Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Nanoing Pittsburgh … and then some!

Nano-participant2011At  Point State Park, the Monongahela, the Allegheny, and the Ohio all come together to merge in the City of Bridges. Take Roberto Clemente Memorial Bridge north from the park and run into PNC Park, home of the Pirates, and Heinz Field, home of the Steelers. You can walk the bridge. It’s a gorgeous view and a short walk. On game day, it’s closed to vehicle traffic to allow for the flood of Clemente Bridgepedestrians.

Cross the Fort Pitt bridge heading south of the park, and you find South Side and the Monongahela incline that will transport you up to Mt. Washington for an incredible view of the city. Carson Street runs along the river and provides plenty of social activity, including Hard Rock Café and a plethora of any other kind of restaurant you might want.

Stay on dry land and walk east from the park and you find the beautiful cultural district: Heinz Hall, the Benedum Center, and Mellon Arena. Duquesne from PNC ParkUniversity is barely south of the arena.

All of this can be seen in one day’s walk.

Where are we? Pittsburgh, of course!

I love Pittsburgh, nearly as much as if I was born right here and grew up knowing how much it offered. Truthfully, I’ve been here four years and I’m over an hour’s drive from the city, but I’ve often wished I was closer to its doors to be able to slip in and out more easily.

Recently rated America’s most livable city, Pittsburgh is Clementealso at the top of the charitable giving list. I understand both. Within several miles, you can jump from the German district, to the Italian district, the Irish district, the Jewish quarter, and of course don’t miss the Strip district for local shopping.

Six eminent businessmen during Pittsburgh’s history have contributed to its beauty and cultural offerings, including Carnegie, Buhl, and Heinz. From their business proceeds, they donated millions to enhance the city and set a precedent that continues today. The city’s Cultural Districtbusinesses and residents continue to invest in their beloved home and beyond.

What does this have to do with the fact that Nanowrimo starts today?

I decided sometime after midnight when I should have been sleeping that it had to be the setting for the beginning of my 2011 Nano novel. Up until then, I had only the basic idea of what I wanted to write and a couple of characters lightly gracing the so far still translucent plot. Finding the setting filled in where I’m headed. Pittsburgh. A city that could have crashed with the collapse of the steel market in America, but did not. Riverboat from HofbrauhausIt adapted. It thrived. I found my novel’s theme in the setting: Rebirth Through Determination.

Now to start writing.

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Throughout the month, several guest bloggers will come spend the day and tell us about one of their favorite travel spots. Please check back or follow my blog and enjoy armchair travel of more beautiful places described by writers, published and not, this November.

For those who are part of Nanorwrimo (http://www.nanowrimo.org), good luck on your quest! Let us know what your novel is about, if you’d like, and feel free to leave the link to your Nano page in the comments.

Happy Journeys!

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