16 February 2006

Getting lost in Pittsburgh

Picture is from Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh beautifully demonstrating the incredible architecture and mason work I joyously marveled at yesterday.

Let me tell you about my day yesterday:

The alarm went off at 6 a.m. I had an appointment at 9 a.m. at Kelly services and was frustrated. It must have shown on my face because my husband asked me what was wrong. I told him I could not find my resume. Next thing I knew, my husband jumps out of bed and gets on his computer. I got up to see what he was doing, and he had my resume pulled up. He told me it was saved on his computer. I did not think to look there. He said he was out of it the night before and did not think about it when I was looking all over for my resume. It had not been updated, so we quickly updated it and ran off some copies on the laser printer. The laser printer only does black and white, but for a resume, it is a better choice than the color dot matrix I think.

So then I did a rush job getting ready wearing my peach sweater and black skirt with peach blossoms with soft black nylons. I put my hair back with the gemmed dolphin clip and we were out the door by 7 a.m.

At 7:19 a.m., I had said bye to John in Uniontown, and was heading up 119 North to the turnpike taking 376 into Pittsburgh. I was making really good time until just before the tunnel. Then traffic was pretty much parked most of the time. The lady in front of me was putting on her make-up.

Next thing I knew in this jammed parking lot, I heard ambulance sirens and and ambulance was trying to get through. I had no idea how I was going to pull over to let the ambulance through. I did manage to pull over though. I got to Grant street with no problem and still in time for the interview. I drove down Grant street trying to figure out where 600 (USS building) was while trying to find a garage or a parking spot. I could not find one. I then noticed I was no longer on Grant, but on Liberty Avenue. So I stopped at the gas station on Liberty Avenue and 40th street and called Kelly Services. By this time, It was a quarter after 9. They were nice there. I was informed that I was in Lawrence. So we rescheduled the interview for Monday, and I figured while I was already there, I would do a dry run and learn my way around.

So I drove back and noticed from a sign that said Strip District, so I though I would find it while I was there. There was a parking lot around 22nd street and Smallman or something like that. I parked there and walked. I was in the strip District, or extremely close to it. I walked up and down the strip. It was a lot different now. The only time I had been before was with my husband on a Saturday. This was a Wednesday morning, and very quiet. It was nice.

I went to Delmonico's or something like that. It advertised the best breakfast in Pittsburgh. The waitstaff was really patient and nice. I choice 1 of 2 of their "low cal" breakfasts...fruit cup, 1 egg (poached), and 2 slices dry rye toast(though she did serve plenty of jelly and butter on the side (I was really good and avoided the condiments). I also had a good cup of decaf coffee which the waitress refilled without being asked...and she did it with a smile.:-) And she served me a glass of cold water also, which was really nice.

I then proceeded to walk to 600 Grant Street figuring I would just head towards the big buildings. For future reference, I must remember to bring walking shoes (I was wearing black pumps). I noticed a garage with cars parked and asked the security there if it was public. They told me it was. Good to know. It was on Penn Ave under some bridge.

Walking the streets, I felt so happy. There is a wonderful spirit there. Looking at the architecture and mason work, I saw the love people put into building their city. The workmanship was remarkable. I loved the small details that I missed with driving by. By walking, I could see the beauty of the city.

At one corner, I saw a man who had a homeless sign, and I greeted him. He warmly returned my "hello". I asked him how he was doing, and he replied that he was doing the best he could. I then said that the best was all we all could do. He then thanked me for noticing that and he complimented me on how nice I looked. I told him that I was dressed for a job interview that I missed, and thanked him for the compliment. The walked light turned green and I crossed the road into downtown Pittsburgh where I joyously set me feet on paths of brick. It was so charming, and much nicer than cement or tar sidewalks and roadways.

I stopped and interrupted 2 ladies who were talking outside of higher learning education building and asked where Grant street was. They were very kind and explained to me that Pittsburgh is 3 main streets (Grant turns into Liberty Avenue, Penn Avenue, & I forgot what the 3rd one was). I was told that I was near the end of Grant Street, so I should go up to Grant which was at the next light, and make a right. So I did that. I saw a building that said 635 Grant street, so I figured 600 Grant street was close. It was. It was across the street in this huge building called USS. So I went over to the building and went inside. I took the escalator up where one of the security asked if she could help me. I went over to her desk and explained to her about Kelly services. She said, "So you are doing a dry run. Smart." She was very nice. I could not go past the 2nd floor without authorization. I was happy I got that far though. The building is incredibly secure.

One the second floor is also a Starbucks. I went over there and the guy behind the counter was really cool. He was patient and quoted Shakespeare. He also greeted me to the building. I then told him that I was also new to Pittsburgh, and was doing a dry run getting here. He welcomed me to Pittsburgh, and made me a Decaf non-fat mocha, and did not think anything of it. The Mocha tasted rich and delicious. I highly recommend it.

Walking back to the strip district, I took more time noticing details in the Mason work, in the architecture, in the roads and curves. There was definitely a lot of love that went into building this city (please excuse the redundancy. The love in the stones & bricks really show).

Back in the Strip District, I stopped at a seafood place on Penn Avenue. I sat at the bar and was greeted by the bartender named "Fat Nicky" who was definitely not fat. As a matter of fact, even though he wore his clothes loose, it was obvious the guy worked out. For all the single girls out there, this guy is definite eye candy. And he is really nice. I asked him what he recommended, and he said a lot of people order the lobster roll. I told him I did not want the fries with it, so he brought me a garden salad instead with side of oil and vinegar, which I only used the vinegar. They did not have a caffeine free diet drink, so I ordered water with lemon slice. The food was really delicious.

I then used their restroom and removed my nylons. That way I could take my shoes off and walk barefoot. I would then put my shoes back on when entering a store. I stopped in the Asian market, the spice market, the vegetable market, the Greek market. At the Greek Market, the lady behind the cash register was so nice and we chatted about Father Frank. He was the father of the church I attended in Huntington, West Virginia. She knew Father Frank, and we agree he is a great guy. She told me that he was transferred to Weirton, West Virginia.

So I walked to the car with my bags of goodies, and tried to get out of Pittsburgh. I was driving around in circles trying to find 376 E. I ended up at the police station where some officers were talking outside. rolled down my window and asked how to get out of this city. This really nice guy with sheriff on his shirt came over and gave me excellent directions, so I found my way back to Uniontown with no problems after that.

I got there early, but John worked until 6 p.m. So I looked at the Pensky's catalog I got at the Strip District. I love their spices.

When John got off work, we went to the new Shop 'N Save over at Walnut Street in Uniontown.

Then when we got home, we put the stuff away, and John got on the computer to relax. I came into the office and asked him for help, and he was excited asking what I wanted help with. I told him that since it was already 8 p.m., I asked him if he could please make dinner while I cleaned the kitchen so we would get done quicker. This was a lesson for me. I need to learn how to ask for help instead of trying to do everything myself. John was so happy that I asked. I do not have to do everything myself.

Dinner was delicious. John made chicken stir fry using the fresh peppers from the Strip District, and mushrooms and onions he bought at Shop 'N Save.

Then after dinner, I made myself a cup of green tea using the new Chinese tea cup (with lid). The tea was excellent.

I had no trouble falling asleep last night. Yet when I woke up this morning, my neck and my throat were killing me. I am still having problems with my neck from the car accident back in June. I have an appoint with the neurosurgeon for a second opinion at the request of my Chiropractor this coming Wednesday. It will be nice when the day comes when I will not have neck or throat pain.

In the meantime, I can think about Pittsburgh architecture.:-)

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