Living the City Life

pittsburgh skyline

I used to be afraid of the city before I lived here. It was fear of the unknown, really. I didn’t actually know anything about Pittsburgh. All I knew was that the roads were terribly confusing and that traffic could be atrocious when there was a Steelers or Pens game, which were the only real reasons to go into the city anyway.

I imagined that cities were full of cruel and terrible people who jump out, steal your money, rape women, pillage and plunder. It only took a few off-handed stories for me to form this stereotype in my mind.

But despite this, cities had always fascinated me. From Pens and Pirates games to my abbreviated tour of New York City, I had always thought that the urban lifestyle looked so glamorous and romantic. People who lived in cities seem to live totally different kinds of lives that I will never grasp. Skyscrapers, cars, traffic, taxis, outdoor cafes, rooftop bars, apartments, buses and trains– there’s so much going on and so much movement. Everyone just walks everywhere, always somewhere to go, someplace to be. People run to catch buses, they push strollers across intersections, they walk with rolling baskets to carry groceries, they meet for lunch or coffee or drinks. They are busy with their own lives, but they’re all part of this big, urban machine.

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Apartment Style – A Work in Progress



On Pinterest, “Home Decor” is one of my favorite categories to browse. I love seeing the perfectly put-together rooms and the features that no one would actually ever implement in their house, but they look fun to have (like a slide from your bedroom to the living room, or a trash chute that leads outside and puts the trash right into the garbage bin). I love dreaming about my own future house and imagining color-coordinated furniture or boldly painted walls. I picture myself, someday, having a home where things are new and perfect.

It’s fun to dream about this because right now, it is very difficult to actually accomplish. I suppose your first apartment is supposed to be crappy. It’s supposed to be a little run-down, a little worn around the edges, a little small and a little inconvenient. When I am older and living in a big house with a yard, I will remember this one bedroom apartment and I’ll appreciate everything that much more.

I’m okay with living here right now. I’ll accept that we have to wash every dish by hand and that the cupboards don’t have knobs and that the bathroom light switch is all the way over by the towel rack instead of right next to the door. It’s only two rooms, but it’s spacious enough and the carpets are surprisingly well-kept. It’s okay that all of our furniture either came from my parents or Jim’s parents, or Craigslist. But what I am struggling with is how to decorate. Continue reading

Cooking lessons from Pinterest


I owe my newly discovered enthusiasm for cooking in large part to Pinterest. And also to the fact that if I didn’t learn to cook by now, I’d go hungry or become morbidly obese from eating Wendy’s new pretzel bacon cheeseburgers every night.

Now that I’m on my own in the real world and my parents aren’t here to cook and clean and shop for groceries, I have come to the terrible conclusion that I must, at long last, learn to feed myself. This is something that most people figure out before the age of 23 and should actually be recommended, but I have scraped by on macaroni and cheese and Spaghetti-O’s. At this point, it’s been long enough. There’s only so much Ramen noodles and thin, watery sauce I can take.

So now that I’m in my new apartment, here goes nothing. Continue reading

House hunters: Pittsburgh edition

In college, I led the search for a house for my roommates and I after our freshman year. We were determined to live off-campus as soon as we could, because that’s what the other girls on the swim team had done. We had few criteria–we wanted to be within walking distance to the pool and we each wanted our own bedroom. That was about all we looked for that first year.

And I learned my lesson. Continue reading