Posted by: Sally Ingraham | October 1, 2013

Plunging into Pittsburgh

Happy October! We are in the midst of my favorite season, and I have the pleasure of experiencing autumn in a new place. The spectacular fall foliage of the east coast was calling my name so loudly this year that I actually left Oregon, rode a train for 62 hours, and moved to Pittsburgh, PA. (There may have been other reasons for the move, but the timing of it was very premeditated…) The word on the leaf peepers channel is that foliage is peaking in northern parts, but here in western PA the leaves are just starting to turn. I will get to enjoy the full glory of a proper autumn once again – and there is a wicked nice cemetery just down the street that is in desperate need of exploration, while red and orange leaves drift gently down around me. Yup!

Views from Mt. Washington/Grandview Ave., Sept. 29th 2013

I very cleverly picked an east coast city that is full of trees, perhaps the most of any US city according to the taxi driver who delivered my groggy boyfriend and myself to my friends’ house in the neighborhood of Lawrenceville at 5:45 in the morning after that 62 hour train ride… While I wait for them to turn from green to gold, I’ll enjoy 70-80 degree weather and, so far, quite a lot of sunshine. Those rays really lend themselves to beautifying the row houses (an architectural feature I’ve not seen before) and other interestingly run-down buildings that abound here. A lot of the neighborhoods are revitalizing and coming together as communities to better their streets, so there’s plenty of spick and span mixed in with the shabby. It’s an exciting time to dig in here, and I’m eager to get my feet muddy.

Note the giant rubber duck! - Sept. 29th 2013

I think I counted 21 bridges that I could see from this viewpoint on Grandview Ave. the other day – you can see 15 of them in this picture. That’s another thing I loved in advance about Pittsburgh, and I can’t wait to get to know the bridges – and there are tunnels too! This place is going to keep my camera busy for a long time.

My recent explorations have been driven by the search for work and a neighborhood to call home. I have some good leads in both those areas, and have also run to earth some local permaculture groups and urban farmers and natural builders. In a city where the world’s first movie theater opened in 1905, there are plenty of movie watching and movie making opportunities – and of course Andrew Carnegie was kind enough to scatter about 19 libraries across Pittsburgh. I do believe this place will keep not just my camera, but my whole self busy for a good while to come!

Therefore, let me bid farewell to OR and all the good times I had there with a few pictures from my last days and the journey that followed, and then turn my heart and mind entirely to the adventure of making Pittsburgh my new home.

Tumalo Falls, Sept. 7th, 2013
Tumalo Falls, outside Bend, OR

Bandon, OR - Sept. 16th 2013
The Oregon coast at Bandon

Spring Creek, Sept. 17th 2013
Spring Creek, near Klamath Falls, OR

In Glacier Nat'l Park
Glimpse of Glacier Nat’l Park, MT, through the train window

Crossing the Mississippi RiverChicago
Crossing the Mississippi River, and Chicago at sunset

Yours truly, on Grandview Ave. in the Mt. Washington area, overlooking Pittsburgh’s downtown and the convergence of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and the Ohio rivers

Don’t forget to drink some autumnal beers folks (I’ve been treating myself to Southern Tier’s Imperial Pumking ON DRAFT! with cinnamon/sugar or brown sugar on the rim…dangerously delicious!) and have a spooktacular October. Cheers!

What’s the deal with the giant rubber duckie floating in the river? I will report back on that!


  1. Congrats on your big move!

    Brown sugar on the rim? I wanted to talk more about your move but got totally distracted by the beer talk. LOL.

    • Yes indeed, I’ve had this beer many times before but never on draft or fancied up like that – it’s pretty rad. I recommend decorating the rim of any pint of pumpkin beer this season. Dogfishhead makes a fine pumpkin beer, and Shipyard Brewing Co. has a famous one. I always try to look for ones that are brewed with real pumpkin, and not just spices!

      I can talk about beer all day – but thanks for the well wishes regarding my move too. 🙂

  2. A very belated welcome to the ‘Burgh (from another newcomer – of almost 3 years). Hope you’re enjoying the city. We love it.

  3. […] Washington Tower in Mount Auburn Cemetery) , but I’ve lived in Pittsburgh for a year now. This time last year I was pretty excited to be here, and I am pleased to say that this is still true. The trees are […]

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