Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A blogger's road trip

Last season, I was in Washington for the Capitals' final game of the regular season, and met owner Ted Leonsis, his son Zach and the team's mass legion of bloggers.

(Somehow, we found Hockey Night in Canada at a local pub later that night.)

This year, the road trip gets a bit more ambitious.

At the end of the month, I'm going to be in Pittsburgh, Columbus and Detroit for three games in a row, spending too much on jerseys and paraphernalia and living like a fan for a long weekend. (Getting two tickets to the sold-out Penguins is one of the tricky spots at this point.)

If there are bloggers or fans out there who have advice on lodgings, food or "entertainment" in these fair burghs, please let me know. This will be my first-ever stopover in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and the expectations are high.

I've even got my The Pensblog T-shirt picked out.

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At 11:47 p.m., March 04, 2008, Anonymous PJ said...

You're going to Columbus? Typical Canadian journalist.

At 12:53 a.m., March 05, 2008, Blogger islesblogger said...

And you don't want to come visit us at the Blog Box on Long Island?

For shame James Mirtle!

But I digress, it sounds like a good trip indeed bud; I have some plans in motion for next year that may or may not involve coming up to your neck of the woods. I look forward to my Timmy's.

Best of luck on the Pens tickets.

At 1:02 a.m., March 05, 2008, Blogger Nick said...

If you want to eat like a local in Detroit, grab a gyro at Plaka

or a coney dog from Lafayette coney island (make sure you don't accidentally walk into american)

for drinks I like Jacoby's

We park at the greektown casino lot (free with validation) and take the people mover to the game.

At 4:28 a.m., March 05, 2008, Anonymous Tapeleg said...

Swing by Toledo and say hello. I'm going to need it.

At 8:25 a.m., March 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hit the R bar in Columbus. It is right next to the team store at the arena. Ask anyone in the store if you have problems finding it they know. Danny Gare, players and fans all like to stop by after the game.

At 9:32 a.m., March 05, 2008, Blogger Blitzen said...

I wish I could convince the spousal unit to take an NHL arena tour. Lucky you.

Have fun.

At 9:41 a.m., March 05, 2008, Anonymous nfreeman said...

You can't really drive right through Buffalo and not go to a Sabres game, right? Although I can't guarantee a good performance from team schizo (my beloved Sabres) this year, their playoff push will probably go down to the wire, and Buffalo is a great place to see a game, have a beer and some wings, etc.

At 10:54 a.m., March 05, 2008, Blogger RudyKelly said...

This will be my first-ever stopover in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and the expectations are high.

You poor bastard.

At 11:25 a.m., March 05, 2008, Blogger Freeptop said...

If you like convenience, the Pittsburgh Marriott is right across the street from the Igloo, though that won't be the cheapest place to stay in town.

For food, hit either the Strip District or the South Side. Both have lots of food options. Ask any local Pittsburgher how to get to either of those places. You'll get the most interesting directions you've ever gotten, but they'll get you there.

As a side note, most Pittsburghers will tell you to go to Primanti Brothers for food. If you like greasy sandwiches, by all means - they make some great greasy sandwiches. On the other hand, if you want something with the potential for less grease, while still being something that feels uniquely Pittsburgh, head over to the Church Brew Works: http://www.churchbrew.com/ It's a former church that has been converted into a restaurant/microbrewery.

As for Pens tickets, if you try buying them now, you might be able to get tickets to the game. Otherwise, the Penguins just teamed up with ticketmaster to provide an "official" site for people to sell and trade Pens tickets. You can find it from the Penguins' front page. You'll be paying extra going that route, though. By game night, it will be sold out, so one way or another, get your tickets in advance!

At 11:27 a.m., March 05, 2008, Blogger Colin said...

When stopping to see the Flighless Bird in Pittsburgh, make sure you sample a Primanti Brothers sandwhich. They are superb. If you are looking to catch a few drinks, Carson St in the Southside is a great place to start. Plenty of bars all located on one strip. Not to far from the Area either. I would tell you to indulge in some I.C. Light as well, but you would hate yourself in the morning.

At 11:33 a.m., March 05, 2008, Anonymous FrogC said...

Whatever you do in Pittsburgh, make sure to get up on Mt. Washington for the view! The Grandview Saloon there is a great place for lunch or drinks. Also, Piper's Pub in the South Side is a wonderful English pub for pre-game eats. For lodging, the Omni William Penn is just down the hill from the Igloo and a very nice, grand hotel. Best in town is the Renaissance, but it's a little further away. Don't miss out on wandering the odd concourses of the Igloo to take in what will be gone in a couple years.

At 2:36 p.m., March 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Second the Mt. Washington suggestion. Best view of the city. Just a heads up - Grandview Saloon is now a steakhouse, a very crappy steakhouse. I'd eat somewhere else.

At 2:38 p.m., March 05, 2008, Blogger Pat said...

Piper's and Church Brew Works are good suggestions for your visit to Pittsburgh. IC Light is not. Have fun on the trip.

At 5:19 p.m., March 05, 2008, Blogger Michael said...

I hope that you and I get to meet so that I can shake your hand and say hello.

I can vouch for all of those Pittsburgh suggestions.

Too bad it is not in the summer time and show you Kennywood park.

At 5:56 p.m., March 05, 2008, Blogger sager said...

One, cut a hole in the box. Two, put your blog in the box. Three, have them open the box. And that's the way you do it, it's a blog in a box.

At 6:35 p.m., March 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want a enjoy the best local beer Pittsburgh has to offer, might I suggest a Yuengling (pronounced as it's spelled minus the U). Iron is garbage and Rolling Rock can't hold a candle to it. (I know Pottstown isn't exactly local but leave the state of PA and try to get one)

At 2:21 p.m., March 06, 2008, Anonymous fraser said...

i might see you at the wings game then james. ill be in the pressbox with a couple othe bloggers. maybe then you will finally put me on your blogroll.

At 11:20 p.m., March 07, 2008, Anonymous Junior said...

Lafayette Coney Island is a must in Detroit before or after the Joe. As for accomodations - Windsor is nice!

At 4:03 a.m., March 08, 2008, Anonymous emraith said...

My only suggestion for coming here to pittsburgh, is do not go to Primanti's. Horrible food that everyone around here seems to love. Not a problem that its greasy, but the food just sucks.

Church brew works is good, or drive down carson st..nothing on the street but bars


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