A first time for everything

I woke up Sunday morning feeling adventurous.  The day before had been filled with sun, and I had done nothing but waste it, or so I felt.  So despite a cold and headache I headed out into the fresh air around 10am to drink some coffee before embarking on what turned out to be a fairly short car trip from the Quiet Storm in Friendship to Riverview Park on the North Side.

Allegheny ObservatoryI’ve been considering a visit to Riverview since November, and I think this was a promising first experience.  The entrance is somewhat hidden, it turns out, and I enjoyed that.  Tucked away at the end of a pleasant, unassuming residential street, the park’s snow-covered sign welcomes you at street level.  But when you look up and to the right it is the dome-shaped towers of Allegheny Observatory that greet you from its hilltop.  Somewhat dormant in the winter, this University of Pittsburgh research building will open its doors for evening lectures on astronomy in April, or so I read on the window of the locked front door.  I think I’ll add this to my To Do list for spring, noting that reservations are required but that the lectures are free—and include a tour at the end. 

Riverview Chapel ShelterWalking back down the hill, passing a few dogs and a runner, I decided to tour the rest of the park on wheels inside my new 22-year-old Subaru wagon.  Back down at the welcome sign, you have the option to turn right, toward the Observatory, but you can also go left.  Following the road this way you are taken into the winding trance of Riverview Drive where several more runners can be seen in sunny weather.  Maybe they can also be seen during heavy snowfall, too, I don’t know.  I didn’t make it out last month to check on this …

I made it a quick morning tour, especially noting the lovely restored Chapel Shelter—a Parks Conservancy project—set back and slightly above the road.  It looked thirsty to me, for eager park goers to pay it a quiet weekend visit when they get the chance.