I spent the great bulk of my time in Pittsburgh with family (and hereby extend an apology to all friends who I did not call while I was in town), but I did have a couple things that struck me while I was there.
First off was the green. I usually come to Pittsburgh in the fall for Thanksgiving, when all the trees have shed their leaves and the sky is low and cat-fur grey and if its not raining its snowing. But here, just on the doorway to summer, it is green and lush and almost humid from the vegetation. Pittsburgh is an older city now, and the trees planted in housing developments in the 50s and 60s have now grown up to hide the houses and wrap the hills in jade velvet. It helps that Pittsburgh is built on ridgelines and valleys, which creates more unbuildable land and gives all the trees their footholds.
Second was, in comparison to my writeup on the Southwest, we know there's a war on, at least with the little yellow ribbon stickers. They were omnipresent and varied, and had a wide speciation of colors and messages (including women's healh issues and autism (a jigsaw ribbon)). If someone wants to do a study of the spread of message within an enviromental niche, Pittsburgh is the place to do it.
Lastly, the housing bubble has hit Pittsburgh, and the tax appraisals and house prices are now moving into the same numbers we saw in Seattle seven years ago. As a result, more and more people are selling their places in the city (indeed, a lot of the homes are owned by older couples, who resent the upped taxes and see it as an ideal time to get out). New families are coming into these homes, with their elder trees and earlier construction.
That's it - my mind was a bit elsewhere for most of the time I was there, but there were little things.
Congratulations are in Order (THE JOURNAL OF TOLKIEN RESEARCH) - So, last week (Thursday?) I received word that the new online JOURNAL OF TOLKIEN RESEARCH has now launched, posting the first article* from their first vol...
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