I left DC in November to move to Pittsburgh, which is not the ideal time to explore a new city in the Western Pennsylvania, but yesterday, March 18 was perfect. It was 65 and sunny! It was so warm it felt like a light weather massage all day. The sun gave me some more freckles and my hair started to redden around my helmet. I rode my sometimes trusty, very tiny, yet extremely heavy bicycle all around Pittsburgh’s North Side, my super glamorous side of town.
One reason why I love Pittsburgh: I pay $250 a month in rent and I live a five minute bike ride to the Andy Warhol Museum, the National Aviary, the Children’s Museum, the Mattress Factory (a museum of contemporary art that presents art you can get into — room-sized environments, created by in-residence artists!), a baseball field, if I’m feeling summery. I’m also just a short ride across a bridge to the Strip District, the market district packed with yummy foods from all over the world.
I rode my bike this afternoon to visit a tasty vegetarian coffee shop called Hoi Polloi. I ordered a yummy chai that came out all scaldy, the way I like it, cooking my insides for a minute and sending flavor everywhere. The grilled cheese sandwich was less than $4. It even came with tomato! I asked if I could add anything else and was suddenly moved to add a slice of mango, something I’d never tried before. It was … quite good. the mango was a bit slippery, but it was an interesting compliment to the sweet tomato. And for less than less than $4, impressive.
They have a neat bike rack outside the coffee shop. It looks clever, but is practically useless against theft.
We used it anyway:
(PS: Pittsburgh Councilmembers, vote for bike parking next week, and businesses, add more reliable racks! If someone stole my bike from this rickety rack, I’d be without my main mode of transportation.)
I was planning to ride to the Andy Warhol Museum to write in the museum cafe after lunch. The Museum is close to my house and the cafe has cheap tasty coffee with unlimited refills. So you can work there surrounded by art for $2 plus tip while only 40 feet away from a real film photo booth! But I forgot the power cord to my computer which only has three minutes of battery life… so I decided to ride my bike around the neighborhood, to get a look around on the way back to my house.
I slowly pedaled my clunky steel bicycle, while the wind blew on my arms and in my hair. I could feel my legs getting stronger again after a winter stuck inside, and I was appreciating the sound of a variety of birds, and the occasional flowers starting to bloom.
Spring is wonderful, but it’s much easier to appreciate every little warm lively detail after a long, cold, hard, dreary, dark, wet, endless winter.
Soon I was in this neighborhood:
Enjoy this Imported Historical Blip about the Mexican War Streets: In 1848 General William Robinson, Jr. (later Mayor of Allegheny) plotted out the Mexican War Streets immediately following his return from the Mexican-American War, which annexed Texas and California. With patriotic fervor, he named the streets after the war’s battles (Buena Vista. Monterey. Resaca, Palo Alto) and military leaders (Taylor, Sherman, Jackson).
Nearly all the architectural types popular in the Victorian era are represented in the Mexican War Streets: Italianate, Gothic Revival, Richardson Romanesque, Empire and Queen Anne. Wow.
I rode by this mysterious house:
But I thought I should keep exploring.
More pictures to come soon-ish. I am working on a new flickr account, but my computer is really old so it takes about a day to upload a couple of pictures.
I’m off for the tomorrow to spend the weekend celebrating wacky, functional, handmade, tall bicycles in Chicago.