Streets

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In the vein of consistency, I’m posting. This week there hasn’t been much to blog about, personally. So this week I’ll venture into some brief creative writing.

I had a moment the other day, walking home through my new neighborhood. I pondered the personality of this city I live in. It’s not easily encapsulated in a dialect and a sports team. There’s a rough edge to the people of this city. To live in this city made of hills and cloudy skies takes a determination. Every Spring, we wonder how we made it through another Winter.

Pittsburgh is a funny place. It sticks with you, to your ribs. You learn to live with the frustrations, the parking, the traffic. You learn to manage under chaos. The irrational laws and backwards policies that come from an old boy mentality that takes care of their own, but makes life difficult for the masses. The places I’ve come from have taught me how to hang on when the threads were frayed. I have learned how to perservere with the ebb and the flow.

There is a gritty romance to the place where I live. The neighborhood is a mix of old and new. There are little old women peeking out of their matching row houses in a variety of colors in housecoats and curlers, and kids drinking cheap, trendy beer on their porches. All walks of life are going about their business, hip hop culture mixing over with punk and hipsters. Still, I think at least once a week I hear someone on the bus talking about rehab and relapse.

Anything you could want, it can be found. Underground art and music are readily available. Like everything else, there’s a cycle. Sometimes what was once a favorite venue closes, but there will be another. We fight hard for our little treasures, our small theaters and non-profits. Sometimes we don’t fight hard enough, and don’t realize what we had until it was gone.

I curse this city when I trudge through the grey sludgy snow, when I sink into a dirty, muddy puddle. But I have a fondness for this city in its pretty moments. When I catch her in the right light her rough lines are like brush strokes. The rain on the bricks sparkles like glitter. There is a smoky poetry in the gloomy rainy days. The love/hate relationship tangled up with a pride that can’t be taken away. It’s like an inside joke that you just don’t get unless you’ve lived it.

I don’t know that I’ve painted the portrait I wanted. It’s like expecting one photograph to tell you the whole story. The story has as many facets as it has inhabitants. I can only hope to capture the sentiment of a moment, a moment that will stay with me in the core of who I am. This place is my home. These narrow, crooked streets are like the veins and arteries under my skin. Maybe I will settle some place else, some day, but this will always be where I am from.

 

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