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Old 07-31-2007, 11:14 AM
 
13,615 posts, read 22,239,600 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I don't understand the importance of being able to walk to the grocery store. I couldn't carry my groceries home if my life depended on it because my care is filled with bags when I go shopping. It's just one trip per week to a grocery that's often just five minutes away. With a little planning, there's no need to go grocery shopping the rest of the week.

You'll broaden your options if you drop the requirement of having a grocery store within walking distance. You really risk missing out on a great neighborhood because of your wanting to latch onto that one thing. It's very easy to adapt to planned shopping trips. If all you need is a nearby place to grab milk during the week, many neighorhoods have convenience stores for that sort of thing.


Most eastern cities have the same problem as Pittsburgh in regards to neighborhood grocery stores. Thanks for restating the lot size. You can easily have a sixth acre lot in the greater Pittsburgh area. It just won't be in what you consider a walkable neighborhood though.
When you have the option of walking to a grocery, you tend to buy what you need for that day. I know so many people that get off BART (our train service), walk to the grocery store to pick up dinner and walk home and eat. And not just prepared food -- pick up a chicken breast, some fresh veg and a bag of salad to cook.

Our local Safeway is geared towards this -- instead of two 15 item or less lanes and 10 for any amount of items... we have 6 15 item or less lanes -- and 6 regular ones -- a lot of which are closed for the most part.

It's like coupons. We don't get good ones out here anymore, because no one uses them. I get into arguments with Easterners over couponing being a good tool to save money... and coupons are for meal planners -- not for the woman trudging home after a long day at work, stopping off at the Safeway to pick up a couple of fish filets.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:15 PM
 
105 posts, read 335,178 times
Reputation: 32
I know I am coming in late. I've tried to read all the posts carefully so I apologize if my advice below duplicates something that has already been said.

But first, I just want to say: this has been a fascinating but also frustrating thread.

As with many threads, things that are common in many large metro areas are portrayed as unique problems to Pittsburgh. These include: difficulty in walking to suburban shopping centers; the decline of neighborhood grocery stores; the fact that most of the population would rather drive to work or the grocery store than take public transit or walk; the fact that public transit is mainly designed for suburb to downtown commutes, etc. I should like to add that the OP will find it difficult to live in Pittsburgh because of global warming. and because the most recent Woody Allen films shown here have been disappointing.

As I understand it, lostinpgh wants to get by with one car, to live in close proximity to food stores and bookstores (as a proxy measure for quality of life), and wants to have a relatively easy commute to Oakland (for now) and then to Lawrenceville. Her husband will commute to California PA by car. They wouldn't mind living somewhere close to California but they prioritize a walkable neighborhood and access to public transit over saving a few minutes in the car for him.

Do I have this right?

I can think of two areas they should look:

1) Arguments for Squirrel Hill (or Point Breeze or parts of Greenfield):

--a Giant Eagle in the center of Squirrel Hill
--another Giant Eagle in Greenfield for those on the southern edge
--relatively close proximity to Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and the East End Co-op on the Point Breeze side of the neighborhood
--an actual greengrocer on the lower end of Murray Ave
--sidewalks throughout
--a Barnes and Noble in Squirrel Hill; a Borders in East Libery
--two movie theaters in Squirrel Hill
--lots of restaurants
--local and walkable service-type stores and professionals--dry cleaners, shoe repair, tailors, opticians, dentists, pediatricians, internists, CPAs, etc. even a mechanic in Greenfield so you can walk to pick up the car when it's in the shop
--good public schools in the Colfax/Minadeo feeder patterns
--good public transit to Oakland (and let us assume that UPMC will indeed come up with a solution for Lawrenceville; I also would not be surprised if the Port Authority altered some of its East End routes when the new hospital opens to get closer to the entrance)

googlemaps gives a 52 minutes driving time from Squirrel Hill to California. I believe that at one point lostinpgh suggested that her husband would mainly be going offpeak
(By the way, googlemaps gives 46 minutes from Mt Lebanon. To save 15 minutes a day, you all are going to send these folks to the South Hills?)

Yes, I do know that there are many other places in the Pittsburgh area that are nice places to live. And yes, I know that always recommending Squirrel Hill makes some of us seem like the little urbanites who cry wolf (or squirrel). But Squirrel Hill seems like a good fit here for the above reasons.

2) If public schools are not a concern and they would like something a bit more urban, perhaps South Side:

--urban and walkable
--I think there is a Giant Eagle
--walkable to South Side Works where there is a Joseph Beth bookstore and a movie theater
--restaurants all over the place
--a used book store on Carson St
--commute to California: 46 minutes according to googlemaps
--the trump card?: the 54C bus which goes South Side to the North Side via Oakland and "Bloomfield." There is a stop at Penn and Main which I think is about 3 blocks from the entrance to the St. Francis/new Children's site. Here's a link to the route map: http://www.portauthority.org/PAAC/apps/maps/54C.gif
(even better for lostinpgh--the bus also goes to the Strip District)

[PS The Port Authority is indeed mainly set up for commuting from suburbs and city neighborhoods to downtown. However, there are a number of routes that go directly to Oakland--the "U" buses. And then there are these quirky routes that are not on any kind of hub and spoke-- 54C, 64A, 74A. Sometimes they don't run very often but they do allow one to get around the whole East End if one plans it out. Sounds like the OP is willing to do that.]
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Old 08-01-2007, 09:47 AM
 
56 posts, read 177,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likepgh View Post
Do I have this right?
Yes, thank you. I thought I had made all of that clear by saying we wanted to have one car and use public transit from a stronger business environment, but it is quite obvious that I did not.

I think we've narrowed our target to Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, and Friendship.
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:01 PM
 
Location: sac. calif.
3 posts, read 3,110 times
Reputation: 10
Hi everyone,
We've decided to move to Pittsburgh from California. Yours is a beautiful city with amazing homes. We're looking for a home in the $40,000 to $50,000
price range. One problem I noticed is that many of the homes are no more than a few feet apart with very limited parking . What should I do or look for
to find a little space & parking. Any Ideas ? Thanks,
Raindog
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:25 AM
 
10 posts, read 45,223 times
Reputation: 12
While the public transportation system here in Pittsburgh leaves a lot to be desired, a one car family in the East End (where all of these neighborhoods are, ie Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Shadyside, Oakland) is perfectly realistic.

My wife, my son and myself live in Shadyside and we don't even own a car, though both her and I are self-employed and can work from home, coffee shops, etc. Our son goes to school at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh in Friendship (a neighborhood near Bloomfield). We still get all over the city and our primary means of transport is the bus system.

The bus system is primarily geared toward getting people to Oakland and Downtown from all over the city, it's more of a funnel toward downtown than a grid like you'd expect, which can make getting from neighborhood to neighborhood difficult, but it's by no means impossible, you just need to do a little research.

Living in Shadyside, we have immediate access to a variety of grocery stores, playgrounds and parks. There are several decent to good school around, including a Waldorf, a Montessori and the public school in Shadyside is supposed to be okay.

Have a look at this map of Shadyside that I drew up: Google Maps (http://tinyurl.com/2py795 - broken link) It shows many things, like where parks and schools and business districts are, but it also shows how you can get buses from Shadyside to both Oakland and Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville.

We also have car-sharing via Flexcar, so you definitely don't need to own a second car, you can just use this program when you need one (we use it all the time, it's incredibly simple and straightforward).

That map is primarily focused on your destinations and the Shadyside area, but immediately surrounding Shadyside are great neighborhoods like Squirrel Hill (grab the 61A bus from Negley & Ellsworth), Bloomfield (you can easily walk there), Highland Park (500 the opposite way as Oakland), and Oakland itself.

One thing to consider is that it does get cold here in the winter, so finding a location close to your bus stop is going to be key (at least, it is for us). Also, if you're into bicycling, you can get from Shadyside to Oakland without breaking a sweat, and to Lawrenceville is mostly flat or downhill (though depending on how far down you go, you may have a little uphill hike back.)

Check out flexcar.com, bike-pgh.org and ridegold.com for more info on car sharing, bicycling in the city, and public transportation, respectively.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:31 PM
 
18 posts, read 55,143 times
Reputation: 18
I didn't read the entire thread - but read the post that said you'd like to live some place where you could walk to the grocery stores, restauarants and parks. SQUIRREL HILL it is! And you have plenty of buses from SH to Oakland. Having lived in SH until last week and having moved to the 'burbs recently, I can't tell you what a great neighborhood SH is and there's no way the suburbs will ever measure upto the the diverse, charming and cultural atmosphere that SH has.
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Old 10-20-2007, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,377 posts, read 109,091,156 times
Reputation: 35920
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Osbornebobosborne View Post
Hi everyone,
We've decided to move to Pittsburgh from California. Yours is a beautiful city with amazing homes. We're looking for a home in the $40,000 to $50,000
price range.
One problem I noticed is that many of the homes are no more than a few feet apart with very limited parking . What should I do or look for
to find a little space & parking. Any Ideas ? Thanks,
Raindog
Is this a typo? If you are really looking for homes in that price range, I suggest Beaver Falls or New Brighton, in Beaver County. You will find them. When we lived in downtown Beaver Falls, my dad rented a space in a garage. Some houses there do have them.
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:02 PM
 
2,902 posts, read 9,398,351 times
Reputation: 418
Quote:
Is this a typo?
Hm, good point. Bob, what kind of home do you anticipate for that sort of money?? You won't be living large, that's for sure.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:03 PM
 
19 posts, read 82,276 times
Reputation: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinpgh View Post
DH says there are not; they have closed. Google Maps tells me the closest bookstore is a Borders Express 13 miles away, which may be the one in Uniontown?

California gets an 8/100 on the WalkScore utility... and Charleroi gets a 34/100. However, they seem to be assuming you can walk across the bridge to the stuff in Belle Vernon -- but that would be walking along the 6" strip between the white stripe and the guard rail on the bridge over the Mon, on 70, which would just plain be taking your life into your hands.

Thanks for the info on Pleasant Hills.
There is a side walk on the bridge you mentioned. I know, I walked across it many a time.
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