Sunday, September 11, 2005


i got up very early this morning in the hopes of being able to make it to the zoo and back to my hotel by 12:30, for a cab to pick me up and take me downtown to meet the airport shuttle at 1:40. my plans were thrwarted, however, when no one really knew how to get to the zoo, and it's a rougly 40 minute bus ride out there, apparently, with a roughly 40 minute bus ride back. no one knew how often the buses ran, and it all just seemed too risky. so i decided to explore my North Shore neighborhood a little more, since i was too afraid to at night.

the Carnegie Science Center is around here somewhere, so i headed out for that. despite there being signs for it everywhere, with arrows pointing you where to go, i never did find it, and walked in circles. i asked 3 people, but none of them seemed to know exactly how to get there. which i think is really weird. i feel like in Austin, for instance, almost anyone could tell you precisely how to get anywhere, especially if that thing happened to be in the same neighborhood where these people seemingly lived. so i tried to go to the Children's Museum, which is beautiful and old and made of stone, but it didn't open until noon. the library was also closed (incidentally, the library up here on the North Shore was the first public library in the US, donated by Mr. Carnegie, as everything up here seems to be), so i decided to go the Aviary Center, which was in the middle of a lush, green park with a gigantic fountain. i loved the Aviary, and my heart almost burst watching all these precious birds in their replicated habitats just doing their thing. and i realized that i am not, in fact, a bitter person, which was comforting, and i have tiny, adorable 7" owls to thank for that. i wanted to cuddle up with them they were so cute. and one of them was all sleepy and kept squinting his big eyes closed. the other one was staring at me. i loved all the birds, and they were just amazing.

there's a Pittsburgh Steelers game today, and the stadium is about 6 blocks from my hotel, so my neighborhood (i say "my" neighborhood) is crawling with Steelers fans, all decked out in their jerseys and carrying coolers. unfortunately, however, i was only able to find about 2 cafes within about 10 blocks of my hotel, and they were both closed! at 11 on sunday morning. only the bars were open. very weird. it must be really boring to live up here if there's nowhere to go to get coffee or breakfast on sunday morning. or maybe i just don't know where to go. as i was walking around, i passed an apartment with a big, white, very fluffly kitty poking his head underneath the curtain of the open front window to look out. it was staring at me, and i said hi to it, and it mewed at me. it was very sweet. i almost took a picture of it, but then decided not to. but it made me smile.

small moments. the older i get, the more and more i appreciate them.

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