City Tales: Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh has come a long way from the dirty, smog filled days of the steel mills but I don't think the city has quite yet reached the status of a vacation destination for many other than me. Here are a few titles that allow you to travel to the 'Burgh without leaving your recliner.
- The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (Michael Chabon)
This coming-of-age tale is set in Pittsburgh in the early 80s. Chabon lived in Pittsburgh as a student and his descriptions of an Oakland factory caused me to see the "Cloud Factory" in a whole new light. The city, however, is just a gorgeous backdrop to this fantastic story of Art Bechstein and his unforgettable summer after graduating from college. (Note: if you love this book, do not see the movie!)
- The Best Game Ever: Pirates vs. Yankees, October 13, 1960 (Jim Reisler)
As a Pirates fan it's hard to imagine the team having a winning season let alone winning the World Series yet this they did in the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off homerun from Bill Mazeroski in the 1960 World Series. Forbes Field is no more but fans still gather each year at the park's remnants to replay the radio broadcast of this amazing game.
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
If you've ever visited Pittsburgh you likely first set sights on the city upon exiting the Fort Pitt tunnels. The view, especially at night, is breath taking which Chbosky captures perfectly. Like the Chabon title, however, the city is simply a backdrop in this funny, sad and unforgettable novel that frequently shows up on banned book lists.