Monday, July 30, 2007

this roadtrip has seven days: day six, part one

Day 6: Pittsburgh, PA (Part 1)

The day began with grocery shopping around the Shadyside and East Liberty neighbourhoods at Trader Joe's and one of Giant Eagle's Market District stores. The weather proved a hindrance during the day, as intermittent showers cut down on the amount of walking I planned to do.

Oakland This Way
Early on, I discovered I didn't need to look at my city map to find my way around. The city's main neighbourhoods are well marked, thanks to the signage shown here. Many point to multiple neighbourhoods - imagine if you were at Queen and Spadina and a similar sign pointed you to Yorkville, The Annex, Cabbagetown, The Danforth and The Beach. I tossed the map in the back seat and let the signs guide me...and they didn't let me down.

Tarish Studios (1)
Heading west towards the core of the city, Penn Ave is lined with murals and artwork on buildings, such as Loud Silence, found at the corner of Fairmount. More about the artist, Tarish Pipkins.

Celestial Weaving Girl (1) Fabric of the Community
Two more Penn Ave murals, both part of the Sprout Public Art program, which has been responsible for over 30 works around the region. On the left is Celestial Weaving Girl (Lucas Stock, 2006), the right Fabric of the Community (Jackie Kresak, 2004).

Wholey Kickin' Chicken Primo Imported Pasta
I spent a couple of hours in the Strip District, which historically was home to manufacturing, then food wholesalers. Some of the latter remain, but the area, especially along Penn and Smallman, is full of small stores, restaurants and food vendors. If I lived in Pittsburgh, I could easily imagine doing much of my food shopping in the neighbourhood.

A break in the rain allowed time to roam from store to store. Alas, I didn't try the Kickin' Chicken at Wholey's. One surprise at a pasta store: the import section included a wide selection of a prestige Canadian brand, pictured above.

Steely Wisdom One Use for an Old Firehall
Left: The joke of the day. Right: From the "how to reuse a lonely firehall" department.

Acme Banana Co. Pennsylvania Railroad Fruit Auction and Sales Building
Left: Where Wile E. Coyote (super genius) buys his bananas? Right: Possibly the first time I have seen a building adorned with the phrase "fruit auction" (anyone know if there are similar signs at the Ontario Food Terminal?).

Cafe On The Strip (2) Cafe On The Strip (1)
Italian Wedding Soup Baked Eggplant Sandwich
After dithering over several choices, I settled on Cafe on the Strip for lunch. Started off with an excellent Italian Wedding soup, full of chicken, bacon, meatball and fresh cheese. It tasted like it hadn't been anywhere near a can or plastic pouch. My main was an eggplant sandwich. The non-breaded slices of veggie melted in my mouth, going down like butter. I'll try to avoid any sexual comparisons to what my mouth was feeling at the time.

It may have been the tastiest meal of the trip.

As usual, full set of pictures on Flickr.

Next: Carnegie a-go-go 

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