Moving to Pittsburgh
January 25, 2004 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Pittsburgh or Bust!

My wife and I are considering a move to Pittsburgh at the end of the year. Any suggestions for good neighborhoods to live in? [more inside]

We're specifically looking for somewhere relatively close to downtown but also far enough away from the heart of city that it's a safe neighborhood with a affordable apartment where two people can live comfortably.

We like city living, so keep that in mind too.
posted by punkrockrat to Travel & Transportation around Pittsburgh, PA (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Shadyside. It's changed a lot since I grew up there, but it still has an old-world sort of feel about it. It's close to Oakland (the university district) and downtown, and has some of the best shopping in town (on Walnut St) and there's a Wholefoods market on Center Ave. Squirrel Hill is OK too, but a little run-down in comparison.
posted by cbrody at 11:41 AM on January 25, 2004

agreed. i live in shadyside. if you avoid the yuppies living right around walnut st, it's all good.

squirrel hill is less expensive than shadyside in terms of going out to eat and shopping, and there's more variety (ethnic pockets with shops, etc). it is a little grubbier looking, maybe, but it has more character. also, there are a bunch of grocery stores on its main street (murray ave). and the best diner ever happens to be on murray too :) (debbie's diner...pamela's is also ok, and everyone talks about it.) there are a lot of students though, whether that's a plus or not is up to you. it's mostly carnegie mellon geeks, so that might tip it to a more favorable balance...

both areas have sections which are very beautiful in the spring and fall, too. beautiful brick houses and foliage and architecture. of course, it's interspersed with grubby bits (go pittsburgh).

and both areas are relatively safe, especially when you consider their proximity to scary scary oakland!
posted by ifjuly at 11:59 AM on January 25, 2004

Now here's a subject that I can sink my teeth into! I love Pittsburgh, and I'm a huge proponent of living in the city (despite it's problems) in the neighborhoods, in the heart of things rather than out in the sterile, "planned community" McMansion laden suburbs.

Yes, you can see, I'm passionate.

If I can pimp my neighborhood, try Mt. Washington. We're ten minutes to downtown regardless of weather, thanks to the Incline and the T but out of the heart of the city thanks to geography. If you live on a side street you can get a very reasonably priced apartment or even a house, depending on your budget. If you're willing to walk he hills you'll be able to get to banks, groceries, a library, pharmacy and numerous eateries, ranging from everyday cheap to very extravagant, all on foot. (Driving poses no difficulties, though, there's good parking.)

Station Square and South Side are right down the hill if you're a fan of nightclub/bar sorts of places and for additional food options. It's easy access to all of the suburbs if you want to go to a mall, it's easy access to the airport, easy access to all corners, really. And you can't beat the sights!
posted by Dreama at 12:57 PM on January 25, 2004

It really depends on how much you are willing to spend and what you consider "city-living".

For instance, Highland Park, Squirrel Hill, and North Oakland, in my opinion, are very similar, yet incredibly different.

North Oakland puts you right next to Pitt, Carlow, and ridiculously close to the parkway, which is a huge plus if you're trying to commute to work. Highland Park has a very quiet feel with pockets of "bad streets", but if you pay more, you'll get a great deal. Probably one of the best deals in Pitt. Squirrel Hill is a little pricey, but has a great small community feel, with plenty of tiny shops and CMU and Pitt right around the corner.

I live in ShadySide. It's pricey as hell, especially if you have a nice place. I've seen one bedrooms from 600-1800. I'm obviously on the lower end of that, but there are some great places here. If you plan to buy a place, do not pick Shadyside. The housing here is overpriced and the city of Pittsburgh is in the midst of an overpricing bubble that will pop very soon.

Shadyside, like Squirrel Hill, is safer than most places, but I would suggest shopping around. There's nothing in Shadyside that you can't get anywhere else, except for a couple of great restaurants.

While I'm on the subject, a new crop of real estate in the WaterFront is home to many Steelers and has a great view of the river. Every corporate shop known to man is down there and it's right next to the parkway.
posted by BlueTrain at 4:09 PM on January 25, 2004

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