aaaaaaaaaaand GO!

My facebook friend Nathan wrote:

Pittgirl:

My wife and I are in the process of relocating to Pittsburgh and I am looking for suggestions regarding affordable/trendy neighborhoods (my wife is more concerned about safe neighborhoods w/ access to Mass Transit) … any suggestions would be greatly appreciated .

I could write Nathan and make shit up about how I highly recommend Westhampsminstershire for its safeness or Derbyshirbingham for its proximity to mass transit … or I could accept that my knowledge of trendy/affordable/safe Burgh neighborhoods close to mass transit is limited and let you guys give some real suggestions.

I’m curious as to the responses because yeah, a trendy AND affordable AND safe AND mass transit-accessible neighborhood sounds too good to be true.  I’d like to live there.

Ready?  Set.  Go.





117 Comments


  1. Former Doormat Guy
    August 1, 2008 9:21 pm

    I second the comments about avoiding the “rough edge” of Dormont near the park at the end of Illinois/Arkansas Avenues…unless you want to roast hot dogs on the fires that folks would light there regularly. It’s too bad — our neighbors who had lived there for a long time were really friendly but agreed that the neighborhood had changed. As I said above, I’d stick to the Banksville/Mt. Lebo ends of Dormont, and watch out for streets with lots of apartment. And yes, the McNeilly Ave rowhouses are gems indeed!



  2. J
    August 1, 2008 11:37 pm

    Greenfield in the Hizzouse!!!!!! I thougt I’d be the only Greenfielder, but look at all of you. It makes me happy to see so many of my neighbors here. I love this city and each and every neighborhood but there is no place like home! And you can’t beat the price of top shelf liquor at Dale’s or the fact that the ladies in the Iggle or Greenfield News notice when you go away!



  3. NoSide15212
    August 2, 2008 1:06 am

    I would have to place the Central Northside/War Streets/East Allegheny ‘hoods as the most accessible to everything: walk to dahntahn, theater district, the ballparks, Warhol, Children’s Museum, Aviary, Mattress Factory, etc., as well as every major transportation artery in every direction –the Northside sits in the “hub.” For affordability, though, I would strongly suggest Beechview, Dormont, & Bellevue as affordable, accessible neighborhoods; virtually every neighborhood in the city has had its share of crime-exercise caution (don’t buy dope, don’t sell dope, and stay out of the gangs) and you’ll be fine in this very, very safe city. Also, I’m not sure why people are paying $800 rent in Beechview/Dormont/Bellevue. Very nice, quaint 3 bedroom homes can be had for $80,000. By my calculation, that’s approximately $700/month with 5% down, PMI, taxes and a train wreck of an interest rate of 8% (current is closer to 6.5%). Buy, people! Buy! It doesn’t have to be the last house you own and you’ll love the interest deduction ($1000s!!) on your income taxes.



  4. Slick Move Girl
    August 2, 2008 10:18 am

    I am late responding – please visit slickmove.net if you are moving. The Slick Move Guide is also sold on Amazon.com and is in the Hudson Book Store at the Pittsburgh International Airport and several AAA centers in the Pittsburgh area. Several home builders are also giving the book to people who purchase their homes! PittGirl – don’t you think it is time that you put me in your blog instead of just in the comments section?



  5. maxtalbot
    August 2, 2008 10:21 am

    One last thing about the Nor’Side – easy access to the river trail, which is a wonderful thing. It’s a little too short for a good bike ride (your mileage may vary), but is perfect for a run. Also, you can cross the footbridge from the trail over to Washington’s Landing and witness my absolute favorite view of downtown.



  6. Xena
    August 2, 2008 9:38 pm

    1. Regent Square–Has everything but great mass transit. Great neighborhood.

    2. Mt. Lebanon–a sidewalk community where kids walk to excellent schools. Has a Mineo’s pizza shop, good parks, nice range of restaurants. I rented a huge duplex apartment on Pennsylvania Blvd. and walked about 1/2 block to a T shop. There is also a bus route into Oakland. Diamond (#80) is right about Rollier’s Hardware. There is also a farmer’s market in front of the store–don’t remember which day of the week. Most evenings you can walk around the high school track. The houses are great value for the money and there are all types of properties.

    I’ve lived on both the Banksville and Washington Road sides of Mt. Lebo. It was all good.

    3. Swisshelm Park–small, secluded, neighborhood.

    We lived in Beechview for a long time–we could walk to our favorite Italian restaurant, Davio and my husband commuted on the T. The upper end of Beechview is very nice (the State Auditor General lives in Beechview). I’m also a fan of Dormont. Great shops. My doctor and our veterinarian are still there even though we moved north to be closer to my job. There a great dry cleaner (George the Tailor, who also does tailoring and alterations.) In the Beechview/Dormont/Mt.Lebo corridor, there are dozens of pizza shops, but in addition to the aforementioned Mineo’s location in Mt. Lebo, there is Fiori’s pizza on W Liberty Ave and the “brick oven” pizza (new name is Azzaria?) on Banksville.

    Hey, good pizza is essential to a high quality of life. All three places are take-out, no delivery. Worth driving for.

    Remember that living in the city doesn’t mean city schools, necessarily. Pittsburgh has excellent private schools, both secular and religious.

    4. Consider Ben Avon. Great housing. Close to town. Small school district (Avonworth) with very good reputation. Not far from the Bellevue and Avalon business districts and the Ross Park Mall (new Nordstrom’s).



  7. Curious
    August 3, 2008 12:33 pm

    No one mentioned South Fayette – What is up with that area?



  8. NoMansBabyMama
    August 3, 2008 10:52 pm

    Stay away from the Baldwin Whitehall area. The school district is horrific; one of mine just graduated … with honors … but he has to take special courses at CCAC in English, Composition and Math before he can actually begin his college courses in the fall semester. Plus, the taxes are exceptionally high and will continue to rise due to the high school renovation. Additionally, there is a high population of immigrants that are still being brought in and living in the Propsect Park apartments in Whitehall and the Leland Point(?) apartments in Baldwin Borough.
    My kids tell me that drugs are very accessible at the high school – even the teachers know who to get their supplies from.

    Stay away from Brookline and Beechview. Neither one is better. You don’t want to live in the city if you don’t have to, please.

    My suggestion (if you have to move back to this area) is to live outside of Allegheny County in Washington County, Westmoreland County, Butler County or Beaver County. Even living over the border in Ohio or WV is better than living in Allegheny County. The cost of living is incredibly high in this area.



  9. C
    August 4, 2008 11:10 am

    To NoMansBabyMama

    Hmmm, all this sounds well, bitter. As a spectator to the residents of Prospect Park – our problem isn’t the immigrants, it’s our white boomers that have low work ethic and addictive tendencies.
    Suggesting staying away from the city is ridiculous, they’ve asked for convenience and trendy. If you are suggesting our Xburbs – they are neither. Big plastic box of a house + long drive.
    Blasting immigrants since I doubt you are an American Indian … That’s simply ignorantly offensive.
    Finally, this remark:
    “The cost of living is incredibly high in this area.” Why you’ve just confirmed, not too well traveled are ya.

    House lookers – all the responses to your inquiry reveal one thing. We don’t have enough people to fill all our lovely neighborhoods and everyone has alot of pride about where they live except for this generic baby momma.



  10. NoMansBabyMama
    August 4, 2008 8:43 pm

    Ya think so, huh? You are the one sounding bitter my friend. Spend some time in Prospect Park … It is a mix of the immigrants and the white trash with their welfare cards and disability checks.

    To the contrary, I am very well travelled. Probably more than yourself. Not that I have to explain myself to the likes of you but I have been to 40 out of all of our 50 states (57 if you ask Obama). I have been to Europe, Japan, and Korea. How about you? Have you ever left the 152… zip code?

    When I turn on the radio/television each day I hear of the over night shooting(s) and how this city has a horrible crime problem, why would I want to suggest to someone I care about that they move into the city? The suburbs are a much better deal if you have to move to this area – the further out the better.

    Good night.



  11. c
    August 5, 2008 7:20 am

    Generic baby momma, I’m not a Pittsburgh native and have been out of the burgh most of this summer. Wherever I go, I’m hearing of shootings gangs and drugs. That is not a south Pittsburgh problem exclusively as you attempt to infer.
    “Prospect Park … It is a mix of the immigrants and the white trash with their welfare cards and disability checks.”
    Still I ask what’s wrong with immigrants – you cite that as a problem. Just because you are an immigrant that doesn’t make your existence here a negative. Now not having work for them once they arrive, that’s a problem. Once again – are you American Indian – where did you family come from doesn’t that make you of immigrant descent????????? You here label an immigrant as part of the problem. Not nice.
    For the MOST part we all came from elsewhere



  12. Kat
    August 5, 2008 9:07 am

    It’s mostly people who’ve never lived in the city who say that anyone who lives within the city limits is going to get murdered in their own home. Are there shootings in the city? Sure. Are they localized to specific areas and specific people? Yes. Does the terrible local media blow everything out of proportion? You betcha. If it bleeds, it leads. If you’re not out at 3 AM trying to score drugs, chances are you’ll be safe as houses.

    The thing is, people say that taxes are less outside the city/Allegheny county. But if you work in the city and have to spend more time and money commuting, and if your suburb causes you to pay extra for trash pickup, police and fire department services, etc., it’s a wash–you’re not saving anything. The OP wanted trendy, affordable, and public-transportation accessible. Most of the outer burbs are none of these things.



  13. diana jones
    August 5, 2008 9:51 am

    i have lived on the northside for 18 years and wouldn’t consider any other neighborhood, mainly because my current home in the mexican war streets is a gorgeous, historic district with an off-leash dog park right across the street and a nice, 25-minute walk downtown to my job. if you work downtown, you can live on the northside and won’t need a car. as for safe… NOBODY can live a life and be guaranteed safety. what whimpery is this wife!



  14. NotaBurgerAnymore
    August 5, 2008 7:58 pm

    Okay, I was once a resident of the city of Pittsburgh. I left. I left for many reasons. One of the reasons was I could not find suitable employment for my education – actually the compensation offered to me by prospective employers was not adequate for my education and work experience. So I found it elsewhere. I am not putting down (or “dahn” as burghers say) the city of Pittsburgh. It just did not work out for me. My hat’s off to those who stay. There are some nice benefits to residing in your area – not many, but some.

    I come back once in a while. I enjoy the different foods offered there. I enjoy the different people who reside there. I do not miss the traffic, potholed roads and taxes. Honest.

    You are very fortunate to have the sports teams in the area. They provide entertainment for a lot of folks in your area. I may not live there any more but I still root for my hometown teams. Hope they have good seasons this year. Maybe one day the Pirates will do well again. Probably not in my lifetime.



  15. Facebook Nathan
    August 6, 2008 7:58 am

    Just wanted to let you all know how helpful this post was/is … this past weekend, my wife and I visited Da Burgh and we found this wonderful duplex in Dormont so DING! DING! DING! DING! … we have a winner … thanks again



  16. NotaBurgerAnymore
    August 7, 2008 9:49 pm

    If Adrian’s Pizza is still on Potomac Avenue in Dormont, check it out – they had good pizza!

    Also, Tom’s Diner had good gyros! And the old Eat N Park on West Liberty Avenue was always convenient and cheap.

    Good luck to you.



  17. Lee
    August 11, 2008 9:44 am

    MORNINGSIDE!

    We live in Morningside and LOVE IT! The church is BY.NO.MEANS. bad at all! I have no idea what that person is talking about and I live 2 blocks from the church. The neighborhood is quiet and very friendly. The people are a great mix of old and young. The houses are nice and well kept by far compared to other neighborhoods. There is access to many areas from Route 28, Shadyside/Oakland, Downtown, etc. It’s a great community and I’d bet you can find a house in your price range for rent. It’s a hidden gem.