Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Hill District: Where Gems are Found

Hill District
Parking Attendant for William Penn Parking on Crawford St.

This is the happiest man I have ever met. No matter what, he always says hello and asks about my day. He even saves me parking spots closer to the entrance of the lot. This is James. He is my parking attendant. I would guess about a hundred people a day call him their parking attendant and they are lucky enough to experience his positive energy that shines from his happy soul before they trudge into work every morning.

"How long have you been working here?"
J: 8 years

"What did you do before this?"
J: I was an electronics engineer.
"No way, that's awesome!"

"What do you love most about the Hill District?"
J: The people - we become close, the community. Many of us lived together for over 30 years!

"What's a fun fact about yourself?"
J: I'm always happy!
"Yes! That is sooo true."

*Just as an FYI for those who don't live/know the different parts of Pittsburgh, the Hill District is infamous for it's low-income living accommodations and at times violence, but recently, the city has been investing in the business growth there, section 9 housing, and increased police awareness. Many of the people have lived there for decades and business used to boom and community was the most important. I look forward to seeing the Hill District rebuild itself in hopes of crushing its reputation as a dangerous part of the city. On a side note, I live borderline to the Hill District & Downtown and travel through for work everyday, so I do have personal interest in sincerely hoping it becomes a safer place *

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Business in Shadyside

 Alex, Mercurio's Gelato & Pizza 
Walnut Street, Shadyside

I'm doing this post as a half business interest, half personal interest. Meet Alex, social media man for Mercurio's. Such a pleasure getting to know him & the business just a little more - also, they have thee best wood-fire pizza ever
Making me a wonderful latte

One piece of advice for someone moving to Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh is a very 'sections' town. If you're new, you're definitely going to have to explore it. (Yessss, exactly my thoughts)

So Mercurio's - tell me something about it: Well, we are all under 30. 
And anything else? Every once in a while, when we are having beers [after work] we like to harmonize... That's pretty cool.

Personal Statement: It's from my favorite author... (instead of saying it, his tattoo said it already. I dare you to know the author - great writer) 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Most Irresistible Duo

Tyrone Ezell (Pitt Football) & Mr. Salvatore
Streets of South Oakland

I am walking behind Tyrone when I see these two stop to shake hands and say hello to each other. This was perfect. The most opportune moment for quite possibly my dream post on here.

What is your favorite part about living in Oakland? 
Tyrone: The peace and quietness.
Mr. Salvatore: Yes, I agree. All the kids are great here, I know them.
Me [inside my head]: My college nights spent awake until 4 AM.....

How long have you lived here?
Mr. Salvatore: 63 years!
Tyrone: 5 years....

When I asked Mr. Salvatore about his name this was his response - Sal, Sal-va-tooooreeeee!

I know I've already done a South Oakland post, but I couldn't help myself - this was literally perfect. Two totally different worlds living in the same part of town. I've seen these them around before, and it was phenomenal to stop & get to know them a little more.

Peace, love, and happiness.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Pittsburgh Historian

Lawrenceville - Eclipse Lounge

Tony is a musician. I met him while I walked into this interesting looking bar called Eclipse Lounge in the heart of Lawrenceville where he works as a bartender. He told me his story as he walked behind the bar cleaning the place up. His family is from Morning Side and he's a first-gen to not work in the steel mill. From the half hour chat I had with him - this guy knows his history of Pittsburgh!

I ask for advice for someone moving to Pittsburgh: "Drive."
Really? "Unless you understand the streets, you learn which are the smart ways to go where you need to go."

What's your favorite part about Lawrenceville? "I'm invested in the 'east end' so I love everything about it. There's a lot of history, some great and some not so much. 10 years ago this was a red light district, and 15 years ago it was a family area. It shifts. It's knowing that my family spent a lot of time down here."

If you would want to share something about Pittsburgh what would it be? "My feelings go in many different directions. It's a big town, not a city. So in one sentence - For better or worse, built on history."

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Walk through Oakland

Scrubs (L) & Nate (R)

What's your favorite part about Oakland? 
Scrubs: "Like the variety of restaurants we got around here. I'm a pretty big foodie. It's a nice college town and saw some good bands show up sometime."
Nate: "I'm not down here very often, but whenever I am here, I like to sit and watch people go by. It's always so busy especially on Forbes and Fifth."

We all love a little people watching, right? That's what I do for this blog!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Meet This Adorable Duo

Kenny Chesney tailgate - North Shore

I ran into this adorable little duo as I was ending my festivities in the late afternoon. The father saw me snag this photo and asked what I was doing and I said that they looked adorable together. His response? "Thank you, I know."

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Meet Mike in Market Square

Market Square - Downtown

What's your number 1 piece of advice for someone moving to Pittsburgh? "Do what you came here to do and don't get caught up with distractions. Look for ways to serve people. Find your hobbies and find ways to satisfy them."

My notes: We talked for about a half hour, made a Klip video together and I learned so much from this man. He's currently working on a project called "I Am Pittsburgh" so keep an eye for it!

The Projecteer

Uptown Pittsburgh with a South Oakland mindset

Who I am: Elisha, also known as "helloElisha"throughout social media platforms

What I do: recent college-grad trying to figure that out

Greatest piece of advice? Do what you need to do to get experience, not for recognition, not for money, but so you can do whatever you want once you've learned from those experiences. - Ma

What do I want in life? To be happy doing what I love & understanding as much of the world as possible

The Obligatory Explanation

Welcome to my new project. It's meant to be insightful, thoughtful, entertaining, and just plain fun. I'm going to tell you why I am writing this blog, why it's called Ménage a Pittsburgh, and it will be followed with a short, short post about me to start off the project.

Why? I decided to live in Pittsburgh instead of going home to suburbia Philly after college & I've been so intrigued & inspired by the Humans of New York project and the Facebook page faceburgh that I wanted to do my own version.

So what makes this different? My goal is to provide the readers with an inspiring experience with each post - whether the photo speaks to you or the short question and answer part has a deeper meaning to you - I want to aim to get to know the people I photograph, share it with you, and to get to every area of this city to be posted on here. This is from the point of view from a 22-year-old, Pittsburgh transplant with no current full-time employment, looking for more meaning in this city. There are so many parts and aspects to this city from which I have yet to understand, that now it's time for its residents to speak to us.

Ménage uhhh... French, meaning a social unit living together. Pittsburgh has so many sections: Bloomfield, Downtown, Uptown, Hill District, Oakland, Shadyside, South Side, Squirrel Hill, Greenfield, and many more - all of these parts and its inhabitants coexist within a larger scale called the City of Pittsburgh. So in the end, the title couldn't have been any more perfect. (So grammatically it's supposed to be PIttsburgh ménage, but I thought it was more fun to call it "Ménage a Pittsburgh.")

What to expect: A photo that is more or less candid, the location I ran into him or her, and an answer from the person photographed with a question I ask. The quote is my emphasis. I want you to feel inspired after reading it.

I hope you look forward to this project as much as I do and if you ever have any suggestions, I'm always more than willing to consider them.