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:
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)
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:
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:
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):
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.