Monday, April 27, 2009

Richly Deserved Accolades

It's amazing what is possible when a hugely significant proportion of local government resources are turned over to the direction of actual grassroots organizations within the community -- and poured into cityscape beautification, restoration of its built environment, intensive public safety efforts and small-scale business district improvements. (Financial Times)

Wouldn't it be great if Pittsburgh's other 87 neighborhoods were accorded a fraction of that kind of attention and respect? What is it about Lawrenceville that has earned it this uncommon degree of tender loving care?


  1. "What is it about Lawrenceville that has earned it this uncommon degree of tender loving care?"

    The addicts are very polite.

  2. "What is it about Lawrenceville that has earned it this uncommon degree of tender loving care?"

    Here's me sounding like a broken record: a transit oriented layout and proximity to power corridors.

    Lawrenceville: Pittsburgh's first honest to God gentrification? Mayhaps.

  3. it's punk: the punks on the southside got old and are now rockabilly; the new punks cant afford southside/oakland/shadyside/bloomfield and don't cavort with the hippies in 'sliberdie and highland park. So where's a neighborhood in town with low rent, local wrasslin', cheap bier and an open mic?

  4. Be careful what you wish for. The places that bloom are NOT the ones that get attention from the city. Blooming happens generally, in spite of the city. The city and URA muck thing up -- royally.

    The city gave a lot of attention to Beechview and that crook skipped out of the country.

    The prosperity of the South Side was because the city didn't come.

    East Liberty, Allegheny North, Market & Forbes downtown.

    The attention and respect needs to be to personal liberties, justice, safety. That is the way things change -- not with gov money bribes.

  5. Paz: When you suggest, "proximity to power corridors," what do you mean by that?

    I can imagine you are talking about L-ville's geography vis a vis Downtown, or I can imagine you are talking about a high incidence of L-ville residents who know how to play ball in this City, or I can imagine you are talking about the fact that L-ville's own Sen. Ferlo is the primary gatekeeper through which a lot of dollars flows into the City, whether through the URA or other channels.

    Either way, it's pretty parochial, unless I miss your meaning entirely.

  6. Maybe "power corridor" is slang for Polish Hill. I'm not really sure what the kids are using for slang these days.

  7. Senator Ferlo, is the mini version to Lawrenceville as Murtha is to Johnstown. Is there corruption there? Power politics? Pay for play? Are the people who play rewarded in other ways? Given special appointments, rewards etc. How are those people treated who don't play? Are they vilified, careers destroyed?

    Everyone has their own assumptions, will probably take a dozen years or so to catch any one of them. Can you say DeWeese or Vion ? Anyone? Does anyone remember what part DeWeese and Veon had in their vendetta against Michael Diven, read here

    Michael Diven bucked their "authority"

    No, Lawrenceville and safety in their new found remodel were not done with safety in mind. Graziano found that out the hard way in the sleazy way that Ford operated. Where was that again? Oh yes, the Sand box lofts projects where was that? Lawrenceville. Was that the only Lawrenceville project that slid under the radar? Who could have stopped Ford? What was the position of the public safety director before he became director? Where is he from? Johnstown. So many possibilities, so little time.

  8. The latter could be, but I was referring to Larryville's geographic proximity to Oakland and Downtown. There are some city neighborhoods (Carrick) that just aren't easily accessible to these places and therefore can't attract new residents.

  9. Paz, the entire City is 55.5 sq. miles. One could argue proximity to anywhere in the city. Ferlo didn't set down his roots and political base in Carrick. Maybe things would be different there also, if he did. By the way, from Carrick, Becks Run road, Carson Street, Birmingham Bridge you are on the Blvd of the Allies to town or Oakland. Also, Route 51, Liberty Tunnels, Liberty Bridge, you are in town, or headed to Oakland. Okay argument you have, doesn't really wash.

  10. I went to school in Oakland for four years and drove Becks run to Carson to Hot Metal every day. There's no doubt in my mind that my classmates in Larryville and Bloomfield were getting home before I was. If access to major roads a neighborhood made, then Spring Hill would be a hotbed of development.

    Certainly "proximity" could be argued for any neighborhood, but you can't argue the fact that some neighborhoods, in absolute geographical terms, are closer to downtown and oakland than others are.

    Lawrenceville is prospering because of its geography. It's where you'd expect a New Urbanist settlement to be in a Rust Belt city: it's an ethnic neighborhood with a central location, industrial heritage,river views, and high density residences. Penn and 28 are nearby but don't run right through the middle of the neighborhood, and the 71A and 500 offer ample public transit.

  11. That is your argument, and it has it's strong points. Lawrenceville also has had money poured into it that other neighborhoods have not been provided. That kind of monetary attention is the point of the original argument IMHO.

    Lets hope that the addition of the New Children's Hospital will make the area better and not tie up the traffic to a stand still, in this new little haven of politically aided, and financed neighborhood recovery.

  12. The copious media attention on L'ville has been due to the success of the URA enabled Wylie Empire, over-reaching community groups (Stakeholders, LaLa)and yards and yards of frayed and yeilding urban fabric. Fluff media (and that's all it's been, kids, even in the FT!) are all about following the stories of other media outlets.
    Grassroots, my ass. Don't believe the hype. We have Cute Hell in L'ville at the expense of, say, a viable grocery for the 6th and 9th wards, playgrounds, hoop courts, dog parks - that sort of thing.