My Adventures in Pittsburgh

Posted by Simon Leung in Google, Travel, Updates on May 24th, 2006 | No Comments

Greetings from the William Penn Omni Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA!

I’m in town with a colleague for only a couple of days for a few client visits. We completed our first presentation earlier this morning, presenting information that will help them and giving them insight on how to better achieve their advertising goals.

This is my first time in Pittsburgh and it’s a great little town. Unfortunately, neither my colleague nor myself are familiar with the area, and we spent a lot of time roaming around places that do not appear to be popular hangouts on these few nights…

We arrived last night and took our Enterprise rental car out for a spin. The first thing we noticed when we got on the road is that it’s very green over here! There are plants, trees and bushes everywhere – this must be where a lot of the oxygen comes from!

After dropping off the car at the valet and checking in, we decided to walk around downtown to find a place to dine. It was around 9PM, and it was a ghost town! We walked around and around and not a single restaurant was open. I had to call another one of my good friends at Google who was originally from Pittsburgh to get some tips on where to go.

Most of the places he recommended around our part of town were also closed. The place we really wanted to try was an Italian restaurant called Palazzo on 6th Street. It was a little adventurous to find and when we got there, it was closed as well! But luckily, there was an open restuarant called Six Penn right next to it. Although it looked like they were about to close and only had a fixed menu at the time, they kindly seated us and the food turned out to be decent, so we were happy.

Our adventure continued this morning as I got out of bed at 4AM my time. I then looked over my preso material one last time and my colleague and I killed some time at the local Starbucks. About 40 minutes prior to the time we were supposed to be at our client’s office, we went to the valet to get our car.

We were waiting there for a while for the car. About 10 minutes later, the valet guy walked back calmly and said that he needed to grab some jumper cables. My colleague and I stared at each other in awe. Another 20 minutes or so came by, and he came back and confirmed that he couldn’t start the car. Just great…

There wasn’t enough time to deal with it at that point, so we cabbed it to our client meeting.

The meeting itself went very well. We spent a little over an hour going over the specifics of their account and discussed ways to increase their performance even more. It was definitely very productive and we walked away with a new game plan for the campaign.

Our client was kind enough to give us a ride back to our hotel after the meeting. We then called Enterprise to try to get the issue taken care of.

Their customer service was lacking – long hold times and requesting to call us back, but often either did not or took hours to do.

In the meantime, we took the train to over to a cool little spot called Station Square. There are some very nice attractions for sure. This is also the location most locals we talked to recommended for night life. However, during the day, there was almost no soul in sight. We ended up dining at a spot called Bar Louie, which was also pretty decent.

Afterwards, we went back to our hotel rooms for some rest. My colleague took the initiative to take care of the car rental issue. She later said that AAA actually came and was able to start the car. So, we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that the car will start tomorrow morning!

Dinner time rolled around and we went back to Palazzo, since it was highly recommended by our friend. The food was indeed superb! We had some calamari for the table and I had the penne pasta with tomato basil and tomato cream sauce with meatballs. It was good stuff!

Afterwards, we took the train back to Station Square to experience the nightlife that the locals speak of. We must’ve came on the wrong night because there was absolutely nothing going on there!

Yes, again, it was completely dead. We ended up hanging out at a bar called Buckhead Saloon and was served by an awesome bartender named Jenna. Jenna was so nice, friendly and helpful and made an otherwise boring night a wonderful experience on our final evening in Pittsburgh.

There’s one last client meeting tomorrow and I head back home in the evening. But before we leave, we need to go to Primanti Bros and try some of the famous Pittsburgh sandwiches we’ve been hearing about!

Overall, it’s been a great experience. I’m also looking forward to tomorrow’s meeting because it is supposed to be a little more challenging. The clients are more advanced and have bigger goals.

Although it will be a challenge, it will be great practice for me as I prepare for my Internet Marketing business – which is coming up in a few short months!

So brace yourself, because the tiger is about to be unleashed…

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