Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pittsburgh Day 4 - Workation

Life is weird sometimes. Pretty much every Saturday I go to the same coffee shop not too far from my home to get something to drink before I do my weekly groceries shopping.  There is one person working there who remembers what I usually order, but that is about it. Although I am my smiling, friendly me I know nobody else there.
Then comes Pittsburgh - over 4000 miles from home - and the funny idea to grab a "quick coffee" at the Espresso A Mano. Next thing I know is that with the wink of an eye an hour is gone, because .... chatting with Matt is always great and usually at least one person we know comes in and fun talks about life in general and in Pittsburgh specifically enrolls. It's awesome. Of course a lot of it is based on the fact that we are on vacation and have time to just hang out at the coffee shop, but still ... . In a perfect world I would like to take everybody who keeps asking "Why Pittsburgh?" to one of those breakfast stops and I think in about 5 min the question would answer itself. I will miss this BADLY when I am back home. 

After breakfast we drove up to the Heinz History Center to talk to Becky Rodgers and Cynthia Helffrich of Neighbors in the Strip, who are incredibly supportive of our project and helping us out with sharing their incredible knowledge about the Strip and getting us in contact with the right people for our interviews. Yesterday was an extremely productive day thanks to these two fantastic ladies and there is more to come. 

We also used the time at the Center to visit the new exhibition "Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame" (Note: Just corrected the name of the exhibition. Sorry for the error - damn autocorrect.) The exhibition will be in Pittsburgh until January 6th and if you are in the area and a bit interested in football you should go. We had lots of fun and I like really the way in the US exhibitions are planned out. They are usually very interactive.  Here you coud for example put on the helmet and feel how heavy it is and listen how the player hears the coach over the communication unit. I always wanted to hear how that is and what they tell the players. There were also sholder pats to try on. That equipment is incredibly heavy. It puts the speed of the game really in perspective. There is also a referee replay booth where you can try to make the call.

I also loved this:

This is the leg of Jerome Bettis. Excuse my French, but his butt is where my boobs are and although I am not small I fit completely into this negative form of his leg. Wow ...

Of course the exhibition had some more cool Steelers stuff. 

And this one makes you dream of the seventh ring ... one day:

After the exhibition we stepped out and went to take pictures and talk to people. We will keep you up to date about our Strip District portrait project here over the next few weeks and months. Yesterday was a great day like mentioned before and we had the pleasure to talk to the owners of the most traditional and popular businesses in the Strip District.
If we would ever have had a doubt (we did not) that the Strip is the right choice for portraying a neighborhood it would have been gone after this day. There is so much love for  the city and the neighborhood and so much passion for the business and the people who make this area so special that it is absolutely stunning.
As the ultimate icing on the cake the light was absolutely awesome in the afternoon and Gabi could work up and down Penn Avenue and take phantastic pictures.

While she was working I took some pics as well for you to share:

After the very long day we were tired and so so so hungry and I would say we chose the right place when you really have an empty stomach: we opted for meat goodness at Kevin Sousa's Union Pig & Chicken and a sundowner cocktail upstairs at the brand new Havard & Highland. We had btw  the combo with ribs and fried chicken (both delicious), but it was the brisket I tried from the plate of my friend James that blew me away. I can only recommend to give it a try next time you go there - it is absolutely delicious. 

And so ended a another wonderful day with fantastic food and great friends. Good to know we have still a bit more of these ahead although time is running SO fast. 

All polaroids by Gabrijela Obert

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