by Diana Nelson Jones/Dec 30
Pittsburgh has a wealth of untold stories in many of its street names. Saw Mill Way on the North Shore probably once had a saw mill. But what about Calliope Way in the Hill? Was there ever a calliope there? For that matter, was there ever a street there?
This is a horrible picture at left, partly because I took it and it was also really dark today, but see those two tire tracks? That's supposedly Calliope Way. There is no "thru" to it. There are cars parked up there. You might be able to barely make them out. That photo is taken with my back to an open field on the other side of Centre Avenue. Does anyone know why Calliope is called Calliope and whether there was ever a real street that went through?
One of my favorite street names is Progress Street because it's a dead end. It's in that industrial area west of the 16th Street bridge under the highway overpass. I call that North Shore but it could technically be Deutschtown. It starts at the mouth of the Heinz plant and ends at a little piece of Madison. Here's what Progress looks like when it comes to its bad end:
(That red thing is a grocery cart)
When we talk about the street grid, we usually mean connections that streets make to each other, but Pittsburgh has a lot of fragments of streets that maybe used to be connected but have since been interrupted by highways, plus we have valleys and rivers thatcome between a street's northern piece and its southern piece (such as Madison).
What happens to Sassafras Street, though is the parking lot of an, ahem, gentleman's club.
In Lawrenceville, between 31st and 33rd Street, Sassafras Street imitates a road in Central America before leading directly into the parking lot at Cheerleaders.
Walkabout will be trawling for more funny-street postings in ‘Ten... send some examples from your 'hood. I'll post them.