April 15, 2013.  A day that many of us will remember forever.  The city of Boston grieved the senseless violence that destroyed one of the most joyous events of the year:  The Boston Marathon. I grieved, too.  After all, I was raised in Boston and watching the Marathon was a huge part of my formative years.  I knew what the Marathon meant to Boston.  I knew what it meant to me…

But what about the Pittsburgh Marathon? What does it mean to our city and to my family? I’ve been here nearly ten years now and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never taken the time to find out. Until this year.  This year I was asked to be a Neighborhood Correspondent for the Marathon.  My assignment?  Pick any neighborhood that I wished, join their celebrations during the Marathon, and chronicle them.

So–which neighborhood did I choose?


Friendship and its “Marathon Carnivale.”  This neighborhood has a very special place in my heart.  I lived in it for my first three years in Pittsburgh.  I met my husband there.  I lost my dad there.  I grew catnip on my roof there and then watched the sun rise over East Liberty as my kitty ate it.

Friendship is a quirky place filled with secret beauty, rebirth, and freespiritedness.  In other words, Friendship is a microcosm of the Pittsburgh that I love.  And celebrating the Marathon in my first Pittsburgh neighborhood reminded me of the reasons why I’m so glad that I chose to leave Boston and make this city my home.




 People can be who they want to be

(Street puppets from Puppets for Pittsburgh)



 I can be who I want to be (that’s me on the left!)



We include our children in everything we do



And our elders, too



We have awesome music in the most unlikely places

(Band: Lungs, Face, Feet)



 And food, too! 

(Food truck: Franktuary)



We’re funny



And we’re not afraid to stop and dance sometimes…


And…during our walk through Friendship afterwards:


pghmarathon2Always a new neighborhood to check out



 We’re GREEN!



 Random kid-friendly art discoveries 

(The Octopus Garden: 133 S. Aiken Ave)



More randonmess



 And BEAUTY.  It’s everywhere…


Thank you, Friendship, for reminding me that I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing city.  It was magical to feel your energy yesterday as we cheered on those runners.  There’s a reason why the Pittsburgh Marathon is one of the fastest growing marathons in the county.  There’s a reason why Pittsburgh is becoming such an inspirational place to be.  And I felt it with YOU :)!

© Copyright 2014 Nadine Champsi, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog
Nadine Champsi

Nadine Champsi

I am a doctor turned write-at-home-mom who runs the Pittsburgh Mommy Blog and is editor of Kidsburgh. I have two wonderful young children and am happily married. My interests include cooking, green-living, gardening, being in the outdoors, listening to great music, checking out the city's cool art, coming up with creative things to do with my kids, and having as many adventures as I can!
Nadine Champsi

2 Comments on The Pittsburgh Marathon, The Friendship Carnivale, and Why I Love this City

    • Friendship is located in the East End, very close to East Liberty, Shadyside, Bloomfield, and Highland Park. It’s an area that I believe will be undergoing a huge revitalization in the next few years.