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Huang Xiang, a Chinese poet who was exiled from his home in China, moved to Pittsburgh with the help of City of Asylum. Here, Huang Xiang was able to continue writing his poetry. One of the interesting things about his poetry, is that he has actually written some of it on the outside of his house. Visitors can go there and view the poetry written on his home. It is quite an interesting and inspiring sight.
Not only did Huang Xiang write poetry, but he also used to do poetry readings where he "performed" his poetry (I say "performs" because he is very animated and expressive when reading his poetry). I was fortunate enough to go and see him on two separate occasions. He also taught special classes at the University of Pittsburgh. He no longer lives there, because the city only promises 2 years of housing while the individuals transition into their lives of exile. There are others living here today.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 408 Sampsonia Way
Constructed in 1970, the US Steel Tower is Pittsburgh's tallest building at 62 floors and 841 feet. This triangular building has a beautiful open glass lobby on the first several floors, then rises to its height in solid black Pittsburgh steel. Today it is still the 33rd tallest building in the world and home to the US Steel Corporation.
US Steel, after its planned purchase of Canada's Stelco, will become the world's fifth largest steel manufacturer.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 600 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
The South Side is a historic neighborhood filled with Victorian architecture, local shops, and unique entertainment. Numerous theaters and art galleries are housed in the area, and the small shops are offer things like antiques, books, cigars, tattoos, and a variety of other odds and ends you can't find elsewhere. Multi-cultural restaurants run the gamut from European, French, Italian, Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, and Thai to traditional American cuisine. Nightlife here is known more for small, relaxed pubs and bars rather than the large clubs of the Strip District.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: East Carson Street
A unique way to get up to Mount Washington and see the bird's eye view of Pittsburgh is on either the Duquesne or Monogohela Inclines.
The old cable cars that climb a small moutain at a relatively steep angle on a rickety wooden track take you from Carson St. (which runs along the Monogohela River) up to Grandview Ave. on Mt. Washington, where you can look over the City and surroundings from an observation deck that hangs over the cliff, or from one of many restaurants within walking distance that are built along side the cliff.
The inclines were built in the late 1800s, so don't expect a maglev smooth ride. If you've never ridden one before, especially if you have children, there aren't too many places other than Pittsburgh where you'll have an opportunity - so I would recommend just one ride (up & down) for fun.
I can guarantee you that you (and most definitely your children) will never forget it. Make sure you bring your camera so you can show your friends and family you survived the ride !
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: 1197 West Carson Street (and 1220 Granview Ave.)
Phone: (412) 381-1665
Since our trip was a short duration, we availed of Just Ducky Tours, the vintage WWII amphibious boats that depart from Station Square daily, and are approximately one hour apart.
Although we had to wait for the next boat for almost 1 hour, we did not get bored. Even while standing in the line for waiting, several of us kept going in and out to shop and window shop around. There were plenty of friendly kiosks nearby and the place was crowded (picture 2).
It turned out to be both educating and enjoying (picture 3 and 4).
The amphibious nature of the boat can be seen in picture 1 and 5.
Updated Sep 26, 2010
A drive through the city via Just Ducky amphibious boat turned out to be very informative, something we could not have achieved on our own. While the commentary by the guide gives many more less known facts, here are some details of the major attractions we were able to see:
Picture 1: Trinity Church dates back to the Penn's land grants of 1787 the church consists of Trinity Cathedral and Trinity Churchyard.
Picture 2: PNC Park is the fifth home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the city's Major League Baseball team. The ballpark is sponsored by the locally-based PNC Financial Services, which purchased the naming rights in 1998. PNC Park features a natural grass playing surface and seats 38,496 people for baseball. Funded in conjunction with Heinz Field, the $216 million park stands along the Allegheny River, on the North Shore of Pittsburgh with a view of Downtown Pittsburgh.
Picture 3: The Carnegie Science Center opened in 1991. It is the most visited museum in Pittsburgh. The attractions include the newly constructed Buhl Digital Dome, the Rangos Omnimax Theater, the Miniature Railroad & Village, the USS Requin (a World War II submarine) and roboworld™, touted as "the world's largest permanent robotics exhibit".
Picture 4: Heinz Field serves as the home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and University of Pittsburgh Panthers American football teams. The stadium opened in 2001 and is named for locally based H. J. Heinz Company. The stadium stands along the Ohio River, on the Northside of Pittsburgh. The stadium was designed with the city of Pittsburgh's history of steel production in mind, which led to the inclusion of 12,000 tons of steel into the design.
Picture 5: Architectural beauty of the city include this man-made waterfall.
Written Sep 26, 2010
One of America's Top 10 Catholic Universities, Duquesne originally opened its doors in 1878. The campus is located on a beautiful bluff overlooking the Monongahela and the city, but its steep streets probably give drivers lots of trouble in the winter...
The 49 acre campus has 10,000 students, plus it has a campus in Harrisburg, PA, and another in Rome, Italy.
Updated Sep 25, 2010
We reached the lower station of the Monongahela Incline, which is located near the Smithfield Street Bridge, by walking from Station Square.
Well, Monongahela is like a cable car that does not travel over the valleys horizontally, but that goes up the Mount Washington at an incline. And it is a three compartment three level cable car. The ten of us took the lowest level compartment to have the views of downtown Pittsburgh from all the height variations.
The Mon, as it is called by the locals, opened in 1870. It is the oldest and steepest incline in the United States, as well as the nation's oldest cable car operation.
The Monongahela Incline was consolidated into Port Authority of Allegheny County operations in 1964 and declared a historic structure by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation in 1970. At present, it offers rides to tourists like us who wanted to just experience this new thing and also offers a convenient way for residents of Mt. Washington to get to downtown Pittsburgh.
Cash fares, passes and tickets are accepted as payment on the Monongahela incline.
$2.00 cash fare each way (roundtrip $2.50 with transfer valid for three hours)
$1.00 Child (age 6-11) or Disabled, cash fare each way (roundtrip $1.25, with transfer valid for three hours)
Monday through Saturday 5:30 a.m. to 12:45 a.m.
Sundays and Holidays 8:45 a.m. to Midnight
Updated Sep 4, 2010
Our first visit at the Station Square was to the Fountain at Bessemer Court, next to the river. The fountain show enthralls the visitors with hundreds of multi-colored water jets soaring up to 40 feet in the air in a pattern that is choreographed to music. To us, it was dancing water, the like of which we had seen only once before - in Dubai during its shopping festival.
Unfortunately, due to rain, we were unable to see the Fountains in all their glory.
Close to the Fountains, there were kiosks selling stuff that could come handy anytime. The younger lot bought some stuff and fooled around the others.
Updated Sep 2, 2010
Phone: (800) 859-8959
Toronto has its Harbour Front, New York has South Street Seaport, Chicago has Navy Pier, and Pittsburgh has Station Square. But there are many more tourist attractions in and around Station Square than at any other places mentioned above.
We, an entourage of 10, reached Station Square's 52-acre riverfront complex after a difficult drive where we went off the directed route several times, primarily because the city's road climb up and down the hills a lot making the drive rather hard. The complex provided us with many activities to enjoy - Fountain at Bessemer Court (picture 1), the Grand Concourse where we dined (picture 2), Just Ducky Tours that we availed to learn about various attractions of Pittsburgh (picture 3), shopping that boasted old world charm in the setting of two restored railroad buildings (picture 4), and the 'Inclines' going up to Mt. Washington from just across the street (picture 5).
Updated Sep 1, 2010
Address: 125 W. Station Square Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Phone: (800) 859-8959
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