Wednesday, August 18, 2010

please won't you be my neighbor?

well, i'm sold on pittsburgh. despite arriving here and immediately falling deathly ill to a still unnamed stomach virus, i absolutely love living here. and especially living in squirrel hill.

squirrel hill is in eastern pittsburgh, just up the hill from carnegie mellon, and is full of leafy streets and beautiful nineteenth-century brick houses and garden apartments, like the one i live in. down the street from me is an intersection with the carnegie library (where i presently sit typing on my laptop), a rite aid, an old movie theatre, grocery store, lots of shops and restaurants, and the grandest pnc bank i have quite seen (i feel like i should have a hat and gloves to go in there).

the other neighborhoods i am slowly getting to know as i get lost in the city traveling to them: east liberty, where my cousin has some friends, oakland, shady side, homestead...or homewood. something like that.

but squirrel hill is still my favorite. i'm still enjoying people-watching whenever i need to pop down the street, as the variety of people you see is somewhat greater than we had in gettysburg: tons of young people with eclectic fashion sense and heavy backpacks, who are clearly students; as part of the large jewish community here, dozens of families in (what i suppose is to be) more traditional modest clothing doing their shopping; bicyclists and people on mopeds of all sizes; and generally a wider sea of faces than i've seen in awhile. how funny to think that, for all that i've traveled, and for all of the places i've lived, this is probably the most diverse, eclectic place i've lived since living in stamford. brewster, ny and greenwich, ct certainly never came close, for opposite reasons.

i guess it's not that surprising–unless you live in a city, we are, for the most part, creatures of habit who are rarely exposed to anything outside of the narrow frame of reference which we know. and pittsburgh is not, perhaps, as diverse as many other places in the world. but i am loving it here.

did you know that mr. rogers lived in squirrel hill? i think that just about says everything you need to know.


Chris Garaffa said...

Agatha, Squirrel Hill is absolutely my favorite Pittsburgh neighborhood! I stayed there, near the Barnes & Noble on Murray Ave, for a week last year. If you haven't, you must check out Té Café and 61 C Cafe. I actually do miss it quite a bit.

I do hope that you are enjoying Pittsburgh, and it seems that you are. I do miss you here in CT, though!

Agatha Wells said...

hey Chris!! you stayed super close to where i live, although sadly the barnes & noble is no longer there. i've seen 61 c cafe, but must look up the other.

i miss you too! em is hoping to fly out to see are always welcome to visit me too! let me know if you'll be doing any more protests out this way :)

Agatha Wells said...

p.s. chris do you know why my google analytics doesn't always seem to measure traffic coming to my blog? it doesn't register that you've been on the page, but sometimes it will register random traffic, like in new guinea or something.

it's not just for the classroom!