Thursday, February 24, 2011

And ZOOOoooosh goes the puck in Pittsburgh - PGH day 1

Today I really have to keep it short (note: I am done writing and "short" did not really happen.). It is 8 am and breakfast is served until 10 am (note: fail - it was 9 am and I'll go to a coffee shop now) and I need to get ready in time to enjoy the luxury.

So .... change of location. Yesterday I woke up early to pack my stuff and New York City was a b*tch telling me with sweet voice "Do not leave ...... look how PRETTY I am. Don't you want to stay a little longer?" Well - yes and no. It was really hard to leave and I sat in the taxi looking out into the clear blue sky and the sunshine doing all the "last looks" - not an easy one.

The trip itself was easy going, but it was good that I am not at all afraid of flying. I mean ... what kind of airplane you would expect when your (Delta) flight is operated by CHAUTAUQUA AIRLINES? Exactly!
And I can tell you that flying a lot of curves and circles and that stuff is like taking a ride when you are in such a small plane. But like I said - I am not easily scared by planes and for me it was fun and Long Island is beautiful from the birds eye perspective (it is also very nice when you are down there, but I did not do that this time).

Arrving in Pittsburgh was fun. I was greeting the statue of Franco Harris at the airport and after picking up my suitcase I took a taxi into town. I mean ... this is the first time here for real, but I already knew a lot of things and one was that coming from the airport I would come through Fort Pitt Tunnel and that would mean from somewhere in nowhere directly into downtown. So I was kind of prepared - kind of - because it is really BOOM. You come out of the tunnel and directly in front of you is the downtown skyline and half a dozen of yellow steel bridges. It's impressive - even if you just left New York City, which is like a synonym for super impressive.

I made it without problems to my hotel - The Priory at the North Side. It is an old monastry turned into a boutique hotel and it is beautiful. They did lots of renovation lately and so all is new and fresh, but all in style of the old building. I have a super cute and comfortable room and if it would not be such a waste I would just stay in my comfortable bed and watch old TV series on TNT.

In the late afternoon a local friend of mine picked me up and gave me a first quick tour downtown before we made it to the Consol Energy Center for the Pens game.

Most of you are no hockey fans. So I do not bore you with a lot of details although I could talk about it for hours. To be there for real, hear the noise the puck makes on the ice, see all the action happening just in front of me - AWESOME! Hearing the siren announcing Tyler Kennedy's goals - CHILLS!

Although we lost (2:3 vs San Jose Sharks in overtime) it was a GREAT game. The Pens were fighting hard, Tyler Kennedy scored them seconds before the end of the 3rd period into overtime, goalie Marc-André Fleury (one of my favorites) did a great game just like my other favorite Kris Letang. The whole atmosphere was AMAZING! It was soooooooooo much fun!!! This is definitely very addictive. I felt like a kid after a fun ride begging the mom with "AGAIN, AGAIN, AGAIN!"  And hey ... I did not see Sidney Crosby (the world's best hockey player) and Evgeni Malkin play. For me that sounds like I have to come back. Right? Right.

BTW... right there in the arena I had my first Primanti Borthers sandwich and although I had only breakfast and although I am not a bad eater I managed exactly half of it. Yummy but - ufffffffffff!

After the game I went with my friend for a beer and some fries, which is nothing but an understatement. It was a mountain of fresh cut fries at a classic Pittsburgh spot in Oakland. When I saw the portion I thought we would never do that, but the fries were so good that we just kept talking and eating slowly and at one point the potato mountain was gone ;)
As the icing of the cake we drove around a little more and even made it up to Grandview where you have the most amazing view on the skyline of Pittsburgh. I will add a picture (my camera is doing very bad but sometimes it still works for some shots), but it is not showing even 50% of the real beauty. I really cannot thank my friend enough for taking me around so much even late at night and telling me already so much about the city.

What a HUGE first day! Time to get up, have a shower, have breakfast and start with No. 2.

The picture of the day (forget that I ever said three):

Sloping Pennsylvania:

The brand new Consol Energy Center - the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins - and the parts of the Pittsburgh skyline mirrored by the arena.

Primanti Brothers - and YES ... these are fries INSIDE.

Two shots from the game. Like you can see we had very good seats.

The night over Pittsburgh

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