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Pittsburgh, my Pittsburgh

August 31, 2020

Having been born in Pittsburgh and lived there until I left to go to graduate school at Notre Dame, I am proud to recommend that you visit Pittsburgh and visit some interesting spots in my hometown.

If you are taking a cab from Pittsburgh International Airport into downtown, be prepared to go into a tunnel and come out looking at a majestic view of Pittsburgh, “the city of bridges.

At Station Square, an old railroad station preserved by Richard Scaife, you will find an ornate lobby that recollects the grandeur of 19th century rail travel.

Leave Station Square by walking up stairs leading to a bridge that connects the South Side to downtown Pittsburgh.

Barge traffic viewed from the bridge can be remarkably interesting.

Or, across from Station Square look for the “Incline,” a vertical tram that takes residents up Mt. Washington.

I recommend that visitors get up to Mt. Washington anyway they can.

Looking down on Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington is a must.

The County of Allegheny Courthouse is a 19th century bulldog of a building designed by Henry Hobson Richardson.

The Presbyterian cathedral that Andrew Mellon built in East Liberty. “Sliberty” as it is pronounced is now a blighted area and to my knowledge that Cathedral no longer houses a parish church but is used by various municipal groups and charities.

Old Forbes Field is no longer, but the new stadium for the Pittsburgh Pirates, called PNC Park, located smack in downtown Pittsburgh, is better situated than Baltimore’s Camden Yards, and in terms of visibility is the equal of the Diamondbacks Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona.

But the greatest place to visit is “Clayton,”  the home of Henry Clay Frick.

Visitors to that late 19th century estate in the middle of suburban Pittsburgh will understand why Frick, Carnegie, and Mellon were the Czars of their day. His daughter Helen Clay maintained offices in the Koppers Building until she died and maintained his legacy and commitment to conservative causes.

Sarah Mellon Scaife should be remembered also, and the museums named in her memory should be visited before you leave Pittsburgh, especially the many Scaife scholars whose careers she
launched (including mine).

One last note: Pittsburgher’s speak with accents that are easily noticed. There is a hard-nasal accent that sounds as if words pass through the speaker’s nose before being released through their mouths. Special words can be heard such as “Yns,” meaning “You people,” or “Red up,” meaning “clean up.”

Americans of German descent make up the largest ethnic population of the County and thanks to Big Labor and eighty-five  years of Democrat Party government, the City of Pittsburgh that once was bankrupt, has scattered its children to every part of the United States in search of employment, where they make up a population equivalent to “Overseas Chinese.”

In every large city in the United States exiled Pittsburghers gather to reminisce about the city they love, remember the wonderful beers that once were brewed there, and lament that they are unable to return ‘home.’

One person I know has a “Pittsburgh Bathroom” adorned by photos of the city he loves. Do yourself a favor, when you visit, ask for “Penn Pilsner,” a local microbrew that will introduce you to a king among beers brewed in Pittsburgh, and give you a taste of what Pittsburgh once was.

I could go on, and shall, if encouraged to do so, but here is more information that visitors to Pittsburgh might find helpful:

Pittsburgh Convention and Visitors Bureau:

And if you like modern, visit the Carnegie Museum of Art





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