Category Archives: The Gallery of Local Nouns

Faces: V

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Requests and Protests: XV

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Skies: V

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Poles: XLVII, XLVIII, XLIX, L

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Abandoned Shoes: A Sliver of Silver

I found this silver sandal in Garfield on August 19. After its abandonment, I imagine a small silver cloud drifted over it to dispense a silver rainstorm upon it alone. The cement dried quickly, as cement does, but the shoe … Continue reading

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Faces: IV

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Requests and Protests: XIV

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Skies: VI

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Poles: XLIV, XLV, XLVI

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Abandoned Shoes: Hydrant

I found this laceless, tongue-wagging guy in Polish Hill on August 14, just before five o’clock, and my best guess is that it was a skateboarding maneuver gone horribly wrong.

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Faces: III

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Requests and Protests: XIII

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Skies: III

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Poles: XLI, XLII, XLIII

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Abandoned Shoes: The Human Squirrel

I found this Converse All-Star around 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 14, at Friendship Park. It’s obvious what happened here: a man, compelled to mimic the squirrels, climbed up this telephone pole, only to have his shoelace catch on a … Continue reading

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Faces: II

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Requests and Protests: XII

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Skies: II

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Poles: XXXVIII, XXXIX, XXXX

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Abandoned Shoe: Flattened

I found this Kidget sandal, a righty, on Friday, August 12 in Garfield, at 12:48 p.m. Unlike the majority of abandoned kids’ shoes, which are arranged post-abandonment like gallery pieces, this one is splayed across a patch of gray dirt. … Continue reading

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Faces: I

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Requests and Protests: XI

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Skies: I

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Poles: XXXV, XXXVI, XXXVII

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Abandoned Shoes: Waiting

I found these stylish shoes in Friendship on Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 4:04 p.m. I imagine the woman wearing them leaning against this tree, bored to tears, waiting for the day to send her something interesting, when a white … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: XXXIV, XXXV, XXXVI

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Requests and Protests: X

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Red Doors: XXXIII, XXXIV, XXXV

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Poles: XXXII, XXXIII, XXXIV

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Abandoned Shoes: Indecision

I found these shoes outside West Penn Hospital on Thursday, July 28. One is facing the street and the other is facing the door, and I imagine the owner faced a moment of indecision. Return to hear the diagnosis or … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: XXXI, XXXII, XXXIII

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Requests and Protests: IX

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Red Doors: XXX, XXXI, XXXII

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Poles: XXXIX, XXX, XXXI

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Abandoned Shoes: At Attention

I found these boots in Shadyside on Wednesday, July 27. Although they have clearly been abandoned, as evidenced by the dumpster, they still stand at attention, as though waiting, with utter certainty, that their feet shall return. I imagine them … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: XXVIII, XXXIX, XXX

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Requests and Protests: VIII

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Red Doors: XXVII, XXVIII, XXXIX

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Poles: XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII

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Abandoned Shoes: Chores

I found this right flip-flop on Monday, July 18, in Bloomfield. Because it is accompanied by a meter, a letter, a coupon and a sprouting weed, I imagine that the wearer came outside to do some chores — pay gas … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: XXV, XXVI, XXVII

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Requests and Protests: VII

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Red Doors: XXIV, XXV, XXVI

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Poles: XXIII, XXIV, XXV

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Abandoned Shoes: Where Sandals Fear To Tread

I found this flipped over sandal in Bloomfield on July 17. It’s chewed up along its inner edge and the cork is busted in back, but otherwise there aren’t many clues to decipher. Based on those two facts alone, though, … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: XXII, XXIII, XXIV

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Requests and Protests: VI

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Red Doors: XXI, XXII, XXIII

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Poles: XX, XXI, XXII

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Abandoned Shoes: Under the Stairs

I found this sneaker on a July 13, under a staircase leading up to the Hill District. It’s among some assorted garbage — a crumpled M&Ms wrapper and an emptied Slurpie cup — but it’s hard to know whether the garbage … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: XIX, XX, XXI

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Requests and Protests: V

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Red Doors: XVIII, XIX, XX

Disclosure: I’ve since seen this door in day light and it may not, in fact, be red.

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Poles: XVII, XVIII, XIX

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Abandoned Shoes: A Curious Case

I found these orange Nike sneakers around half past noon on Saturday, July 2. My initial assumption was buyer’s remorse. The wearer got one shoe laced up before deciding he couldn’t possibly pull off orange, regardless of how fast they … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: XVI, XVII, XVIII

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Requests and Protests: IV

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Red Doors: XV, XVI, XVII

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Poles: X-XVI (Bloomfield Debate)

There is an interesting exchange unfolding on the utility poles of Bloomfield right now. A few weeks ago word spread that someone pulled a gun on a lesbian couple coming out of the Pleasure Bar on Liberty Avenue. In response, … Continue reading

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Abandoned Shoes: Traveling Shoe

I found this shoe on Monday, June 30, on Friendship Avenue. It’s a right shoe, balanced on the curb beside a luggage tag that bears the number of a flight between Washington DC and Charleston, as well as a sticker … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: XIII, XIV, XV

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Requests and Protests: III

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Red Doors: XII, XIII, XIV

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Poles: VII, VIII, IX

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Abandoned Shoes: Poof!

I found these L.A. Gear walking sneakers on June 26, a Sunday in the mid to upper 60s. They are not so much abandoned as, I believe, left behind. Save for the slight scuffing around the toes, these shoes are … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: Bloomfield IV

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Requests and Protests: II

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Red Doors: New Life Ministries, Polish Hill Gate, Lawrenceville House

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Poles: IV, V, VI

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Abandoned Shoes: Shoes and Bottles

I found these shoes twenty seconds apart under the railroad trestle at 33rd Street in the Strip District on June 14, a Tuesday afternoon in the mid-60s. The first is a black croc beside a water bottle and the second … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: Polish Hill I

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Requests and Protests: Prologue (I)

The second new Gallery of Local Nouns is Requests and Protests. Sometimes people need to make their needs and views known to everyone else. Sometimes they scribble a comment and sometimes they leave a note. Sometimes they use words and … Continue reading

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Red Doors: Lawrenceville House I

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Poles: Prologue (I, II, III)

I’m introducing two new Galleries of Local Nouns this week. The first is poles. Like most cities, every block of Pittsburgh is home to a functional poles of some kind of another: telephone poles, light poles, poles that hold up … Continue reading

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Abandoned Shoes: Mystery Sandal

I found this sandal on Sunday, June 12 in Shadyside. It offers a few clues: underpronation, high arches and polka dots. The rest is mystery.

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No Parking Signs: Bloomfield III

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Red Doors: Antonelli’s and The Shop, Bloomfield

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Abandoned Shoes: Argyle

I found this argyle sneaker, a righty, on Smallman Street in the Strip District on Saturday June 4, during a stretch of mild to warm weather that topped out in the mid-80s. It’s facing Downtown, as is the cigarette butt … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: Lawrenceville VI

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Red Doors: Bloomfield Post Office

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Abandoned Shoes: Tickled Pink

First, a fellow abandoned shoe chronicler — writing entirely in French, no less — included my initial posting in the Abandoned Shoe gallery among his ongoing display of shoes. Please return the favor by viewing his collection of shoes left … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: Lawrenceville III

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Red Doors: Best Made Shoes and Silky’s Pub, Bloomfield

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Abandoned Shoes: A Tiny Poem

I found this little sneaker on Sunday, May 22, near Morrow Park. While I don’t want to ruin it with words, I should note that a wise friend added the quarter, for scale.

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No Parking Signs: Strip District II

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Red Doors: North Catholic High School, Troy Hill

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Abandoned Shoes: Counterfeit, Counter-feet

I found this sandal, a lefty, on Saturday, May 21, in Friendship. The signature tread says “Birkenstock,” figuratively, and the snap says “Birkenstock” literally (but you have to zoom in pretty close to read it). I went to the Birkenstock … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: East Liberty I

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Red Doors: Prologue (Fourth Presbyterian Church, Friendship)

I first noticed the phenomenon of red doors watching Mad Men. The front door of the Draper/Francis residence at 42 Bullet Park Road in Ossining, NY, is so red it glows. I haven’t found any consensus about the meaning of … Continue reading

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Abandoned Shoes: Stripped

I found this lone heel on a Saturday morning in the Strip District, May 7, 2011. Is it the remnants of a rowdy Friday night, or something more sinister? We’ll give the wearer the benefit of the doubt and assume … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: Bloomfield II

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Abandoned Shoes: This Pair, In Despair

If a boy leaves one shoe in an intersection, does that make him more likely or less likely to leave the other shoe nearby at some point in the future? Does an abandoned shoe suggest cavalier feet, no less attached … Continue reading

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Abandoned Shoes: Shadyside

I found these on Walnut Street in Shadyside on March 24, a day in the high 30s. They are under a bench, but facing the wrong way. Either the woman sat down, slipped them off and turned them around, or … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: Lawrenceville II

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No Parking Signs: Lawrenceville I

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Abandoned Shoes: Morningside

I found this white sneaker on March 12, a very lovely Saturday. It was on the far side of Stanton Avenue, the side of the street without a sidewalk, set upon a cinderblock.

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No Parking Signs: Strip District I

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Abandoned Shoes: Conversing

Sometimes shoes are abandoned only temporarily, or perhaps merely stored outside. I found the matching black Converse in the first two pictures about twenty paces apart while walking down Graham Street on February 2 of this year. And then on March … Continue reading

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No Parking Signs: Prologue (Bloomfield I)

Because parking is such a scarce commodity in Pittsburgh, homeowners fiercely guard their spots, driveways, gates and alleys. Although parking chairs get all the glory in local mythology, parking signs are just as interesting and far more common around town. … Continue reading

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Abandoned Shoes: Winter

What circumstances lead someone to lose a shoe in winter? I found the first of these on December 20, 2010. It’s a child-size flipflop — the left one — upside in the snow. Why was a child wearing a flip-flop … Continue reading

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