The Steel City
That’s “Black and Gold,” not “Black and Yellow”
Sunday January 8, 2006 — The Holy Shrine of the Steelers, Heinz Field, is quiet this Sunday. They played and beat the Bengals in Cincinnati to advance in the NFL playoffs.
The menu at Primanti Brothers is pretty much just sandwiches — all the same (local Italian bread, fries, cole slaw and tomato with your choice of meat) — served on wax paper. No plates or cutlery. I don’t think one can say they have experienced Pittsburgh unless they have had a Primanti’s.
You know you’re in Pittsburgh when… Walmart has Steeler-colored loofahs.
Photographer: “Two of the youngest Pittsburgh Steelers fans along Penn Avenue in the Strip District of Pittsburgh, PA last Saturday afternoon.”
I’m not from around here.
I don’t have parents or grandparents living in Bloomfield or Upper St. Clair. They didn’t work at J&L Steel down on Second Avenue. I don’t speak Pittsburghese, but have come to understand it.
I’m a transplant.
But, having lived in Da ‘Burgh for a little more than six years, I think I can share an observation or two.
The Big Small Town
Because of the natural topology, Pittsburgh is geographically small. Two rivers and a hill hem in the downtown area, called the Triangle. The World Trade Center plaza would cover the whole Triangle. The rest of the city is built on the hillsides and occasional flat bits.
The people are friendly and the city is relatively safe. I have been known to complain about the traffic here, but only in relative terms. Pittsburgh’s beats D.C. or L.A. traffic by leaps and bounds. The cost of living and pace of life are a dream. The weather is temperate, which provides all four seasons mildly delivered (usually.)
There is a lot going on in the Steel City. Museums, science center, art galleries, theater, symphony, parks, the National Aviary, shopping (after a fashion — we have the only IKEA for 200 miles,) universities. With lots of outdoor activities, too.
Three major league sports teams call this city home. For real. Even though it’s small, all three teams play in Pittsburgh. You will find fans of the Pirates and even the Penguins, but always on top, are the Pittsburgh Steelers (pronounced correctly as “da Picksburg Stillers”.)
The Drinking Town with a Football Problem
A telling excerpt from the article:
The history of the game here is thick and runs deep in the hearts of folks. Once seen first-hand, one is bound to ask, “Why?” Is it because, in the day, a football scholarship might give a teenage boy the chance for a better life than working in the mills or mines? Maybe.
Truth is, I don’t know the reason for Pittsburgh’s football fervor. I just know it exists. And it is infectious.
02/Feb/2006 – The Steel City 5 comments