Thursday, September 27, 2007

An Ode to Wharton Square: How I Loathe Thee

Subtitle: But I Love the Convenience!!

Oh, Wharton Square. I feel like I say these words so often. Always in the same tone: exasperated, but not exasperated enough to give up on you.

For those of you not familiar with the Pittsburgh area, Wharton Square is the strip mall of the Southside. Well, the less classy strip mall, now that Southside Works was constructed.

It’s an amazing place. Sort of. I am there constantly because I cannot seem to get all of my groceries for the week at once. Also, I am always in too much of a hurry after practice or the gym or on the way to a show, or yada yada yada, to go all the way out to Whole Foods or the Co-op or, you know, anywhere that I wouldn’t feel dirty shopping. I’d prefer to forget at least seven various items, of which I will inevitably need one each day, and thus, I never have to miss a single day of Wharton Square!

Why, in the parking lot alone, one can experience the wonders of recyclables (empty 40s), wildlife preserves (chicken bones) and elements of beauty (hair extensions)? Seriously, the other day Robbo and I were walking up to the doors of Giant Eagle when a balled-up hair extension rolled across our path. “It’s like tumbleweed!” I remarked.

Wharton Square also conveniently has the local liquor store—also the site of my accident last winter that I laughed off at the time, but turned out to be semi-serious for my knee. Thanks a lot, Wharton Square. Put some salt on that shit!
Anyway, between food and liquor, I spend a lot of time here. But, let's not forget-- there is also: a Payless! A Bo Rics! A suspicious-looking Chinese food place! A Dots (I’d never even heard of a Dots until I moved to the Southside and met Missi Dymond. I've never actually been inside but...well, it's there.)Woo!

And then there are jitneys. OH, are there jitneys! Personally, I like them. They’re always nice, even though I never need transportation. At first, Robbo didn’t understand the concept of a jitney (“I don’t get it, are they tailgating or something?”) but now he too has a soft spot for them. There are small children dancing and running (in front of cars, or sometimes the bus), there are charities collecting for a cause (the Southside crazies need change too) and it’s lovely to see an example of all drivers being neighborly (there are no laws in the parking lot. Complete anarchy.)

I couldn’t find a single photo of Wharton Square on Google Images, so instead, please enjoy this satellite view of WS, in all its majesty, right there next to what is arguably the dirtiest of our three rivers, the Monongahela.

Oh, Wharton Square.
I’d give you up, if only Mama didn’t need a bottle of wine tonight!

1 comment:

Julie_Gong said...

I think Wharton Square is actually the hidden gem of the South Side.