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A walking tour of Pittsburgh

2007.03.12 — Culture | Postcards | Travel | by Derek Jensen

Pittsburgh incline

A couple descends the steep incline of Mount Washington via tram. (full res)

I spent the weekend in Pittsburgh to see a stage play (more to come on that later) and had hopes of making some photographic excursions. Rain set in on Saturday, and Sunday was sunny but very cold. Steeler winter notwithstanding, I seized the opportunity to go on a walking tour of the city and takes some photos.


I walked around the downtown area first, hunting down some turn-of-the-previous-century architecture. I got some good pictures of a couple of skyscrapers, but I was mainly interested in the touristy side of Pittsburgh.


So I walked across the cleverly-named Smithfield Street Bridge off Smithfield Street and got into the Station Square area. I had to beg several shops for change of a twenty in order to get exact change to ride the incline tram ($1.75 one-way; $2.25 round-trip), but the nice ladies at the Chinese restaurant helped me. The jerk at the coffee shop told me I had to buy something to get change, and the dopes at the pizza shop lied about not having have change for a twenty. What is this country coming to when a tourist can't get change?



Pittsburgh: city of industry . (full res)

The "incline" takes you up a couple of hundred feet to the top of Mount Washington, which is a sort of ridge overlooking Pittsburgh on the south side, across the Monongahela River. It offers a fantastic view, and there are some very nice small houses up there that must be a great place to live—incline to trolley to downtown is a low-hassle 15-20 minutes.



Skaters in the tiny park. (full res)

I took the trolley back downtown and did a little more walking. The old courthouse and jail are fantastic Romanesque revival monoliths, and several other buildings have real character—both old and new. It's a very nice downtown, really; a bit more color than Cincinnati, altho a lot of its older gems seem crowded by newer construction and don't catch the light.


Back near the hotel, I noticed the little park across from the William Penn had some nice sun. It turned out not to be much to look at, but I got an interesting snap of a couple of skateboarders.


More postcards from Pittsburgh....


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