Pittsburgh, Pierogies, and (Best) Places?

Much like Dave Barry, let me preface this entry with…I am not making this up….

Pittsburgh (#1) and Rochester (#6) have been voted the “Best Places to Live” by some hack journal – Places Rated Almanac (story here):

I can only assume that their weighting factors include such variables as

  • Number of sunless days
  • Percentage of population over age 80
  • Lack of diversity
  • Ability to buy a pierogi

Of particular note is the last time Pittsburgh was #1 was back in 1985 when that city was seriously tanking.  I guess the fact that they’ve won again can only mean its about to lose another 30% of it population…

Let me state for the record that I really like Pittsburgh, it has these major positives:

  • Its citizens are some of the friendliest, most helpful people in the US
  • Affordable housing relative to other major cities 
  • Some of the best schools (Carnegie Mellon, Pitt)
  • One of the best hospitals (UPMC)

But when it comes to weather, job opportunities, and diversity the ‘Burgh is somewhat lacking.  The Deer Hunter offered a pretty accurate depiction of Pittsburgh in the late 1970s and it hasn’t change much.  The heavy industry and smoke stacks are gone -they’ve been mostly replaced by office parks and shopping malls – but the general pall portrayed in the film still hangs over the city.

But who knows?  With the absurd rise in house prices in other urban areas, Pittsburgh could be once again back on the rise – best of luck to the Pittsburghers and can they pass me a pierogi?


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