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Green Pittsburgh

Green Pittsburgh is a tour of Pittsburgh’s history, from the old mill communities of Glen Hazel and Hazelwood, up through the immigrant destinations of Greenfield and Squirrel Hill and finally to the mansions of the industrialists in Shadyside. It’s also a story of the birth and rebirth of our city: students and young professionals flock to Squirrel Hill and Shadyside, adding vibrancy that radiates from top universities. Meanwhile, redevelopment in Hazelwood and Glen Hazel aims to reclaim lost potential and offers new chances for affordable housing and a blossoming community.

photos by kristi jan hoover

What's Here?

Shadyside is the long-standing city neighborhood for the hip and wealthy among us. Even if you’re neither, you always can poke around the shops on Walnut Street or stroll through the tree-lined avenues.

Squirrel Hill North
The upper half of Squirrel Hill houses Chatham University and portions of Carnegie Mellon University. The leafy residential streets will make you feel as if you’re not in a city at all.

Squirrel Hill South
The bottom half of Squirrel Hill lays claim to some of the city’s finest green spaces, including the majority of Schenley and Frick parks.

Growing up in Greenfield seems to guarantee toughness; no fewer than half a dozen sports figures hail from the neighborhood as well as a couple of mayors. Don’t mistake success for pretension; the neighborhood is as unassuming as it’s always been.

If you want to talk up-and-coming, Hazelwood is slated by many to be the next big thing. And now that it’s no longer obstructed by mill pollution, it affords a beautiful view of the Monongahela River.

Glen Hazel
Get on the banks of the Mon in Glen Hazel, where you’ll be across the river from the likes of Sandcastle and the Waterfront. The area is part of the Almono redevelopment plan alongside its neighbor, Hazelwood.


You don’t have to be in Pittsburgh long to know that parking in Shadyside is a challenge frequently unmet. We want your adventure to be worth it, which means you’re headed to Girasole for a celebratory night on the town. The menu is seasonal, but if it happens to be fall, you can’t go wrong with the pumpkin ravioli with brown butter, pancetta and walnuts.  733 Copeland St., 733copeland.com.

Dylamato’s Market in Hazelwood has grown from a graduate student project to a local venue for quality groceries, as well as a café. We recommend stopping in when Mee Mee brings by treats from Tis So Sweet (try the nut-less brownies).  5414 Second Ave., dylamatosmarket.com.

Off the grid of Forbes and Murray, you’ll find Food Shoppe in Squirrel Hill North. Its Deluxe Italian is the kind of hit-the-spot sandwich that will fill you up in a matter of bites. Recommended for afternoons when your boss won’t notice you’re in a food coma.  5878 Northumberland St., 412/521-0718.


You can be whoever you want to be at 5801 in Shadyside, the East End’s premier gay bar. You especially want to be there for their stellar happy-hour specials, including $3 well drinks and domestic beers.  5801 Ellsworth Ave., 5801videolounge.com.


When you think of Squirrel Hill South, surely your first thoughts are of tiki bars. At least they will be if you’ve visited Hidden Harbor. Visit on Weird Science Wednesdays, where unexpected carbonation, liquid nitrogen and decomposing zombie (cocktail) cubes all come out to play.  1708 Shady Ave., hiddenharborpgh.com.

Photo by John Altdorfer

Drink your own! With the help of Greenfield’s Copper Kettle Brewing Company, of course. From measuring ingredients to designing a label, this beer is all you. You’ll have to be patient as you wait three weeks to discover how good your creation tastes, but good things take time.  557 Greenfield Ave., copperkettlepgh.com.


A visit to Ten Thousand Villages in Squirrel Hill South yields fair trade, artisanal items (household goods, accessories, art — almost anything you can think of) from developing countries. The store’s more than 70 employees all are volunteers and will help you buy a lifetime’s worth of presents.  5824 Forbes Ave., tenthousandvillages.com.

The book fates have been treating the East End well these past few years. One of the many recent additions is Classic Lines in Squirrel Hill North. The store has found a way to cram both new and used books into every last nook and cranny. The staff is helpful but not hover-y. What more could you want?  5825 Forbes Ave., 412/422-2220.

Murray Avenue Apothecary in Greenfield is a welcome throw-back alternative to chain pharmacies. The clinical pharmacists do their own compounding and work to better the health of the whole family (including the four-legged members) at life’s many stages.  4227 Murray Ave., maapgh.com/index.html.


Though the entry point to Duck Hollow Trail is in Squirrel Hill South, most of it lies within the borders of Glen Hazel, offering a nice walk along the Mon. It’s also a good spot to spend a morning fishing or to take your dog for a swim.  Second Avenue between McFarren Street and Old Browns Hill Road.

Unfortunately, the pool at Glen Hazel’s Burgwin Park has been closed for years. But renovation has brought a multi-apparatus Spray Park that allows the whole family to cool down together in Pittsburgh’s hot summers. Get wet and cool off while staying on your feet! Johnston Avenue and Mansion Street.

History nerd alert! You can find one of the oldest surviving houses in Pittsburgh — the John Woods House — in Hazelwood. It’s tucked among the other houses on the street as if there’s nothing weird about having a 200-year-old-plus neighbor. Look from the street; it’s not a public building.  4604 Monongahela St.

Photos by Adam Milliron


Food Critic's Pick

What happens when you take a classically trained chef who once ran one of Pittsburgh’s most celebrated restaurants and get him focused on sweet treats? You end up with Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, the outstanding ice-cream parlor from chef Chad Townsend and his wife Lauren. Line up — the queue at this Shadyside spot moves quickly and the wait is worth it — for year-round standards such as Chad’s vanilla and salted caramel, plus seasonal treats including rhubarb sorbet and saffron apricot. (232 S. Highland Ave., millieshomemade.com) — Hal B. Klein

Signature Event

What could be better than an event that consists of dogs dressing to the nines to benefit their less-fortunate brethren? Put your pooches on parade at the annual Bark Shadyside Pup Walk, an annual fundraiser in Shadyside for the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center. Local pet shop Petagogy and Think Shadyside sponsor the 1-mile walk through the neighborhood, which features vendors, giveaways and goodie bags for your faithful friend. (thinkshadyside.com)  — Lauren Davidson


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