Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Who knew Pittsburgh would be such a gastronomical experience? If I'd been forewarned I would have brought more stretchy pants...or an additional stomach. As it is I've been sampling numerous All-American specialities such as the Krispy Kreme donut, Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Eat'n Park's Smiley Face Cookies. I've also indulged in some Pittsburhg specialities such as Primanti's, The 'O' (no, not THAT one..I wish!) and lots of Hershey goodies..which are made in Hershey, PA :)

Anyways, will get my game plan on for eliminating effects of over-indulgence. Three weeks on PEI, an appt with Alison and all the time in the world. Now I only neeed a new gym outifit since my high quality Roots outfit from Christmas has huge holes in the upper thigh area.

Right, so yesterday I was left to my own devices during the day as Emily was doing that thing called 'work', which has become quite alien to me. Anyways, I decided to take public transit and go downtown. I quickly learned why Americans are sooooo in love with their car. Firstly, I had to walk about twenty minutes to the bus stop along a rather busy road. Despite the fact that there were bus stops along the road and it was a mix of business and residential, there were NO sidewalks!! Evidently, encouragement of walking is not high on the priority list. In fact, I was in a couple of different suburbs of Pittsburgh and there where NO sidewalks anywhere!!!

At one store I asked a worker how long it would take me to get from Point A to Point B even though I pretty much figured it would be less than ten minutes. When I clarified I was walking she looked at me like I had two heads. In another instance I asked Emily's co-worker how to get to the movie theater from the coffee shop (just killing time while Emily was working). The girl started to give me directions as if I were driving until Emily came over and told her I was walking. I got kind of worried it would be a hike cause the driving directions sounded confusing. As it turned out, teh movie theater was just across the street, only seperated by two large parking lots.

I am reading a book called 'Shopped' which is about the grocery retailing world of the UK, although it could easily be applied ot the North American market. Anyways - its extremely disturbing to learn what we've lost in regards to quality and selection for the promise of 'convenience'. But serioulsy, how convenient is it to drive to a grocery store and tripase through its expansive floor space in search of a few staple foods? Every time I head to the grocery store with the intention of picking up one or tow items I leave with five or six. Right, well in any case this book exposes a lot of disturbing truths - especially about the plight of farmers who are prisoners of the retailers' crazy demands. We might as well just go back to teh feudal system for all the freedom farmers and consumers have. All we realy have is the ilusion of choice and freedom. Of course, we could consciously choose to rebuke the system - to go back to shopping at independent stores and farmers' markets (those that have survived anyways). But, well, how convenient would that be right? I mean, who cares if we'd be supporting our local economy, getting better food at better prices and avoiding the tempting aisles of nutritionless, prepackaged, processed food.