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There's no place like Pittsburgh...

In some cities you get propositioned for sex, political campaigns, or P.E.T.A. However, in Pittsburgh, you get propositioned for the “jitney”. A jitney is what is commonly known as a gypsy cab in some cities. It is somewhat of a Pittsburgh icon. August Wilson even wrote about them in his plays. However, until Saturday, a jitney was something that I had heard about, but had never seen.

As I left the grocery store on Saturday, I was propositioned and I finally understood that you don’t necessarily find the jitney. Sometimes, the jitney finds you.

I was introduced to the jitney because I altered my routine. I changed grocery stores out of necessity, a storm was coming and I needed food fast. Each time a storm is brewing they make it seem as if you will be unable to leave your home for days. So I ventured out to the ghetto grocery store near my house. Something, I try not to do.

I suppose reason follows if the grocery store is in the ghetto, my house is in the ghetto. I am in denial about that though. I believe what my co-op says, my neighborhood is in transition…

Normally, I shop at the uppity grocery store across town, but on Saturday I went to the store closest to my house. Now, despite what some of you think, not all grocery stores are created equally. Some have the good produce and some have what’s left over. Some have advertisements for yoga and some have a jitney driver soliciting business.

Having lived in other cities, I know that the disparity in grocery stores isn’t unique to Pittsburgh. However, when I heard the man ask, “Do you need a jitney?” I knew that I had arrived. Despite my protests, there was no denying, I live in Pittsburgh.
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