Penn pal

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I just got back from Pittsburgh. (And, boy, are my jokes tired.) And I mean the one in Pennsylvania—not the one in the Bay Area. My fiancee, Margot, is from there, and we were there to visit her family. I’d never been there before. Western Pennsylvania is different than Northern Nevada in most regards—the wet climate, the post-industrial landscape, the urban geography more geared toward following rivers than nestling valleys—but it reminded me of Reno in one important way: It’s a much nicer town than you might expect based on pop culture depictions.

Friendly folks, neat architecture, scenic landscapes. We took a day trip to visit Gettysburg and toured the battlefields. (The Gettysburg National Cemetery was closed because of the government shutdown.) We took Clyde, our 13-month-old baby, to the Pittsburgh Zoo and saw lions and tigers and a baby gorilla (no bears). And I was really impressed by the Heinz History Center, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, where we saw a lot of classic Americana, like Buzz Aldrin’s helmet, Satchel Paige’s glove and Fred Rogers’ sweater.

It was a restorative trip, and I’d like to once again thank everyone here at the RN&R for their great work while I was away. And, on a related note, I’d like to bid a fond farewell to sales manager Emily Litt and advertising consultant Myranda Thom, both of whom are leaving the paper to focus on their education. They’ve been a blast to work with the last few years, and I wish them nothing but the best.

And one last note: This is the last week to submit stories for our 95-word fiction contest, so quit procrastinating! Check out the promo on page 10 for all the details.