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Every city should have neighborhood as lively and interesting as Bloomfield. There are signs that tell you it's Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, and you can find some fine Italian food (in Italian groceries and restaurants like Alexander’s Pasta Express and Del’s and Mezzanotte and many others) but it’s also home to a noted Polish restaurant (Bloomfield Bridge Tavern) and some great Thai (Thai Cuisine is a favorite) as well as the legendary burgers at Tessaro’s. And there are often new places to hang out, comfortable places to grab some pizza, rent a few rare DVDs, and find all sorts of treasures.

Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield is one of Pittsburgh’s great shopping streets where small family-owned businesses and unique little shops still survive.

In the twenty-first century, Italian-Americans and people who know how to appreciate an Italian parade and festival have been coming to Bloomfield in late September for Little Italy Days. The Columbus Day parade (an old Pittsburgh tradition is now part of the Bloomfield celebration a few weeks before the official October day honoring the Italian explorer.)

Bloomfield was an essential for this program. We knew we would find some story here, but we didn’t always plan to document the Little Italy festival and the Columbus Day parade, thinking maybe that was just a bit too obvious. Then the joy and excitement of the big events, the opportunity to talk to lots of people about their neighborhood, the simple fact that lots of people would be out and about on the streets of Bloomfield on one weekend, parading, watching the parade, eating and drinking and having a good time, all that seemed irresistible.

It was great to see Bruno Sammartino, a Pittsburgh legend, signing autographs outside Bloomfield Jewelry where we talked to Tony Albanese, but we had to ask “Retro Joni” Perri to stop singing and playing a keyboard nearby while we did the interview. After we finished talking to Tony, we talked to Joni for a few minutes and she performed one of her original compositions.

Click on the "play" button to see and hear Retro Joni in action.


Take a basic look at Bloomfield.

See what some grad students have to say about Bloomfield.

Read an interesting take on Pittsburgh and “odd” Bloomfield.

Find out more about the mighty Bruno Sammartino.

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