anticipation & preparation: pittsburgh, pennsylvania

To prepare for our trip to Pittsburgh on March 2-4, I read two novels and one memoir featuring the city, as well as Moon Handbooks Pennsylvania – the part about Pittsburgh:

These books fueled my imagination and added depth to my visit. Two of the books talk of the elite residents and areas of Pittsburgh, while one covers the working class neighborhoods.  They all three talk about the famous rivers and the impossibly hilly terrain. Annie Dillard’s book is especially good as it captures her childhood in Pittsburgh, very much like all American childhoods, but more privileged.  She’s a great writer and very observant and wise about life.

We also watched the movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which takes place in the city.  The movie made me want to stand up through the sunroof of our car as we drove through the Fort Pitt Tunnel. 🙂

I created a playlist on Spotify for the trip as well.  Here are my Pittsburgh Tunes.  The top five on my list are:
  • “Maniac” by Michael Sembello (from the movie Flashdance)
  • “America” by Simon & Garfunkel
  • “I’m Not Dead (I’m in Pittsburgh)” by Frank Black
  • “Wayfaring Stranger” by the The Quebe Sisters
  • “Lime Hill” by Sean McDowell

These songs definitely give you a feel for industrial Pittsburgh. 🙂

I planned for us to divide our three days as follows (the first and last days would be short because of having to drive there and back):

Friday: Oakland and Points East

  1. Lunch at a Craig Street Eatery
  2. Cathedral of Learning’s Nationality Rooms at University of Pittsburgh
  3. Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History (mainly Natural History to see the dinosaurs)
  4. Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
  5. Frick Art & Historical Center to see the ceramic exhibit: Revive, Remix, Respond by artists “breathing new life into the ceramic medium.”

Saturday: Downtown & The Strip District / Southside & Mt. Washington

  1. Visit the John Heinz History Center
  2. Walk down The Strip & see Saints in the Strip
  3. Lunch at Pamela’s
  4. Take a self-guided walking tour downtown to see the historical buildings, making our way to Point State Park
  5. Go to Southside and walk down Grandview Avenue for views of the city, including Three Sisters Bridges

Sunday: North Side

  1. Breakfast in the Strip – try Pamela’s if line is too long on Saturday
  2. Andy Warhol Museum
  3. Mattress Factory Museum
  4. The Mexican War Streets

Head home!


My journal for Pittsburgh

I think I made a few too many intentions for this trip!  I had ordered a voice recorder but it didn’t arrive in time, and I didn’t think to use the one on my phone until too late!



“ANTICIPATION & PREPARATION” INVITATION: I invite you to write a 750-word (or less) post on your own blog about anticipation & preparation for a recently visited or a future particular destination (not journeys in general). If you don’t have a blog, I invite you to write in the comments. Include the link in the comments below by Thursday, April 26 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Friday, April 27, I’ll include your links in that post. My next post will be about my upcoming road trip to the Four Corners area: Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

This will be an ongoing invitation, bi-weekly through April, and monthly after that. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂  If you’d like to read more about the topic, see: journeys: anticipation & preparation.

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!