Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Blue skies come down on me

Filed under : America,Travel
On July 4, 2012
At 11:30 pm
Comments : 5

(For picture/space purposes, Pittsburgh and Cleveland will be split into separate posts. If you have something important to do, or anything to do, you may want to skip tomorrow. I kid!)

More of our beautiful country this holiday week! I went to Pittsburgh “on business” (I used the quoteys because I don’t really know what an all expense paid trip for professional development is called) and spent six days there. Surprise! I really liked it. I am only sorry that Pittsburgh has such a poor reputation that I was forced to use the word surprise. Here’s what I liked about Pittsburgh:
1. It’s near water – I like that in any place.
2. It was a city of neighborhoods. And people actually lived in them, rather than just running home at night to the suburbs.
3. It had glorious, glorious houses. Oh my God, the houses.

Like this one. I really could have taken pictures of almost any house near where I was staying, but this one was a great example. You can imagine some turn of the century family living there with their servants, eating dinner together after Pa got home from running the steel mill. They all had double doors and bay windows and huge porches. Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair…..

I think part of what made it a fun city was all the schools there. This is the “Cathedral of Learning” at the University of Pittsburgh. It’s not really a cathedral, but there is learning, I’m told. I was actually told this by Dr. Toad, who took me there, and I believed her. I had not seen Dr. Toad since we met in Baltimore many years ago and it was an utter delight to see her again. She is one of the best people in the universe and another reason why I wouldn’t mind living in Pittsburgh.

I did quite a bit of walking around in the afterhours (my day went till 5) and I made it downtown via the busway which is a railroad for buses. Or something. There I bought chocolate caramel popcorn and walked along the river where I saw PNC Park, the stadium that Elena (and her sister via email) suggested I see. I hope they meant across a river with a bridge in front.

There were lots of things I didn’t get to see, including museums, which closed at 5, and the Inclines which are these funiculurs (like a railway that goes up a cliff). I didn’t do the Inclines because there was no easy way to get there from where I was by public transport and taking a cab is against my religion. Well, I could have split with these two women from my program who were going but I’ll just say that they would have sucked all the fun out of the funicular.

Speaking of public transport, this is the entrance to the Amtrak station. How cool is that? Once upon a time, this is how the people who lived in that house up top traveled in style. I took this on the way out because the train station is across from the bus station which, let me tell you, is one of the best things I can say about a city. It isn’t even true in New York. Pittsburgh – me likey!

OK, so the post title. This is one of those things that if other people told me they did, I would think it idiotic or pretentious, but since I already told you that I only listen to Disintegration when it rains, I suppose I can cringe and say I only listen to Cerulean when I’m on the train. I spent 21 hours on the train this week, so I got to listen to it a lot. And there were a lot of blue skies, too. But as I sat for 8 hours on the Pennsylvanian (see route a couple of posts down), I remembered that The Ocean Blue are from Pennsylvania! Woo, I finally got it right. So, lyric is from the song Cerulean from the self-titled record.
The Ocean Blue – Cerulean