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Friday, November 28, 2014

Lawrenceville: Hipster Heaven

 You have probably never heard of the neighborhood located in the East end of Pittsburgh known as Lawrenceville. But you will. Lawrenceville recently was named one of the top 26 neighborhoods for hipsters in the world by Business Insider.http://www.businessinsider.com/hipster-neighborhoods-around-the-world-2014-10?op=1 Other neighborhoods in the list included the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and Shoreditch in London..This is quite an honor for this former blue collar neighborhood of row houses and steelworker bars where I grew up and lived for many years.

When I grew up there, Lawrenceville was basically known for two things: an explosion at the Allegheny Arsenal during the Civil War which killed almost one hundred women, men and children ; and the location of the birthplace of Stephen Foster, the 19th century composer of songs like Camptown Races ("doo dah") and My Old Kentucky Home, played before every Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Located about three miles from downtown Pittsburgh, it is eminently walkable and served by excellent public transportation. The home of two large, public parks, it has always been a good place to raise a family. But a few years ago, Lawrenceville began to undergo a fundamental change in its character. Young people in particular began to recognize its potential. Houses were well-built and relatively inexpensive compared to other popular Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Millennials saw the potential in those homes and began flocking to Lawrenceville, where they plucked up those bargains and renovated and transformed them according to their taste.

At the same time, others saw the need for restaurants and other amenities to serve these new residents who had lots of available cash. What had been local dive bars were turned into gourmet restaurants. One of them, Cure, was recently named one of the best restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit magazine.http://www.curepittsburgh.com/#welcome-to-cure

Lawrenceville had always had a thriving art scene. But with the arrival of these new hipsters, the arts flourished.  Many new galleries and studios were built in converted houses and former retail storefronts.

So, if you are a hipster (or think you are) or if you are just looking for a nice place to live and work, you might want to give Lawrenceville a look.

1 comment :

  1. I checked out that article on top places for hipsters. Um, I'm no hipster, but I've been to Williamsburg and NoLibs and The Mission. Rio, and the Belleville and Ménilmontant sections of Paris look pretty cool, too, so I'll put them on my Bucket List.

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