Renee and I got back to the city last night, and today is a beautiful day. I’ll be off exploring New York as soon as my laundry is finished–the reality of travel. Both Lowell and Amherst made us think a lot about the life and revitalization of cities. Lowell claims, in a tourist center introduction, that it has been revitalized. Amherst, we were told, is on the verge of explosive, upscale growth. I think about all of this and relate it to Pittsburgh and Chicago. Fifteen years ago, Chicago had a large, vacant area encircling downtown. It was made up of old, empty factories and brownfields. Today, most of that has been occupied and the city is thriving and beautiful. Lowell and Amherst seem to be similarly unoccupied. So they could go either way. My friend Julia told us Northhampton, next to Amherst, was revitalized by a powerful, farsighted mayor. Certainly that was true for Chicago. So where is a Mayor Daley for Pittsburgh?