Adventures in Pittsburgh

Steelcityscape sculpture by Aaronel deRoy Gruber, made in 1976. Moved to Mellon Park in 2012

Sculpture by Peter Calaboyias, made in 1973. Refurbished and moved to Mellon Park in 2010

The last weekend in November was my birthday. I got to decide what to do. Kristy and I started out by watching Rick Sebak’s special “25 Things I Like About Pittsburgh” online. We don’t own a TV so this was a special treat! It was so inspiring and of course there were things mentioned that I could say I haven’t explored or didn’t know existed. I tend to do things out of habit and don’t venture into different neighborhoods all that often. This is hard to admit since we are the city of neighborhoods! I mean we have so many interesting things to explore!

I thought it would be a good day to just drive around and not have agenda. I wanted to first check out the sculptures in Mellon Park. I walk past this on my way to work but I never go into the park much. These two sculptures were created years ago but are a recent addition to the park.

Next stop, Polish Hill! The extent of hanging out here is a long time ago when I would go to Gooski’s or Donny’s which I haven’t been to either in years. We drove along the road on Rick’s special where he takes you near Pgh Filmmakers. You turn off into an alley but I think it continues to be Melwood Avenue. It’s a quiet and windy road that leads you into Polish Hill.

We pulled over under the Bloomfield bridge because we noticed some really great graffiti. We went under to take some photos, met some random guy who comes there to relax. He told us the best time to visit is in the summer because there is always new work to look at. He gave us some other recommendations on where to find good graffiti.

Out of all the graffiti, this sign was my favorite one! Such great hand type.

I always passed this overlook when I use to commute and I thought, why not stop here! It’s official name is Frank Curto Park. We pulled over but it’s hard to tell that you can even park because the entrance looks like a foot path. It was an odd mix of sculptures that aren’t labeled. It’s a mystery who made the big “french frie” one.

It was time to eat and drink so we headed Downtown and the great thing is, you can park in the Pittsburgh Parking Authority garages for free during the holidays! We took advantage of this and when I went to the top of the roof to see the view, I saw this great signage.

From 1998 to 2000, I lived Downtown across from Fifth Avenue Place. My building was on on Fifth / Penn / Liberty, in an alley next to the old Art Institute. I lived there for about 3 years in a studio apartment and paid $350 in rent. Pretty unreal! I had some of my favorite memories here and it was a gathering place for all my friends. There wasn’t much to do Downtown at the time so I walked a lot to the Northside or the Strip District. I didn’t have a car and we had a pretty good bus and T system back then. Looking back, my only regret is not taking in all the amazing architecture and really appreciating the buildings that I passed by everyday. Now when I get the chance to go into the city, I really look around me, take photos and look up the history of the the different buildings. All of them have a story and even if some of them are gone, I like looking at the historic photos to see what the streets use to look like.

Artwork in an alley way

This was the first time I had ever seen the tree in PPG

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