According to an age old adage, the three most important things about real estates are location, location, and location. Whether that is entirely true or not, it is clear that location plays a significant part in the decision making process when individuals choose a place to live. In addition to wanting to live close to work, most residents also want convenient locations to shop, nearby entertainment, good access to transportation, medical facilities, a convenient place to worship, and a good school district. For individuals who reside in Pittsburgh, these conveniences differ greatly for each district of Pittsburgh. The following guide rates these conveniences in the district of Squirrel Hill.
Shopping (Necessities) – Food and medicine is easily available in Squirrel Hill. The main strip has nearly a half dozen pharmacies and the Giant Eagle grocery store is open seven days a week. In addition, there is an Asian grocery store and kosher grocery store to cover specific needs. Gas is also readily available at the BP station at the corner of Murray and Forward. The one necessity that is in short order is clothing. There is a shoe store on Forbes Ave. and a few specialty clothing shops in the area, but no casual or low cost clothing stores.
Shopping (Household Items) – The lack of any type of mall in the Squirrel Hill area shows in this category. There is no furniture store anywhere in Squirrel Hill and the only source of electronics is a Radio Shack on Forbes Ave. Similarly, tools, gardening supplies, bed & bath supplies, kitchen supplies and construction materials are all unavailable or sparsely in the district. The nearest source for most of these items is Shady Side.
Shopping (Luxuries) – While it is impossible to buy a car in Squirrel Hill, the district does sport a significant number of other available luxury items. There are multiple jewelry shops, toy stores, and luxury clothing stores. In addition, there is a Gamestop for video game enthusiasts, a liquor store, and multiple bike shops. What can not be found is a place to buy other sporting equipment, movies, or books.
Services – Squirrel Hill is just about idyllic when it comes to available services. There four major local banks all easily accessible, a public library that is open seven days a week, and a full service post office. The main strip has multiple dry cleaners and multiple places to get a hair cut. The only thing missing in the district is major government services, nearly all of which can only be found in downtown Pittsburgh.
Medical / Legal – No major medical or legal practices operate in Squirrel Hill, but there are about a dozen small practices in the district, that include doctors, dentists, and lawyers. The one notable deficiency is a lack of a hospital. Conveniently, there are multiple hospitals in a five mile radius.
Dining – Squirrel Hill has well over two dozen dining locations. The majority of these locations are take out food, though a select few are primarily sit down restaurants. Delivery for just about every type of food is easily available to Squirrel Hill and, with the exception of seafood nearly every type of food is available in the district. Surprisingly, there are no fast food restaurants in Squirrel Hill at all.
Houses of Worship – Squirrel Hill has an unusually high Jewish population and thus has an unusually high number of synagogues. It also has a few churches, though not of every major denomination. There is no nearby mosque, which is unsurprising given the small Islamic population in the city.
Entertainment – Squirrel Hill has limited entertainment options. It has a four screen movie theater that generally does not show all major releases. In addition, the district has a few parks, one of which includes a golf course, pool, and ice rink. There are no clubs or live entertainment in Squirrel Hill and only a handful of bars.
School District – The best schooling in Pittsburgh is almost entirely private, though Allderdice High School, in Squirrel Hill, is one of the best public schools in the city. The neighborhood is mostly crime free, and numerous part time job opportunities exist for teenagers, though few other activities are available.
Transportation – Well away from downtown, taxis are rarely seen in Squirrel Hill unless specifically called. The bus system is actually very strong in the area and Squirrel Hill is basically a hub for some of the spokes in the bus system. Also, every street has a sidewalk and many of the side streets have a bicycle lane for safety.