For the college student or young professional who wants to live near the nightlife in town, it is hard to beat the South Side. Technically two neighborhoods, the South Side is cheap, fun, and beautiful if you know where to look. Even if you are just looking to visit, the South Side is where it is at, not matter what it is that you are looking for.
Settled in the 1800s to house steel mill workers, the South Side is dominated by row houses densely packed into the area. On the Flats, the Northern riverside area, people live side by side in small houses that are generally made of brick. While there is some of the cheap siding that visually cheapens the exterior of Bloomfield, there is far less of it here. Today, it is famous for its bars and restaurants along East Carson Street.
East Carson street is the historic main street of the area. packed with bars and shopping, most of what any resident would want can be found there. It features some unique locales like Fat Heads and South Side Steaks as well as national brands like REI and The Cheesecake Factory along its length. West of the Birmingham Bridge is mostly local, while between it and the Hot Metal Bridge is the Southside Works complex with a suburban mall like feel to it. New businesses pop up and collapse all the time, so the face of the street changes rapidly, but if a business has been there long, you know it is because they have something special to offer. The food is fantastic, and some of the best bars in town are located along the street.
Speaking of bars, this is the only district with a real nightlife besides Oakland. On weekends, this district is always hopping with life, making it feel like a mix between college town and working class hub. Part of the reason for that is that it is a great place for students to go, being just over the bridge from Oakland.
If you like to move about on foot or by bicycle, it is linked by the Three Rivers trail system to Downtown and the North Side. It also links up easily with the Eliza Furnace trail, providing easy east-west cycling in the flat river valley. Just across the river from the Pittsburgh Technology Center business complex and the University of Pittsburgh, and just down the street from Downtown, commuting from here is easy and cheap.
Housing here isn’t expensive either. Like most of Pittsburgh, too many units are unoccupied to raise prices dramatically, so prices tend to be quite reasonable. On the flip side, most units are run by part-time managers or as side-income for owners, so professionalism varies by building. If you don’t mind that, you can rent here quite easily for less money than in Oakland. This is especially true if you don’t want a roommate, since houses are smaller and renting them is cheaper.
Whatever your reasons, if it is after 7 PM, then the South Side is where it is at. Come on down to watch a game, meet new people, eat locally, or just be neat the action.