North Side Story (WQED Multimedia – Pittsburgh)
Picture: C Sound: C+ Extras: B Main Program: B
the river from Downtown Pittsburgh, the North Side has its immediate business
and residential district, but the former City Of Allegheny is made up of
several dozen neighborhood towns and North
Side Story (1997) unravels this little-told story about an important
area. While telling about its past and
formation, including using some very old (and great) film footage, it explains
the past while cutting back to showing the present. This works well enough.
uses an effective approach, but in this case, I wish there was more about the
past because the industry and very wealthy people who used to live there are
too unexplored. Some of the streets
where they lived (to avoid the pollution of the mills many of them profited
from) have even been destroyed because lesser forces refused to give them the
landmark status they deserve, thus are the limits of this show for someone in
is excellent for what is there and maybe a sequel is possible. With a wave of rebuilding going on over there
with two new sports stadiums to boot, it just might be time for it.
X 1 image is nice shot in professional analog NTSC video and looks pretty good
and the transfer is about as good as it is going to get. There are some color and definition limits,
plus the stock footage is going to cause variance, but it is pleasant enough to
enjoy. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has
no surrounds, but is nicely recorded and Sebak’s narration is never too forward
while interviews are clean.
include promos for this and dozens of other great programs from this and
related series WQED has produced, then adds the (premature?) implosion of Three
Rivers Stadium, Steeler tailgating, Del Monte still producing products at the
old Heinz food factories, the Allegheny West House Tour & Miniature
Railroad & Village attractions there and an Observatory Hill visit which is
a location of broad land that epitomizes the land and neighborhood the area
continues to be.
- Nicholas Sheffo