Perhaps better than any other Pittsburgh neighborhood, the South Side has parlayed history into prosperity. Originally known as Birmingham, it was a mill community like so many others, anchored by its many churches and the steel mills along the Monongahela. The heart of the South Side is Carson Street, starting around 9th Street. Its 19th-century shops and walk-ups have won national recognition as a model Main Street, for good reason. Bakeries, hardwares and ethnic benefit societies coexist with the recent profusion of restaurants, novelty boutiques and party spots. The frenetic activity has only increased with the new retail and housing on the old mill site. To escape the madding crowd, either retreat to the new riverfront trail or ascend the South Side Slopes on a set of city steps – about half are legal streets, and Pittsburgh's 750 staircases double San Francisco's total. Yet Pittsburgh's most entertaining history is found at Station Square, in the city's two surviving funiculars, here called inclines. The Monongahela and the Duquesne carry commuters and tourists alike to the top of Mount Washington, for the city's most famous view.
South Side residents can easily get Downtown by taking the 48 or 51 bus routes, while the Station Square area offers unique service by way of the T and the Mon Incline. Student favorites like the 54 and 75 provide transit to Oakland as well as other great neighborhoods -- 54 also goes to the North Side, the Strip District, Polish Hill and Bloomfield, while the 75 serves Shadyside's Ellsworth Avenue and East Liberty's Bakery Square.
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