Who am I?

I’m Eric Lidji. I’m a writer, and I live in Pittsburgh.

I started this website in 2011. My original goal was narrow. I wanted to collect a few articles that no one wanted to publish. One was “Welcome to Knox’s Pierogi House!”, about the local dialect. Another was “The Oaks of Oakland,” about two local artists.

Having a website inspired me. All of the sudden, I had a place to publish some of my fleeting thoughts about Pittsburgh. I started writing about anything I found interesting, in whatever way I found interesting, without worrying about whether it all fit together.

I called it “The Ongoing History of Pittsburgh.” The title had been floating through my mind for a few years, looking for the right project. It expressed my belief that the many beautiful details from days gone by were still being created, if we cared to see them.

The website evolved to become a general chronicle of life in the city told through words, photographs and drawings, and a few lackluster attempts at audio and video. I chose the tagline “The city at eye level.” It was my way of saying that my information would come from experiencing the city first hand, rather than through books or even other people.

Tiny initiatives came and went and led to others. Pedestrian Pittsburgh was a series of walking tours. These walks got me noticing recurring details all over the city. An overly ambitious undertaking called The Cathedral Map made me aware of the protractors glued all over the city. Others must have been thinking about them, too, because The Protractor Map got much more attention than I ever would have thought possible.

I started documenting other recurring details, such as Abandoned Shoes, No Parking SignsSkies, Coal Windows and those masonry signatures you find on sidewalks.

Occasionally, I witnessed little dramas. They couldn’t be photographed and lost their luster in words. I created a comic strip called as The Friendship Review. It became an art exhibit and an accompanying book called Assemble Daily News. It later transformed into one-panel comic strip called Public Notices, which ran in City Paper in 2013 and 2014.

A string of big work projects forced me to stop updating the website in 2015. Those projects included the website Generation to Generation and the book John Riegert.

I hope you enjoy snooping around. If so, drop me a line.

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