There’s an op-ed piece in today’s Post-Gazette by my charter self-united husband and future best friend David Conrad in which he talks about the Civic Arena and what he hopes ends up happening to that plot of land. He’s not fighting to save the arena, it seems; he’s fighting that whatever replaces it is worthy of Pittsburgh.
It is an amazing work of art. Yes, an editorial work of art that makes you want to stand up and put your hand over your heart and say things like “Of thee I sing.”
The Lower Hill development will for better or worse remake the face of the city for the next 50 years. There’s no larger, more central piece of property left to dream on. And that’s what should happen. What is built there shouldn’t just make a dime, it should make everyone, black and white, drop their jaws.
Pittsburgh, hard-bitten and practical though it seems, is a magical place. It’s weird and warped and beautiful and it makes you want to fight for it. The number of men I’ve seen cry openly as they told me how they wished they could move back here I can’t count.
Right now, we’re just starting to stanch the population loss, we’re getting people to love it here, we’re riding a national obsession with “authenticity,” we’re the heart of Steeler Nation, we keep getting called the “most livable city,” and we might be the only place in America were Republicans and Democrats could actually find some middle ground.
The city’s at a turning point. Pittsburgh’s poised to make it. And we are about to run smack into the greatest financial crisis in the city’s history. What to do?
Break the law. Yes, you heard me. Declare, as a group, that “we” the people of Pittsburgh “own” what happens here.
The entire thing is just filled to the tippy top with amazing words arranged in an amazing fashion in a way that makes you want to see the lower Hill get what it deserves, and I’m not just saying that because he’s my self-united husband who will one day be my best friend even if I have to risk jail to MAKE HIM LOVE ME.
Regardless of whether you agree with him or not, you’ve got to love a man, a Hollywood star at that, who is so committed to a city where his family no longer even lives, that he passionately fights for it instead of just walking westward with his giant sack of money slung over his shoulder.
I love him. And if you love him too, let me know and I’ll give him a hug for you, because, seriously, step off.
Also, “Steeler Nation.”
[awkward kung fu moves]