Call us crazy, but we went to Pittsburgh for a 4-day weekend as a belated anniversary gift to ourselves! Pittsburgh in the winter, windy and snowy, cold and chilly, but refreshingly exhilarating! A great highlight for me was seeing an NFL game live — the Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals! I could really feel what the players endured by being there in person. In almost every play there were piles of bodies, and each time I felt it personally — what about suffocating? Someone’s elbow or cleat in your neck? Being squished by the weight of so many bodies on you? Obviously, being squeamish doesn’t work in this sport.
It was cold and blistery, but that didn’t stop anybody. Pittsburgh fans are like no other– they are loud, proud, bold, and everywhere! The entire town backs this team. Steelers gear was widespread — our hotel’s front desk team wear it every game day. People all over down town adorned it with clothes and accessories. We were told that in the local hospitals, even the nurses and doctors dress in Steelers garb!
I felt proud and honored to be with these great fans and hearty people. Enduring the long, cold winters, and rebuilding after the downturn of the steel industry has made them strong, gritty, and solid. The city had to figure out what to do when the steel industry declined and people were without jobs. I sensed a fervor in the Steelers crowd that they had not survived through these difficulties but rather thrived in the change that was required of them. The old was embracing the new, and today they are among the leaders of cutting edge technology and innovation. I could feel a presence of daily victory in this town of individuals, facing the challenges of life and work with temperatures like 14 degrees with -6 wind chill factor.
A big surprise–we had the BEST Chinese food of our lives at the Chinatown Inn! That includes hometown Los Angeles, and New York! This was the best. It’s the only surviving restaurant from the original Chinatown which is no more. I’m pulled to return to Pittsburgh so I could eat there again.