Sunday, November 16, 2008
Welcome to Pittsburgh, home of Andrew Carnegie and Andy Warhol, the Steel Industry and the setting of Showtime's "Queer As Folk". I had never been to Pittsburgh before, but a Tuesday night open mic showcase brought me to the Steel City on a beautiful fall day. I arrived in town early in the afternoon, so I put on my walking shoes and hiked all over downtown. Pittsburgh is a very walkable city, as the hills around it confine the downtown to a very small area.
Walking across one of the city's many suspension bridges to get to the North Shore. The North Shore features an Andy Warhol museum, Heinz Park (where the Steelers play), and PNC Park (where the Pirates play).
A view of downtown Pittsburgh from the North Shore. The river you see is the Allegheny, and on the other side of downtown is the Monongahela. The two rivers meet at a point (giving the city a triangular shape) and form the Ohio River.
Pittsburgh has its own "Bridge of Sighs", or at least thats what it reminded me of. Like Venice's famous bridge connected the Doge's Palace to the prison over a canal, Pittsburgh's bridge connects the courthouse to the jail (over a street). Hopefully this bridge isn't as depressing , though, because the one in Venice is called the "Bridge of Sighs" as it was most likely the last time you would see the light of day before living out the rest of your life in a dark, dingy prison cell. I wonder if Pittsburgh has their own Casanova as well?
My favorite thing about Pittsburgh? The neighborhoods, especially here in Little Italy, where I played at a Polish pub, the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern. A Polish restaurant in Little Italy you might ask? I didn't ask any questions, I just devoured their amazing pierogies, potato pancakes, and kielbasa. It was great preparation for my upcoming trip to Poland, and the owners actually sent with me a little Polish flag like you see above, and a sticker for "Pittsburgh's ONLY Polish Party House", which I am supposed to put in the bathroom of a restaurant when I arrive in Warsaw. If you find yourself in Pittsburgh, I HIGHLY recommend the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern for all of your dietary needs!