*Update 10/5/12 — congrats to “pittcurl” for winning the tickets! Giveaway now closed*
The other week, I was approached to take a tour of the South Side Slopes. Having lived in Pittsburgh for 15 years, I was aware of the Slopes, but never thought twice about them. I always just thought it was a bunch of houses stacked on top of each other above East Carson Street and the South Side. However, after spending two hours walking the tour and taking it all in, my perception on this area changed — I was in love.
My fellow Pittsburghers — have you had a chance to walk the steps up from the South Side flats to the slopes? (Apparently this is home to a mix of people — including “lifers” and college kids alike.) Did you know Pittsburgh has the most steps of any city? (The “City of Bridges” is actually the “City of Steps.”) The city of Pittsburgh has 712 public stairways with a total of 44,645 steps. Have you had a chance to take in the views up there? Learn about its rich history? And did you know from every angle, there’s a different view of the city? Well — you might want to check out StepTrek, happening this Saturday, October 6. I had a chance to do the tour already, but I’m also giving away two free tickets! See below for more info, but first…
…a bit more about StepTrek and the slopes (a lot is borrowed from Wikipedia):
- In many parts of the South Side Slopes, homes offer panoramic views of the city skyline that span the distance from beyond McKees Rocks, PA to Homestead, PA
- Pittsburgh classifies public staircases as streets. 400 of the slopes’ staircases are considered legal roads and resemble actual streets on maps (except maybe Apple maps, which are still in question #dumbtechnerdjoke)
- After the first settlers of Pittsburgh arrived, the South Side grew to keep up with the city’s industrial boom. The banks of the Monongahela River became home to the iron and steel operations run by the company J&L Steel. It eventually became South Side’s largest employer, and the majority of these workers (immigrants of Eastern Europe) settled into homes in what’s now known as the South Slide Slopes (this happened about 1910). The steps were built so people could easy walk up and down to work
- In its 12th year, the Pittsburgh StepTrek will begin Saturday, October 6. You can go any time between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting in South Side Park (Josephine & 21st Streets) on the South Side. General admission is $9.99
- This family-friendly event allows each trekker to receive a map and a course narrative to take the course at their leisure. Proceeds from the StepTrek benefit the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association (SSSNA), an all-volunteer organization with a mission committed to improving this unique neighborhood and providing a unified voice for slopes residents. Primary areas of focus are public safety, neighborhood development and beautification.
- With the South Side Slopes having the greatest concentration of public stairs of any neighborhood in the city, step maintenance is crucial. And StepTrek participants and sponsors have assisted the SSSNA with its mission
I’ll let the rest of my pictures speak for themselves.
I highly recommend you stop by the event this Saturday and take it all in. Go as fast or as slow as you’d like, take in the scenery, the fall foilage, enjoy the history and take some photos. They’ll also be a band and refreshments along the way.
I’m also giving away two free tickets! Just “like” the South Side Slopes on Facebook and leave me a comment letting me know you did. I’ll choose a winner this Friday morning at 10 a.m. EST. Good luck! And enjoy our beautiful city.