Satire | If Julie Andrews came to Pitt

By Talia Spillerman, Senior Staff Columnist

Julie Andrews would never have had raindrops on kittens and blue satin sashes on her radar if she visited the best city in the entire world — Pittsburgh. So, here are some suggestions for the 2023 remix. 

  1. Hillman heat

Hillman is able to create a feeling of disappointment, thirst and exhaustion like nothing else in this world. Especially in the winter, when you are trying to find a seat bundled up in your warm winter coat, you begin to question if Hillman is the reason the polar ice caps are melting. Eventually, you reach the fourth floor and you realize all that is open is a singular lounge chair without even a table to rest your laptop located by a window facing the Posvar construction. For a moment, you consider this measly offer just to put an end to your search, but you immediately realize without a table, a seat is useless. You walk out — disappointed, thirsty and exhausted. And now, with two extra floors to meander around just to find no more empty seats, the thirst and heat exhaustion is greater than ever before. 

  1. The twinge of empathy at the Bouquet stop sign 

Fun fact — Pittsburgh is home to the eighth wonder of the world — the cars who subject themselves to driving down Bouquet street from Forbes and past Posvar during the week. Without fail, Monday through Thursday there are flocks of college students crossing at the double stop sign and the cars are forced to wait until no one is coming through. For a second and only a second, I hope that the car ends up where it needs to go. 

  1. Wet sock sadness 

There are many things I could mention about the streets of South Oakland — the trash, smell of sewage or even the occasional dead rodent on display. Yet, my favorite part is the street maintenance that concocts the perfect recipe for wet socks. As you walk the streets during one of the infamous Pittsburgh rain storms, the many holes in the road give you no choice but to step in puddles. You try your best and choose what seems to be the shallowest spot — even taking a slight jump over the puddle. Despite your best efforts, you end up with wet socks that have to marinate on your feet during your next class.

  1. The Pittsburgh left turn 

In Pittsburgh, turn signals are optional — and many drivers take the option of not using them. This adds a whole extra thrill to walking down Forbes or crossing any street in Pittsburgh for that matter. Nothing beats the thrill of not knowing if a car is going to hit you as you cross the street. Gee, do I love Pittsburgh! 

  1. Wishful thinking that the Pete escalators are working 

I’ll set the scene — you’re walking up to the Pete. It’s about 30 degrees and sunny — so you are bundled up with a large winter coat, maybe even a hat and gloves. You start your journey up Cardiac Hill and even though you were freezing the whole day, suddenly you feel a drop of sweat down your back. You reach the intersection — waiting for someone else to cross since you never know when pedestrians have the right of way. You swear, each time Cardiac Hill gets more and more steep. Thankfully, there’s an escalator in the Pete — but is it working? You hope so, you really don’t want to show up to the gym already sweaty. The moment right before the escalators reach your line of vision, you send a manifestation into the universe hoping the escalators are not on their day off. And just as you suspected, they aren’t working. 

  1. Construction, Construction, Construction

Psychologists recommend staying mentally active to keep your brain healthy. Thankfully, Pitt cares about brain health and strategically places construction, forcing us to engage our brain on our walk around campus. Whether constructing new buildings or fixing street infrastructure, the one thing you can always count on is having to change your route at least every two months. Yet, I have come to see this as an opportunity to find a new, quicker route. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and due to construction, I have shaved minutes off my commute time. 

  1. The moment on a sunny day when you realize you have no unique thoughts 

I am a firm believer that college is only college when it is a nice day out. It is then that you see seas of people playing with balls on the lawn, swinging from hammocks, sitting by trees reading or just tanning. But there are only a limited assortment of days where it is not too hot nor too cold to take part in these activities. So, you decide to take advantage of this nice weather as you know you will yearn for a nice day before you know it. You think you are the only one with this idea — you will be the only one taking in the sun. But as soon as you enter the quad or Schenley Plaza, you realize that you have never had an original thought because everyone under the sun — literally — is outside and there is no space. You are then forced to retreat back inside.

As I reach the middle of my last semester at Pitt, I am learning to appreciate all the things — both annoying and blissful. Never in my life will I experience these feelings unique to the Pitt undergrad experience. I urge you — wherever you are in your college career — to take these moments in, with the people you meet here at Pitt, and appreciate all of it. 

Talia Spillerman writes about anything and everything. Write to her at [email protected]