March 20, 2000: Waste Watcher Goes to Pittsburgh

Today is the big day.  One month ago today Andy and I packed up and left Rochester to come to Ithaca to begin “phase one” of our Waste Watcher project adventure.  Today begins the second phase.  The 1992 Buick Regal GS was loaded to the hilt with sleeping bags, blankets, two Compaq Proliant 800 Servers, two HP Brio Celeron 433 desktops, some Symbol barcode scanners and enough clothes to get us through.  Andy and I barely fit into the front seats of the mid-sized sedan so weighted down it was with every last thing that we could fit into it.  Moving in nothing but a car is very tough work indeed.

Andy and I set off rather late at night hoping that it would only take four hours to get down to Pittsburgh where we were to be living for the next indefinite amount of time.  I remember leaving Ithaca and getting down on to Interstate 86 and traveling west thinking what an incredibly boring drive it was.

It wasn’t long before we needed to stop off in Friendship, New York to locate a restroom which we did at the local grocery store.  It was probably eight in evening or a little later at this point.

It took around six hours or just a little less before we reached Pittsburgh.  This was only my second time as an adult or in my memory coming into the city and my first time driving and it was Andy’s first time in Pittsburgh.  The nighttime view of the city as you enter on Internet 279 will always stick in my memory.  One moment you are driving through steep hills and residential neighbourhoods clinging to steeply tilted ground all seemingly in a very rural or mildly suburban setting and then, suddenly, a looming city of steel and glass swings into view directly ahead of you and impossibly close.

The northern approach to Pittsburgh must be one of the most impressive entrances to any city in the United States.  It is absolutely breathtaking.  It made it all that much more exciting as this would be my first time living in a city of any considerable size.  Ithaca being extremely tiny and Rochester feeling like it isn’t even a city at all (especially when you live outside of it in Greece.)  But in Pittsburgh we were to be living in a tall apartment building well inside the city limits in one of the center boroughs and it was to be very exciting.

Of course the southern approach to Pittsburgh, entering the city through the mountainside via the Fort Pitt Tunnel is one of the most impressive city entrances anywhere as well.  Pittsburgh is blessed with amazing vistas in a very tiny amount of geographic space.

We headed over to the AmeriSuites where we spent the night.  Tomorrow was the “moving in” day.

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