Pittsburgh 2016...I

Pittsburgh is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is the county seat of Allegheny County. The Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population of 2,659,937 is the largest in both the Ohio Valley and Appalachia, the second largest in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia and the 20th largest in the United States. Located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, which form the Ohio River, Pittsburgh is known as both the "Steel City" for its more than 300 steel-related businesses, and the "City of Bridges" for its 446 bridges. The city features 30 skyscrapers, two inclines, a pre-revolutionary fortification and Point State Park at the confluence of the rivers. The city developed as a vital link of the Atlantic coast and Midwest. The mineral-rich Allegheny Mountains made the area coveted by the French and British empires, Virginia, Whiskey Rebels, and Civil War raiders. Aside from steel, Pittsburgh has led in manufacturing of aluminum, glass, shipbuilding, petroleum, foods, sports, transportation, computing, autos and electronics. For part of the 20th century, Pittsburgh was behind only New York and Chicago in corporate headquarters employment...it had the most U.S. stockholders per capita. America's 1980s deindustrialization laid off area blue-collar workers and thousands of downtown white-collar workers when the longtime Pittsburgh-based world headquarters of Gulf Oil, Sunbeam, Rockwell and Westinghouse moved out. This heritage left the area with renowned museums, medical centers, parks, research centers, libraries, a diverse cultural district and the most bars per capita in the U.S. In 2015, Pittsburgh was listed among the "eleven most livable cities in the world". The Economist's Global Liveability Ranking placed Pittsburgh as the first or second most livable city in the United States in 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

I was very excited while on my way to Pittsburgh, because it's a city I've always wanted to visit. After checking into the Westin Convention Center Hotel downtown, I made my way up to the Mount Washington neighborhood. From atop Mount Washington, you see the best views of Pittsburgh that you'll ever want to see. And there are various viewing areas along Grandview Avenue to get different views of the city. One of the best spots is Point of View Park, which has the "Point Of View" sculpture. The sculpture depicts George Washington and the Seneca leader Guyasuta with their weapons down, in a face-to-face meeting in October 1770, when the two men met while Washington was in the area examining land for future settlement along the Ohio River. This spot also gives the best view of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers as they meet at the point to form the Ohio River. You can also see a great view of the many bridges in Pittsburgh, including the bright yellow bridges along the Allegheny River. You can also see Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers football teams. The "Forks of the Ohio" fountain at Point State Park can be seen as well. After a few hours around Mount Washington, I headed back downtown where I found myself at the Riverwalk. While walking along the Riverwalk, I photographed the Fort Wayne Railroad Bridge, also known as the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge. And making her way up the Allegheny River was the Duchess Gateway Clipper. Another highlight along the Riverwalk was getting close up views of the "3 sister bridges".... the Rachel Carson Bridge, the Andy Warhol Bridge and the Roberto Clemente Bridge. As I made my way onto the Roberto Clemente Bridge, I got great photos of PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, downtown Pittsburgh and views of the bridges over the river. Although my hotel was a great distance from where I was, I looked at the downtown area and realized that I really did some walking. And the funny part was that I was just getting started on my photo walk. Also along the Roberto Clemente Bridge were groups of padlocks, combination locks and key locks...they're called "lovelocks". The locks, many bearing the names of couples showing their love and affection for one another will soon be a thing of the past, though. The locks will be removed once renovation starts on all of Pittsburgh's bridges.

Continuing across the bridge, I capture more photos of downtown buildings, which now lands me in front of PNC Park. There's no baseball game today, so I'm able to walk freely around the stadium without having to dodge Pirates fans. While at the park, I photograph the larger-than-life statues of former players Honus Wagner, Bill Mazeroski, Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell. I was spending quite a bit of time at PNC Park, then I realized I had a looooong walk back to the hotel. But anyone who knows me knows I love to walk, so this didn't bother me at all. On the way back to the hotel, I captured photos of Pittsburgh Police vehicles, The Byham Theater and a Ballys Sports Club. Then I walked upon a pretty cool art project..."Katz Plaza Fountain and Eyeball Benches". It was a tall, flowing fountain with benches and chairs in the plaza that were carved to look like eyeballs. This project was the coolest thing, and was actually on my "shoot list". I'm happy I found it. Another good find was a Pittsburgh historical plaque called "The Pittsburgh Agreement", which was a great read. Across the street from there was the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. Once back at the hotel, I notice a cool looking display of greenery with what looked like falling rocks held up by thin wire. I found out that this was actually a three-story "living green wall" in the lobby.