Mini Interview about Pittsburgh with Dan Antion @ No Facilities

Good Morning Readers.. 

Today I want to share a mini interview with blogger Dan Antion @ No Facilities. 

 

How did this interview come about?

We finally had the chance to visit Pittsburg earlier this year and I went to Dan for some information. I think of Dan with most things Pittsburgh. 

It really is fun to explore so many of the cities here in the United States (and many of you international travelers are forced to right now). So….. If you are thinking about doing some in-country travel – you really should add Pittsburgh to your visit list. Or if you already have been there and know this place well, I invite you to read this post and learn a little bit more about Dan’s connection to Pittsburgh. The personal stories we share enrich others in ways we will sometimes never see.

Visiting Pittsburgh in 2020 (Elway likes the view too)

Question #1: What is your connection to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?

Dan’s Answer: I don’t live anywhere near there today. We are a nine-hour drive from Pittsburgh, but our daughter and I have been making the trip every year for about 10 years. I took her there on a whim (she had a use-it-or-lose-it bit of vacation time) and she fell in love with the city.

I was born and raised in a small suburb about 10 miles southwest of the city. After graduate school, at Pitt, I moved to New York, then Seattle, and then Connecticut. Pittsburgh will always be home.

Question #2: What is the Best Thing about Pittsburgh?

Answer: The best thing about Pittsburgh is the people. It’s hard to describe, but there’s an easy acceptance in that area. It has its problems, just like any city/region, but when you meet people from Pittsburgh, it’s like you’ve known them for a long time. One time, my daughter and I were out for dinner, and the only seats available without a wait were at the bar. We sat there, and I overheard a man in a group of six people say something about the Pirates (baseball) season being over. I said, “Don’t say that. We just drove nine hours to see them play tomorrow.” We became part of their group, sharing in their conversation, exchanging work and life histories. It was like a family reunion.

 

Question #3: What is the Worst Thing about Pittsburgh?

Answer: I might only know this from reading the papers, but it seems Pittsburgh’s “rebuilding” has left a lot of people behind.

A long transition from an industrial economy to a service economy (I think they filed for bankruptcy twice) is hard to pull off, and not everyone can change fast enough.

Like many regions in the country, there are racial issues that were never fully resolved in the 1960s (when I lived there) and the economic impacts along those lines are clear. I have faith that the city of Pittsburgh, PA, and its people, will work on these issues; however, a solution probably won’t come soon enough.

The old cobblestone have such a richness (eh, sorry less?). And look – a modern touch – a vaping gadget.

Question #4: Can you tell us a little more about Andre Carnegie? What I am really curious about is your take on the pronunciation of his name and also his reputation today.

Dan’s reply: My mother was born and raised in Carnegie, PA. The small city was formed by a merger of two other towns, and they took the name Carnegie, hoping Andrew would notice. He did, and I think he built an opera house there.

It’s pronounced Car-nay-ge.

Andrew Carnegie’s reputation in Pittsburgh, PA has always been mixed. He brought great fortune to the region, and he was known to be ruthless, or at least to have had a ruthless period. Personally, I think the ruthlessness was the work of Henry Clay Frick, but still, Frick began in Carnegie’s employ. I like to remember Carnegie more for his philanthropy. Libraries in the area (and around the country) and the Carnegie Museum system represent amazing gifts to Pittsburgh. For a medium-sized city, Pittsburgh, PA has a wealth of cultural institutions, and in many ways, Andrew Carnegie led the effort to establish those in the area.

One of the Carnegie Library branches in Pittsburgh, PA. I wonder what this felt like when it first opened. Also, thanks to Dan’s mini interview, we all now know that there are MANY (hundreds) Carnegie libraries all over the United States, which were developed in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s – including one in Hawaii in 1909 (read more here about the locations).

Did you know…

There are seven Pittsburg’s in the United States, but only one has an “h” at the end – Pittsburgh, PA.

Now we know, thanks Dan!

 

 

Question #5: Can you share five things to check out while visiting Pittsburgh?

These are my five things for anyone visiting the city of Pittsburgh, PA, which might not be the suggestions recommended by Visit Pittsburgh, but when I took our daughter here on her first visit, we did all of the following:

  1. West End Overlook / Duquesne Incline – Priorhouse featured a picture from Mt. Washington earlier this year. There is nothing like that view of the city. We’ve gone there at night, at sunrise, during the day, in the rain, etc. It never gets old. Riding the incline is an experience that should not be missed, and I choose the Duquesne Incline because you can tour its “powerhouse,” which I think shows the spirit of Pittsburgh. They had to figure out how to power the incline at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Cathedral of Learning – Commons & Nationality rooms –  I have written many times about the Cathedral of Learning (here and here are two posts to check out). The Cathedral of Learning is an amazing building, and I feel that I was blessed to spend a year in classes in that building. The Nationality rooms are a unique attraction that speaks to the diverse population of the region. I think there are almost 30 rooms now, each designed and built to reflect the heritage of the country they represent.
  3. Enter via Ft Pitt Tunnel – Exiting the Ft. Pitt tunnel and seeing the Golden Triangle pop into view in front of you has been described as, “entering Pittsburgh’s front door.” It’s an amazing experience.
  4. Gateway Clipper – Pittsburgh is a river city, and there is something special about seeing it from the rivers. I am biased, as I used to work on these boats, but it’s a fair bias to have. Pittsburgh was one of the first cities in America to recapture its waterfront, to transform the rivers from supporting industry to being a destination. A one-hour sightseeing tour abord one of the boats in the Gateway Clipper fleet is a must.
  5. National Aviary – I am including this suggestion for our daughter. We rarely visit Pittsburgh that she doesn’t insist on a visit to the Aviary. All cities have zoos and museums and conservatories. Pittsburgh has many, but if I could only visit one, I would choose the National Aviary.

 

Okay, so I thought of Dan (and a few other bloggers) while we were exploring the city. I took this “door” photo thinking of him. Dan has many “Thursday Doors” posts featuring Pittsburgh doors – and this one is worth checking out here.  
Dan, thanks for your time with this and I hope this post is useful for folks – for those wanting to visit PA, but also for anyone who wants an insider take on this city. The personal stories we share sometimes enrich in ways we will never see. Let us all keep that in mind when we share our stories and make time to connect – it makes us all better (or can).

   

Now over to you all. 

  • Any thoughts? Have you been to Pittsburgh? Was the ending “h” new to you like it was to me (ha)?
  • Any notes for Dan regarding what he shared? Any photo forth post stand out to you?
  • Do you think that “Prime”on the mailbox refers to Amazon Prime? hahah 

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28 thoughts on “Mini Interview about Pittsburgh with Dan Antion @ No Facilities

  1. Well, since I have a fondness for stones… the image of the stone brickwork in the streets caught my eye – and so did the part about the ‘h’. Huh, the things you learn!

    I’ve been to numerous Carnegie libraries in Ontario. The most recent one was here in the north, in New Liskeard. The town was compelled to close the facility this year due to costs related to structural improvements.

    As for the pronunciation – “Car-nay-ge” is a new one to me. I first heard it as CAR-ne-gee, but later car-NEE-ge.

    thanks for the tour!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Maggie – I have heard different pronunciations for Carnegie and you are right about the two you knew – those are what I used until I watched a show called “the Men who Built America”
      And did not realize the libraries made it to Ontario – need to update that part.
      And I wonder if funding is also low because of digital readers and E-books

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, glad to be blog friends and appreciate your connection. As mentioned before – according to my blog – tomorrow (9/22) marks a six year anniversary for connecting here on WP- and touching base on and off has been nice.
      Also, did you notice the image I made – just so you know – I took that wood and tool photo just for the woodworker side

      Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the best things about Pittsburgh is its rivers. One of my favorite things in my new home (Connecticut) is the Connecticut River. The Connecticut River begins its journey to the Atlantic Ocean very close to Pittsburg, New Hampshire. No ‘H’ but appropriate,

      Liked by 2 people

  2. That was fun and it was funny because I’d just visited Dan’s blog. 🙂 I’ve been to Pittsburgh and one thing Dan didn’t mention is that there are lots of hills there and almost always one is between you and where you want to go, making getting places quite an adventure. 🙂 Of course since my husband’s from Ohio and we lived in Cleveland for many years, Pittsburgh is the enemy, home of the rival football team. I will second Dan’s recommendation about the incline and its view.

    janet

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello Janet!
      Thanks for mentioning the hills – that was a good thing to note and a surprise for us as well! The terrain!
      Also – I thought about mentioning the Steelers and maybe even the colors of black and gold (Dan told me in a former post that all the teams there share the black and gold) but I was not sure how much of “me” I wanted in this short interview – but one thing I usually say when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers is that- in my experience – I have never met a Steelers fan I did not like! Some
      cowboys fans can be tiring (nothing against the team) and then a few other teams had had fan reputations – but it used to be that Steelers fans were “loudly” dressed (sometimes in this expensive leather jackets with team colors and logos – and we always remarked how cool these fans seemed to be!
      Anyhow – thanks for mentioning the NFL rivalries because these are a huge part of our culture — 😉

      Like

    2. Yes, there are a few hills, Janet 😉 It’s one of the things that makes Pittsburgh interesting. I would have gotten around to them and the sports teams, but Yvette only asked for five things.

      Liked by 2 people

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