I saw what sounded like a very cool event on Facebook. It sounded like a sale of vintage clothing and previously owned items. It was held at the Ace Hotel in East Liberty last Sunday. I grabbed a friend and we cruised through the sale. Yes, the clothing was vintage but the prices were out of my used clothing budget. So I jumped in my car to head to another location and that is when I spotted the sign for the Milkshake Factory right next to Honeygrow. I have been to Honeygrow and I like it but I really like the Milkshake Factory, I’ve been to the South Side location and the one on Fifth Avenue Downtown.
Sharing information is my thing so I posted the news about the Milkshake Factory on Facebook; some of the responses surprised me. One friend told me they no longer feel comfortable in East Liberty or what we always referred to as S’Liberty. They didn’t say why they don’t feel comfortable but I suspected that it’s due to the gentrification of the area, the high-end townhouses and the expensive apartments that are reaching out to a clientele that is quite different from the East Liberty we knew growing up. Most of my friends grew up with a 15206 zip code, which is the East Liberty/East Side zip code. Our churches are in East Liberty, Lemington School has a 15206 zip code and so does the Lincoln/Larimer area. I may not be able to afford the $300,000 townhomes but I am going to visit the stores and enjoy that area.
I spent more than 50 years of my life in 15206 and I won’t be chased out. One of the other Facebook comments said, “I don’t want to give the White man my money.” Well this one really baffled me, I asked who are you giving your money to when you go to Ross Park Mall, The Block, South Hills Village and Monroeville Mall? They told me I had a good point. So I got to thinking that perhaps I should do a walking tour of the “new” East Liberty and invite some people along. I have not worked out all of the details but I want to do it before it gets too cold. I may rent a van and we will explore the new stores in the area, grab a bite, have a milkshake and “show our faces.” I don’t want the stores and businesses to get comfortable to the point that they think we have been driven away.
Really, I am surprised at the attitude of some people who have no problem shopping in Nordstrom’s, Saks or Neiman Marcus but don’t want to go to the old neighborhood where they grew up, where they went to the movies and shopped at Sears (now the location of Home Depot). These new businesses in some cases are in walking distance from your home or your church. I say check them out and see what they have to offer.
Watch this column… the walking tour will be announced here.
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