Once a Pittsburgher …

Sinichak Jessica

The Pittsburgh Boomerang Effect is real.

If you’re one of the many who grew up here, vowed to move away, did so — and then came back again! — you know the city tends to have a magnetic-like pull on its denizens.

There are a variety of reasons why people return to the ’Burgh (affordability, jobs, mostly winning sports franchises), but among the key factors, of course, is family.

Family is why Joyce Fu found herself returning to her childhood neighborhood in Point Breeze from New York City as her father, renowned orthopedic surgeon (and our 2021 Pittsburgher of the year) Dr. Freddie Fu, battled an aggressive form of melanoma.

Dr. Fu died in September of 2021, but his daughter believes he’d be comforted in knowing that she, her husband and their three children now live across the street from her mother.

And though she has strong ties to their new home (including playing there as a child), Fu sought to reinvent it to best suit her current family’s needs, making her journey the perfect subject for Fall HOME — also known as our Renovations issue.

After all, isn’t renovation just another word for reinvention?

You can find Fu’s story by April Johnston here. Elsewhere in the Renovations issue, we take a look at the dramatic transformation of a dilapidated commercial property into a chic, urban dwelling in the heart of Downtown — and get to know a true Mr. Fix It, Chris Waraks.

Since moving to Spring Hill on the North Side almost two decades ago, Waraks has made it his mission to improve the neighboring Spring Garden community, renovating more than a dozen houses there.

Waraks isn’t your typical flipper, however. As a resident himself, his focus is on cultivating a safe, affordable community that respects the neighborhood’s past, while putting into place the pieces needed for a thriving future.

HOME Editor Jessica Sinichak can be reached at jsinichak@pittsburghmagazine.com

Categories: HOME Editor