So long Steel City

The view from Mt. Washington

My boys are napping and I should be packing right now. Or sleeping, washing dishes, doing laundry..anything but sitting down to write about how I’m going to miss our cozy little apartment (kept faithfully at 75 degrees) and our little adventures in Pittsburgh. For tomorrow we leave, and I can honestly say that I am a little sad to go home!

Pittsburgh, I’ve discovered, is a really cool city. Much cooler than the name implies. Something about the word “pitt” makes me think of grease balls and pit stains, not too appealing. But then again, that is Brad Pitt’s last name and greasy and sweaty are not adjectives I generally call to mind when thinking of Brad Pitt. Nevertheless, I wasn’t sure what to think of the city when I found out in October that we’d be spending six weeks there.

So like any good twenty-something (I need to use this phrase more often, as I only have about six more months to refer to myself as one), I went online and started googling things to do in Pittsburgh. I was surprised to see how much there was to do. Museums, restaurants, historical sites, boat rides, and even an amusement park. I started making a list of all that I wanted to see and do while we were there.

Atop my list was to ride the cable cars to the top of Mt. Washington and see the city at night. According to USA Today, the view overlooking the city is the second most beautiful place in the U.S.!

I normally don’t consider myself to be from the South or from the country, but upon arriving in Pittsburgh, I definitely felt like both. A regular old Elly May Clampett. My first trip to Wal-Mart tipped me off to that. Soon enough, however, my Northern Virginia roots kicked in and I adjusted to all crowds, dark hair, and traffic.

Still there are some unique differences. Up here, for instance, they differentiate between Italian food; immigrant Italian, country Italian, regional Italian…how many kinds of Italian food does a city need? And the thing about the Steeler Nation? It’s true. Sundays in Pittsburgh are reminsicient of game days during my years at Virginia Tech, though instead of maroon and orange it was black and yellow. I’d never seen so many Roethlisbergers and Polamalus. From the clerk at Wal-Mart to the couple at church, round here, everyone is a fan.

We never made it to a Steelers game–or about half the other things on my list. I guess I was a little idealistic. Typical. We saw more of the inside of a mall than anything else and ate more chicken nuggets than Italian food. (And I’m sure more than is considered healthy. At one point I was so concerned that I started bringing pbj sandwhiches to the mall so we wouldn’t eat nuggets!)

However, last weekend I got to check my number one off the list. On a Saturday we went into the city and rode the hundred year old cable cars to the top of Mount Washington to take in the city at night. Having been to the Grand Canyon and Sedona Arizona a few years ago, I don’t think I would rank it as the second most beautiful sight in the U.S., but it was beautiful.

More important than the sights we got to see, however, was the time we spent together as a family. From carving pumpkins to turkey we’ve celebrated holidays together, traipsed through the city together, strolled through the mall together, and hung out in our apartment together. Here there’s no house to work on, not too much to clean (thanks to the cleaning service!!!), and none of the usual distractions of home that keep us busy. I’m going to miss that. A lot.

But I’m hopeful that we, or I, can be more purposeful in not getting caught up in the details and enjoy our Sundays together at home like we have here. Who knows, maybe we can even do some exploring in our home town together.

But for now it’s so long to the Steel City. You will hold a special place in our hearts.

2 thoughts on “So long Steel City

  1. Jill says:

    Yay! Pittsburgh! Funny re the dark hair, but it’s so true. I’m sure I told you the story about when Scarlett was born, Dr. Roberts said, “where did all of you dark haired people come from?” Like we were some kind of foreigners. I was like, “we’re from Pittsburgh!!” Glad you liked it there.

  2. Jill says:

    Also, Pittsburgh is named after William Pitt, the Elder, who was like the British equivalent of Defense Secretary when they took Fort Duquesne from the French. I think. It makes Pittsburgh seem a bit more sophisticated when you think of it that way.

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