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Evergrey

Welcome to my neighborhood: Bloomfield!

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I moved to Bloomfield in late December 2006. Bloomfield is Pittsburgh's Little Italy and has a large business district on Liberty Ave. packed with Italian restaurants (I live above one)... as well as Thai, Chinese, Polish and burger joints. There's a number of Italian grocers, bakeries, gyms, clothing stores, bars, hardware stores and a major hospital. In addition to Liberty, Bloomfield also shares the Penn Ave. business district with a number of neighboring hoods, which is renowned for its renaissance led by grass-roots artists and art organizations. Bloomfield is a very convenient neighborhood located on a bluff about 3 miles east of Downtown in the city's East End. Bloomfield has quick access to other great neighborhoods like funky Lawrenceville, Oakland (university/museum district), posh Shadyside and the resurgent East Liberty. Retail, dining and nightlife is walkable and abundant. The neighborhood is largely composed of modest frame rowhouses and semi-attached houses on very narrow streets and alleyways. Most of the houses are covered in a rainbow of aluminum siding... which is not exactly beautiful. Some parts of the neighborhood have more stately detached brick homes. The population of the neighborhood is composed of Italian old-timers, grad students, gays and the new breed of urban pioneer. It's a stable, safe neighborhood with a lot to offer any urbanophile.

This is not a comprehensive tour... I've done some Bloomfield before... but this should give you a taste of my neighborhood

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Bloomfield... where every day is Dingus Day

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Liberty Ave.

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regarded as one of the best burger joints in the country

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the only view of Downtown from Bloomfield

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the neighborhood athletic complex

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residential in the western end of the hood

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just a little taste of Penn Ave.

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Main St.

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alley housing

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that house on the left is soo creepy lol

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enjoying Friendship Park

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heading east of Gross St. and Friendship Park... this is where some confusion begins... a lot of people consider the area east of Gross St. to be part of the neighborhood of Friendship... but the city officially recognizes everything west of Graham St. as Bloomfield... the following photos are from that disputed region

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this area does feel distinct from the rest of Bloomfield... and more similar to Friendship... due to the larger detached brick homes and yards... the homes continue to get more impressive as you move east

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Silky's

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aerial views of Bloomfield from Herron Hill... the highest point in the city

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Ciao!

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Nice pics, thank you for posting them. That is one of my favorite neighborhoods.

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Great pictures - plus my house is in one of them. I love Bloomfield. The charm and character still amaze me, and I've lived there for a couple of years now.

When my brother first moved to Pittsburgh from a small town in Central PA, he was kind of taken back by Bloomfield. It's so different from anything he'd ever seen. The houses are so close, population so dense, and the architecture and mainstreet have such an old-timey feel to it. I think at first he didn't like it, but he has now come to love it in the same way that I do. The stores are so unique, and the mainstreet serves the neighborhood well without pretense. It's nice to have everything you want within walking distance and not a big-box chainstore in sight.

It also has a little bit of a gritty feel to it, while remaining a very safe, friendly historic neighborhood.

Any ideas on what effect the new Children's Hospital will have. I think it should be a big, positive boost for the community. Even though the hospital is in Lawrenceville, to have several thousand new workers in the area should help out Bloomfield's mainstreet. There are a couple of storefronts (esp. the one below the gym where the video store used to be) that have been vacant for a little while that I would like to see filled.

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Great pics. I love Bloomfield and I'm well acquainted with it as my dad grew up next door in Lawrenceville.

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Oh yeah... I forgot about one of my favorite things about Bloomfield - its affordability. For under $100k, you can get a reallly cute rowhouse in a safe neighborhood that's a short walk from all of the cool stores, restaurants and bars shown in the pictures, and only a short bike ride from all of the city's major theaters, museums and universities.

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Nice shots. I lived there (well, in Friendship) for most of the nineties. Glad that you got a shot of Tram's Kitchen in there, best spring rolls I've had anywhere.

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Any ideas on what effect the new Children's Hospital will have. I think it should be a big, positive boost for the community. Even though the hospital is in Lawrenceville, to have several thousand new workers in the area should help out Bloomfield's mainstreet. There are a couple of storefronts (esp. the one below the gym where the video store used to be) that have been vacant for a little while that I would like to see filled.

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I agree, Liberty Avenue has a lot of potential that is not yet being utilized. I used to sort of know the owner of the building Cricket Wireless is in. She originally wanted to open a cafe there. I have been out of touch with her so I don't know what became of that. :dunno:

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And as long as I'm ranting... I'd love to see a development fill just half of that gigantic Shur-Fine (or whatever it's called) supermarket parking lot at the western end of the business district... and perhaps create a cohesive urban environment connecting Liberty to Penn Main.

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Yes that store has always been crappy. I remember back when it was a Food Land, it was really scummy. Plus it's just an ugly thing for people to see as they come across the bridge. Welcome to Pittsburgh's Little Italy, hey look a hideous grocery store!

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And then there's the beautiful Gordon's retail space which is now undergoing transformation to a 5/3 bank branch... and the adjoining building has been demolished for what I suspect to be a drive-thru bay. All you need to do is walk past the drive-thru First Commonwealth Bank at Millvale and Liberty to understand how drive-thru banks destroy urban continuity.

And as long as I'm ranting... I'd love to see a development fill just half of that gigantic Shur-Fine (or whatever it's called) supermarket parking lot at the western end of the business district... and perhaps create a cohesive urban environment connecting Liberty to Penn Main.

As for Children's... I don't see it having a big direct impact on Liberty... unless a significant number of workers decide to live here. It will, however, have a huge impact on the Penn Ave. corridor... which while attracting a lot of artists and artist-related businesses in recent years... is still a woefully underperforming district lacking many significant retail, dining and entertainment options.

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I agree with your take on the 5/3 bank. I'm not sure what kind of neighborhood reaction or resistance there was, but I think it's ridiculous for an out-of-town bank to come in and demolish a beautiful, historic building like that and replace it with a parking lot (or drive-through or whatever is going there). The storefront was empty for a while, but I don't think Bloomfield was at a point where it should've been that desperate to fill the space. I also agree that, with all of its charm, Bloomfield could do a little better than it does. I'm not sure what's been done to attract more businesses, or even what kind of businesses would do well in the few vacant areas, but they seem like prime locations for something good to move in.

Of course I also agree that the hospital will be a huge boost for Penn (and probably Butler). Do you worry at all that this development may hurt Bloomfield's business district? I've wondered about this considering the resurgence of East Liberty and some of the continued development in Shadyside, Lawrenceville, and the Baum corridor. I wonder if development and rebirth in one area may come at the expense of the others. I know there was talk of coming up with a cohesive plan so that these areas won't compete with each other, but I'm not sure if a plan ever came about.

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The more I think about it, I personally don't think that the new Children's Hospital will hurt the established businesses in Bloomfield. The resurgence of Penn will come primarily because of the thousands of new workers, patients, and guests that will be coming into Lawrenceville every day. New restaurants, shops, and housing will probably spring up on or near Penn to attract these people who used to drive into Oakland daily.

Bloomfield seems to be supported by West Penn and the people in the neighborhood. While some people may drive a good distance to eat at Thai Cuisine or one of the great italian restaurants, I get the impression that the majority of the shoppers are locals. Bloomfield needs to keep improving to maintain this base of customers, and if only a small percentage of the people from Children's venture into Bloomfield or East Liberty to get some coffee, eat lunch, or pick up some groceries, I think it can only help.

Any other perspectives on this?

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Is it just me... or does PNC seem to have branches that are much more appropriate for the urban environment in this city?

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I've heard rumblings from various sources about the future of that shur-save....unfortunately they're not too much of an improvement. Supposedly one of the major drug chain stores is looking at it.

Bloomfield is definitely one of my favorite neighborhoods and really should only stand to gain in upcoming years. I mean its sandwiched right between the new children's complex and the cancer center which is expanding closer into bloomfield. I do agree that Liberty is not meeting its potential (and those drive-thru banks are absolutely frustrating, cmon its the ultimate walking neighborhood) but I do like that there's so many individually owned businesses. Save for the starbucks, subway, and cash-checking places, it seems most of them are non-chain businesses which is cool.

Plus my street is the official border of bloomfield and friendship so I love it.

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Very cool neighborhood. Looks like right out of the set of Goodfellas.

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Most of the houses are covered in a rainbow of aluminum siding... which is not exactly beautiful.

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The more I think about it, I personally don't think that the new Children's Hospital will hurt the established businesses in Bloomfield. The resurgence of Penn will come primarily because of the thousands of new workers, patients, and guests that will be coming into Lawrenceville every day. New restaurants, shops, and housing will probably spring up on or near Penn to attract these people who used to drive into Oakland daily.

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And then there's the beautiful Gordon's retail space which is now undergoing transformation to a 5/3 bank branch... and the adjoining building has been demolished for what I suspect to be a drive-thru bay. All you need to do is walk past the drive-thru First Commonwealth Bank at Millvale and Liberty to understand how drive-thru banks destroy urban continuity.

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that's just about the lamest use for that building... would've made a nice furniture shop ala Pelora

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