Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dear Pittsburgh:

You suck. Suck suck suck suck. You suck oozing rat ass and donkey balls. You suck A HUNDRED FUCKING MILES OF BADLY ORGANIZED, BADLY LABELED HIGHWAYS. Did you motherfuckers EAT the street signs this winter, or knock them over with snow plows? DO YOU THINK YOU COULD MARK DIRECTIONS TO MAJOR BUILDINGS SO PEOPLE COULD FIND THEM?

Ahem.

We tried to go to the Natural History Museum today. I got lost. This is the third time I've gone down town, and the third time I've gotten lost. I have lived in quite a few metropolitan areas in my day (Columbus, Hampton Roads, Honolulu, Charleston, now here), and driven through quite a lot more (New York, Baltimore, DC, Miami, Los Angeles, Richmond, Jacksonville) and I am here to tell you, Pittsburgh sucks. You know those nightmare highway systems with fifteen exits branching off and literally six layers of roads all circling around each other? Yeah. It doesn't matter if you have the sense of direction of Ferdinand Magellan, if it's badly labeled, you're doomed.

Bah.

Tomorrow I will try again, this time with the husbeast's GPS navigation system.

19 comments:

Emily said...

Ho ho ho. You haven't tried Boston, apparently. My husband & I, newly married in 1969, tried to return a wedding gift to an address on Mass Ave. Mass Ave ends in Harvard Square, so we figured we'd go there & follow the road from there. Well, first, we could not get out of Harvard Square. Round & round we went, always arriving back. Finally we got out, only to discover that Mass Ave suddenly disappeared. Many miles later, we found it again; apparently there was (& maybe still is) a large section of Mass Ave which DOES NOT EXIST.

Does Pittsburgh have mass transit? That's a safer way to get around in Boston. (I don't live there anymore.)

Julie said...

No, the furthest north I've gotten on the E Coast is Providence, RI. I think Boston and Pittsburgh could have a bad highway contest, though.

KnitTech said...

We have a Iphone that has the Google Maps... Very handy.

Deb said...

I worked in Pittsburgh for 6 weeks about 7 years ago. I agree with you. There are NO street signs.

I was trying to find a yarn store and drove past it about six times. I finally pulled into a gas station and called the store.

I'd driven right past it each time. It sat back from the road a little, but there were no building numbers on any of the buildings, so I couldn't even tell if I was close.

Yeesh!

Megan said...

Ok, so I know you're probably still frustrated from you Pittsburgh signage fucknuttery, and the LAST thing you probably want is for someone to ask you do do something you've previously stated you were going to STOP doing, but since I'm all the way up here in Canada and you can't get me, I'm going to ask anyway:

I got my Vogue Knitting spring/summer 2010 in the mail last week, and I am DYING to know your thoughts. One of my favourite things after digesting my own copy (I've been getting a subscription as a Christmas present for the last 3 years and don't have the heart to tell Grandma to stop renewing it) is waiting for your review. We're usually on the same page, and it's always a hilarious read. I know there was some discussion after the last disastrous edition that you didn't have it in you anymore, but I beg beg BEG you to reconsider, if only for my own selfish entertainment.

I'll slowly back out of the room now...

kate said...

Oh, we hide the street signs from new folk. And we make sure nothing is on a grid, so any sense of direction you have is useless. :)

Actually, if you can believe it, the past fifteen years or so has seen a positive rash of new signage. That's right--there used to be even less street signs around here.

I hope you can find it! Just try not to go through Schenley Park, because it's so confusing I always feel lucky to get through it alive and on the same day I went in.

Amy said...

Believe it or not, it used to be worse. There really were no street signs. I think so many people had lived there for generations, they just figured everyone knew. That combined with the hills and the rivers make things really difficult. I highly recommend using a GPS. My parents still live there. You would think having lived the first 18 years of my life would mean I would be OK, but I use the GPS a lot when I go there, and certainly for anything downtown. (By the way, part of your problem may have been that the Carnegie Museum is in Oakland, not downtown.)

Karen said...

I lived in Southern Pennsylvania 15
years ago and the whole state didn't believe in signs. Plus does Penn still number the major inerstate exits 1,2,3 and not by mile marker because that used to drive me nuts. Yeah on the netbook also, just got an Acer with extra memory and seperate DVD/CD player and I love it. Hate getting used to a new keyboard though, this one is tiny.

Anonymous said...

Your first commenter beat me to it - Boston is awful to get around! Even San Francisco isn't bad in comparison.
Good luck next time!
Beverly near Yosemite CA

NeedleTart said...

This would be the reason Elder Son got a GPS within three months of moving to Pigbird. Good luck with the Museum hunt.
Verification: Fogied (does this mean I'm officially an old fogie?)

deana said...

Make your way to Carson Street in the South Side, go across the Birmingham bridge (22nd street) , hang to the right where it says "OAKLAND". Merge. Go straight. Stay on that road. Signs will be on your right, but keep going straight. Museum will be on your right, parking lot is a milisecond past the museum, and down (kinda behind it). It should take about 7 minutes from South Side.

Txt me if you need help, honey. Anytime! You know that.

Cindy said...

Thought you might enjoy reading this Slate article after your most recent driving experience: http://www.slate.com/id/2246108/

Terby said...

Yup. I didn't live there, but I think much of that area is notorious for a lack of signage. And left-hand exits. And lanes that verge off randomly...

GPS will help. Me? I'm just staying on foot. Come up and visit soon. I need coffee and knitting with you!

rach said...

This is why I am so scared to move out of Kansas City. Grid systems FTW.

I was in Las Cruces for a while one summer and my cousin was giving me directions and I couldn't find a goddamn thing because every street was named. It didn't even make sense, like "Names in Spanish run East/West and names in English run North/South." Everything was named and some of them were in English, some were in Spanish, and they used the mountains as a landmark. THE MOUNTAINS ARE EVERYWHERE TO SOMEONE FROM KANSAS.

Mandy said...

I'm a little surprised your personal tech geek (aka the Husbeast) doesn't have GPS installed in every vehicle you own. It would probably make life much easier, considering the lack of signage.

Barbara said...

That's Pigsbird.

We tried to cross Boston once and our street turned into one way, toward us--we lost hope and went back to our hotel. Public transit, anyone? The Goob would love that.

Amy said...

Totally agree with you! I get lost every time I go to Pittsburgh. You have to be EXACTLY in the right lane on the highway or OOPS, you are doomed to go over yet another bridge, tunnel or whatnot.

Also agree with Emily about Boston. I travel quite a bit for work and at the end of one long work day, I entered Boston to look for my hotel. I could see it, damn it, but for the life of me, not one road actually took me closer than a half of a mile from it. Finally parked the rental, grabbed my roller bag and WALKED to the hotel.

Keep up the good work with Vogue. Love it!

Amy Lane said...

LOL-- I can only laugh because I've been lost in EVERY CITY I'VE EVER VISITED. Screw it--I'm never visiting Pigsbird now!

Alwen said...

My Philadelphia adventure was in Harrisburg, not Pittsburgh, but same idea!

I had seen Yield signs at the end of highway on-ramps, but Harrisburg introduced me to the Stop sign. At the end of the on-ramp, are you freaking kidding me? Dive into that traffic from a FULL STOP, what madness is this?!?

Oh, yeah. In memory yet green.