Today’s post comes from Josh of Ngewo’s World, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on Yum Yum PGH, where I share all the absolute best snacks in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.
When I was asked to participate in the Pittsburgh Guest-Blogger Event this year, my first thought was that I am not from Pittsburgh, so what would I write about? I read a ton of the fantastic posts here at BeezusKiddo, hoping that maybe I could post something in a similar manner. But then I realized that would be disingenuous of me.
Allow me to tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Josh. I am from a small town in central Pennsylvania called Philipsburg. I went to Penn State University. My degree is in Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies, yet I am the General Manager of a restaurant. I currently live in New Germany, which is right outside of Ebensburg. I realize most Pittsburgh folks have no clue where Ebensburg is located, so allow me to show you:
When I went into management training, I moved to the Pittsburgh area and lived there for about two years. I am guessing that is why people consider me a Pittsburgh Blogger. Or maybe it is because I am Pittsburgh sports fan. My hometown is about three hours from Pittsburgh, so it is natural that my family gravitated toward being fans of the teams there.
I lived in Crafton, which is not in the city, although it at least had a Pittsburgh zip code. I always laughed when people would say they are from Pittsburgh and when you ask where they say “Cranberry” or “Monroeville.” Umm, sorry, but those are not Pittsburgh. They are big enough that people have heard of them.
I remember in college, we were introducing ourselves and one kid said “I am from right outside of Pittsburgh.” Then a girl said the same thing. The professor decided to call them out, he asked the guy if they knew each other. He said he was from Butler, she said Washington. What world are these people living in that this is right outside of the city?
My brother used to joke that he was from a town outside of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Three hours from one, four from the other. That always made me giggle.
So wait, what the heck am I talking about here? Oh, living in Crafton. Sorry, I got sidetracked. I lived in Crafton, yet I rarely made my way into the city. I usually only went there to go to sporting events. My friend took me to a few places before when I told him that I had never been to the Southside.
Unfortunately, living in Crafton meant that I was close to Robinson, so any time I needed something, I just went there. Even now, when we go to Pittsburgh, my fiancé will ask how we get somewhere and I will have no clue. I never went to the Ross Park Mall, why would I? Robinson had everything I needed.
That is definitely one of my biggest regrets about my time in Crafton. I mean getting into the city and checking stuff out more, not going to the Ross Park Mall. You been to one mall, you been to them all. I was a young guy then and spending my off time getting drunk was more important than going on different adventures.
I guess I should explain how I ended up leaving Crafton. I moved there because work did not have any management positions in central PA. So I took what I could in Pittsburgh. After a few weeks, I found out that the Altoona and State College restaurants both lost managers. I asked my boss if it would be possible to return home at some point. He said that we would have to see.
A few months went by and I never really heard anything from him about it so I did what any normal person would, I made friends and started to establish a life. After two years my boss comes to me and says there is a position in Altoona and that I was being transferred back home.
It was actually pretty upsetting. Although in retrospect, it was the best move of my life. At first I tried to recreate my life in Crafton in Philipsburg. I would go out to the bars and try to make friends. It did not really work for me though, so I did something different: I focused more on work.
Then I met this really sweet girl named Lindsey. She was actually a new assistant manager at the restaurant. When I came out of training, I had a manager who was very hard on me and constantly ragged on me for making mistakes. I hated the guy at first, but soon realized he was doing it to make me better. I figured I would take that role with Lindsey.
Unfortunately, our boss also decided to take that role. He was bitter because he had been demoted from being a training general manager and he wanted to prove that he was better at training than the guy who replaced him. Any mistake she made, he would point it out in the worst ways possible. So I decided to take her under my wing. I helped her and in the process we started to become closer. You can only imagine what happened next…
We told our district manager about our relationship and he was quite happy that we were together. He said that we would have to be split apart, since we could not work in the same restaurant. Since she is from Johnstown, he moved her to one of the restaurants there. Since we would be so far apart, we decided to get a place together in the middle of the two. Ebensburg was the best choice.
It was crazy how quickly everything happened. We started dating in June and by November we were living together in a new town. It was the best decision I have ever made. Lindsey changed my life. I know that sounds hokie, but it is absolutely true. I suppose it would be really stupid to spend the rest of your life with someone if they just had a moderate impact on you. Last July I decided to propose and fortunately for me, she said yes. We plan on getting married August 22, 2015. Our wedding will be near Pittsburgh, at the Greendance Winery.
So there you have it. A little backstory about me and my brief connection with Pittsburgh.
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Check out all of this year’s participants in Pittsburgh’s Guest Blogger Event 2014