In my mind, Pittsburgh has always been a dirty, kind of trashy place. After five days there, I now stand corrected. Pittsburgh is a really cool kind of dirty, trashy place with amazing buildings. You should go there. We approached Pittsburgh from the South and I must recommend this path. Form the South you travel through small, suburban areas, then pass through a tunnel only to be shot out into bright skies and downtown; the contrast is impressive.
Once you arrive in downtown, you become surrounded by brick. It’s everywhere, but that’s to be expected of a town that’s been around since the very late 1700 (founded by George Washington himself in 1758). At the meeting point of 3-rivers and in the middle of coal country, the placement of this city ensured that it would grow alongside the US and this is reflected in the buildings. Downtown – like all downtowns – houses skyscrapers, but right beyond them lie brick row houses and churches galore. The entire East Coast is busy with churches and Pittsburgh holds its own with glorious spires and massive evangelical establishments. Seriously, the churches here are amazing.