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Old 08-13-2008, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh--Home of the 6 time Super Bowl Champions!
10,948 posts, read 7,464,689 times
Reputation: 4802
Quote:
Originally Posted by hempfield mania View Post
Yep, paying their dues. Just don't get out of the car to ask for directions in those bad sections you end up in and you will be fine.
Unbelieveable!!

Juliempdx, if you need directions somewhere, DM me and I will help you out! I also sent you a DM!
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Old 08-13-2008, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Philly
8,589 posts, read 6,737,153 times
Reputation: 1939
Quote:
Originally Posted by COPANUT View Post
And don't forget to turn left where the Kroger's used to be.
this is the way people talk in most of Pennsylvania. In Philly it's ,turn where the ackame used to be. it can be frustrating to a newcomer but you do get used to it. most Pennsylvanians just don't realize it. Having spent some time in VA, the road system in most of this state is entirely different. they had lots of little areas right off major roads which made giving directions much easier...but also meant everything was cut off from everything else. I think it's because so much of PA predated autos that PA isn't exactly like this. as a result, we frequently navigate using landmakrs rather than street markets. "bear left where the road splits at the old schoolhouse." it's a real cultural difference like the way texans talk out of the wrong hole. frequently you just have to remind people that you don't know where the old kroger's is.

advice for a newcomer in PA, learn the way of the PA force. once you understand it's logic, you will be one with the PA. I've found that GPS inhibits learning i many ways. for getting comfortable with an area, it can't beat spending some time with a map and maybe taking a few sunday drives. do yourself a favor and pick up a good map (not just any map).
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
723 posts, read 1,647,104 times
Reputation: 465
Just visited PGH this weekend and was very impressed. Was there for a wedding near University Center. I hadn't been there for over 35 years, so I was blown away by the cleanliness and renovation that has been done since. It appears all the coal and steel grime has been sandblasted/powerwashed off most of the old buildings. The Friday night pre-season Steelers game was sold out (we tried to go), I thought Broncomania was rabid. I've traveled a lot, and must say that you've got the friendliest folks around.
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:25 PM
 
67 posts, read 153,552 times
Reputation: 29
Perhaps the reason living in Squirrel Hill isn't what you expected is that you actually live in Greenfield:

Greenfield Map

Not that I'm knocking Greenfield at all--it's nice, fairly cheap, generally very safe, and to my mind even more Pittsburghy than Squirrel Hill (which to me is a good thing)--but its charms are different from Squirrel Hill's, and if you were expecting one and got the other I can see why you feel you were misled.

And I agree with everyone who said no one in Pittsburgh would intentionally give bad directions. The road labeling is abysmal and the road naming is confusing, but given what we have to work with I think we try really hard to direct people correctly. But, for example, Monitor intersects with Beechwood three times in five blocks in Squirrel Hill. How do you explain that concisely to someone leaning out a car window? Sure, in an ideal world we wouldn't have to, but we do the best we can with what we have, I think.

On the larger topic of adjusting--I have two pairs of friends (I met both of them when I lived outside PA) who moved here last August. One pair came excited to be here, tried a lot of different restaurants and drove around and explored and tried to be as open-minded about Pittsburgh's many quirks as possible, and they love it here now. The other came with a sour attitude that nothing could be as good as the place they left, and have had only experiences that have confirmed this belief and are as sour on Pittsburgh as the day they got here. It really, really stinks that your license plate got stolen and I know the roads are confusing and I'm sorry someone honked at you, but I think trying to be positive about the city rather than keeping a tally of the things you've found not to like will only help you in the end. This is probably true of moving anywhere, but it seems to be especially true here for some reason. (And you're probably doing that, and just venting here--which is totally reasonable.)
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:17 PM
 
165 posts, read 416,138 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcsinpgh View Post
Perhaps the reason living in Squirrel Hill isn't what you expected is that you actually live in Greenfield:

Greenfield Map

Not that I'm knocking Greenfield at all--it's nice, fairly cheap, generally very safe, and to my mind even more Pittsburghy than Squirrel Hill (which to me is a good thing)--but its charms are different from Squirrel Hill's, and if you were expecting one and got the other I can see why you feel you were misled.

And I agree with everyone who said no one in Pittsburgh would intentionally give bad directions. The road labeling is abysmal and the road naming is confusing, but given what we have to work with I think we try really hard to direct people correctly. But, for example, Monitor intersects with Beechwood three times in five blocks in Squirrel Hill. How do you explain that concisely to someone leaning out a car window? Sure, in an ideal world we wouldn't have to, but we do the best we can with what we have, I think.

On the larger topic of adjusting--I have two pairs of friends (I met both of them when I lived outside PA) who moved here last August. One pair came excited to be here, tried a lot of different restaurants and drove around and explored and tried to be as open-minded about Pittsburgh's many quirks as possible, and they love it here now. The other came with a sour attitude that nothing could be as good as the place they left, and have had only experiences that have confirmed this belief and are as sour on Pittsburgh as the day they got here. It really, really stinks that your license plate got stolen and I know the roads are confusing and I'm sorry someone honked at you, but I think trying to be positive about the city rather than keeping a tally of the things you've found not to like will only help you in the end. This is probably true of moving anywhere, but it seems to be especially true here for some reason. (And you're probably doing that, and just venting here--which is totally reasonable.)
jcsinpgh, I do realize that we live in Greenfield, our landlord perfectly explained to me over the phone that we are in Greenfield but on the edge of Squirrell Hill. I personally had never been to Pittsburgh and when he explained to me where we were located it sounded perfect. I wasn't bitching about the area we live in at all just simply stating the inconvenience of having the license plates stolen.. I love our little neighborhood everyone is friendly and there are lots of little local things on our street. On top of that I think we are pretty well centrally located but hard to say when I don't know my way around.

I apologize I am used to city's who use a grid system and even though I am a Portland native and used to navigating a city with bridges and a river that runs through the middle of town much like Pittsburgh, IT IS NOTHING LIKE PITTSBURGH WHEN IT COMES TO DRIVING SO EXCUSE ME FOR EVER POSTING THIS POST
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Old 08-13-2008, 06:47 PM
 
105 posts, read 225,807 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by juliempdx View Post
jSO EXCUSE ME FOR EVER POSTING THIS POST
Are you kidding? This has been a great thread and fascinating to me personally at least. I've learned what a dinosaur I am (no GPS, no TIVO, no IPOD). I've learned that I'm not the only one who hates turning left from Darlington to Wightman.

And since someone raised it, the Greenfield/Squirrel Hill relationship is interesting. They are different neighborhoods, but they are geographically contiguous, share shopping areas (along Murray Ave and along Beechwood Blvd near the Greenfield Bridge), and share a lot of bus routes; both feed to the same high school. In addition, the area between Greenfield Ave and Beechwood Blvd that includes the shopping area along Murray, near Lilac, shares a zip code with Squirrel Hill and is in the Minadeo feeder pattern. And people in the southern part of Squirrel Hill spend a good bit of time in Greenfield, shopping on Murray Ave, driving/biking/walking through to get to the park, swimming in the public pool. From many points in Squirrel Hill to many other points in Squirrel Hill, the fastest way is through Greenfield.

Basically, I would say some people in Greenfield are oriented toward Greenfield and that's really their primary neighborhood identity, but some people who technically live in Greenfield are just as oriented toward Squirrel Hill and live in Greenfield as a kind-of suburb of Squirrel Hill. I imagine the same goes for a lot of people in Point Breeze, where there is even less of a commercial area than Greenfield. So it makes perfect sense to me that the OP could think of herself as living in a kind of "greater" Squirrel Hill while living in Greenfield, having been looking to Squirrel Hill and choosing an apartment/house in Greenfield because of proximity to Squirrel Hill.

Either way, license plate theft has got to be rare in both neighborhoods and jerks who honk at you or pass you if they think you're going too slowly on a residential street are probably equally prevalent.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Oakland CA
7,002 posts, read 9,281,892 times
Reputation: 7036
Quote:
Originally Posted by COPANUT View Post
And don't forget to turn left where the Kroger's used to be.
No -- that's Isaly's! Isaly's Past and Present (http://markstroup.com/isalys.html - broken link)
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:12 PM
 
Location: East Orlando
624 posts, read 1,117,330 times
Reputation: 283
Hey Julie:

Driving in this city was the single most frustrating thing I encountered as a new transplant 5 years ago. There were actually points where I cried (seriously), so please don't feel like you are the only person who has gone through this.

Traffic and driving here is still my #1 dislike about the city, even though in general I'm a big Pittsburgh cheerleader. Without fail, and 5 years in, we still get horribly lost literally every single time we have to go somewhere we haven't been before. EVERY SINGLE TIME. No joke. My husband still hates it because he feels like a failure when he gets lost, but we just manage it all now by leaving early and setting our expectations accordingly beforehand.

And yes, direction giving is abysmal here. They're not doing it on purpose, it's just really hard to tell people how to drive places in Pittsburgh. Give it six months and you'll be the frustrated old-timer trying to give some crazy directions to a frantic newbie from a grid city who can't even begin to understand how things work here. And don't even get me started on signage. And the crazy street layouts. And on and on...

But anyway, don't let the driving thing spoil Pittsburgh for you. It's a big nuisance here, but you will get used to it in time, I promise! And there are a lot of cool things here that you will find once you are able to navigate more effectively. We got past it, and so will you in a few months, and you'll look back at these experiences and laugh. (And if you think it will make you feel better, I can tell my "flight of stairs" story that involved a huge moving truck and crying on some sidewalk on Mt. Washington)

The license plate stealing thing is just bizarre. I've never heard of that before. It sounds like you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Anyway, welcome to Pittsburgh! Things will get better, I promise!
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:34 PM
 
15 posts, read 24,409 times
Reputation: 15
GPS/Mapquest isnt every good. I know a TON of backstreets that are not listed on them. A ton. I'll bet 15% of the roads in this city aren't listed.
The best way to learn, GET OUT AND WALK EM! Thats how I learned southside, oakland, downtown, shadeyside, bloomfield, the strip, and yes Greenfield/squirrel hill.

Pittsburgh is bar none, the most complicated city in the US, just remember every street downtown is designed in the shape of a triangle, so its impossible to get lost!


Just think when you learn it, how you can impress your out of town friends (who probably can't even find greenfield!

Last edited by mm6687; 08-13-2008 at 09:45 PM..
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:51 PM
 
2,753 posts, read 3,298,716 times
Reputation: 1700
Quote:
Originally Posted by juliempdx View Post
jcsinpgh, I do realize that we live in Greenfield, our landlord perfectly explained to me over the phone that we are in Greenfield but on the edge of Squirrell Hill. I personally had never been to Pittsburgh and when he explained to me where we were located it sounded perfect. I wasn't bitching about the area we live in at all just simply stating the inconvenience of having the license plates stolen.. I love our little neighborhood everyone is friendly and there are lots of little local things on our street. On top of that I think we are pretty well centrally located but hard to say when I don't know my way around.

I apologize I am used to city's who use a grid system and even though I am a Portland native and used to navigating a city with bridges and a river that runs through the middle of town much like Pittsburgh, IT IS NOTHING LIKE PITTSBURGH WHEN IT COMES TO DRIVING SO EXCUSE ME FOR EVER POSTING THIS POST
Take a breath....ok, now another. Have a beer, a drink, a glass of wine, or whatever else helps you relax. Things will get better. It's hard moving to a new town. But you will soon find your center. Hang in there.
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