Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ninety or Bust: Trip Hits Every City Neighborhood

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ninety or Bust: Trip Hits Every City Neighborhood

Article excerpt

On Sunday morning, six people in their 20s and early 30s climbed into Alex Pazuchanics' parents' van near Station Square with water and snacks and an itinerary that took 11 hours.

They arrived in the Central North Side at 1:20 p.m., not quite halfway through their "90 Neighborhood Crawl."

It was the brainchild of Mr. Pazuchanics, a policy analyst for city Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak. He said the light bulb went on one day when he was en route to Lawrenceville from his parents' home in Whitehall. He discovered he was in Glen Hazel and had barely heard of it.

"The city gets defined by its principal arteries, and yet there are all these places, and I don't know what they look like."

He floated the idea of an all-neighborhood ramble to some friends.

"I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Sunday," said Jennifer Grab, who will enter law school at Duquesne University in the fall. "When I told friends, they said, 'What a great idea! Is the van full?' "

In charting the course, Mr. Pazuchanics picked one random intersection per neighborhood off the beaten path.

"I wanted to hit streets where people live," he said. "There's a reason why people live in all these places. I might see exactly the kind of street I'd want to buy a house on."

Now a resident of Brookline, he also signed on Adam Shuck, office manager for Ms. Rudiak; Matt Barron, policy director for Councilman Bill Peduto; Nathan Mallory, owner of Cannon Coffee in Brookline; and Lauren Stoner, field director for Erin Molchany's campaign for the state House.

From Station Square they swept through the southern hilltop and western neighborhoods before crossing to the North Side. They had been to 40 neighborhoods when I met them at North Taylor and Palo Alto streets.

"We've gotten lost twice," Mr. Pazuchanics reported.

"And the lunch schedule keeps getting pushed back," Mr. Mallory said.

"We've seen two deer, four cats and 60 Virgin Mary statues," said Ms. Grab. "We've seen so many abandoned buildings. In Manchester, there's a tree growing out of a steeple."

"We talked about what you can sustainably do with these old churches," Mr. …

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