joy magnetism: My favorite town in America

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

My favorite town in America

Magnet #64 - Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh is my favorite city in the United States. No, I swear! I've always said that I'd live in Pittsburgh, if it weren't in Pittsburgh. Which sounds mean, but really, it's just that it'd be harder to get to my family who lives pretty much up and down the eastern seaboard in NC/DC/NY/Boston.

It's the twentieth largest city in America, second largest in Pennsylvania. Which is why I'm surprised by how much there is to do there.

I have to travel to Pittsburgh every once in a while for work, but I discovered how terrific this town is when I went to a friend's wedding there several years ago. I will also admit here to only a very touristy, cursory exposure. I don't know the different neighborhoods, I don't really know their people (aside from my fab coworkers), and I don't really know the area.

So what is it about this town?

The architecture. For such a small town, it's a veritable grab bag of terrific buildings. There's the PPG building, with its gothic look and feel, adorned in glass. (PPG stands for Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company.) There's the U.S. Steel building, made of...well, steel. The Alcoa building, made of...well, aluminum. There's even the gorgeous and historic William Penn Hotel, built in 1916. (And down the highways are three Frank Lloyd Wright houses!) OK, if I keep going this whole post will be about buildings.

The tourist attractions. The Duquesne incline: Ride up the side of the mountain in a somewhat scary tram car and see the gorgeous views. The Warhol Museum: Spend several minutes walking around the Silver Clouds exhibit - it really makes you feel like you're flying. The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: Well, I went for a wedding, so of course it was beautiful. The Carnegie Museum of Art: Went for the reception, but was able to enjoy some of the museum. The Heinz Museum of History: Ok, stopped in, but it was too late to really enjoy the Lewis & Clark exhibit.

The confluence. Hello, how cool is it that three rivers meet here - the Allegheny and Monongahela actually meet here to form the Ohio.

The bridges. Apparently? There are 446 bridges...thus earning Pittsburgh the moniker of The City of Bridges.

The teams. Pirates. Steelers. Ok, and the Penguins. There's a magnet later, but taking a tour of Heinz stadium is so impressive - even if you're not a fan.

Oh, there's a ton more about Pittsburgh that I could wax poetic about (I could even go on and on about their terrific airport), but there's still a lot for me to discover. I still have yet to see the Cathedral of Learning, the birthplace of the Big Mac, and I'm making a list for the rest.

See? And you wonder why more people haven't been to Pittsburgh.

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jen said...

Oooh, ooh! I love the confluence -- you can literally see the rivers joining since the waters are slightly different shades of brown.

Oh, and oooh, oooh! The Cathedral of Learning is so cool -- very Harry Potteresque when you go in and you can peep through windows to see the different rooms.

Overall it's just a superfun place.

julie said...

i liked pittsburgh, too. and was very glad to have gordon drive since that place is crazy. what i thought was overrated? primanti brothers. it wasn't that great. also weird, that i once thought going to pitt would be cool for undergrad. you should have linked to my blog post about pittsburgh, silly!