October 29, 2004


Pittsburgh has exceeded my expectations as a beautiful city. Last night on our way to dinner, our driver told our group that Pittsburgh was voted last year as having the second prettiest skyline in the country. (And what city came in at number one? Seattle!)

Pittsburgh was built where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers converge and become the Ohio. So the city's downtown is very geographically defined. Although it once had a reputation for its pollution, the city has undergone Renaissance I, II, III, and is in the midst of Renaissance IV. It's very clean and, well, pretty. There are parks and walkways along the rivers, and the bridges are beautiful, especially when lit at night.

The renaissance and renovation came about through people like Randy, our waiter at lunch today. He called himself a "street artist," and was someone who renovated a rundown neighborhood, by planting flowers and painting murals, and taking it as his home.

After bringing us our iced tea and rolls but before bringing us our main course, he showed us a stack of photographs of his neighborhood. The mural he'd painted on his house was a garden scene, and in front of that he had planted shrubs and flowers. The inside of his house was colorful -- red ceilings, every wall a different color. He said, "I don't know how to paint, but I paint. I don't know how to garden, but I garden. Inside of you are unused rooms, and you just gotta open the door and go in."


Posted by Karen at October 29, 2004 08:21 PM