A Birthday of Discovery

We all make big plans for our milestone birthdays: 16, 21, 30, 40, etc.

But what about those odd years or those birthdays that signify little except another year of life? Such was my dilemma Sunday with another celebration of my birth on the horizon. If you know me by now, you know I play golf and a round of 18 holes on a beautiful day would seem a natural. But these days, I like to do something different. So I did.

I decided to ask a friend to join me a tour … a crawl of sorts .. on the city’s South Side. No, this was not a bar crawl like you see so many young people doing that often ends up in a lot of drinking and some considerable trouble walking. No, this was different. We got a ride to 10th street and Carson at 1pm Sunday and started walking … and stopping … and walking … and stopping.

We visited bars and restaurants, sampling the south side’s culinary offerings. We stopped at used book stores, jewelry stores and clothing shops. We talked with store owners, customers and people on the street. We sampled everything from craft beers to cheesecake. Most of all, we hear stories. We heard why the certain establishments have been on the south side for years and why others had failed. We saw the wide variety of food and drink, everything from Pittsburgh-bred foods … to dishes from Cambodia and India.

The bottom line is that I spent my birthday exploring a portion of the town that I now call home. Thought I report on Pittsburgh every day, there are still lessons to be learned and places to discover. What better way to discover what makes the place I live in so special than to tour a portion of Pittsburgh on my special day.

That was the best birthday present I could imagine giving myself.

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