As of 5:30PM EST, I am in downtown Pittsburgh, PA for the annual Health Physics Society meeting and to take the first part of the certification exam (which is why I am writing this instead of studying, obviously). I have now, officially, set foot outside of an airport in the old North. I have somehow made it into my thirties visiting all the states west of the Mississippi minus the Canadian Annex (the Dakotas and Minnesota) yet never been north of South Carolina east of Ol' Muddy 'til now.
It is very unfortunate that it is after 5:30PM EST because downtown Pittsburgh seems to shutdown, except for hotels, at 4PM on Sunday. Food options were limited to McDonalds and the not that much better but five times as expensive hotel grill. Oh, and newsstands stay open too, if by "newsstand" you mean "purveyors of porn rags hardcore such that you wouldn't even want to be associated with your penis after looking at them".
As I walked around, it did not think it possible for more sports attire to be displayed than by the mental case patients of the Raider Nation and their cousins who worship the A's. I am not happy to say that the Pirates and Steelers fans have proved me wrong. Perhaps it is my proximity to the stadium.
Also, I went to Penn Station because...well...I like train stations. It is worth noting that Penn Station, PA is extremely different than Penn Station, NY. I now know this. What was tasteful and nice from the turn of the last century, designed by Burnham, has since become a very hoity toity apartment building called The Pennsylvanian
. The remainder rump of a station that Amtrak now uses and has the audactiy to call Penn Station is one step up from your typical Greyhound bum toilet.
There is a bizarre mirror surfaced high rise with out buildings that looks like the bastard child of gothic cathedral and a disco ball. I should have brought my camera, because by the benchilada
's rules this building doesn't exist unless I take pictures of it. By my failure to plan ahead, his reality warping will wink it out of existence the moment he reads this post.
EDIT: The building is PPG Place
. I thwart you, Senor sTone!
As always, it is shocking at how green the east coast is. One forgets sometimes that California is pretty much entirely desert in comparison to the land east of the Rockies. The price is humidity and that sticking to one's self feeling. On a positive note, there was a bit of a thunderstorm while I waited for my bus from the airport. I do loves me some sturm und drang.