Monday, August 30, 2004

Since my folks have moved closer to the city of Pittsburgh for the few months before they head south with the rest of the snowbirds to Florida, I took Rt. 22 on the way back from visiting. I hadn't been on the old "Ho Chi Minh Trail" for at least five years, and things have changed a lot. For one thing, downtown Pittsburgh has changed. I haven't been through the city since they rebuilt the Lawrence Convention Center, and boy, howdy, does it change the skyline. Freaked me out a bit - I kind of swerved a bit on the Veterans Memorial Bridge while I gaped at the unexpected, huge, tent-like structure. Looks sort of like a steel rack of BBQ ribs.

The endless construction on Rt. 22 between Ebensburg and Murraysville isn't anywhere closer to completion. In the meantime, the businesses and buildings along the route continue to decay and fade. Many minor buildings, businesses, and homes have been abandoned along the route, and more than a few double-wides were disappearing under the burden of runaway vines and vegetation. Kind of dispiriting. That end of the state looks to be dying. Even the warehouses look undermaintained and decrepit.

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