Thursday, May 30, 2013

Stairway to Nowhere

While Dave was walking around Bloomfield trying to get the best angle for the huge churches we mentioned on yesterday's post, he found this door, quite out of place in this grungy alleyway. 

On the drive home from Bloomfield, we discovered Frank Curto park, which is near Pittsburgh's Polish Hill neighborhood. According to what I could find online, it seems to have been around since the 1970's. It was named after one of the city's longtime horticulturalists, after his career with the Parks and Recreation department ended in 1970. 

Frank Curto park boasts these amazing overlook views. You can see even more, but we were only able to take photos in one direction, because the sun was hanging low in the sky. 

One of the things we really missed living in Florida was views like this. In Florida, everything is pretty flat, so its rare to find a view from anywhere but a bridge near the ocean, or a high-rise window. We love Pittsburgh because of its hills and the ability to find places like this with views of the city's rivers, buildings, and bridges. 

Frank Curto park is "sculpture filled" according to the internet, but these sculptures have all seen better days. We think this was part of the old "Goddess Adorned" installation, which originally had three statues like this and was surrounded by circular gardens filled with locally sourced plants. That installation happened in 2002. Now, all that's left appears to be one statue and a garden of weeds. Another sculpture, a giant metal one named "Pittsburgh," was installed in 1977, and looks like it hasn't been cleaned or repainted more than perhaps once since then. 

As we were traversing the park, we were stopped in our tracks by the sight of a huge male turkey crossing the pathway. We tried to quietly follow him to take pictures, and while he slipped out of sight before we could get to the camera, he did lead us to this really neat staircase to nowhere. 

This staircase clearly has not been in use for a while, but that makes it all the more appealing to us. Dave and I are both fascinated by spaces like this, where nature has come back in and reclaimed something man-made. There are plenty of pristine city parks to be found, but coming across a place like this, mostly overgrown and in ill-repair, makes you feel like you're discovering a place for the first time. It feels untouched and wild. We like that. 

The grass in the park, though, is still cut and maintained, and there has been a line of new trees planted, lending an odd mix of decay and repair to the park and making it all the more interesting. 


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