The leading voice for excellence in public finance
The leading voice for excellence in public finance

Thought Leadership Thursday

We hope to see “yinz” in Pittsburgh!


Thought Leadership Thursday Article

We hope to see "yinz" in Pittsburgh!
April 11, 2024
Treasurer Stacy Garrity
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Dear Colleagues,

NAST’s annual Treasury Management Training Symposium kicks off in about six weeks in Pittsburgh! I’m so excited to welcome so many of my colleagues from around the country back to the Keystone State, this time to the Steel City.

There’s an amazing lineup of programming – including a whole extra day this year – to learn, grow and network about all things Treasury. I encourage you all to include some time to explore Pittsburgh and all it has to offer in your plans.

The Pittsburgh area, once called the “Gateway to the West,” is full of history and full of firsts. The city quickly became the industrial hub for our nation and is now a leader in the technology and health care industries.

Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie brought the Bessemer steel-making process to the area, starting production in 1875. Together with Henry Clay Frick, the two built the United States Steel Corporation. Through the 1950s, Pittsburgh alone accounted for about half of the nation’s steel production.

The area is also where the first Ferris Wheel was manufactured in 1893, home to the first World Series (the Boston Americans prevailed over the Pittsburgh Pirates), the first motion picture theater or Nickelodeon was opened in 1905 (marked at 433 Smithfield Street). Iconic American foods were invented nearby too, including the banana split (less than an hour outside Pittsburgh in Latrobe) and the Big Mac (in nearby North Huntingdon).

We have a fun night on the docket to visit the Heinz History Center (1212 Smallman Street). I know you all have a bottle of the good stuff in your refrigerator at home, but you’ll soon realize Pennsylvania’s largest history museum (and America’s #1 history museum) is about far more than just ketchup. It houses six floors of exhibits including an expansive look at western Pennsylvania sports history, the set of Mr. Roger’s neighborhood, displays about the French & Indian War (which began in southwestern Pennsylvania), African American history, technology innovations, and pristine, unique collections – like more than 200 woodworking planes, and of course artifacts from H.J. Heinz himself, including his recipe book from 1869.

For a dose of sports history, visit the Clemente Museum (3339 Penn Avenue), which preserves the legacy of Pittsburgh Pirates baseball great, Roberto Clemente or “The Great One,” for his athleticism and great generosity of helping others.

History buffs will also want to take trip down to Point State Park (601 Commonwealth Place) where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers form the Ohio. Here you’ll find the brick-outlined site of Fort Duquesne, constructed by the French in 1753, as well as the Fort Pitt Blockhouse, the only surviving structure of the largest fort that was constructed by the British in the 1760s.

Pittsburgh is also home to the largest collection of Christian relics outside of the Vatican, more than 5,000, at Saint Anthony Chapel (1700 Harpster Street). All of these were collected by Rev. Suitbert Godfrey Mollinger who many sought out for healing from disease. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the relics are said to include bones of all 12 of Jesus’s apostles, 22 splinters of the True Cross, and remains of multiple saints, including a molar of St. Anthony.

Another unique and expansive collection can be found at the Bayernhof Museum (225 St. Charles Place), this one comprised of music boxes and antique automatic music machines like a Wurlitzer Automatic Harp and the Hupfeld Phonoliszt Violina, dubbed at one time as the “8th Wonder of the World.”

For a taste of arts and culture, you can visit the Andy Warhol Museum (117 Sandusky Street), which houses the largest collection of Pittsburgh-born Andy Warhol’s works and archives. Items range from the artist’s student artwork to iconic pop art paintings. The collection also includes 350 preserved films and more than 4,000 videotapes of his work.

More modern and contemporary art can be enjoyed at the Mattress Factory (509 Jacksonia Street). Here you’ll find ever-changing installations, including video and performance art, created by artists in its international artist-in-residency program.

Pittsburgh is also home to the only independent nonprofit zoo devoted to birds, the National Aviary (700 Arch Street). The indoor facility houses multiple walk-through habitats from grasslands, wetlands, rainforests and more featuring more than 500 birds, including many threatened and endangered species.

You can also explore the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (One Schenley Park), which covers 15 acres with a stunning 14-room glasshouse built in 1893.

Pittsburgh is known for its 446 bridges and also for its hilly terrain, including the steepest road in the Continental U.S., Canton Avenue. It’s even more unique as the street, which reaches a 37% grade, is mostly paved with cobblestone. For the best views of Pittsburgh you’ll also want to head uphill, and riding the Dusquesne or Monongahela Incline funiculars (West Carson Street) are the way to do it. Taking this trip is also a great way to explore the city’s Mount Washingtonneighborhood where you’ll find delicious eats with a view on “Restaurant Row”.

Speaking of food, if someone asks “jeet jet?”, know they’re just making sure you’ve had a meal. And if someone offers you a gob, say yes. It might not sound appetizing, but it’s a delicious, convenient dessert. You may know it as a whoopie pie as well, but it has a strong presence in western Pennsylvania. Another sweet treat that will no doubt bring you happiness is the Eat’n Park (100 Park Manor Drive) Smiley Cookie. And if you do head out for breakfast and your go-to is eggs over easy, you’ll want to order “dippy eggs.”

Don’t be surprised to find French fries offered as more than a side dish. At Primanti Brothers, you’ll find them piled high on their famous sandwiches, and a Pittsburgh salad isn’t complete without a topping of fried spuds. And don’t forget to grab a treat at dollar dog night when we root on the Pittsburgh Pirates (or San Francisco Giants, if you prefer) on Wednesday night, and wash it down with an ice cold pop.

I’m so excited to join you all at this year’s Training Symposium. NAST has a great line-up and learning tracts to benefit everyone’s areas of interest and expertise including ABLE plans, retirement security, financial education, unclaimed property, marketing and more!

See you in Pittsburgh, we’ll make sure to “redd up” for your arrival!

NAST Thought Leader Thursday banner