Monday, April 07, 2008

History in the Remaking


*The following post will probably not make much sense if you didn't grow up in Lawrenceville. If you don't know what "UP THE WARD" means. Quit reading. Sorry.


Lovely one bedroom home for rent in Lawrenceville,
Partially furnished with antique dining room set and china cabinets
High ceilings and fireplace mantels, large new bathroom, cute kitchen, and all newly painted.
Fenced small brick yard.
Located on 45th, the river side of Butler St.
$650 plus utilities


This was in an e-mail forwarded to me by our good friend in the Buckeye State. So what? You might ask. Where is she going with this? You might ask.
People e-mail me stuff all the time. What's so different about this add? You might ask,
I am soooo happy you asked.

WHAT THE FUCK IS THE RIVER SIDE OF BUTLER STREET???????????????????

I'm assuming this person is talking about BELOW BUTLER.
I have so much in my head that I can't type as fast as my brain is going.

OK Ei, settle down. Start from the beginning.
OK, sigh, deep breath.
Give me a break people.

Why do people have to make things sound so much better than they are. This reminds me of a friend years ago who bought a house in Wilkinsburg. Her parents from New York came to visit. The mother said to me "Don't you love Jocelyn's lovely home in the country. (They had two trees in the back yard.) It was in fucking Wilkinsburg..........Or the people who live in ROW HOUSES, suddenly they call them TOWN HOUSES. (Lawrenceville, has lots of TOWNHOUSES)
Sorry I'm getting sidetracked.

Let me start by saying I was born on October 16, 1957 at 193 Cotton Way. In Lawrenceville. Dare I say it. Another deep breath. BELOW BUTLER. In an alley for Christ Sake.
That was back when Lawrenceville was pronounced in two syllables. Larnce-ville(In pure Pittsburgese). When I go the events in "the ville" or "LA" (Lawrenceville Area). (NOT, NOT, NOT LARRYVILLE)I can always tell the people new to the neighborhood. I guess I should say the people that paid over $100,000 for some old Polish ladies house. They ask if I am a native to Law-rence-ville. I took to calling them the" thee syllable people". When I tell them I was born and raised in the neighborhood, they are immediately surprised I can read and have an intelligent conversation. (Notice I didn't mention grammar or writing)

Don't get me wrong. I love the "three syllable-ers (my new word) Alot of them are friends of mine. And as Lawrenceville's biggest cheerleader, I am truly grateful these people took a chance and moved into my neighborhood picking up the slack for the sissy la la's who moved to Shaler-ville in the 70's and 80's.
But some things are sacred. Like when you tell people you're from Lawrenceville, and they ask you the age old question. ABOVE OR BELOW? You say BELOW. And you get the look. You know, the kind of look people from Fox Chapel give the workers from Sharpsburg at the Waterworks Giant Eagle. THAT look.

Now that I think about it. I kind of like it. "Eileen, from a townhouse on the river side of Butler Street" sounds hell of alot better that saying "Eileen, 193 Cotton Way, an alley row house,below Butler."

And as Lisa found out from experience, I can talk about Lawrenceville all I want. Just don't let me hear anyone else say anything.
They will have to answer to THIS GIRL FROM THE RIVER SIDE OF BUTLER STREET.
Sounds like I finally have some class, doesn't it?
Ok, Ok, I'm pushing it.
You get the idea.
Lawrenceville, history in the remaking. LOVE IT.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was born above butler!!!
The Madonna

Eileen, The Mayor, or Francine, depending on my mood and night of the week. said...

The Madonna, always has to be better than me.....

Anonymous said...

I love it...you know I couldn't wait to see what you would pull out of that!!!! Meanwhile...your friend from the Buckeye state is so happy and totally in love. I hope to see you all at Art All Night and cant wait for you to meet the new man.

Jasmine said...

Ok being from a town that has town houses and not row houses, I can tell you the difference (and there is one and it isn't price). It is roof lines. Row houses all have the same roof line because they are all built at the same time (and are usually one building). Town houses have different roof lines -- they are separate buldings often built as infill in alleys and between the existing structures. They now make these fake "town houses" which have different roof lines to sell them for more but that is a different story.

Eileen, The Mayor, or Francine, depending on my mood and night of the week. said...

Barb,
I thought you would appreciate that. Hope your LUPS friends have a sence of humor.

Thanks Jasmine,
The only OTHER person to know more irrelevant facts than me.....(Other than the Madonna, of course)

Eileen, The Mayor, or Francine, depending on my mood and night of the week. said...

Sense, sense of humor and they know how to spell.
ALso does your new friend have a brother? (Or Father?)

Eileen, The Mayor, or Francine, depending on my mood and night of the week. said...

One more comment just to clear things up. OK. My cousin George, who already has to go through life with the knowledge that he is not my favorite cousin,poor thing. Anyway, he lives in Shaler, and says he is NOT a sissy la la.
Not only is he a sissy la la, he is a sissy la la from BELOW BUTLER!

Mrs Depp said...

So Buckeye State has a new boyfriend who will be here during Art All Night??? Too bad I will be out of town and miss meeting him.

I remember when "west Shadyside" was invented, no one knew where the hell it was. I guess no one has a compass either.

Anonymous said...

Eileen,
Live proud!!! Just a note from a born and bred Shaler girl who is most certainly not a sissy la la… I have no shame in stating that I now live in the "slummy end of Penn Hills" (or the newly named
"235").
Hey Buckeye State is this one of those hot young things that you have been trolling for out there in the mid-west???
Karen

Eileen, The Mayor, or Francine, depending on my mood and night of the week. said...

You most certainly are not a sissly-la la......Do you think maybe you were adopted from the city?

Anonymous said...

My siblings would have me believe that I was adopted from somewhere...the city sounds about right. See you tomorrow.
Karen

Anonymous said...

Irene,

Well, thank GOD you weren't born in the HILL DISTRICT like your sister.

Rootie Kazootie

Anonymous said...

thank your lucky stars for the people willing to pay $100,000 "for some polish ladies (sic) house." Thems the folks that done brought that dump of a neighborhood back.

Eileen, The Mayor, or Francine, depending on my mood and night of the week. said...

Anonymous,
I'm guessing you have ADD or something that blocks you from finishing what you start to read. Because if you did read whole post, you would have contunued on to the part where I said
"I am truly grateful these people took a chance and moved into my neighborhood picking up the slack for the sissy la la's who moved to Shaler-ville in the 70's and 80's."
Are you from Shalerville by chance? Or maybe you're mother was one of those Polish Ladies who left for the suburbs. Thinking that would give her and her family some class?
Don't know or care.

Anonymous said...

I read the whole post and read right through your throwaway, insincere, backhanded "compliment."
Again, stop looking down your nose at the people who revived Lawrenceville with your bullshit "I was here first" community patriotism. It's nauseating. People didn't leave Pittsburgh for the suburbs -- Typical revisionist Yinzer history. They moved completely out of the state to find jobs in thriving economies to support their families; there is no shame in that and "class" has nothing to do with it. For the record, my family had 6 generations in Braddock. They left when there was nothing much to leave and my grandmother's palsied legs could no longer negotiate the steps. In any case, I don't look down my nose at anyone, even if they live in Shalerville -- presumably a slap at your fellow Pittsburghers who live in Shaler -- and wonder why you feel you need to.

Eileen, The Mayor, or Francine, depending on my mood and night of the week. said...

For this I’m asking the expert. Barb Pyles, as one of the first three syllable-ers and one of many who, agurably, are responsible for getting Lawrenceville on the upswing, do I look down my nose at you, huh? Do I? OK, maybe once when you had the “Girls out”. OK, other than that one time?
As for My “Typical Revisionist Yinzer” history n’at, I too had to relocate out of state (No, not in the South Hills) Living in Virginia in the 70’s.
But I think “presumably” is the operative word here. You presume a lot about me. As I presume (apparently incorrect) that people who read this blog get my sense of humor.
The “slap” to my fellow Pittsburghers who live in Shalerville is a long standing JOKE (dare I say it) between myself and the many, many members of MY family and friends who LIVE in Shaler.
Again, if I am “nauseating”, read someone else’s blog, maybe then you can comment on something that you know about and have the guts to sign your name.
Lighten up before you have a heart attack for cryin out loud

Eileen, The Mayor, or Francine, depending on my mood and night of the week. said...

OMG, while taking a stroll around my Shadyside neighborhood. (that's right, no longer in Lawrenceville)it suddenly occurred to me.
I bet it was your house that is on the RIVER SIDE OF BUTLER. Either that, or you are going to rent it.

unowhu said...

i'll let u guess who..i'm so far below Butler i say y'all...thats one syllable. I am, however a 3 syllagirl when it comes to l'ville. Cant wait to get in on a Thursday night out...and to go don Geneva, or is it up now?!

unowhu said...

i'll let you guess who...i.m so far below Butler i say y'all...thats 1 syllable. I am, however, a 3 syllagirl when it comes to l'ville. Can't wait to get in on a Thursday night out and go don Geneva...or is it up now?!

Eileen, The Mayor, or Francine, depending on my mood and night of the week. said...

Funny
You confused me until you said dan Geneva.
What is your e-mail?

unowhu said...

t002wsony@aol.com