PitTsburgh & East Coast Adventures

 Just takin' a selfie with this guy in the Pitsburgh airport! (btw--its the 2nd best airport in the country...or that's what the sign told me)

Just takin' a selfie with this guy in the Pitsburgh airport! (btw--its the 2nd best airport in the country...or that's what the sign told me)

In the past few years I taken one long break (well, long-ish) from school and work for an adventure with friends.  I think the only way I can relax completely and process the feedback I've been getting from both school and my day job is to leave all my responsibilities behind and get physically away from everything, eat A LOT of food and try some new and interesting things!

This year long time-college friends and I met with a couple members of our gang who recently moved to Pitsburgh, PA for work.  It was great to reunite with them and hang out as one big group again! I'm an extrovert so having 8 days of non-stop chatting and eating was just what I needed to recharge!  

Here's a short recap of our adventures over the last week!

We checked out the the "Cathedral of Knowledge", which was probably as close to Harry Potter as we'll get in the US!  Its a beautiful cathedral on campus that has classrooms and study space.  Several of the classrooms were decorated by different cultural groups--when I first heard this from my friend I was imagining posterboards and construction paper but they are REALLY elaborate and beautiful with elements that were imported from different parts of the world.  I can't believe that you can actually have class in them because they feel like a museum! (but maybe if my classes were in them I'd have paid more attention :-p.

 Cathedral of Knowledge, looking down into the study space--can I live here??

Cathedral of Knowledge, looking down into the study space--can I live here??

Below is a us walking around and a couple of the rooms and details from the room (more of this place is coming soon!) This was probably my favorite place in Pitsburgh!

 

While we mostly wandered from food location to food location, I DID manage to get some sketching in while everyone else played Pokemon Go (I think I will never understand the appeal of that game!) but at least it meant we stopped for a few minutes and meant we drove all over the city of Pitsburgh.   Below are some of my sketches of all our adventures and the distracted Pokemon players!

To balance out all the Pokemon we also checked out the Andy Wharhol Museum (apparently he is from Pittsbrugh, who knew?!) which was actually super interesting.  I'm not a huge fan of Andy Wharhol but I really enjoyed seeing a museum devoted to the work of just one artist.  I could see the development of his process and ideas and how his art changed over time both as he aged and developed as an artist and as a response to events happening in the world around him.  Even though I'm not a huge fan, I think it helped me develop a greater appreciation for his work and I enjoyed seeing how he began to develop his more abstract ideas, which is something I would like to do more in my art--be a bit more experimental and let myself explore more rather than just settling for what I think others would like.  (More on this on my Vlog--COMMING SOON!)

I was very pleasantly surprised by Pittsburgh, PA! It's a beautiful city with such a long history!  Coming from California and seeing the range and age of all the buildings was really exciting.  I love history but California's material history is so recent compared to PA.  In the evening we took a little tram up a mountain (?---maybe its a hill) to check out the city from above ...but we didn't stay too long because it was actually cold up there!  

 Gettin' a very large German Beer!

Gettin' a very large German Beer!

From Pittsburgh we took off to visit some friends in NEW YORK! (after taking a quick stop in Philly to eat a cheesesteak and take a look at the Liberty Bell!)  In New York we checked out the Met, ate cookies, walked forever and visited with friends.  It was an excellent weekend and much needed break!

FINALLY! Me and Diana looking super tired after spending a day in the airport and having our flights re-arranged, delayed and ultimately CANCELED! But we did get to take an adventure to the Pizza Shop from Spiderman 2 and explore the city a little more so it wasn't that bad. After an hour and a half walk all through New York we were pretty hot and tired but the pizza was AMAZING!!

Now that I've filled up my extrovert reserves, I can't wait to get back to my thesis and really get to work! Unfortunately because our flight was canceled on Wednesday, I'm now a day behind and not fully adjusted to time on the west coast! (we got in at 3am CA time, so about 6am NY time and I can not sleep on planes!) Still a super fun weekend though!