Normally overcrowded bus stops along Liberty Avenue merely provided a place to sit for a few on a smoke break. The Gateway T station, typically humming with people moving about, picked up and dropped off two people total in the time I was there. With trees blossoming along Fort Duquesne Boulevard, no one was in sight to admire them. And the usually bustling Boulevard of the Allies was one big empty swath of concrete, as if I was waiting for the winner of the Pittsburgh Marathon to make their way down the street to the finish line, void of cars.
Having gone to college downtown, at the now defunct Art Institute of Pittsburgh, I was used to seeing an empty Penn Avenue. That was 2007, almost 13 years ago. Well before bike and bus lanes, rooftop bars, and valet parking came to the city. But that's what it felt like today. I know it's for the better that we all practice "social distancing" and work from home to keep as many people as safe and healthy as possible, but I had to witness it for myself and share what I saw and felt with other Pittsburghers.
I can't wait to fill these streets, bars, restaurants, theaters, music venues, and ballparks with our friends and neighbors again.