Painting the Iron (City)

9 Sep

            This week I’ve realized something…something I probably should have realized long ago: in order to spend a year of your life dedicated to community, spirituality, service, and simplicity, you have to be a little bit crazy. Between the 5 of us at Milly and the 6 girls at Eddie, we’re all a little bit weird. I hope my Pitt Pals take no offense when reading this, but this weekend helped me understand just how countercultural our lives are, and just how open-minded you have to be to live as we do.

            When you share a common cup and get a minimal stipend, you have to make your own fun. So, Friday night when a group of us wanted to grab a few drinks and hit the town, what did we do? First, we went to fuel up at The Harp and Fiddle Pub, home of FREE wings and cheap beers. We sat outside on the patio for hours as we were serenaded by some local musicians (Sean’s mom and stepdad…rock on, Mary Fran!) as well as a surprise performance from an 8-year-old with his opening debut, The Second Grade Blues. Then we headed back to Milly to split a few beers, later venturing out to find a local dive bar. We wandered into the place with the loudest music…a little joint called Vino’s Pub. We walked inside to find maybe 10 people sitting at the bar calmly watching the Pirates game. But upon close inspection, we realized when two tables were pushed together we could create a space that vaguely resembled a dance floor. The next task on the list was to make friends with the DJ (a lovely man in a Steelers cap named Albert), request solely 90s music for the rest of the night, and voila: five pals, ten legs, and unanimous commitments to dance and sing BSpears and BSB at the top of our lungs for the remainder of the evening.


            But our Friday night festivities did not stop us from getting up bright and early Saturday to participate in a Downtown Beautification Project. We went from painting the town red Friday night to painting the town’s iron fences black Saturday morning. Mad props to the Pitt Pals for their dedication and willingness to participate in an event we knew nothing about…I found the project online and the team jumped in, no questions asked. Four hours of painting and one hour of getting the paint of our arms and legs later, we made our new city just a little more beautiful.


            After a Saturday Primanti’s community dinner (cole slaw and fries on the sandwich?!?!?) and movie night (Life of Pi), Sunday we headed down to Oakland for Mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral. I can’t imagine what people think of us, a pack of kids all strolling along the street together, weaving in and out of other pedestrians. We’re like a gaggle of geese in our very own flight formation. After Mass we went over to a non-denominational service in the Cathedral of Learning put on by the H2O Church. One of our community members belongs to the church, so we all decided to tag along. It was a great praise and worship sesh with a moving witness and lecture. Afterwards we hung around and got to know some of the other service-goers. It’s always a fun game to explain to new friends who we are and the crazy lives we live.  

            And I’m realizing more and more each day just how much I love these crazy lives of ours. With 11 people all virtually living together there is always going to be someone ready to jump in on your plans. Whether you’re wandering into a dive bar, busing it downtown to help with a service project, or exploring a new worship service, you won’t have to go it alone. You will no doubt find a Pitt Pal as crazy as you are.  🙂



One Response to “Painting the Iron (City)”

  1. vanbeekka25 September 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    i want your blog.

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