Pay attention to what’s right in front of you

“To be honest, it’s something that if you stopped a Pittsburgher on the street and asked them about the Block House, you might very well get an answer of, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know where that is.’”

Those are the words of Emily Hoover, former curator of the Fort Pitt Block House. (The Fort Pitt Block House, which is celebrating 250 years in 2014, is featured in this month’s Uniquely Pittsburgh.)

She says it’s like any other historic site in the city — the hardest visitor to draw is locals.

“It’s always the biggest struggle to get the actual people of Pittsburgh to know about the Block House and understand its importance. But once people learn about it, it’s amazing,” Hoover says. “They always say, ‘We never knew this was here.’ ‘We never realized what this was about.’ And then those people come back.”


Right in front of us

How often do we play tourist in our own backyard? We go on vacation, carefully planning how to maximize every moment and see as much as possible, but what about at home?

I can think of museums I haven’t visited in ages or events that pass me by every year when I say, “Oh, I should really go to that.”

Thanks to the 250th anniversary and its surrounding publicity as well as the completion of the Point State Park renovations, finally, Fort Pitt Block House is gaining more attention, but take another regional treasure that’s featured in the August edition of Smart Business Pittsburgh — Motordrome Speedway in Westmoreland County.

The only NASCAR-sanctioned speedway in southwestern Pennsylvania is undergoing a transformation, but the first order of business for the new owners Todd and Melissa Melfi was creating a buzz about racing in the Pittsburgh metro area and awareness of the track’s existence.

Maybe we all need to pay attention to what’s right in front of our eyes.


Eyes off of the prize

I wonder how much this is also true for other aspects of our lives — with our families, in our business or at work, with close friends.

We’re so busy looking for the next big thing, that allusive sale way out on the horizon or next quarter’s earnings that we don’t pay enough attention to what’s right in front of us.

It’s the little things that really fulfill people at the office — a shared laugh at the water cooler, being able to help customers, getting out from behind their desk to interact with people.

Maybe we also need to be tourists in our own workplaces, looking with fresh eyes, seeing everything and truly appreciating what’s there.