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Posts tagged “downtown pittsburgh

City Fountain on a Hot Night: 2010

city fountain in color at night
city fountain in color at night

Dancing in the Fountain

Families chase each other through the dancing waters of the fountain in PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh on a hot night in the city. Changing colored lights illuminate the obelisk in the center as the water jets put on a show of their own.

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Pittsburgh at New Year’s

Pittsburgh at New Year's, 2008

Pittsburgh at New Year’s, 2008

It’s snowing and I’m not going to First Night, but I thought I’d post two of the photos I took of Pittsburgh, viewed from Mt. Washington, taken on New Year’s Eve a few years ago.

pittsburgh at night

Pittsburgh at Night

I don’t know why it’s always captivated me, but Pittsburgh at night, the modest buildings lit just right, bridges decorated with lights, all reflected on one river or another, has always been one of my favorite scenes. I took this series of photos and created a panorama on Monday night about 9:15, so many of the office buildings weren’t as well lit as they would have been earlier in the evening, but I never pass up a chance to stop on Mt. Washington to photograph the city.

This view is of “First Side”, along the Monongahela River right before it reaches the point; off to the right a little past center is the Smithfield Street Bridge, then in the darkness over the river is one bridge after another—Panhandle, Liberty, 10th Street, Birmingham, Hot Metal, then the bend where J&L Steel used to fire the night sky with an orange glow.

But even before that bend in the river, this little cluster of buildings coming to a point where a great river is born is all of downtown Pittsburgh.


Pittsburgh at Night, 2011

pittsburgh at night
pittsburgh at night

Pittsburgh at Night

I don’t know why it’s always captivated me, but Pittsburgh at night, the modest buildings lit just right, bridges decorated with lights, all reflected on one river or another, has always been one of my favorite scenes. I took this series of photos and created a panorama on Monday night about 9:15, so many of the office buildings weren’t as well lit as they would have been earlier in the evening, but I never pass up a chance to stop on Mt. Washington to photograph the city.

This view is of “First Side”, along the Monongahela River right before it reaches the point; off to the right a little past center is the Smithfield Street Bridge, then in the darkness over the river is one bridge after another—Panhandle, Liberty, 10th Street, Birmingham, Hot Metal, then the bend where J&L Steel used to fire the night sky with an orange glow.

But even before that bend in the river, this little cluster of buildings coming to a point where a great river is born is all of downtown Pittsburgh. See other photos I’ve taken of Pittsburgh


City Fountain on a Hot Night: 2010

city fountain in color at night
city fountain in color at night

Dancing in the Fountain

Families chase each other through the dancing waters of the fountain in PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh on a hot night in the city. Changing colored lights illuminate the obelisk in the center as the water jets put on a show of their own.


Pittsburgh’s Flatiron

triangular building in downtown Pittsburgh
triangular building in downtown Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s Flatiron

Most cities have a Flatiron building–it always seems there’s one spot where the streets come together at an angle and leave an awkward space, and being downtown, someone has to build on it. Downtown Pittsburgh, being built into the “Golden Triangle” where the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers come together to form the “Point” at the headwaters of the Ohio River, seems to have triangular buildings on every other corner.

This is just a tiny building in the middle of downtown, now housing Wood Street Station/Wood Street Galleries but originally the Monongahela Bank. Built in 1927 of limestone and marble, with a metal canopy with ginkgo leaf patterns etched in the glass.

Those tall windows are well-suited to an art gallery, and it also houses the offices of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.


Pittsburgh at Night

pittsburgh at night

Pittsburgh at Night

I don’t know why it’s always captivated me, but Pittsburgh at night, the modest buildings lit just right, bridges decorated with lights, all reflected on one river or another, has always been one of my favorite scenes. I took this series of photos and created a panorama on Monday night about 9:15, so many of the office buildings weren’t as well lit as they would have been earlier in the evening, but I never pass up a chance to stop on Mt. Washington to photograph the city.

This view is of “First Side”, along the Monongahela River right before it reaches the point; off to the right a little past center is the Smithfield Street Bridge, then in the darkness over the river is one bridge after another—Panhandle, Liberty, 10th Street, Birmingham, Hot Metal, then the bend where J&L Steel used to fire the night sky with an orange glow.

But even before that bend in the river, this little cluster of buildings coming to a point where a great river is born is all of downtown Pittsburgh.


Pittsburgh

photo of pittsburgh pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

Ahh, Pittsburgh. That’s all of it, right there, just a little handful in the valley where the Allegheny and Monongahela meet to form the Ohio. And on a day like this, there is no more beautiful little city.

Actually on any day. Or at night, when Pittsburgh’s lights reflect on the rivers. Personally, I’d rather be out in a field somewhere watching the hawks or stalking butterflies; I’m not a person to visit cities for fun. However, that’s where my art materials are, and often where the poetry readings are and the symphony and ballet and opera, the universities and better hospitals and a lot of other things I don’t even realize make life a little better for the existence of this little city.

And the most magical thing, as I was standing atop Mt. Washington with a bunch of other locals and visitors all taking the same photos was the cacophony of languages in addition to English: Polish, Ukrainian, Russian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Hindi or Urdu, German, and someone  speaking with a very rounded Australian accent. Also, Pittsburghese, ‘n’at. I grew up hearing a variety of foreign languages spoken by people whose first language came from their home country, and in some cases their children who learned it as a matter of everyday life, and still all these wonderful conversations happening like leaves fluttering on trees, everyone could be saying the same thing, but everyone’s version of it is different and special.

Don’t see any “hell with the lid off”, do you? I think we can dispense with that myth. I heard about the 1940s when my mother said she had to wrap herself in a scarf, wear her blouse inside out and another on top, then change when she got to work every day or all would be caked in soot. I remember some pretty polluted summers in the 60s and 70s when the air would hang yellow and sulfurous over everything. It was indeed unfortunate to lose our one big employing industry, steelmaking, but out of the pits of darkness Pittsburgh rose up, cleaned itself off and went on. It’s an example of how not only a city but an entire region can change into something completely different from what it was.

I love our tree-covered hills, our free-flowing rivers and clear blue skies. And where else in the world would Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol and Rachel Carson stand side by side, as they do in our “sister bridges” over the Allegheny River, the three peaked suspension bridges on the left? I live ten minutes away from this, and ten minutes away from farmland in the other direction. If I have to live near a city, this one is pretty good.


City Fountain on a Hot Night

ppg place fountain

Dancing in the Fountain

Families chase each other through the dancing waters of the fountain in PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh on a hot night in the city. Changing colored lights illuminate the obelisk in the center as the water jets put on a show of their own.


Pittsburgh Sunday Morning

photo of pittsburgh street on sunday morning

Pittsburgh Sunday Morning

I arrived back in the city from a conference, racing to my bus stop from the Greyhound station. Downtown Pittsburgh is so pretty generally, and the quiet streets with blooming trees and colorful signs in the vague morning light looked like a painting…which eventually it may be.