I was sad to say goodbye to Steel City, though I caught some major highlights during my visit, including the Smithfield Street Bridge, which has crossed the Monongahela River in one form or another for almost 100 years.
Here it is again, viewed from the vantage point of another mill artifact…
A pedestrian walkway on the bridge is industrially practical and yet so imbued with the history of the people who built it, that it is undeniably poetic.
It enabled several Crayola-happy images for me.
But I said my goodbyes in the midst of the G20 Summit, an international economic thinktank that for two days pitted protesters against police and turned downtown into some sort of Orwellian seeming ghost town, since all the bridges in and out of the city were closed to regular traffic.
Here's one of several troupes of patrolling officers in the South Side neighborhood, the eve before the event.
The South Side is a colorful, eclectic district. I got Mahalia Jackson and Wumpscut CDs at an awesome used music store, saw draft beers advertised for as little as 86 cents on game days and pitied the owner of this RV and trailer combo, after experiencing my own harrowing driving experiences on Pittsburgh's crazy side streets.
My great aunt, Ann Donoghue, left, and Irene Toma (Sam Toma's wife) shared a wonderful Lebanese dinner with me in the South Side.
Earlier, I'd had my first ever taste of Lebanese food on Squirrel Hill with Kevin and Krista Mallon, who lead a vibrant Calvary Chapel just outside the city.
When I got to Pittsburgh, my hair was blue. When I left, it was back to boring brown. Think I'll blend in better this way.