August 09, 2005

Pittsburgh, Pa. - A great city!

We just returned from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where my wife attended a conference run by the North American Council on Adoptable Children. The conference was great and the hotel was wonderful. But the thing that really impressed us was the city of Pittsburgh.

I've heard many people say that Pittsburgh is dirty and grimy. I think the people who said this may well have never visited Pittsburgh and are assuming that it would be dirty because it it's the "Steel Town."

But we found Pittsburgh to be a charming city with a wonderful mixture of new and extremely old architecture, helpful people, and outstanding restaurants. The streets are clean and seemingly very safe. I walked the streets during the morning rush hour and noticed that the people don't acknowledge one another as they pass on the street, which would indicate that they're not friendly. But anytime I had reason to speak to someone in the city, I found them extremely friendly, helpful, and considerate. I never once felt unsafe, even when we walked through the streets after dark.

Another thing I loved was the preponderance of bicyclers in the streets of Pittsburgh. There are steel bike racks in front of most of the buildings, allowing people who work there to lock up their bikes after commuting to work on the gasoline-free, health-improving bicycle. The cars and bicycles share the street without any apparent animosity from either group. In fact, I never once heard a car horn honk at a bicyclist even though there were bikes passing me every few seconds. We saw groups of at least 15 to 20 cyclists quite a few times.

David and Kim, just before we headed home

I'm really hoping that we can return to Pittsburgh to visit again shortly. I'd love to have the time to just enjoy the city without having to worry about being at the various conference sessions at a certain time. Kudos to you, Pittsburgh! You're a great place to visit. And I bet you're a great place to live as well.