Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Pittsburgh Two-Step (

This is where we live. Mable, we love ya.

The Pittsburgh Two-Step ( Follow the Staircases to South Side Slopes

But as I pass back over the railroad tracks, I find sustenance at Mabel Meyers's tiny grocery on Bradish Street.

Clad in a University of Pittsburgh sweatshirt and black sneakers, 84-year-old Meyers welcomes strangers as well as locals (evidently dogs are regulars too; a pair gets a big hello as they drag their young owner through the door). After 1,400 steps, I'd pay almost anything for a soda. But Meyers won't hear of it. "Let me treat you!" she says.

We compromise. I offer her 50 cents and she gives me a soda, a plastic chair next to the candy counter and her autobiography.
After World War II, when she and her husband bought the 1889-era shop, business was good. Their grocery was next to the lower station of the Knoxville Incline, one of the cable car lines that carried passengers and even horse-drawn wagons uphill till 11 at night. (Two, the Monongahela and Duquesne, survive). Incline passengers would wave to her children as the car rose uphill.

"My son Herbie always says, 'We lived history,' " she says. The incline shut in 1960; Meyers started closing shop earlier and earlier, but still spends her days selling soft pretzels and snacks.

"Even if I don't make money, I talk to people," she says with satisfaction. "I've got a very good life here. Where else could you live that's so convenient?"

To read the article, but you'll need to register with the site. Hope to see you around so you can travel the steps as well.

Trib's Mike S

South Side keeps churning -

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