Majestic Archon Oil; no isn’t the latest renaming of Standard Oil, but rather three of the alleys I finished up on this run in Friendship and Garfield. Archon Way is just a short little garage access road in Friendship. It dead-ends into a shabby garage, festooned with car parts.
Moving up the hill into Garfield, I came across this massive white house which still holds some glory, in spite of the window bars and peeling paint. I also came across this new recent construction, or is it a brutalist building? Only the architect knows for sure.
Up in Garfield, I darted in and out of alleys. Oil Way is little more than a small driveway, while Majestic Way is a steep stone stab into the hill. At the top of the hill in Garfield, the greenery takes over. One alley ends in an empty lot, now a playground. Fannel Street is as green as a lawn-bowling court with a rabbit directing traffic.
Gretna Way took me around an old school. On the way down, a sidewalk was brightly colored with this wall of names. I’m not sure what that is about. Last but not least, the Cathedral of Learning stands tall in the evening sun, the view coming down North Pacific.
February was a bit of a slowdown. I only ran 75 miles strewn across eleven runs. Only eight of them earned the coveted RATS badge. However, February was pretty cold, snowy and icy, so any miles were good miles. I’m up to about 80% of the Pittsburgh streets done. Here are this month’s last three routes.
RATS #00370 in Garfield
This was on the periphery of Garfield along Mossfield Street, with a foray onto Brown Way as the sun set. It is a surprisingly rural route, given the dense housing all around.
I made my way to Mora Way. It looks a lot better now that Dumpbusters got a whack at it last year, carting away truckloads of trash and tires. We didn’t get rid of the hill, though!
Once up on Schenley Avenue (which is totally out of place from all the other “Schenley” named parts of the city), I circled back towards the Garfield Hill. I found steps at the end of Breesport. They go up to Fort Pitt playground, though they were crumbling, snow covered and fenced off at the top. Further down North Mathilda, there are some steps falling off the hill near Reno Way. Those seem to be the remnants of a house, as there are no handrails, posts or map evidence of a street there.
I cruised down Brown Way, taking in the evening views.
This neighborhood in undergoing a rapid transformation. Old houses are falling down next to new ones and construction proliferates.
And that was it, three and a half miles done, with a friendly reminder to “Call Your Mom!”, if you are fortunate enough to have her still around.
RATS #00371 – East Liberty, Garfield, Larimer
As the weather improved, my runs lengthened. I also have an upcoming 50K, so I need to get more miles in. Today’s run was mainly about East Liberty, although I ventured briefly into Shadyside, Garfield and Larimer to cross off more streets.
East Liberty is also going through construction and destruction. At the site of former housing project, a Whole Foods is going up. On the back streets, you can still see hand-painted business signs.
This jaunt was over eleven miles.
RATS #00372 Beltzhoover
This was my fifth run in a row, so I was a bit tired and unmotivated. Nonetheless, it turned out well. Now Beltzhoover is less than pristine. Nearly every street has several “eyesore” houses. The steps are typically crumbling. However, it is a busy area, full of people walking their dogs, going to the store and working on their houses. It is also rather big.
I started along Eat Warrington Avenue, passing the metal vegan place and turning at the wild cat-snake mural next to the beer store. Of course the mural has a Steelers logo on it!
Then it was up and down alleys.
Finishing up, I caught a glimpse of South Hills Junction, where the T-Line goes into the Mount Washington Transit Tunnel.
And that’s it! Looking forward to a warmer and sunnier month!