Growing up, I heard the Pirates referred to as the Bucs or Buccos more often than as the Pirates, so it was especially fun to my wordplay-loving brain when I went to their game against the Cubs. BUC/CUB—it’s like the teams were made to play each other.
So the game ended disappointingly, who cares. The point is I got to watch it with two of my best friends in the best seats I’ve ever had at PNC Park.
My BeFF’s dad has season tickets right behind home plate with an unbeatable view of the field and the river beyond. The best part of PNC Park is that it sits on the north bank of the Allegheny River just east of the Point, and the triplet bridges—Roberto Clemente, Andy Warhol, and Rachel Carson—stretch across just beyond for a gorgeous visual taste of Steel City from the field.
We parked at the Rivers Casino and walked to the field, past the Carnegie Science Center (where I have fond field trip memories from childhood), Heinz Field (where I’ve never attended a Steelers game), and the Point, where a fountain bursts from the confluence of the Mon, the Al, and the O, the three rivers of Pittsburgh fame.
Walking that river walk reminded me a little of Madison because there were pedestrians and cyclists and boats, but with the old industrial brick architecture and hillsides that I had missed during my sojourn in the Midwest. From our seat at dinner in the casino, we watched the Mount Washington incline scoot up and down the hillside like Mr. Rogers’s trolley cars, and on the drive home, we passed through the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, scene of many childhood memories of traffic jams, flickering lights, and AM radio static.
It was just for a day, and the Buccos lost the game, but a day in the Burgh with my girls was one that’ll need a repeat, and soon.