Sunday, August 23, 2009

Life in the big city: it’s just another Sunday in Pittsburgh



I can't believe it's been two weeks since my last blog (the one about joining Facebook).   Sometimes the days and even weeks can merge together so seamlessly that I'll get my latest phone bill & think it's a duplicate, or I'll be combing my hair in the morning & wondering why it's so long; didn't I just get it cut a week ago? 

So it's hard to believe that only two days after I posted here, a 48 year old man walked quietly into a local fitness center (the same gym where my friend Julie is a member), opened his duffel bag, pulled out two guns & shot 12 women.  Three dead, nine wounded.  

Everyone knows most of the story now, of course.  Blogs and internet message boards abound with equal parts sympathy, both for his innocent victims and George Sodini, "this lonely man driven to do what he did". 


ABC News reports claim Sodini was a likely psychopath; gee, ya think?   

The morning following the shooting, I got to work & a female coworker said "Doug...if you ever decide to come in here with a gun, please don't shoot me okay?"   A little bit of dark humor, but I still kinda took it to heart.   Like George, I'm in my forties--still single, haven't dated in awhile.  Okay a few years.  Am I lonely?  Sometimes, yes.  Would it be nice to meet someone, have a romantic relationship?  Sure. 

Do I worry that I'm going to go on a killing spree if I don't find someone soon?  Excuse me? 

I know all too well what loneliness can do to a person.  Sometimes it’s a real effort to not let those dirty dishes stack up, or get in some exercise before going to bed when you think no one else cares but you.  But there's a world of difference between 'alone time' & madness.  When people lamented that this wouldn't have happened if he hadn't been so lonely, & even George wrote that if the right woman came along, he would probably put off his plans for killing, I didn't believe it for a minute.  Sooner or later, he would've found the reason he needed to do it.   

Well, on a saner note it looks like I'm going to be in my apartment here for awhile longer.   My landlord had given me an extension on my lease, but I was just unable to find a condo with both the convenience of everything I have now & such close proximity to the city.   Er...except for this. 617D5C2B848A9C67_4996_2[1]


Mexican War Street condo in newly restored building; I went to see this & was surprised by the size of the building, it stretches back a whole city block


For people familiar with Pittsburgh, this place is located on the Mexican War Streets on the Northside, a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo with an extra large balcony & one terrific view (the unit for sale is right in front).  Asking price is 109K.617D5C2B848A9C67_4996_3[1]


A park is directly across; beyond that, the city skyline


There's no offstreet parking though, and for such a busy neighborhood the only places within walking distance are the Salvation Army, a couple churches & Allegheny Hospital.  It's still a great piece of property in a nicely restored building.  However, as nice as it's um, not exactly one of your finer neighborhoods.  While residences like this one look pretty spiffy, it's still a dangerous part of the city to be out and about at night. 


One block up the street, a row of deserted storefronts & the recently closed 'Garden Theater', the city's last adult movie theater.  The area is known for drug & gang activity

While the neighborhood DOES carry some prestige for the residential restoration, you still hear about a shooting or stabbing there every week, it seems.

When I was mulling over the pros and cons, my sister Shawn told me it'd make her sick with worry if I moved there.  But Shawn, I could technically walk to work over the Sixth Street Bridge!  And it has that great view!

(Well, if you only look in one direction.  Ah well!  I’m sure I’ll find something eventually…)

I was planning to talk about the new casino here too, Pittsburgh's 'proud new addition' to the North Shore... but given my feelings about it (not good) and this blog, I think I've shared enough.  Think I'll go outside and enjoy some sunshine.



  1. OK, I do remember seeing this blog post and remember the scary story all too well. I looked up news reports on the shooting and it's similar to the one that was in the news a year or two ago about the rich kid in the BMW that shot up people on a street in California and had posted a similar "manifesto" about how he had been rejected and hated women. Self love, people...what you put out there to the universe is what comes back to you, so if you walk around saying, thinking, and feeling that you're ugly and that women hate and reject you, guess what will constantly keep being your reality? I'm glad your coworker was not hurt.

  2. Thanks Pam--oh yes I remember the BMW kid too, almost forgot about that; well, I think these people are clearly deranged & need medical help, sadly it's usually too late...

    But still, good advice for the low self-esteem folk out there, and the neurotics--myself included :)

  3. Doug, there's a dating coach's blog that I occasionally visit -- he actually has two separate sections on his site; one for men and one for women. All of the ladies that post comments have it together...for the most part, we can deal with being single. The guys on the other hand, that visit his site, can be scary. There was one that was leaving psychotic comments in regards to women and there's another who's just a pathetic, negative sad sack that constantly says unless you're 6' tall, good looking and have tons of money that women don't want isn't fair to lump all women into a superficial, gold-digging category. But one of the guys was acting up right after the BMW kid story was in the news, and a lot of people were telling the dating coach he better ban him or moderate the comments, because the stuff he was saying was a little scary. (I think he did nothing about it.) Needless to say, I only visit every few months now or so and I almost never read the comments on the men's side.

    1. Gosh Pam, this was sad to read--it seems like there's more mental cases out there than there is regular folk. What a shame that some of these men can be adults & feel the way they do.. they must lead pretty lonely lives.


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