Column: Falling for Pittsburgh
During fall break, my mom and I ventured up to my hometown in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Known as the “City of Bridges,” Pittsburgh is a massive city known for it’s cultural arts, sports, nightlife, and vast history from the Revolutionary War to the Civil Rights movement. Famous celebrities such as Mac Miller, Sidney Crosby, and Mr. Rogers all hail from this city. Overall, the trip can take up to 26 hours of driving, 13 hours each way. However, a person can see some beautiful sights as you head up the Appalachian Mountains to reach Pittsburgh.
During our trip, we visited some famous spots that most Pittsburgh natives would stop at, but we also visited lesser-known sections of the city. When we first got into Pittsburgh, we crashed out at my paternal grandmother’s house and rejuvenated ourselves. When we awoke, our minds trailed to the popcorn from the Pittsburgh Popcorn Company located inside the South Hills Village mall. They have quite the variety of flavored popcorn, from “movie style” popcorn all the way to Wisconsin Cheddar popcorn. It’s worth the wait and the cost since the popcorn is locally grown in Lancaster County and it is non-GMO.
The next place we visited on our trip in Pittsburgh was an Eat’n Park in Baldwin-Whitehall area. Since 1949, Eat’n Park has served thousands of people while selling and distributing more than 9 million Smiley cookies. If anyone plans to go there, I recommend getting the original Superburger or the Turkey Dinner, which will fill you up entirely without breaking the bank. To add, Eat’n Park is eco-friendly and partners with FarmSource, which allows for locally grown produce to be used in their food, for the past 15 years. Naturally, we had to get a dozen Smiley cookies as well as a box of their signature House Blend coffee to share with our family.
To finish out our first night in Pittsburgh, we traveled to Canonsburg to visit the famous Sarris Candy factory. This candy factory has chocolate spreading over 100 yards, complete with a gorgeous, period ice-cream parlor and decorations and gifts for every occasion. Sarris Candy is a staple landmark in the Pittsburgh area. I made sure to purchase several bars of chocolate to bring home for my classmates.
Over the course of the next few days, I spent some time with my maternal and paternal grandparents in the southwestern part of Pittsburgh. Just seeing them daily made me feel whole again, but also homesick as well. Yet, since moving to South Carolina, I am grateful to live in the south and for the opportunities, it's offered me
The day before we left Pittsburgh, my mom and I decided to explore downtown Pittsburgh. Since we moved several years ago, a lot of the city was undergoing construction or major changes. One major change that occurred while we were away was the remodeling of Station Square, a huge outdoor and indoor complex for nightlife, shopping, and historical preservation for Pittsburgh. Despite the majority of it being shut for remodeling and weather, we were able to check out the Grand Concourse, the Monongahela Incline, and the Sheraton hotel, where my parents had their wedding reception almost 25 years ago.
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