Friday, October 22, 2021

It's a Burgh Thing - Pittsburgh

While we really enjoy seeing friends and family when we are in WashPA it has been a while since we did a day exploring the Burgh. Of all the cities we have visited, Pittsburgh is the only one that has a grand entrance if you are coming in from the west. While you may catch a glimpse of the tops of the skyscrapers, you only get to see the whole downtown when you exit the Fort Pitt Tunnel. Check here, it is a real surprise the first time you do it and something I enjoy every time.   
We decided we would make a day of it and visit some of our favorite parts of the city and explore some areas we have never been to. We left WashPA at 9:30 and our first stop was Pamela's in the Strip District. Because of Covid many restaurants now have outdoor seating, something that is rare in the colder parts of the country. Nanc staying warm on a cool, but sunny morning. 
Here is why I must go to Pamela's every time we are in the Burgh. The crepe "pancakes" are the best I have ever had. After having them, I rarely have pancakes anywhere else. They are so wonderful President Obama invited Pamela to cook breakfast for him on Inauguration Day.   
The Strip includes the old produce warehouses and wholesalers selling many different foods and wares. It is a treat just walking down the street with all the aromas coming out of the stores.
The mural gives you a real feel of what The Strip used to be like. While it is still very neat, the neighborhood is fast becoming gentrified.
One big change is the actual produce warehouse has been totally redone with plans for entertainment, food and shopping. Even though the project is pretty much complete, new businesses have been slow to move in the middle of the pandemic. 
As you can see there were almost no people there that day. I believe it will be successful because there are hundreds of new apartments going up within walking distance. 
One thing we realized we miss about our old home in Pennsylvania that we don't have in Florida is the hills. The longest view you get in Stuart is going over the bridges and looking out from them. It is flat as far as the eye can see. The only way to get a view like this in most cities is to go to the top of a tall building. 
In Pittsburgh you can take a quick ride to Mt. Washington for a great view on the 150 year old incline. Between 1870 and 1901 17 inclines were built in greater Pittsburgh. They were primarily for the workers to commute to their jobs in the mills. Automobiles reduced the need for them so today there are only two remaining, the Monongahela and the Duquesne, pictured here.  Here is a short video of the ride.
The station at the top has a neat exhibit of the history and workings of the inclines. 
A panoramic view of the city and The Point where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet to form the Ohio River. Lost in most history books is the fact that this was the starting point for the Lewis and Clark Corp of Discovery. The boats they used where built in Pittsburgh.
This is a monument of George Washington and Seneca leader Guyasuta overlooking the river from Point of View Park. It depicts their meeting in 1770 when Washington traveled through the area. It sure has changed a lot since then.
We lived most of our lives in the Pittsburgh area but we have never been to the West End Overlook in the Elliott neighborhood. It gives you a different view of the city, rivers and more of the 28 bridges that cross the three rivers. They are just a few of the 446 bridges in the city.
From West End Overlook you can see the Gothic style Cathedral of Learning in the distance. The 535 foot building at the University of Pittsburgh is the tallest education building in the Western Hemisphere.
From the West End we traveled to the North Side to see the statue of another iconic Pittsburgher, Fred Rogers. Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood was on PBS from 1960 to 2001. The show focused on emotional and physical concerns of young children such as death, sibling rivalry and divorce. 
It is comforting that Mr. Rogers is still looking out for Pittsburgh. The base he is sitting on is part of the pier of the old Manchester Bridge. 
Before the Fort Pitt and Fort Duquesne Bridges were built in the 1960's there were two older ones, the Manchester and Point Bridges. This relief sculpture honoring native and early explorers was on the Manchester Bridge. 
By this time we were ready for a drink and snack so we stopped at my favorite Pittsburgh micro-brewery, The Church Brew Works. 
A perfect use for an old church and altar, brewing tanks and barrels. 
When we lived here, A Fair in the Park in Mellon Park was one of our go to events. They always had an excellent selection of artisans works. A potter, whose work Nanc really likes, was there and she could not pass up the chance to buy some new bowls. She also now has the contact to replace some of our pieces that were broken while in transport. 
We had one more stop to end our perfect day in the Burgh. Dan and Josh were playing at Truss Brewery in Pleasant Hills. We had not heard Josh at all and Dan only once on this visit. The beer and pizza were good and the music was great. 
The venue was outside so when the lights came on we got this unique picture. Live music is always high on our to do list, so it was great hearing a couple WashPA men playing our favorite tunes. It was 9:30 when we arrived back home, so it was a long but fun day in Pittsburgh.
We did one other trip to town with friends John and Patrice, where we toured a bit of the North Side. That day we visited Randyland. This outdoor art museum is the work of Randy Gilson, a local artist who was down and out before starting this unique display in 1995.  
In addition to his eclectic works of art, Randy was a community activist who planted over 800 street gardens and 50 vegetable gardens. His work has lead to the revitalization of local neighborhoods that had fallen into disrepair. If you are in the Burgh make sure you add Randyland to your to do list.
One last unique feature in Pittsburgh is Allegheny Observatory in Riverview Park. There are two 30 inch and one 13 inch telescopes in the building. It was built by wealthy industrialists in the early 1900's and is now run by the University of Pittsburgh. It is temporary closed for renovation.
We ended that day at Penn Brewery, another great Pittsburgh stop. 
Hope you enjoyed our tour of the Burgh and now realize that Pittsburgh is no longer the smokey steel town that comes to mind for so many people when they hear the name.

We have a couple more blog posts about stops we made on our trip south to write about in the coming weeks. We've been back in Stuart for a couple weeks now and will be heading to Punta Cana next week to celebrate our anniversary. Just because we no longer have Opus does not mean we will not be traveling. 
Stay safe and healthy everyone. 


Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Thanks for the tour! As you miss the hills, we grow tired of the flatness of south Texas and by spring yearn to see mountains. said...

I thought we knew all about Pittsburgh but I never heard of Randyland. Thanks for sharing.