Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Living in a building whose front door and steps, are on a the main street of the business district of your neighborhood, AND right next to/across the street from popular bars, means that there are often strangers sitting on said step; getting some air, having a smoke break, and generally looking shocked when I step around them, keys in hand to unlock the door.

"You live here?" they often ask, as if they can't believe this is a real possibility.  I'm always tempted to answer with a "No, I just like to unlock front doors of random buildings I have the keys to."

Unfortunately, the inebriated don't often pick up on sarcasm, so I usually sigh, match their tone of surprise and say "yea," shutting the door behind me before the conversation can carry on.

Since the front stoop is a popular hang out on the weekends, it also means that stuff gets left there for me to find the morning after.  Usually trash, empty bags from the Wendy's and Get Go nearby.  While some people might be annoyed at having to step over garbage on their way to brunch, I like to think of myself as an optimist.  As such, I make the best of the situation by smiling at the remnants of the night before, and calling them "offerings" left for myself and fellow building-mates to find.

Offerings can be any number of objects.

Sometimes its milk bottles.

Sometimes its broken drumsticks.

One time, it was a traffic cone.

Last evening though, an amazing thing happened.  I was given an offering in person, and its something I would actually want!

See, I was unlocking the door after coming home from work. I had my headphones on, and eventually noticed out of the corner of my eye, as I pushed the door open that a guy on the sidewalk was gesturing to me.

I pulled my headphones down, "Sorry?" I asked.

"Would you like these Klondike bars?" He asked, holding out an unwrapped box with 2 individually wrapped Klondike bars still in it.

I stared.

"I know it's weird," he said. "But they're going to melt.  And I can't eat them, so if you want them..."

"I mean, ok." I said taking the box. Because, I did want Klondike bars, they are delicious!

"Thanks," I said and he walked off.  I went upstairs and put the offering in the freezer.

So, I mean, I know we're not supposed to accept candy from strangers. And if this was any other city, I probably wouldn't have taken my headphones off to find out what he wanted in the first place.  But in a town like Pittsburgh, someone could honestly buy a box of Klondike bars on a spring evening, not want to eat all of them, and offer them to a perfect stranger they walked by unlocking their front door instead of letting them go to waste.  And that, is just one more reason I love living here.


  1. Howdy! I just read your article on Yinzpiration and had to check out your blog too. I am cracking up at your post. I used to live above the Crazy Mocha in Lawrenceville. It was so weird having to haul out my garbage in my pajamas on a Thursday night...while everyone was all dressed up and heading to Thunderbird or Belvedere's. I got some weird looks.

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much for reading - that's so funny we used to be neighbors! Lawrenceville is such a fun neighborhood to live in - but so strange sometimes too. My roommate jokes that its like being on study-abroad. You observe the customs going on around you, and understand it to a certain extent, but it still has a feeling of foreignness to it.