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Pittsbugh: Man, I Love This Place

Mount Washington Panorama 16X24
http://ricklamison.blogspot.com/2011/11/two-picture-panorama-of-pittsburgh-at.html

An exhausting home-swim meet day on Saturday–six hours on my feet pimping hot dogs and haluski in the concessions stand when I should have been dozing off in the bleachers, snoring into a paperback novel.  At least the night was tempered by an invitation to share dinner with some friends–sandwiches, beer, crinkle-cut french fries and left-over Christmas cookies–and enjoying their company and the company of their adorable young children…almost enough to make me consider…ah, no.  Two is good, and the empty nest is still the better part of three years distant.

That’s the grace of small-town living–simple pleasures, easy friendships.  Best of all, we woke up this morning and we decided to hit the road and run down to Pittsburgh–a 70 minute run from driveway to parking garage–for a visit to the Carnegie Museum, one of the many reasons

http://ci13.cmoa.org/pittsburgh

that I am so damned in love with this city.  Afterwards, we made our usual stop at Lulu’s Noodles because it’s close to the museum, because it’s delicious, and because it’s cheap as hell and still fun.

https://foursquare.com/v/lulus-noodles/4adb3a11f964a520062521e3

It’s getting harder and harder to settle into those old favorites, however.  Pittsburgh is exploding with young, creative people and the selection of bars and restaurants is expanding, seemingly exponentially.  I’m not surprised, of course, I’ve loved going to the city since I was a kid, and I fell in love with it while living there for several years in the mid-90’s, but it’s rewarding to see that people are noticing.  They’re a little late, of course–

http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/ct-trav-0105-pittsburgh-tourism-20140104,0,4858908.column

it seems that a month hasn’t passed in several years without an article popping up here or there in which the author is fascinated, confused, and almost ashamed by his or her unexpected by emphatic adoration for a city they expected to find wreathed in industrial smoke and coated in rust covered by a thick coating of coal dust.