Another guest post for you today - from one of the first people I met when I moved to downtown. Isaac and I started working together at the Public Theater at the same time which was encouraging because it's always nice to have someone around who knows just as little as you do in a new job. We quickly became friends, because of his ability to put-up with my dramatics and our shared love of food, shitty television, and a dry sense of humor. If you've been reading my blog for awhile, then I'm sure you've heard Isaac mentioned at least a few times. His blog, The Fool Speaks, is a mixture of everyday ramblings, potential stand-up material, and an interesting outlook on the world around him.
You'll want to check it out if laughing is something you like to do.
"Why Am I Here?" by Isaac Crow
When I tell strangers that I live in Pittsburgh I'm usually asked "why'd you move out there?". This is a difficult question for me to answer, at least if I don't want to come off as an asshole.
See I was born and raised in Moundsville, WV (that's in the northern panhandle if you don't know). I grew up on a small beef farm and I more or less had a good childhood. Parents were great, had good friends, all that stuff. But I was not meant to live on a farm. Frankly I was not meant to live in Moundsville.
Now I'm not bashing Moundsville, don't get me wrong. I know a lot of truly fantastic people there. But I knew after college that I was not going to live there my whole life, like my father has and many other people have. Living in Moundsville felt (to me) like arriving at a party after mostly everyone else had left. There is not much life there; a Walmart, some major chain restaurants, and a lot of bars. My mother tells me they might get an IHOP there soon. Which is great, but an IHOP is nothing to look forward to.
So when college was over (I went to WVU, if you're wondering. I'll talk about that on my own blog one day) I decided I would not stay in Moundsville past the summer. There were no future goals; the goal was simply to get out and decide what to do after that. My friend had a house in Pittsburgh and she graciously allowed me to move into a spare room, something I hope I'll be able to repay her for one day (I did pay rent, I was referring to repaying the act.).
After a few numb months of unemployment, I landed two part-time jobs, both in customer service. Roughly 3 months after getting these jobs, my car had a major malfunction and "died".
That was a major turning point for me, losing that car. I didn't know what to do; I'd had a car since my sophomore year of college. Well I did what I had to: I bought a bus pass. Most people would consider that moving downward, and I suppose it is. But for me it was liberating: a car was something I relied on in West Virginia. I needed it to go anywhere. But here in Pittsburgh I could travel just with my own feet and a pass. I felt oddly independent because of it, and I lost weight to boot.
So I had two jobs, lost my car, and was living in a city most WVU fans despise. So, friends of my grandparents want to know, why?
Well let's start with food. It's a petty thing to start with, but I love food and Pittsburgh has delivered on that front. When I work downtown we have a regular pizza place, Milano's, that we go to for slices during work. It's not the best pizza in the world, but the point is I have a regular pizza place and it's NOT Domino's. I can also find Chinese restaurants that aren't buffets! Just hit up a City Paper or something and see all the food options, they're never-ending. In Moundsville there are two "Mexican" restaurants and they're owned by the same people (and somehow one of them is worse than the other).
Now let's talk entertainment. Tomorrow I'm going to see a show down at Altar Bar in the strip district. Next week I may go to The Moth at the Rex Theater in the south side. When fall roles around and my job at PPT resumes I'll have a lot of good plays I'll be able to see. Parades seems to happen every other month and there's always a fun convention going on downtown (get it furries!). There's always something to see in Pittsburgh and while I'm not the biggest social butterfly, it's nice to at least have the option.
Also, Pittsburgh exposes me to a wider diversity. It would seem very ignorant to say "I moved to Pittsburgh because I wanted to see black people." but keep in mind if I did just want to see black people I would have a difficult time in Moundsville. I'm not going to pretend that Pittsburgh is free of racism and prejudices, but the fact that every day I see people of any race or religion is tad more exciting than the all-white cast of Moundsville.
My sexuality was also a factor in my moving, because being gay in a small town in West Virginia is something I am not brave enough to attempt. The other evening I was walking to my friend's apartment up the street to watch TV. I ended up walking behind a gay couple, about my age, that were holding hands as they walked. I followed them for a few blocks and we passed a few people. Nobody sneered or yelled or did anything to point out the fact it was an all-male couple. Again, not saying Pittsburgh is some homophobic-free utopia, but the thought occurred to me "you wouldn't see this is Moundsville." And if you did, I shudder to think of how it would end.
Wow, reading all this back to myself it seems that when people ask me "why'd you move to Pittsburgh?" I should just say "Because I fucking hate Moundsville." Again please know that that's not the case. I had lots of fun times in Moundsville. On my moving day I actually cried because I knew I'd miss my family so much
|Chelsea never asks me to do her Fashion Fridays. I got this gem at the Strip.|
So there it is: my long answer to a question most of you didn't ask. But the next time a friend of my Nana's from church asks me "Why'd you move to Pittsburgh?" I'll probably grin and say "It's just fun there."
Sorry if there was more swearing in that post than you're used to around here.
Sometimes it just helps to make the point and I love Isaac too much to tell him to censor himself.
Except I will make fun of him for that shirt, especially because the font it's in is Comic Sans. Yuck.
Anyway, hopefully you all enjoyed his story and will check out his blog as well! Happy Tuesday!