Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

Greetings from Pittsburgh



Let me tell you about fun.

Fun is a comfortable Embassy Suites at the airport, where the staff all make it their business to make your business fun.

Fun is the 28X bus, which for 2 dollars and 65 cents propels one from the airport to Liberty and Wood, right in the center of downtown, in half an hour.

Fun is an incredibly compact downtown which can be walked in half an hour or less.

Fun is finishing a hard day of work and catching a 2 dollar bus to a place called Squirrel Hill.

Fun is listening to a woman on the bus explain virtually the entirety of her life story, including but not limited to Israeli seminaries she almost attended, and Hungarian food she almost learned to cook, in the way that people reveal their lives in a fashion that happens only north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Fun is the Te'Cafe, where the hot white peony tea and the vegan wrap were just wonderful.

Fun is meeting ghostsandrobots, a gifted poet and good egg, and writer00 do an excellent forty minute poetry reading. I love the way that poetry can just hover in mid-air, like a thought, a daydream, a kind of fulfilled mental longing.

Fun is seeing their elementary-age son, because it's amusing to see in person the star of so many journal entries.

Fun was the weirdbient folk ensemble, comprised of an earnest singer/guitarist, a woman playing a musical saw run through an fx generator, and a laptop musician using a curious sitar/mandolin looking thing held like an acoustic lap steel, whose purpose was to
run an fx controller in the laptop's synth. I kept wanting to tell the fellow to bring his fx drones up in the mix, but it was still a great show--the saw was great, though it was played with a bow, and not by hand-knee manipulation.

Fun was the woman's video film about steeltown mythos and the departure of the industrial mix, especially when a poet in the audience pointed out that its us/them mythology was a bit curious, and the film=maker helpfully explained she meant her editorial voice to merely represent the voices of people she met in retail, 1/3 of whome she estimated were shell-shocked by mill matters. I suspected, perhaps unjustly, that she had not been around people from diverse economic strata before, and that her conclusion was a bit pat--but I really liked her film, and the way it made me think this whole paragraph of thoughts.

Fun was riding the bus back to the airport, and then the next morning riding it downtown again.

Fun was finishing my work in the late afternoon and crossing a huge river on a bridge that got voted most beautiful bridge in the world in 1928.

Fun was touring the Andy Warhol Museum. What a great place! The special exhibition was 24 Mondrian paintings. Wonderful.

Fun was finding myself by Heinz Hall and buying gallery tickets for the Sunday afternoon symphony.

Fun was two slices of pizza at a little pizzeria called Giovanni's.

Fun was seeing people to watch everywhere, with surprising numbers of them smoking cigarettes.

Fun was listening to Rachmaninoff on the bus ride back to the hotel.

Fun was the way everyone here is not only very local in orientation, but also very addicted to one or two neighborhoods.

Fun was watching Pirates fans streaming to their stadium.

Fun was popping up microwave popcorn, and relaxing on a Friday night.

I like it in this Pittsburgh place.
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