The incline is kind of like the world’s first roller coaster. Shaky and slow, cords pull massive cars up the hill to overlook this city of three rivers. Heinz field and Pirates Stadium are directly on the Allegheny River. I couldn’t see Mellon arena; it’s on the other side of that tall black skyscraper, the name of which I’ve forgotten in the fanfare, the one next to the one with the garden on the wall, seriously.
For less than ten bucks, I kayaked the Allegheny in tandem with my dear friend Lindsey. The water dripped non-stop from the ends of the paddle into my lap. But we did cross the river twice without being chopped up by a motor boat. And the variety of bridges never ceased to be beautiful and complex. We got pretty speedy by the last leg of the trip. And very good at crashing into others.
The Cathedral of Learning is the tall, white stone castle on the University of Pittsburgh campus that looks like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts on the inside. It’s cold and gothic, footsteps and breaths reverberate through the walls, ringing inside iron cast gates and light fixtures. The classroom simulations of learning environments from other countries were locked, but we did run down thirty-six flights of stairs in lieu of touring the world. You learn a lot in this activity, more than you’d expect. Kyle, Laura, Dr. J and I collectively recommend it.
An additional ten points goes to said Cathedral in respect for the evening use of its bathrooms. A buncha ragtag river-wading, football-punting, lost-dog-chasing, coffee-hunting kids transformed into a good-looking sweater-sporting clan in under twenty minutes. Impressive, to say the least. Sweaters and all, we attended a cabaret late night theatre show for five bucks (steal!). The mystery theatre was interactive, featuring our fearless leader as the evening’s announcer and my gal’s little sister as the coffee mug-wielding winner of guessing the whodunit. Who would’ve guessed?
It’s not the half of what Pittsburgh has to offer, but these are affordable and fun gems of a city with deep history and modern upgrades. Let’s be honest, it could’ve been any city. It’s almost always the people.