Last June, I boarded a plane to Pittsburgh with one suitcase, fully intending to move back to Boston in August. Nine months later, I am now coming to the end of what has become a very long move to the city I have decided to call my home. This week I am packing up and moving again in order to establish a more permanent residence in the heart of the city, and I’m reflecting on what caused me to integrate so well here.
I was charmed by Pittsburgh immediately. I loved the jargon and the silly n@ bumper stickers I saw everywhere. I loved attending games at PNC Park and the wonderful summer evenings where daylight lingered until 9pm. I loved the hidden treasures tucked away in the various neighborhoods of the East End. The city was very walkable and much cleaner and greener than general US History would have one believe. There was just this sense of great pride that drew me in, but also a great sense of humor to the city that I had to discover for myself. For instance this sign is a great sense of amusement to out-of-towners. Only here does it have any context!
My role at AlphaGraphics as an Account Manager has introduced me to a Pittsburgh I didn’t know, rich in the arts and culture. At work, I enjoy an insider’s view of the city, seeing the invitations and event signage coming in for print every day, and I’ve had the opportunity meet great clients who are passionate about their work and contributions to the city.
This past winter was certainly brutal, but it did not shake my determination to stay here. As a New Englander, I thought I was expert in cold weather. However, I had grown up expecting winter to mean primarily heavy snowfall, to be cleared away in a few hours. I was not prepared for the brutal wind chills, a poorly insulated house, the dangerous black ice, and worst of all, the persistent grey skies and darkness.
Now that we are cautiously approaching the spring, I am catching a glimpse of the Pittsburgh I fell in love with last summer. I have returned home to New England many times this past year, but I am now always finding myself looking forward to my flight back to Pittsburgh, if only for the glimpse of the city coming out of the Fort Pitt tunnels. Pittsburgh has been very hospitable to me and I especially owe a great thank you to all my team members at AlphaGraphics who have all played a role in making this home for me!
By: Julia Richardson, Account Manager