The third thing I love about Pittsburgh

some of my writing and blogging projects have fallen by the wayside ever since I took my writing break last spring – I am attempting writing resurrections on many fronts.

…the third thing I love about Pittsburgh – all its nooks and crannies…

Saturday night found S. and me showering and dressing in preparation for an evening of dinner and theater, something we haven’t done in at least half a year.  I am always surprised how enjoyable it is to get dressed up and leave the house on the arm of my husband – it’s the same joy I get when we are packing to travel to a wedding and I see my dress and party shoes hanging next to his suit – it’s a combination of spending time with him,  spending time with him somewhere outside of our normal routine, and marveling at the fact that we really are grown ups, dressed and going somewhere adult. I don’t know if all wives feel this way or if this reaction stems from knowing my husband since we were sixteen and so very not-adult.

We met our neighbor outside – F. was coming with us – it was his partner starring in the play we were going to see.  F. is always interesting to spend time with because he’s lived in Pittsburgh for his entire adult life and he’s extremely interested in our city’s history – he also has a job that fosters that interest.  When you go somewhere with F. – whether it’s into the university neighborhood for thai food or for a walk around our neighborhood park – you can expect to learn about the history behind boarded up houses, the destination of old train tracks now abandoned, the fact that your favorite Polish restaurant was once a gas station.  S. and I like history and love our city and beyond that we always consider time with F. time well spent

Saturday evening found us heading to a new neighborhood for us – the north side of Pittsburgh.  We had reservations to dine at Legends of the North Shore before the performance, a restaurant that came highly recommended from friends, and rightfully so – our meal was delicious.

It’s impossible to drive anywhere quickly in Pittsburgh and so we meandered with all the other traffic up hills, around curves, over a bridge, admiring the pink and gold sunset setting over our city, S. and I mostly listening as F. pointed out historical points of interest and small pubs and restaurants we might not have noticed otherwise.

As we rode together I was reminded of the first time I lived in Pittsburgh. Then, like now, I mostly took the bus to get around, and I remember how the entire city felt like an adventure…there wasn’t a street I passed I didn’t want to explore. It felt like every twist in the city presented a different bar, restaurant, gallery, theater or museum to visit – a different adventure to be had.  On Saturday evening, as we drove out of our neighborhood, through downtown and into a different area altogether, as we passed little restaurants and a large theater, as we dined over polenta drizzled with pesto and old-fashioned Italian dishes, as we walked from dinner across the park to the theater, I was reminded again of my love for all the nooks and crannies in this city, all the different possibilities at my fingertips. It’s the kind of thing I always expect to feel when I’m visiting New York or Chicago, and I’m always surprised to find right here at home, when I just pay enough attention.


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4 Responses to The third thing I love about Pittsburgh

  1. shoreacres says:

    There’s something about nooks and crannies of every sort that just delight me. When I was a child, it was jewel boxes, with little doors and tiny drawers and teeny-tiny little compartments.

    There are landscapes like that, too – including a dear 23 acres of Texas hill country that I explored for years, sometimes sure I never was seeing the same thing twice.

    And as for cities – San Francisco was mine. Ride the BART from Berkeley, get off, and get started. I recognize the feeling you describe, but I’m startled to hear you describing Pittsburgh in such a way. You make me want to visit, and make it sound as intriguing as any city in the country!

  2. litlove says:

    You do write so beautifully about your experiences. I love going places with my husband too, for exactly the same reasons.

  3. Courtney says:

    Shoreacres – you brought back to me the pure wonderment I used to find in my mother’s jewelry box! Thank you! And yes, I think Pittsburgh surprises many people when they come here and find out how very much there is to do/see/explore.

    Litlove – you are too complimentary. But thank you! Right now I’m just trying to maintain any sort of writing, any at all…

  4. Pete says:

    Hey, you’ve got me interested in Pittsburgh now too. (Check out the ‘Interesting’ page for Pittsburgh on Flickr for example.) Lovely writing. You got us all going on the journey there with you.

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