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Pittsburgh Banksville & Downtown & South Side Flats - May 11, 2007

On Friday, May 11, I drove to Pittsburgh and checked into my room at the Comfort Inn & Suites in Banksville, just down the hill on Potomac from Dormont, in preparation for the SSP meet on Saturday. The first few photos show the area surrounding the motel. It's not a fancy area, but the motel is affordable, clean and comfortable and a good value.









It's barely half a mile to the T (light rail) Potomac stop, but the walk starts out like this and the steepness doesn't diminish much until the last couple of blocks. Last year I walked the round trip twice in one day, and after the second time I found the free park-and-ride lot.


This part of Banksville Road is mostly commercial, largely car-care related businesses.


I didn't know that the T service to downtown had been interrupted by reconstruction of the Palm Garden bridge. When the trolley reached Fallowfield, I had to detrain and transfer to a bus to continue my trip. I shot this while waiting for the bus.

I found that to ride light rail downtown, I had to board a southbound trolley at Potomac and ride to Overbrook, and then take a short walkway to the Willow Station and catch an inbound trolley on that line. The transfers aren't well-coordinated, and each time I did it, the trolley I wanted departed just as my trolley arrived. Service only runs every 21 minutes on weekends, so it made some slow trips. Still, I preferred that to the bus transfer; the ride is more comfortable, and the overall time wasn't much different


The Allegheny County Courthouse is more than Richardsonian. It was designed by the man, himself -- Henry Hobson Richardson -- and completed in 1886, the year that Richardson died.


The courthouse is connected with the jail via the Bridge of Sighs.






The courtyard inside the Allegheny County Courthouse






Some evening shots downtown -- Pittsburgh has a good mix of contemporary architecture and vintage classics lining canyon streets.


















Construction of the light rail subway downtown made use of much preexisting railroad infrastructure, and parts of it show through in places.




I boarded the T at First Avenue and rode to Station Square, where I caught a 51C bus to South Side Flats, the popular night-life area on Carson Street.








As much as I love the neon and the commotion, when it comes to partying, for me this is probably a better idea.




















 

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Pittsburgh's got a lot of lights, and thriving businesses! Great photos, some of them make some areas of the city look like a small town.
 
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