Sunday, November 20, 2005

Live from the land of Pitt

This is going to be short because of two things:
1. I'm in Pittsburgh hanging out with friends of mine, and
2. One of them just woke up and I should be a bit more social.

But for starters, I've been in Pittsburgh this weekend, checking out my friends' diggs and seeing what life has brought him and his new wife. To be honest, I was expecting post-apocolyptic run-down steel town: something like a cross between Akira and a Soviet-era housing project.

Instead it's been a fun town with a bunch of disparate views, images, and areas. I'm staying with them in a residential neighborhood a short drive from the U. Pitt/Carnegie-Mellon part of town. There's also a revitalized waterfront area; a warehousey-strip-nightlife area; a mis-named Shady Side that's sort of like Grand Ave. in St. Paull; a commercial (and nothing else) downtown; and the rest of the city I didn't see.

The area that struck me most so far was the converted waterfront. It's where a bunch of steel mills used to be, but has now been converted into a phenomenally generic anytown-USA zone for franchises and chains. I'm not saying it's bad: it's green, new, clean, and well put together, but of the 50 or so shops/cafes/restaurants I saw in the area, about 49 of them were unique to nowhere.

I only bring up the waterfront because it (apparently) was an area so quitesentially Pittsburghian (Yinzer, in the local dialect), and has now become so quintessentially not that it seems to me worth commenting on.

By and large though, in my 35 hours in town so far I find Pittsburgh to be a pretty decent town, and one with the potential to become much more dynamic and vibrant rapidly and dramatically if it can find its niche.

I'll write more later. (sorry, no pics as I forgot my camera)


Genya said...

Sad. I thought you were going to talk about Brad Pitt. Oh well.

Red said...

Dude, say hi to big Z and his new squeeze from me. Also, remind him not to be a scanner boy or a maudlauv... or a Gottlieb Vossen for that matter (bringing out the old Villians Unlimited material there... wow, that was a strain!). ^_^

alektra said...

So, I was thinking you were going to CALL when you got back?