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Thursday, December 6, 2012

DuBloo (Down Under Bloomfield Bridge) and the Three Neville Streets

12/6/12 27M
I was out and about a bit early today, so after crossing the McKees Rocks Bridge I stopped at the Brighton Heights Java House (3619 California Avenue). Very nice coffee shop, wifi, an amazing sitting room back behind the serving counters. I'll stop there again. Very nice people.

Joined S. at the Bastille. It was pretty brisk, probably 28F, so we got started and decided to ride to breakfast. Rode around the casino and crossed the 16th Street Bridge, went to Kelly O's diner at their second location in the Strip District, 24th and Smallman. Totally excellent food, diner, staff, food. There are bike racks across the street and murals on the exterior. Total package. +Recommended.

On Wednesday's ride, some gentlement we met at Spak Bros' Pizza told us about some street art under the Bloomfield Bridge and we set out to ride over there. As we rode, I thought about Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Offramp) and I wondered, what would be the Gentri.Burgh.2.0 equivalent?

How would we code Down Under the Bloomfield Bridge? Best I can come up with is DuBloo - Down Under Bloomfield Bridge. Open to suggestions via comments.

Our first approach to DuBloo came via the Church Brew Works, Liberty Ave, Sassafras Street, Neville Street, and Lorigan Street.

Serendipity struck fast and we saw an intriguing set of metal shops, Iron Eden (see Pop City article) which was just amazing. The men working there were very hospitable and let us walk around. The grounds are open to the public Saturdays in December, set your GPS to 4001 Lorigan Street.

Up on top of the workshop, there's a rooftop patio with Iron Eden's astrolabs around the perimeter, totally cool:

We did a lot of gawking at the artwork on display then pressed on to find the expected graffiti. It seemed like there wasn't any to be found, then we realized we needed to get to the Polish Hill side of the DuBloo (Down Under BLOOmfield Bridge) ravine.

Bloomfield Bridge, Bethoven Street (sic), Finland Street, Melwood Avenue to a point back under the bridge:

On a concrete abutment that's no longer in use, somebody had anchored a sculpture of a figure looking out over the DuBloo Ravine, keeping watch over the iron works on the other side.

Anybody who has any info about the artist, the blog would be happy to attribute the work.

It's a really cool sculpture, way out of the public view.

If a person was to go out on that concrete structure and sit with the sculpture, a person might (or might not, I wouldn't know) find an iron nameplate of sorts. Possibly a cue as to the artist?

Rode North Neville Street and then South Neville Street (that's three Neville Streets so far, for those keeping score at home) and I wonder if there was just a single Neville Street back in the day, before the Busway tore up the legacy alignment of these streets.

Junction Hollow, Hot Metal Bridge, Keystone Metals. The gate was open into the future trail at Keystone Metals, no indication of whether somebody was working there or if somebody riding by decided to open the gate.

Southside, stop at REI, climbed up 18th Street to take another photo of the South Side Slopes Mural. (click to embiggen)

Inevitably, in order to get down the hill we first had to ride uphill a bit more to the top of Mount Washington. Took this photo from GrandView Park, which has a really commanding view of the town below:

Although it's a local sport to bash politicians, when you look at that skyline and the parks and the trails, somebody has been doing something right.

Rode to Allentown, 601 East Warrington Street at Beltzhoover Avenue, to take a picture of a brand new mural, no artist info available:

Proceeded via Beltzhoove Ave, Bailey Ave. and William Street, which is a mini-adventure in itself. Joined the Station Square trail and an uneventful ride to the vehicles.

The weather forecast predicts rain for the next few days, this was a great ride to have just before an interruption.

1 comment:

  1. > " I wonder if there was just a single Neville Street back in the day, before the Busway tore up the legacy alignment of these streets. "

    Yep. Check the Pitt digital library's Historic Pittsburgh site for maps, plats, etc., from various points in history, and I think you'll find the various parts of Neville were once connected.

    However, it wasn't the Busway that split them up (along with the two Grahams, Shakespeare St., etc.) but the railway it half replaced, which used to occupy pretty much the entire bottom of the valley.