Oh Pittsburgh, My Pittsburgh

Around this time last year I had just returned home from a ten-day vacation to Southport, North Carolina spent with my family. I was restless as all get out and hated to leave. This Northern Belle could've seen herself living in the South, y'all.
Now though? This Steel City I claim proudly as my own.
Perhaps it was the excavation work of healing and renewal God's been doing this last year in me.

My Pittsburgh is both the skyscrapers of steel and glass, the pothole riddled hills and valleys and wide rivers. It is as much its landscape and topography and our colloquialisms as it is my memories, and my heritage in every family story.

Family stories that come to mind with more frequency, and in one sorely-missed voice nowadays. Someone who'd always tell us the same stories of growing up in Hazelwood, how in his boyhood he'd go fetch his grandfather at the beer garden after a long day's work at the mill. And he'd always point out where on the hill the turnpike sat on, where his house used to sit. Or he'd recount a Pirates game as if he had been just yesterday.
My Pittsburgh has such a beautiful history. Now, I didn't say perfect. At the present, it is known as an epicenter of health and science and learning and making a friendlier environment, but its roots are steel and soot colored alongside the black and gold.
Charles Dickens called my city hell with it's lid off when he visited.

This city has depth and backbone and is a melting pot of brilliantly varied cultures both historically and presently. And I love it. I've been exploring it so much. Little bits and pieces at a time considering it takes me almost an hour to drive seven-ish miles into the city from my suburban bubble I'm ever ready to escape. Driving places like the North Side or Oakland or going through Hazelwood to get to Downtown alongside my sister en route to get tattoos earlier this year at the most sketchiest/stereotypical tattoo parlor ever. Memories like that, of daring to get out of my bubble, to breathe deep and blare music driving the streets of my city, seeing the sights both as tourist and native? Priceless.
Adventuring in my city has captured my heart, added miles to my trusty PT cruiser, and has only made me want to learn more and more about this great city I call mine.
Especially it's history. Because I am doing a ton of local research for a new story; both love and bittersweet nostalgia for my city and my family are swelling my heart even now. I freely admit to crying writing a paragraph of this post. 
So, dear reader, stay tuned.

Words, history, and grace color my days here in The Burgh where I seek out the perfect coffee and red lipstick.

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