January 27, 2024

The City of Many Firsts

  Preliminary Note:  Before all else, know that the infamous Pittsburgh accent is
  actually the Clairton accent and is rarely heard around the Pittsburgh area any-
  more.  However, when that accent was more frequently heard, it did make you
  want to run the other way.

  Proof that the accent is almost extinct is simple.  First, call to mind Jeff Goldblum,
  Michael Keaton, Denis Miller, the late Gene Kelly, Barbara Feldman (the original
  Agent 99), the late Andy Warhol, Academy Award winter Shirley Jones, singing
  sensation Jackie Evancho, Super Bowl champion Joe Montana, Heisman Trophy
  winner Tony Dorsett, NY Jet sensation Curtis Martin, Jack Dodson (the actor who
  played Howard Sprague on Andy of Mayberry), best selling author Rachel Carson,
  Mr Rogers, Julie Benz of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, and other celebrities.

  Now, do or did any of them speak in the infamous Pittsburgh accent which is ac-
  tually the Clairton accent?  ANS:  No.  Of couse not.  Case closed.  The infamous
  Pittsburgh accent is almost extinct.  Let us continue:

 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, the region where three major rivers converge, is the site of:

-the world's first wire cable suspension bridge. -the world's first continuous roll
  printing press.     -the world's first Ferris Wheel's design  (the original was put
  on display in Chicago, for the first time.)  -mankind's first long distance use of
  alternating current electricity.     -mankind's first motion picture theater, located
  on Smithfield Street.  -mankind's first commercial radio station, namely KDKA
  Radio.  -America's first drive-thru gasoline station (petrol station), located on the
  corner of Baum Boulevard and St Clair Street.  -the first utilization of air brakes.
-America's first major league base ball stadium, in the form of Forbes Field.   -the
 first road map ever distributed by an oil company; namely Gulf Oil.
-the Western Hemisphere's first successful oil refinery, located on Seventh Avenue,
-the first indoor zoo, in the form of the Pittsburgh National Aviary.  -the first build-
  ing constructed with liquid-fireproofed columns, namely the U.S.  Steel Tower.
-the invention of the game of Bingo, originally called Beano.  -the world's first pro-
  duction of commercial aluminum. -the first all-aluminum shelled skyscraper, in the
  form of the Alcoa Building.  -the first atomic submarine engine (constructed for the
  U.S.S. Nautilus),  -the first use of Daylight Savings Time,  -the first Zippo Lighters.
-the world's first nuclear reactor, in the form of the Shippingport Plant.  - the first
 public TV station, in the form of WQED TV.  -the polio vaccine.  -the world's first
 retractable arena roof, namely the Pittsburgh Civic Arena.  -the first university sky-
 scraper, namely the Univ of  Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning which continues to
 be the tallest academic building in the Western Hemisphere.  -the first combination
 liver, heart, and kidney transplant.  -the world's first robotics institute, as well as the
home of:
---Five Pulitzer Prize winners, ---movie icon Gene Kelly, ---baseball icon Stan Musial,
---baseball icon Honus Wagner, ---music icon Henry Mancini, ---environmentalist and
    author of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, ---Gertrude Stein, ---Billy Eckstein, ---Andy
    Warhol, ---Mr. Rogers, --- academy award winner Shirley Jones, ---Michael Keaton,

---Jeff Goldblum,  ---comedian Dennis Miller, ---comedian Marty Allen, ---the original
    Candid Camera traffic cop, Vic Cianca, whom I once met, ---recording artist Perry
    Como, ---recording artist Bobby Vinton, ---recording artist George Benson, ---TV
    game show host Bill Cullen, ---the original Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon), ---Andy of
    Mayberry's Howard Sprague (Jack Dodson,) ---the original Riddler (Frank Gorshin,
    of the televised Batman series), ---World Series champion manager, Terry Francona,

--- numerous NFL standouts such as -Dan Marino, -Joe Montana, -Heisman Trophy
     winner Tony Dorsett, -Oakland Raider legend George Blanda, -Jet running back
     Curtis Martin, -Jet super bowl quarterback Joe Namath, -all-pro lineman Jimbo
     Covert, -all-pro lineman Bill Fralic, -Super Bowl coach, Bill Cowher, -Super
     Bowl coach, Mike Ditka, --- and others.
    Plus, there's an underground aquifer called the Wisconsin Glacial Flow, located
    54 feet below.  It extends throughout various Southwestern Pennsylvanian areas.
The historic and renovated Smithfield Street Bridge
           Pittsburgh had the largest airport on earth in 1962, and even in the 1970s, the
           Conway Yards (located 21 miles northwest of downtown Pittsburgh) was the
           largest push button railroad in the world.
A surrealistic city preserved in plate glass.
If you don't realize to what this refers,
look at the reflection in the plate glass.
           The most notable aspect about Pittsburgh is that it was the king of steel, even
           when it came to the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washing-
           ton Bridge, the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the Golden
           Gate Bridge, as well as its own buildings.  Of course, Bethlehem Steel, in the
           eastern sector of Pennsylvania, also supplied steel to the aforesaid architectural

River boats docked at the Monongahela at night.
            Pittsburgh was declared the most livable city in America as far back as 1979,
            the year when Pittsburgh won the World Series and the Super Bowl.  Ironical-
            ly, in 1985, when the Pittsburgh steel industry was being destroyed, and when
            the United States became the top debtor nation on earth,  Pittsburgh was once
            again declared the most livable city in the United States.

            A couple decades later, in 2007,  Rand-McNally again declared Pittsburgh the
            most livable city in America, as did the Economist Magazine in 2009 and 2010.
            Forbes Magazine would then declare Pittsburgh the most livable American city
            in 2011.

            Below is a pictorial of Pittsburgh.  The photos here are dated between October
            2012 and July 2013.
The Three Rivers Confluence at Night.
Four Gateway Center
Two PNC Plaza
The view from the Monongahela side of the city.
Steeler Stadium which happens to be called Heinz Stadium.

The view of Heinz Field and the Three Rivers Confluence from Mount Washington
Fort Pitt Bridge.  Prime Minister William Pitt was known as
the Great Commoner.  He was also the first Earl of Chatham.
Whereas NYC is Gotham City, Pittsburgh is Chatham City.

Historic St. Boniface, on East Street, near route 279.
Forbes Avenue, en route to the world famous Cathedral of Learning.
A photo snapped while standing on the borderline of Gateway Center and Point State Park.
A closer view of the center of the photo above.
In Pittsburgh, the bridges are as close as next-door neighbors.
The Federated Building near the official federal building and the federal courthouse.
One Oxford Center
University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning.
Entering the downtown from Oakland, where Pitt's campus is located.

Should you be slightly interested in seeing more recent photographs of the former steel capitol of the world ... the city of bridges ... the land which carries the imprint of the Great Ice Age so much so that it conceals the Wisconsin Glacial Flow 54 feet below it ... the multiple Super Bowl trophy depository ... the home of a few Stanley Cups ... and the metropolis of many technological firsts, the following might quench your curiosity a bit more.

                                      The Pittsburgh Three River Confluence in Pictures

January 26, 2024

Pittsburgh's Three River Confluence & Nearby Area in Pictures

Greetings Earthlings: 

                     This post is a continuation of that post.   ===>   The City of Many Firsts

The actual center point of the Three Rivers Confluence.
Take note of the width when viewing it at point zero range.

Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Confluence at night ... on a winter's night.
The Confluence as seen from the bank of the Monongahela.  This is a side view of it.
Western Massachusetts has a three river confluence comprising the Ware, Quaboag, and
Chicopee Rivers.  A rusted walkway crosses the confluence there, and not much of any-
thing else is nearby.

The famous Triveni Sangama in India isn't a tri-river confluence.  It only consists in the
Ganges and Yamuna Rivers.  The third river is the mythical/invisible Saraswati River.
If it did exist, it ceased doing so in the past 4,000 to 8,000 to 12,000 to 16,000 years.

The Missouri River Confluence in Montana comprises the Jefferson and Madison Rivers
converging with each other and becoming the Missouri River.  This confluence is in a state
park where the nearest town, Three Forks, has a population of 1,869 people.  This means
that there isn't any potential to develop the waterways for engineering innovations, as well
as developing any type of metropolis.

The Trois-Rivières in Quebec comprises two rivers, namely the Saint-Maurice and Saint 
Lawrence Rivers.  An island causes the three rivers effect.

Croatia has a notable confluence in an extremely natural setting.  Such settings are still
needed throughout the earth.  Planet Earth still needs oxygen-producing greenery and
clean water.

Győr, in Hungary, has a three-rivers confluence, comprising the the Danube, Rába, and

There is also the cave river in Slovenia.  Known as the Pivka, it converges with the Rak
Creek and forms the Unica River.  The cave river is a tourist attraction.

In the Sudan, at Khartoum, the White Nile and the Blue Nile make for the starting point
of the world famous Nile River.

Downtown Pittsburgh; the sector near the Confluence ... near the Point.
Beneath this land and throughout the surrounding vicinity is a fourth river.
It's an underground aquifer called the Wisconsin Glacial Flow, 54 feet below.
In the Southeastern German city of Passau, the Inn River and Ilz River converge into the
Danube.  At Passau, there's a notable university founded in 1970 which is actually an ex-
tension of the much older one founded in 1622.  That university is famous for its schools
of Economics, Law, Theology, and Cultural Studies.

Passau was also noted for its craftsmanship of swords so much so that the a weapon
bearing the insignia of the Passau wolf carried prestige during the Renaissance era.
The same town was also famous for the 1555 Peace of Augsburg and the post-WWII
Displaced Person's Camp, American Sector.

The width of the Allegheny River at the point where it becomes the Ohio ... River.
This is only half of the Confluence.  The Monongahela side is behind this scene.

Then came the development and incorporation of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  As was as out-
lined in another pictorial, Pittsburgh has been the site of many technological innovations, as
well as six Super Bowl trophies and other athletic championships.

Add to this a list of stellar athletes, five Pulitzer Prize winners, stars of sound and screen,
and noted authors ranging from baseball legend Honus Wagner to Gene Kelly to Academy
Award winner Shirley Jones to Perry Como to  Rachel Carson to Gertrude Stein to dance
choreographer Martha Graham to Billy Eckstein to Mr. Rogers to Jeff Goldblum to George
Blanda to Babe Parilli to Joe Montana to Joe Namath to Dan Marino to Mike Ditka to Bill
Cowher to Curtis Martin to Tony Dorsett to Michael Keaton to Andy Warhol to Andy of 
Mayberry's Howard Sprague to the Riddler of the televised Batman series to the original
Agent 99 of Get Smart fame to comedian Marty Allen.

Incidentally, proof that the televised Batman series (starring Adam West) was a designed
to be a comedy is that a rich tycoon in the show was named John Paul Spaghetti, a spoof
on John Paul Getty.  The other proof was when Batman and Catwoman shared a malt in
a malt shop, while sitting at the same table.

Included with Pittsburgh life is the developed craft of occasionally driving up and down
sloped streets during inclement road conditions.  This consists in spinning wheels while
going uphill and sliding past a stop sign or red light, with the brakes in use, while travel-
ing downhill.

This craft additionally includes drivers throughout the city who make room for this type
of thing, thereby preventing accidents.  The occasional brick roads in the city are slippery
in the rain, as well as in snow.  So, snow skidding is not unseen during Pittsburgh winters.
This translates into the Pittsburgh pro-democrat, pro-labor mindset.  It goes as follows:
The Pittsburgh way is to give Leeway and adapt.  This is why the 1990s were an aberra-
tion.  For those not familiar, police abuse was rampant in Pittsburgh in the 90s, and Pitts-
burgh housed one of the most corrupt and ruthless bishops in America, as is outlined at:


Pittsburgh is the City of Bridges.  It was once the Steel City.  In fact, it was even called the
City of Champions after the Pirates and the Steelers won the Super Bowl and World Series
in the same calendar year.  This was also the general time span when the Pitt Panthers won
the NCAA football crown, followed by the Pitt Panther basketball team being a long-term
contender and occasional Big East champion.

Before the Pittsburgh area became the king of steel, it was
heavily engaged in the production of glass, meaning that it
was previously the City of Glass.  However, Pittsburgh is
more essentially the City of hills, inclines, and sharp slopes.
The three rivers which mark Pittsburgh, therefore, comprise
an aquatic valley ... a glacial valley.  The Wisconsin Glacial
Flow makes for the fourth river, located 54 feet below the
Pittsburgh vicinity.

As far as goes the reputation of Pittsburgh being a blue collar
town filled with people who can barely speak English in any
appreciable fluency, Pittsburgh is the home of the prestigious
Carnegie-Mellon University, Pitt Med School, and University
of Pittsburgh Press that publishes the yearly winners of two
major literary awards.
Add to the Pittsburgh education equation Duquesne Univ., Chatham Univ., Carlow
Univ., La Roche College, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the Cordon Bleu Institute
of Culinary Arts, Point Park College, and the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics,
as well as worthwhile trade schools.

When it comes to the blue collar realm, a Pittsburgh area construction worker needs
added athleticism and dexterity, due to the slopes and inclines of the area, as well as
due to the older parts of the city where one encounters narrow alleys and a closely
knitted infrastructure which makes demolition work and heavy equipment operating
a surgical task at times.  Plus, bridge construction and repair work always requires
added diligence, even though workers are pacing themselves and don't seem to be
working rapidly.

Now, the problem with Pittsburgh is that it's near West Virginia, and therefore, the
rural outskirts are plagued with the Hatfields & McCoys confrontational mindset.
Pittsburgh has its metropolitan culture, its blue collar culture, and an occasional
rural antagonist who is entirely misplaced, quite isolationist, and feisty at times.
They are people locked in the late 18th and early 19th Century mindset.  Plus,
Western Maryland is backward and isolationist, too.  In fact, in the 21st Century,
I saw a Western Maryland billboard, located near a convenience store, telling the
reader that the pope is the anti-Christ.  The interesting thing is that there have been
over 260 popes, but there can only be one anti-Christ.  So, which pope was the
anti-Christ?  None the less, the outskirts of Pittsburgh has its backward mindset.

Below is a pictorial of Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Confluence and the nearby terrain
known as Gateway Center.  When you add the Confluence with Gateway Center, you
have what is referred to as the Golden Triangle.  Here's the Confluence photographed
at a distance close enough to literally touch the Monongahela, Ohio, and Allegheny
Rivers.  Gateway Center is also represented here.
The fountain in the background marks the location of the Confluence of the
Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers.  The underpass seen in silhouette
form will take you directly to the Confluence that Pittsburghers call the Point.

A view of the Confluence when standing on the Monongahela side of the Point.
The Allegheny side of the Three Rivers Confluence.
Behind this bridge is the major league baseball stadium.
Barge traffic still passes through the Confluence regularly.
You can literally sail to New Orleans from here.
When you're at the Confluence and turn around, this is what you see.
One of the operative inclines, on the Monongahela side of the city.
This is the one closest to the Confluence.  It actually does carry passengers.
Riverboat paddle wheel
The same Duquesne Incline at a different angle and closer distance.
Heinz Field, the National Football League stadium of the city.
The Confluence, in relation to Heinz Field.
Docked river boats on the Monongahela River.
Twelve to eighteen blocks further is my place of birth.
After passing through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and Fort Pitt Bridge, this is the greeting you see.
The surreal city in plate glass.
Of the 700 to 900 photos I've taken and posted in the past two years, this is my favorite.
The same building at a slightly further distance.
One of the Gateway Towers, near the KDKA studios.
KDKA was the world's first commercial radio station.
The official marker of the Confluence's central point.  Mention of Point of Conflict
on the marker is a reminder that battles were fought here.  A strategic blockhouse
which was part of an 18th Century fort, still stands near the Confluence.
The Fort Pitt Blockhouse, formerly known as the Fort Duquesne Blockhouse.
It was pivotal during  the "French & Indian" War and Pontiac's 1763 Rebellion.
The British captured Fort Duquesne and the blockhouse in 1758.
At the Three Rivers Confluence, the original colonies
style of American flag is flown, comprising 13 stars.
The front view of the same blockhouse.
Near the blockhouse is an indoor museum.  Here's an exhibit,
placed outside, with a facsimile of Old Glory and its 13 stars.
A different canon displayed outside of the Fort Pitt Museum on a different day.
The other common sight from the Three Rivers Confluence is the entrance to the
Fort Pitt Tunnel.  The hills in the Pittsburgh area are sometimes so steep that a few
tunnels going through the hillsides needed to be built.  This included the Liberty Tunnel
and the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, as well as the Wabash Tunnel which was originally designed for trains. 

                                                       As a parting reminder, via rote: 
                           The Ice Age's Wisconsin Glacial Flow is situated 54 feet below.