerful house that can be seen perched on the hill from many vantage points.
I kept going down William and saw why this section is currently closed.
The abandoned street even has a streetlight.
Back down on Arlington, I admired this series of murals.
Their beauty was only rivaled by the skyline
I took Roanoke to a trail that ran in the woods below Emerald View Park. I came out and realized I was in Allentown now. Hanover (off of Emerald) and Starch (off of Excelsior) were barely worthy of a spot on the map. At one time, they had houses and connected to stairways down to the mills. Now, you need a weed whacker or a machete to navigate them.
E. Warrington Avenue is one of the main business thoroughfares in the neighborhood of Allentown. I walked by a curiosity shop called The Weeping Glass and wondered if I’d ever be able to enter. They don’t open until 1PM.
I stopped in Black Forge Coffee and forgot to unpause my watch when I left. Many of the streets after that were recorded by memory. I entered the South Side Slopes somehow and my brain worked overtime trying to figure out how all of these streets and valleys connect. I’m not as versed in Pittsburgh geography as I thought I was. My husband had been telling me about a four-step process of learning that he read about in a book. The four steps in order of increasing knowledge are:
- Unconscious incompetence (you aren’t aware that you don’t know something or you may think that the knowledge is not worth learning.)
- Conscious incompetence (you are aware that you don’t know but see the value in learning it.)
- Conscious competence (you understand something but need to concentrate in order to demonstrate the knowledge.)
- Unconscious competence (demonstrating the knowledge is second-nature. No thought is required.)
After this walk, I will need to bump myself back down to step 2. I thought I was pretty much in step 3 but I learn something new about these streets every day.
I was in the SS Slopes for a few streets and then I found myself in Knoxville? A few more blocks and now the street signs are green? What? Am I in Mt. Oliver? I am in Mt. Oliver. ICYMI, Mt. Oliver is an independent borough that has successfully resisted annexation by the city. Not to be confused with the City of Pittsburgh neighborhood also called Mt. Oliver.
On Brownsville Road, there was a large antique store that I really wanted to go in but it seemed like you had to call someone to be let in. I just window shopped for a bit.
I headed further down Brownsville Road hoping to find something to eat. I checked my watch to see how far I’d gone and I realized that it was paused! 😫 I was feeling dejected and hungry when I remembered that I had a nutrigrain bar in my bag. It was crumbly and smashed but it kept me alive.
I zig-zagged through Knoxville towards Beltzhoover. Might as well add another neighborhood to my ever-growing list. Many alleys were paths through the woods.
My watch was telling me I’d gone 6.5 miles so far but it had been paused for a good while. If my feet weren’t telling me that I was probably pushing 8, my sunburnt arms definitely were. I pushed through and walked up and down over and over again as I made my way towards the top of Mount Washington.
Kathleen Street was the top but I went back towards Beltzhoover Avenue (back in Allentown somehow) so I could hit Science Street and the new Zuzu Circle. I had to go down further because there was a street sign marking a street that didn’t exist on the map or pretty much in real life. Tank Way.
Up on Zuzu construction workers hurried to meet the demand of whomever is buying these houses.
I climbed up another rubble hill where a house would soon be built and thought of the movie Encino Man. I wonder what prehistoric creatures could be found if you dug deep enough.
I came out into Grandview Park and it sure was. This squirrel was too busy finding cicadas to notice the view.
I walked down Bailey Avenue and decided that when I win the lottery, I’m buying a house there. The views are unrivaled while many of the houses are old and grand.
Getting ever closer to the incline and the last street on my list, I stopped in to Cafe Niko’s for a beer and some pretzels (that nutigrain bar’s effects had worn off.) I walked on Schaeffer ✅ and entered the upper station of the Monongahela Incline.
I sat in the front for the best view but regretted it as my back almost spasmed from twisting around in the rear facing seats. Ouch!
It was worth it.