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Friday, December 13, 2013

Spring Hill and Yetta Avenue Mosaics

12/13/2013 26F 16m 208#
Started at the Bastille in mid-morning, it was very cold but also bright and blue skies.

Rode around Market Square and downtown looking for some Christmas tchotchkes, and then rode east through the Strip District to check out the new (to me, at least) Pittsburgh Public Market at 2401 Penn Ave and Soup Nancy's. They had Jumbalaya and Lentil Chili, very impressive.

The other shops there were also very interesting and skewed artisanal. There was a significant stream of growlers being refilled (for the upcoming weekend, I suppose) at East End Brewing Company's stand. Very cool.

Departed and rode to Lawrenceville to see some new street art by Jeremy Raymer, at Charlotte Street and 35th Street, depicting Blek Le Rat, the father of stencil graffiti. He drew stencil graffiti in Paris focused on rats because they are the only animals living wild in the city.


We had learned of a mosaic in Spring Hill, which is a neighborhood I've never been in.

We rode across the 31st Street Bridge - the first time I've been across it since it's reopened.

Had a very interesting climb to the top of Spring Hill via Chestnut Street, Itin Street, Rhine Street, and Walz Street. On such a cold day as this, the climb was rather pleasant and we were quite warmed up by the top of it. We found this at the three-way intersection of Walz, Homer, and Damas Streets.



There's allusions to a lot of local history in this, I look forward to learning the stories told in the mosaic. You can see the public staircases, the firehall, the fountain, and the German immigrant influence on the community. We had also been told that there's a local "Mosaic Alley" with a lot of other artwork, but that's all we knew.

We rode around looking, asking a few residents but we didn't have much luck. Finally, one man who we'd asked and left drove up to us and said, I know what you're looking for and gave us directions to Yetta Avenue. It was an essential Pittsburgh moment - you don't know what you're looking for, you ask around, people are nice, and when they figure it out they come after you to help you.

We found these houses at Yetta Avenue.


While we were taking pictures, a gentleman came out and told us about the artwork and several of the stories. Really a nice man, teaches at Duquesne and he's a bicyclist also.




We departed Spring Hill and we came down from the hills a lot faster (and an awful lot colder) than we came up the hills. From Chestnut we went straight ahead and joined the trail system under the 16th Street Bridge, and then rode around to the Bastille. It was a great day for a bike ride.

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