Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Pittsburgh, Virginia and D.C.

Okay, Rachel and I have some interesting stories from time spent in Pittsburgh, Virginia, and Washington D.C. from the past two weeks. I have not had the time to talk about these.

Rach and I got into Pittspuke the night of Easter. We decided to go take a walk downtown, and parked in the PPG courtyard. (A beautiful glassy building castle-like structure in the middle of the city) We parked the car, and looked over to see a handful of homeless guys sitting on the park benches. We decided to go into McDonald's and buy them all some dinner. We came out with four Big Mac meals and gave them away to the guys who were on the sidewalks. I was happy to give them something to eat for Easter dinner, but I feel miserable about it too... mainly because we just finished watching Supersize Me. We then went for a walk through a few streets and over one of the many many bridges in Pittsburgh. I snapped a couple photos because I was trying to be my brother Tim. One of the pictures really hit me, not because of the picture but because of what it was a picture of. On either side of the bridge, the builders had gone so far as to create these tiny little miner gargoyle things that really hit me. You never see stuff like that anymore, and I wish people who were involved in construction projects now adays cared about stuff like that.

It's out of focus, but you can see what I'm talking about.

This is the bridge we walked on. All the steel crisscrossing
and the way the road bends because of the taughtness of the bridge...
it was fascinating to me.

The obligatory Political photo.

This is the Rachel I sometimes think of when I'm not near her.
Out in great big Pittsburgh, all alone and kind of small.

Rachel was not comfortable with me taking pictures because she was afraid that I would get mugged. There weren't a lot of people around the city that night, and it was getting dark, and we were dressed pretty nice, and I was snapping pictures, and we are both very, very little, so she just felt like we were targets. Which led into a conversation about fear generated by lies told by the media... and led into a conversation about my insecurity concerning how small I am... oh well...


This weekend we left for Newport News Virginia. (Near Virginia Beach) where my old college roommate Matt Peters was getting married. He was a bit nervous, understandably.

Peters at the rehearsal, being his normal, casual, take it easy self.

I love this guy. If you don't know Matt Peters very well, I feel badly for you. I think everyone needs a carefree, loving person in their lives just like Peters. I miss him a lot because he is out in VA, but it was wonderful to see him for a few days. Congrats Matt.

If you are ever at a wedding and someone is taking a picture with the groom, don't be that guy in the background with your fingers in the air. I hate him. This is the only picture I have of Matt at the wedding, and now there is some moron's fingers in the picture from here to eternity. Thanks a lot Uncle whoever you are.

A shot of the beautiful bead work on the dress Rachel wore to the wedding.
I really like that dress.

After the wedding Rachel and I decided to head east to see the ocean. We found a place called Buckroe beach and walked next to the ocean for a few minutes before getting in the car. It was the first time I had ever taken a romantic walk on the beach... I just wish it could have lasted longer.

The batteries died right after taking this, so I couldn't take another picture.
Thank goodness for photo editing software. Before I toyed around with this,
you couldn't see our faces at all.

Washington D.C.
After a quick stop at the Atlantic Ocean, we got in the car and drove into Washington D.C. where we met my friend Cristin for lunch. We wanted to go eat at a place Steve Garber (Author of The Fabric of Faithfulness) had mentioned was a good place to eat...

But it's closed on Sundays.

So we went to a Carribean Grill instead. Quaint little shop. It was very nice. I ate fried plantains for the first time in my life, and baked Yuca for the first time in my life. Both of which I really enjoyed. I want to try to make them sometime.

I snapped a few pictures in the room because the colors were just irresistable. The pictures don't capture it.

The shop was just loaded with character, and I snapped some pics.
Rachel didn't want her picture taken.

She got fed up with me, the incessant shutterbug,
and gave me her Sean Penn impersonation.

Then we started on our way home. On the way the road dipped down in front of us, and there were these huge valleys where you could see for what felt like miles and miles and miles. It was so beautiful, and I tried to get a photo as we drove by at nine thousand miles an hour (Rachel was driving) but the end result looked more like post drop Hiroshima than a beautiful scene. In order to make it feel more like Hiroshima, I made the picture black and white.

Believe it or not, this was really an absolutley gorgeous scenic overlook.

Well we ended up finding a small scenic overlook off the highway where we could actually stop and play around a bit, so we did. We parked the car and got out to walk in the grass. It turns out that this spot was the site of a civil war battle that saved Washington D.C. from being taken by the South. I need to read up on my American History. (Even though I hate it.)

Rachel getting ready to eat a dandelion.

Rachel laid down in the grass for a while.

It's only now that I realize, it is very possible that the grass she is laying in here was the same grass a man died in during the Civil War. It reminds me of the Carl Sandburg Poem below.

By Carl Sandburg

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work
I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass.
Let me work.


Anonymous said...

i must admit I feel a bit jealous. You get tto take all these trips to beautiful places, and it seems that the two of you are truly enjoying each others company. With all your trips to Pittsburgh, you should take more pictures of the city in black and white so it also looks like post Hiroshima. I'm happy for you and your future wife.


Joshua said...

Ahh... Pittsburgh, Post-Apocolypse... some thoughts are tender enough to warm even the most callous of hearts.

Katie said...

hey josh you should take pictures of pittsburgh at night along the highway, its just beautiful when everythings all lighted. im glad that you and rachel are enjoying yourselves. you need to take more pictures of where you live, so i can see what its like. maybe i should start my own blog. i was thinking about not doing one cus i was afraid i wouldnt be able to keep up, but since im on everyday now looking at my brothers i might. but im glad to see that im not the only one in the fam thats traveling anymore. its great.

Mandy said...

Joshua - I am so happy for you, she is truly beautiful and though you are always happy when I am around you (becuase I am around you) I have never seen you look happier.

I want to meet her!