Windows on Market Square

A few weeks ago I published The Birdman of Pittsburgh which was taken in the 1970″s. The picture received a few comments and people asked me where that picture was taken in relationship to the current Market Square.

I am not sure but think I was probably standing in what is now part of PPG Place. I believe I was standing off 4th Avenue near Stanwix. The windows and reflections from PPG Place are truly amazing.

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Windows on Market Square

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The Birdman of Pittsburgh-Revisited

I have been editing some old images with my new editing tools and in some cases improving the quality. I originally published this in 2012. It is one of a series of images I took of this gent who you would see around Market Square in Pittsburgh. I would take my photography classes form the Ivy School of Professional Art on field trips to Market Square.

Every day he was there feeding the pigeons and some other gents were sitting at a table playing chess. The square had changed a lot but the chess players are still there and so are the pigeons.

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The Bird Man of Market Square

Lunchtime Serenade

There are many good reasons for wishing Summer lasted all years. Comfortable weather, fresh produce at community markets and beautiful gardens are just a few of summer’s benefits. I also love the plethora of street musicians that pop up in parks, squares and sporting events. Some are great and some are not so good. This guy serenading the lunchtime crowd at Market Square was quite good though. I wonder where he goes in the winter?

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Lunchtime Serenade

Lunchtime Serenade

No Longer Seedy

A lot of cities in the rust belt have reinvented themselves. Maybe no city has done this better than Pittsburgh. Throughout these cities you see relics of a bygone era and signs of long gone establishmentsforgotten by most. The Beckert Seed and Bulb Company was a Pittsburgh business downtown and on the North Side in the early 1900’s and lasted all the way through the early 1950’s. You can still see their 1923 seed catalog online by clicking here.

I love to collect images of these old signs of the times and was surprised to see this sill intact in Market Square.

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Sign of the Times

Sign of the Times

Same As It Ever Was

When I taught Photography at the Ivy School of Professional Art I would frequently take students on photographic field trips to Pittsburgh’s Market Square. The variety of subjects included people feeding pigeons,street performers,old architecture,street performers and local characters. This cultural stew offered students a variety of subjects to test their skills on.

From this perspective nothing has changed. Sure the stores are more upscale now but the clientele is still the same. Kids chasing birds, saxophone serenades at lunch and giant fish sandwiches from The Original Oyster House. I swear these same two guys were playing chess when I left 35 years ago.

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The Chess Game

The Chess Game

A Pittsburgh Original

The last time I ate in the Original Oyster House was 1977. It was a unique place and Pittsburgh’s oldest restaurant (1870). Back then it was a smoke filled place with great food and only Pittsburgh Beers on tap. I didn’t care about smoke then since I smoked and it was a fun place for lunch.

I had lunch there on Friday and the only thing that changed was a lack of smoke. Few things in life are that consistent. The food was the same excellent fare, the beer was still only Pittsburgh Beer, the same bar and still filled with characters. The barkeeps and servers were “Pittsburgh Friendly”.I love this city, it’s good to be home.

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The Original Oyster House

The Original Oyster House

The Birdman of Pittsburgh

We have sold our house and are preparing to move ourselves back home to Pittsburgh. We left Pittsburgh in 1978 and have lived in State College PA, Dallas Texas, Smithtown Long Island,Montclair New Jersey and the Pocono Mountains since then. I took this the year before I left in Market Square. We always called this guy “The Birdman”. I wonder why?

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The Birdman of Pittsburgh

The Birdman of Pittsburgh