NN09 Day 2, Friday Aug 14 (Part 1)

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I realized after going through all my pictures that I was going to have to break this day up into two parts! I’ll push the total file up into Flickr, but even picking and choosing what to show in here was hard!

Day 2 started off with my only panel of the day – a morning town hall type event on health care with Howard Dean:

Gov Howard Dean

Gov Howard Dean

He picked up where President Clinton left off the night before by reminding us that elections don’t stop just because our candidates won – we have to keep communicating with the folks in DC on what it is we want them to do. Of course he addressed the near riots that had taken place in some town halls where debate was squashed as opponents simply shouted their rep’s down and largely shouted about utter lies being spread by the GOP opposition. And, of course, he was preaching to the choir :-) Still, it was great to hear some sane, fact based discussion on the health care reforms.

But – that was it of political substance for me. The Boys and I started a tradition in Chicago in ’07 of scooting out for some sightseeing and this was our day for it.  Thanks to some Guide to Pittsburgh diaries preceding the event, we knew we wanted to take what’s known as the P&LERR incline up for some city views. It was about an 8 block walk away from the hotel and across the Monongahela River. Gorgeous day, a little warm and humid of course, but not unbearably so at all. Here’s our desired destination, just to the right of the P&LERR building (more to come on that plain looking building)

P&LERR incline

P&LERR incline

Unfortunately I did not take any pics going up the incline. I was a tad nervous :-) These little railway/gondola type cars are actually part of the city’s transit system. A round trip ride was $2.50. A lady riding with us as we went up had been using it as part of her commute for ages. Cracked me up since it seemed like a total touristy thing, but is really quite functional! Anyhow, it was from up on the overlook at the top that I posted some earlier pics, but here’s a few more:

Michael pretending he's scared

Michael pretending he's scared

Ed, me, & Bill at the overlook

Ed, me, & Bill at the overlook

Cool building that looks like it belongs in a Batman movie

Cool building that looks like it belongs in a Batman movie

Zooming in with iPhone on the football stadium

Zooming in with iPhone on the football stadium

From the overlook we went back down to the Riverfront Park where there were lots of places to eat and hey, it was lunchtime! Now, here’s where I tell you to back and look up there at the brick building. Looks like an office building right? Well, it’s the original Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Rail Road station. Down there at the river’s edge was a rail road. Inside the bottom 3? 4? stories of the building was not offices, but a HUGE restaurant and saloon. I didn’t take pictures but here’s one I snagged from The Google:

Grand Concourse Restaurant

Grand Concourse Restaurant

Pretty awesome eh? Since we were seeking a quiet, air conditioned, slow paced lunch, this fit the bill nicely. And I must say they served some of THE BEST soups ever! We each ordered a different one – Black Bean, Lobster Bisque and both types of clam chowder and then shared.  MMMMMMM. I’d go back just for the soup!

Walking back I noticed this cool ooking building kind of sticking out like a sore thumb amongst the usual down town office buildings (like the Batman one):

19th century bank building

19th century bank building

Pittsburgh is an awesome city blending old and new. Very clean, walkable and easy to navigate. The rivers and bridges make it just beautiful. We were staying at The Westin which is across from the convention center and are LEEDS certified – meaning very very environmentally friendly. The hotel rooms had a key control for the lights and ventilation system so that rooms are not draining energy when no one is there.  As a tourist, it was a really fabulous location and I would go back again in a heartbeat. In fact, I might suggest it for the August moms one year!

Part 2 covering the evening at PNC park coming later.

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5 thoughts on “NN09 Day 2, Friday Aug 14 (Part 1)

  1. Squib

    Hey, if we do Pittsburgh one year for a reunion Christian could plan it for us. The first time I met his mom and siblings they took me to ride the incline I remember it well. :-). Pittsburgh has become a lot nicer since the first time Christian took me to meet his family in 1990. He will be happy to hear you enjoyed it and your post made me realize I might want to update my views of Pittsburgh since I still view it as the dirty city I saw when I first went there.

  2. alittlediddy

    I grew up in W-PA about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh. I love the city & especially how much it has been cleaned up from my early memories. I hope you enjoyed your visit. I chuckled over the comments re: the incline. But, it is functional, as you said, a lot of folks rely on it to commute back & forth.
    I also love Heinz Field. I had been to Three Rivers Stadium for concerts & of course NFL games. I went to see the Steelers play Baltimore the 1st year Heinz Field opened. (we lost).Oh well, thanks for bringing a little bit of home to my memories. D

  3. Marcia

    I’ve never liked Pittsburgh but I think that’s because I’ve ONLY ever been there in the dead of winter. The Pittsburgh meet was always over Christmas break. Those hills that are so pretty in the summer become treacherous in the winter and I was always, lost, stressed, freezing, and sliding all over creation about ready to either crash my car or fall on my ass, depending on my mode of transportation :-)

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