With the COVID-19 virus limiting our travels around the globe, some of us are likely to miss Pittsburgh more than others. I’ve been away from Pitt for decades and only went back again 2016 for Pitt International Day. I remember landing at the airport and being amazed at what had changed! PGH airport used to be bustling with people and activity but recent developments had made it a bit gloomy and lonely. However, seeing all the familiar Pittsburgh sights, sounds and smells as well as the common merchandising everywhere, quickly pulled my focus away from that sad feeling and into a “Pitt jubilee” screaming “YAAAAY!” in mind.
It was out of this world to be back there after a last visit sometimes in the late 90s. 20 years give or take. That’s a lot of time. But it all came rushing back quickly. You’ll be amazed at what you can remember when the sounds and smells of those days comes back to you! 🙂
The cab ride to downtown was awesome. I remember sitting in the Airport shuttle on the day I first arrived to Pittsburgh in the Summer of ’87, on our way to the Residence Inn in Greentree or something. It would be our new home for 6 weeks until we had found a place to live (in Mt. Lebanon). Everything was different then, but now it brought back all the places along the way while the landscape was rolling by. Hills, trees, industry, hotels, the Parkway, coming down the hill into the white tiled (!) Pitt tunnels and the BOOM of coming out the other end with the vista of downtown Pittsburgh! PPG, the banks, Point State Park and all the new development along the riverside.
Sample of Dave’s Photos of Pittsburgh
I can’t describe the feeling but it is the same as seeing your parents again after being away for 5 years. Or your loved one after a long period of working abroad or in quarantine. Studying abroad and landing back in your home country… That feeling! Just a rush of emotions all uncontrolled and triggering each other constantly over and over.
I was amazed at what had disappeared and been replaced downtown (dahn-tahn) but at first, the general feeling is that not that much has changed. Oakland is still oakland. The Cathedral is still there. Hillman library. Phipps. The 72/74 buses going back and forth. Student Union. The Towers! All these landmarks from the days when I was a student at Pitt and really starting to live me life for the first time. It’s an important period for anyone.
For all the people who are not able to visit Pittsburgh now, especially during the Corona crisis, but also thereafter, I would like to point you to an outstanding website of a well-known Pittsburgh photographer Dave DiCello.
He makes incredibly gorgeous pictures of Pittsburgh everyday and shares these online. He has a website and Etsy shop where you can browse his portfolio and perhaps relive your entire 4 years at Pitt just by looking at his photos. It’s truly amazing, can be very emotional and immensely satisfying to get as close as you can these days with all of us #stayhome #staysafe.
Please support this great photographer in these hard times when all his usual work is suspended over Corona.