Tag Archives: renovation

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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Yes, You Can Do It Yourself – But You Might Need Help!

So, as I mentioned recently, last month I bought a house. This has, naturally, led to a series of do-it-yourself projects. There were some of the usual things that I have done before: painting, putting up shelves, minor repairs to toilets, water valves to be open/shut/tightened, and lots of cleaning. But we did embark on one major project that was brand new to us, refinishing our hardwood floors. How hard could this be? We’re both college-educated, reasonably intelligent, semi-handy people. We should be able to do this, right?

As it turns out, yes, we can refinish floors. It just took some patience, cooperation, a few rental tools, some library books, several Google searches, multiple trips to the home improvement stores, and lots more time than we thought it would. (Turns out that it works best to do this type of thing when you’re on vacation. Coming home after a hard day at work to sand floors is not that fun.) Below are our before, during, and after pictures. Do the floors look like a professional did them? No, but that’s OK. We like the results, are proud of ourselves and each other, learned a few things about being handy and about our relationship, and (here’s the best part) we get to tell everyone that WE DID IT ALL BY OURSELVES!

Boys’ Room – before

Boys’ Room – during (stain is half done!)

Boys’ Room – finished!

Our Room – before

Our Room – during (after all sanding was done)

Our Room – finished!

Hall – before (we took up mauve carpet only to find tile made to look like wood was underneath!)

Hall – during (under the wood-look tile there was a layer of particle board nailed to the floor)

Hall – finished!

If you’d like to embark upon some home improvement adventures for yourself, the library has a plethora of resources available to assist and guide you.  Below is just a small sampling…

How to Cheat at Home Repair: Time-Slashing, Money-Saving Fixes for Household Wear Hassles and Breakdowns by Jeff Bredenberg

Same Place, More Space: 50 Projects to Maximize Every Room in the House by Karl Champley

The Complete Photo Guide to Home Improvement

Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want by Duo Dickinson

The Portable Dad: Fix-It Advice for When Dad’s Not Around by Steve Elliott

Refresh Your Home: 500 Simple Projects & Tips to Save Money, Update, & Renovate by the editors of The Family Handyman

What’s a Homeowner to Do? by Stephen Fanuka and Edward Lewine

The Vintage House: A Guide to Successful Renovations and Additions by Mark Alan Hewitt and Gordon Bock

The Complete Guide to Green Building and Remodeling Your Home: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply by Martha Maeda

Money-Wise Makeovers: Modest Remodels and Affordable Room Redos That Add Value and Improve the Quality of Your Life by Jean Nayar

So, You’re Renovating! Do-It-Yourself Video Collection (DVD)

Spend-a-Little Save-a-Lot Home Improvements: Money-Saving Projects Anyone Can Do by Brad Staggs

Right-Sizing Your Home: How to Make Your House Fit Your Lifestyle by Gale C. Steves

Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live by Sarah Susanka and Marc Vassallo

Ultimate Guide Home Repair and Improvement

-Melissa M.

P.S. The floors even got the thumbs-up from my hard-to-please mother! That was when we knew we had really done an OK job.


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Community Preview – CLP East Liberty

If you’re enjoying today’s blog post with your morning coffee, you’re in luck, because that means there’s still time for you to get a sneak peek at the renovated East Liberty Library!  Stop by and celebrate a new beginning with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh before work, school, or play:

Thursday, July 15, 2010  
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
130 S. Whitfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

If you’re reading this after the fact, don’t fret – you can bring yourself up to speed on the renovation by clicking here for project info and photos.

Are you going / did you go to the sneak preview?  Are you a regular East Liberty library user?  Any memories or impressions you want to share?  Leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts.

–Leigh Anne

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