Tag Archives: Heinz History Center

T is for Tourist Trap

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crosbyBefore we get to the meat of this post, let’s take a small moment to post this once and for all…HOCKEY IS FINALLY BACK!  Big happy sigh. Penguins, come home, we miss you.

The lock out’s been awful, especially considering how well Pittsburgh’s other sports teams have performed this year.  Oh you Pirates, you heart-wrenching awful Pirates.  And the Steelers…well, that was an embarrassing season.  But today, today hockey is back.  And for a brief moment, the world seems just a little better.

I’m not going to get on my soapbox about how the NHL “owes” me something, and I won’t be watching games anymore.  Let’s be honest, I’m annoyed and frustrated with the NHL owners, executives, and players.  I think both sides have acted incredibly selfish for several long months, and it hurt the fans most of all.  But will I be watching the first game in a few weeks?  You betcha.  Because deep down, all I want is to watch my beloved sport again.  And watch Letang’s hair flow behind him as he skates the puck into the neutral zone.  And watch Sidney raise that Cup again.  Is that too much to ask for?

I’m getting ahead of myself, though.  Today’s post is (sadly) not about hockey.  Today’s post is about my favorite city in the world, Pittsburgh, and all the fun I’ve had in it this weekend.

524778_609559287652_1041826364_nAs I told you in my previous post, this weekend’s adventure was about acting like those love-to-hate-’em tourist.  I wanted to get out, see the sites, have a bite to eat, paint the town red, and generally just have a good time.  Were lives going to change over this weekend, probably not.  Was I planning on having a good time, you better believe it.

So my old roommate Kara and I headed down to Oakland for the morning.  For those out-of-city blog readers, Oakland’s the area of Pittsburgh that houses the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon, and all of the Carnegie museums.  It’s a fun neighborhood to walk around, and while I have definitely explored the area before, I wanted to give it a closer look.

It was bitter cold on Saturday, and since all colleges are still on winter break it was also eerily quiet as well.  Without thousands of college kids streaming everywhere, the place seemed very ghost-town esque, if the middle of a major metropolitan area can ever feel like that.  We warmed up with coffee to help us brave the bitter winds, and set out to explore.

First we headed over to the Carnegie museums as they prepared to open.  Personally, even though I’m a history major, I’m not a huge fan of the Carnegie museums.  I can appreciate the culture and relevance they bring to the city, the chance for education and exploration, but I’m a sucker for the Heinz History Center.  It will always beat out the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in my opinion.  We did get to pose with some dinosaurs, though, which is something most people can’t cross off their bucket list 🙂

735175_609559157912_1979641394_nAfterwards we headed over to Pitt and the Cathedral of Learning.  It is the iconic building on Pitt’s campus, and though I’ve driven and walked by it dozens of times before, I had never been inside.   Luckily for me, I finally had the chance to head inside and tour the building.

The architecture inside is breathtaking, full of beautiful stonework, Gothic archways, and hand cut stone stairs. It is straight out of a scene from Harry Potter, and a little part of me wanted to shout “Protego!” as I wound my way through the grand hall on the first floor.  If we had been alone, I might have, but there was a high school mock trial competition in session, and it might have seemed a little weird…some day, though, I’ll make it happen.  Maybe I’ll add it to my ever-growing bucket list.

The cool thing about the COL is they have these “Room of Nations” all over the first few floors, and it’s almost like Pittsburgh’s own EPCOT.  Each classroom is set up and designed to reflect a different world culture, and each room was created to educate citizens about the different cultures in the world.  I will admit, there’s definitely less Mickey apparel in these rooms than in EPCOT, but once you get pas that the rooms are pretty fascinating.

185752_609559966292_496896217_nSeeing a new part of the city was definitely a great way to spend my Saturday.  Unfortunately the weather made staying outside for too long pretty much close to impossible, but we had fun exploring the museum and Pitt, and even got to see some amazing college tours full of apprehensive high school seniors.  Man I do not miss those days.

For now, I’m going to enjoy my Sunday off and catch up on some TV shows.  Seriously, what a great day.  Hockey’s back.  Downton Abby’s back.  And my laundry is finally done.  Is this not an awesome weekend or what?

I hope your Sunday is going as well as mine!!  Have a wonderful week my friends.

E

Next Week: T is for Tourist Trap

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timessquareLAST POST OF 2012!!!  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh….FREAK OUT!!!!

I can’t believe it’s New Years Eve.  I’m not going to post about “Oh what a year it was, let’s reflect.”  You all know what kind of crazy year it’s been for me.  Let’s not rehash it.  🙂

I’m excited for 2013, though.  There’s something final about taking that calendar off the wall and thinking to yourself, “That was last year.  This is this year”.  A whole new year of laughter, tears, problems, and praise.  I can hardly wait to screw it all up. 😀

To start the year off right, I’m back in action with my.alphabet.year next weekend.  I’ve decided to be a complete anti-Yinzer next weekend and head down to the city to experience some “tourist destinations”.  Pittsburgh’s full of them, it shouldn’t be too hard to find something.  The Incline, the Science Center, that Casino, Pitt, every museum you could ever imagine, my favorite Macy’s in the world.  Ok, maybe some of those are “tourist destinations”, per se.  But they’re on my list of favorite things, so I’ll probably stop by anyway.

We are low budget next weekend, since I just paid off my credit card bill.  2013 debt free!!!  Going to have lots of fun without spending a lot of money.

If anyone wants to join me, let me know.  And for all you out-of-town readers out there who can’t join me, let me know if there’s anything in the city you’ve always wanted to see but never did.  Let me be your eyes.

Happy New Year everyone!!  Stay safe, have fun, and keep those New Year’s resolutions!!

E