Jump to content
Guest

Pittsburgh, PA

Recommended Posts

Hey!

Thanks so much for the info. I understand that Shadyside is more expensive. The way I thought about this is that since I have to do this on the internet (I live overseas), for the first year, I will get a place from a good management company in a nice, lively location and probably pay more. When I am there, I can go see the apartments and get a more affordable place for later.

Also, I read such mixed comments about Pittsburgh in general. How is it there? Is the winter too terrible, is the city really dangerous? How is the social scene? (Although don't expect much of it since I will be a PhD student:( I visited CMU and really liked the school and the town actually.

Thanks a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how Columbus is, but Pittsburgh's climate can vary. In the winter, there is a lot of snow and ice and it can be very overcast. However, some days it will be bitter cold and bright and sunny. The spring tends to have very nice sunny days, btu when it does rain..it will rain all day! In summer we get a lot of sun, humidity, and severe thunderstorms. In the fall we tend to get a lot of rain and then snow. I have to admit that when it rains all day, people around campus seem to move slower and just generally feel more tired. My advice, find a hobby or something you like to do to pass the time during the rainy days.

Thanks for the advice! :-) I will keep that in mind.

I've been thinking about where to live in my first year and I was wondering if it would be okay to live in the dorm for a while..

Does University of Pittsburgh offer an apartment/dorm only for graduate students? If so, how's living there?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am coming at the end of August to Pittsburgh to start grad school at Pitt. I am an international student and I was wondering how early I should start look for a place to live. Are there any websites that could be helpful?

I: International student going to Pittsburgh too!

So you got into Pitt and Purdue, eh? Which program? And where are you from?

I'm into Bioengineering (PhD), from India.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again!

Could anyone give idea on which management companies to avoid or which are good? There seems to be mixed reviews on most of them. I remember someone on the forum had written way earlier to stay away from Lobos and Es Management.

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The hubby and I are moving to Pittsburgh some time over the summer so I can start school at Pitt this fall. We are really interested in buying a house. Could anyone reccommend a good area that isn't TOO far from the University that is safe and has reasonably priced (OK, I mean cheap) houses?

What about somewhere we could get a good short term lease while we are looking?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i will be coming to study at CMU in PhD during August(fall) .My centre will be Biological sciences Building at %th Avenue,i guess.

Kindly advise a suitable place for stay. Also will it be better to stay alone or should i go for shared accomodation with other girl student?

thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has been a fantastic resource. Can anyone provide some feedback on how accurate the rent ranges are on

http://www.housing.cmu.edu/CommunityHou ... hoods.html (posted earlier this thread?)

The page was last reviewed in 2007, and I'm a bit curious about how the current economic situation + 2 years have changed the situation.

(Oh -- and a great resource I've found, not specifically for Pittsburgh, but useful for comparing places on craigslist is http://padmapper.com . It basically maps all the craigslist rentals so you can actually see where the listings are.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi again!

Could anyone give idea on which management companies to avoid or which are good? There seems to be mixed reviews on most of them. I remember someone on the forum had written way earlier to stay away from Lobos and Es Management.

Thanks.

Those are 2 to definitely to stay away from. Mozart, Walnut Capital, and Forbes are companies that have good reps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I read such mixed comments about Pittsburgh in general. How is it there? Is the winter too terrible, is the city really dangerous? How is the social scene? (Although don't expect much of it since I will be a PhD student:( I visited CMU and really liked the school and the town actually.

Thanks a lot.

Pittsburgh can be cold, I guess, but no colder than most of the other Northeastern states. What's probably the worst thing about the weather is the wind ... when it whips through, it carries a lot of the moist, cold air right to your bones. But a scarf will help with that.

The social scene is funky ... there are a lot of student-friendly/twenty-something-friendly neighborhoods (like Southside, etc.), but the downtown itself virtually shuts down after 5 pm. There is a good cultural scene, though. The Pittsburgh Public Theatre will stage a lot of smaller traveling shows/original pieces while Heinz Hall and The Benedum will host a lot of the bigger Broadway shows coming through.

It's a pretty cool place, but what's the best is that almost everyone is hyper-proud to live there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is it true that there is lots of crime?

Yes, Tropes. Lots and LOTS of crime. Also, terrible weather. Basically a miserable place to be. You should probably just turn down that offer now. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Tropes. Lots and LOTS of crime. Also, terrible weather. Basically a miserable place to be. You should probably just turn down that offer now. :D

ha, ha, ha. i think we know each other from another frequented site....;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ha, ha, ha. i think we know each other from another frequented site....;)

If you are who I think you are, and have a different username than on that site, I think we might.

But in all seriousness, I am very familiar with Pittsburgh, and yes, it is a somewhat high crime area. I mean, it's not the worst place in the world to live, but compared to other US cities of its size, Pittsburgh is somewhat dangerous and reasonably dirty (it's a steel city, what do you expect?). It's not bad enough to scare me off, but I'm from a high crime city myself, so I don't scare easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi I'm starting school at CMU come August and was wondering if any girls are looking for roommates...or anyone here knows any apts (preferrably in Shadyside or Squirrel Hill) that will be available for lease from Aug. I'm Indian btw and if anyone has any info pls email me/send me a private msg. And yes, cheap is good :) Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for the people in pittsburgh or familiar with it: is getting a one-bedroom apartment in a decent area possible for under $600?

i should add that i don't necessarily care about being super close to campus (30 minute walk or bike ride is okay by me) but i do care about being in a neighborhood with a decent cafe, grocery stores/markets, interesting types of buildings/houses to live in, a sense of community. i'm from a major city that has lots of little neighborhoods and i'd like something similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
for the people in pittsburgh or familiar with it: is getting a one-bedroom apartment in a decent area possible for under $600?

i should add that i don't necessarily care about being super close to campus (30 minute walk or bike ride is okay by me) but i do care about being in a neighborhood with a decent cafe, grocery stores/markets, interesting types of buildings/houses to live in, a sense of community. i'm from a major city that has lots of little neighborhoods and i'd like something similar.

If you are willing to have a roommate and a 2-bedroom apartment, you can probably pay under $600 each, but I don't think you can get a one-bedroom and pay utilities for under about $700 unless you want to give up your "nice neighborhood" requirement, or are willing to commute your 30 minutes by car (you can save a lot by living outside of Pittsburgh and driving in).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
for the people in pittsburgh or familiar with it: is getting a one-bedroom apartment in a decent area possible for under $600?

i should add that i don't necessarily care about being super close to campus (30 minute walk or bike ride is okay by me) but i do care about being in a neighborhood with a decent cafe, grocery stores/markets, interesting types of buildings/houses to live in, a sense of community. i'm from a major city that has lots of little neighborhoods and i'd like something similar.

I visited some time ago, and met some folks with decent one-bedroom apartments around $600, so it seems like they're not impossible to find. If you find something on the bus route, you should be fine without a car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

how about the other side of Friendship across from... Penn Avenue? (okay, it's been about 8 months so I may be a bit rusty... the road that goes up into garfield) A good friend lived in a HUGE first level 1br and I doubt she paid much over 600...also check bloomfield, edgewood/swissvale, and polish hill. you can live pretty cheaply on the north side, but it's nowhere near the campuses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

regarding winters, it entirely depends where you're coming from. compared to Boston, winter was a BREEZE. compared to Singapore (where I live now), I'd say pretty frigid. winter 07 was full of nippy overcast days and flurries, but very little build-up.

regarding social: you spend a lot of time hanging out with your cohort. there are many bars to be found. some live music as well, but more often it'll just be the bar. head to the south side for clubby excitement, lawrenceville/bloomfield for the indie scene/art galleries, and shadyside for the more upscale/queer scene. this is an EXTREMELY rough guide, and I'm sure someone else will iron it out. regardless of your interests or inclinations, I'd recommend a visit to Your Inner Vagabond Coffeehouse in Lawrenceville for some good old-fashioned lounging on pillows and baclava.

I don't want to give away the treasures of the city in one wall post; suffice to say that you should be able to find enough to do and people to do it with.

my main recommendation would be to join http://www.thisishappening.com/ -- it's easy and free, and then you'll get a weekly email loosely tailored to your interests. you can also join different departmental listservs to find out about films and lectures. it's quite easy to access the event calendars for the different universities.

-shirechai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I visited UPitt last week, and I was just really unhappy with the vibe of the area. Even some of the places that people said were "nice" seemed a little run down, but I guess that's just because the recession is hitting this area particularly hard. I've lived in NYC, LA, Toronto, and a few other cities, and while I can definitely see Pittsburgh as having a "funky" vibe, there still wasn't a lot to do (that the students I was with knew about) or a lot open late compared to a more vibrant city, and for some reason, everyone who worked in the restaurants/bars I went into was pretty rude. Maybe I was just with a lame group of students/in a bad part of town? Anyway, I just can't see myself living in Pittsburgh for the next 5+ years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lived in Pittsburgh about 8 years and have only been away for about 7 months.

Good neighborhoods that you'd want to live in near Pitt or CMU include: Bloomfield/Friendship (avoid crossing Penn Avenue into Garfield if you're new to town/don't know anyone, but on Penn might not be too bad. Garfield is coming up with the strip of art galleries and whatnot, but it can still be kind of iffy), lower Lawrenceville (maybe between 39th and 49th is alright, nice houses and fairly cheap, $500-$600 for a 2 bedroom). I used to live in Bloomfield and total rent for a three bedroom house with a garage and a backyard was $890 a month. Shadyside is nice as well, but more expensive. Squirrel Hill is nice as well and it seems to be a bit of a go-to neighborhood for graduate students. Greenfield is a nice quiet neighborhood that's mostly residential and fairly safe.

That said, yes, like any urban area crime is something that happens. People get mugged, cars get broken into, etc, but in general things like gang violence and violent murders are uncommon (I'm not saying they don't happen, but they're not really an everyday event in most places). Avoid Oakland. Yes it's close to the schools you may be attending, but it's the college neighborhood and so unless you're really interested in being surrounded by undergrads doing their college-student-being-loud-and-living-in-filth shtick, it's probably not a good place to live (also rent is relatively high and most places are in poor condition).

Polish Hill can also be nice, but it's somewhat difficult to escape from if you're using public transportation. The more central East end neighborhoods I mentioned above all have buses that go downtown and to Oakland, decent places to eat and shop, ok places to get coffee and study, and some ok nightlife, but they're also relatively quiet and reasonably safe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I visited UPitt last week, and I was just really unhappy with the vibe of the area. Even some of the places that people said were "nice" seemed a little run down, but I guess that's just because the recession is hitting this area particularly hard. I've lived in NYC, LA, Toronto, and a few other cities, and while I can definitely see Pittsburgh as having a "funky" vibe, there still wasn't a lot to do (that the students I was with knew about) or a lot open late compared to a more vibrant city, and for some reason, everyone who worked in the restaurants/bars I went into was pretty rude. Maybe I was just with a lame group of students/in a bad part of town? Anyway, I just can't see myself living in Pittsburgh for the next 5+ years.

Honestly it depends on what you're looking for. As far as "open late", most coffee shop/cafes are open until midnight, most restaurants until 10pm, a handful of diners run all night, and well, bars close at 2am. What you're seeing isn't the recession hitting the area hard, but a city that never fully recovered from steady population decline resulting from the collapse of the steel industry. For a city of its size it's actually alright. There are a lot of arts related events going on most nights, a somewhat thriving music scene, and a decent array of food options. That said, yes it's not LA or NYC. It's not Buffalo either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi..I'm starting CMU in August and have been apt hunting (no easy task as you know)..I found this apt in Cathedral Mansions on Ellsworth Ave. I see it's popular with CMU students, especially 'cause its close to campus. Also, the rent is decent - $360 per head in a 3ppl/2BR apt including utilities and internet. Is there anyone here who lives/has lived in Cathedral Mansions? What do you think about the place? Any opinions/critiques will be much appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.