The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

North Side, up in the hills

with 2 comments


– photo by Mitch Waxman

The section of Pittsburgh which I landed in after moving out of New York is called the South Hills. There’s eighty something different neighborhood/regions which make up the Pittsburgh Metro Area, and I still haven’t been to most of them, which is something I’m trying to rectify. When you say “North Side” it’s generally referring to a largish section that’s north of the Allegheny River, which is actually the former Allegheny City municipal area that Pittsburgh annexed ‘back in the day.’ There’s a small relatively flat area along the river where you’ll find a couple of the stadiums, and other cultural stuff. As you move away from the river, a steep hill begins to rise out of the river valley. The only time I’ve previously spent in this zone was a brief ‘explore’ in a part of the neighborhood that is called the “Mexican War Streets.”

I had made my way up that steep hill leading away from the flat river bank area in pursuit of a public park which promised an overlook. I like finding points of elevation for the camera to enjoy so there you are. Click, click, whirr, whirr. Afterwards, I hopped into the car and drove around a bit to see what else might be up here.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Turns out that the neighborhood I was in is either called “Fineview” or “Perry” or both, and it’s a residential area which has definitely experienced a series of challenges. About every fourth structure I passed by was abandoned or boarded up. It seemed quite lovely, as far as the surviving and occupied structures that seemed fairly well maintained, but as in the case pictured above, there were several buildings where two homes shared a wall and one of them was open to the elements with the other being occupied and neat as a pin.

Apparently, this area is a fairly “crimey” one according to the TV News reports and the Police blotters. I generally don’t listen to such sources uncritically until they’re confirmed to me by people who live local and by observation, but this was my first time through and I don’t know anyone from this zone yet.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

It is staggering, just how many homes there are in Pittsburgh which stand abandoned. That apartment house pictured above is just a few blocks from the abandoned house in the second shot. So was this one, this one, this one, and this one. Just on the other side of the steep hill this neighborhood sits on, you see wealthy suburbs and semi rural areas in the hills and valleys found along the Ohio River.

Pittsburgh is crazy, yo.

Back tomorrow, and please share this post to your socials if you found it interesting.

“follow” me on Twitter- @newtownpentacle

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Written by Mitch Waxman

April 25, 2023 at 11:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. Looks like you were mostly up in Perry Hilltop — but let me know if you want a guided tour of Fineview from a trained docent and you’ve got it Jon Hanrahan 815.307.6462

    Jon Hanrahan

    April 25, 2023 at 1:10 pm

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