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Pittsburgh thoughts


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I've been in Pittsburgh for a short while now. Enough days to have formed an opinion about he city. It's not good.

The first college I went to was half way between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The kids from the Philly suburbs were always ragging on the kids from the Pittsburgh suburbs, and vice versa. Each made their side of Pennsylvania seem like Nirvana. Now I know they're all liars.

In a nutshell, Pittsburgh did the opposite of what a city is supposed to do. Instead of borrowing the best parts from other cities, it took all the worst parts.

From New York:

- a grumpy service sector

- dirty streets and bad sidewalks

From Houston:

- unwarranted humidity

- mass transit that's virtually worthless to visitors

From Chicago:

- a $45 cab ride from the airport to downtown

From Charleston, WV:

- infrastructure designed to support the coal and steel industries with the needs of its citizens secondary

- an ugly brown river. Galveston is the freaking C

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Im surprised to hear its humid there. I lived there for a few years, and the humidity is nothing like Houston.

Although I was in Virginia last week, and they were having unusually hot and humid days for the area.... maybe Pitt had the same thing going.

It aint a pretty town... but its got a lot more geography and history than does Houston.

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Does it at least seem like a nice place to visit and tour?

If you arrive by plane and rent a car you can pretty much see everything the city has to offer in a day or two, and that includes second- and third-tier sites. Add an extra day if you want to drive the 90 miles south to see Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater.

The city has a lot of history, but hasn't really embraced it other than naming bridges and beers with historic words bearing French spellings. The city is only just now starting to realize the cultural importance of its history but those who would turn those relics into living history, museums, tourist dollars, and educational opportunities are shouted down by the lunkhead majority.

Here's an example: The remnants of the city's oldest building, Fort Pitt, have been found beneath the area where Three Rivers Stadium used to stand. Because there isn't public support (and therefore no public money) to excavate it, it's being buried deeper under a park in hopes the future generations might find some value in it and do some proper archaeological work there. My cab driver was complaining about the park -- "Giant waste of space" he said. He wants the old multi-purpose stadium re-built, or the area replaced with a skyscraper, a factory, or "something useful like a coal plant." This is in the heart of downtown. I think he's probably in the majority.

I predict there will be a Houston History Museum (other than HAIF) long before there's a Pittsburgh History Museum.

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I realize that this is an architect forum, but I really liked the many hills in the city, all over looking the three rivers that converge at Pittsburgh. I think it is an interesting city and I could live there. Too bad about the original Fort Pitt, because it has such historical significance.

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I visited Pittsburg 2 years ago and attended a baseball game at PNC park. The view of the skyline at night, from the park, was beautiful. And, it just happened to be "Skyblast" weekend, with a huge fireworks show after the game, over the river, by the Roberto Clemente bridge, and that was icing on the cake. Of the baseball stadiums that I've visited, as far as beautiful view, PNC is my favorite.

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Visited a few years ago. Pleasant town in the summer. Nice trip for a long weekend, including Fallingwater - but you have to get into the history (museums, old hotels, etc.). I did quite a bit of research to try and find the best mid-priced restaurants, and they were pretty bland. Nothing like Houston's awesome and diverse restaurant scene.

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i dunno, i rather like pittsburgh. i wouldn't live there but it was far better than i had expected.

I concur. I was in Western PA for a wedding in late May and got to spend some time in Pittsburgh before returning home. From what I had heard about the city I wasn't expecting much, but the second I saw downtown after emerging from the Fort Pitt Tunnel I was impressed. Sure I wouldn't say it's one of the nicest cities I've been to, but the overall vibe I got of the city from the geography/buildings/people/etc was a pleasant one. As for the weather, maybe I was just lucky because it was a cool/windy day with minimal humidity that kind of reminded me of Chicago.

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