Sunday, July 12, 2009

whirlwind tour of pittsburgh

We had a lot of fun this weekend with Tim, Dave's good college friend and best man at our wedding, and his wife Jean, who live in Portland, Oregon.

On Friday we went on a fun biking tour. Starting from our house in the North Side, near the Heinz factory and lofts, we went on the river trail to 31st Street Bridge, crossed to the Strip District, then biked up through Polish Hill. We took Melwood Ave. to Oakland and stopped at the Cathedral of Learning. This is the chapel on the Cathedral lawn and a view inside the Cathedral.

We got lunch at Uncle Sam's Subs in Oakland and ate under the canopy at Schenley Plaza. We saw the remaining wall from Forbes Field, then biked into Schenley Park where we picked up the Eliza Furnace Trail (the jail trail) on the other side of the railroad tracks. We took that four miles to the Point. I had to stop and take a picture of this For Rent sign in one of the jail cells!

Here's Tim, Dave, and Jean at the Point.

Next we biked over the Ft. Duquesne Bridge to see the Steelers and PNC Park Stadiums. (Tim is a big sports fan, and Tim, Jean, and Dave are all architects.)We took the river trail back home, but first stopping to see my favorite little building in Pittsburgh, behind the Alcoa building, designed by architect Frederick John Osterling.

It ended up taking four hours, but was a nice way to see a lot of the city. After we showered and relaxed for a little bit, we drove them through the Mexican War Streets and Allegheny West neighborhoods in the North Side and to the Children's Museum (Jean wanted to see it because it's a green building), then walked Downtown for a tour of architecture and historical landmarks. This is a shot of the cemetery beside Trinity Cathedral on Sixth Ave., which contains some of the oldest graves in Pittsburgh.

Here's a detail of a facade of a building on Wood Street designed by Osterling, the same architect who did the little building above.

After the walking tour we went back to the Cultural District and had drinks and dinner at Six Penn. Their Strawberry Basil Mojito is fabulous, and we had delicious food and great wine (Jean picked it--a Sauvignon Blanc from Kunde Estates).

We were all up late on Friday night (the guys were up late, but I woke up in the middle of the night and Grubble wasn't sleeping with me, so I panicked thinking he got out of the house and made Dave walk around the block at 4 a.m. looking for him...turns out he was sleeping with Tim and Jean on the third floor), so we had a late breakfast at DeLuca's in the Strip.

After that, we drove them through some of the neighborhoods to see interesting architecture, cool business districts, and new development projects. We went through Lawrenceville, East Liberty, Penn Avenue (we stopped in the Pittsburgh Glass Center, another green building that Jean wanted to see), Friendship, and Bloomfield.

We ran out of time and didn't get to visit the Warhol Museum (a big bummer), but overall they saw a lot of the city in a short time, and it was fun for us to show them around. We love playing tour guide!