6 Reasons To Visit Pittsburgh

6 Reasons To Visit Pittsburgh

Cry me a river (or 3), build a bridge, and get over it
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There are a lot of amazing places to visit in America, and the city of Pittsburgh is definitely worth a trip or two! It is known as "the city of bridges" because it has over 400 that help people travel across the three rivers: The Allegheny, The Monongahela, and The Ohio.

Do not let the word "city" trick you though! Pittsburgh exceeded my expectations when I visited the past weekend for an Honors Conference, and I hope it will exceed yours if you decide to go (which you totally should)!

1. Climb Mount Washington

This refurbished mine cart, known as the Monongahela (Muh-non-ga-heel-a) Incline. was built in 1870 by John Endres. It travels at six miles per hour and can take you up and down Mount Washington in about five minutes! You pay a small fee and you get a great view of Downtown Pittsburgh, the Monongahela River, and a whole lot of bridges. Here is a link to more details about it's fares and times: http://www.portauthority.org/paac/SchedulesMaps/In...

The Duquesne (pronounced "do-cane") Incline can also be utilized to get up and down Mt. Washington. It opened in 1877 and restored in 1963.The view from this cart is beautiful as well. Riders can see Point State Park and its grand fountain.

2. Visit the Andy Warhol Museum

The collection includes 900 paintings, 100 sculptures, 2,000 works on paper; more than 1,000 published and unique prints; and 4,000 photographs!

3. Experience the amazing architecture

Shown above is a panorama that I took of the Allegheny County Courthouse. The city is filled with so many diverse building styles. There are older buildings like this one right next to modern places made of glass panels; it is odd but interesting at the same time.

4. Be amazed (but kind of freaked out) by how quiet it is


While I was walking through downtown, I realized that for a city...Pittsburgh is beautifully quiet. There were no honking horns or constant sirens going on. It was very enjoyable for a person like me who is from a "rural-suburban" area.

5. See a game at Heinz Field...


I did not, but I admired the stadium from across the river while I visited Point Park and it made me feel cool...but that's just me.

6. Walk over a lot of bridges


See how many bridges you can find and walk across them. (This is where you say "Challenge accepted!) There are five bridges in this picture alone! It was a cloudy day when I went up the incline, but I still enjoyed the view.


There are several platforms along the walk between the two inclines, which allow for some really cool pictures.

Happy Travels!


Cover Image Credit: Caitlyn Conselyea

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Be White Feminists

I am white. I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist."

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Preamble 1: I'm not sure if you're aware, but it's a humid, grey April afternoon and being a woman comes with extra challenges, to which I definitely did not agree but they were probably in some fine print that I skimmed. Bummer. Anyway, feminism! Feminism's place in 2019 is contested but I am coming from a place of having heard many of the sides; given that, it would be lovely if you would hear my side.

Preamble 2: Before I get into this topic, I want to acknowledge the place of privilege from which I come. Look at my fully Irish name, I am white. Believing in social, economic, and political gender equality, I am a feminist. But I try very hard to avoid being a "white feminist". As a student at Texas A&M;, a university that sometimes strays into homogeneity in both thought and demographic, I've been noticing a pattern in many conversations concerning gender equality. The pattern is that of white feminism.

White feminism is a Western-styled picking and choosing of feminism that entails a set of beliefs tolerating the ignorance of issues that mostly impact women of color.

Contrast this philosophy with intersectional feminism, which recognizes multiple identities and experiences within us, while promoting more united gender equality. Without intersectionality, our essence cannot stand against oppression and stand for equality without acknowledgment of the nuances of different historical struggles. As women, we face difficulties, but not all women face the same oppressions and marginalizations – and that cannot be overlooked in narratives.

As far as gendered-based violence goes, the Justice Department estimates that one in five women and one in seventy-one men will experience rape in the US. However, here's where the necessary nuances come in.

Women and men of color are more likely to experience this form of violence than white women or men. Women and men who are LGBTQ+are more likely to experience this form of violence than straight women or men. Lower income women and men are more likely to experience this form of violence than women or men in the highest income brackets.

So, yes, one in five women and one in seventy-one men are rape victims. But quoting that statistic without disambiguating the data can mislead readers or listeners of the ways that different identities amalgamate into this final number. Essentially, disproportional oppressions exist. All people are at risk for gendered violence, specifically rape, in America, but some people are more at risk.

If you need more of an explanation, think of the following analogy. White feminism is to intersectional feminism what #AllLivesMatter is to #BlackLivesMatter. Everyday Feminism contends, "the former's attempt at inclusiveness can actually erase the latter's acknowledgment of a unique issue that disproportionately affects a specific group of people".

If you ever find yourself guilty of white feminism, (I've been there!) know that we are all evolving. As long as you are open to education, we are all on the same side.

Here are three vital steps you can take to make your feminism intersectional!

1. Reflect on yourself. 

Reflect on your long-held beliefs based on your perspective alone could not apply to someone else. Reflect on your privileged experiences and acknowledge them for what they are.

2. Think about others. 

Once you've figured your internal state out from step one, you ought to look at the experiences of others with the same level of validity as your own. Ethically, feminism focuses on equality. Yes, that means stopping sexism, but it also expands to mean stopping complicated systemic oppressions that affect more than just white women. That said, white feminists are not the enemy in the fight for equality, rather, they are underinformed.

3. Don’t be afraid to grow. 

Say you were wrong. There's less shame in it than you think. In fact, I genuinely wish our culture was more forgiving of people who made an honest mistake in their past, but their hearts were/are in the right place.

Allow yourself to move onwards and upwards. We are all works-in-progress. We are all striving for better versions of ourselves. Intention is everything and your intention should be to always learn.

Intersectional feminism is challenging, like all educations. If you're doing it right, it should force you to think and even make you feel a little bit uncomfortable. After all, while feminism is here to help, it is not here for your (or my) comfort.

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