Mr. Rogers was a man who believed that we all needed a place to belong, to feel loved. A man who understood the power of a neighborhood, and every day, invited us all to be part of his with a catchy song and a simple smile.
In a time where it feels we’re more divided than ever – in politics, in religion and even in sports…. something that is meant to bring us together – in a time where there’s too much hate – in schools, at country music concerts and even in church – more than ever, we need to spread the love, support each other and come together as a community.
A community. A neighborhood. A place to belong. We all have somewhere that gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling. For some of us, it’s the place we call home. For others, it’s where we study and expand our knowledge. Yet for others it’s where happy memories have been made, or where we connect with the people who make our soul feel whole.
To honor these places – these beacons of hope and love and togetherness – we’ve created and launched five new styles of Shades, each one unique in character; each one designed with specific memories in mind.
Joining our previously-launch North Shores are neighborhoods from the south, east and west of the city of Pittsburgh to round out our compass. The South Sides, The Oaklands, The Shadysides, The East Liberties and The Sewickleys will hit a soft spot for many, stretching from those who were born and raised here, to those who travel here for school or work, to those who were only in Pittsburgh for a brief time, but it was long enough to feel the love and drink the Black and Gold Kool-Aid.
There’s a certain pride that comes with claiming a neighborhood. That pride of belonging and being part of something bigger than yourself. Take Oakland for example…. Think about what that neighborhood means to the thousands who have lived, worked, played or visited. Think about all of the things that happen in that neighborhood every single day – the things that are learned and taught in the classrooms, the lives that are saved at the world-renowned hospitals, the discoveries that are made at the first class research facilities, the memories that are preserved at some of the best museums – moments that have touched and will touch thousands upon thousands of people.
Think about how special of a place Oakland is to the student being the first to graduate from college in his family, the new parents leaving the hospital with their new baby, the grandparent who survived polio because of the vaccine and saw a whole family built around them, the child experiencing the wonder of dinosaur bones for the first time….. neighborhoods are pretty awesome.
And while Mr. Rogers invited the whole world to be part of his neighborhood every day, for those of us who are Pittsburghers, we know we’re the truly special ones who got to BE his neighbor each and every day. Our city is a special place. Special things happen here every single day. Some are small – stopping to give directions to a couple who is confused by our one way streets, bridges and tunnels – and some are big – producing the steel that rebuilt America – but there’s no arguing that Pittsburgh is special, and it’s a place you belong.
Won’t you be OUR neighbor?
P.S. Stop the hate. Spread love. Bless up.