I'll admit it, after being here for 10+ weeks, the city of Pittsburgh has grown on me.
I never really had a strong interest in baseball-I knew the fundamentals of it and followed the Dodgers (my original hometeam) here and there, but being in such a sports-driven area, I have learned to root for the Pirates nowadays. Not to mention having a seat in that grand ol' PNC Stadium with the Pittsburgh skyline view-I was immediately taken in. As for the Steelers....eh, I'm sticking with my Colts. But that's a different story.
On moving to the 'Burgh, I was told by my numerous Yinzer friends that I would love the city, no matter where I found housing. For the most part, their excitement stayed the same-even when I mentioned to them that I lived in Lawrenceville.
Not to bash on the area, but it wasn't exactly the type of place I imagined when I first found housing there. But give me a break, I'm from a suburban town in Indiana and lived for four years in a place called Happy Valley, I kind of had high expectations.
On first moving in to my home off of Butler Street, I was terrified of my new surroundings. Small, cramped houses pinned right next to another. A "backyard" the size of my freshman dorm room. Jaywalkers everywhere. Kids running around past midnight. Random firecrackers (sometimes they actually weren't firecrackers) going off at 1 or 2 a.m. Not at all what I expected.
It should come as no surprise then that I dared to venture outside my comfort zone during my days off. Even when I would get off work, coming home around midnight, I have no shame in saying I would run—literally—from my car to the front door, keys in hand and ready for anyone to jump me.
Yea, I know, I have to go easy on the scary movies. I've improved since then, I swear. I've always heard from people around me that there's a lot to see in Lawrenceville if I gave it a chance. Until then, I had only ventured to the South Side or Shadyside, where most of my friends live. So the other day, I decided enough was enough—and I'm glad I did.
Walking around Lawrenceville, I noticed small shops over every sort I did not even know existed, despite having driven passed them so many times. I tried out two pizza eateries and fell in love. Sure, it was pricier than having ordered my usual pizza from Papa John's or so, but the quality in taste made up for it. Not to mention the small talk you make with the owners.
While a tourist destination, going to eat with a friend at the Church Brew Works blew my mind. The concept of having an eating establishment (a fine one too, by the way), let alone a brewery, inside a former church? Pure genius and definitely unique experience.
That's only a very, very small example of what Lawrenceville has to offer. There's still Allegheny Cemetery I hope to explore, which according to its website, "is the sixth rural incorporated cemetery in the United States." The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is also not too far away from me and I've been told that before I leave, I must make a trip out to it.
This is only Lawrenceville we're talking about too. Who knows—well, besides the locals—what else Pittsburgh has to offer beyond it's usual Downtown commodities.