PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – As many of us continue to grip with this new normal of stay at home and not going out to prevent the spread of Covid 19, normal scenes of crowded streets and stores are now replaced with empty sidewalks.
Normally there are the sounds of music and people shopping several of the local businesses on Penn Avenue in the Strip District.
On Saturday morning it was much quieter and only the sound of tires going through puddles broke the dull roar.
This new normal is far from the normal people have come to expect down there.
“It’s spooky it’s like a ghost town around here,” frequent Strip District shopper Tom Bakaitus said.
The sidewalks outside Pamela’s and DeLuca’s, normally filled with people, sat cold and wet under Saturday’s gray skies.
They were not alone.
Many stores sat locked up or emptier than normal.
“There should be people wall to wall walking around. There should be cheap jerseys hanging from all the ceiling,” Bikaitus told KDKA while he made his weekly trip to the strip.
There were no jerseys, hardly any street vendors, and a rare opportunity where you could see down the length of Penn Avenue because of the lack of people.
Another routine shopper Beth Bershok said more stores have closed their doors since last week.
“I’m really hoping they can hang on through this,” she said while going down Penn Avenue.
“There normally so many people that are down here. With their families and their pets. It’s usually packed,” Ashley Weber of Reyna Foods said. “There’s usually music playing.”
Instead just the sounds of the new normal.
In Market Square more of the same.
There were about as many pigeons as people, and even they were practicing social distancing.
Mount Washington and East Carson Street in the South Side looked similar to Penn Avenue in the Strip. There were just a handful of people running or taking dogs for a walk.
“As long as everybody is open I’m still coming,” Bershok said.
Some businesses are still okay right now.
“We don’t get a chance to come outside and see the emptiness. We really don’t even notice it,” Raymond Turkeys of Strip District Meats said.
Others hope our new normal doesn’t stick around for too long.
“There’s nothing right now,” Weber said.