Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Adventures in Pittsburgh, or don't worry, there's another bridge on the next block.

I am currently in Pittsburgh for the annual American Copy Editors Society conference. (I'm just going to go ahead and not write well, okay?)

I left home this morning and, after the obligatory stop at Wawa for coffee, discovered my right-rear tire was dangerously low. So the first 45 minutes of my trip was spent in a waiting room while the friendly tire technician removed a roofing nail from my almost-brand-new tire. I hate when that happens. And on my way up 95 I stopped in Aquia to kiss Ben one last time. So by the time I started driving in earnest, it was 10 am.

The drive wasn't bad—a little less than 5 hours—and Mapquest's directions were good. All went well until I was literally (literally literally, not figuratively literally) a block from the hotel, just coming off a bridge, with too many choices before me, when I hesitated long enough to miss my street (which, in my defense, was not marked), and I said right out loud, "That was my turn." With that, I found myself on one of Pittsburgh's many bridges headed who-knows-where (but I did get a glimpse of PNC Park as I whizzed by). So when I got to the other side (Why did the tourist cross the river?), I pulled into a parking lot and summoned Siri to help. She patiently recalculated several times while I found a place to do a U-turn (okay, three) and I found the hotel in short order.

Did you know that $150 a night in downtown Pittsburgh does not get you a place to park your car? But no worries, they offer valet parking for $30 a night.

Thirty. A night.

I opted for a parking garage two blocks away where I will pay a mere $16 a day for a parking space.

But enough complaining. After I checked in and deposited my luggage, I went out for a walk with my camera.

I know! Real photos! Not from a phone!

There is a beautiful park right in front of the hotel that sits on the triangular point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers meet, original site of Fort Duquesne, and it was a balmy 65°. I walked and took pictures for an hour. I would love to go run there in the morning, but it's going to be raining, so no thanks.

There were (I'm guessing) 50 or 60 editors at the freelancers' social, and I talked until my throat hurt.

May I just say that these are my people? It was so interesting to hear what people edit, how they got started, how they grow their businesses, etc. I even met my favorite writer of style books, Bill Walsh. Except it was at the very end of the social, and I hadn't eaten for seven hours, and I was on the verge of a sugar crash, and I may have abruptly turned and run down the stairs looking for food. And now I'll have to explain all that to him tomorrow.

In the meantime I'm going to turn the temperature in here down to 60° and sleep.

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