90 Neighborhoods and What We Love About Them
Explore the ins and outs of Pittsburgh’s incredible, diverse neighborhoods with fun things to do in every part of town.
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The invention of Mike Hanley and Jerry Dilembo, Burgatory delivers on its promise to provide a “helluva burger” and “heavenly shakes.” The burgers are made of a proprietary blend of hormone-free sirloin, chuck, brisket and short-rib cuts. There are top-notch veggie burgers, too. Most fun is the “custom creation” offering, which allows you to build your own concoction, starting with your choice of bun and burger, and finishing with a dizzying array of toppings. In the evening, the neighborhood bar crowd visits to enjoy sports and conversation around the centrally located TVs. The bar stays open late and offers the full menu, as well as a nice assortment of cocktails and bottled beers. — Valentina
[932 Freeport Road; burgatorybar.com, 412/781-1456]
Imani Christian Academy, a private school, works daily to improve the lives and the futures of its students by focusing on early childhood development and individual attention. In fall 2012, the school made a move that had the community buzzing: the Imani Saints Varsity Football team joined the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League. A shift in football conference alignment may seem like a minor change, but consider the implications: In football-mad western Pennsylvania, Imani Christian was now playing marquee matchups under the Friday night lights. “It gives our young men an opportunity to compete at a level that people from around the area can recognize,” said Tru Dixon, dean of students and athletic coordinator. In 2011, the school fielded an independent team, playing entirely on the road and traveling as far as the Erie area to find opponents; a year later, the team was playing home games at Chadwick Field in nearby Homewood. And, by the way, its players won all three of their home games, including a 40-3 rout of McDonald, Pa.’s Fort Cherry High School en route to posting a 6-3 record. The boy’s varsity basketball team fared even better, posting an 8-1 record in its first year of WPIAL competition. In a tough neighborhood, points of pride are sometimes few and far between. To the parents and teens of the East Hills, seeing their Saints take the field or court as hometown heroes is about much more than just sports. — Sean Collier
Pittsburgh artist and activist Vanessa German makes her home in Homewood South, where she frequently is found creating art on her front porch, immersed in the community she loves dearly. When an onslaught of children joined her on the porch, German obtained access to an empty house down the street at the corner of Hamilton and Hale (right on the route for the 71D) and opened Art House. There, children are given space to be safe in their art and imaginations with “Miss Vanessa” as a model for the lifesaving power of love. Art House also hosts community dinners and art exhibitions. — Amy Whipple
Handsome and historic Westinghouse High School opened its doors in 1917.
The Pittsburgh Student Achievement Center offers specialized attention, including the HAWKS mentoring initiative.
While many places offer growler service, there may be no source of suds more fully ingrained in that traditional community spirit than East End Brewing Co. The brewery’s beers also are on tap at more than 100 area bars and restaurants, where tap handles proudly proclaim the birthplace of the brews. East End stands for everything local and, until 2012, that meant a tiny brewery and taproom in Homewood, too small to meet the growing demand for East End’s beers. In its spacious new home in nearby Larimer, East End can brew more, host more and try more. (For fans of a different type of brew, Indiana, Pa.-based Commonplace Coffee Co. shares the space.) One thing has carried over: The owners, as well as four full-time employees, fight to keep East End a near-zero-waste business. Spent grain is donated to a local farm for feed. Scrap wood found at the new space was upcycled into the bar. Even empty sacks from grain are stacked and stored so that customers can later claim them. Aside from the brewery’s positive impact on the environment, local focus and frequent charitable endeavors — among them the annual, ever-popular Keg Ride, a bicycle-led keg delivery event to benefit BikePGH and other organizations — East End promotes community in the simplest way possible: by bringing people together. — Sean Collier
[147 Julius St.; eastendbrewing.com, 412/537-BEER]
North Point Breeze
Whether you've scaled Everest or get nervous on Mount Washington, The Climbing Wall has a workout for you.