Reviewing the sad, leftover cookie from Pittsburgh City Paper's last day in Centre City Tower | Food | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Reviewing the sad, leftover cookie from Pittsburgh City Paper's last day in Centre City Tower

It wouldn't be a Pittsburgh wedding without a cookie table. But why keep the tradition exclusive to happy couples? In the spirit of the season, Pittsburgh City Paper is celebrating the holiday cookie table. We’re reviewing bakery favorites, family recipes, and grocery store staples until the table is full.
click to enlarge CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM
CP photo: Lisa Cunningham
Today is the last day Pittsburgh City Paper will occupy the place it has called home for more than 20 years: Centre City Tower in Downtown Pittsburgh. In the new year, CP will still be staying Downtown but moving offices to 4 Smithfield Street, near the Monongahela River.

This means cleaning up and clearing house, and in conjunction with our Holiday Cookie Table theme, I decided to eat a sad, leftover oatmeal cookie, wrapped in cling wrap, that was sitting in the kitchen for an indeterminate amount of time. Everything must go folks, and this terrible cookie went into my mouth.

The oatmeal cookie was as dry as the desert and as big as a hockey puck. Even the raisins were a bit grainy, which complemented the sandy texture of the cookie itself. The spice level was okay, but the overall experience felt like eating a granola bar that had been stuck in minivan cushions for eight years. The cookie was hard, but also airy.

When split in half, some crumbles disintegrated into the air. I like to think it was a bit of the cookie’s soul disappearing into the void. Kind of like my spirit in the last few months at Centre City Tower.

Nothing about CP has been dispiriting the last few months (in fact, the work the staff has produced recently has been some of the finest I have seen in my 4+ years at the paper), but the flaws of the building itself have really hit a fever pitch. Elevators have malfunctioned often, sometimes breaking altogether, leading to exhausting 22-flight descents in the stairwell. The office has been downright frigid recently as if the heat has appeared to stop working altogether. The fire alarms go off for no reason. On top of that, I’m not sure where my mother’s Christmas package has gone, even though it was apparently delivered a few days ago.

All of this annoyance and misfortune seems to be concentrated in this shitty cookie.

And so, with each bite, I was reminded of the misgivings of our last stint at Centre City Tower. There were good times here: the time the neighboring radio station left us a cake that was decorated as an advertisement for a Train concert; the world class views we get daily of the Allegheny River, PNC Park, and the North Side’s hills; chatting with our beloved receptionist Rodney; and that time I spilled curry all over the carpet and everyone laughed.

But, just as I was happy to leave the awful oatmeal puck half eaten, CP staff is happy to move onto new adventures on the other side of Downtown. We’ll still tell the same weird, eclectic, and progressive stories, just from new offices. But hopefully no more assignments to eat stone-like baked goods.

Yinz better keep reading.

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