Observations on Pittsburgh

  • Before coming to Pittsburgh, I hadn’t pushed a button to get a walk sign in a long, long time. In Chicago, the walk sign appears whether someone’s standing on the corner or not. In Pittsburgh, the ancient button technology is still king, but at many intersections it comes with an added bonus–you can cross the intersection on the DIAGONAL!!! That’s right, traffic in all directions stop, the walk sign appears on all four crosswalks…and you can walk right through the intersection! Way cool and very efficient.
  • We could never figure out how you knew which intersections you could cross on the diagonal. (I heard someone describe such intersections as “scramble corners.”) When I got back home, for the first few days I had to resist the impulse to cross on the diag into oncoming traffic.
  • What’s with the Southern accents everywhere? Were we that far South?
  • Drivers there are very nice.
  • The only place to get coffee on the road in Pennsylvania seems to be McDonalds.
  • Folks park their cars facing both ways on each side of the street. Very disconcerting when you’re driving.
  • Fans at the Pirates game seem more into the Jumbotron dances and contests than the game being played on the field.
  • Hardly anyone at the game was wearing Pirates gear. However, every fourth person was wearing Steelers gear. This is definitely a football town.
  • The crowd at the game needed the words to “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on the Jumbotron to sing along. Lame.
  • I’m used to a baseball crowd that’s into the game, pitch by pitch, cheering, reacting, standing in support at crucial times. None of that goes on here.
  • Tour guides who continually fish for compliments, “What do you think? Don’t you LOVE it? Don’t you wish YOU could live HERE??!!” really irk me.

One thought on “Observations on Pittsburgh

  1. Maybe you were hearing Pittsburghese? I can see how it might sound a bit southern.
    And I did not know that about the diagonal crosswalks.

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