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Travel

Not Your Grandfather’s Pittsburgh!

Pittsburgh is a city with an entrance. The beauty of rivers, hills and valleys coming together formed a remarkable tableau, hardly the sooty industrial city I had pictured. The intersection of the Allegheny, Monongahela to form the Ohio creates Point Park on which a fountain sprays 150 feet into the air. Clipper ships skim the waters, carrying enchanted passengers on scenic tours.

The former steel town may be having a hard time changing people’s impression of smoke-covered buildings and industry-driven economy, but they’ve done an incredible job of revamping the social and urban landscape to create one of the top ranked mid-sized cities in the nation. Sports, technology, ethnicity, the arts, museums and more exist in abundance.

Pittsburgh’s patchwork of 89 neighborhoods are defined by hills, separated by rivers and bridges, and demarcated by ravines. Squirrel Hill, Polish Hill, Brighton Heights, Southside Slopes are distinct communities with heritage, personality and charm. The ‘Burgh boasts more bridges than any city in the world, and more public steps than Cincinnati and San Francisco combined. Pittsburgh is also a pioneer in green technology — ranking seventh of mid-sized cities for the number of LEED-certified structures.

Of course, Pittsburgh bleeds black and gold, colors of all three professional sports teams. Attend a football game with the Steelers, baseball with the Pirates, hockey with the Penguins, or soccer with the Riverhounds. PNC Park is arguably one of the most beautiful ballparks in major league baseball, and Heinz Field has great views! The Penguins and Pirates are loved, but it is the Steelers—winners of six Super Bowls—that have spawned a true Steelers Nation where you can find “yinzers” and “terrible towels” almost anywhere…even Kentucky.

Once the center of Pittsburgh’s wholesale produce industry, “The Strip District” is the place to be on Saturday mornings. Stop by for a great breakfast, local produce, browse eccentric shops or visit Wholey’s Fish Market for some of the original boat dock ambiance. Return that evening to enjoy one of the hottest nightspots in the city.

But don’t spend all your time in Pittsburgh eating, drinking and looking at the scenery.

Browse the renowned Carnegie Museum of Art, or the Andy Warhol Museum, the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world. Visit the Museum of Natural History’s world-renowned dinosaur collection, enjoy 250+ hands-on exhibits at the Carnegie Science Center. Move into the surreal at the Center for Postnatural History, to see living organisms altered by man. Open mainly on Sundays, CPNH founder and art professor Richard Pell says, “CPNH looks at the organisms that we alter, but also at how they alter us.”

A visit to the former “Steel City” of Pittsburgh offers an incredibly diverse variety of landscapes, waterfront, arts, education, dining, rolling farmland, or cozy neighborhoods – Pittsburgh has it all…just six short hours away.

DID YOU KNOW:
The Smiley 🙂 was the first Internet emoticon, created in 1980 by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Scott Fahlman.

Musical legend Perry Como, apprenticed as a barber at the age of twelve, then took over a established barber shop at the age of 14. Christina Aguilaro is a Pittsburgh hometown girl also.

It is generally accepted that there are over 2000 bridges that span more than eight feet in Allegheny County and about 120 within the Pittsburgh City Limits.

Generations of Pittsburghers heard KDKA radio DJs tout Farkleberry Tarts during Christmas fund drives to aid the free care fund at Children’s Hospital during the 1970s.

Pittsburgh’s WQED was the nation’s first community-sponsored TV station, which began broadcasting in 1955. It was the flagship station for Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

By Doris Settles, Staff Writer

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