The powers that be in Pittsburgh tell us this is great PR for the city; we will finally get known for something other than being a smoky city. I don't think they meant the steel city would be known for our fencing and steel barricades, but that's how it looks to me. Tuesday, walking to class, one of my classmates offered me a ride just as it looked like the rains were coming. She drove through Schenley Park near Phipps Conservatory and already the park was being fenced in–or we were being kept out. Yesterday I went to a noon colloquium at Frick fine arts, the Pitt building closest to the Phipps. It was surrounded by fencing with only one way to get in (or out). I felt like I was in some kind of prison. Pitt is closed today and all of my classes at CMU have been canceled. Sculpture in front of the Carnegie Museum looks like it has been crated. All of this because there will be a welcome dinner tonight at the Phipps. How welcome is that!
They say it's because of all of the protests and the damage done in other cities. Here are some links about the protests: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/23/g20-usa
If I was coming here from a foreign country I would certainly wonder about all of these impediments to free movement in our supposedly free country. And why don't these government ministers from all over the world wonder what they have done to make so many people so angry.