Sunday, August 18, 2013

when i was growing up in pittsburgh, in the late 60's, there was this bridge that came out of the fort pitt tunnel into a stunning view of the city, but if you by chance stayed left, or were forced left by traffic, you would shoot over what was called the bridge to nowhere, which stopped right above the north side. your car would go shooting over the bridge and end up on the banks of the north side. your car would be badly damaged but you would most likely live. people said that the worst part of this experience would be ending up on the north side, which at that time was in bad need of repair.

soon after i left they fixed up the bridge and built the first three rivers stadium down there on the north side; that was the beginning of steady renovation of the place. further up the river were three more bridges that simply crossed over to downtown, unlike the big one, which was more of a highway bridge that had never been finished. the big one had signs: "road ends, 1000 feet" in order to prevent the kind of occurrence i wrote about above. but the heck of it is, you could easily fly past those signs. people often didn't realize they were right downtown, and didn't intend to be there, and took the first exit to get out of there, and flew off that bridge. it happened about once a month.

these days one of the smaller bridges has been renamed the "andy warhol bridge" and it was covered entirely by knitters' knit blankets and colorings. i thought this was ironic in several ways. first, in my memory, these bridges were like rusted old iron things and they really, truly didn't go anywhere. pittsburgh is of course proud of andy warhol - in spite of his lifestyle, the murder(s) associated with his name, etc., at least he was a famous artist, as famous as anyone in the modern era. and he was truly from pittsburgh, they had as much right to claim him as, say, lubbock does to claim natalie maines.

what gets me is that it was the knitters.

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