No matter what your thoughts are on this pandemic, no one can disagree that we are living in strange times right now. Everything seems to change day-by-day and just when you get used to the most current “new normal”, it gets swept out with yesterday’s dust and in flies a change we didn’t see coming.
It’s a head-scratcher for sure but just when it seems unmanageable, this beautiful city with all of its even more beautiful inhabitants shows up in community, camaraderie, and with the message that we are all in this together and we will persevere. There’s no other place I’d rather be than right here with my people (OK…maybe a little villa in the Italian countryside wouldn’t be so bad right now…or at any time, come to think of it).
It’s way too easy right now to feel cooped up and locked in, so let’s talk about all the things our dear city has to offer during this time of separation, shall we? There really is so much going on and so many wonderful things to take advantage of right now and what has been so interesting to me is seeing all the things I thought were long gone. Kids riding bikes, parks packed with picnic-goers, drive-in theaters filled to the max, sidewalks and bike trails showing more signs of life than I’ve seen in a long while. I suppose we’ve been forced into a space of slowness and though that may have hurt at first, it appears most of us are now pretty thankful for the push.
With all that said, here is my list of now-favorite things to do in the ‘Burgh in this time of Covid.
Bike riding. I have always loved to jump on a bike but with all the congestion, getting around could be tough during certain times of the day. Now, pedaling around the city and the urban neighborhoods are one of my favorite things to do. Everyone is out and about and all with smiles on their face while enjoying the breeze.
Walking. Same as biking, walks now seem slower, less purposeful, or exercise-driven. The city sidewalks are full of new discoveries and I can’t help myself but want to take it all in.
Drive-in theaters. Like I said above, some oldies but goodies are coming back and since regular theaters are a bust right now, drive-ins are all the rage and I cannot begin to tell you how much I didn’t even realize I missed this delight! Camp chairs, coolers, and hot dogs. That’s my new recipe for an evening well spent.
Front porches. Maybe you haven’t noticed this as much as I have, but front porches are the new super-duper cool hangouts. With fewer and fewer places to go, people are becoming better at home-dwelling and turning their front spaces into neighborhood hangouts. I’ve seen new furniture in front lawns and now even have 2 rope swings hanging from a tree in my own yard. I had no idea I actually liked my neighbors! What a surprise treat!
Visiting all the Pittsburgh Parks. I don’t know if you know this, but Pittsburgh has some seriously beautiful parks. I know, we all get so busy with our lives we forget that Mother Nature has some pretty spectacular sites for us to take advantage of and I’ve never seen the parks so busy. I have found some of the most awesome hidden gems when I decided that my family and I would take one new park in each week. Good walks. Good sites. Even better conversation. Can’t beat it.
Picnicking. Again—I referenced this above and it’s my new “thing”. My gal pals and I still want to hang out, have wine, and nibble on some treats without having to worry about this Covid business and we have found that a blanket and some grass beats out a restaurant any day of the week. We don’t feel like we’re being rushed out, it’s exponentially cheaper, a ton quieter, and the air quality can’t be beat.
Taking more days off. A friend recently said to me that he didn’t realize how unnecessarily busy his life and the life of this family was until he was forced to stop it all dead in its tracks. Now that he’s had a chance to taste a little bit of a slower life, he has no intention of letting it get so busy again. When he said that, I realized that before Covid, I hadn’t taken a legit day off in months. Now, one of my most favorite things to do is to take a random day off, just because.
Getting to know the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh. I love taking in the sites of neighborhoods and towns when I'm on vacation and I realized how silly it was that I wasn't engaging in that same activity in the actual city I live in. Now, every few weeks I pick a new neighborhood and just explore. I walk the streets, check out the shops, walk through any local park, and of course, eat local. I have found some awesome spots we have returned to already time and time again.
Kayaking. This is something I always wanted to spend more time doing, but either couldn’t find the time or anyone to play with. Seems like everyone is able to find more time now and I have thoroughly enjoyed some fun kayak days out with my gal pals, slowly gliding along as we chat and enjoy the water.
Enjoying takeout. Before Covid, takeout was mostly used as a way to quickly get some food for a hungry brood after a long day. Now, it’s a way to slow down and enjoy myself and any company I’m with. Now it’s ordering ahead and making sure to get a frozen margarita to-go, walking along the city and ending up at the point, sitting on the steps and eating tacos while talking and looking out over the water. That’s a takeout experience I can get on board with pretty regularly.
I’d love to hear how you’re spending your time and what new things you’ve adopted since the pandemic. Make sure to leave some comments and share!
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