A Dane In the Valley

Celebration! My All-American Independence Day Weekend

Our Danish intern celebrates Independence Day in the Steel City with fireworks, baseball, barbecue, and everything in-between


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Me on Mount Washington in Pittsburgh

Happy Fourth of July, America! I kicked off my first Independence Day on July 2 with my first-ever S’mores (I know — shocker!) in the Hudson Valley office with my co-workers.

My digital editor, Jessica, brought all the ingredients for a classic S’mores fest: the crunchy Graham crackers, the sweet Hershey’s chocolate bars, and of course, the main star: gooey marshmallows. (So yummy!)

s'mores s'mores

S’mores, please!

On Friday, I went to Pittsburgh (also known as the “Steel City” due to its history in steel production) to visit my American friend, who I met in Denmark when he was studying there.

Like New York, Pittsburgh has traces from the Europeans. During the French and Indian War, the Indians “kicked the French’s butts all the way to Canada” (as a Pittsburgher put it). Today, the city is a melting pot and has the nation’s largest Italian and Eastern European population.

I took a little road trip to Ohio where we bought fireworks (they’re illegal in Pennsylvania) and I ticked off another state on my bucket list. When we returned, I prepared myself (emotionally and physically) for my first baseball game. The Pirates were playing against Cleveland (who else?), so I had to buy a baseball T-shirt downtown (or dahntahn, as a true Pittsburgher would say).

PNC park primanti sandwich

The view from our seats at the Pirates game in PNC Park (left) and my Primanti Bros. sandwich

For lunch, I tried a mandatory Pittsburgh delicacy: a Primanti Bros. sandwich, full of meat, coleslaw, and fries. If you ever go there, you have to try this!

In the evening, hundreds of people were waiting outside the stadium wearing their Pirates T-shirts and happy faces. We had seats at the top with an amazing view over the field and the city in the background. It was a real American experience with fireworks, screaming fans, and even a pierogi race. (Sadly, the Pirates didn’t win this time.)

I spent Saturday preparing for my first American barbecue party. In Denmark, we also barbecue meat — mostly pork — throughout the summertime, only without the Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce. We also drink a lot of Danish beer and embrace American games like beer pong and flip cup, but we’re still waiting for the day when we can buy full kegs of beer in local stores like Americans can. My hosts started slow-cooking the meat early and preparing the keg. I was playing beer pong like a pro (if I may say so myself), and did a keg stand for the first time!

At dusk the fireworks started, and we crawled up on the rooftop to get a full view over the city. It was a night for the books. Pittsburgh, I will definitely be back!

mount washington david and anemone

The view from Mount Washington (left) and my friend David and I at the Pirates game

Have any questions or recommendations for Anemone? Suggest them as a comment below!

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