Mittwoch, 18. Mrz 2009
Meeting in March in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh does not really open up to me (es erschließt sich mir nicht wirklich). The second largest city of Pennsylvania has little more than 300000 inhabitants. It is located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers, forming the Ohio River, surrounded by some hills. In the last century the city has had a boom in steel production. Accordingly steel is omnipresent, such as in the case of several steel bridges. Although, experiencing traffic jam when entering the city, it is rather ample and seems somehow empty and not as busy as New York. One reason might be that Pittsburgh lost half of its population since 1950.
Education takes an important role. It is the home of various colleges and universities. When we arrived at the bus station and took a cab to the hotel, due to a misunderstanding, we did a sight seeing tour at night. It included the universitary area and we saw the so called Cathedral of Learning, which is part of the University of Pittsburgh's campus. It is a strange building completed 1937, which represents a crossover of a church and a small skyscraper. It seems like it is used for educational purposes.

I used the opportunity to visit the Andy Warhol Museum which is located close to the Convention Center. From the NY museums and galleries I already have had an idea of Warhols work, also because of Basquiat, Velvet Underground, and so on. Still it was interesting to see many of his works and to learn about his life, including that he was born in Pittsburgh, where he also studied. He wrote: "Buying is much more American than thinking, and I'm as American as they come" (Andy Warhol).

However, I found more interesting the Vader Project, an exhibition shown in the same museum. One hundred artists were asked to reimaginge Darth Vader helmets. In liked it. Darth Vader achieved the status of a basic element of US American culture.

in the Bus to Pittsburgh (aka more torture)