Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh in the Summer

Lately my heart has been overflowing with love for my city. Which is not unusual in the slightest. I wouldn't have a blog dedicated to Pittsburgh if this feeling wasn't the norm. I'm sure that the onset of summer is cause for the recent surge of pride and love. Summer + PGH = favorite time. No matter what, whenever I'm in Pittsburgh in the summer, I feel like a kid again. I want to be out with friends. I want to ride bikes. I want to dance. I want to see the sun come up. There's hope and courage and reckless abandon that comes with every Pittsburgh summer.

This morning, while killing time before setting out for the day, I came across this video, which I'm sure has already made the official PGH-blog rounds, but I'm sharing here now because it's just so awesome and not to be missed:

I'm not ashamed to say that I started to get a tad misty-eyed toward the end. The tears started welling up at the scene of soccer-playing at the Point. That's from the (very terrible) adaptation of one of my most favorite books, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. When that movie came out, I was living in Boston and was incredibly homesick. I saw it by myself in a Cambridge theater because I couldn't subject anyone I knew to a) a movie I knew would be terrible and b) the crying I knew would happen because I missed my home so so much. It was the soccer-playing scene that cued the waterworks then, so it's only fitting that's what did it for me this morning too.

Every summer I make it a point to reread The Mysteries of Pittsburgh. That annual tradition will begin today, when I take my signed, dogeared, underlined copy down to the Arts Festival. After four long years of being dormant, the fountain is back on - and it's glorious! Several hours today shall be spent sitting near its wonder, feeling its mist when the wind shifts, and soaking in the best thing: Pittsburgh in the summer.

"When I remember that dizzy summer, that dull, stupid, lovely, dire summer, it seems that in those days I ate my lunches, smelled another's skin, noticed a shade of yellow, even simply sat, with greater lust and hopefulness--and that I lusted with greater faith, hoped with greater abandon. The people I loved were celebrities, surrounded by rumor and fanfare; the places I sat with them, movie lots and monuments. No doubt all of this is not true remembrance, but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past, and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything." - m. chabon

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