There is a bleakness to Pittsburgh that becomes apparent when you don't visit for a while. A dullness, a greyness, everything verging towards the middle...no sharp contrasts from the way people live, to the industrial landscape that rots versus other types of architecture that inspires. The people live in clusters from tiny little brick houses piled one on top of the other craning for a view of the river or the road from those without much to those with quite a bit...the brick houses get a bit fancier and the yards a bit bigger...but not in a hugely contrasty way. There are piles of stones--massive public buildings that are tidy and maintained all clustered together in a very heroic and monumental way that go on for blocks--becoming museums and hotels, universities and hospitals and then abruptly, smashed right into that explosion of public buildings and works is another clustery pile of little houses that tumble into the hollows or climb the hills out of the valley. Vestiges of steel rolling plants rust by the railroad tracks which claim the most beautiful views the city offers versus those who need nature to continue to be inspired, to see glimpses of the valley that the early settlers saw, loved and lived in. Endless bars with no windows, strip clubs and dirty store fronts that offer little enticement to spend your money to embellish yourself or your little house, to distinguish yourself from the others. Little in the way of trees, places to walk or much else. Just a grey, beigy, pall.
Makes me happy to be back on my plateau.