Pennsylvania Winters

Winter in Pennsylvania has always been a foreboding time, but does anyone else agree that the last several years have been especially nasty? Despite what they say about global warming, it’s easy to forget about when you’re in December of January in Allegheny County and the bitter wind cuts right through your shoes and into your toes. Of course global warming is a systemic disruption of the environment’s equilibrium, so obviously it contributes to colder winters as well. But I digress, as that is a topic of debate for another time.

These days it’s like we spend more time cleaning off our cars, rather than actually driving to work and social events. It’s hard to remember what it was like when the city of Pittsburgh was not covered by a bitter permafrost. We often forget that we may even look forward to Fall and Winter’s unique charm once we are deep in the midst of the summer months and our limited memories of the reality of how miserable the cold really is, have all but worn off. Now the pendulum swings the complete opposite way, and we have no worldly recollection of what it ever felt to be actually, you know… warm?

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Skyline

Welcome to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the second largest city in the state and in the top twenty in all of the nation. Much has changed about this once under the radar and former industrial town, which is now a high tech hub and renowned home of countless institutions of higher education.

In this first, of what is to be several to follow vignettes on a few former ‘underdog’ cities, we will be visiting the seat of Allegheny County. Nestled in Western PA, not too far from the Ohio and West Virginia borders.

The first thing that will strike you, if you spend any time at all in this town, is the great people who call the Steel City home. There is a certain demeanor that is unique to this area. Although the region could still technically be considered part of the East Coast, there is a certain Midwest politeness and down to earth way about the natives.

If you have ever had your feathers ruffled in the hustle of bustle of New Yorkers in Manhattan, or even on the busy streets of Center City Philadelphia, you will find that things are quite different here. People are for the most part friendlier here in the ‘Pgh’, and even though it can be a very tight knit community with deep ancestral roots, the residents are mostly welcoming to outsiders of all kinds.

As you travel through Western Pennsylvania, you will come to remember the ever present rolling hills, as a trademark calling card for the region. These same foothills frame a unique architecture to the city of Pittsburgh itself, and help create stunning views, such as the cityscape as pictured from Mount Washington (seen above).

Traffic in the city can be heavy and difficult to navigate during peak rush hours and during certain key events which draw tourists to these magnetic city in droves, but relative to many other gridlocked and jam-packed metropolises, it is never too difficult to make your way through at any time of day. The fact that it is relatively easy to get around, add to that laid back persona that this town really enjoys, thrives in, and prides itself upon.