Unique Streets: 38
Miles Walked: 9.37
Street Names (italicized have been walked on another day): Middle Street, Foreland Street, James Street, Emlin Way, E. Ohio Street, Cedar Avenue, Virgin Way, Moravian Way, Avery Street, Cedar Avenue, Lockhart Street, Pressley Street, N. Canal Street, Stockton Avenue, Anderson Street, E. General Robinson Street, River Avenue, Hope Street, Voeghtly Street, E. Lacock Street, Progress Way, 7th Street Bridge, Fort Duquesne Boulevard, 8th Street, Tito Way, Exchange Way, 9th Street, French Street, Garrison Place, Penn Avenue, 10th Street, William Penn Place, 7th Avenue, Chatham Square, Centre Avenue, Washington Place, Bedford Avenue, Logan Street, Fullerton Street, Crawford Street, Cliff Street, Mercer Street, Gilmore Way, Peach Way*, Manilla Street, Cassatt Street, Ledlie Street, Arcena Street, Shipton Street, Davenport Way, Seal Street, Erin Street, Webster Avenue, Kirkpatrick Street, Bloomer Way, White Hill Drive, Reunion Place, Somers Drive, Herron, Avenue, Ridgway Street, Rust Way, Leander Street, 30th Street, Bigelow Boulevard, Smithfield Street, Liberty Avenue, 10th Street Bypass, Sandusky Street, E. Commons, Union Avenue, N. Diamond Street, Shawano Way.
*Edited to add that I left a hanging asterisk above. There is also a Peach Way in Esplen. Esplen seems to frequently copy fruity streets from other neighborhoods. See Plum Way in Esplen, Beechview, and Lawrenceville.
Goals for today included walking on French Street (Downtown) and finally making it up to Crawford-Roberts to walk more streets. Amy was able to come with me but I’m pretty sure she regretted that decision at the end.
We parked in Deutschtown (East Allegheny) on Middle Street right outside of Max’s Allegheny Tavern. It’s a great spot for authentic German food, but it wasn’t open when we started.
We made our way towards E. Ohio Street and checked out many of the businesses that line it.
The cakes inside Priory Fine Pastries looked too good to eat.
We walked through the Anderson Street Tunnel towards the North Shore so that we could walk some of the short streets that lie in the shadow of 279 and 579.
On Hope Street, I was taking a picture of these stairs under an old railroad bridge…
…when a hollowed-out branch fell on my head, arm, and leg.
It scraped me up and scared me, but I was generally ok.
We were both on edge after that and at one point when a car was coming, we scattered like sparrows in opposite directions. A creepy old hotel/apartment building on the end of Voeghtly Street didn’t help our nerves.
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail helped us calm down a bit.
The 9th Street/Rachel Carson Bridge was closed so we took the 7th Street/Andy Warhol Bridge.
We kept our eyes peeled for more Pittsburgh Protractors but didn’t see a single one on the bridge. In Downtown, we navigated towards French Street via Exchange Way. It was here that we saw a Protractor numbered “8!”
We walked on French Street
and under some men washing windows.
Mission accomplished Downtown and we started the long trek towards Crawford-Roberts. Sitting above the Amtrak depot, we saw this old school building called the Clifford B. Connelly Trade School.
It had modern glass additions on the side and in the back going down the hill to Bigelow Boulevard. We asked a man sitting outside what it was and he said it was turned into the Energy Innovation Center. From their website:
The Energy Innovation Center is a Pittsburgh based, not-for-profit organization with a mission to engage corporate and community leaders, align workforce development and education, develop and demonstrate technology, and incubate businesses, to support emerging clean and sustainable energy markets.Source: http://www.eicpittsburgh.org/
He said they are also remodeling the other school that sits between Crawford and Manilla Streets.
On Manilla Street, we walked past a colorful mural dedicated to Stevie Wonder…
…and then walked by the August Wilson Park.
The African-American playwright’s childhood home is one street down at 1727 Bedford Avenue.
On Arcena Street we were met with magnificent views of the Allegheny River and North Shore.
Despite the commanding vistas, Amy was losing steam. It’s not an easy walk from the low-elevation of downtown up to Bedford Dwellings. It was also very hot and sunny. We had to decide if we were going to go back down the way we came, or keep going towards Herron Avenue and make a loop. I was confident (dare I say hubric) that we would find stairs that would lead us to Bigelow and then more that would lead us into the Strip District. Looking back, we made the wrong decision. Every time we spied a street that looked over the Strip, we were hoping to find stairs down. None. Nada. Zip.
On Memory Lane, we saw an empty pool that taunted us.
At the top of this street there were two overlooks that offered no such thing. There was so much vegetation in front of them, that all you could see was sky. Walking back towards Bedford Avenue, we saw an unofficial trail sign:
Hopeful that this might lead us down, I quickly googled it. The only thing I could find was a post from 2010 on the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy website about future plans for a “Village in the Woods.” It doesn’t seem like anything has been done recently in terms of maintenance for the trail because it was nowhere to be found.
We decided to stay the original course but I was getting nervous. Amy was looking dehydrated so we stopped in a bodega for gatorade and some combos. She seemed better after that, for the time being.
We made it to Herron and made a left on Ridgway because I had seen that the 30th Street stairs led down to Bigelow (finally!) This was a bad mistake. We should have taken Herron down to Polish Hill and accessed the Strip District that way. I was still confident that we would find a way down there from Bigelow.
We found stairs! Oh…
In Frank Curto Park I kept looking on both sides for stairs that led down, or up to where we had just been.
No stairs yet but we saw a flock of nine turkeys.
Finally I saw them! Stairs that used to connect Bedford Dwellings to Bigelow Boulevard. They come down underneath the overgrown overlook.
No help to us or the residents on the Hill. Apparently if you live up there, walking anywhere is frowned upon. Especially when sidewalks lead to dangerous pedestrian situations.
We continued down the “sidewalk” on Bigelow until it ended. Shel Silverstein, take note. All of a sudden we were faced with an impossible choice. Should we turn around and walk back the 1.5 miles to Herron (yes, we walked 1.5 miles on Bigelow Boulevard) or walk on a terrifyingly narrow shoulder. The path was sandwiched between flying cars on their way downtown or to 376 and a 30+ foot drop off onto 579 below. What would you have done? Here’s what we did.
I have never seen Amy so scared. We finally made it into downtown and I think she wanted to hit me.
I don’t think I could make up for what we went through but I tried and bought her lunch at Condado Tacos.
After lunch we quickly walked back to the car and talked about our near-death experience. Next walk (if her husband reads this, there might not be), I’ll take it easy on her.