My Love Letter to the South Side

Did you know that the South Side has a beautiful, newly renovated library? And that it’s open for business? And that I get to work there? It’s the best!

Photo from the South Pittsburgh Reporter

I love my neighborhood. I love the energy of East Carson Street and the (relative) tranquility of the Slopes. I love that I have so many bars, restaurants, galleries, theaters, bike trails and parks in my backyard. We even have a new dog park, so my girl Ozzy is happy on the South Side, too!

You know who else loves the South Side? Rick Sebak. Check out his DVD South Side. Learn about Veronica’s Veil and what the heck a StepTrek is. Or check out Greetings from Pittsburgh: Neighborhood Narratives, an “omnibus film created by Pittsburgh filmmakers features nine short fictional films set in diverse Pittsburgh neighborhoods, linked together via short sequences of a bus traveling throughout city streets.”

Did you know there is a work of fiction specifically based on the South Side? Scotch and Holy Water : A Pittsburgh Story by Gini Sunner. It tells the story of three immigrant families (Irish, Jewish, and Polish) who all lived and had businesses on Carson Street during World War II.

For more serious fare, check out Pittsburgh’s South Side by Stuart Boehmig. It’s part of the excellent Images of America Series and includes information about the historic buildings, people and events in the early days of Carson Street. Or visit the amazing Pittsburgh Iron and Steel Heritage Collection online and check out old South Side photographs.

Here are some of my personal favorite South Side things. (Besides the library, of course.)

I eat here. And hereHere, too. Oh, and here. I eat and drink here. I met my husband here. Look at art. Here, too. Watch art. Watch movies. Buy a bike. Get your bike fixed. I buy shirts here. I buy jewelry here and clothes here. I get my hair cut here. I get beautified and massaged here. Get coffee. Get more coffee. Get even more coffee, because there’s never enough!

And always, always, ice cream and candy.

So come visit the new South Side library! I’m always happy to give the nickel tour. Ask me questions about the geo-thermal heating and cooling system and LEED certification; because I can answer them!



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11 responses to “My Love Letter to the South Side

  1. Eric

    Awesome post Suzy!!

  2. Maria

    Great post; I just wish there was a handy bus from the Duquesne incline down along Carson Street!

    • The once was a “dinky” streetcar that ran along that section of Carson. Transfer at the Streetcar tunnel to the 50 Carson car . . . and there you go . . . oops . . . the streetcars don’t run that way anymore (sob!). Of course, if you’re not particular, you can always take the . . . bus.

  3. Reblogged this on zotterthepotter and commented:
    This is great…

  4. GREAT post, Suzy! Love our branch and our branch staff… See ya ’round the neighborhood!

  5. Marian

    I love spending time on the South Side. Tons of places to eat and drink. Lots of unique shops. And the City Theatre is AWESOME!
    Thanks to your post, I discovered more places to check out on the South Side.

  6. Kate

    Good and interesting rendition of what Southside has to offer. I’ll have to visit sometime,and I will be sure to checkout the library.

  7. Eric

    BRILLIANT post! Thanks so much for writing this!

  8. Rich Butchko

    Thank you for your post. My memories of the South Side library are precious. I remember carrying armload of books home in the 1950s when I was 10-ish years old–especially my favorites, ones with photos of jet planes. I remember, as a teen, playing hookie from South High to just spend timeless hours at the library reading whatever. Most of all, I remember many lazy, warm summer days in the reading rooms, when the high windows were open, tall fans were quietly whirring, and distant sounds from the “22nd Street” swimming pool wafted through the air. What a fabulous oasis in that little building.
    There was a kind, young librarian who always greeted me and showed me amazing books: Black Beauty, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Heidi, The Diary of Anne Frank, Swiss Family Robinson, and many more. Certainly, no less than my family, friends, and teachers, she was one of the most important figures in my life. Her gentle and kind guidance led me to the doorway of a life that would have been much, much poorer without her. I have no idea what her name was… I was under ten years old at the time.
    No doubt the library was and continues to be an unimaginably important gift to the South Side. The space confined within those beautiful polished wood walls was like no other place on the planet. Gratefully, ~~ Rich Butchko,

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