Today’s post is the debut essay from a new Eleventh Stack blogger, Aisha. Please give her a warm Pittsburgh welcome in the comments section.
In late August, I moved to Pittsburgh from Indiana (the state, not the town, which is a distinction I’ve never had to make before). I am mostly thrilled to be here. The thing keeping me from being completely thrilled? The hills. They’re gorgeous to look at, but I’ve spent the majority of my life on flat land so driving on them is like being on a roller coaster ride where I’m the one in charge of making sure I don’t die.
Some of the things I’ve learned in my brief time in Pittsburgh:
- It doesn’t matter if I’m from Indiana and like the Colts; I’m in Pittsburgh now and I have no choice but to become a Steelers fan or at the very least, fake being a Steelers fan.
- Pittsburghers have words and phrases that I won’t understand.
- This is one talented city. I’ve been to the August Wilson Center for African American Culture to see a play, I went to the Pittsburgh Moth StorySlam and was amazed by the storytelling, and I’m looking forward to seeing improv at the Steel City Improv Theater.
- Book clubs can (and should) meet anywhere. I hope to attend CLP’s Book Buzz (if I can finish the book in time).
One of the advantages of being a librarian is that I have my own personal librarian: me. One of the disadvantages of being a librarian is that my non-librarian friends and family also have their own personal librarian: me. I have been known to yell, “I’m at home! I’m not a librarian at home!” But whenever I need information, I just say, “Self, find it.” (Yes, even if I’m at home.)
Here are some books my own personal librarian found that may help me get used to my new home:
- Food Lovers’ Guide to Pittsburgh: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings – Sarah Sudar, Julia Gongaware, Amanda McFadden, and Laura Zorch
- Pittsburgh: A New Portrait – Franklin Toker
- Pittsburgh Film History: On Set in the Steel City – John Tiech
- Pittsburgh Noir – edited by Kathleen George
- Play On: An Illustrated History of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra – Hax McCullough
- Steelerology Trivia Challenge: Pittsburgh Steelers Football – Billy Wilcox
- Teenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History – Cheryl Finley
And now, dear reader, is when I ask for your help. What are the quintessential Pittsburgh experiences I should be having? What are your recommendations for things to do or see or eat? Is there a book that perfectly captures Pittsburgh? What’s your favorite CLP program to attend? Is someone willing to teach me how to parallel park?