Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pittsburgh, PA

Last week I got to visit my good friends Sean & Adele in Pittsburgh, PA. I had a great visit so I thought I'd share some pics and a couple of highlights. Sean & Adele actually live in Glassport which is about ten miles southeast of Pittsburgh proper. Their lovely home overlooks the Monongahela River. We couldn't have asked for better weather too while I visited. Just earlier in the week it was actually still snowing so I'm pretty thankful that cleared up as I am allergic to snow. As an avid film connoisseur, one of my favorite things to do while on vacation is to visit local filming sites. The town near Glassport called Clairton was used as the setting for the Oscar winning film, THE DEER HUNTER. You can actually see the largest coke manufacturing facility (Clairton Works) in the United States from Seandele's home. I also got to see the town of Braddock, PA which was the backdrop for the film OUT OF THE FURNACE.

Monroeville Mall
I finally reached one of the holy grails of filming locations, Monroeville Mall. Any horror diehard knows this iconic location as the setting for George Romero's masterpiece, DAWN OF THE DEAD. I have certainly been dying to cross this off my list. The commentary for DAWN OF THE DEAD will give more insight on the actual filming if anyone is interested. DAWN OF THE DEAD was filmed in 1977 and although much has changed since then, parts of the mall still look familiar. The mall was also used in a few scenes of ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO. It was pretty cool to stand on the site of such a quintessential film like DAWN OF THE DEAD.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History
I love museums, especially science and history museums. This one did not disappoint! It was a lot bigger than expected with several floors of everything from dinosaurs to statues to botany. Come to find out, Carnegie Museum of Natural History was also one of the locations used in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. They have an incredibly vast collection of bugs and insects similar to the moth from the film. The hall of statues was really cool too.

The Warhol
I can't tell you how excited I was to visit the Andy Warhol Museum. It was absolutely amazing; I could have spent an entire day there. You can't take photos of the actual pieces, but no photo could do them justice anyway. It was incredible to be able to see such historic works of art up close. The texture and colors are truly amazing. One of my favorite pieces was the Jackie Kennedy painting. There was an entire wall covered in Mao wallpaper and the classic Mao paintings hanging on it. The museum was six floors of various work that included items from his college days to his commercial work. One thing I did not know was that his mother Julia was also an artist. The museum contains several pieces of her work as well. I had always presumed the famous pop art pieces were made on canvas, but I found that they were done on linen which makes sense when screen printing. I was also pleasantly surprised to find a whole section of collaborated pieces by Warhol and Basquiat. I definitely recommend visiting this amazing museum if you have a chance.

Monongahela Incline
We rode this cable lift to the top of Mt. Washington. We had the most beautiful view of the entire city. One thing Pittsburgh is known for is its many bridges and sprawling hills. The city is surrounded by so much amazing architecture. There's a ton of history in Pittsburgh and I can see why Christopher Nolan chose is to portray Gotham city in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. I had such a wonderful time and hope to make it back again. Special thanks to Sean, Adele, Liam, Shiloh, and Chambers for being such gracious hosts.

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