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so the way pittsburgh works, the only really reasonable way to get anywhere from the south hills area (such as, say, the north hills, or the northeast, or the eastern suburbs, or downtown) is to go through the fort pitt tunnel and across the fort pitt bridge, which is the main route to downtown (the liberty tube and bridge are also well traveled but really not preferable). it's only after going through that tunnel and across that bridge that one reaches the major northbound and eastbound highways. however, the major westbound highway to the international airport and the western suburbs is in the south hills. so the tunnel becomes a bottleneck for the entire south hills population and airport and downtown traffic. the rush hour in that area really has worse traffic than anything i've ever experienced in michigan and chicago (leaving california out of this). and this is despite all those people who take the light rail train into and out of downtown.

anyway, this afternoon around one we were leaving the south hills to go to the only true imax theatre in the area (other than the dome of the carnegie science center, which, unlike the henry ford museum in detroit, shows almost exclusively documentaries, only rarely showing popcorn fare) in the easternmost part of the north hills, about twenty miles northeast of downtown. to see ant-man, which was really better than expected (that seemingly backhanded compliment). on our way to the tunnel we saw what could only be a motorcade, with more than half a dozen police motorcycles in a single file line racing southward lights all ablaze, followed by police cars, a pair of ambulances, more police cars, some sort of police suv with it's back hatch open and four pairs of camouflaged legs hanging out into the air (truly! with the vehicles traveling probably 45 mph, just seated in the trunk with legs hanging over the edge! like we used to do as kids in pickup trucks [at much lower speeds] when that was still acceptable practice), more motorcycles trailing, etc. i joked, all unknowing, that it was a presidential motorcade. only to learn, upon reaching our destination, that in fact it was a presidential motorcade, as obama had just been downtown to speak and was headed back to the airport to fly to new york for the daily show (important stuff) before returning to washington. a presidential motorcade...so rare a thing to see in person that one doesn't believe that the thing one is seeing could be that even though to all outward appearance it could be nothing else. (and what timing, to be driving in the opposite direction just then (running late, as usual).)

just a little thing that's nothing at all but feels like something.

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