Pittsburgh/East End-South

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Pittsburgh : East End-South
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Forbes Avenue heading toward the Cathedral of Learning

East End-South is a region of Pittsburgh, made up of the neighborhoods of the southern portion of the East End area of Pittsburgh.

Understand

Oakland [1] is a neighborhood in Pittsburgh's East End. Once the edge of the city, Andrew Carnegie set it up to be a cultural center with the founding of the Carnegie museums and libraries. The neighborhood continued to grow as Pittsburgh's cultural center with the growth of universities in the area, most notably the University of Pittsburgh and some parts of Carnegie Mellon. Today, the area is full of ethnic diversity, students, and others seeking out culture.

Squirrel Hill is an old neighborhood near Chatham University, University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Wedged between Frick and Schenley Parks, it is just north of the Parkway East (I-376). The atmosphere is comparable to Shadyside with fewer bars and more shopping, as well as being slightly more relaxed and easier to find parking. Many good ethnic restaurants are in this neighborhood.

With the proximity to numerous colleges, museums, and downtown Pittsburgh, there is a diverse community. But, the general ethnic identity of the neighborhood is Jewish. During various religious holidays and weekly periods of worship, the prevalence of the culture is obvious.

Point Breeze is a small community of Pittsburgh bordering Squirrel Hill, near the city limits. It's mostly residential with few significant attractions.

Point Breeze is part of the city's larger project of "reclaiming" neighborhoods lost to decay during Pittsburgh's long economic decline. While the final results are yet to be seen, Point Breeze currently is a well-kept neighborhood with many stately homes in good condition, with an educated professional populace.

Walnut Street in Shadyside

Shadyside [2] is a neighborhood in the heart of Pittsburgh's East End. Walnut Street, Shadyside's prosperous commercial and entertainment core, offers a bustling atmosphere of boutiques, shops, lounges, and restaurants designed to suit the discriminating tastes of residents and visitors. Shadyside was the original name of the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in that area. Wood and farmland, replete with shady lanes at the time of its development in the mid 19th century, the neighborhood has been named appropriately.

Well-maintained, stately Victorian mansions stand in quiet elegance alongside carefully restored homes. Apartment and condominium buildings full of hardwood floors and old-fashioned architectural character, along with newer, modern homes and buildings are woven together, making a unique and beautiful neighborhood. The area also has a wooden brick street of 18 houses originally built in 1914, but since restored, Roslyn Place. Since the 1920s, a mix of affluent families, young professionals, artists, students, and apartment dwellers have settled in Shadyside.

Get in

By Car

Oakland is directly accessible via the Parkway East (I-376). From downtown, important routes are to take the Boulevard of the Allies, Forbes Avenue, or Bigelow Boulevard.

Fifth Avenue and Center Avenue are the two main thoroughfares which run from Downtown via Oakland into Shadyside. Shadyside has no access to controlled access highways, the nearest point of entry being PA 60 at the Highland Park Bridge, or I 376 from Squirrel Hill.

By Bus

Several buses heading east from downtown pass through Oakland. Of note is the EBO, which takes the East Busway directly to Oakland and back, as well as the Airport Flyer 28X. For full travel information, visit Port Authority's website [3].

There are several buses routes that run through Shadyside, principally along Fifth Avenue, Ellsworth Avenue, and Centre Avenue. For a complete schedule, visit Port Authority's website [4]

Get around

Oakland is heavily congested, especially during school hours, as many are traveling here to either attend class or work at one of the many universities in the area. This is only complicated by the number of one-way streets. 5th Avenue is a westbound only street through most of Oakland, whereas Forbes only allows eastbound traffic.

Parking can also be fairly difficult to find, unless you're willing to park in a garage. Most of the attractions and restaurants in the area are within walking distance of each other, so this is certainly the easiest way to get around.

See

Industrialist Henry Clay Frick's House
  • Frick Mansion, Clayton, and an accompanying museum: this is by far Point Breeze's largest tourist attraction.
  • Homewood Cemetery, is a large cemetery founded in the mid 1800's. While not a tourist attraction like the old cemeteries of new Orleans or Paris, Homewood houses many ornate mausoleums, statues and memorial edifices.
Wood Block Street in Roslyn Place
  • Roslyn Place. Turn of the century wood paved streets with restored houses.

The Carnegie

Although Oakland is essentially a location for schools and hospitals, there are many things to see and do there. Perhaps the most interesting for visitors is The Carnegie Library and Museums. There are three major sections in a single large building along Forbes Avenue:

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh [5]. This is the major Carnegie library in Pittsburgh. Andrew Carnegie funded 2,507 libraries all over the world between 1881 and 1917. Most (1,681) are in the United States, but there are Carnegie libraries from Fiji to United Kingdom. This library is very large with an entire floor for fiction, another for non-fiction and a third devoted to works on technology.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History [6]. This museum has a number of interesting collections from ancient armor, to gems and minerals, furniture and, especially dinosaurs which through funding by Carnegie were removed from tarpits in the western United States.

The Carnegie Museum of Art [7]. A world-class exhibit space with a permanent collection of paintings that include Rembrandts, Van Goghs, Cezannes, Picassos and many more. In addition it hosts temporary exhibits from other museums all over the world and funds the Carnegie International, a biennial staging of "the most important and prestigious international survey of contemporary art in North America."

Pitt Campus

The Cathedral of Learning. A 42 story building of the University of Pittsburgh. It is gothic in style and the anchor of the university's campus. Construction was begun in 1926 and took ten years to complete. It is the tallest school building in the western hemisphere and is visible almost anywhere in Pittsburgh. Surrounding its immense commons room are the unique nationality rooms [8] designed by 17 different architects and constructed and decorated in the characteristic style of the 17 different nations which at the time made up the diverse population of Pittsburgh. Above this level are classrooms accessed, of course, by elevators.

Home Plate from Forbes Field's final game

Forbes Field, though it no longer stands you can visit what remains of the former home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Inside Pitt's Posvar Hall on the ground floor you can see the old home plate in a glass case on the ground. Outside, south of the building, you can see what remains of the left field wall, including where Bill Mazeroski hit the 1960 World Series winning home run against the Yankees. Every year in October, Pirates faithful will come out to the wall to listen to a recording of the game.

Heinz Memorial Chapel [9] located opposite the Cathedral of Learning, was built with funds left to the school by H.J. Heinz (of ketchup fame). The small Gothic chapel features amazing stained-glass windows, free tours to sample the acoustics, and concerts and recitals, typically on Sundays. See the website for calender.

Other Museums

Soldiers and Sailors Military Museum [10] is located across the street from Pitt campus, on 5th Ave.

Do

  • Oakland once was home to many of Pittsburgh's sports teams. Most of their stadia have been demolished, but one can still cheer on the University of Pittsburgh Panther's Basketball team at the Peterson Events Center.
  • Chatham University Arboretum: Estate of the Mellon family, landscaped in part by the Olmsted Brothers (who landscaped Boston Common and New York's Central Park) with many different flowering trees - now part of the grounds of Chatham University. Located just south of 5th Ave on Woodland Rd, in North Squirrel Hill.
  • Frick Park, partially in Point Breeze, is a wonderful wooded area with several trails ideal for walking the dog, or bicycling.

Visit the seasonal Shadyside festivals :

  • Walnut Street Jam : Last Saturday of June, July, August. Local bands play on Walnut Street - which is closed to vehicular traffic, beer is also allowed on the street.
  • Ellsworth Arts Festival  : Weekend after Labor Day. Ellsworth Avenue is closed to vehicular traffic as local artists set up stalls on Ellsworth Avenue.

Learn

There is a concentration of different colleges and universities in Oakland that is perhaps only rivaled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The two largest and best known are the University of Pittsburgh [11] and Carnegie Mellon University [12] (called CMU for short).

Smaller schools of higher education include Carlow University [13], a Catholic university that largely enrolls women, and Chatham University [14], a private women's college.

Buy

Used Books Oakland is a book lover's dream. Sample any of the many used book stores to see what treasure you can find.

  • Caliban Book Shop [15], 416 S Craig St
  • Jay's Bookstall [16], 3604 Fifth Avenue

Pitt Paraphernalia as with any college or university, check out the school Book Center [17] for t-shirts, hoodies, magnets, and other souvenirs.

Shadyside has two shopping districts : the Walnut Street district specializing in apparel, and variety stores, and the Ellsworth Avenue district specializing in art galleries. Some unusual shops :

Schiller's Pharmacy-Walnut Street: Great pharmacy with upscale bath products and cosmetic lines. Friendly staff.

Kawaii Store - Walnut Street: This little shop sells Japanese stuff. It has a lot of Choco-Cat, Totoro, etc merchandise. kawaiistore.com

Kards Unlimited - Walnut Street: A strange store. They sell novelty stuff. They sells books, stationary, toys, etc.

Shadyside Variety Store - Walnut Street: Another variety store

La Feria Gift Shop - Walnut Street: A gift shop selling ethnic Peruvian handicrafts, as part of the La Feria restaurant.

Apple Store - Walnut Street: An Apple Store. Other big brands on Walnut include Banana Republic, Victoria's Secret, and the Four Winds Gallery (Native American art).

Maser Galleries -Walnut Street: Much of the art at Maser Galleries is contemporary, but the collection is eclectic, including sports art, traditional oil paintings, and work by the finest national and international masters.

International grocery : Tokyo Foods (Japanese grocery) on Ellsworth Avenue

Eat

  • Aiello's 2112 Murray Ave., This Pizza is one of the best in the Burgh. It is loved by all the locals and is a common hang out for many Taylor Allderdice High School Students. The pepperoni rolls are to die for, loaded with parm. It has a classic Italian pizzeria atmosphere with friendly and personable staff. they are open till 2:00 AM so you can always grab a cut to go.
  • Chaya Japanese Cuisine, 2104 Murray Ave, +1 412 422-2082, [18]. Amazingly good sushi, worth every penny. One of the few places in the country where you will find wasabi made from fresh wasabi root instead of powder; the waiter will proudly show you the root if you ask. Word of warning: its capacity is tiny, and don't expect to be acknowledged as you wait for a table.
  • Eat 'n Park, 1816 Murray Avenue, +1 412 422-7203, [19], and various locations around town. Family-friendly local chain. Fair prices, friendly service, and their trademark smiley cookie. Many only eat here when they have to (i.e. after the bars close) but others eat here by choice.
  • Gullifty's Restaurant, 1922 Murray Avenue, +1 412 521-8222. [20]. A varied menu and Pittsburgh's Best Desserts 22 years running. not only do they have award winning desserts, but delicious entrées as well. They have been offering live jazz many nights, it simply sets a lovely environment to wine and dine.
  • Milky Way This vegetarian restaurant has an assortment of pizzas. They have many salads and make a great falafel. The best part about it is that it is kosher. For any people who keep religious eating habits, this would be the place to go.
  • Doc's Place - Walnut Street = An excellent bar/pub. Expect to spend about $10 on your meal. Great burgers.
  • Sushi Too - Walnut Street = Good Asian restaurant. http://www.sushi123.net/
  • Prandtl's Bakery - Walnut Street = Excellent baked goods are low prices.

Restaurants on Ellsworth Avenue - Both the Elbow Room / Bites and Brews and Harris Grill offer very tasty and affordable ($15 for a large meal) American cuisine. Try the mixed fritters and fries plate at Elbow Room or the pork shank at Harris Grill.

  • "Downtown" Point Breeze is located on Reynolds St, between Linden Ave. and Beechwood Blvd. While not very glamorous, this area has several quaint yet trendy restaurants.

Oakland restaurants

Put some twenty thousand college students in a small urban area and you can be sure you won't go hungry. Or thirsty. If you've outgrown college food and college bars there are also a number of very good restaurants in the area.

There is always The O. The place for some of the best fries in Pittsburgh. All along Craig St. and Forbes are restaurants ranging from Chinese and middle eastern to Subway. Here is a small sample of what's there.

Small order of fries at the "O"
  • Essie's Original Hot Dog Shop 3901 Forbes Ave (412) 621-7388 Better known as "the O" or "the Dirty O". Originally opened across the street from Forbes Field. Cheap food. Extremely greasy. You can get giant piles of greasy french fries for cheap. It is a good place to go after drinking. Late hours. The place is filthy. You don't want to use the bathroom. It has a reputation for being dangerous, but there is always at least one cop there at all times. Most people go for the hot dogs, french fries, or pizza. If you are in Oakland, you should at least try the fries to say you have been there.
  • Union Grill 413 S Craig St, 412-681-8620 Classic American Food - burgers, desserts and other American food. This place can get really crowded at lunch time.
  • There is also a Five Guys Burgers and Primanti Brothers near campus, and of course larger chains like McDonald's, Wendys, and Panera Bread.
  • Taiwan Cafe on Forbes has excellent, cheap Chinese food and there always seems to be a group of Chinese students inside enjoying a meal. They also have a huge selection of beer.
  • India Garden, [21] 328 Atwood St, (412) 682-3000, India Garden is probably the most famous Indian restaurant in Pittsburgh. The food is really good, but the service isn't always the best and the Servers aren't always fluent in English. The restaurant is generally loud, with two TV sets playing Bollywood music videos while Hindi pop music blasts from the speakers. The half off specials between 4PM-6PM, 10PM-1AM, are just awesome and they have a buffet at lunch from 12PM-3PM.
  • Star of India at 412 S Craig St, near the Carnegie museums. It is across the street from an Indian grocery store.
  • Tamarind located at 257 N Craig St, further away from the campuses in an old Victorian house, specializing in south Indian fare. They offer a very good lunch buffet daily.
  • Mad Mex - Atwood Street = Great food. Food is half off from 11pm-1am. Mexican food. www.madmex.com The employees are mostly punk types while the crowd is usually yuppie.
  • Veracruz on Forbes is frequented by students for its inexpensive Mexican food, with a focus on beans.
  • The chains Chipotle and Q'Doba also have locations on Forbes.
  • Fuel & Fuddle Oakland Avenue = [[22]] Good food. Vegetarian friendly. It has a hipster crowd. The prices are about $10 for a meal.

Drink

  • Hemingways - Forbes Avenue = $1 Miller Lites, microbrew selection, combined with the food, great place to drink. A lot of girls.
  • Gene's Place - Louisa Street = Really cheep drinks ($2.50 mixed, $2-3 22oz beers, $5.50 pitchers). No food. Some microbrews. Mostly guys looking to drink. If you are looking to drink cheap, here is the place.
  • Mad Mex - Atwood & Bates = Excellent beer selection (9 or so microbrews on tap, extensive bottle selection). The frozen margarita's are great. Expensive unless you come during a drink special (430-630 for happy hour, 9-11 for evening special). Great food if you like to eat while you drink.
  • Fuel & Fuddle - Oakland Avenue = http://www.fuelandfuddle.com/ The crowd is hipster. They have a large microbrew draft selection (12 or so) and an extremely extensive bottle selection.
  • Doc's Place - Walnut Street = Great bar. Cheap prices ($1-3 for a beer, $5 or 6 for a pitcher) They offer a balcony to drink on that overlooks Walnut Street. http://www.docsplacepittsburgh.com/

Sleep

  • Shadyside Inn (5405 5th Avenue)
  • Inn on Negley (703 S Negley Ave)

Since Oakland is a "college town", as well as a center of research and technology, there are numerous accommodations including most of the bigname chain hotels. In addition the area has very frequent bus connections to Downtown which is only a ten or fifteen minute ride to all the large downtown hotels.

  • Wyndham Garden Hotel - University Place, 3454 Forbes Avenue, +1 412 683-2040, [23]. Minutes from downtown and close to many of Pittsburgh's renowned universities, including UPMC Health System, Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh.

Contact


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