Ok, so I've been thinking of something to write about for my first post about Pittsburgh. There are so many things to talk about, so I thought my first story would be a story about things that make me go...."Hmmm...this is why I love this city." This happens quite often to tell you the truth. It even happened when I was a small child.
Let's go back to the time when visiting Santa was, what some might say when they were a child, the most exciting part of the year. I think the most exciting thing about seeing Santa when I was younger was the fact that we used to go downtown to the downtown Kaufmann's (which is now Macy's.) This is a fun store, especially because it has many many shopping floors. If you really want to have some fun you can ride the elevator to the furniture gallery which I believe is on the 10th or 11th floor and ride the escalators ALL the way back down. The top floors still have the wooden escalator enclosures...fun stuff. Anyway, back to the story. Once I put on my suit, which included a matching coat and shorts with knee high white socks and saddle shoes we got into the Mercury and headed (a short drive) downtown. Now to get to downtown from the south of Pittsburgh you must drive through the Liberty Tunnels which I have to say are creepin long. The best part is when you explode from the other end to cross the Liberty Bridge and the city jumps out at you. Nothing is more exciting for a kid than to see the dazzling lights shining from all of the tall buildings and reflecting on the rivers below. "The birthday cake building Mom and Dad" I would always say...referring to the PPG Building. I used to love seeing downtown like that...it was up there with visiting the mall with your mother in one of the anchor department stores and peeking out into the mall to see the fountain with lights and palm trees and food stores and people. This of course always ended with the same response "we have bologna at home...we'll make sandwiches there so we won't need to go to the food court." This of course is another story altogether. So...seeing Santa downtown after seeing the city from the tunnel was one of my "Hmmmm...this is why I love this city" moments.
I think another one of those moments would have been just a little while back when I was visiting a small hole in the wall bar on Mt. Washington with some friends. We made our way up the mountain heading under the Monongahela incline as it crept to Station Square below and then slowed at the top of P J McArdle Roadway where it curves at the last second only to make it look like you will fly off the mountain into the rivers far below all the while staring at a beautiful view of Heinz Field. Anyway, we parked the car on the Shiloh Street parking deck and stepped out into the frigid night. While walking to the bar the bells of a nearby church start to chime. This combined with the small dense shopping district and people walking home from work after their incline ride with the City of Pittsburgh as the glittering backdrop made me say "Hmmm this is why I love this city."
Lastly, because I know people are tired of reading, would be similar to a comment from Amy from Cleveland. She mentioned her neighbors helping to un-stick her car from the snow. I looked out my dining room window the other night to see my elderly neighbor Pat who lives two doors down shoveling away at my 93 year old next door neighbor Mrs. Slezak's sidewalk and front stairs. Now...after thinking she should stop before she falls and breaks her hip I remembered a picture that I have from my mom and dad's wedding day. They didn't have a large reception following their wedding, just a small party at my grandparents' house, where I now live since they have both passed on. In the picture my mother is kissing my grandfather goodbye before she heads out of the house with my dad. The best part about the picture is that my neighbor Pat and my next door neighbor Mrs. Slezak are both sitting behind them in this loving scene. They have been neighbors and friends for such a long time and the fact that Pat risks falling in the snow for her Pittsburgh neighbor and friend for decades makes me go "Hmmm...this is why I love this city."