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Squirrel Hill


SQUIRREL HILL is where we met and talked to Alan Irvine. We don’t often include “experts” in these documentaries, but we thought it might be wise (and fun) to talk to someone who had actually devoted some serious study to the idea of neighborhoods, someone who had read the important works about the subject, at the same time someone who would know a bit about the charms of Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Associate Producer Katrina Prentice did the research. She explains: “Rick asked me to find an academic expert who might be able to talk about neighborhoods — someone who could tell us why people want to live in them, and why humans beings often want to have neighbors. So I called the Sociology Department at the University of Pittsburgh and asked if someone there might be able to help. Alan Irvine was the immediate recommendation. He lives in Squirrel Hill. He often teaches urban studies at Pitt, and he doesn’t mind appearing on camera. He sounded perfect.”

We also learned that Alan has a parallel career as a professional storyteller. He performs at a wide variety of venues, telling ghost stories, fantastic adventure tales, as well as engaging stories of local and American history.

You can contact Alan and even schedule him for an event through his website.

Click on the button to hear some of Alan's thoughts about the work of sociologist William Whyte.


Find out more about the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill here
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. . . and here.

Learn more about writer and urban sociologist William Whyte here
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. . . or here.

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