he baby is napping, for now. Mary Claire Arena steps outside for a few
moments of fresh air. She sits down, a large patio umbrella shielding
her from the afternoon sun. The inflatable kiddie pool that an hour
ago was filled with the motion and giggles of her daughter and her
neighbors’ kids now rests silently.
Her break doesn’t last long. The baby monitor shows her daughter
restless and half-awake. So she steps inside to make sure this energetic, not-quite 1-year-old doesn’t attempt to scale the walls of her crib.
Heading through the doorway, she glances over her shoulder to take
in the scenery once more.
But this 30-year-old mother’s view doesn’t include the grassy lawn
or clusters of trees that we reflexively associate with raising babies in America. She doesn’t
see the compact, neatly fenced yards and houses found in the suburbs.
She looks directly at the glass and steel skyscrapers of Pittsburgh with the Allegheny
River and PNC Park beyond.
As Pittsburgh’s civic center evolves, so does the mix
of singles, young families and busy professionals
who choose to make their homes within steps of
the Golden Triangle. | by Melissa Rayworth, photos by Laura Petrilla