A Stroll Through Pittsburgh

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Pittsburgh Bridge

Two NFL football teams will meet up soon for the big game. Since I’ve never been to Pittsburgh or Green Bay, I’m learning more about these two places, so I can cheer on the team from the place I’d like to visit most. First up: Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Steelers come from a location rooted in history. Pittsburgh was settled in the early 1700s, but it was first explored by Robert de La Salle in 1669, during his expedition down the Ohio River. French settlers soon followed, and the remains of two forts – Fort Duquesne, built in 1754 and Fort Pitt, which replaced it in 1759 – can be found in the beautiful Point State Park. Point State Park is the place where the Allegheny River and the Monongahela Rivers converge to form the Ohio River. This park is a National Historic Landmark and the hub of downtown Pittsburgh, where concerts are held and residents gather.

While cruising the Web and the city’s Web site, it is easy to see why Forbes magazine named Pittsburgh the Most Livable City in the US for 2010 – it is a gorgeous city with an impressive downtown (nicknamed the Golden Triangle) boasting several skyscrapers. Even more impressive is Pittsburgh’s strong economy and employment opportunities. Once known as a giant in the steel industry, the Pittsburgh of today is booming with technology, robotics, finance, and health care companies. While most of the country has battled high unemployment in the past few years, Pittsburgh has enjoyed a healthy (and steady) job market.

Pittsburgh, the second largest city in Pennsylvania, is also a college town. Several universities are located here, including the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Where there are college students, there are museums, fine arts venues, coffee houses, and bookstores. In Pittsburgh, there’s the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum, just for starters. And, of course, where there are college students there is nightlife – in Pittsburgh’s case, the place to be is the Strip District, a neighborhood along the Allegheny River that is a large, open-air marketplace during the day and a nightlife hotspot after hours.

I would love to visit Pittsburgh, just for the shopping alone. Another popular destination is the Waterfront, an open-air mall with over 70 shops, restaurants, and entertainment. After shopping, I’d venture upward to the Mt. Washington neighborhood – it is said that the views of the city from this vantage point are some of the most beautiful in the country.

With its blend of rich history and promising future, Pittsburgh is a sparkling city with endless opportunities. This “City of Bridges” has a lot to be proud of, including their six-time Super Bowl champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Already the team with the most Big Game wins, they are poised to win number 7. Only one thing stands in their way, and that’s the Green Bay Packers–but more on them later. Right now, I’m standing on the bank of the Ohio River, admiring the sparkling lights of the Pittsburgh skyline as they illuminate the dusky sky and dance across the surface of the water.