austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Come to this house

We did have one decision to make before leaving Tuscora Park: do we eat there? Or on the road? Or wait until we got to Pittsburgh and eat there? I pushed for eating there, on the grounds that the road between New Philadelphia, Ohio, and Pittsburgh is a pretty enormous swath of nothing much. And we'd get to Pittsburgh well after 9 pm. We'd be in a downtown hotel so I pictured a world of places that were cheap-but-closed or loud-and-expensive. bunny_hugger pointed out if we waited we could eat with our pinball friends; I thought they couldn't possibly wait for us. She and I are happy to eat dinner at 9 or 10 pm, but normal people? No.

So we got vegetarian burgers and fries from the park and that was probably a mistake. They were all right, but not really that great. And it transpired that our friends did wait for us. They'd located Sienna Mercato, some kind of complicated three-storey, three-restaurant place a couple blocks from the hotel and would go there. We tagged along with them although there wasn't any point to our eating then. The place was a hipster meatball-and-innuendo joint. If you don't understand this then let me explain: the waiter asked if we had been there before for their balls, and explained how they had large balls served many various pleasing ways. Do you get it yet? Because it's about balls.

And yet it was a good-looking place. Our group would go back to it several times. They had among other things vegetarian meatballs and you could get whatever they made with whatever meat or meat simulator they had. They even offered a vegetarian poutine that we never quite got around to ordering. In hindsight, we should've waited for dinner, but I thought the choice made sense at the time. Balls.

The drive took us into parts of Pittsburgh we'd never visited before, since we normally stay in a suburban Red Roof Inn close to Kennywood. The hotel took us downtown instead. We got to ride through several scary-looking highways I wasn't perfectly sure the satellite navigator understood. We did get to see the ballpark from across the river, secure in the knowledge that JIM was probably there and that, if our plans had worked out a little different, we might've been there too.

I dropped bunny_hugger off at the Westin, and found the bus terminal parking garage that offered long-term parking cheaper than the hotel did. Also got unsure about this because I didn't see any specific long-term parking lots or anything; I'd have to double-check with the Westin concierge to be told I was doing things right.

The Westin's one of the hotels commandeered by attendees to Anthrocon, along with every Pennsylvania hotel west of the Proclamation Line of 1763, which allowed us to at least get some sense of the geography of that enormous furry convention. I could understand what people meant about the Trap Elevators. You don't pick your floor by some old-fashioned method like pressing the button in the elevator. You pick it by tapping on an iPad (or equivalent) in the lobby outside the elevator and get assigned one of the six elevator cabs to use. No buttons on the inside, so if you miss your floor or decide you needed a different one, get out and go through their app. Also if you miss your floor and nobody else was in the cab and nobody needs your elevator sometime soon I guess you just ... wait for death to take you? I don't know. Trap Elevators, I tell you.

Miscellaneous side bit. bunny_hugger's parents loaned us a little fabric cooler, which we kept some pop in. Her father's taken up smoking cigars and so the cooler had this cloud of cigar stink hovering around it. I took it out of my car because it could take forever for my car to air out from that, but then, where to put it? In a hotel room that already has warnings about the $875,000 fee for smoking? We tucked it into the mini-fridge, as the spot least likely to draw complaints about how it smelled. What do you figure are the odds we'd forget entirely about it and leave a borrowed, cigar-stenching fabric cooler bag in a downtown Pittsburgh mini-fridge?

Trivia: There were over eleven thousand arrests for public drunkenness in New York City in 1922. There were 7,028 the year before Prohibition took effect. Source: The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York, Deborah Blum.

Currently Reading: The Complete Peanuts, 1973-74, Charles M Schulz. Editor Gary Groth.

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