The Carnegie Library will continue visiting Troy Hill Citizens Park this summer!

The Carnegie Library will continue visiting your Citizens Park in Troy Hill on Wednesdays in June (17th & 24th next up) at 2:00PM.


If participation stays up, they librarians plan to continue this program on Wednesdays in July and August too!
On Wednesday June 10th, over 20 participants attended and signed up for this program. Librarians Caitie and David are promising more fun and educational activities once they get a better idea of the age groups of the participants who will attend. If you were unable to attend the inaugural day, it’s not too late; please feel free to visit and join them at your park when they are here on the upcoming Wednesdays!

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Troy Hill Welcome Sign Update

The Troy Hill Welcome Sign, created by James Simon is close to being installed on Troy Hill Road location.

Now that PennDOT has completed it’s work on the Parking Lot on Troy Hill Road , the proper channels of paper work that are required from PennDOT have been set in motion. The next work you will notice at the Troy Hill Road Parking Lost (across from Penn Brewery) will be the construction and installation of the foundation for the Welcome Sign; hopefully this part of the project will be starting relatively soon! Once the foundation is set and cured at this location, the Mosaic Welcome Sign will then begin to be assembled and constructed. If all goes well, look for the sign to be in place sometime this summer! Check back for further updates and the progress of this project.

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East Ohio Project Presentation available online

In case your missed the East Ohio Project presentation at last night’s THC meeting, or wish to go over some of the blueprints, or diagrams again, the information is available online:

 

To access the East Ohio Street Project website, visit:

http://www.dot.state.pa.us/penndot/districts/district11.nsf/D11Roadwork?OpenFrameSet

Once at the above site: select “Design” in the upper left, then select the “Future Construction Projects Index” bullet, and then select “State Route 4084, Section A04 East Ohio Street” bullet

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✿✿✿✿Lookout Street Garden Update✿✿✿✿

if you have requested a plot, now is the time to get gardening!

A BIG thank you to the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works! The construction crew put down a gravel base and moved the shed to the shady side of the garden. They also installed the split rail fence, moved 2 benches to a shady corner and moved the boxes of 4 plots! Not only all that, but they also gave us a water source! WOW! Don Donaghey and Lenore Zotter shoveled soil to refill 2 boxes.

Help is needed to move the remaining piles of soil into the empty boxes.
A combination lock will be purchased and the combination given to those who garden there. The tools now stored at the THC office will be stored in the shed.
If you have requested a plot, now is the time to get gardening! Email us at troyhillpittsburgh@gmail.com for more information or to register.

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THC General Meeting – Wednesday, June 10, 7:PM @ the MHN School Hall.

Troy Hill Citizens General Meeting
Wednesday June 10th 7:PM – Held at: Most Holy Name School Hall – Tinsbury Street.
PennDot Senior Project Manager, Erik Porter is scheduled for
Attendance at this meeting to discuss the RT. 28 project, the upcoming East Ohio Street project, including any proposed changes of the traffic patterns, example: the 279 North on-ramp access from Concord Street.
This meeting is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.

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Library in the Park at Troy Hill Citizens Park, Starting Wednesday June 10, 2015

This summer, Troy Hill Citizens partners with the Carnegie Library to bring you: Library in the Park.

 

Wednesdays, June 10, 17 & 24 / 2-3:30 pm / Weather Permitting
Meet Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh librarians in the Troy Hill Park for outdoor activities. Enjoy crafts and games, reading and books, as the Library comes to your neighborhood! All ages welcome.
Love the Library in your Park? We hope to see you on Wednesday afternoons in July and August too!

Location: Claim @ Hatteras Street.

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Inspired by the past – A new era for Billy’s Restaurant

Living or working in an inner city Pittsburgh neighborhood like Troy Hill, one comes to find that its people are as rich and rooted in history as the buildings around them. It is not uncommon to pass the same faces on a daily basis. Emerging from the THC office, I often find a familiar face to smile and wave to. We may or may not know each other’s names yet, but we recognize a friendly face, and wave or nod in neighborly acknowledgement. There’s something comforting about that. Warm interactions like these remind me of the community I grew up in—Morningside—where family homes are passed down from generation to generation, and close relatives buy homes a few blocks away. My sisters, neighbors, and many friends remain residents of their family homes.

As the community organizer and consultant for THC over the past year, I have come to know and love Troy Hill because of its people and places. I admire the bond they share. When I proudly mention that I work in Troy Hill, I always find someone who grew up here with fond memories of the neighborhood, or another who attended North Catholic, as my son did.

At moments like these, I take the opportunity to proudly re-introduce them to Troy Hill. Some haven’t returned to to visit the area in a long while, so I let them know that it is still the great place it always was. What is it about a hometown that can make time stand still and transform scenery into a living memory? It is a place where the past and present come face-to-face.

With the closing and re-opening of the only restaurant in Troy Hill, the past and present are doing just that—meeting each other face-to-face. Yet I am confident that they won’t butt heads. In order to gain some perspective on the merging of these two eras, I sat down with soon-to-be-former owner of Billy’s Bistro, Jim Bougher, and soon-to-be-new owner Don Mahaney last week. I was humbled by Bougher’s life-long work and exhilarated by Mahaney’s enthusiasm.

Jim Bougher is vested in the fabric of Troy Hill. His life is rooted in Billy’s Bistro. At the age of 18 Jim began working with his uncle, Bill Armstrong, doing what Bougher calls a “lot of heavy lifting”, more or less carrying heavy construction materials up and down the stairs. Armstrong, a “burly” man, as his nephew describes him, renovated the upper levels into apartment units, then combined the lower level into one contiguous property. A Troy Hill resident himself, Armstrong owned several other restaurants in the Pittsburgh area before establishing Billy’s in the late 1970’s. There was A & B Pizza, a small pizza shop in Troy Hill at the corner of Hatteras & Froman, as well as Frank’n Stein’s in Shaler township, which is still in business today.

When he purchased the property at 1720 Lowrie Street in 1998, Bougher also took legal ownership of the establishment from his uncle, who continued to help around the restaurant until his passing a few years ago. Like the other faithful members of Billy’s staff, Bougher’s mother Doris has also worked by his side for many years. When it came to his uncle’s work ethic, Bougher highlighted Armstrong’s commitment to craft—the wood paneling that spans most of the restaurant’s walls was done by Armstrong himself. Bougher took the time to point out to me one minor mistake where his uncle forgot to router a trim piece. Only one small mistake, unlike all the others, but so special.

During my visit to Brooklyn last week, I encountered something that reminded me of this piece of Billy’s history. While taking myself on a walking tour, photographing small retail stores and gathering ideas to bring home to Troy Hill, I stopped into “Icy Signs”, the artist-owned sign shop of designer Steve Powers. One particular sign stuck with me, reading, “Mistakes cost extra”. It is hard to keep in mind how the serendipity of mistakes makes them all the more endearing. Now, each time I go back to visit Billy’s Bistro, I will remember that error in the wooden trim piece. I will remember the day I interviewed Jim Bougher, and I will remember how I witnessed Jim feel his uncle’s presence as he described that ‘mistake’ to me. That day I made a memory to relive again and again throughout time.

Today, May 29th, 2015, Jim Bougher will have worked his last day at Billy’s Bistro. Bougher says he is “just ready for a change”. For many years, he has worked 7 days a week with few vacations. But this is certainly not a retirement. Jim will now have time to paint his mother Doris’s home. Maybe Jim will paint his own home, or take a vacation with his wife. After-all, he’s just taking a long deserved break. I took Jim’s photo at the end of our meeting, and I swear I saw his uncle and the bistro’s piano player in the background, or maybe it was just the atmosphere of pride bouncing off Jim’s chest. Congratulations Jim, and thank you for serving Pittsburgh with a family style restaurant and that Black Diamond Steak Dinner.

To pay homage to this staple of Troy Hill’s business community, visit Billy’s Bistro at 1720 Lowrie Street, Troy Hill

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Billys-Restaurant/116085791753233?

Written by Nancy Noszka, whom is also the consultant for Troy Hill Citizens, Inc.

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Troy Hill Block Watch Meeting May 20, 7PM MHN School Hall

May’s Troy Hill Block Watch Meeting Wednesday, May 20, 2015 at 7 PM
Held at the Most Holy Name School Hall (Tinsbury Street)
This month’s guest speaker will be: Pittsburgh Police Zone 1 Commander, Lavonnie Bickerstaff
Please note – There will be no Blockwatch Meetings in June or July. We will determine if we need a meeting in August.

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