Many moons ago, I wrote several articles that went mini-viral about the next hipster cities.
(Side note: Looking back at those articles, I want to barf.)
One of the cities I included on my next hipster city list was Pittsburgh.
Though I had never been to Pittsburgh, I had been seeing many articles about the Rust Belt city’s renaissance. (Barf X 2 that I wrote about a city I had never been to.)
I never would have imagined that five years later I would actually live in Pittsburgh.
So here I am–a Pittsburgher.
I now have a much clearer window into the city, and I can tell you: It’s not the next hipster city.
And maybe that’s a good thing.
Heinz Lofts in former Heinz factory
Pittsburgh is crumbling.
And it’s progressing (slowly).
There is a slew of empty storefronts.
But Google is here.
The air quality is some of the worse in the country.
But the area has made strides since the days when (more…)
Oh hello! Longtime no see, friend.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written here, and I’m currently sitting on the couch, bloated after eating an entire pizza, and thinking, “Maybe I should check in, see how everyone is doing and let them know I’m bloated on pizza.”
How are you?
Me? I’m bloated.
But other than that I’m ok.
I mean, my grandmother died this year.
Any of you who have hung in here with me know I thought the world of that ol’ broad.
A good cry sneaks in every day, particularly when I see a Golden Girls-branded anything (Grandma was my Dorothy) or smell garlic. Shit, pretty much EVERYTHING makes me think of her.
Mothballs (the sweaters in her armoire).
Crumpled tissues (she used to stuff them in her sleeves and drop them everywhere).
Shoulder pads (the woman LOVED them).
My beautiful grandmother.
Grief is a very, very strange thing. Sometimes you can joke about (more…)
I’m going to start writing here again, so here’s my first real post in awhile.
It’s a short piece & it’s about a woman I met on the train from Denver to Chicago.
She is tiny, bundled in a faux-leopard print coat, and she is carrying her weight in baggage.
“Can I help you carry anything?” I ask as I step off the train to join her on the platform of Chicago’s Union Station.
A face etched with the lines of a woman who has lived with all of her heart peeks out from under a severe blond bob and black beret. “Oh sure. Here, carry this–“
It’s a guitar case, flimsy with belongings other than what the case was intended for.
“I don’t have a guitar in there. I left it behind in Memphis because I wasn’t sure it was going to work out in Denver.”
She pauses and then turns to me, “Please don’t ever move across the country to live with a man you’ve only known for three months, okay?”
For almost a year, I’ve desperately wanted to visit Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and I finally had the opportunity to do so two weeks ago.
Oh Lordy it was better than I could have ever imagined.
I initially wasn’t going to write about my experience at Meow Wolf because I figured everyone and their mother had heard of it by now; however, I discovered that is indeed not the case. Many people still don’t know what this wacky, wonderful art collective is.
A little background: According to their website, Meow Wolf is a Santa Fe-based “arts production company that creates immersive, multimedia experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of storytelling.”
They are known for their 20,000-square-foot permanent art piece, The House of Eternal Return, which opened in March of 2016 and was partially funded by George R.R. Martin, the author of Game of Thrones.
The best way to sum up The House of Eternal Return is that there is no way to sum (more…)
Back in February, I pulled a Maureen Dowd and completely lost my f’ing mind on (legal) edibles in Denver, Colorado. (I emphasize ‘legal’ for my current employers and any future employers. Hi, guys.)
Let me start by saying: I’m weed ignorant.
I believe this is how many stories begin when someone loses their shit on edibles.
“I didn’t feel anything so I started eating more…”
I guess when my boyfriend and I nervously bought the THC-filled cookies from a dispensary in the hip Highlands part of Denver, our knees shaking as we giggled like senior citizens who had just watched a porno for the first time, we must have missed the part about waiting an hour to feel the effects. We were too busy feeling like scared ass clowns.
Instead, about 30 minutes into eating the cookies, my boyfriend proclaimed that the skunky-tasting treats were defective, so we decided to go for a second one. And then a half of a third.
And for another 30 minutes, nothing.
And then we met up with (more…)
I was flipping through the latest issue of Texas Monthly, the Newcomer’s Guide, and was surprised to learn of the San Antonio Missions Hike & Bike Trail. This 16-mile roundtrip trail runs alongside the San Antonio River and stops at four of San Antonio’s famous missions: Mission Espada, Mission San Juan, Mission San Jose and Mission Concepcion.
How had I not heard of this trail before?
As an avid walker- we have our own walking group called The Christopher Walkings- I couldn’t believe I had not known of this close-by trail. I later found out that I had not heard of this trail because its completed development is relatively new, or at least not widely publicized in Austin (San Antonio is only 80 miles away, yet Austin and San Antonio are VERY separate cities). I asked my boyfriend if he was game for the journey, and the next day we headed down to ol’ San Antone to check out the path.
First of all, (more…)
“Denver is Austin five years ago,” we heard from no less than five Denverites during our recent trip.
“There are so many jobs.”
“There is so much construction going on.”
“The traffic is insane!”
“Look at all these condos!”
We heard these statements over and over as we talked to friends, acquaintances and complete strangers on the sidewalks of Denver.
At first glance, Denver looks nothing like Austin. Though ATX is home to 200,000 additional citizens, the skyline and downtown streets of Denver feel like that of a bigger city. It isn’t until you dig into the individual neighborhoods that you discover the quirkiness that lies within. The DIY attitude and outdoor spirit are alive and well in the Mile High City. And as a recent NPR story pointed out, Denver is the no. 2 fastest-growing city behind Austin, and much like its counterpart, the foodie scene is booming.
It is in public transportation and walkability where the two cities begin to differ, though (more…)