All new and improved 2012 Pittsburgh Resolutions!

As I mentioned in the post below, we’ll get to the Steelers later today. I need to put my kids to bed, pour myself a jug of wine, stab my Marian Hossa voodoo doll a few times in the balls (what?!), and really come to grips with yesterday’s loss and whatever the eff that was on Ben’s head last night.

Meanwhile, I have a new post up at Pittsburgh Magazine in which I set my Pittsburgh resolutions for 2012. You remember my 2011 resolutions included Mister Rogers and closed captioning and that God-forsaken hellacious Ducky Tour.

Now it’s time for my 2012 Pittsburgh resolutions! We’re talking Toonseum, polar bears and kayaks, oh my!

A snippet:

5. Kayak
This might be more terrifying to me than the whole Ducky Tour nightmare, because I believe a kayak to be the least safe water conveyance since that “boat” made out of Styrofoam cups I saw in an Anything That Floats race one time. But on so many walks along the river’s edge, I see happy, otherwise sane Burghers enjoying a kayak ride down the Allegheny. I must brave up and experience this part of Pittsburgh. I’m scared. Is it possible to wear two life jackets? Three? Also, I’ll need a flare gun just in case because that “risk acknowledgement form” is making me want to throw up.

Becky asked me on Twitter why I’m so afraid of kayaking. So let me list those:

1. Rogue wave.

2. Maybe the Tunnel Monster lives in the Allegheny River and he eats me like a Graboid, and I die?

3. Sitting duck for pigeons, so they peck my eyeballs out while I try furiously to paddle away, and I die.

4. My kayak flips and I can’t get out, and I die.

5. A goose lands on the kayak, flips it over, and I die.

6. Wake of a passing boat sends me airborne, and I die.

7. I get caught in a strong current and it carries me to Ohio, where I die.

8. I die.

Shall I go on?

Go have a read.

P.S. Also be sure to watch the traffic video that editor Sean Conboy included. I would die.


P.P.S. First person to comment on that post that if I were a real Pittsburgher, I would already have done all of those things gets flagged as inappropriate and also, you will die.


P.P.P.S. Where can I get me a live baby seal?


  1. Michelle
    January 9, 2012 2:55 pm

    The Frick is AWESOME. I just went for the first time over Thanksgiving. The library was quite possibly my favorite thing ever. Really fancy books = so much love!

  2. bluzdude
    January 9, 2012 3:05 pm

    You could accidentally float into the big paddlewheel on the back of one of those big ferry boats and die in multiple pieces.

  3. Virginia
    January 9, 2012 3:06 pm


  4. Lauren
    January 9, 2012 3:07 pm

    The new polar bear at the zoo is from the Tucson zoo and is a hoot. I watched him play with his beach ball in the water for 30 minutes once. Amazing. He’ll swim plenty, you just need to be in the tunnel to see it :)

  5. Gina
    January 9, 2012 3:07 pm

    You just missed the best time of year to visit Clayton – it’s beautiful at Christmas.

  6. JoggingJeans
    January 9, 2012 3:07 pm

    We had season passes last year for the kayaks (husband’s idea, I assure you). I don’t know if you want advice but here goes:

    1. Go on a day when there are few boats on the water. Every time even the tiniest motorized boat goes by you, it will create ebbs and flows that will scare shit out of you.

    2. Go on a day when it hasn’t rained in awhile. One: You want a nice low water line and a calm current. Two: the nasty-a$$ things you see floating in the river after a rain will make you vomit.

    3. Stick to the north shore side of the Allegheny. Crossing the river is scary and once you get there, you are just looking at a big concrete wall.

    4. Bring some food and water. Paddling made me hungry. The first time I was on the water, I was scared AND cranky from lack of food.

    5. Bring a Ziplock bag for your phone and wallet in case, God forbid, you capsize.

    6. Don’t go on a tandem boat with a man that thinks it is funny to hear you scream when he rocks it. Seriously, you have much more control when you are in a single and the master of your vessel.

    If you do all of the above things, I guarantee that you will have a great time. The view of our beautiful city from the river will take your breath away.

  7. K
    January 9, 2012 3:10 pm

    Might I sugest trying kayaking in Lake Elizabeth on the North Side first? Lake is a huge misnomer – it is more of a puddle. But that is the perfect place to become comfortable with the kayak and paddle

    And Venture Outdoors offers free and low-cost opportunities at Lake Elizabeth.

  8. Dan-O
    January 9, 2012 3:28 pm

    After you master Lake Elizabeth, you can also kayak on the lake at North Park (it is a Venture Outdoors location, too) and it is much less scary than paddling on the three rivers. My 8 year old son and 13 year old daughter can handle a kayak on the north park lake, so I know you can, Ginny!

  9. Rich D
    January 9, 2012 3:40 pm

    I fish the rivers. Seeing Kennywood, the city, and the stadiums from the river is awesome! What you really need to worry about is one of the mutant catfish coming up from the depths and slurping you down its gullet!

  10. hello haha narf
    January 9, 2012 4:19 pm

    thanks for clarifying for me your kayaking issues. i have my kayak and LOVE to get out paddling so i was muey confused as to why it would terrify you. (how could i forget about your duck boat issues?!)

    i agree that you might want to consider starting smaller, like with a venture outdoors intro to kayaking class (cheap) or, as mentioned above, trying one of their other locations (north park lake or the three feet deep lake elizabeth. after gaining confidence and a feel for a kayak, then hit the allegheny. if you would like, i’m happy to go any of these places with you. i’ll be gentle, i promise. and i won’t let you drown.

    on a different note, i grew up in point breeze and went to the frick museum and carriage house all the time. love free! i’ve only toured clayton a handful of times, but found it fascinating. i think you’ll enjoy it.

  11. bluzdude
    January 9, 2012 6:59 pm

    I just want to make sure you’re on the lookout, that’s all, when you inevitably find yourself strapped into a kayak with a team of photographers in tow.

  12. redram1
    January 9, 2012 7:36 pm

    Before you get on the big water, might I suggest going down the Yough. Even my grandkids can handle the kayaks.
    Hit me up when you want to go, If I’m off from work, I’ll float down with you.

  13. Jen
    January 9, 2012 7:50 pm

    I concur with #12. I’m a big scareddiddy cat of boats and water and such and I went canoeing at Hazelbaker’s this summer. The water for the most part is shallow and if you do the short tour it takes about an hour and a half to get back.

  14. Bitter
    January 9, 2012 11:33 pm

    There’s much less chance of a rogue wave (lolol!) if you kayak at North Park, and it’s beautiful there. Just stay away from the dam looking thing near the bridge…

  15. Holly
    January 10, 2012 10:29 am

    I also have a fear of kayaking well really small boats of any kind on a body of water. My husband and I went on vacation this past summer and to make it fair we each picked an activity we wanted to do…. Well my husband picked canoeing on a GIANT lake with large boats making wakes every few minutes. I have never been more scared in my entire life. I clung to my life jacket like the last pair of shoes at a 80% off sale at DSW.

  16. Marcy
    January 10, 2012 11:55 am

    Ok, Ginny, I am THE biggest chicken. Ever. The first time we went kayaking on the river I made my husband take our daughter in his kayak as a tandem because I was convinced I would somehow screw up, flip the kayak, and kill her. I was actually almost in tears before we hit the water. So believe me when I say it is about the easy-peasiest thing you will ever do. The kayak rocks a bit when the big boats go by, but there’s no way it’s going to tip. And even if it did (which it won’t) you’re not strapped in or anything so it would be no different than falling into a pool and swimming out. It’s actually very pretty and dare I say it, relaxing.

  17. Emily
    January 11, 2012 8:58 pm

    I would like to add to the list, “The North Shore Connector collapsing under the Allegheny and swallowing up my poor little boat.” …sorry.