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tooluther

The Post-Gazette: "what are you still doing in Pittsburgh?"

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FOR THE LOVE OF G*D I am so sick of these articles about CLT in the Post Gazette. First we had the article on how great it was that they were the new Usairways hub. No we've been subjected to this obnoxious series about how much better Charlotte is that Pittsburgh. THREE DAYS WORTH!!

Listen, I've been to Charlotte plenty. Yes, the weather is awesome (aside from the debilitating ice storms) there is no denying that. Aside from that, you can hardly compare. Pittsburgh is an old industrial city that is diversifying into Bio-sciences and Robotics etc. Charlotte is a new growth mass of sprawl focused on continued domination of the financial sector. Pittsburgh is world renowned for its foundation supported culture, green building, and civic identity. Charlotte is a totally different dynamic. It lives and dies at the hand of BOA and Wachovia. Civic pride is lacking because the native population has practically been replaced with "carpetbaggers"

In ten years there is no doubt in my mind that Charlotte will be the south's second great city. But great cities in the south have none of the history, culture, and large scale planning of their northern counterparts. Charlotte is a great city in its own right, but I'm sick of the PG comparing us to them. Pittsburgh is a great, in my opinion still better city in its own right as well!

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*Applause*

Thank you! I have been getting frustrated by those articles too. The last thing this great city, with it's collective low self esteem, needs is these articles about how some other place is supposedly better. What is the point? Ick.

I encourage you to write a letter to the PG saying what you just said to us.

(Oh, and you might want to include the fact that Pittsburgh, while not as big a banking city as Charlotte, is still one of the top ten in the US and that is nothing to sneeze at!).

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In ten years there is no doubt in my mind that Charlotte will be the south's second great city. But great cities in the south have none of the history, culture, and large scale planning of their northern counterparts. Charlotte is a great city in its own right, but I'm sick of the PG comparing us to them. Pittsburgh is a great, in my opinion still better city in its own right as well!

Which city do you consider the only great city of the South, Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami, Tampa, etc...? There's more than one big city South of Pittsburgh. You're thinking pre 1950. No history in New Orleans or Atlanta??? No culture in Miami???

Charlotte's already a great city even though downtown Charlotte is like a large office park compared to the Golden Triangle of Pittsburgh.

And No, I'm not from Charlotte.

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IMO Atlanta is the "City of the South" it dominate southern urban culture. Ask someone in North Carolina or Tenn. where their baseball allegiances lie...its the braves. Ask them if they would even drink anything but Coke...they won't. The SEC championships are there, the ACC/SEC match ups are there. Its the largest Airport by far. Larger modern cities are compared to Atlanta (Charlotte, Nashville etc), and Small Historic cities are compared to Charleston (Savannah, Wilmington etc).

As for Miami, and Tampa- Florida is not part of the south :P

New Orleans is also difficult to throw into the mix. Yes its a great city, but is not the iconic city of the South. The continued domination of the Democratic party, and the Catholic majority make it stick out like a sore thumb. My point was that in 10 years, People won't simply think of the south and think of Atlanta (we'll have to disagree that they don't already, I strongly think they do). They will also think of Charlotte. Greenville/Spartanburg will most likely take the place of Charlotte as the leader of the second cities of the south.

I didn't mean my comments so much to be a negative about Charlotte; I have personal opinions about it that are less than savory (the point about downtown being a giant office park being one of them) but that is not the point of these boards. My point was comparison a comparison between the two is becoming less and less relevant as Pittsburgh and Charlotte head in dramatically different directions and draw on even more different histories.

*and just to clarify, I'm not thinking of the south pre-1950. I'm much less familiar with the close history of the south than I am of the current...having lived there fore six years.

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I find the articles frustrating as well. They should have edited them better. While its an interesting contrast - it's not like Pittsburgh is the 3rd banking city to their 2nd place status - according the chart in the first article, Pgh is like 10th. So it wasn't a contest between two cities.

Secondly, the one industry domination of the respective cities is an interesting angle and should have been more of the focus.

The part that is most annoying is today's article in which they focus on the Pittsburghers that left and how they can't get work here. While there is a reality to that, as Pittsburghers have left for many regions for jobs. However, how about some balance? They treated this mostly, as an inherent advantage to Charlotte. Yes some quoted the culture amenities of Pgh, and that is true. But How about an article with those stats?

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My point was that in 10 years, People won't simply think of the south and think of Atlanta (we'll have to disagree that they don't already, I strongly think they do).

Like you said. We'll have to agree to disagree. I feel that anyone who's traveled to these new South cities doesn't dismiss them any longer. I agree with your opinion that Charlotte and Pittsburgh are growing in different directions. Charlotte is heavy on finance. Pittsburgh seems to be trying to diversify more, with a focus on medical, bio tech, and the colleges and universities.

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Frankly from a Charlottean's point of view the articles were pretty silly...you'd think everybody down here works for either BofA or Wachovia and drives a BMW and that college grads get greeted at the city limits with a 6-figure job offer--yeh right--anyway Charlotte is a great place to live and is getting better but I'm sure Pittsburgh is as well, and probably has a lot of things to offer that we lack--

..........having said that.....y'all come on down! :D

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Thanks for the input, guy4charlotte. It's interesting to hear a point of view from the other side of this. You've pretty much confirmed what I thought about these articles: that they are a bit silly and misleading.

My biggest concern is that these articles will fuel the local Pittsburgh self-esteem problem. I wonder how many Pittsburghers will read these articles and get the idea that our city sucks and Charlotte is some kind of utopia. Seems to me a lot of younger people around here think the rest of the world is perfect. They miss all the good things under their noses while they dream of living in some wonderland that doesn't really exist. Can't tell you how many times I have heard "In other cities.... blah blah blah." I sure would like to see these magical "other cities" where there is a party everywhere you turn and everyone makes 100k :P

I also hate it when the local media harp on how supposedly hard it is to get work here. We may not be booming but we have steady, stable job growth. And as a lot of baby boomers retire there will be a lot of openings around here. The salaries here may not be that high but the cost of living is so low that you can live well on less. Let's just say I earn a salary that most people would spit on, but I live in a nice apartment in a pretty good location, and drive a car that's only 5 years old and in good shape.

I really want to see more articles about the good aspects of Pittsburgh. I have seen them in non-local magazines and papers, but not so much locally.

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"Pittsburgh may have its faults but their educational institutions are fully integrated into civic life not swallowed and ignored by suburbia. Charlotte could learn a lot in that regard. And I love how the rivers bisect the city. I wish Charlotte was centered along waterways, they add so much character and context to cities."

"Pittsburgh's setting can't be beat. The city also has great density and a more mature urban core. Those are things that will come in time with Charlotte."

"Pitt does integrate the arts...I mentioned the pierogi racing already! I totally agree about the rivers. Charlotte was unfortunately not blessed with one downtown."

FYI--Just a few quotes from UP posters in the Charlotte forum thread on this stupid article series--I think most of us agreed the articles were crap--your city sounds GREAT---and what an INCREDIBLE setting for a city!!!

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Thanks. I'm more worried about what Pittsburghers will think than what Charlotte people (Charlottites?) will think, of course. But those are nice quotes and appreciate you pointing us to them. I hadn't even thought to check out the Charlotte board to see what was being said over there. Now I think I will go take a peek.

It truly seems like people outside Pittsburgh tend to be the ones who love it, while locals put it down. Strange.

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Thanks. I'm more worried about what Pittsburghers will think than what Charlotte people (Charlottites?) will think, of course. But those are nice quotes and appreciate you pointing us to them. I hadn't even thought to check out the Charlotte board to see what was being said over there. Now I think I will go take a peek.

It truly seems like people outside Pittsburgh tend to be the ones who love it, while locals put it down. Strange.

I lived in the 'Burgh until my late twenties and love the town. However, if you're an ambitious person, you're not going to find many like-minded people. All of my cousins are incredibly bright people who just gave up on school and careers, the ended up working blue collar jobs. The 'Burgh is just too comfortable, too easy to meet the same friends, walk the same streets and stay in the same neighborhood, etc. I was feeling like I was just another revolution of the same cycle. So, I decided I was going to go somewhere more dynamic and ambitious. Out of an extended family of several hundred on each of my mother and father's sides, I am the ONLY (unbelievable) one to move somewhere else. I had a great uncle who moved to D.C., but he came back after two years, he didn't like it.

Pittsburgh was a great, secure, cozy foundation on which to reach adulthood. But, after seeing people graduate in the 'Burgh and settle for underpaid, unexciting jobs in largely old, static or failing companies just to pay the bills, fighting with other people from the 'Burgh just to get a job and not have to leave town and driving down salaries, I wanted something different for myself. I'm soooo glad I did. I've learned a ton about myself, how to adapt to a new area, how to get by without having to rely on my family every time something goes wrong. I learned how to get involved in civic and community projects to meet other Charlotteans. And man, the money I've made off of my house and a few investment houses is mind-boggling. Finally, I've met many other people who came here to do the same thing, make a better life for themselves. They're ambitious too, and excited about their careers, about taking risks and they're outgoing. They have to be, they're from somewhere else and have to make new friends.

In fact, I would say the one big difference between the 'Burgh and Charlotte is the attitude of the people. A very small fraction (literally less than one in ten) of the people I meet in Charlotte are from around here. For this reason, they all seem to have that same pioneering attitude. In the 'Burgh, everyone is cozy and comfortable. That's not a bad thing per se, but it certainly isn't my thing. I do retain one thing, though, is that I'm a die-hard Steelers fan. I go to see the games at (believe it or not) a bar called Dixie's that is the most popular Steelers bar down here. You an hear the "here we go Steelers" chant from five blocks away when the score.

Ciao!

E7

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E7,

While there are many that likely have similar experiences as you do - afterall the lack of growth has made Pittsburgh have a much higher native % of population - and the net effect has created a world for many Pittsburghers that is one of "sameness." - there are many others have done well for themselves.

And in the city proper, many neighborhoods are diverse. The influence of outsiders (new residents) is evident. But who from other regions that comes to Pittsburgh is going to move to the Mon Valley? So yes in those areas and in some traditional suburbs, I can definitely see where this would still apply.

This is the byproduct of the 70s and 80s. It can't reverse overnight, especially with relatively slow job growth. And it's difficult to pick up the job growth pace without a steady in-migration flow. Things are changing for the better, but it will take time.

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E7,

While there are many that likely have similar experiences as you do - afterall the lack of growth has made Pittsburgh have a much higher native % of population - and the net effect has created a world for many Pittsburghers that is one of "sameness." - there are many others have done well for themselves.

And in the city proper, many neighborhoods are diverse. The influence of outsiders (new residents) is evident. But who from other regions that comes to Pittsburgh is going to move to the Mon Valley? So yes in those areas and in some traditional suburbs, I can definitely see where this would still apply.

This is the byproduct of the 70s and 80s. It can't reverse overnight, especially with relatively slow job growth. And it's difficult to pick up the job growth pace without a steady in-migration flow. Things are changing for the better, but it will take time.

Right, I'm 35 and was running out of time, I didn't want to wait for the rest of the world to come to me. I went from 9 of 10 are natives, to 9 of 10 are from somewhere else. It's going to take generations for that to converge.

Again, I love the 'Burgh, but I had to go somewhere else. Maybe someday I'll return triumphant and bring some of what I've learned back?

:P

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HAHAHA I've been to Dixie's...I was with fraternity brothers from deep woods South Carolina. Needless to say, they were NOT happy at the situation we found inside. It was the one of the few bars with people in it on a very rainy Friday night (very strange because I've been on the same block with thousands of people at close on a Sat...anyways), and it was full of very sketchy people. I guess we would have been better off in there on a Sunday.

HAHAHA I've been to Dixie's...I was with fraternity brothers from deep woods South Carolina. Needless to say, they were NOT happy at the situation we found inside. It was the one of the few bars with people in it on a very rainy Friday night (very strange because I've been on the same block with thousands of people at close on a Sat...anyways), and it was full of very sketchy people. I guess we would have been better off in there on a Sunday.

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