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arrival in Pittsburgh

When arriving last night I was kind of taken with how pretty Pittsburgh is at night... the bridges across the river are suspension bridges, well lit, and the town uses color. Flying overhead, I spotted a flaming smokestack, which I realized meant that this is a city that makes stuff. Steel City, or refinery, or whatever, it doesn't really matter what that thing was connected to; other than razor blades, I can't really think of stuff that comes out of Boston.

Driving from the airport, I spotted some pretty neon buildings down by the water; I can't remember what they were anymore, but... Pittsburgh's answer to Storrow Drive is just so wide, and relaxing, and well-lit.

It was pretty. what can I say?

Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
forgotten_aria
Sep. 25th, 2007 04:23 am (UTC)
Actually I've heard it said that there is one of every kind of bridge design (up to certain year) in pittsburgh, so it's noto just suspension, but arch bridges and like. I think pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city, but don't quote me on that.
crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC)
Woot! That's more than anyone could possibly want to know :)
plymouth
Sep. 25th, 2007 06:34 am (UTC)
It is indeed totally gorgeous. I loved living there. I miss it.
crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:30 am (UTC)
I didn't remember you living in Pittsburgh... Cool, you have lived everywhere. :)
plymouth
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:35 am (UTC)
I so have not! I've only lived in 4 states and I'm pretty sure you know the other three :) I had an internship in PGH for three summers while I was at MIT. And then when I graduated I did get a job offer there but I took the one I got in CT instead because I didn't think I could bear to actually live inland away for the ocean permanently, though I considered it pretty seriously because I looooooved Pittsburgh.
melted_snowball
Sep. 25th, 2007 09:37 am (UTC)
Of course, once upon a time, Cambridge made candy. But not so much, anymore.

awfief
Sep. 25th, 2007 09:54 am (UTC)
Somerville still does! http://www.tazachocolate.com/ Oh, OK, 1 place in Somerville does. But I've seen them a few times around (they were at A Taste of Cambridge as well as have a regular booth at the weekly Kendall Sq. Farmer's Market) and spoken with them, and they import the beans to Somerville and the rest of the manufacturing is done in Somerville.

Waltham used to be the "Watch City". Dunno about Boston. "sand and gravel" is the only thing that comes to mind, that's not manufactured of course, but it could be/have been an export.

Boston was a port city very early on (ie, before the Tea Party caused the English to shut it down). After that, I don't think it has a lot of goods. I wonder, though...what does, say, New York City manufacture? (besides everything!) It's mostly known for stock market, financial stuff, skyscrapers, etc. I think many big cities don't need an "industry" to have kept them going....of course Boston's has always been education anyway....
nathanw
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:38 pm (UTC)
Boston and NYC both used to be big centers for small and medium manufacturing - back when being close to a port to ship things from was very important. Both of them (and a lot of other old port cities) got their clocks cleaned when containerized shipping took over. The changeover in all this is really pretty recent - the last 50 years or so.
crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
I bought some Taza... but I think their wacky style of chocolate may be too highfalutin for me. It was kind of grainy. :)

I could probably come to like it though... it was very close to the essence of chocolate, in some ways.

Boston has molasses, too, right? Hmm, I guess not.
cityofbeige
Sep. 25th, 2007 11:47 am (UTC)
They still make Tootsie Rolls at that one factory near Toscinini's. You can smell it every time you walk by.
melted_snowball
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
I just remember walking past the NECCo factory every morning. Not exactly fondly, mind you, but I remember it.

The town I live in now makes lots of food.
crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC)
The Tootsie Roll factory occasionally also exuded sweetly odors back in the day. You just didn't need to go past it all that much. :)
(Deleted comment)
drnuncheon
Sep. 25th, 2007 11:11 am (UTC)
Dude, you're in Pittsburgh? Clearly I should read this thing more often. What's going on here?

Drop me a line (drnuncheon at verizon dot net), we can get together later this week.
blk
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC)
You're a Pittsburgher? AND we don't have any other friends in common? Weird! Who are you? :)
drnuncheon
Sep. 25th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
I'm short, fuzzy, and clearly not the only person Chris knows 'round these parts. But I'm reasonably certain I don't know you either, so: hi lady geek, nice to meet you!

crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:17 am (UTC)
He's a gamer friend that is connected to you by... somewhere between two and four degrees of separation, or even five, depending on how close you count us, and count him and his wife. I could potentially have to go through katybeth to get to you, and through tirianmal to get to gospog, to get to drnuncheon.

That's how I got to know you folks, anyway.

I feel either very popular, or very spread thin, suddenly :)
cityofbeige
Sep. 25th, 2007 11:54 am (UTC)
Things are produced around Boston, but nowhere near on a large scale. One time I was wandering near some condos in Somerville, and I kept hearing a "ka-thunk... ka-thunk". Really close by was a small warehouse with the sign "XYZ Drop Forge" on it. There are dozens of micro-factories like that scattered all over Somerville.

As for the bio-tech area near Kendall Square... who knows what they're making there. Could be some mutant, virulent and fatal viruses for all I know.
cityofbeige
Sep. 25th, 2007 11:56 am (UTC)
I've never seen Pittsburgh at night, and only passed through it on a train. Cincinnati's skyline is really impressive at night, if you ever head in that direction.
crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
Actually, the Pittsburgh riverfront reminded me strongly of Cincinnati! Station Junction, or whatever that big neon thing was, reminded me so much of that visit for ConnecTerra so many moons ago... :)

Now if only they had Cincinnati's Skyline Chili here.
blk
Sep. 25th, 2007 01:09 pm (UTC)
Pittsburgh really is a pretty city, with a lot of character. Especially downtown. I like it. :)
crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC)
So far, I've only seen Oakland, Squirrel Hill and the burb where binkbink lives... Not sure what chance I'll get to see downtown while I'm here.
navrins
Sep. 25th, 2007 02:14 pm (UTC)
My company exports large boxes of heavy computers all over the world. Just sayin'. (Admittedly, we don't actually *build* the computers... the components mostly get built in the Far East and shipped to Norwood, where they're assembled and shipped to us in Allston, where we add a little more stuff and configure them and ship them wherever. But still. It's not just data.)
crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
But you're not doing anything that will end up putting a smokestack over the city ;-)

(See related air quality comments below though)
chenoameg
Sep. 25th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
I can't really think of stuff that comes out of Boston
Teddie Peanut Butter is made in Everett: http://www.teddie.com/aboutUs.html

(Also, manufacturingMA.com is a neat website)

Yay Pretty!
crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC)
Re: I can't really think of stuff that comes out of Boston
And there's always Fluff, right?
shaenon
Sep. 25th, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)

As my mother likes to say each time we emerge from the Fort Pitt Tunnel, it's the city with a front door!

Most of the steel mills are no longer operational, though. That's why the sky is blue rather than brown, as it was when my parents were growing up there.
crs
Sep. 26th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC)
Yeah, I got my initiation to the Pittsburgh tunnels this evening, hitting a couple of them ending with the Liberty Tunnel (once each way). As much as I like the Big Dig in Boston, well, these are tunnels through actual stuff.

Maybe it's just memories from of old, living in northeast Ohio, among the same kinds of ravines and bridges... driving an interstate you'd come over a ridge and be looking down on this beautiful valley, with the road stretching all the way through. Amazing.

Enh, New England has its own features... Cambridge city streets designed by cows :)
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )