First it was Brooklyn. Now it is Pittsburgh.

The grannynanny gig takes us to cool places.

I’m trying to learn all I can about Pittsburgh. I ask all my new friends for help.

Women of a Certain Age (WOCA), Pittsburgh Mennonite Church

Women of a Certain Age (WOCA), Pittsburgh Mennonite Church. On retreat two weeks ago.

Let’s start with geography. This is a city of three rivers and 466 bridges. In the U. S., only New York City has more.

It also boasts #2 and #8 in the steepest streets in America contest. Both of these are steeper than any street in San Fransisco!

As a result of all the rivers, hills, ravines, and bridges, (and also no subway system), residents develop great attachment to their neighborhoods.

The many neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. We live in Garfield. Can you find it? Hint: that means we are East Enders.

The many neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. We live in Garfield. Can you find it? Hint: we are East Enders.

Numerous feature stories about Pittsburgh have landed on The New York Times.

Here’s one about the magnet of Carnegie Mellon University to the tech industry.

And another about books to read before heading to Pittsburgh. Right up my alley! August Wilson is one of Pittsburgh’s chroniclers.

For me, it’s exciting to reread works of Willa Cather, who lived here 1896-1906 and to see how much new research on her Pittsburgh years is now available. I’ll devote a whole post to this topic after I give a talk about this subject in December.

This fabulous walking tour will be my guide.

How about the legacy of Mr. Rogers? This was his neighborhood.

And the legacy of both Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick?

Finally, there’s the classic 36 Hours in Pittsburgh.  

And Anthony Bourdain’s idea of the perfect day in Pittsburgh.

This photo was taken from our car window the day we moved here as we got close to the skyline.

This photo was taken from our car window the day we moved here.

The city went through huge shock waves in the 1980s and ’90s as steel mills closed and Pittsburgh lost population, moving from #16 to #63 in size nationally. The people who stayed are now old. Pittsburgh has a high percentage of elders as a result.

The low cost of living, and a funky art history has attracted many artists and millennial “bohemians”

City of murals! This one is a literal stone's throw from the building we moved into.

City of murals! This one is a literal stone’s throw from the building we moved into.

Young geeks and techies who work for Uber, Google, DuoLingo, the Robotics Institute and other tech companies clustered close by Carnegie Mellon University, are pouring into the East Liberty area close to us. The city is rumored to be in the top five of Amazon’s search for a new city headquarters. Every day on the streets and in coffee shops one can eavesdrop on conversations about how the city is changing and who is benefitting, or not benefitting.

Meanwhile, our perfect days come from lots of walking, cooking, cleaning, and playing with Lydia. Here’s her latest milestone:

The month of October ends tonight as we sit on the porch of the house that Kate and Nik and Joel and Derek are slowly and lovingly transforming from abandoned building to new home. We’ll be decked out in some kind of “costume,” and we’ll have lots of candy and admiration for the neighborhood children.

We only have seven more months to live here, but as long as we are here, we want to be good neighbors. This is, after all, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

We rode the bus to Market Square soon after the tragedy in Charlottesville. The "we're glad you're our neighbor" sign, which originated in Harrisonburg, and can be seen all over the city, gives us hope.

We rode the bus to Market Square to join with others in protesting the tragedy in Charlottesville. The “we’re glad you’re our neighbor” sign, which originated in Harrisonburg, and can be seen all over the city, gives us hope.

What advice do you have for what not to miss in Pittsburgh? What Pittsburgh topics would you like to have me write about? Did any of the above discoveries surprise you?

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