Tuesday, September 29, 2009

En Route

PITTSBURGH, PA--I did mention, didn't I, that we were coming here? But you probably forgot. I can't blame you. Anyway, here we are, waking up in Pittsburgh, PA, on a windy, rainy morning--a day the weather man described as "ugly", but which we Californians manage to find quite beautiful. We are not used to clouds, nor water falling from the sky. It has been months since we last saw rain, and it's a welcome sight. But then, we have not yet ventured far from our very nice B&B, the Inn on Negley. (We're in the Arkansas Room. Check it out..)

We had an easy flight from Los Angeles, upgraded with our United Mileage to... First Class! Which meant a wider seat, an obsequious flight attendant, and a choice of salad or sandwich for lunch. And of course unlimited liquor. We could have been as drunk as those proverbial lords by the time we reached our destination--but we abstained.

A cab from the airport brought us along the Ohio River, a glimpse of whose majestic flow reminded me not a bit of the little trickle on a concrete bed that passes for the "Los Angeles River"! Then on through the museum and university area to this nice little area where we are staying with tree-lined streets--deciduous, folks!--and Victorian houses. Very exotic.

We met our friends Lynn and Paul Zelevansky for dinner. They have just moved here from Los Angeles, she from a curatorial position at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to become Director of the Carnegie Museumof Art-- a fine move for her, in an already distinguished career. Paul is an artist, educator, semiotician, student of images and signs and how they function in our lives. You'll find some of the results of his work at his website, The Great Blankness--well worth checking into and exploring. He manages to be wry, witty, even whimsical without abandoning a basic seriousness of purpose and challenging his followers to exercise their minds. He has promised me a copy of his recent book, 24 Ideas About Pictures, which I'm looking forward to receiving when we're back at home.

A good dinner, then, at an Italian restaurant not far from where we're staying, and thoroughly engaging conversation on a wide variety of topics. Funny how yo start to get to know people when they've moved away...

After Paul and Lynn dropped us off at our B&B, we took a walk through the local streets to wind down a bit from the day. It was for us, of course, still fairly evening. A few minutes of Bill Maher on the new Jay Leno show. I have to admit, Maher's blithely uncompromising liberal expectations of Obama piss me off a bit these days. Still, I did manage to get to sleep...

No comments: