No place has more going for it on any given weekend than the North Side.

For the sports fans among us, it’s home to the beloved Pirates at PNC Park and the six-time Super Bowl champs–the Steelers–at Heinz Field. For art and theater lovers and seekers of knowledge, museums and theaters abound, including the world-class Andy Warhol Museum, the incomparable Mattress Factory, the experimental New Hazlett Theatre and the always inventive and fun Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Whether you live there or are a regular to the North Side, know that the name really refers to the area north of downtown along the Allegheny and Ohio rivers that is made up of a patchwork of 18 distinct neighborhoods with two council districts, one and six, running through it.

Having suffered its share of setbacks through the years, largely a result of decades of neglect that led to urban blight, the North Side is coming back in a big way. The dust of new construction and reconstruction is everywhere.

Both longtime and newer residents call these neighborhoods home, whether its Deutschtown with its breweries and German-singing societies or the Mexican War Streets with carefully restored row houses, Greek revival doorways and streets named after the battles of the Mexican War.

On the plateau is Troy Hill home of historic landmarks including St. Anthony’s Chapel, built in 1880, which houses the largest store of relics in the world outside of the Vatican. Nowhere but Manchester has such fine urban Victorian homes, some beautifully restored, some awaiting TLC.

Many of the community’s newer residents make their homes along the North Shore where lofts and condominiums take advantage of spectacular river and downtown views. The North Side offers an active lifestyle and plenty of green space, from parks to easy access to the riverfront bike trails and kayak rentals, an increasingly favorite pastime. Look for more North Side neighborhoods in NEXTpittsburgh soon.

More North Side News

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Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared in Fast Company, Ozy and Pittsburgh Magazine.