April 18, 2013
Pittsburgh PA, photo source here
It has been awhile since my last posting. Things have been quiet here on the inspiration and work front. A couple of projects I was working on fell through and I’ve landed in a creative void. But I’ve learned that these periods always pass and bring with them a whole new energy or direction. So I am weathering this time of relative inactivity fairly well. And anyway, there is always the garden. Finally!
Another reason for not so much activity here is that I’m getting ready for a long postponed trip back to my home town, Pittsburgh, PA. I’ve not been back for 10 years and though Holland is now home, I’m needing to reconnect with my original homeland (though I was born in Ireland, but that is another story).
I want to speak English instead of Dutch, feel like I belong instead of being the eternal ‘buitenlander'(foreigner) , get the feel of the country, (re-)meet people and explore Pittsburgh. The old familiar neighbourhoods as well as all the new spaces that have been opened up and developed. I’ll have 5 weeks to do this. Hopefully I will figure out how to blog from there so I can share my impressions.
I loved growing up in Pittsburgh. It is an embraceable city, perched elegantly on the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers merge to form the Ohio. When I was a girl, the rivers were lined with monumental black steel works. When we would drive into town from the suburbs at night, the skies would be lit up orange as the molten steel was being poured.
Now the rivers are cleaned up, there are walking and cycling paths where steel mills once thrived, and everything has changed.
The things I loved about this city were the diverse ethnic groups, each with their own neighbourhoods and events, though still integrated into the whole. And the many large universities, making it one big university town, and the parks, and very rich cultural life, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the International Art exhibition, the Carnegie museums and libraries.
Funnily enough, I’ve landed in a similar place in Holland. I love Groningen as well, it has a lot of water moving through it, it is also a university town, and is rich culturally.