City of Steel: My Week in Pittsburgh,PA

"Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself" -- Plato

Oh Pittsburgh! Thank you for the week I spent within your city walls. I collected plentiful amounts of  memories, and spent a lot of time thinking about endless topics while roaming your hilly streets. Thank you for being my first stop on my new journey of life as a solo traveler. 6 days wasn't enough to fully appreciate the glories of this magnificent city carved from the Allegheny mountains. I was blessed to experience the little I had explored. In addition, bless my amazing friend who let me crash at her place to provide companionship in her new city and to her rad housemates who accepted me as one of them. Each day was spend exploring, reflecting, and learning.

13346670_1017448438292104_374912605714278431_n

{Tuesday}

Okay ladies now let's get in formation. My very first day was spent touring the Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning a.k.a Cathy in Oakland, eating Iranian food at the Conflict Cafe located at the entrance of Schenley Park, and finally experiencing my first concert watching Beyoncé perform at Heinz Field! The Nationality Rooms in Cathy were absolutely whimsical and with each room it felt as though I was traveling through time and traveling around the world. That is how close to detail each room was! Conflict Cafe is such an ingenious idea for a restaurant because it allows for insight about the countries the United States is in conflict with. Currently Conflict Cafe features Iranian cuisine and it is absolutely delicious! I had bought the dish Khoresht-E Fesenjan, chicken marinated with pomegranate and walnuts served with steamed rice. My mouth is watering just thinking of how great the dish tasted! Lastly, I was giddy with excitement and wonder throughout the whole concert. Beyonce is a very talented and amazing performer and entertainer. It was a lot of fun singing along and dancing to all of her songs, new and old. I was deeply moved by her tribute to the late Prince, so much so I began to cry. I wasn't a huge fan of Beyonce before the concert, but I definitely am now. I can't stop listening to her Lemonade album.

{Wednesday}

Enrich your soul by stepping back in time. Museums have and will always be one of my favorite places to explore. There is so much knowledge in one place that continuously feeds my thirst for learning. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History wasn't an exception. It was magnificent to explore the extensive collection of gems and minerals. I couldn't help but think of creating gemsonas inspired by the Cartoon Network show Steven Universe. For lunch I ate a delectable grilled chicken sandwich at the Carnegie Cafe located within the museum. Highlight of my trip to the museum was seeing the dioramas of my favorite species, Giraffes and Sauropods. If you can't tell, I have a love for animals with abnormally long necks.

{Thursday}

Even tourist need a rest day. Considering I had done a lot of walking on Tuesday and Wednesday, I decided to stay inside on thursday. I was able to spend time with the girls who lived in the apartment with my friend and watch Game of Thrones with them.

{Friday}

Spontaneous decisions create the best memories. After sleeping in until noon, the girls and I decided to venture to North Shore and visit the Andy Warhol museum. I didn't expect to tap into my creative juices as much as I did while strolling through the museum. Every floor contained beautiful and heart touching pieces made by Andy Warhol himself and Ai Weiwei another contemporary artist. Many of my favorite pieces left a lasting feeling in my soul. I loved every moment! After visiting the gift shop at the end of my tour around the museum I purchased a small notepad which is perfect for when I am traveling and have a quick idea pop up in my head. I strolled around the North Shore neighborhood and stumbled upon a small park that had a beautiful marble and granite monument sculpture that reminded me of a place of spiritual importance. From the steps of the sculpture you can see the river, the many bridges Pittsburgh is famed for, and the magnificent skyscrapers of Downtown Pittsburgh. There I met a fellow blogger, Shannon,  and she was so sweet. Check out her blog: Eat,Sleep,Make! Thank you for taking pictures for me. Across the bridge, I went into Downtown. I had no idea where I was going but somehow managed to walk to PPG place. Ironically that is where my friend is currently interning at so I was able to catch up with her after work. The fountain in front of the glass castle that is PPG industries was so miraculous and peaceful to watch. Instead of ordering food in the area my friend and I decided to get Chinese closer to her home in Oakland; where I had the spontaneous idea of getting my very first tattoo at the tattoo shop right next to where we got our dinner. Josh Hayward, JzaJosh on Instagram, is the owner of the tattoo shop and he is simply amazing at his craft. Thank you so much!

{Saturday}

A day spent acting like children. A road trip to Pittsburgh own historical amusement park, Kennywood, consumed much of my day. We arrived just as the park had opened it's doors and made our way around each and every rollercoaster at least once, some of our favorites were ridden twice! I love the anticipation, the adrenaline that surges through my veins as I sit in my seat with a brace blocking me from falling  as the cart rides up and up and up to the peak of the coaster before plunging down back to the ground in a series of loops and turns and roundabouts. The most beautiful sights are viewed on the top of a tall rollercoaster. We ate burgers at Johnny Rockets, Italian Ice at Rita's, and endless amounts of cotton candy. I truly felt like a child again and it is a feeling that I will cherish for a long time. After returning to Oakland, I wanted to have fun before my 11pm bus ride back to the City That Never Sleeps. Meeting friends of friends and making connections with some pretty rad lads in South Side was a great way of ending my week in the City of Steel.

Thank you so much Pittsburgh for the adventures I found in your city. Until next time!

--KB