As you can probably imagine, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten out of Cleveland. Not counting our weekend getaway to roofie island, the last time I went out of town was when I went to Vegas in January… for work. Yikes. Note to self, get out of town more plz. So. My friend Mike and I had been planning a day trip to Pittsburgh for months now, and finally followed through last weekend.
Before you say it, yes… I know. Fuck the Steelers, right? You wouldn’t believe how sick to my stomach I got walking around the Strip District… but we didn’t go as sports fans. We actually went as classy ass motherfuckers who wanted to visit a few art museums and fancy restaurants. But still, the Steelers suck.
Our first destination was the popular Andy Warhol Museum. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did; it’s this 7-story building with three rooms of exhibits on each floor (give or take), each exploring a decade in Warhol’s strange, strange life. Andy Warhol was born in Pittsburgh and was clearly out of his mind, making a lot of his work hard to understand but interesting to look at. My favorite part (obviously) was all the cats he drew.
He came out with a book entitled 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy. It literally contained drawings of 16 cats named Sam and, you guessed it, one blue pussy.
But his well-known prints were actually very cool up close too, seeing more than just the Marilyn Monroe ones and all the different ways he experimented with silk screens and colors was sort of hypnotizing.
And don’t even ask what the hell was going on in this room (excuse my cameo):
Our next stop was the Carnegie Museum of Art. Having gotten very familiar with the Cleveland Museum of Art, I was excited to see what another city’s renowned art collection had to offer. Honestly, though, the Cleveland Museum of Art blew this place out of the water (and CMA is free to the public, too… this place ran us about $20 a piece). The rooms were not as fluid as you’d like them to be, so most of the time we found ourselves sort of walking in circles and having to back track so that we wouldn’t miss something cool. And don’t get me started on some of the weird ass shit they let in there. Further proof that people in Pittsburgh are a little weirder than the rest of the world.
With our admission to the Carnegie Museum, we also had access to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. It sort of brought us back to our childhood; marveling at the dinosaur bones (which I wasn’t convinced were real at first—they seriously looked like plastic). I hadn’t seen anything like that since I was super young and gained a whole new perspective on the experience.
One quick loop around the historical market district known in Pittsburgh as the Strip District was enough for us… It had some really cool local vendors but between the cold, the Steeler paraphernalia, and all the yummy smelling food around every corner (with dinner reservations in less than an hour) we cut that visit short, and headed straight to the restaurant after what seemed like a long day already. (Although, I do wish Cleveland had something more like that and less pop-up fleas and Bazaars)
I didn’t put it together until I got home and told my dad about it, but the restaurant we went to was pretty famous for us non-cable-havers. Growing up without the Food Network, the only cooking shows we had access to was on the public broadcasting station on Saturday mornings. My dad and I would always watch this little Italian woman named Lidia whip up some mean dishes. So when Mike and I ended up at Lidia’s Pittsburgh, I didn’t realize at the time what a treat we were in for.
The food was pretty pricey, but well worth it. We got the Fritto Misto as an appetizer, which was fried calamari, fried shrimp, and a mix of fried vegetables all served with lemon and marinara. It was basically a little taste of heaven. For dinner, I got the Cinghiale, which was a wild boar stuffed ravioli (I mean that’s basically pork, right?). It was delicious as expected. Even the pinot noir I had was unlike anything I’d ever tasted before (if there is one thing Italians do really well, I’ve found it’s the pinot). I almost wish we would have saved room for desert but I could barely move after what we did eat.
Tell me that doesn’t look delightful. All in all, it was a pretty successful trip, and it was nice to get out of Cleveland for a while and see what a different city had to offer. I probably won’t be going back there until AFTER football season…