Sunday, 28 January 2007

Home

Briefest of the brief 2 day update:

Thurs: Not a lot, then out in SOuthside - went to Locker Room which I didn't like then Jack's and Bar 11 - score on both fronts - ropey dives the pair of them, suited me down to the ground:

Friday - Bought a variety of Penguins merchandise for various people. Picked up a Ben Rothlisberger steelers jersey for 31 bucks - was the only player I recognised there, Polamalu was in the Macy's across town. Rothlisberger is a good player but apparently is a bit of an arse. 31 bucks I ain't complaining! Will wear it SuperBowl Sunday, right now leaning towards the Colts but will see how much I get insulted for it ;)

Also went to Carnegie Sports Science museum - was for kids but was fun. Went up mount washington for awesomest of awesome city views - pics to follow.

Went to Warhol museum, spent about 2-3 hours just on the eugenics installation. Powerful and delicately presented stuff (not the hamfisted horror show they could have done). Finally we ate at Brew House - a converted church that is a resataurant (amazing Pizza!) and in place of an altar there is a Micro Brewery. If only other churches would follow this fine tradition!

All flights were good, Nick got his Zune. We spent half an hour or so sending songs across the wireless just cos we could. Then he had to go home and do grown up things with kitchen tiles.

Proper updates once I transfer the photos on to this machine etc. Prob later in the week, I know I need to be in work a few hours early tomorrow and Tuesday just to catch up and get some things done - I did a bad thing and peeked at my work email on Friday morning. I know, I was still on holiday! However it did give me a heads up so I will be prepared for the morning!

OK, my brain says it's 6am which puts me just a little before the 24 hours awake boundary. It's going to be fun trying to stay awake til this evening!

Thursday, 25 January 2007

2 days to go :(

I know there are no pics, they are on the way I just need to build up the patience to cope with bloggers ridiculous upload rate!

Meanwhile, I am off to mount Washington in a bit then down to Southside this evening for some light libation at Mario's. Or at least that's the plan, I also have only 2 days left to get my Primanti Bros sandwich and I have a feeling that its going to take considerable alcohol levels for me to even be able to work out how to consume one.

I have a feeling the rest of the pictures will have to wait until when I am back in the UK, but might do some drunken uploading later ;)

[Edit]Information received suggests that Mario's etc. may not be my kind of place on a Thursday - My ability to keep my gob shut my not extend to what are affectionately termed by one party as 'Meatheads' and another as 'Douche bags'. I've received other advice as to possible alternative drinking holes, I will check with the Maja later to see if she has alternate suggestions! [/Edit]

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Cathedral Pics Placeholder

I have the Cathedral of Learning interior pics but Maria is putting me to work in the kitchen. I've barely been able to escape her salt mines this last week but she has promised me 5 minutes of sunlight tomorrow so long as I cook a chili*.

So I'll be uploading some pics later from the cathedral, I have to apologise though as I was wandering around taking pics of every special room I could, some of them aren't the best but it should give you a good flavour of what its like. What is really cool is that they are actually used as classrooms, but this does mean you can't alwas get in to see them. As a result I missed a couple, but I'll cover that later. I was most put out to discover that there was an Irish, Scottish and English room but no Welsh room. According to the pamphlet there is one planned though so it has escaped any Meirion Glyndwr style reprisals. Pics soon.

*All Matt stories should be served with pinches of salt to taste.

Cathedral

You've seen pics of the outside, the inside is awesome. I went there yesterday, they have 'Nationaloty Rooms'. They ran out of money before finishing the lower 3 doors so they asked different communities to donate money, in return they got to desigh a room of their own (or something like that). Pics later today I am off to a diner then gonna try and work out a way to get to the Mattress Factory. I realy will do pics to I promise! I know this is becoming just a stream of text!

Monday, 22 January 2007

Sleepless in Pittsburgh

So we went to Philly this weekend, arrived at the hotel around midnight so I stopped for some drinks at the bar, the barman was an arse and pretty sure he over charged us in between complaining about how he should have made a billion dollars inn tips that night.

Anyway, I chose this point in my trip to sleep past noon, I have no idea why this is the case - Bushmills Whiskey not withstanding. Anyway, we went into Philadelphia in the afternoon and drove around to get ur bearings. We managed to spend some time in the Independence centre which was actually quite cool. I have some pics of an area we later found out we weren't meant to take pictures of, it was actually pretty cool inside but will pro do a post on it or just fail to bore you with it entirely. Obviously we swung by the Rocky steps too!

I managed to prop up the hotel bar with a few more bar flys and a far cooler bar tender for the duration of the evening. We would have gone out somewhere in Philly but 'Hotel in Philadelphia' can mean anything up to hour out of the city!

Next day, I managed once again to sleep in thought considering the quantities of Bushmills I was consuming this is less surprising. The barman hardly charged me for any of my drinks and the measures he wsa giving me were ludicrous, I don't normaqlly drink whiskey striaght but Bushmills is really nice.

Anyway we went back to the Philadelphia Museum of Art which is mind blowing, they had so much cool stuff there. I don't know how many of you saw my picture of 'Boy with Duck' in my Carnegie Museum of Art adventure,but here they had 'Boy with Rooster'. I am now convinced they is one of these in every American museum. On top of that they had Picasso (Sunflowers and others), Degas, Constable, Pollack, Turner and hundreds of others. We were there most of the afternoon, I didn't get to see it all. I have lots of pics but a lot are rubbish. Again there was a section where I was inexplicably not alowed to take photos 'Hey! No photos sir! this is a special exhibition!'. 'Are you quite sure? It looks like some has just dropped a neon sign here'.

Don't worry, I was able to keep my mouth shut when yelled at by the uniformed troglodyte! I only got pissed off because there was no explanation as to why or indeed any signs explaining that photos weren't allowed in the Bar Sign room. It would appear that I am back tp my waking up at the crack of dawn self. Philadelphia, along with being the City of Brotherly love, would also appear to be a sedative.

Anyways pics later.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Update

OK, so what have bee up to? I can tell you are all on the edge of your seats.

So Wednesday I did absolutely nothing, which in one respect is bad but in another that's what I see the point of a 2 week holiday is. You pretty much do the stuff you'd do in a one week hooilday only you do it at a more leisurely pace. Anyway, I went to the Hookah Bar with Maria, later joined by Stefan. It was a relly cool place, something really different. I have a couple pics on Maria's camera but she is still snoozin after last night's festivities - more on that later ;)

That's pretty much all i did on Wednesday, unless you ount losing at Uno all night. In fact, statiscally, I had more chance of contracting leprosy than losing Uno so many times at the Hookah bar. I managed to lose every single game. I was very proud.

Yesterday i wen tto the Phipps Conservatory which was quite pleasant, then a bit of a stroll then I went to the Fuel and Fettle bar. I had a pint or two reading USA Today then Maria came a little later. I got quite drunk and ate bacon and pankcakes with syrup. Just a quick note on American Beer - as has been reported by a few of my friends, it's pretty good so long as you avoid the name brand shit that tastes of soda water.

Some of it is really weird like a cross between lager and ale, as a result in many ways it is more flavourful than European lagers. Granted sometimes it tastes like crap, but that's true of European beers too. Anyway I ha d acouple pints of some local beer called Rude Brew which was pretty tasty, then made the mistake of moving on to Jack Daniels.


Most of my pics are up on Ringo now, I am going to be uploading some to the blog too but it takes an age for some reason so here are a couple of the outside of the Cathedral of Learning and a few shots from the Art Museum.


The last one is my favourite, I've not explored the place yet, next week Bilal and I will be havoing a mooch around an dhopefully getting right up the top. It'll be interesting cos i am terrified of heights.








I'll update this post later with some pics from the gallery, just thought I would publish it 'as is' for the time being. Off to Philly later, so may not be here for a few days - thouhgt Maja is tempting me to take the lappy with me. My inner geek is crying at me to do so.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Matt Jones - Super Tourist!

OK, So today I am loving everything I did and everyone who spoke to me. I left this morning for the Carnegie Art Museum which must be some kind of secret because it was virtually empty. I also did the natural history museum but I was underwhelmed by that purely as I liked the Art gallery so much, and the fact they have closed a whole load of it off while they expand the Dinosaur exhibit - it was mostly animals you see on Discovery. It was still cool though, it's just I liked the art place.

What I really liked is that it wasn't all paintings and sculptures, they put furniture in there too which I think added a fair amount. It went from early American and European art right through to the modern day. There was also some African art, some Asian etc. That was a little haphazrd, almost an afterthought but they have some cool stuff.

I was particularly interested in the Rembrandt display they had on, I'd seen a couple of original etchings of 'Christ Between two Thieves' at the British Museum - State 3 and State 4 I think. They only had State 4 here, but they had a whole load more of his etchings that were pretty interesting to see.

I ntook a lot of pictures, most of them lame but I'll upload some tomorrow for you to see, I was pleased to see some Pittsburgh homegrown pieces in there too. All the museum people were awesome and friendly and really enthusiastic about the building, it's a proper gem.

Halfway through the Museum Stefan called me (Maria loned me her phone for the day) saying we should queue for Pens tickets. I got back to Maria's place around 3pm, and immediately got a call from April and a message from Pedr back home. Some guy called Kevin at Cincinatti had been going through my contacts calling everyone asking them to get me to call him so he could get my phone to me. The guy is a legend,he must've called a whole bunch of people before the message got to me but he persisited and he's let me know how I can get the phone back.

Queued for Pens tickets - a couple of the team stars (Maxim Talbot was one) came out an handed out Pizza to the queueing crowd, I was kinda keeping my head down, I didn't want to steal the thunder of uys who actually know who they are! Still, it was anice touch. Then the news crews were abound, I know I ended up in the background of a 5 o'clock news broadcast, thanks to a timely shove from Stefan. Thankfully the new s guy didn't end up talking to the one guy in the queue without any idea of what was going on.

Anyway, Stefan and I took a bunch of pics and Stefan caught some film footage too, so I'll upload that when i get the chance. An absolute peach of a steward took our picture at the end, and made sure to get the score board in the frame so that's definitely one that's getting printed off.

So after a slow start I have become some kind of living embodiment of a tourist. Go me. Anyway, pics and links tomorrow.