Subject: Hometown Pittsburgh
Hi Ziners,

As promised, a list of places I like to take visitors to Pittsburgh:

Oakland: this neighborhood contains two universities, both with outstanding places to visit on campus. The University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of learning is a weird gothic skyscraper with a cavernous main floor that has nooks and crannies where one can easily forget the 21st Century. When I was a student there, I used to fantasize about robed and chanting monks drifting through the Cathedral (as it is known). There are also the Nationality Rooms that are open to visitors on the main floor. These in-use classrooms are decorated in the style of, and with artifacts from, the nations they represent. Some of them are gorgeous.

A walk on the CMU campus is also interesting. The campus abutts Schenley Park. The Park itself is big and pretty; it is Pittsburgh's largest city park. There are many paths through woods, a little lake, a waterfall, statues, etc. Our favorite path that leads to the lake has many vestiges of bridges and stonework from the Works Progress Administration (a work program from the US's Great Depression that did fascinating things in public spaces).

Schenley Park also contains The Phipps Conservatory, which is beautiful. Nearby are the Carnegie Library, Music Hall, Museum of Art and Museum of Natural History, all left to Pittsburgh by Andrew Carnegie.

Steel barons did a lot for our city. In the East End, where most of them lived, and where the greatest concentration of cultural institutions were built, we also like to visit The Frick Museum. It's lovely grounds also contain a transportation museum and a cafe. Next door is Clayton, the restored home of the Fricks. Adjacent are Frick Park and Homewood Cemetery, certainly the city's finest and most interesting.

Mellon Park is a bijoux oasis that contains the Garden Center and the Center for the Arts. Next to it is Shadyside, with beautiful homes and good shops and restaurants.

Squirrel Hill, where Pittsburgh's Jewish population is centered. Lively, crowded, full of shops and restaurants of all sorts. Here is, in my opinion, our prettiest neighborhood, Murdoch Farms, with some grand homes. There are gorgeous mansions on streets throughout the East End.

South Side: This is about as hip and cool as Pittsburgh gets. It is fun to stroll. Lots of shops and restaurants and it draws a crowd for the bars at night.

The Strip District: once the wholesale fruit and vegetable terminals and markets. Now full of food and other shops, as well as loads of restaurants. Lots of bars at night. Very good food shopping.

Station Square: a reclaimed railroad terminus. Nice views, riverside walks, more shopping, bars, restaurants.

Next door are the Inclines, which climb the hillside to Mt. Washington and provide fantastic views on the way up. At the top, more wonderful views of the city, and a nice hilltop promenade, more restaurants, most with great views.

Downtown and on the North Shore, we have theaters, parks, stadiums, the Carnegie Science Center, the Warhol Museum, and the very interesting Mattress Factory, a gallery that specializes in installation art. At the tip, Point State Park, with the remains of Fort Pitt and its earlier incarnation, Fort Duquesne. This is where the Ohio River begins.

Kennywood Park: one of the US's last great trolley parks built so that people would use the trolleys on the weekends. Now an amusement park that is really something special. It is not a theme park, but what amusement parks used to be. Great rides, very pretty and green. Lots of fun.

What most visitors are amazed by: how green the city is, all the very steep hills, the rivers and the bridges.

I will probably come up with more, but that ought to fill 3 days!

Debbie (guess where)