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Steel City
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-07-19 20:16:15 | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Keywords: Historic, Landscape
I didn't know much about Pittsburgh besides the 'Flashdance' movie and the very polluted stereotype of a major industrial city. But my visit in this large city from Western Pennsylvania showed me a whole other side of the city.

Pittsburgh has been hit very hard in the last few decades.  In the 1950s it was a real economic power with its steel industry.  But since, with the migration of the steel production overseas, it has seen its population cut in half compared to her glory days, now having a bit more than 300 000 people calling it home.

Of course, the steel industry is still present in Pittsburgh.  There is only one steel plant left in production, but most companies are still there and there is the Steel Plaza boasting the tallest building of the city.

The city is now very clean and has given access to its river shores through various parks and trails through a revitalization program.

The city layout is quite weird and the street names are really confusing.  The downtown part of the city is flat and in a triangular shape, as the upper part of a 'Y'.  The north side o it is flat for a while then becomes hilly.  The southern part of it is very hilly right from the river side.  It is said that it has over 400 bridges, counting all the water crossings but also all the street and highway ones.  Partly because of the hills and the many bridges, it is common to see many layers of traffic on top of each other, using cliff sides or bridges.

The city is also very famous for its sports teams and their stadiums are well located in the city, easy to access.

The city also features a unique commute fare system, combining free and paying zones.  Depending on your direction of travel, and of the time of the day, you pay at the entrance of the bus/T or upon exit.

The city offers many great architecture examples and also a very natural point of view from the top of Mount Washington which you can easily reach on the south side by using oneof the two inclines (cable cabins climbing about 400 feet on the hill side.  The Duquesne incline is the most famous and is closest to the most popular viewpoint.  But I preferred the other one, which uses different cabins allowing you to see in front of you, and also passes above roads and train tracks.

In between the inclines, they have built large concrete platforms over the edges.  They provide very nice views, but people afraid of heights might prefer stay on the firm ground.


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