This was a short run to cover some streets I had inexplicably missed in Shadyside. I think my original reason for not covering them in a solo run was to cover them in running with friends. That was clearly a pre-Covid plan.
At any rate, I was tired and sluggish, but the thought of crossing these off my list provided enough motivation to get out and run. It was a a summery evening. Thunderstorms had just passed through and there were lingering displays of lightning and sprinkles. Walnut Street was empty, courtesy of Covid19. Usually it would be packed with people shopping, walking dogs and spilling out of bars.
This section of Shadyside is typified by narrow Queen Anne houses squeezed together with front yard flowers. Most of these structures are not the mansions found a couple of blocks away. Additionally, there are many large, old apartment buildings and row houses, mostly well kept.
Alleys are a bit of an exception. As my Mom used to say “Queen Anne in front and Mary Ann in back”. Here is where you find the unpainted porches and a few garages in need of paint jobs.
There are also some very cute houses. The Inn at Negley, for instance, is now a luxury bed and breakfast. It also has a Little Library in front of it, for you bibliophiles.
Murals are not common here, but in a brick seating area off Walnut is the Building Bridges mural while the William Penn Tavern watering hole has some humorous ones.
This wasn’t a long run and I was happy to catch as glimpse of the Cambell’s Soup Can on Holden Street before it got too dark. I believe those are carved from a tree trunk.
That was about it. A little over three flat miles through Shadyside, dodging raindrops.
Running late in the evening in Shadyside took me down streets with million dollar homes and large porches filled with dinner guests. This section of Shadyside, bounded by Forbes Avenue and Ellsworth Avenue, extending from Neville Street to South Aiken Avenue is one of the most opulent sections of Pittsburgh. Nearby are a number of landmark Pittsburgh institutions; WQED, Central Catholic, CMU, Pitt, and Rodef Shalom, to name a few.
Like sumo wrestlers straining to push each other off the mat, these institutions are constantly pushing and shoving each other to build on precious Oakland real-estate. The wrecking ball awaits any building the sumo can replace.
While that sounds ominous, the new buildings are pretty nice, I must admit.
WQED has a prominent history and was home to Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood. I suppose that means I was actually running in Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood! Or maybe the Land of Make Believe!
I tell you what, these houses were unbelievable. The short dead-end streets are lined with ones like the seven bedroom jewel below. I’d be surprised if anyone can guess how much it last “sold” for. Just for perspective, it is neither the largest nor smallest home I saw.
Devon Road becomes a “Private Road” at some point, although it really looks like the same crews are maintaining the public road and the private road. There are even steps here, from Fifth Avenue to Warwick Terrace, but the steps are closed. What a shame. Perhaps the folks living here don’t want vagrants, runners, and broke students traipsing through.
Beyond Devon Road, I wove my way up and down the little streets. It was cool to hear the clink of glasses and chatter of conversation as so many people were sitting on their verandas enjoying the slightly cooler night. The evening drew on to full night by the time I finished four miles.