Pittsburgh’s beautiful skyline and friendly people are prompting more and more business entities and groups to look at it for conventions and meetings. I was there for what was supposed to be three days of meetings, but early in the morning of the third day I was told that we were finished. I could either catch an earlier flight home or keep the itinerary I had, which had me flying out the next morning. I decided on the latter, as I had never really experienced Pittsburgh and I wanted to see what this place was all about. I already had a rental car, so I simply kept that and didn’t worry about it at all. Now all I had to do was find a Pittsburgh hotel, as I wanted to try something different.
This can be a time-consuming exercise, but when I logged onto HotelTonight, I immediately realized that this would not be that difficult at all. They had several choices for Pittsburgh hotels, and based on my preferences I had a place to stay within a matter of minutes. I packed my things into my rental car and drove over to my new hotel. As soon as I got out I was met by helpful staff members who showed me to my room. They also answered questions regarding what I should see and do during my day in Pittsburgh. I had a plan, so off I went exploring.
The transformation of the downtown area of Pittsburgh in recent years has been nothing short of remarkable. This was a city that was dominated by industry, and while that’s still a strong influence here, downtown was a really nice mix of old and new. You could still see some of the old buildings and all of their history, but you also saw gorgeous new office buildings and other places that had transformed themselves into restaurants, bars and cafes. The city was abuzz with activity as people moved through their days.
Hazelwood was one of those communities that really depended on the industrial world for its vibrancy in the past. When that market suffered, so did Hazelwood. In recent years, however, massive reinvestment has taken place and you can already see how this area is changing. Business cooperatives have taken on initiatives to add new buildings, refurbish old ones and add new revenue-generating entities such as restaurants, galleries and the like. There’s even a farmer’s market here, which hadn’t been the case for some time. If you want to see how a community fights to recover in the post-industrial world, come see Hazelwood.
The Hill District is another part of town that’s gone through a lot of changes over the years, and it’s another place that’s clearly moving in the right direction right in front of everyone’s eyes. Back in the 1930’s, the Hill District was a hub of jazz musicians, and the area followed by becoming known as one of the centers of art and different types of artists as a result. The community suffered through some tough times in the late 20th Century, but like Hazelwood has since been revitalized by a lot of investment. I realized I was hungry, and I noticed a barbecue place. I’m always drawn to barbecue, so I stopped in and had a lunch that was so good it’s hard to describe.
Boy what isn’t there to do in the North Side of Pittsburgh? As soon as I parked the car I was choosing between a baseball game at PNC Park, the Andy Warhol Museum and the Carnegie Science Center. The North Side is actually made up of several smaller neighborhoods, but I decided to take in some art, some science and some baseball, as there was a game that afternoon. It was a whirlwind, but it was also a tremendous way to live as a Pittsburgh resident, all of whom should feel lucky to have so much to do so close to their homes.
I wanted to see the South Side of Pittsburgh as well, so after the game I made the driver over there. This is another old-school neighborhood that is filled with things to do. One of the things I wanted to do was eat dinner, as I had managed to avoid snacking at the ballpark. My only mistake was having such an open mind, as there was so much to choose from it was almost impossible to simply pick a spot. Once I did, I wished I had made my decision sooner, as the meal was delicious and I was one happy traveler to say the least.
What a day. I started reflecting on it before I even got back to my hotel. Once I got back, I was that much happier to be reunited with my comfortable room. I had seen a lot today. This is a city that is growing and changing at a rapid pace, but it’s managed to hang on to pieces of its historical heritage. I was glad that I had the opportunity to see the area. Of course, without HotelTonight and its immediate selection of Pittsburgh hotels, the entire day may not have been possible. As I drifted off to sleep, I made up my mind that I’d come back and see more of this place someday. I’ll do so with the help of HotelTonight.