Yinzerpedia: Park'n Eat, Mount Washington and virtual library cards

Written by Ethan Magoc on .

Welcome to the second edition of Yinzerpedia, a new rubric where we present a roundup of issues Pittsburghers care about each week.

So, let's take a look. What was Pittsburgh curious about this week?

Plenty: from car insurance to Westmoreland County schools and much more.

The insightful answers — those that aren’t complete snark — serve as a helpful guide to 21st-century Pittsburgh, and we feature some of each week’s more helpful and interesting exchanges here. Please do join the ongoing discussion in our comments below.

And yes, we affectionately call this feature “Yinzerpedia,” since it takes the principle of the crowdsourcing site Wikipedia, but the "crowd" for our purposes is all of yinz.

Question: Why should I move to Pittsburgh? (March 14)

Pittsburgh skyline in fog photo by Darrell Sapp Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

(Darrell Sapp/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

First, since the questioner lives in Buffalo, Pittsburgh has the advantage of being outside the heart of the snow belt.

But beyond the additional 50 inches of snow, Buffalo is less enticing for a number of reasons, many of which were listed in that Reddit thread.

In August, we addressed the issue of Pittsburgh's reluctant Rust Belt city awesomeness, and it's worth revisiting.

Oh, did we mention this skyline?

Question: Where do I get fresh coffee beans in Pittsburgh? (March 16)

Plenty of Redditor answers, and here they all are on a map.

What's your favorite place to get fresh coffee beans?

Question: Why is it called Eat’n Park? (March 17)

Smiley Eatn Park mascot photo by Pam Panchak Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

(Pam Panchak/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

After the news this week of a "new" Eat'n Park on Banksville Road, the question, "Why is it called Eat’n Park?" came up in the Post-Gazette's morning editorial meeting.

It's apparently not a new question.

As Mike Mackin of Heinz History Center wrote for the PG in 2010, Isaly's restaurant executive Larry Hatch created the franchise in 1949, taking advantage of the post-war automobile boom. "Mr. Hatch knew the Pittsburgh area needed a restaurant to capture the spirit of the times," Mackin wrote, "and took the innovative approach of reversing the then-popular restaurant phrase 'Park & Eat' — the catchy Eat'n Park name worked."

It might have worked, and the chain is now one of the region's most popular, but its name is still in the befuddling category of "parking on the driveway, driving on the parkway."

Question: What is Mount Washington REALLY like? (March 17)

Mount Washington Photo by Michael Henninger Pittsburgh Post-Gazette1

(Michael Henninger/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The thread is worth your a read and is elucidating: about the neighborhood, which areas are better than others and more. The responses are also a reminder that a neighborhood is always more complex than its view of the city, no matter how magnificent.

Really, there are 2 Mt. Washingtons. Mount Washington on Grandview is a tourist area with fancy restaurants along a grand promenade lined with expensive condominiums. The rest of Mt. Washington, once you are a hundred yards from the edge of the hill is a rather ordinary working class "yinzer" neighborhood, some parts a bit more gritty than others. It's certainly accessible enough to town, or down the back way to the Parkway and the airport.

Question: Will you eventually be able to get a CLP library card without going in person? (March 19)

 Carrick branch of Carnegie Library photo by Robin Rombach Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

 Carrick branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. (Robin Rombach/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Any Reddit Ask Me Anything that features the word "Boopsie" as part of an answer is OK by us.

And the rest of the Q&A is excellent, too, especially if you're interested in the future of your local library.

So, "Will you eventually be able to get a CLP library card without going in person?"

For now, it seems like the answer is a "no."

"Our big issue is address verification," writes Toby Greenwalt, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's new Director of Digital Strategy and Technology Integration. "Due to our bylaws, we have to confirm that the user is actually a resident of the area to give them a free card. Commercial services have it easy, in that there's an easy way to verify through a credit card number. It's a tougher nut to crack when you're not actually selling a product."

Previous Yinzerpedias:

Swimming holes, recycling schedule and Pittsburgh (March 14)

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