Sunday in Perry Hilltop
RATS #00305 in Perry Hilltop

Today’s run was carefully scripted and went off pretty well, with only a couple of surprises. Honestly, I wasn’t too motivated for this run, but figured I’d knock out a few streets I had missed while running with George a few months ago.

This area is Perry South, sometimes called Perry Hilltop. Most of the houses are variations of brick Pittsburgh four-square, mostly built between 1900 and 1925. Many are in disrepair and the “Condemned” blue sign of death is not uncommon. To be fair, there are a few brilliantly restored turreted houses. I lived in an old, 1900-era house for many years and can attest that maintenance and upkeep is very costly. As for restoration, that’s another tax bracket. There’s also the occasional high-rise apartment building.

It was a quiet morning, but the neighborhood was already perking up, with folks washing cars, waiting for the bus and going to church. At Wilson and Drum, singing burst through the walls of an otherwise nondescript building; it was a church. The lead vocalist was as good as any female jazz singer I’ve heard. One day, I’ll just sit outside and listen.

Not far away is a curious memorial to Negro League Baseball. It is a corner lot with a semi-circle of panels, like super-sized trading cards.

Corner Lot Baseball Cards

And, it wouldn’t be Pittsburgh without some Belgian block streets and steps. Looking at the map, I wondered why I never had been on Cutler Street. Then I saw it, a steep culmination of cobblestones and steps. Wouldn’t be surprised if they close this off after the first snow.

There were some steps off of East McIntyre which seemed to go nowhere. Then, I saw that the bottom steps had merited a “No Trespassing” sign. These hillside garages were cute, but I couldn’t decide whether they were somehow attached to the houses on the hill above or for the houses across the street. Russell Avenue looks absolutely manorial in this picture, in spite of being a long, rather deserted dead-end.

That’s about it for now. There are still many streets in this area I need to cover, so expect more runs from Perry Hilltop. Who knows what else I’ll find?

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