Monday, March 15, 2010

6: Fineview

Another North Side neighborhood, Fineview is a residential community that sits on top of a hill above East Allegheny and the Central North Side. It has a little overlook with this view (taken last fall):
I took the rest of these photos on a walk in March 2010. I started from my own neighborhood, East Allegheny, and walked up several flights of city steps to get to the top.
This view is from about half-way up, taken from the city steps. The big yellow building in the center is the School House Apartments in East Allegheny. Veteran's Bridge is to the left.
WPXI used to be located in Fineview but moved in 2007 to Summer Hill. Below you can see the TV antenna behind the houses.
Like so many Pittsburgh neighborhoods, there are huge, grand homes like this one that sit vacant because they're so expensive to fix up. So sad.
Also like many Pittsburgh neighborhoods, there are some woodsy areas in Fineview. I like that this looks like the road leads to Downtown.
Image below from Wikipedia.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pittsburgh Neighborhoods Featured in Bridge to Nowhere

Everyone with an interest in Pittsburgh should see the movie Bridge to Nowhere. It's not a very good movie, but it was filmed in Pittsburgh and features the city prominently. It takes place mainly in Pittsburgh's North Side, with a lot of filming done in neighborhood streets that are so perfectly representative of the city's gritty working-class neighborhoods. There are also some gorgeous shots of Downtown and of South Side and Mt. Washington neighborhoods.

Among the things I loved about the movie:
  • The opening features a Pittsburgh-themed rap song. Yes, a Pittsburgh rap song! Must buy the MP3.
  • Unlike movies that film in Pittsburgh and make the city look completely different, this one gives an honest look at Pittsburgh. If anything, it makes Pittsburgh seem pretty ghetto, which is pretty funny.
  • Sally Wiggin makes an appearance as herself on the local news.
  • There are some good lines using Pittsburghese. "Yinz" and "jagoff" are both used.
  • The actors drink Iron City and I.C. Light.
  • There are lots of shots of authentic Pittsburgh things like city steps, bridges, hills, and dramatic views of Downtown.
  • There are scenes shot in the cemetery on top of Spring Hill, one of my favorite places in the city.
It's worth seeing the movie to see Pittsburgh in it. After Adventureland, which was filmed at Kennywood, this may be my favorite movie filmed in Pittsburgh.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

5: North Shore

Just a few years back, I remember signs for "North Shore" popping up and being puzzled. Why were they calling the North Side the North Shore? Today, of course, the North Shore is the section of the North Side that people are most likely to visit. This long, narrow section of the city right beside the Allegheny River is home to many of the city's most popular destinations, including Heinz Field, PNC Park, Carnegie Science Center, the new Rivers Casino, and the Andy Warhol Museum.

I couldn't find anything to support my claim, but I believe the North Shore is Pittsburgh's newest neighborhood, with the name being given around 1996 to mark all the development in the area. (This article from 1996 talks about the "new North Shore development.") No, it's not a traditional Pittsburgh neighborhood with parking chairs on streets, city steps leading to houses on hillsides, and independently owned businesses, but it's part of Pittsburgh and is unique as an entertainment and sports destination.

My favorite part of the North Shore is the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, a 21-mile pedestrian trail that cuts through the North Shore. It's popular year-round for walking, jogging, biking, and enjoying the scenic views of the city all along the trail, like these...

Fishing is popular on this part of the trail closest to the river. Photo by Dave. There's a lot of great views of the city from the North Shore. Photo by Dave.
The Alcoa building and the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Photo by Dave. Replicas of the Nina and Pinta ships were docked at the North Shore in the summer of 2009. Heinz Field and Carnegie Science Center are in the background.
The Fred Rogers memorial statue was unveiled in the summer of 2009.
One of the biggest reasons people come to the North Shore--to see Pittsburgh's beloved Steelers at Heinz Field. Downtown, taken from the North Shore.
Another shot of Downtown taken from the North Shore.
Railroad bridge crossing the Allegheny River; Canadian geese enjoying a swim; part of the Convention Center.
Sunset over PNC Park. Photo by Dave.
One of my very favorite buildings in Pittsburgh, this one designed by architect Frederick John Osterling is behind the Alcoa building.
Photos of the North Shore during the February 2010 blizzard.
Map of the North Shore from Wikipedia.