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Strange Pennsylvania


Pennsylvania reminds me of my last relationship. Small parts heaven, but mostly hell. Last weekend I traveled in the state for three days, including a stop in Pittsburgh. The only good thing I will say about Pittsburgh is that the city landscape is beautiful from atop the lookout point of Mt. Washington, where this photo was taken. However, looks can be very deceiving.

1. There is a very old inclined railway in the city which now carries a funicular called "The Duquesne Incline." It was first completed in 1877 and then restored by local residents in 1963. From here you will have amazing views of the city while riding in the original, wooden cable cars which are very rustic in nature. The inside of the station houses a museum on Pittsburgh history and a wall displaying photos of inclines, cable cars and funiculars throughout the world. It's a fun ride and one that should taken if you visit the city.


2. Nice ride on the funicular and then the horror! The only restroom at the end of the ride is a porta-potty. Disgusting and very unusual for a U.S. tourist attraction. In fact, many of the gas stations in Pennsylvania had no toilets either. Strange, uncommon and a huge inconvenience. I had to capture the moment with a crappy mobile pic.


3. Perhaps it was the pouring rain or constant fog that altered my mood and perception of the city. Pittsburgh's roots are in the steel industry and it previously served as the main manufacturing base for steel in the U.S To me the city still has a very gritty feel to it even though the current pulse of the city is centered on technology, health and financial services. Pittsburgh also is called "The City of Bridges" because it houses almost 450 of them. Here's the view from the other side of Mt. Washington.


4. The city is home to one of the most popular football teams in America - the Pittsburgh Steelers. Everywhere in the city you will see people wearing team sweatshirts, hats and flags bearing the emblem "Steelers Nation." The team's open air stadium, Heinz Field, sits right on the river. Great views for the fans! For me irrelevant because I've been a loyal fan of the Washington Redskins since childhood. We made it to the playoffs this year and I attended the game. Big thrill for a lifelong fan even though we lost. This weekend, the final playoff games to determine who will play in the Super Bowl, the championship and final game of the season. By the way, recognize the name of Steelers' stadium? The global headquarters for Heinz ketchup is located in Pittsburgh and it sponsors the stadium.


5. The city center is the same as any other big city in America, filled with skyscrapers.


6. Beautiful mural in a market area of the city.

7. I support all three sentiments!


8. The city center is very urban, dark and grey. Filled with lots of loiters and people standing around doing absolutely nothing. Now some local residents. I like the little boy's cute hat but could not get him to smile.


9. But a few colorful women walking the streets.

Crazy girl outfit

Pretty girl

10. I found this guy intriguing but could not catch up to him to chat. I envision he must have had a very interesting life to paint this phrase on the back of his leather jacket.

Jacket Guy

In viewing the photos the city doesn't look so bad, but it didn't suit me at all. I'm generally a very cheerful, smiley person but this place put me in a bad mood. Maybe because I haven't been to a big city in a long time, instead preferring to visit rural areas during recent trips.

11. On the way to Pittsburgh, I stopped at an interesting and unique spot in the middle of nowhere. In the back of someone's yard there is an animal kingdom, where the animals are constructed entirely of raw materials. My Russian readers who follow macos will probably see a post from him with some really cool photos in the near future. He will tell you the full story as he found the place. I viewed the yard in the pouring rain, jumping over puddles. Fun adventure. :)


12. I like the mane on this lion. Closely resembles my crazy hair.




14. On the way out of Pittsburgh, there was a quick stop in a town called Pottsville. Home to Garfield's Diner. Unfortunately, the diner was closed but from the outside it looked awesome. Very reminiscent of the classic American diners of the 1950s.


15. Pottsville the same as many of the small Pennsylvania towns I passed through. Ugly houses and dirty streets.


So where's the heaven in Pennsylvania? I've already written about it. It's Lancaster, home of the Amish, and all of the neighboring small towns. Full of beautiful farmland, streams and interesting, kind people. One of my favorite places. Someone recently reminded me of the Pocono Mountain region of the state. After researching the area, I think I'll take a weekend trip there in the spring as it's home to many scenic parks and mountainous regions. Maybe it will restore my faith in Pennsylvania.

Here's my Amish post - http://peacetraveler22.livejournal.com/5836.html.

Soon I'll write about a great and very snowy weekend trip to Maine and New Hampshire.


( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 18th, 2013 08:34 am (UTC)
I hope you will get a visa and come to Moscow
Jan. 18th, 2013 03:09 pm (UTC)
I'm working on it but the visa process for Russia is not so simple. In all of my years of travel, it's the first time I need a visa. As an American, very spoiled in this regard as we can travel to almost any country visa free.
Jan. 19th, 2013 09:47 am (UTC)
Wonderful post, beautiful photos. I think Russian readers you have more than American ones?=)
Jan. 19th, 2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
Hi! Thanks for reading and please send more English speaking Russians to my journal. No one in America knows about LJ, but my friends and very large family read my posts. I'm not pleased with these photos at all but the ones from New Hampshire and Maine I like. So look for those soon. I see you're buried in snow!! http://rt.com/news/winter-snow-russia-weather-275/
Jan. 19th, 2013 06:00 pm (UTC)
Оhohoho) It seems that the pictures from Siberia. (Norilsk is almost the same as Alaska). In Moscow and Central Russia, everything is fine. The weather is nice! Snow and sunshine! But on the road few slippery. Today my car suddenly skidded on a turn.
Jan. 20th, 2013 07:29 am (UTC)
In fact LJ was originally US-based, and some 5-7 years ago the US-part of LJ was lively. But with time more bloggers move to other services and Facebook, and in the end the LJ was sold to a Russian company. So now it is almost a Russian-speaking blog service.
Jan. 20th, 2013 01:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, I remember at university some friends had LJ pages but no longer. It's an easy platform in which to write and lay out posts so I use it, even though the only English speaking audience I reach are my friends and family.
Mar. 16th, 2013 08:58 pm (UTC)
No one in America knows about LJ,
this is especially strange, taking in consideration that the US LJ users top the list (5.6 million), Russia is No.2 - with 2.6 million. Probably Russians are more active but there are also many English-speaking users here and one of the most popular communities is also English-speaking.
Jan. 19th, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
Another great read...(Kelly)
The pictures are great.. I have been to Pittsburgh as well but in July...A little bit warmer and prettier.
It is definatley the "City of Bridges".
Jan. 20th, 2013 02:03 am (UTC)
Re: Another great read...(Kelly)
Thanks for leaving your name. :) I agree, the bridges the best thing about the city. Nice to view with the bright yellow. Theme of the city - yellow. Also yellow and black the color theme for all of the PA sports teams (football, hockey, etc.).
Jan. 19th, 2013 08:08 pm (UTC)
beautiful pictures
My favorite picture is a of the lady walking with the car moving in the background.
Jan. 19th, 2013 09:50 pm (UTC)
I truly enjoy reading your blog, Shannon. You have a great way with words and you're always so honest ("ugly houses, dirty streets"). Telling it like it is and showing the pics to prove it. :) Nice work.
And, thanks so much for the shout out. I appreciate it!!
Keep up the great work.
Jan. 20th, 2013 02:04 am (UTC)
Re: Thanks!
"Telling it like it is." Yep, that's my way. For good or bad.
Mar. 13th, 2013 09:19 am (UTC)
Beautiful photos
Mar. 13th, 2013 11:37 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm only a beginning photographer and still trying to learn. Welcome to my blog. :)
Mar. 14th, 2013 06:54 am (UTC)
Very beautiful mural indeed (6th photo). I like this kind of urban-art.
In our city (Saint-Petersburg as I said a couple of days ago) murals begin to appear gradually.
But now our city governor is going to forbid all kinds of graffiti. Even like these:

P.S. sorry for mistakes in my comments. My English isn't perfect.
Mar. 14th, 2013 11:57 am (UTC)
I love St. Petersburg, a really beautiful city! I don't remember seeing any interesting murals there. Your English is good! Welcome to my blog.
Mar. 14th, 2013 12:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks a lot.
I'm pleased to being in your blog.
The point is that I've never been to USA and this is some kind of a virtual journey to your country. And it is more interesting to me than reading traveller's magazine because your point of view is more personal.

Mar. 14th, 2013 05:23 pm (UTC)
If you're interested in strange things about America, maybe you will like the story I wrote about Amish people. It's a very cool and unique subset of Americans that mostly live in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. Here's the link - http://peacetraveler22.livejournal.com/5836.html
владимир гужов
Mar. 18th, 2013 06:35 am (UTC)
спасибо,очень интересны ваши репортажи,хоть я и не владею ду ю спик...да про Россию точно,такое ощущение,что мы сами не понимаем почему так живём.
Mar. 18th, 2013 12:26 pm (UTC)
Re: владимир.
Здравствуйте, я немного говорю по русский. However, not enough to write entire messages or comments in the language. I use *Google Translate* so feel free to send me comments in Russian.
Jul. 10th, 2013 02:19 pm (UTC)
The first association with Pittsburgh in my memory was "Pittsburgh Penguins". :))) And it looks like it is the first and the only one. But I liked your photos the one above a cut, the first and the third. The bridges colored in yellow are very funny! The third photo looks like it was made in the beginning or in the middle of the 20th century... And it reminded me someway about New-York described by Ayn Rand in her "The Fountainhead" novel. :)
Btw, I noticed only a little amount of snow on your photos. Is it typical for American winter in that part?
Jul. 10th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm not a very good photographer. I've only had my fancy camera for a short time and am still learning how to use it. This area doesn't get a lot of snow, but definitely more than my home State of Virginia. Snow season usually will be from December - February.
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


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