Unique Streets: 83
Miles Walked: 9.55
Street Names (italicized have been walked on another day): East End Avenue, Penn Avenue, Brushton Avenue, Meade Street, N. Braddock Avenue, Thomas Boulevard, Finance Street, Susquehanna Street, Durango Way, Cassina Way, Tioga Street, Fram Street, Alsace Street, Hale Street, Mulford Street, Cora Street, Muti Way, Hamilton Avenue, Kelly Street, Newman Way, Neuman Way, Formosa Way, N. Richland Street, N. Dunfermline Street, Cinibar Way, Panke Street, Albion Street, Annan Way, Zenith Way, N. Homewood Avenue, Jonathan Place, Jonathan Court, N. Lang Avenue, McPherson Boulevard, Lynn Way, Gordon Street, N. Dallas Avenue, Simonton Street, 5th Avenue, N. Linden Avenue, Starling Way, N. Murtland Street, Lark Way, Wren Way, Point Breeze Place, June Way, Bakery Square Boulevard, Living Place, Sally’s Path, Melissa Street, Emma Way, Danielle Street, Social Way, Hailman Street, Social Lane, Renning Street, Denniston Street, Howe Street, Hauser Way, Festival Street, Beechwood Boulevard, Elysian Street, Selwyn Street, Sinnet Way, Hastings Street, Juniata Place, Conover Road, Lacey Way, Juniata Court, Lingrove Place, S. Linden Avenue, S. Dallas Avenue, Penham Place, Penham Lane, Yorkshire Drive, Reynolds Street, S. Murtland Street, Rosewood Street, Blenheim Court, Penrose Drive, Claridge Place, Hartwood Drive, S. Lang Avenue, La Roi Road, Mosaic Way, Sleeth Way, Lang Court, Card Lane, Osage Lane, Roycrest Place, N. Lexington Street, Carnegie Place, Penfield Place, Penfield Court, S. Braddock Avenue, Tuscarora Street
Whew! That’s a lot of streets. I decided to travel to the East End to do some walking today. The East End is filled with many attractions such as The Historic Frick Mansion, Construction Junction, the East End Food Co-op, Bakery Square, and this little place called Peppi’s.
It was too early for a sandwich but that was alright because my husband and I had actually gotten some to-go last night! (We also got some ice cream at Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlour in the Strip and I got to walk on a street I’d missed before: Smallman is Gilda’s Club Way between 28th & 29th right in front of Our Clubhouse. I’ve added that street to my master list.)
The East End is not one neighborhood of Pittsburgh but parts of many, some of which, aren’t even in the city. A comment on a Reddit thread asking what is the East End exactly stated that if you can get into Frick Park in under 8 minutes without crossing a river, you’re in the East End. It’s not a very definitive answer, but I like it.
Inevitably, when I tell someone what I am doing, they list off neighborhoods in which I probably shouldn’t walk. Homewood has always been one on the list other people have made for me. Homewood is home to one of Pittsburgh’s largest African-American populations. The 2010 census lists the neighborhood as 97.8% African-American. I’ve never met a road I didn’t like and geographically speaking, streets are streets. Bad things can happen anywhere and I refuse to limit where I walk based on preconceived notions about a neighborhood’s safeness. That being said, I was a little nervous about walking in Homewood. Not about my safety, but about being an invader. I was afraid that I would be seen as a stranger and unwelcome. After having walked a bit in Homewood South, I guess that was true. I felt mostly invisible as I wandered the streets and ate too many ripe mulberries.
Almost immediately upon crossing the busway (the border between Point Breeze North and Homewood) I found a secret art garden where in the early 1900s, the Phoenix Clay Pot Company stood.
I didn’t see many people but those I did, didn’t “see” me. I think I might have accidentally offended one man as I was admiring the side of his house. In 2019, his house sits by itself flanked by fields, but a look at the Hopkins Map in 1923 shows that the whole block was filled with houses so close to each other that they touched. On the side of his house, you could still see remnants of the missing house including wallpaper in each room and even orange tile still on the wall where the bathtub once sat.
I was thinking about taking a picture when he came out onto the porch. I decided to engage with him since I looked pretty strange just standing there staring at his house. Cheerfully, I said: “I was just looking at the side of your house and thought it was really cool that you can still see parts of the house next door! It’s really interesting.” He looked past me and didn’t say anything. Again, I said: “I just thought it was really interesting.” He turned away and said “Well, it’ll be covered soon.” Maybe he thought I was complaining about it. Maybe he thought I was being sarcastic. I’m not sure, but I felt bad about that interaction all day (even now.)
On Hamilton Avenue I admired two Art Houses.
I was walking down Brushton when I noticed the next street over was having an identity crisis. On the sides where it meets Kelly and Hamilton, it is called Neuman Street but in the middle, it switched to Newman.
I’ve counted both spellings on my list of streets.
I walked towards N. Homewood Avenue and passed the Everyday Cafe. No Cash Accepted.
The murals under the busway were breathtaking.
I walked down N. Lang right next to Westinghouse Park and noticed these metal chevrons implanted into the cement. Does anyone know what they are? If so, leave a comment!
Westinghouse Park is the former location of George Westinghouse’s estate. The house, named Solitude, is gone but according to the wikipedia article linked above, there are still tunnels under the park that led from the house to George’s laboratory. Cool!
In the parking bay of a multi use warehouse on Lynn Way, there sits a block-long mural that depicts the phrase: “How you do anything is how you do everything.” More pictures of it can be seen on Google Photos.
I found myself somehow nearing Bakery Square (I didn’t realize it was that close) and figured it was as good a place as any to find something to eat. I stopped in Social and had the French Dip. It was excellent.
After lunch, I ended up walking a few streets in Shadyside including some that are a part of a new housing complex (half inhabited/half hribar.) I wasn’t entirely sure if these streets were official as their signs were blue but missing the white border that designates a city street. I walked on a few of them anyways and later found out that they are in fact new streets that weren’t on my 2017 map. My number of streets to walk keeps growing, and so then, is the city itself.
After my little segue into Shadyside, I decided I’d better turn back. I walked on almost all of the streets in Point Breeze that sit between Penn Avenue and Reynold’s Street. There are A LOT of them. I was getting sore and cranky and probably low on electrolytes. I’m glad it was mostly flat because I might have had to catch a bus if it had been hilly. Some interesting sights kept me going. Like this rock wall accented with precious stones.
I was also able to solve a mystery that has been bothering me since I walked in Highland Park. Many houses of a certain age (1940s or 1950s) have these boxes with red or blue lights sitting high up on their second floor. So high up, I could never see any logos or description on them. I wondered what they could be, and then I saw this one on a first floor:
Around the red light, it says “Alarmed by Dictograph.” A quick Google search led me to a post about a vinyl record made by Dictograph. The record has a MESSAGE OF VITAL IMPORTANCE, aka a scare tactic sales pitch to get people to buy their fire alarms. It is kind of scary.
I wonder if the fire alarms still work.
I got back on Penn near the Frick Mansion and noticed a Lincoln Highway sign on a fence. I hadn’t realized that here, Penn Avenue is part of the 2nd generation of the Lincoln Highway! I wonder if I should add that as another street.
I walked by but still have never toured the Frick. Bad Pittsburgher!
I also walked by (without entering) the Evergreen Cafe. I would have if my husband hadn’t stopped in for a quick beer last night. If you find yourself nearby, you should definitely stop in to see a real-life payphone. The bartender said it worked up until last year.
I’m hanging up until next time.