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Ice Cream Chronicles - New Interactive Map

As you may have noticed, a new interactive Google Map containing all the location and links to all my Ice Cream Chronicles posts is now acce...

A Skillet and a Paper, No More

The final print edition of Columbus Alive, which recently announced its online-only
status like an increasing number of publications around the country
The July 3rd edition of Columbus Alive marked a significant and increasingly unsurprising development in the publication's history. The newsprint version of this weekly, which has history dating at least to the 1990s and most likely into the 1980s (see below), will go the way of the dodo bird, with the publication going to a strictly online presence from here on out.

Normally, this mere transition would've been an "Oh, okay" moment for me, a mere blip that wouldn't have merited more than a brief mental acknowledgement.  However, a chance find at an estate sale a few weeks prior provided a golden opportunity for a blog post that I couldn't turn down.

I Got Six: Pennsylvania Travels Wrap-Up

Our travels through Pennsylvania were covered extensively through the last three posts, but I've always ended our series with some places that didn't conveniently fit the flow of my write ups, but are definitely worth a mention in some manner.

Because of the flow of those posts, I wanted to include more detailed contact information for the places we've visited during our travels, like I have traditionally done for all destinations covered in this blog, as well as links to the previous blog posts.

Known to the locals as "Dippy", this Diplodocus sculpture has stood guard in front
of Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History since 1999
As we discovered, staying close to the center of Pittsburgh can be a spendy proposition. The Renaissance Hotel in the downtown area was a nice splurge that was conveniently located to our Eddie Izzard show at the Byham Theater that night.  For the rest of our stay, we targeted the Greentree area and the Comfort Inn on Banksville proved to be located close enough to everything and much more friendly to the pocketbook.  I-376 and the Fort Pitt Bridge generally is a sludgy crawl at most times of the day, but thanks to the number of bridges and tunnels in the area, you can easily bypass this route from this hotel to get into all areas of the city.

Give Me Broccoli Rabe, or Give Me Death: 48 Hours in Philly

City Center Philadelphia around lunch time, with plenty of bustle
and one of the numerous Pakistani-owned Halal food carts in the area
Granted, I have not visited all the big metro cities on the East Coast yet. But in terms of feel and bustling energy that only a big city has, Philadelphia feels the most like San Francisco to me, with a little more age and space added in, not to mention a couple dozen or three Halal-style food carts scattered throughout the City Center area.

A mere two days really isn’t enough to absorb a city the size of Philly, but it is enough to lend impressions like these, and enough to make you anticipate when you might be able to squeeze in another trip in the future.

Stuck in the Middle With You: Keystone State Travels

Even Abe Lincoln will tell you there's a lot to explore in the state of
Pennsylvania between the cities of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania
Leaving Pittsburgh and traveling eastward through Pennsylvania, we firmly had several National Parks in our sights as our main destinations. When it comes to the United States, the amount of and virtual age of this history tends to grow as you trek toward the Atlantic Ocean.

On this trip, we ended up spanning the historical timeline, from an unexpected find related to a conflict barely covered in the lower grade levels (the French-Indian War) to an event which has become a modern time "Day of Infamy" in the terrorist attacks of 09/11/2001.

Viewing nature's beauty was also prime on the docket, as we dropped by a state park with plenty of outdoor charms and a world-renowned architectural work whose best quality just might lie in how it blends in with the natural flora and fauna surrounding it.

Everyone needs a little curveball to break up the routine, and for us, that came in the form of a minor league baseball game and craft beer on an evening which scared away many due to the weather.

Three Days in the Land of Three Rivers

The Point State Park Fountain, located at the confluence of rivers that gave
Pittsburgh's former Three Rivers Stadium its name. Heinz Field, current home of
NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, lies across the Allegheny River in the background
Pittsburgh, like many Midwest cities, finds itself in the long-term quest of reinventing itself

A city traditionally known for its bustling steel industry and a blue-collar reputation, Pittsburgh has used a multi-pronged effort in the fields of education, industry and government to diversify its job mix and economic base, trying to stem the tide of population loss that has turned the once tenth largest city by population in the country in 1940 to 64th in 2019.

Tourism is also a vital part of boosting the city's fortunes. There was a day where I wouldn't have even considered traveling for pleasure to a place like Pittsburgh, but that just shows how times change and how the spirit to explore is indeed a good one. And thus, our most recent road trip adventures took us into the Keystone State of Pennsylvania, with our first days spent in the Steel City.