I visited Pittsburgh for the first time about seven years ago. We were in a U-Haul carrying one of my dad's lathes (no one else has those? no?), I was wedged in between my parents in the front seat, we were doing a 14 hour trip and to top it all off, I developed a post-op infection in one side of my face from a recent wisdom tooth removal. I looked so stupid, I almost wish there were photos.

As we drove through Pennsylvania on our jolly way, we somehow ended up on the edges of Pittsburgh (this is where it gets fuzzy, possibly due to the last-minute pharmacy run that we had to make for my lopsided face), where we had dinner with the lathe-seller at a sub-par restaurant that had been referred as one of the "best restaurants in Pittsburgh". We left late at night, driving down eerily quiet back roads as I nursed my throbbing jaw with a lukewarm cloth.

All this to say that my hopes were not terribly high for our visit to Pittsburgh. But oh, it was lovely. We were so pleasantly surprised by the cleanliness, the history and the culture of the city. So I'm sorry, Pittsburgh. My lopsided face and I misjudged you all those years ago.