November 8th, 2008


ride all night, we ride all day; Some may come and some may stay

In 3 days, I'll be participating in the neighborhood walk. But the story of how it ended up my neighborhood is an interesting one.
In a great sense, I owe ending up here to my friend Elden.

In early 2000, on a mailing list I participate in, a simple question came. It began: Hi all, I was wondering if any Pittsburgh-familiar folks know anything about the PRR's "Allegheny and South Side Railroad". What little I know is that by the 40's it was a single-track running from PRR's 21st Street Yard adjacent to the P&LE tracks on the South Side west to the Pittsburgh Terminal Warehouse Transfer operation near the Liberty Bridge. We've had an ongoing dialog about it since then, and I wrote a wikipedia article on the subject. But at the time, it harkened back to my high school days, when my high school's home football field was South Stadium and the closest ice for the hockey team other than Civic Arena was Neville Ice Arena. I visited the South Side Giant Eagle just after opening, and traveled up S. 21st St when the center of the street was still dirt from the rail line which had been located along it.

It took a couple months before Elden managed to hook me, but once he did, the neighborhood became a second passion for me. I started doing research, looking at maps, pictures, anything I could lay my hands on. In 2006, disheartened by the amount of time I spent in a typical day traveling from Trafford to Pittsburgh and back, and looking for a less sedentary, more participatory lifestyle, I made my move. It's been just 2 years since.

The idea of a photo walk here is actually an old one: I've done it before (and drew a map to boot). The difference now is it's actually *my* neighborhood.