Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Premiere, and Pittsburgh

We had no idea what a cool town Pittsburgh would be. This is a mural depicting our neighborhood, the Strip District. It is as colorful and fun as the mural suggests. Leaving the Strip, Pittsburgh also has beautiful rivers, bridges and walkways, fascinating architecture, nifty street signage and diverse, friendly people. With only a very small effort, they gave me a library card which allows me to check out 50 books at a time! And we have just barely arrived.

Here are Baz and Ayla partaking of Edible Flowers at the local Farmer's Market.

And Isa, enjoying the panoramic view where we went bike-riding this afternoon.

It feels like this is going to be a great town for us.

Today was Premiere. On our 6th city, I think I have finally gotten the hang of this system. It works like this:

In between cities, and really up until Premiere date, families have just about no contact with each other. It's silly to even make an effort - everyone is content to take this time with their families and they seem to need no socializing, this lasts for about 10 days.

On Premiere evening, everyone comes together. All of the families show up at the tent for dinner. The cooks prepare an overly gourmet meal at which my children and I can barely find anything to eat. Tonight's highlight was a chocolate fondue fountain. Drinks are, for one night only, on the house. Families re-connect and make plans. And most people dress up! For once, the girls and I got the hang of this part, thanks to a last-minute shopping trip to the funky Strip stores this afternoon.

We watch the show and love it. We gasp and giggle at changes or slip-ups.
At intermission, the children run around the back of site terrorizing each other, despite our Tour Services department's insistence that they stay within certain boundaries, always accompanied by an adult. ... the fact is, they are getting more comfortable here, we all are, and we are beginning to rely on each other to help keep the kids in line... while still allowing them to be kids, and to develop a social world in this crazy situation we've put them in. As you can see, our Totem gang of children is big, and getting bigger all the time - there are several others not pictured here, and two more babies are due this summer.

Watching the show this evening, I marveled at the connections I've made in these past 11 months. Little things, small threads of knowledge and communication. There's the acrobat I was helping to find a parking space this afternoon. There's the performer who was just telling me about her overly-indulgent vacation week. There's the guy recuperating from an injury, and here's the aerialist who's missing his faraway wife and daughter. I begin to know their stories, their backgrounds, their personalities; which enriches, for me, the already exhilarating experience of watching the circus. And when I'm here in the tent, and the music begins, I can't imagine wanting to be anywhere else.


  1. I saw the Sunday afternoon show in the Strip and took to Google after I became curious about the CdS traveling life. I'm so glad to have found your blog! This is a very compelling and personal glimpse into what sounds to me like a wildly interesting experience.

    Too bad about Right by Nature. I imagine you can get most of what you need in the Strip... but in case you haven't discovered it yet, there is a supermarket within walking distance on the North Shore, just across the river.

    Best of luck and I hope you continue to enjoy Pittsburgh!

  2. Hey - so glad you are enjoying Pittsburgh - we can't wait to see it - and you guys! xoxo, Rebecca

  3. PS I love the dress.... and you can so pull it off!