oranje - recent posts from my current home

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Eden Way and 43rd and-a-half Street

Eden Way runs below Butler Street for several blocks. It's a narrow alley, wide enough to let one car through at a time. The road itself is broken asphalt, patchworked in places, gravel showing through in the tracks left by passing vehicles. 43rd 1/2 Street intersects Eden Way in a T, between 43rd and 44th Streets. The last house of a group of row houses conforms to the acute angle of the inside corner of the T. It is difficult to see in this aerial photograph, but the side corner of the house is cut at an oblique angle from the roadbed, which allowed the builders to put in a side door with a small stoop.

The backyards of this set of row houses are individually fenced, which is not unusual. What is unusual are the gates that connect all of the backyards, each of which is placed along a direct line. Except for the yard that runs closest to Eden Way, all of the yards run parallel to each other. The fences are all of different construction, providing varying degrees of privacy.

43rd and 44th are broader, more traveled streets. Originally, the lots from both of these streets ran all the way back to 43rd 1/2, with that narrow alley providing back-door access. Gradually, small houses (referred to as mother-in-law houses) were constructed along the access ways.

There are pocket mazes like this one throughout Pittsburgh. In them you can find angles acute and oblique, with odd-shaped lots and architecture that serves the expedient and the utilitarian.

2 comments:

Barry said...

I love this blog. Such straightforward narration, so descriptive. The verbiage and tone display a fascination with the wonderousness concealed within the seemingly mundane that I strongly identify with. Makes me yearn to spend the weekends scouting around those neighborhoods, glean from the experience the artistry once included in everyday utility.

Peace & Love,
Barry

Susan Constanse said...

Thanks, Barry.
Let me know if you ever plan to be in my neck of the woods.