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Pittsburgh Boomeranger | Curiosity led me around the world and back

My dark green jumper — rarely washed and covered in food stains — attracted dirt as I huddled with my classmates on the playground. An invisible oven baked our collection of berries, leaves, and mulch. I conferred with my co-creators in our make-believe world — indeed, a scent of cookies was magically wafting from our pile of mud.

I grew up on The Ellis School campus, an idyllic, all-girls private school in Shadyside. The aroma of freshly baked cookies regularly appeared as I ran on the playground, stepped off the bus, and stood outside during fire drills. …


Image source: Zillow

This relationship isn’t working. You flood me with real estate listings but omit essential information about my city. My trust in you is eroding.

I admit I let you manipulate me in a moment of weakness. My husband and I had been living out of two suitcases for five months. We were wearing out our families’ generosity as quickly as our few pairs of underwear when I let your addictive website suck me into a zombie scroll. Your algorithms successfully numbed my brain as I searched for the ideal home, always one click away.

I chased your listings all over…


Mr. Rogers first introduced me to boomerangs.

As he talked on the television screen in his red sweater and sneakers, his tiny trolley transported me to the Neighborhood of Make Believe. There, Lady Elaine Fairchilde held her boomerang. An outspoken puppet with short hair, a pointed nose, and flushed cheeks, Lady Elaine challenged authority. In moments of discontent, Lady Elaine used her boomerang to turn the world upside-down.

Lady Elaine Fairchilde on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Image source

There is a boomerang effect in Pittsburgh — Fred Rogers’ hometown and mine. No matter how hard we try to leave, something draws us back. At times, the momentum turns things upside-down.

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