Though Pittsburgh was hit hard by the closing of many steel mills in the ’70s and ’80s, it is starting to bounce back, as Necee Regis, of The Boston Globe writes. In a recent trip to Pittsburgh, Regis discovered a new side of town.
Thursday night at 11:30 a line is forming at the corner of East Carson and 17th streets for grilled chicken wrapped in pita bread that locals fondly refer to as “cat on a stick.” Grill meister Dan McSwiggen explains that he usually cooks outside only on weekends, but a lightning strike knocked out power at Cambod-Ican Kitchen, an American-Asian fusion restaurant he runs with his Cambodian-born wife, Moeun. Ten years before opening here, the couple operated their business from a truck. “I remember times when people would line up late at night, and it would start snowing. There’d be a guy standing with an inch of snow on his head wanting cat on a stick and a wonton,” says McSwiggen. His good-natured ability to adapt to challenging circumstances and his customers’ tenacity mirror the spirit of Pittsburgh as it emerges from its industrial past into a 21st-century city. One neighborhood that particularly embodies this transformation is South Side, or, as the natives pronounce it, “Sou’side.” When vir tually all of the steel mills closed in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, this area, spanning three miles along the Monongahela River’s south bank, was struggling. The business district, along Carson Street, was particularly hard hit.
It’s good to hear that the city is doing well again. To read more of Regis’ article, go to Boston.com.