Ode to Pittsburgh

Dear Pittsburgh,

For 23 years, you’ve been a MAJOR part of my life (I moved here with my Mom at age 17). I learned how to drive on your wild and crazy hills, which made me get car-sick at first. I’ve mistakenly driven down your many, annoying one-way streets . I never understood why you were built on a triangle. I’ve popped many a tire on your unforgiving potholes. I was charmed by your skyline coming out of the Fort Pitt tunnels. When I eventually got bored of seeing that, I saw you from another perspective (279 N), and fell in love all over again. You are truly a sight to behold.

I’ve photographed you from every hilltop around the city and, of course, Mt. Washington. I’ve gotten to know all of your personalities ( a.k.a. neighborhoods) in sometimes very bizarre ways. I’ve even lived in many of them: Oakdale, Oakland, Southside, Squirrel Hill, Moon, Squirrel Hill (again), Sewickley, Avalon, Highland Park and finally, Wilkinsburg. So much I gained from each place.

I’ve danced on your streets and in your homes and in your bars. I’ve had the MOST wonderful time eating at your restaurants, discovering new dishes every time another one popped up. (What is WITH the turnover rate of those?!) I’ve rooted for the Steelers in your Stadium and for the Penguins in your Arena and felt the joy of celebration when we won – well, ANYthing.


I’ve earned two degrees in your colleges. I’ve worked in so many of your establishments that the list is exhaustive. I’ve learned not to “burn bridges” and to always keep your networks afloat. Pittsburgh is a “small town” and you NEVER know when you'll bump into someone who can connect you in your career. I’ve been appreciative of EVERY. SINGLE. OPPORTUNITY.


I’ve sought comfort, peace, and inspiration in your parks, your museums, your unique architecture, your historical landmarks, and your music & art festivals.


I’ve experienced your bitter cold Winters, your 4 feet of snow, your unbearably hot & humid Summers, your incessantly cloudy days, your colorful Fall leaves, your beautiful Spring flowers, and your obnoxious Stinkbugs.


Most importantly, Pittsburgh – you gave me some of the MOST AMAZING PEOPLE in my life ( Mom – you were already with me here!). Friends, Lovers, Colleagues, Professors, Mentors, and Strangers ……I’ve learned SO much from every single one of them. Some will be friends for life…others haved passed through as the universe intends.


To YOU – Pittsburgh, I am eternally grateful.


However, it is now time for me to start new memories in a new city. As of June 16th, one month from today – I will be leaving you for a new adventure and I couldn’t be more excited. You will always be a part me.


Love,

Erin



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