Two weeks ago, I took a weekend trip to Pittsburgh, the land of many bridges, 446 to be exact. It was my second time visiting the city within the last 10 years. We left on a Friday, and embarked on our 5-hour drive from New Jersey. The cool part was that is it literally one straight way for a majority of the trip. The not so cool part was that it was literally one straight way for a majority of the trip. Looking at the same scenery for hours can be lackluster, but nonetheless, before the sunset we were able to enjoy the refreshing abundance of nature.
Arriving to Pittsburgh was beautiful. The city is lit up at night from the glow of the LED lights that make it lively and vibrant. I didn't remember the hilly streets, which are mostly found in the residential areas; a majority of my previous stay was in a hotel conference hall. Either way, it reminded of San Francisco, with its mountainous features overlooking the water. In this case, three rivers: The Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio.
Our goal was to spend the weekend touring the city, trying the local eats, and of course, going to the Andy Warhol museum, which I highly recommend. Unfortunately, you can't take photos on the gallery floors, but it is definitely worth a visit. I can shamefully admit, I did not know Warhol was from Pittsburgh until then. The museum features his work in chronological order, from childhood, pop art, filmmaking, post-retirement comeback, to his death in 1987.
The great part about this trip was seeing old friends, like a guy I studied abroad with 5 years ago in England - Hey Pat! Also finally meeting Mr. Keep Pittsburgh Dope, Chance Humphrey. Funny story, we've known each other for years through a mutual friend but never met in person. We chopped it up at lunch, and then embarked on a photo walk together. A meet-up of photographers that travel as one and shoot from different perspectives. Thank you #SteelCityMeet for making that possible. I had never heard of such a thing and didn't know what to expect. What I gained was new friends, portrait shots, and memories.
What I love most about Pittsburgh is that the people have so much pride for their city. From staples like Deluca's and Pamela's, that are on the strip, where people line up outside to eat, to their beloved sports team; Steelers paraphernalia was everywhere. I was amazed by how happy everyone was. Not a single person had a bad thing to say. When I asked, what's so special about this place, most responded something like they loved the culture of the city that provided a great quality of life, without the over population of places like New York. I can understand that. The city was clean and inviting. However, the diversity of major cities was something it lacked.
This trip came at a pivotal moment for me. I needed a break, and was on the brink of burnout. Being in such a joyous city rejuvenated my spirit. I believe the universe provides you with what you need, when you need it most. I needed an adventure, laughter, and plenty of sun. I got that and more. If you go to Pittsburgh, go with open arms, you'll receive a hug in return.