The Sole of the City

For all the wonderful things about Pittsburgh and its people, the greatest disappointment in our region is just how little we know about it. What I am referring to is the trait unique to this town where folks don’t cross bridges, go through tunnels and travel from one “hills” to another “hills”.


Sherris Moreira Byers taking visitors on the Design Zone Roam: The Lawrenceville tour offered by Sole City Tours.

Here’s an example. I met a woman at a charity event two weeks ago and we were talking about restaurants. I was telling her about this great place in the South Hills … and she said she would never go. It’s too far away. The woman LIVED IN SQUIRREL HILL!

It’s this desire to get people in Pittsburgh to get to know more than their neighbor — their neighborhood as it were —  that motivated a reporter to become literally a guide to all that is good in our city. Her name is Sherris Moreira Byers and she created Sole City Tours. Her theory is that Pittsburghers can become tourists in their town, learn about their city and maybe become patrons in places they have never visited.

Her tours are more than just walking and talking. Thanks to striking relationships with businesses around town, Sherris’ tour takes people to certain neighborhoods where they meet residents, sample foods and learn such interesting tidbits such as which Lawrenceville school was the first where kids were immunized with Jonas Salk’s famous polio vaccine.

Her tours also take on unique names. There is the Design Zone Roamthrough lower Lawrenceville, the Shadyside Saunter on Ellsworth Avenue and Gallery Galavant on Penn Avenue. Last night, Sherris met me for her “Check It Out” interview at a coffee shop called Inner Vagabond in Lawrenceville. It’s a unique place that looks like what a coffee shop in Cairo might look like, featuring its unique flavors of hummus. So laid back is this place that moms from Mount Lebanon gather at this eclectic place for coffee and conversation.

I encourage you to check out Sole City Tours. The link will take you to the website … and then just follow Sherris on a unique tour. The tours run 3 hours and she tells me its great for birthday and bachelor parties. Just remember this: when you go on a tour, look for the lady in the pink crocs. That’s Sherris.

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