At Freshmen Orientation, we were split into group with upperclassmen as leaders. These team leaders served many purposes, among those guiding us through campus and around Pittsburgh. Over a team dinner at Buca in Station Square, I remember others expressing extreme interest in Oakland and the University of Pittsburgh. Finally, our team leader (I believe her name was Kayla) shouted over everyone that she was making an announcement. As everyone hushed, she proceeded to explain that although Pitt was only about two miles away, never walk there. She even went as far as saying that this should be the most important thing we take from our orientation experience together: take the bus to Pitt. I learned that the route that leads from Duquesne to Pitt is not the safest, going through some dangerous parts of town. Although I first assumed all my time would be spent Downtown, I trek to Oakland almost everyday. The expenses are great; four dollars a day adds up quickly. I have even recently purchased a monthly bus pass from the Pittsburgh Port Authority. Yet, I have kept her words in mind and I have not walked there.
Until the snowstorm, that is. I actually found myself snowed in at the University of Pittsburgh: the Port Authority buses actually closed for two full days. By Saturday afternoon, I was getting homesick, and I decided to trek home through the snow. At first, Kayla’s words resounded in my mind; I was scared out of my mind. However, as I realized no one else was out, I became more comfortable and was able to view the beauty I was experiencing.
The most beautiful thing I found was only about two blocks from campus. Walking on Forbes, nestled right in between the broken down houses was a brand new, modern, coffee shop! Although I didn’t get a coffee at the time, I hope in the near future, with pictures to follow.
Am I suggesting you walk alone through the Hill District? No, of course not. However, I do suggest that you take advantage of the beautiful city of Pittsburgh and attempt to learn as much about it as possible, from the tiny coffee shops to the museums.