A Trip Through ‘Bat’Burgh

So, I had to take a quick drive today to pick something up in Mount Washington. It was 3:00, and I was in Homewood. I started thinking, “OK, I have to go through one tunnel, through a detour downtown, over a bridge, and up a hill nearing 4:00.’ I was not anticipating this being a pleasant trip. However, to my amazement, the trip was not only smooth but very memorable…especially the return route. I swiftly made it up to my destination in about 20 minutes. As I started back, I decided to take a different route that I knew wouldn’t be as bad as the Parkway East Outbound 4:00 daily nightmare.

First, while on Mount Washington, I was reminded of how unique this neighbrhood was – very blue collar, but 30 seconds away from arguably the best view of a city in the U.S.. So unique. Then I passed Chatham Village, pocketed right in the middle of Mount Washington. I was taken back to Architectural History at Kent, when I researched and wrote on this neighborhood as one of the best planned residential areas anywhere. Its preservation is stunning. I came down the hill and within 5 minutes I was in Oakland. Well documented, obviously, but noticeably urban – I pass it every day, but always feel like more of Pittsburgh should feel like Oakland. Then, I pass Batman. Yes, Batman. How cool is it that we have become a destination for Hollywood to come shoot big time films? Zoomed through Shadyside, the affluent, old money beauty that resides in city limits. The best residential area of Pittsburgh. Before I knew it, I was in Squirrel Hill by the Jewish Comunity Center – such a timeless community with deep heritage.

I made the entire round trip in under an hour. Not that this surprised me, really, nor had I not seen all of this stuff hundreds of times [besides Batman] but my return trip reminded me this about Pittsburgh: it is so very cool. Where else could you possibly live that in that short amount of time, you can see so many unique, authentic, beautiful, and vibrant neighborhoods? And along the way, you see Batman?!

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