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TheGerbil

Two interesting letters in today's PG

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These are both really good letters, and I hope that the city's resident complainers read them :)

Expand your circle

I am writing to express my agreement with the sentiments of Kate Whitmore's letter ("In My Pittsburgh," July 20). Too many Pittsburghers, young and old, sit around the same neighborhoods where they have lived their entire lives complaining about all that is wrong with our community without ever taking action to change -- even leaving those neighborhoods to explore all the aspects of Pittsburgh to which Ms. Whitmore alluded. What a shame!

What Eric Holmes, who was quoted in the original column ("This Is Lonely Town for Singles," June 25), failed to realize is that there are other places to go out in Pittsburgh besides the Strip District, although he revealed his limited knowledge even of what the Strip has to offer by his comments.

You cannot expand your appreciation or understanding of Pittsburgh -- or any city for that matter -- by constantly doing the same things with the same circle of people. Young people especially need to make it their responsibility to get out and do something -- anything. Life does not come to you.

Like all things in life, you will get out of Pittsburgh what you put into it. In a mid-size city like ours, just a small amount of effort can go very far in terms of meeting new people and finding new things to do.

MICHAEL GRANDE

Mount Washington

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Enjoying the city

Regarding the July 22 letter from Polly Dierkes ("Pride Diminished"), give me a break! Ms. Dierkes and others have written about how much they enjoyed visiting Downtown Pittsburgh -- the cultural events, fine restaurants, the arts festival, etc. -- then complained about the cost of parking. They vow never to return. Whom are they punishing most? Themselves, of course.

Unless you've just come alive, you should know that parking can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be expensive. Do some planning: Take the bus or subway, park on the outskirts of town, carpool or walk. I'm sure the last suggestion, walking, is out of the question for too many people, generally not because of physical disability but because of laziness.

I've worked Downtown since 1974. At that time I paid $1.85 to park. Today I pay $6 to park three blocks from work, on a paved, lit and landscaped lot at 11th and Smallman. Since my wages have more than tripled since 1974, parking is a bargain. When I don't drive to work, I drive to a park-n-ride lot and take a very comfortable bus to work. And I often carpool.

I come to town on weekends for dinner, shows, biking, festivals and other events. A little planning and I'm able to enjoy all the wonderful activities this area offers.

PATRICIA PHILIPS

Adams

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Finally, some common sense letters! I just cringe when I hear Pittsburgh area residents complain about the city when they don't even take the time to explore the city themselves. I live 3 hours from Pittsburgh and it seems like I know much more about Pittsburgh than most of my Pittsburgh friends.

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Sadly, it really is true that there are some people who never cross the rivers in their whole life. Such people give the city a bad name. The impression out-of-towners get is that people here are closed-minded, backward, and uninterested in meeting outsiders or trying new things. Plus, people who have never left their neighborhood are probably the same ones who gripe that there is not enough to do here or not enough jobs.

I think the rest of us need to be more vocal. People have to see that there are people here who do like trying new things and meeting new people. And our knowledge of what the city has to offer could have a positive affect on outsiders' opinions of the place.

That is why letters like those above make me happy. It's so nice to see open-minded, intelligent people voicing their opinions. And maybe they can change the tune of some of the closed-minded gripers.

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