You may have noticed a new feature in the spring issue of Squirrel Hill Magazine®Reflections on Neighborhood (pg. 38) by Emad Mirmotahari was the first installment of Squirrel Hill Stories. Our hope is that this column, to be written by Squirrel Hill residents, will highlight the many different perspectives and histories that fill our vibrant neighborhood.

In his article, Emad talked about the “real neighborhood” feeling he discovered in Squirrel Hill, a phenomenon he hasn’t experienced in other cities around the country or other Pittsburgh neighborhoods. He describes the experience of running into people he knows on the street in Squirrel Hill, something very different from the anonymity he was used to living in LA and New Orleans.

It’s worth noting that Emad is an Iranian Muslim married to a Mexican Catholic woman, and he appreciates that his neighbors both embrace cultural diversity and see him first as a fellow resident. Reading Emad’s story makes one proud to live in Squirrel Hill; it’s also a reminder that our daily interactions with people ultimately define a place.

We’d like to hear from you.

Whether you’ve been here your entire life, boomeranged back to raise your kids, or have only recently moved in, we want to know about what this place means to you. Why did you choose to come – or stay? When did you consider yourself home? What, to you, is distinctive about Squirrel Hill?

Please send your first-person narratives to editor@shuc.org. Essays should be 500-700 words and will be edited for clarity.

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