A few months ago, I had a day off after working Bill Clinton's visit to WVU's commencement. So I do what you do on a rainy day. I threw some hummus and bananas into a lunchbox, drove in the rain for an hour and a half and crossed a bridge or two before driving toward Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art.
The place had atmosphere that was strengthened by the dark skies and mist clinging to the tall Art Deco buildings. While driving close to the riverfront you'll come across a striking tower that will occasionally get lost behind other buildings and then reappear. It's the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. It looks as if it's made of stone, and it's what they would have called in the 1920s or 30s a skyscraper. It sits beside a tree-lined boulevard that passes by the museum.
In Pittsburgh and Morgantown, bridges crisscross one river and another and another before making their ways back to the other side of the bank. It's like being on the Seine and saving on airfare. Though to be perfectly honest, I have not been to Paris. I just know how important bridges are.
Inside the museum was a small statue of the goddess Diana, my favorite of course, in bronze. She's got her bow at the ready and she's in mid-air, joined by her hounds in suspension. Her statue also happens to be in a high room lined on one side with the metallic deco mural of the Four Winds that adorned an ocean liner earlier this century. For me going to Pittsburgh is like going back in time because of that room, and the easy accessibility of prosciutta and pierogies.
The Diana room and the Tiffany glass room are my favorite. Well, there is a plastic sandwich on the wall that's pretty cool, too. In a sort of meaningless 1990s way.