Pittsburgh: Looking for Love
in All the Right Places
We all know Virginia is for lovers and that everyone loves New York, but
what about Pittsburgh's relationship with love? You may be surprised
to learn the Pittsburgh region is a veritable Paris in Pennsylvania.
World Record Largest Wedding Vow Renewal
To celebrate the city's 250th birthday in 2008, 629 couples renewed their
marriage vows, setting a new world record for the largest wedding vow
renewal. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl officiated at the ceremony
and after the vows were renewed, champagne and cake were served. It
shouldn't be surprising. Pittsburgh has a world class reputation as a
destination for love.
Pittsburgh's Romantic Spots
you know in 2008, MSN.com ranked Pittsburgh's Duquesne Incline as number
three on their lists of the nation's top 10 romantic spots? The
incline shuttles passengers between the lower station on West Carson Street,
up the steep side of Mt. Washington, to the upper station on Grandview
Avenue. The incline, the walkway and overlooks, as well as the
restaurants along Grandview Avenue all provide spectacular views of the city
and inspire romance.
When falling in love, there is a universal need to anchor those precious
memories to a significant place. Lovers flock to Grandview Avenue to
take in the spectacular cityscape below them. Hundreds, if not
thousands, have professed their love while gazing out over the Golden
Triangle. It's a wonder the sidewalks have not been worn from all those
In downtown Pittsburgh, there are several places near and dear to the
hearts of lovers. Point State Park, the spot where the city began, is
also a favorite location for beginning a new romance. The expanse of
water seems to flow out from the tip of the point, giving the feeling of a
path laid out before you, possibly a path of love!
me at the Kaufmann's clock" is a well-known Pittsburgh phrase. For
decades the corner of Fifth Avenue and Smithfield Street, where a historic,
ornate clock is situated, has been a rendezvous site for dates. One
woman reportedly chose to meet blind dates there, telling her would be
suitors the specific clothing she would wear so they could spot her.
She confessed she never really wore the outfit her date was looking for, so
that she could walk by them unnoticed if she did not like the look of
things. Today, Macy's inhabits the building, but people still credit
Kaufmann's for the clock.
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Romance at Pittsburgh Amusement Parks
Amusement parks often spark romance. There's
something about strolling the midway, hand-in-hand with
one's hearts desire on a summer evening that is so
romantic. In the Pittsburgh area, two parks play
prominent roles in connection with love: Kennywood
Park and West View Park.
Kennywood Park, located in West Mifflin, has been in operation since the
late 1800s. Near the entrance of the park is a ride which consists of
a wooden boat that transports riders on a water course through dark tunnels.
Throughout the decades this ride has sported many different names.
Whether you knew it by the Old Mill, Hardheaded Harold's Horrendously
Humorous Hideaway or Garfield's Nightmare, most everyone has stolen a kiss
on Pittsburgh's version of Venice's gondola ride.
West View Park, in West View Borough, provided amusement for the
residents of Pittsburgh's northern residents from 1906 until 1977. One
of the things it was most famous for was Danceland. For decades this
dance hall was to the place to go to meet others of the opposite gender.
Scores of Pittsburghers met their prospective spouses in this art deco style
dance hall that attracted such headliners as Bobby Goldsboro and even The
Anecdotes abound about the romances that began at Danceland. One
woman recalled dancing with a young man who said he was going to marry her.
Upon returning to her girlfriend and relating the story, the friend
remarked: "I know. He told me the same thing last week!"
(This couple went on to have a long and happy marriage.)
Sadly, Danceland burned in 1973, leaving the romance of a night swaying
to music only to linger in the minds of its former patrons.
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Even More Romance in Pittsburgh
Over the decades other places in Pittsburgh have
become rendezvous sites for romance. During the
1980s, Alexander Graham Bell's, a bar in downtown's
Market Square, used Bell's invention to connect people.
A phone was situated at each table, with several more
placed at the bar. Patrons could dial up someone
who caught their eye or just play love "roulette" and
randomly dial a number in the bar. Many couples
received calls there that changed their lives.
Chapel, on the University of Pittsburgh's campus, has been the venue for
hundreds of weddings. Since 1946, couples have been tying the knot in
this gothic-style landmark. Couples must have some affiliation to the
University of Pittsburgh to be wed there and competition for booking the
cathedral is stiff.
Technology has played a part in matchmaking at other locations as well.
The big screen at the now-demolished Three Rivers Stadium and the current
ones at PNC Park and Heinz Field have all broadcast proposals, and many
dates have shared a kiss at Mellon Arena and the Consol Energy Center while being featured on the
Christmas time is always a popular season for engagements. In 1999,
the Christian Leaders Fellowship constructed the world's only authorized
replica of the nativity at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, right
outside of USX Tower on Grant Street in Pittsburgh. With
larger-than-life figures, the nativity inspires out-sized romance too.
Several couples have captured the magic of Christmas and love and have
become engaged at this beautiful nativity scene.
Once a couple falls in love, Pittsburgh tends to nurture that experience.
In 2008, Forbes.com ranked Pittsburgh as the 9th best city for couples,
noting its favorable marriage and divorce rates, housing affordability, and
availability of family counseling.
So if you've been "looking for love in all the wrong places," you may
want to consider Pittsburgh. The Golden Triangle is beautiful and
welcoming place for lovers of every generation, and many new families are
finding that Pittsburgh is one of the nation's best places to call home.
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