Tales of the road – Going to Pittsburgh

Like I mentioned a week ago, I traveled to Pittsburgh in order to be a presenter at the Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. I can’t say that my trip was uneventful, particularly since Sandy was happening at the moment. I’m glad to say that Pittsburgh was not struck particularly strong (according to the Weather Channel, Pittsburgh was the point where the Frankenstorm was to be formed, combining the snow storm from the west with the hurricane from the east) and I was able to enjoy my trip relatively well.
And before I continue with my tales, I hope everybody on the Eastern Seaboard is safe and sound, and hopefully recovering from the hits you could have received.
I flew there monday afternoon. As a matter of fact, I had to monitor constantly making sure my flight was not cancelled, and according to the amount of people left in PIT (barely none) I can safely assume that mine was one of the last flights to land there. It was raining quite a bit, and as a matter of fact, it took me almost three hours to reach the place where I was staying (not a hotel, but an apartment). And I had to brave the storm in order to reach a Grocery Store and a Chipotle for something to eat.
Entering an Indian Grocery store was complete overwhelming experience: the smells, the products, the variety. I didn’t know what to do really, so I ended up buying eggs and frozen veggies. I’d wish I could give you a more interesting recipe or something exotic with a really cool ingredient you could only find there, but I needed to play safe. Also, Chipotle was a couple blocks away and since I have PaleoGo, a lovely app that lets you know how you can modify fast food to try and bring it close to Paleo, and the fact that Chipotle has made sure that their food sources are actually real food and not CAFO’s (I’m not sure they got grass fed beef, but I went with chicken) I was comfortable with having a salad. And getting another one for breakfast.
I was fascinated by Pittsburgh architecture: when coming into the city you get a magnificent view of Downtown’s Skyscrapers. The area where I stayed, the HIll, was an eclectic collection of small houses and quite a lot of churches. Downtown had a city feeling, old buildings and narrow streets. And the old courthouse and jail, right in the middle of downtown, was old enough to feel like a castle (or a Fort) in the middle of a sea of technology. But, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling of a dying spirit, a Phoenix who just lit itself in fire, and is waiting under the weight of its own ashes to reborn.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about my food experiences in Pittsburgh. Not that I have that many, but at least I have a couple of fun anecdotes.


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