To Live is To Fly

After one crazy, exciting, new, sad, fun, and frustrating year of living in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, my family is heading back to our familiar home in Virginia. I know that over the past year, I have posted many negative things about the place that I lived, but there are many great things that have happened that need to be highlighted too. 
This post timelines my "stay" in Pittsburgh, and at the end you will find the playlist that I listened to on the ride back home, to Virginia. 

This is the first picture I took in the new house, before we had filled it with our many belongings. 

My families first trip up to Mt. Washington to see the city at night. 

First time at the Point.

First high school football game with new friends, where I discovered that high school football games weren't nearly as fun in real life as they appeared in indie teenage movies.

When my friend Maya and I accidentally twinned.

The Zenith on the South Side: a quirky but cool veg restaurant. 

The first week we had this amazing little puppy.

The first time we went to Spak Brothers: a tiny take out place in a sketchy part of town, with greasy vegan food made by hipsters. It grew to be our favorite place to eat, and we made sure to get tired of it before the move. 

Another one of my favorite places, though quite the opposite of Spak. This is Dobra, a Prague-based tea house in Squirrel Hill, that is the best place to just chill, and have a cup of tea. 

Another great thing that happened was being able to spend every saturday at the Carnegie Museum of Art, for almost the entire school year. This happened because my school art teacher recommended me as a candidate for a free scholarship to the classes, and I was selected to take them. 

At the Duane Michaels exhibit at the CMOA, where we actually saw Duane Michaels himself.

On the last day of 2014, my parents, brother and I walked across this bridge in the bitter cold.

Pittsburgh has many cute little Asian markets, this being one of them. 

Another amazing thing that happened was being able to spend every Wednesday after school at the Andy Warhol Museum, with a small group of cool teens. 
I was accepted into the Warhol's Teen Advisory Board, which met for about ten weeks to plan a gigantic teen event at the museum called Youth Invasion. Youth Invasion happens every year there, and consists of many live performances from local bands, dance groups, and musicians. There's also art making, food, and cool teen interaction, pretty much. It was a blast, and I had the best time being able to help plan it. I was the youngest out of 14 teenagers, but that didn't stop me from being just as much a part of it. I even designed the poster, which was screen printed and then plastered all over the city!

On March 27, I experienced what was ultimately the best night of my life so far, and it actually happened at the Warhol! I saw one of my favorite singers of all time, Perfume Genius, perform, among only 150 other people in the audience.

It was absolutely incredible. I stole the setlist off the stage, which he had stepped on multiple times (making it even more valuable!!). To make it even better, after the show I bought a t-shirt and a record from his band's piano player Alan, who is also his boyfriend. Afterwards, Alan got Mike (Perfume Genius) and brought him out to meet me. 

My family and I went to a flea market outside of Pittsburgh. It was mostly old men selling rustic car parts, but we did find a record shop in the building, with a very cool owner. I was on a mission to find a Patti Smith record, and he was eager to help, especially considering that he knew Patti Smith well. 

This (above) is what my room later looked like. 

Another thing that made my year in Pittsburgh unforgettable was my friendship with Carmen. Together, she and I explored many places in the city together, including the Mattress Factory museum, where the photo above was taken. 

We have so many common interests, for example our love of Nylon magazines. We also couldn't function without having sushi every once in a while, and ate plenty of sushi together. 

Our school had twin day once, and we participated, and won for best outfits!

A friend I met in my Saturday classes at the CMOA and then met up with again later at a figure drawing class.

Overall, I wouldn't change the fact that I spent a year in PA. It was such a good experience, and I learned so much through it. And now that I think about it, the year went by extremely fast. It's taken me a few days to write this post, and when I started it I was still living in Pittsburgh. Now I am sitting in a coffee shop in Virginia, reminiscing over all of those times I mentioned above. It's hard to believe they even happened now, since my town in Virginia has hardly changed at all. It's a tremendous adjustment, moving from the urban life and easiness of the suburbs, into the country, where the sky is pitch black and covered in stars at night. It's bittersweet, since it feels so good to be home, but I miss places and people in Pennsylvania as well. 


  1. WOW! what a year for sure!!!!A WONDERFUL RECAP!!! I was thinking YOU all would be back in Virginia by now! It's a shame we never had the chance to meet in Pittsburgh!!! The summer always goes by too fast!! Thanks for some ideas to visit if ever we venture to Pittsburgh! Is that where Misty got that boxed eatable wrapper candy for me in that lil Asian market! I actually LOVED those!!! hehe Jerry and Damon will be up there in November for the Pittsburgh Steeler and Cleveland Indians game! Maybe Gina and I could go and explore a bit! Tell everyone I said HI!!! ps. I'll be listening to your music later, Thanks! Music is one of God's greatest gifts! XOXOXOX, Cinda

  2. Hi India - We just moved from Mt Lebo to VA as well and we think we saw you at freshman orientation tonight! My son will be a freshman there, too! His guidance counselor said he thought he just recently helped transfer another student from Jefferson Middle School but he thought maybe he must have been mistaken! We are sure this is going to be a calmer place to live than Mt Lebanon and are so glad we don't have to worry about the deer here. Hope to run into some time - Kerry (Owen's mom)

    1. Hi! wow, I can't believe two Jefferson students moved from Mt. Lebo to VA! That's so crazy. I think I may have seen Owen too. I hope you guys like this area, I lived here for seven years before I moved to Mt. Lebo. It's really different, but yes, definitely calmer! Everyone is really nice.
      Yeah, I hope to run into you guys sometime too.