Some Interesting Facts About My Hometown: Altoona, PA

I have to start by saying that I am not a particularly ardent fan of Altoona; it’s a two-hour drive to the nearest international airport, 6 hours to the ocean, and the nearest Ann Taylor LOFT is about 45 minutes away. That being said, Altoona has a pretty interesting history, which makes me not entirely mortified to tell people that I grew up there.
The World Famous Horseshoe Curve:

Railroad enthusiasts get all excited about this, and it’s a pretty cool place to visit. I’ve been there a few times: we used to be able to walk up these really steep steps to the top, but I’ve heard that now it’s only accessible via a funicular railway (and now that you know the word funicular… use it in a sentence - amaze your friends!)

In 1999, the Altoona Curve became the Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s a nice minor-league stadium, and I’ve been to a few games and had a good time (and I typically find baseball mind-numbingly dull - sorry baseball fans).
I’ve been to a few plays at the Mishler. It’s a really cool old building in the city’s downtown section that offers some good, quality shows. And to top it off, it’s haunted! Yep, it’s even been featured on Ghost Hunters.
The website’s not the greatest (most local newspaper websites are pretty bad), but this was the first newspaper I ever read, and I still check the website a few times a week to see what’s going on.

The coolest thing about it is that I went there. And really, that’s all that matters.

As with most of Western Pennsylvania, football is King in Altoona. People are devoted to the Mountain Lions (Altoona Area High School), the Penn State Nittany Lions, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I love football!

The world’s oldest operating wooden roller coaster is located at Lakemont Park in, yep, you guessed it, Altoona.

Altoona Has Hustle:
Back in the 1970s (and for how long, I don’t know), Altoona’s official slogan was “Altoona Has Hustle.” You’re at a loss for words, right? I’m right there with you.

Sep 01, 2009

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