We found ourselves back in the hilltops of Pittsburgh, exploring the neighborhoods of Arlington and Arlington Heights.
We started our tour at the intersection of Arlington Avenue and Spring Street and headed down Spring, deeper into residential Arlington. We made a right on Waite and a left on Rahe, where we were startled by a bird of prey perched on the side of one of these homes and peering at us.
We were immediately struck by the unexpected landscape of this part of Arlington, which feels very spread out and is cloaked in abundant green space. We were able to peek into a nearby cemetery from Rahe St., and as we made a right onto Jonquil Street, we entered into the back door of St. Peters cemetery.
Like Allentown, Arlington proved to be a place of much German heritage, and many of the gravestone inscriptions reflected those roots.
The slice of road that ran alongside the graveyard transported us out of the city and into some kind of secret forest.
We headed one block south to Dawes and made a left. As we continued through the neighborhood, the combination of the landscape and the presence of old, shirtless men drinking and playing cards left us with the strange sensation of being (back) in the south.
This statement didn’t exactly detract from the feeling.
But more importantly, GOOSE WATCH ’07! That’s right. What’s hiding behind that pseudo-tombstone, friends? Yep. A goose.
We turned left on Mountain Avenue, then right on Spring, where we came upon Nagel’s bar.
We saw a hint that Spring may have once been a more commercial area.
As we crossed Fernleaf, there was a shift in the neighborhood, and everything became more compact.
We turned left at Eleanor, passing by Richard S. Caliguiri Hall, a public space where groups like the 16th Ward Block Watch meet, then turned right on Elsie.
We passed by some graffiti on a set of old garage doors and a pair of matching scooters.
ACF seems to be a tag specific to Arlington, but we can’t figure out what it means.
There’s a great, funky house for sale on this street!
FYI, out-of-tahners, this is what you get for $76,000 in Pittsburgh!
We turned left onto Clover Street and crept slowly past this character and these frightening plastic bag ghosts.
We made a right on Charcot and a left on Fitler, where one Arlington fellow became suspicious of our photography and asked us what we were up to. Lucky for us, he also recommended his cousin’s pizza shop (but just the hoagies, not the pizza . . .) on Arlington Avenue for dinner.
From Fitler, we made a left on Arlington Avenue. If Arlington has a business district, it’s along this road, on the three blocks between Fernleaf and Clover. We passed the Arlington Early Childhood Center and came upon this Arlington Memories mural across the street. Technically, the mural is in the South Side Slopes, in the area commonly regarded as being part of Arlington.
We also passed St. Henry Church (for sale!) and the Rainy Days Salon, which houses a very generous bunch of hairdressers, and whose bathroom, we can attest, recommends, “If you must straddle, please wipe the saddle.”
We arrived at Stella’s Pizza and were pleased to peruse a menu of pizza slices (plates only), hoagies, and deep fried cheesecake bites. It was the kind of place that draws hoards of high school students at the end of the day, whose names and orders our new friend’s cousin knows by heart. The Peach Pit of Arlington Avenue, if you will. We dined on tasty hoagies and doubled back south to Eleanor, then to Spring.
We headed uphill on Spring and continued up Rinee (left) until it dead ended into these stairs down to Arlington Avenue.
We took a right onto Una Way, then a right onto Dippel Way, where we found this cool treehouse.
We turned left at Spring (past a naked goose!) and walked to Syrian, where we headed down the stairs, through a wooded hillside, to Arlington Avenue.
We turned right on Arlington and walked into Arlington Heights.
We headed around the loop and found the YMCA learning center and the Arlington Heights Tenant Council offices.
At the top of the hill, there’s a view of downtown.
On either side of the street, the Housing Authority has fenced off massive amounts of green space. It would make a great park, but as far as we can tell, it’s currently being used as an alien landing strip.
We came upon what appeared to be a shut-down commercial building.
We passed Loretto Cemetery.
Arlington Avenue becomes Devlin Street, and now back in Arlington, we made a left on Castel Street. At the end, we cut over to Devlin Field and explored some of the homemade trails in the woods surrounding the area.
We took a trail to Felmeth and made a right, then a left onto Devlin, and continued on Zoruba.
We made a right on Dengler and a left on Jonquil Street. We took a left on Flack and noticed this remnant of a time before Arlington was Arlington. Nobody ever said Pittsburgh’s infrastructure was new!
We turned right on Weise and right on Cobb Way, passing Arlington Elementary. We turned left at Jonquil, left at Fernleaf, right on Wenke, and left on Mountain Avenue (note: there are no sidewalks here, and many cars). From Mountain, we turned left onto Parkwood Road, which ends with a barricade. This is where walking comes in handy! If you continue past the barricade, the road turns into a former road, now overrun by wildlife.
This is a really beautiful walk, which leads back to Parkwood Road, accessible via the South Side Flats.
From Parkwood, we made a left on Bajo, where we discovered the adorable Lamplighter Church.
We continued down to Beck’s Run Road, where we saw . . . Beck’s Run.
We took Beck’s Run Road down as far as the Down the Road Saloon, right before it hits E. Carson St..
Unfortunately, we arrived on the wrong day for karaoke with Judy, so we’ll have to come back.
From there, we retraced our steps all the way back up to Mountain Road, where we headed back to our starting point.
Distance: 7.5 miles
Time: 4 hours