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mjcatl2

Pgh, Philly and inbetween

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I took this from another topic that I thought had already been discussed enough and since this is a different subjuct, I thought i would put it here and comment

As for the Philly thing, Philly doesn't think much about Pittsburgh, but Pittsburgh obsesses about Philly. We watch them like a hawk, taking perverse pleasure in their foibles, and always worried that Harrisburg is going to short us in Philly's favor. 
In my view this is very inaccurate. We don't obsess over Philly anymore than they would of us, or DC, or anytown USA. I have never seen evidence of this in my life, let alone a perverse interest in their "foibles."

I think a confusion exists between realistic concern over Commonwealth priorities of tax funded items with some contrived "obsession." Throw in sports for good measure (hey why not?)

Concern over what Harrisburg has done is legitimate. Just as much as Erie, Allentown, Wilkes Barre and Altoona may have with both Philly and Pittsburgh.

It's state politics short and simple.

PA is blessed to have 2 rich, beautiful major cities.

I agree that Pittsburgh is indeed Appalachian, but the lack of other major cities in Appalachia makes the comparison difficult. (Some of the smaller Appalachian cities that are not far from Pittsburgh, such as Wheeling, Cumberland and Hagerstown, have a very definite Pittsburghy feel and look to them).

I don't think that Pittsburgh needs to identify itself as Appalachian, but it does need to promote it's natural hilly environment. It should promote the city's accessability to hiking, rivers, skiing etc etc.

What about the Alleghenies, after all they did name a county after them....

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Wow that person really made Pittsburgh sound desperate. I have lived in Pgh for a long time and I have never heard any obsessions or discussion about Philly - it is ignored in my experience. And for the love of God people need to stop calling Pgh Appalachian - that term has really bad reckneck/hillbilly/Deliverance connotations. If we are trying to market Pgh that certainly is not the way to do it.

I agree that our hills are one of our best unique features. How about we stick the "San Fransisco of the East" argument as I think that will serve us better.

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I agree. Beyond the occassional "Why is the State giving money for blah blah to Philly and not us?" I have never heard Pghers worry about Philly. In fact, you'd think it was in a whole other state, judging by the lack of attention we pay to it. We think more about Cleveland, and that isn't very much either, outside of football.

I suppose some people in Philly would like to think we are obsessing and wringing our hands about their city, but from what I have seen it simply isn't true.

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If such an "obsession" (or an interest) exists, I think it has to do with location and distances.

Philadelphia is part of the northeastern megalopolis and is similar to other cities in it (like NY, DC, Boston, ect.) in size and culture. Philly is less of a Pennsylvania city than it is a northeastern city; I noticed more jersey, deleware, NY, Virginia, Conneticut, and Massachusetts licence plates (as a whole group) than PA plates in Philadelphia. In fact, philly is as close to Boston as it is to Pittsburgh. So, Philadelphia most likely takes more of an interest in those cities closest and most similar to it than to other in-state cities.

Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is by no means isolated, but few very large cities are near it. Actually, the closest very large city is Philadelphia, so Pittsburgh would understandably be interested in what happens over there even if Philly doesn't reciprocate that interest.

Those are just my thoughts.

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In many ways, Pittsburgh is much more tied to DC than with Philadelphia. That's because of the Pgh-diaspora which has lead many people to settle in the DC area. Atlanta's another one but its far enough away so as to not feel connected.

As for rivalry, I'd say Cleveland is the target of the rivalry - a similar sized city with competing teams and similar industrial background.

Culturally, PA is a schizo state. Philadelphia and SE PA are part of the NE Corridor region and cities that region in general have more to do with each other than with their respective states. Thus, NYC has little to do with Buffalo or even Albany and more to do with Phila, NJ, and Boston. So basically there's a NE corridor portion of the state (which I'd define as the 5 PA counties of Philadelphia and its suburbs, the Lehigh Valley, and Lancaster and York counties) and then there's the rest of the state.

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I suppose some people in Philly would like to think we are obsessing and wringing our hands about their city, but from what I have seen it simply isn't true.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Actually Philadelphians have much more of a rivalry with New York and Boston than with Pittsburgh. Its like how Pittsburgh has more of a rivalry with Cleveland (and even Cincinatti) than with Philadelphia. The two cities may be part of the same state but they are part of different regions.

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I don't like the "Appalachia" or the "Rust Belt" regionalizations either.

Mj, as far as Allegheny this has been brought up before many times by the "regional branding" people and even back in the 30s and 40s as a way to get away from the "pitts" stigma. Allegheny City (the present day northshore and northside) was founded only a few decades after Pittsburgh and was the more cosmopolitan and educated city, even having the forerunner to the University of Pittsburgh (Western Pa. University) in its city, as well as the observatory, a better city hall etc. etc. I forget the story on how Pittsburgh and NOT Allegheny was chosen as county seat, but it was close, and if not for the regional government being headquarted in Pittsburgh it could have been Allegheny that took over Pittsburgh instead of the other way around in 1904 or 1905. If you are wondering why the northside looks rundown and not the center of the region like it once was it is because all the power brokers and inteligensia moved to Sewickley and Sewickley Heights.

As far as Philly goes I agree with Gerbil that talking regional politics or govt. spending it does come up from time to time given that the largest two homes for legislators are Philly and then Pittsburgh in that order, there is a argument out there that the Philly-Scranton-Lancaster-Bethehem-Allentown-Pottstown group "gangup" on legislation and ram it through Harrisburg to the detriment of Pittsburgh, Eire and Johnstown.

That aside, not even in sports is there really any rivalry to joe sixpack in the 'burgh (outside of hockey).

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I'm glad it happened that way. Allegheny (North Side) jsut simply doesn't have as dramatic of a "downtown" area as the Pittsburgh Point. If Allegheny became the main city and Pittsburgh became its south side, that would ruin any geographic cache the area has.

That said, hadn't Pittsburgh already taken over Birmingham (South Side) by that time and thus ahd the lion's share of population and industrial wealth? It seems that geography was fate in the battle of the three cities Pittsburgh, Birmingham, and Allegheny. Pgh was centrally located and thus was the center of trade between the three. It also could easily annex Birmingham which was adjacent. Allegheny taking over Pittsburgh would be like Brooklyn taking over New York instead of the ohter way around.

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Yes proximity to Cleveland and similar industrial past (and to some extent present) creates a bond, but really outside of the Browns, when does Cleveland ever come up? Where as it is much more likely to have friends and family in Philly, Jersey, DC and Baltimore (where even football I would say has been more heated rivalry than the Browns). Yes Philly is larger and closer to the other very large cities of the coast, but Pittsburgh is linked to them as well.

I went to Duquesne where , as a private school, there was no advantage to being instate, but still by far most students were from Pittsburgh on east... many from MD, NJ, NY, and MA. Very few from OH even.

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The only time you can really feel a Pittsburgh/Philly rivalry is when you're at Penn State campus in State College.

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The only time you can really feel a Pittsburgh/Philly rivalry is when you're at Penn State campus in State College.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Or on Semple St in South O about 4 years past for that Penguins/ Flyers debacle.

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I'm glad it happened that way.  Allegheny (North Side) jsut simply doesn't have as dramatic of a "downtown" area as the Pittsburgh Point.  If Allegheny became the main city and Pittsburgh became its south side, that would ruin any geographic cache the area has.

That said, hadn't Pittsburgh already taken over Birmingham (South Side) by that time and thus ahd the lion's share of population and industrial wealth?  It seems that geography was fate in the battle of the three cities Pittsburgh, Birmingham, and Allegheny.  Pgh was centrally located and thus was the center of trade between the three.  It also could easily annex Birmingham which was adjacent.  Allegheny taking over Pittsburgh would be like Brooklyn taking over New York instead of the ohter way around.

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I agree on the geographic side that eventually Grant Street or the original seat of county and city power Market Square would become the center for the burgeoning metroplex. However my point was more that all the powerbrokers were mainly in Allegheny City, it is tough to imagine it today but AC was like a cross between Sewickley, Fox Chapel (where the Heinz/Kerrys reside) and Upper Saint Clair. Although the triangle would have never lost it's seat to the northside, AC could have insisted that the city change its name to "Allegheny City, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania" if they would have struck and agreement before the region industrialized in the turn of the century (by the time Pittsburgh and AC merged Pittsburgh was already a household term but 50 to 75 years earlier a namechange could have happened effortlessly).

I do like the uniqueness of being the only "burgh" among top American or North American cities, it gives us some cache and flavor I feel, plus the "Pitt" hasn't hurt Brad out in Hollywood, why should it continue to hurt us? :)

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Actually Philadelphians have much more of a rivalry with New York and Boston than with Pittsburgh.  Its like how Pittsburgh has more of a rivalry with Cleveland (and even Cincinatti) than with Philadelphia.  The two cities may be part of the same state but they are part of different regions.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

There is no rivalry between Pittsburgh and Cincy. Baltimore is becoming very nasty, but these are all sports related anyhow.

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