I (heart) PGH!

For those of you who were maybe wondering if I made it to my next stop of Pittsburgh, wonder no more.

I got here in time for lunch and took Rollo out for a walk to celebrate the lack of snow on the ground. Along the way, I decided on this name for my humongous 45 pound non-snow-compatible rolling suitcase (partly) full of books, which is my primary traveling companion and sturdy stool and sidekick.

Downtown Pittsburgh is a striking place, on a triangle of land at the confluence of two rivers, with high bluffs on both sides. It has a dense skyline of high-rises, attesting to a generally healthy economy (unlike some other cities I’ve passed that have not had a significant skyline expansion in decades. Adding to the fun, it has been sunny and snowing, so the whole joint was sparkling madly for about an hour. Hooray for sparkles!

The Steelers are hosting an NFL playoff game so downtown is full of people and I actually find myself getting into the spirit despite a little bit of dread: My talk tonight will be during the second half of the game, and I guess I can take solace in the notion that Steelers fans might not be my target audience. Perhaps this will be more of an issue when I get my other book out with its mention of the community-owned Green Bay Packers. In any case, it probably is no more audacious than my trying to set up an event in Philadelphia on Inauguration Day.

Anyhow, it is a really striking change from snowbound Detroit and Cleveland (which is admittedly not a fair comparison since I caught those cities at relatively quiet times, during a major snowstorm and early Sunday morning). Even so, I am reminded of the recent NY Times article about how this place is a success story, and looking forward to talking extensively with my hosts about their thoughts on why this place seems to be working so well.

So I’ll have more for y’all later. But I wanted to get a quick post in so nobody would worry about my joining the ranks of the friendly homeless people at the Cleveland bus station.

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