When I had lunch with David Conrad (here’s where half of you go, “lucky bitch” and the other half of you go, “My God, PittGirl, will you shut up about that already?”) we discussed why we love Pittsburgh so much and David, in true David Conrad fashion spoke eloquently (he may or may not have said forsooth) about the neighborhoods, the people, the small gestures of kindness that you can’t find in other cities, his ability to walk the streets without getting mauled except very occasionally by some lunatic named PittGirl … or one of her minions.
I also reminded David that in one of his odes to the Burgh, he said that you just don’t know what makes you fall in love with someone’s face. He nodded vigorously at that and probably made a mental note that I might be obsessed with him. That mental note turned into a mental restraining order in triplicate when I reminded him of a Halloween charity event he hosted here in the Burgh about TEN YEARS AGO that he had completely forgotten about.
This discussion then turned a bit to how it bothers the both of us (see, we have so much in common, we’re totally BFFs) when people that live here complain so much about the city. We both agreed that while Pittsburgh has its faults, it is what you make of it and there are opportunities and fun and life to be found and embraced here.
Let’s pause a moment for PittGirl to look longingly up to the corner of the ceiling and daydream about having cappuccino with David Conrad.
The reason I tell you this is because in support of what PittGirl and David Conrad know, and that is that the Burgh ROCKS, ya’ll, that same Burgh made some very nice headway this week in kicking our apparent smoky, steely, downtrodden, life-sucks-there image soundly in the nuts.
1. Pittsburgh is on Frommer’s just released list of Top Destinations for 2008.
Pittsburgh turns 250 next year, and visitors during the 2008 semiquincentennial will discover that Steel City USA has swapped out its rusting blast furnaces for a modern cityscape with a thriving local and international arts scene. It retains its past glory in its universities, ethnic neighborhoods, and supremely engineered and iconic bridges that span the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers criss-crossing the city. And it offers up one of the country’s most impressive cultural collections: the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Take your pick from dinosaur bones, at the Natural History Museum, to Pop Art, at the museum dedicated to Pittsburgh’s native son Andy Warhol. Throughout the year, Pittsburgh will be offering up special events commemorating its 250-year history, including theatrical and balletic performances, sports events, the Pittsburgh Biennial and Carnegie International arts fairs, and more.
We’re on there with Morocco, Wales, Ecuador, Romania and (cough) New Jersey (gag).
Give it about ten minutes before Lukey releases a statement to the press about how he had everything to do with this.
2. And secondly, BizJournals did a ranking, a very scientific-looking ranking, of the Best Cities for Fun! and Pittsburgh placed in the top ten. Eighth to be exact.
We beat out the likes of Miami, Cleveland (SUCKS!), Cincinnati, Dallas, Richmond, Atlanta and lots of other places.
Now lets see if they described Pittsburgh without using the words smoky or steel.
Why it’s a fun place
Pittsburgh doesn’t have a glittering image, to be sure, but its residents definitely know how to have fun. This is a great area for shopping; only Boston ranks higher in that category. And few places offer better options for golfers, bowlers, moviegoers or fans of live theater.
The Pittsburgh area has 4.19 golf courses per 100,000 residents, the best ratio in the entire country.
That is a fun fact! One I’m going to be sure to pull out of my pocket the next time I say, “Hey, here’s a fun fact…”
There’s a place to write your comments about what YOUR fun city is. In the midst of places like Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Destin, etc. is this guy:
Sumpter, Oregon. It’s a teeny-weeny little former gold-mining town where we ride motorcycles and ATV’s in the summer and snowmobile like crazy in the winter! Nothing beats it.
OMG, you guys! We need to go to Sumpter, Oregon (population: 191) because when I think of fun I think of “teeny-weeny little former gold-mining” towns, yo.
I’m going to show up there, in my heels, walking clumsily down the rocky dirt road that probably runs down the center of town all, “PittGirl in the hizzle! Can we get this party STARTED?!?”
(h/t Displaced Burgher)