Arts & Entertainment

Ten Valentine's Days

Musings on my first Valentine's Day spent in Pittsburgh in over 10 years. Part love letter to my city, part scrapbook, part cheesy (literally) Valentine to myself.


It's been 10 Valentine's Days since I've spent one with my true love - Pittsburgh. For ten years I've been wandering, feeling listless and unfettered but resisting the call to come home (until now). I struggle to clearly recall any specific V-Day from that time away, as none of them feel very significant to me, but here are some flashes from my past lives:

Valentine's Day in Charlotte was a farce of a double date in my senior on-campus apartment. Franzia in Solo cups. Dresses from Forever21 and ties from Jos A Banks. Two frat boys trying and failing to cook their girlfriends a meal. Smoke alarms. Anger. Laughter. A half-melted pot and a very strange coconut curry, three hours late.

Valentine's Day in Boston was an ode to my best friend. Takeout sushi that we couldn't afford. Cheap champagne that we couldn't afford. Glitter and mascara. Platonic love letters to each other. High heels on icy streets. Our favorite bar. Snow that never, ever, ever seemed to end.

Valentine's Day in New York was two hours of bliss at Cafe Cortadito. 3rd St & Avenue B. Fried calimari. Plaintains and guac. A pitcher (or two) of white sangria. A brief respite from my whirlwind life with the person who was my sanctuary. No exchanging of gifts. No Instagramming of plates. No expectations, just warmth and flavor.

Valentine's Day in Pittsburgh is still undecided. I have so much new and renewed love in my life that I want to celebrate; love for new work opportunities, love for a new person, love for old friends made new, love for a city that is newly mine again. I wish I could eat the snow-covered hills and drink the rivers and hold the buildings tight to my chest. But I'll settle for some Mineo's pizza and Hitchhiker RGB.

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