Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


From Michigan to Ohio and on to Pennsylvania, our Midwest baseball tour reached its final city in Pittsburgh. We stayed in a very cute old airbnb in an industrial part of The Strip. 

Spotted on the street nearby, in Chinese: can’t return to the past, can’t see the future.

We swung by the City of Asylum houses on Sampsonia Way. City of Asylum was co-founded by Henry Reese, who was inspired by a talk by writer Salmon Rushdie in 1997 to provide a safe space and conditions for writers seeking asylum. They provide housing and a stipend for writers from around the world to live and work here in Pittsburgh while in exile from their home countries. 

Next, a visit to Pittsburgh’s famous Duquesne Incline, a cute little funicular that takes you up the hill for a perfect view of this city of bridges.

Taiwanese food for dinner.

Next morning, De Fer Coffee and Tea to start.

A stroll around The Strip.

Love, Pittsburgh. A very cute boutique featuring local artists.

Primanti Bros. Where you get cole slaw and fries INSIDE your sandwich. A classic.

Point State Park, where three rivers meet.

Pittsburgh loves their Steelers! Kind of smart to have the same color scheme for both the Steelers and the Pirates… all our professional teams in the Bay have completely different colors.

We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting The Clemente Museum, a private museum dedicated to the life and memory of Roberto Clemente. It’s open to the public only via ticketed, guided tours, which I highly recommend. I went in knowing nothing about Clemente but soon learned about the legendary Puerto Rican ballplayer who played in Pittsburgh and died a tragic death.  He died at 38 in a plane crash while trying to deliver aid to victims of the Nicaragua earthquake.

The museum is housed in a decommissioned fire station, and the whole thing is owned by a photographer who befriended the Clemente family after Roberto’s death and decided to take on commemorating his legacy. The fire station was the photographer’s studio space, and he gradually converted it into a museum on the first floor, while the second remains his working studio space.

The photograph split into four frames on the right depicts Clemente jumping for a baseball in right field… with clouds that look like angel wings behind him. Eerie to see after his premature death. In a way, it’s this image that spurred this whole museum, since the photographer displayed it for an event hosted by Clemente’s family after his death, and the temporary gallery eventually turned into this permanent exhibit.

Some priceless baseball cards on this table. And some beautiful wedding photos and lots of other memorabilia throughout the exhibit.

Then it was time to make our way toward the ballpark. But first, some duckpin bowling! We first spotted the words “duckpin bowling” in Cleveland, but we didn’t have time to actually play there. Luckily, we found out that there was a venue right by the Pittsburgh stadium. It’s like bowling, but everything is shrunken down, including the ball, the lanes, and the pins. Very cute.

A very picturesque skyline right next to the ballpark.

Manny Sanguillén, teammate of Roberto Clemente back in the day, still hangs out at his namesake Manny’s BBQ at the ballpark. He was nice enough to sign our baseball stamp book!

One of the prettiest ballpark views.

We weren’t actually rooting for the Pirates… we came in Mets gear to root for the away team. The Pirates weren’t very good this year, so there were just as many Mets as Pirates fans. The parrot mascot tried to start a Pirates chant and accidentally started “Let’s go Mets” instead.

Excellent seats for hanging out with mascots and the pierogies from the pierogi race.

A very lovely visit to a lovely city. 21 ballparks checked off! Looking forward to 22-30.

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco. She compulsively documents and blogs all of her daily adventures, even in quarantine. Follow her on instagram and view more of her professional work at annawu.com.