Friday, December 14, 2007

Waterfront Views...

Pittsburgh has the reputation of being stodgy, but actually it's changing all the time. Like today. Where we once had a road, now we have a pretty little canal.

(copyright 2007 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

This is the Tenth Street Bypass, which parallels the - uh, Allegheny? river (a true Pittsburgher never knows the names of any streets, why should rivers be any different). The baseball park is just across the real river, which is on the right in the photo. 

This street is low. And sometimes when it's wet, it floods. It's got these nice walls on either side, and that dip at the bottom. They call it the "bathtub".

You don't think a lot about floods when you live here, although we had a few really destructive ones about three years back. Most of the housing is not along the riverside, because that was used for industry, and people generally lived up the hills a bit. But every few weeks when there's a heavy rain, you'll hear on the traffic reports that the Mon Wharf is closed to parking. That's because the Mon Wharf is a little parking lot that is basically on the riverbank. The river goes up a few feet, it floods. No big deal. People usually move their cars if there's an unexpected storm. Not always. The first time I ever parked there, there was sludge and puddles on the pavement, and it was only after I got back that I put the two things together. (But I felt pretty safe, because my office building at the time looked out onto that river. I always thought that company should rig webcams for the people who worked across town.)

I also remember a strange incident when I was a child. My family was parking downtown, in a parking garage. Dad drove down a ramp, and at the other end, there was a lake. He acted like it wasn't a big deal, which was kind of confusing at the time, but was probably exactly how I would act today.  You just turn the car around.  We decided to park on a higher floor.

At any rate, back to today's flood. I almost never drive on this road, because it only connects downtown to the highways to the south suburbs. It's not for my people. But it is scenic, at times.

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