Sunday, July 1, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Pittsburgh.

I'm a borderline hoarder. I'm nowhere near close to being featured on the bizarre reality television show, but I do have a hard time throwing things away. As a writer, this often means I find old writings tucked away in journals and on my hard drive. I've more than likely forgotten about them, so it's always delightful(/terrifying) to read and remember. Fortunately I came across a wholly delightful thing I wrote right after moving back, two years ago today. In celebration of two years back home, here is what I had to say about being back in early July 2010. I had thoughts of doing a Pittsburgh blog even then, but I wasn't ready yet to really put anything in motion. I'm glad I've finally found a good use for it.

Count Yellow Highway Lines

The move is…OVER. After an exhausting day of loading up a truck, the longest drive from Boston to Pittsburgh ever, and three solid days of nothing but furious unpacking and organizing and arranging - it's done. I'm situated and set-up. I tied up the loose-ends I had in Boston. I'm back in Bloomfield and am starting to realize that this is…for real. This is my life now: walking out my door onto Gross Street and being able to see the Cathedral of Learning jutting out of the treetops as I walk toward Liberty Ave. It's still a little weird, but I'm sure that will subside in time. Still can't believe that my time in Boston is actually over. I never thought I'd miss it, but there are people there who made my world go 'round and I'll miss them terribly.

Three days after moving back, I spent the Fourth of July on the roof of the Children's Hospital parking garage. We watched the fireworks downtown from afar, but sparklers were handed out and the way I felt standing on that roof is indescribable.

But. Again: this is my life now.

My goal was to have my place completely unpacked and set-up before I went back to Boston for a couple days to take care of a few things (like quitting my job and tossing everything from the old place into the garbage), so I spent my first 72 hours in Pittsburgh mostly inside the walls of this new apartment figuring out where to put all this stuff I've accumulated. I was able to do it all, which ended up being a relief when I got back here last night and realized I didn't have to do a thing to feel at home.

One of my favorite songs is "Left and Leaving" by The Weakerthans. I listened to it as I drove out of Pittsburgh seven years ago. I kept listening to it throughout my time in Boston; it was a siren song calling me back home. The lyrics always feeling a little too close for comfort.
This morning I woke up early and took my bike out for the first time in weeks. It felt great to ride it again after having been so busy packing and being in transit and busy unpacking. I wanted to ride through the Allegheny Cemetery, but when I got there, the gate was still closed (around 7:30 a.m. - thought it was 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.?). So I went to Plan B: Let's see if I can relearn some streets!

When I biked across the bridge that leads from the Carnegie Museum to Phipps and Flagstaff Hill, I caught a glimpse of perfect puffs of smoke from the Cloud Factory and I think that's when it finally hit me that I'm home.

I'm home!

Biking through South Oakland, I went past the Castle and Zack's old apartment. Two places where the younger Allison started many nights of misadventures and ended many nights of misadventures. In five years, I hope I can go back to Boston and feel as happy riding a bike past Great Scott or down Egremont Road. For now, I'm ready to make a new crop of memories here in Pittsburgh.

Happy Anniversary, Pittsburgh. I'm still so excited to be here.

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