Edgar & The Cloud Factory
Well, here’s the mother lode of photos from Pittsburgh and Braddock. I spent another five days in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, and although it was absolutely freezing and difficult to walk much of anywhere without freezing, I still enjoyed the Burgh, as I always do. I usually try to find one new place in Pittsburgh every time I go out. This trip, I went to the ever amazing Strip District, tried Greek mountain tea and Greek coffee, finally got into DeLuca’s Diner, which is a staple of the strip, and tried the Polish Deli that I had never yet eaten at. I went to the South Side for the first time in ages, which is always awesome, but kind of still off limits since I was the only one that was 21 when we walked there (South Side is a huge bar area). But the biggest new thing that I checked out this time was the Monongahela steel mills.
Since I drove out with my friend Mike, we were able to drive around, which made getting around Pittsburgh a lot easier since the city is so small. We decided to take a trip out to Braddock, where U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thomson Plant is stationed. Being the only functioning integrated steel plant left in the Monongahela River Valley, Edgar Thomson is a relic of sorts. Driving into the city of Braddock, one can see smoke billowing out from the stacks at the far end of town, and the closer you come to the mill, the more it hits you. Although the blast furnace is hard to get a decent picture of, I think I did a decent job. It’s hard to portray how monumental a blast furnace is from hundreds of feet away at street level. Regardless, it was quite a site to see, and I’m really glad I’ve seen a real, functioning blast furnace in person. The steel industry as a whole fascinates me, and seeing this was for me was like seeing a tropical beach for most people. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of time in Braddock, so I really didn’t get to capture the steel town itself properly, but rest assured, I’ll make it back one day to get better photos.
The last few shots are of houses in one of my favorite Pittsburgh neighborhoods, Bloomfield, and of the smokestack of the Cloud Factory, an icon of the Oakland neighborhood the beauty of which I had never sufficiently captured. The Cloud Factory plays a prominent role in Michael Chabon’s The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, which I highly recommend reading.
I’m getting back to the city at the end of the week, and then I’ll be heading out west a couple weeks later to hit the mountains, so I should have some photos soon, but until then, thanks for checking these out, hope you enjoy these photos of steel mills and rust belt images as much as I do.