Tagged: A Weekend in Pittsburgh


Since Rhian (and hopefully Lisa) and Jennifer Estep and Colleen Gleason, Tilly Green, and Shane Gericke and everyone else I’ve forgotten (leave your name in the comments and I’ll add you) are coming to my fair city in April for the Romantic Times conference, Rhi thought it would be fun to tag me for the Weekend in (insert your city here) meme. (but feel free to give her some garbage ’cause she’s not supposed to be tagging me for things! she’s supposed to be designing a ShapeShifter logo!)

Since you guys should be able to look cool and sound like you’ve got a clue, here’s a primer, in the form of the meme.

Best Place to Eat: The Carlton in the Mellon Building. Can’t walk there from the hotel, the tablecloths are white and the wine’s famously priced at $10 over cost, but this is my favorite. Hands down. Sure, you’ll spend $25 an entree, but you’ll be in ecstasy with every bite. (DO NOT, I repeat, do NOT look at their dinner menu! Aaugh! Take me there now!)

There’s also the Church Brew Works, in Lawrenceville. This is where we bring out-of-town friends to eat (assuming they don’t keep kosher). Slightly cheaper and instead of wine, go for the beer. They’re not making the Belltower Brown Ale at the moment. It’s my favorite. They serve bison, too, from time to time. And if you can get the rattlesnake and cactus pierogies, you’re set. Don’t forget the ice cream!

Best Shopping Mall: Downtown? Forget it. Try Macy’s or Saks. Otherwise, it’s out to the Burbs with you!

Famous Landmark: Duh… the Point. You’ll be able to see the famed fountain from the ballrooms of Hilton, which is located across the street from another famous landmark: Point State Park. (see a pattern?)

But be sure to spend any free time on the inclines or the Gateway Clipper. I wish the convention was going to be small enough for us to party one night on the Majestic. It’s always fun to cruise the city’s other famed landmark: its three rivers. If your hotel room’s high enough, you’ll be able to see them. Assuming you’re facing the right way.

Take a trip into Oakland and check out the Cathedral of Learning. More famously called the Tower of Ignorance, or the Pittsburgh Phallus, it’s a mastery of gothic architecture. If you have time (which I doubt you will), take a tour of the Nationality Rooms. Classrooms on the first, second, and third floors have been reconfigured to show and celebrate the different countries around the world. I had classes in the Chinese room and the one on the third floor with the lights that took forever to warm up and the chairs we weren’t allowed to move into a circle. That made it hard to hold a really good writer’s workshop, but the professor more than made up for it.

Have I mentioned PNC Park or Heinz Field? This is a sports town, baby. If the Pens are in the playoffs, I’m bailing on you guys for a few hours!

Best Tourism Attraction: Any and all of the above, but don’t forget to add in a Just Ducky tour if you have the time. And remind me to tell you the story of how I managed to get a group of fifteen or so of us bicyclists chased by a Just Ducky boat…

Best Place for the Kids: The Carnegie Science Center. No contest. The Children’s Museum is fun, but it’s nothing compared to the Science Center. And don’t accuse me of being biased; I’ve got memberships at both places. Like you’ll be bringing the kids anyway…

Popular Outdoor Activity: Must be a Pirates game ’cause there’s no other reason why people go when they stink so bad…

Seriously. Biking is gaining a foothold in the city; bike paths are springing up all over the place. Soon, you’ll be able to bike from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. Not in one day, though.

And if the timing is right, check out the Head of the Ohio. Since it won’t be, come back in October.

Breathtaking Views: I’m partial to the view of the Bayer clock on Mt. Washington, as seen from the banquet rooms in the Hilton, but that’s because I watched the minutes tick away during my wedding to the Tour Manager.

For better ones, be sure you’re watching as your taxi or limo brings you through the Fort Pitt Tunnels and you’ve got the famed panoramic view of the city stretched out before you. Or ride the incline and see the city from Mt. Washington. Keep your eyes open; a tornado’s been known to touch down on Mt. Washington. And keep your hands on your wallets, too. They’ve been known to find new owners while you’re up there.

Riverside, there’s always the Gateway Clipper. You’ll be able to look inside the bowl of Heinz Field, which we know a certain author will be doing, to snap pictures to bring home and hang on her walls. Hallowed ground, Heinz Field.

Only found in Pittsburgh: What? All that’s not enough??

Well, then, let me remind you of this: ME.

If you’ll be joining me in April, be sure to let me know. I’d like to try to take you guys out for the best fries you’ll ever taste. Followed up by even better ice cream.

I’ll bring the Zantac, have no fear.



  1. Awareness

    November 3, 2007 7:16 pm

    Hi Susan……Pittsburgh sounds like a terrific place to visit. I know my father has visited over the years on business and has always felt at home there. BR/BR/Is the Hurricane hitting you tonight? It’s whistling the trees and pelting us with rain, but I think the coast is probably getting hit harder. BR/BR/Michele sent me tonight…..hope you warm and dry and tucked in for the evening.BR/BR/cheers.

  2. Amy Ruttan

    November 3, 2007 9:19 pm

    Ah man I hope I’ll be able to swing it to RT. I would like to go … dang. I’ll see what I can do.

  3. bunnygirl

    November 3, 2007 10:20 pm

    My friend who moved to Pittsburgh from the Bay Area a few years ago has been pleasantly surprised. BR/BR/I still remember when no one ever had a good thing to say about the place, except for a friend of mine in 7th grade, who only missed it because that’s where her friends were and because she hated Houston’s perpetual summer.BR/BR/It’s always so nice to hear of a city that figured out how to reinvent itself, becoming a place to go to again! 🙂

  4. Bob-kat

    November 4, 2007 10:33 am

    Now I know so much more about Pittsburgh than I ever thought I would!BR/BR/I must say though, I am very interested in hearing that story about how you got chased by the Just Ducky tour!

  5. November Rain

    November 4, 2007 10:37 am

    michelle sent meBR/BR/It is great when come to see you… Sadly I wont be in the US in April… I will visit my home in Fl in July with my daughter who will come to see me in Zurich in June

  6. ribbiticus

    November 4, 2007 11:25 am

    oooh…you make me want to forego my usual destinations in the states and go there! great job in selling the place! ;)BR/BR/passin’ through via michele! 🙂

  7. Jerry in Tampa

    November 4, 2007 11:31 am

    You have a truly AWESOME blog! Very Creative!BR/BR/Hello, Michele sent me. And I will be back BR/BR/;)BR/BR/Jerry in Tampa

  8. Rhian

    November 4, 2007 11:43 am

    Fabulously done Susan!!! Clapping my hands. Errmm – michele didn’t send me. I came because i’m an annoying pest that loves to catch Trevor sightings. Oh and i lurv you too, of course. send me your ideas for the logos and i’ll start on them next week! at work today. blah.

  9. david mcmahon

    November 4, 2007 4:38 pm

    Must remember that the next time I’m in Pittsburgh.

  10. No Nonsense Girl

    November 4, 2007 6:26 pm

    Hi Susan,BR/BR/Pittsburg seems like a great place to visit!!! BR/BR/Take care and I hope you are doing well!!! 🙂

  11. Colleen Gleason

    November 4, 2007 9:21 pm

    Oooh, I cannot wait for RT! Should be loads of fun. BR/BR/And thanks for the tips! I’m hoping I have an excuse to take my friend Robyn to the Carlton. Cross your fingers!

  12. Camille Alexa

    November 4, 2007 11:01 pm

    Such a cute post, Susan. Seriously.BR/BR/’Specially ’cause all I thought you guys had over there were cars and hockey players.

  13. Lisa Andel

    November 5, 2007 9:44 am

    Tell Amy she’d better show up.BR/BR/Michele didn’t send me either. I followed Rhian over. 😀

  14. Pieces of Me

    November 9, 2007 9:46 pm

    I wish I had visited your blog earlier. I just came back from exploring Pittsburgh, downtown that is. Lots ot see and do.Homey place.

  15. julia

    November 11, 2007 5:56 pm

    Thanks for linking this up to Trevor’s Hometown tour. I wish I could join you for those fries and then ice cream. But dinner at The Carlton sounds best of all.

  16. West Of Mars — The Meet and Greet » Blog Archive » Tagged: A Weekend in Riverview

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