City Neighborhoods | Pittsburgh City Paper

North Side: Making Connections

Many of the changes taking place here are happening along the "North Shore," a name that refers to the sliver of land that runs alongside the Allegheny River. The name is also, obviously, a commercial tool, hoping to encourage visitors and investment by distancing the area from the rest of the more hardscrabble neighborhood. But the rest of the North Side has plenty for those willing to explore.

Downtown: Where it all starts ... and starts over

A city's downtown often symbolizes the self-image of the people who live there. Pittsburgh's Downtown -- known to locals as the Golden Triangle -- suggests the triumph and despair of a place that has undergone repeated makeovers ... some more successful than others.

East Liberty: No longer going in circles

Prosperity began draining away in the '60s due to white flight compounded by bad urban-planning decisions. But the tide is changing, thanks in part to creative types and homeowners taking advantage of housing prices that are depressed (though perhaps not for much longer). Spots like the Shadow Lounge put 'Sliberty on the map as a destination for entertainment and culture seekers.

Lawrenceville: You Can't Keep a Good Community Down

Even as heavy industry left the region a century after its commercial heyday, the neighborhood held on. Today, with an infusion of young progressives drawn by the neighborhood's proximity to Downtown and its affordable housing, Lawrenceville is busily reinventing itself while still keeping its blue-collar roots.

Shadyside: Under no one else's shadow

You can't throw a brick around here (and believe us, we've tried) without hitting a yuppie, a professional, or a grad student trying to become one or the other. Still, much of the neighborhood retains a village feel, with wide streets and plenty of charming, unostentatious homes mixing with apartment buildings and the occasional manse. There's much to be said for a walk or bike ride through the area's quiet streets, and Shadyside is convenient to the East Busway: Commuting Downtown by bus from here is faster than driving by car.

South Side: Clearing the Bar

During its working-class heyday in the mid-1900s, the South Side reputedly had the area's largest number of bars per capita. Today, it indisputably does. But the more things stay the same, the more they change: The shot-and-beer bars have given way to microbrew-friendly taverns, gourmet restaurants, boutiques and nightclubs. Longtime residents have made room (grudgingly) for student housing, as well as riverfront townhouses going for $300,000 and up. But the 5,700 residents notwithstanding, the South Side is better known as a place to play and shop.

Squirrel Hill: Pittsburgh's Promised Land

If you're coming to Pittsburgh from a more cosmopolitan area, and find the rest of the city just too damn Pittsburgh (and Shadyside just too damn Shadyside), Squirrel Hill is arguably as vibrant a melting pot as you'll find. You'll stumble across large, beautiful homes on quiet streets (with large, beautiful price tags to match); you'll also find warrens jammed with college students, starving artists and trustifarians.

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