Finding A New Resolution

By Andrew Shull


As the neighborhood gears up for the Holiday season, one tradition is less about the more prevalent themes of community and family: the New Year’s Resolution. And often, the New Year’s Resolution is a lofty goal that can seem daunting.


But we don’t have to greet this impending new year with the sense of dread that usually accompanies self-improvement. Why not avoid cliches and try to something a little more fun, and a little more local this year?


Let’s start by being a better neighbor.


It’s Winter, and we live in Pittsburgh. Have you shoveled your walks? If you’re able, be courteous to your neighbors and do it. There are few things more annoying to a pedestrian than an obstructed walkway. It’s also dangerous, especially for our seniors and neighbors with disabilities.


Speaking of whom, do you know somebody who is physically unable to shovel their walks? Why not help them out? If you’re unable to shovel your walks, call the United Way’s help line by dialing 211. They have programs specifically for older people and people with disabilities who might need a little extra help, especially when the weather won’t cooperate.


We can also help the whole neighborhood by volunteering locally. There are any number of fantastic nonprofits based in the neighborhood that could use a hand. Organizations like the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry, AgeWell Pittsburgh, or the Squirrel Hill Branch of the Carnegie Library
are just three among many. Pittsburgh as a whole has a robust philanthropic and nonprofit community, so find something you’re passionate about, and get involved.


The winter is the easiest time of year to get stuck in a rut, so why not try something new?


When my last lease was up, I was attracted to Squirrel Hill for a number of reasons: a fantastic community, an easy commute, and the chance to live in a unique, diverse, walkable neighborhood. But all of those reasons are a distant second place to my favorite neighborhood amenity: we have the best food here.


If there is a drawback to that, it’s that it’s easy to quickly identify a few favorites, and stick with them. Why not start with new neighbors? As far as new faces go, it’s hard to miss the facelift GreenLight Juice provided to Murray Ave. The bright, clean storefront offers a variety of different juices, and according to their website, their mission is “to provide the highest quality organic cold pressed juices.” That’s certainly sounds worth investigating for a healthy start to the new year.


Another spot that made a splash is Chengdu Gourmet, which has been serving authentic Szechuan cuisine on Forward Avenue for almost a year now. The restaurant has received universal praise for it’s menu that will absolutely alter the perceptions of Chinese food held by somebody used to Americanized offerings.



Outside of food, there are plenty of cultural events and happenings begging to be explored. Check out a new museum or gallery, especially with our cultural options right in our backyard. Go see a play at PICT, Quantum, or the Kelly-Strayhorn. A terrific cultural experience is never more than a neighborhood away. The JCC and the local Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh all offer rotating cultural programs, which might be nice when it’s just too cold for a long trek.


Which really makes it easy to Keep it Local.


We have thriving business districts, a cornucopia of fantastic restaurants, an abundance of interesting residents, and a dedicated core of people who work and volunteer to make this a fantastic community. We don’t have to go far to make a tremendous difference, and have a fantastic time.


Let’s support each other. Let’s build a better community. I’m in if you are.


Happy New Year Everybody.



about SHUC

Preserving, Improving, and Celebrating the Quality of Life in Squirrel Hill

For over fifty years, the Coalition has been an active and important link in the community. It has served as a sounding board for new ideas, as well as a “watchdog” in the areas of public safety, education, residential quality, the business district, and parks and open space. With its focus on the quality of life in the 14th Ward, SHUC continues to monitor activities and future developments in the community through a range of standing committees.


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