Friday, June 19, 2009

North Vs South

Here's a story of two amphitheatres.



Which do you support? The one which is now adding to city tax dollars? Or the one which may open next year and will continue costing the city and the community for years to come?

Don't even get me started on the concession riverfront amphitheater that the casino is offering up. Maybe we should encourage people to build something other than amphitheaters in Pittsburgh?


Crystal Eastman said...

Great post!!

shadow said...

I suppose I shouldn't be shocked that the attitude of the people protesting the North Shore amphitheater is offensive; Some of those are the folks in the Khari Mosley video you pointed out who claimed that if you haven't lived in that neighborhood all your life as a taxpayer, you don't count, albeit not in those words. "You're looking at the city as a destination for suburbanites and not as a place where people work and live". Amazingly people manage to work and live in Monroeville, and this development is not so anti-pedestrian, strip, automobile oriented as that. What am I missing?

Now, it makes me sad that to get an amphitheater which would be not an eyesore on an asphalt lot, apparently subsidies are involved, but the shouting is about neighborhood integration. My question would be "where is the closest residence to the intended site?" Calling an area which contains only venues and businesses a neighborhood is a stretch. I live elsewhere in the city, but really, so does everyone else!

Now, if you accept that jobs should be local, instead of encouraging more car commuters, I'm mostly on the same page. But many (certainly not all) of the people shouting the loudest seem only to be shouting that if someone else is getting public money, they'd like their hush money before they'll go away, and it's that subset I am simply uninterested in listening to, as they have nothing interesting to say. Either you oppose public money being used, or you accept it and wish to mold the site into something which is a worthwhile use of that money, including but not limited to jobs for the people who do or potentially would fund it (which is all of the city, not just the North Side), or an otherwise improved quality of life for all of them. My fear is that the ones with more valuable points will have those be drowned out.

Crystal Eastman said...

Shadow,i think you agree with the Northside activists. They're not completely opposing the development-- they want accountability for the subsidies and a say in the planning process.

Regarding the city as a destination for suburbanites rather than a place where people live and work-- wouldn't it benefit us all, and our decimated tax base if the people who lived within city limits and who are working the tax-subsidized service jobs being created for this entertainment district were making enough money to support themselves and their families?

Though who can disagree that it's pretty ridiculous that not 2 but 4 amphitheaters will be within a square mile of each other by next summer--> 1) the casino's amphitheater, 2) the southside amphitheater, 3) the revamped stage at Point State Park and 4) the "amphitheater in a box" that these Continental jokers are being paid by us to build.

illyrias said...

My thought on it is if subsidies are involved, then we as taxpayers have the right to ask for community benefits. And for developers to ignore these "activists" and say they can do whatever the hell they want, is just spitting in our faces.

And in Pittsburgh, every project is overshadowed by the Hill District, which was a thriving community and was squished like a bug to make way for development. The community benefits agreement achieved by the current Hill District residents with the new arena is commendable, and I'd like to see it repeated throughout the city/country.

Hill District CBA

shadow said...


My issue is not that they shouldn't have a say; It's only that it should be no more than any other city resident who wishes input.

and Cara, I agree about the Hill's CBA being well-done, but the difference (to me) is that the arena is in the middle of a neighborhood. There are residences and small businesses on all sides of it. The area of the North Side in question has no nearby residences or small businesses. Claiming a narrow definition of community (people who live nearby) for an area which is not and basically due to geography and the fact that nearby land is already used up offends my sense of reality.

I'm all for accountability, but holding the people there accountable to neighbors above others should mean to the people in the stadiums, the casino, the Science Center, the business owners, because those (for better or for worse) are the real neighbors of that development. Put otherwise, a downtown resident (which I am not, for the record) is no further away, and probably closer, to the amphitheater than a Mexican War Streets resident. I suspect I'm doing a flawed job of illuminating my point.

Lady Elaine said...

Hi Ladies.

First off, there are two amphitheaters on the NS. One is at the Casino and the other is at Heinz field. Both indeed got boat loads of state money. There is NO question in that regard.

The stadium amphitheater got pennies on the dollar for that land. We were raped. And they will absolutely get MORE money to develope it.

As for the casino amphitheater (and lets throw in Heinz field amphitheater) not being in a neighborhood . . . yes, it's true in a sense they both are not surrounded and engulfed by houses right next door, but they are in Manchester and on the lower Northside, which the last time I checked, are neighborhoods and have many small businesses. They will def. be effected by the LOUD music and disrupted by the concerts and light shows, not to mention the fricken gigantic rats displaced by the construction--that has already happened by the big dig from the tunnel.

Not to mention, public urination (even on people's lawns), traffic in neighborhoods, parking in neighborhoods and in their driveways, strange people walking in their neighborhoods on gameday, etc.

As for the CBA's, Northside United are all those people mentioned by shadow who are united to try to negotiate with the developers of the casino/heinz field amphitheaters so that a mutually satisfying agreement can happen.

However, The Rooney's have told Northside United to go pound sand, as have the Casino developer. The developers continue on their way, developing, raping, pillaging, plundering, turning in their plans before city council with smiles on their faces and shaking hands while the good people of the northside get screwed AGAIN (RE: 279?).

So, while you in your fine neighborhood may think it's a car's drive away and in no way impacted by the amphitheater, bc it's not right across the street, well, it is impacted, my bff.


Lady Elaine said...

"I suppose I shouldn't be shocked that the attitude of the people protesting the North Shore amphitheater is offensive."

Curious statement, BTW. Might I ask you to elaborate? Are you talking about a certain faction, perhaps?


shadow said...

I elaborated immediately after the comment, by quoting the statement from the article to which I took offense.

shadow said...

Not to mention, public urination (even on people's lawns), traffic in neighborhoods, parking in neighborhoods and in their driveways, strange people walking in their neighborhoods on gameday, etc.

This happens in my neighborhood. No community benefits will ever occur as a result of it. I don't think this is a travesty. (The situation is different).

As for the CBA's, Northside United are all those people mentioned by shadow

Actually, I agree with most of what they're trying to do, too. I've tried to explain what my particular objection is and I suspect I'm not going to do any better. If I do figure out what I'm failing to say, I'll try again. Sorry.

shadow said...

Waiting for church to start, a better way of expressing this clicked in my mind. Now my problem is doing it without rambling.

1) Trying to paint it as "us versus them". If you're not an insider, from here, a taxpayer, , someone who believes exactly what "you" think they should, whatever, your input has no value. Your visit is not welcome. The quoted statement goes to this. So does the lady who I could barely understand in the Khari Mosley video Cara linked to in the entry about the unfortunate incident last Sunday.
2) If you really want jobs, and especially jobs that pay a living wage, attracting money from elsewhere, that is to say, adding new money to an area, is always a good way to do it. Painting it as setting up something for "those suburbanites" accomplishes the opposite. Someone who's not from the neighborhood, whether from 15 or 1500 miles away, is still a visitor.

3) In general, people who when they feel they are not or will not get their way at a meeting are sufficiently disruptive that no one else can talk about anything. Temper tantrums went out after first grade. That's not something unique to this group of people, nor, for that matter, is it representative; it's merely a happenstance thing here that I also find of negative value.

And Lady Elaine, if you're still reading, can you quantify the raping and pillaging you mentioned? You'll find partial agreement from these quarters about 279: it's a massive slash wound to the East Street Valley and the North Side; My feeling is that some form of improved road access was needed but what appeared was overkill. For all the flaws the older Parkways have, they are at least usually far less obtrusive in the landscape simply because of the underdesign inherent in immediate post-war highways, with a few exceptions.

Bram Reichbaum said...

A few notes:

1. The same arguments were made about the hockey arena; some claimed it wasn't *really* in the Hill District, it was really Uptown, if not Eastern Downtown, so it didn't really have any neighbors per se.

2. You twice called that THE KHARI MOSELY VIDEO, and I just wonder what's the intended takeaway from that. That's a pretty personal appellation for a Chris Ivey video.

3. I think what produced some of the anger in that video was that at the time, the North Side Leadership Conference had just accepted $3 million from the casino developers in exchange for supporting the development on behalf of the community -- whereas many in the community ever had any contact with or even knowledge of the NSLC prior to that, and resented the presumption in being spoken for like that. That in turn exposed some cultural divisions, and ergo, the need for Northside United.

4. Finally, I think the whole thing would go down a lot smoother if *some* subsidies, *some* redevelopment resources, or *some* attention went into developments that do service people (or small entrepreneurs) who live in that sector of town -- on my own blog I speculated about T.J. Max and an Eat n' Park on that space. But moreso I am thinking of any small business. As it is, people feel they are being ignored in favor of better people. A little balance is in order.

shadow said...

If I miscredited the video I apologize. Nothing beyond a reference to a video was meant, and I am embarassed for not being more careful for crediting work.

If indeed that was the source of the anger, I'm back on the same page with you; my point about screaming so hard I miss your point is thus amplified.

My real issue, the more I roll it around, comes down to treatment of what some perceive as outsiders and what validates whose opinions. That I have people in my yard, cigarette butts and broken bottles appear at the curb, barging and urination on my doorstep should not qualify my opinion any more than any other, but if indeed it does, I am "happy" to report mine is qualified!

Infinonymous said...

I liked this ampitheatre analysis so much I interrupted normal programming for it.

On a related note, we now know what the boy mayor does when the Rooneys yell "jump:" He pushes Debbie Lestitian off a bridge.

Lady Elaine said...


What "outsiders" do you keep referring to? Who are they? Mark Fatla's definition of outsiders?

shadow said...

In this case, I'm referring to me, but only because apparently if I'm not from the North Side, I'm perceiving that my opinion is irrelevant. So, apparently, are you:
So, while you in your fine neighborhood may think it's a car's drive away and in no way impacted by the amphitheater, bc it's not right across the street, well, it is impacted, my bff.

As likely as not, by the way, I'd bike or bus.