Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Adventure in Pittsburgh- Day 1

I'm in Pittsburgh. The National Preservation Conference is being held here.

I've really never been to Pittsburgh to have such a bad taste about it. To be honest, the downtown is actually quite urban and preserved. It's just that when I was a little girl playing MASH, we'd pick to great cities to grow up in and then the person administering the game would pick two bad ones. Detroit, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh were always the bad ones. I found it rather humorous that I-76 W signs said you were on your way to Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

I drove here this morning. Here's what I've learned about the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Pittsburgh so far.

1. The Pennsylvania Turnpike was the nation's first long-distance superhighway.

2. The Amish must only listen to country. I sent out a mass text message saying, "Damn good thing I like Country music. Apparently that is all on the radio in Amish country." Jenny responded back, "Oh no! Watch out for horse and buggies- I hear those people are crazy drivers!" Not to make fun of the Amish... really... I'm sure they're great. I once dated a Quaker. That's sort of the same thing, right?

3. Heinz Ketchup is from Pittsburgh. And here I thought it was all steel and pollution! Apologies to Pittsburgh industry...

4. Andy Warhol is from Pittsburgh. Again, apologies to industry here.

5. The Homestead Strike between the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers and Carnegie Steel Company was one of the first real battles in America. Pittsburgh really must be a blue collar city since one of the downtown history signs in the middle of a main street explains the battle and sites Henry Clay Frick as a Pittsburgh legend. You know if this was New York City, some PR agency would be saying how well the Carnegie Steel Company handled the situation instead.

And that's it so far. I'm staying at the Omni William Penn which is beautiful. I'll let you know more later. Enjoy DC for me!


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