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PghUSA

Most Outrageous, Most complimentary things you've heard people say about the 'burgh

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As for myself:

Most outrageous:

A Portland demographer and research "expert", I believe it was for a Money Magazine ranking on most educated cities etc., failed to even rank Pittsburgh. When reached for comment on the omission by the Post-Gazette he citied stats on the Madison Ave/Hollywood Blvd. cities of Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Phoenix etc. When pressed by the reporter on how a city with UPMC and Carnegie-Mellon could be omitted, the "expert" making 6 digits doing research for top publications replied "What is Carnegie-Mellon"?

Most complimentary:

A married couple had their wedding photos taken at the West End overlook and for years afterward got surprised shocks from their friends and business associates wondering what fantastic city skyline that was behind them.

Interested in yours. I have about a ton of others and I'll try to dig up the links for the ones I have read through the media. This is the method behind my madness of expanding Pittsburgh's census area, DMA area, and "postcard" look for outsiders. Hollywood Blvd. and Madison Ave. has much more power then alot of us realize in making someplace a lot worse then Pittsburgh hip while excluding this city.

Again interested in yours, either or both. ;)

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Most outrageous:

I work with a woman who moved to Pittsburgh from New Mexico. She loves living in the city for so many reasons and was very surprised to hear the reaction from Pittsburghers when she heard over and over again "Why did you move to Pittsburgh?!?!"

Also, the same woman is taking a few classes at Pitt and arrived late to class one day. She mentioned missing the bus and a few students replied "yuck, you take the bus"

Most complimentary:

I saved an editorial from the Post-Gazette a few years ago titled "Positive impressions":

"Positive impressions"

"Two visitors to our city will undoubtedly leave here with a very warm impression of Pittsburgh and her people. This week, I witnessed a random act of kindness that certainly left me feeling warm.

On a West Busway line, a man and his wife boarded at Ingram. I heard them ask the driver if the bus went as far as Oakland and, if so, what fare they would need. He told them, whereupon and obviously unsure of themselves, they asked where they could find the exact change required. At this, the man sitting behind me announced that he had some bus passes and they would be welcome to them.

Offering thanks and protestations, they accepted. Walking to their seats, one of the visitors asked how he might repay our gallant Samaritan. He simply said, 'Welcome to Pittsburgh.'"

Sean J. McClorey

Crafton

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When I was in LA a couple weeks ago, a native was telling me about their attempts to remove smog. When he found out I was from Pittsburgh, he said something to the effect of "oh, well maybe when we clean all our smog up you guys can learn how to do it from us and clean up your air"...obviously I let him have it

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It reminds me of that newlywed couple that had their pics taken on the westend overlook, and everyone thought that was a "georgeous city", not believing that could be Pittsburgh!

Also on Fox's OC when one of the male characters said he was from Pittsburgh the rolling eyes and grimmaces on all the faces of the socalers were disgusting!

^^oh almost forgot . . . the OC the smog capital of the world grimmaces at US!!

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G,

Didn't your agent tell you that you were too pretty for that gig? j/k ;)

Yeah the irony of the OC is that ole Rupert Murdoch before his FoxNews success and right in the middle of lauching the Fox Network on channel 63s and 72s and 49s across America ran into the S&L and real estate crisis in the early 1990's, problem was he was leveraged to the hilt at the time lauching the network. Rupy was essentially broke. His only hope? A bridge loan (my terminology might be off here) and letter of good credit from PNC (rumor has it Richard Mellon Scaife pushed it through behind the scenes and helped start the conservative FoxNews as a quid-pro-quo). Basically PNC saved Murdoch's pants in 91 and 92, it is the only thing that seperates him from the penthouse and the outhouse today, that's how bad it got for him and Fox and NewsCorp.

How's he pay us back? Having some longhaired beachbum writer in the smog capital of the world put Pittsburgh down on a "let's get the young vulnerable and impressionable teen audience eating out of our hand" TV show. Ok Murdoch didn't personally direct that to be in the script, but he could have personally directed a financial history lesson for the crew. Just funny how a decade later all that Pittsburgh money (credit) flows into a show that puts us down, and with a show that caters to people yearning to form opinions about things.

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Just when I thought I've heard it all!!

So I go on to Wikipedia (I'm Hholt01 there) been toying around there for about 6 months interlinking Pittsburgh pages, expanding them adding categories etc. pretty cool ap if you ask me. Anyway for those of you accustom to Wikipedia it is interactive anyone can change and update pages and then discuss those changes/updates. So I go to several "umbrella" pages American Universities, American Interstates (I-376,I-279 and I-579 weren't there!), etc. adding the Pittsburgh areas assets. I go to Malls and add a handful like Monroeville, Century III, RossPark, and the Southside Works (open-air mall), this is what one of the regular contributors writes me back . . . keep in mind I was only adding the MAJOR malls:

"Yo dude:"

Ok this is gonna be intelligent :P

"I don't know if you noticed . . ."

Wasn't there supposed to be a "have" in there?

". . . the "notable" limitation on this article, but it's really important or else this list is going to get way too long (please review the article's history to see what I mean)."

Fair. I did only include the major ones.

"I hope you come up with some justifications for why those malls are notable in the next month or so, or I might have to chop a few. Please take a look at the California malls for examples of what is notable."

I can feel the ignorant stereotype coming . . . oh this is the start of it . . .

here . . .

it . . .

comes . . .

"Pittsburgh is a seriously depressed metro area . . ."

This from the state that is chasing businesses to Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Oregon?

". . . and it is highly unlikely that it could support such a large number of notable malls (implying that some of the ones you posted are non-notable)."

Ok I really don't want to judge the guy but doesn't it seem strange that he thinks he should tell me what it is his implication is in an implying way (the use of parentheses). He either is as ill-informed as his thesis or he thinks I'm stupid.

"If you have an issue with this, please reply on Talk:List of shopping malls. Thanks."

At least he's civil.

On his bio page this is his background:

"I am a young lawyer. I hold a J.D. from a well-known law school on the West Coast of North America."

Take that back, he think's I'm stupid.

California does have some great and huge malls. If you think about the legacy of Century III (3rd largest mall in the world, largest mall in the Northeast when it was built), Monroeville Mall (the scene of arguably the best horror flick of all time), Ross Park, and even Robinson Town Centre these aren't "seriously depressed" and "non-notable".

If it is that easy to get a JD, I should go into law. I wouldn't mind the guy asking me about it, I wouldn't mind him making me justify it, I do mind the putdowns and the assumption on his part that (we are talking his implications after all) somehow Pittsburgh wouldn't support notable malls.

This for all those visitors to the forum and non-natives out there is what we Pittsburghers have to put up with on a weekly basis. "Oh Cleveland and Miami and Phoenix and Portland and Dallas but ewww Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh could N-E-V-E-R be cool or hip or happening enough to register nationally on anything."

Ok I'll just go back to my "seriously depressed" Wikipedia updates . . . and to think all this ignoramus had to do was click the hotlink in Wikipedia to go to the Pittsburgh page where this comes up about our "seriously depressed" city:

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Did you respond to him? I cannot STAND attitudes like his. I guarantee he has NEVER visited this city. He knows NOTHING about it. Yet he has the NERVE to state, as if it were a fact, that it is a "seriously depressed area." I could SLAP him.

Please tell me you set him straight.

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Not yet, I'm getting ready to though BIG TIME, I thought I would throw it on this board first in case you folks gave me any ideas I could add to my reply. :) I want this one to be gooooood.

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Well, I guess the best thing you can do is keep it to the point. Focus on a) showing that the malls you listed are significant, and b) showing that this is not a "depressed" region.

As much as you might like to really go off on him, an argument is strongest if you stay on the main topic. The more points you try to make, the less strength your main points will seem to have.

Good luck, I know you can present a good case :)

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I agree Gerbil, first and foremost (and whether we like it or not) we are all ambassadors for the city and region, so although we SHOULD defend it, we can't seem overzealous or irrational about it.

The best way to get our point across to me is something short and simple and sweet but that says a ton in breadth and depth and basically makes them realize they should really come visit and see for themselves. I have a pretty strong idea of what I will respond with, just seeing if I find anything else that says alot without many words about our city on this board or elsewhere before I turn on the lights for this joker.

;)

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I agree Gerbil, first and foremost (and whether we like it or not) we are all ambassadors for the city and region, so although we SHOULD defend it, we can't seem overzealous or irrational about it.

The best way to get our point across to me is something short and simple and sweet but that says a ton in breadth and depth and basically makes them realize they should really come visit and see for themselves. I have a pretty strong idea of what I will respond with, just seeing if I find anything else that says alot without many words about our city on this board or elsewhere before I turn on the lights for this joker.

;)

Just show him some of your pictures (and if you pics of the malls, show them too). I find that people rarely listen (read) words btu tehy pay attention to pictures.

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I heard another outrageous thing today. I was listening to Alan Cox on The X on my way to work, and he read a letter from a 21 year old fan. She went on and on about how great he is, and then she said (I'm paraphrasing to the best of my memory) "It's great having you here in Pittsburgh, because sometimes is sucks, and we need you."

Sometimes it sucks? That just reeks of uninformed parroting of stereotpyes. She probably just read that Pitt News article.

In the past I have asked people like her why they think Pittsburgh "sucks," and they inevitably give a vague answer that doesn't really mean much. Something like "Well other cities are just cooler." Hello, that is not an answer. It's so dumb the things people say about "other cities" compared to Pgh. They can never name anything specific, and usually they don't even mention a specific city.

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G excellent point, as much as we want to blame this lie on outsiders some natives are just as bad and just as ill-informed.

Here is something that I found and that is very cool, they updated it and put in everything if anyone needs any talking points with these stereotype addicts:

http://www.visitpittsburgh.com/static/inde...m?contentID=141

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Thanks for that link, what a great resource. Some of those things go totally in opposition to what the stereotypes say. One that particularly struck me:

Pittsburgh ranked among the cleanest cities in the United States and the 17th cleanest city in the world, according to a new survey by William M. Mercer, a San Francisco-based consulting firm. Pittsburgh ranked 145.5 (base score is 100) on the environmental index, along with seven other U.S. cities. Scores are based on the level of air pollution, the efficiency of waste disposal and sewage systems.

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Hello Everyone I thought I would add my two cents to this discussion. Just yesterday I was talking to a former Pittsburgher and I mentioned how surprised I was when I visited there 5 years ago. Not only did I find Pittsburgh to be lively, but also a very cultural city as well. He went on to tell me how depressed Pittsburgh is and how there are no jobs etc., etc., etc. It seems that people in Pittsburgh have a serious lack of self esteem when it comes to their city. They always tell me that they had to leave to find meaningful employment largely in the DC area.

My imperssions of Pittsburgh were much more upbeat than what I have heard from transplanted natives. Why is this? In other words it seems that so many people from Pittsburgh see the glass as half empty versus half full. I for one view Pittsburgh as an exciting, vibrant, historical and even culturally significant city (e.g., Warhol Museum, University of Pitt area, Carnegie Mellon etc.).

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Let me help you all out here just a little bit. I work for a major hotel company and used to travel around opening/converting hotels for them. I spent a lot of time criss-crossing the Nation spending about 2-3 weeks in any given city. Of all the cities I visited none have impressed me the way that Pittsburgh has. Sure NY or Los Angeles has great shopping but their livability isn't there for the normal everyday person. I was so impressed to the fact that even though I have a career I enjoy I catch myself searching for jobs in Pittsburgh. I'm not so sure why I like your city so much but I guess that doesn't matter. Anyway - sometimes being a well-kept secret is a good thing.

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Let me help you all out here just a little bit. I work for a major hotel company and used to travel around opening/converting hotels for them. I spent a lot of time criss-crossing the Nation spending about 2-3 weeks in any given city. Of all the cities I visited none have impressed me the way that Pittsburgh has. Sure NY or Los Angeles has great shopping but their livability isn't there for the normal everyday person. I was so impressed to the fact that even though I have a career I enjoy I catch myself searching for jobs in Pittsburgh. I'm not so sure why I like your city so much but I guess that doesn't matter. Anyway - sometimes being a well-kept secret is a good thing.

memphian, you hit it right on the head! Pittsburgh seemed very livable to me and appeared to have housing options affordable to average people.

I only stopped in Pittsburgh on my way back to DC from Toronto in 2000. The weather got kind of nasty south of Erie so I decided on a lark to spend the night at the Ramada Convention Center and got a large very nice room for $99. I decided instead of rushing back home I spent a large part of the next morning walking around Liberty Ave., and I visited the Warhol Museum. I didn't even know Warhol was from Pittsburgh! One of the things that Pittsburgh could do is market itself better. It should be no secret that Warhol is from Pittsburgh and not New York.

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^^those are some great experiences thanks for sharing them with us. As far as the question as to why some natives are down on their hometown of the 'burgh, you can cite a few different things. First Pittsburgh was a generation ago almost a world power, it was the 6th largest media market in the 1950s and 1960s, up until the mid-1980's it had the third largest concentration of fortune 500 headquarters, and many of those in the top 100. Gulf Oil, U.S. Steel, Westinghouse and other local megacompanies employed tens of thousands locally and not just blue collar but in high paying research and engineering jobs at lab complexes that still exist today (the huge Harmar UPMC site on 28 was the Gulf Oil Global research center, Alcoa and US Steel had huge complexes in Monroeville and Lower Burrell respectively and although they still exist they are only half of what they once were, the former Westinghouse global research center in Churchill and Consolidated Coal's in Mt. Lebanon are now but memories). Koppers Chemicals, Mobay, Mesta, Cyclops, Allegheny Air, Blaw-Knox Chemicals, Arbuckle Foods, Potter-McCune Foods, Clark Candies, Jones & Laughlin, Rockwell International, Fisher Scientific, among others have all been megamerged or moved or worse. Pittsburgh although still very vibrant and on par with any mid-sized American city is no longer the "city of champions" it was as late as the early 1980's when a Gulf Oil or U.S. Steel or Westinghouse ALONE employed 20,000 locally, with 5,000 or so PhD, or technocrat positions. Pittsburgh went from being compared with the Chicago's and New York's to being compared with the Kansas City's and Milwaukee's in a generation, it is still a great city but some locals think that if it can't be every bit the Chicago then it just isn't as good anymore.

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PGHUSA your summary is right on track. More Pittsburghers need to be happy with and proud of what the city has to offer. I can't think of another city Pittsburghs size that has the same ammenities to offer. Too many glass half empty people.

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Yes. Too many focus on what we have lost instead of what we have. This is a great city, with tons to offer. It's absolutely amazing the way it has survived and thrived despite devastating losses in the past. We have great, eclectic communities, friendly people and everything you could want from a major city. But some people can't get past the fact that we aren't as big as we once were.

For the most part, it's out-of-towners who I hear saying how great it is here. Many folks who have lived here all their lives just don't know.

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Yes. Too many focus on what we have lost instead of what we have. This is a great city, with tons to offer. It's absolutely amazing the way it has survived and thrived despite devastating losses in the past. We have great, eclectic communities, friendly people and everything you could want from a major city. But some people can't get past the fact that we aren't as big as we once were.

For the most part, it's out-of-towners who I hear saying how great it is here. Many folks who have lived here all their lives just don't know.

I think people fail to realize that in losing... Pittsburgh has gained in many ways... losing the heavy manufacturing... of course was a critical blow... but Pittsburgh has been able to weather it... and now the city is clean and green...

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I think people fail to realize that in losing... Pittsburgh has gained in many ways... losing the heavy manufacturing... of course was a critical blow... but Pittsburgh has been able to weather it... and now the city is clean and green...

Which again was another surprise about Pittsburgh. Before I visited, I would have never described Pittsburgh as clean. Afterwards I was taken aback by how clean the streets were and even how clean the air seemed. One question though, are there any working steel mills left in the Pittsburgh area? I do not recall seeing one when I was there.

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