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.