Raise the roof! Get jiggy with it! Other outdated expression of fun!

Portfolio.com recently rated the top 100 cities for fun in the United States, and as you would imagine, the city that never sleeps, the Big Apple, New York City was ranked first.

Ranked above places like Memphis and Atlanta and Cincinnati and Orlando and Houston and Virginia Beach and New Orleans and even Las Freaking Vegas is The City of Bridges, the New Hollywood, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the 12th most fun city in the nation.

Part of the reason we ranked so high was our Food/Drink score is fourth in the nation, while we scored 8th best in low-impact sports like golf.

Now, while you and I know how awesome our city is, and how much fun we do have and can have here, this ranking is a bit NOT EVEN A LITTLE BIT RIGHT because Detroit, the city of financial doom, is ranked as more fun than Nashville.

Scranton, PA is ranked as more fun than Orlando. Which, when I think Scranton, I think zzzzzzzzzz and when I think Orlando, I think THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH.

And the biggest nail in the coffin that is this ranking?

Allentown, PA is ranked as more fun than Honolulu, Hawaii.

This is great news for you gents because now when you’re planning a fun getaway for your wife, you can say, “Babe, forget about Vegas or Hawaii! Why spend all that money when we can just drive to Allentown?  Ah, hell, you know what? You’re special to me. Break out your good jewelry; I’ll splurge for Scranton.  You can thank me in the bedroom.”

Also, do  you suppose there is a blogger in, say, Kansas City writing a post about this ranking all, “Babe, screw Orlando. Bust out your spandex; I’m taking you to PITTSBURGH!”


  1. bucdaddy
    April 27, 2010 10:36 am

    The French Quarter called and begs to differ.

  2. bucdaddy
    April 27, 2010 10:37 am

    Also, I’ll be spending a night in Scranton next month. Woo-hoo! I can see y’all seething with jealousy. Deal with it.

  3. Jake
    April 27, 2010 10:44 am

    I was under the impression that the rankings were measuring business growth or potential within the “fun” industry – not necessarily the overall amount of fun in a region… Or, that’s at least what the story in the PBT leads me to believe: http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/2010/04/26/daily12.html

  4. PittGal in WI
    April 27, 2010 10:56 am

    I have spent the night in both Scranton and Allentown, and wasn’t too impressed with either. Pittsburgh,however, is a totally different story…

    By the way, I have to say it 17-3???? WTH is going on with that team? I can’t even look at the scores in the morning anymore. Sorry, my one last fingernail is hanging onto the bandwagon, Ginny, but it is loose and might not last too much longer.

  5. toni
    April 27, 2010 11:11 am

    I dunno they have Bakersfield CA ranked 97. They have low scores for gambling, popular entertainment and high impact sports.

    Joey “Peazy” Porter is from Bakersfield and I believe shipped his horse eating hounds there. Not to forgot that he was shot in the butt. Anyplace with Peazy and his dogs is gambling with high impact.

    Joey was definately popular entertainment.

  6. Mr. McCock
    April 27, 2010 11:18 am

    Ain’t no party like a Scranton party, ’cause a Scranton party don’t stop

  7. Roxy
    April 27, 2010 11:46 am

    12th? really? LOL I mean I don’t hate Pittsburgh, maybe it’s cause I live here but 12th? We have Kennywood, Sandcastle, hmmmmm lots of food and bars….. You can find that anywhere. I do hope one day Pittsburgh is a place I wanna stay. But I can’t wait until my husband is ready to move too.

  8. gunnlino
    April 27, 2010 11:48 am

    Philadelphia is ranked #9, two spots ahead of the ‘Burgh. Provo Utah is #100. Has anyone wondered if the PLCB had any effect on this….. as in ; What were the people drinking when this list was put together?

    Fun city huh?Ever been downtown Pgh after 9 PM?

  9. Erin
    April 27, 2010 11:50 am

    I love Pittsburgh too, but I gotta say, huh? Also, who makes a chart like this horizontal?

  10. Pa-pop
    April 27, 2010 11:50 am

    Scranton’s ranked high because it’s the home of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Those folks at the office define “party”.

  11. Bojack
    April 27, 2010 12:24 pm

    The Port Authority and Guy Ritchie should get on their knees EVERY morning and thank God Virginia drives a kid-messy SUV!!

    A serious question/problem:

    HOW can a city even dream of being any type of contender when
    it’s hog-tied to arguably the most cancer-ridden public transport in the country??

    Forget the $billion North Shore tunnel-toilet that beyond the inaugural ride by Lukey, Danny, and Dick Co, fatcats NOBODY
    will EVER use (think the Penn Station tunnel from Steel Plaza)

    That was Federal money (not ours HAHAHA)

    Our bus drivers make an average of $70-$100K with a platinum health plan and pension plan, and platinum healthcare for LIFE,
    (ask your HR what YOU get after you retire!)

    Bus drivers!!!!

    Anywhere else in the country this is a $15-$25/hr job at best!!

    Not here!!

    So the Port Authority is making even cuts of routes and trips.

    We are very close to being able to afford ONLY 3 busses, that
    make a trip from downtown to Station Square and back, once every 2 hours!

    OH! And special service to Heinz Field!

  12. Jake
    April 27, 2010 12:38 pm

    @Bojack Federal money is ultimately our money.

  13. Bojack
    April 27, 2010 12:50 pm


    Ya think???

    I was being my usual sarcastic self!

    BTW, the bleeding pustule that is the Port Authority is not limited to the outrageous union contracts.

    It is lousy with donut-eating middle mgmt and outrageous upper mgmt!

    Witness the $30 million hdqtrs they built in Manchester, only to abandon it and move downtown paying top rent $$$ on 7th Ave to be next door to the Duquesne Club!

  14. Mike
    April 27, 2010 12:52 pm

    @Jake: Really? How much do we give and how much do we receive? Find out and maybe you’ll reconsider your statement.

    As much as I want Pgh to be the most fun place around, from the title to the methods, this article is seriously misleading.

    The ‘number of establishments’ does not equal ‘total revenue’ for entertainment. Have you been downtown on a Wednesday?

    Pittsburgh is still a 60’s and 70’s style commuter town with a declining population (hopefully the trend will shift to reverse soon). As such, the per capita metric is meaningless at the city-scale, especially when compared to pro-growth, annexation cites in the south and west.

    Pgh Party People shouldn’t fret. As Bojack points out, we’re really gonna be reelin em in once the north shore connector is done!

  15. Sooska
    April 27, 2010 12:56 pm

    I say with the utmost conviction and personal experience that in no way shape or form is >Allentown, PA (and the Lehigh Valley) in no way has more or better ANYTHING than anywhere else much less Hawaii. It is a bleak place in bleak eastern PA. I hated every moment. There isn’t one decent Italian restaurant within an hour drive and they have no clue how to make a pizza anywhere in that town.

    >At least Scranton (along with Wilkes Barre) has the Baby Pens. All Allentown has is the Iron Pigs who could beat the Nutting Pirates to a pulp.

  16. Kathy
    April 27, 2010 1:04 pm

    Maybe they were listing all cities in Pennsylvania that are Act 47 (bankrupt)??

  17. Bojack
    April 27, 2010 1:05 pm

    They COUNT on short-term memory!!!


    (ps- notice the $425 million estimate? HAHAHAHA!)


    Port Authority’s beer tab
    By Ralph R. Reiland
    Monday, December 10, 2007

    Nine months before they voted last Tuesday to increase taxes on car rentals and poured alcohol drinks, primarily to cover the red ink at the Port Authority, members of Allegheny County Council along with County Chief Executive Dan Onorato received a copy of state Auditor General Jack Wagner’s March 22 letter to Steve Bland, chief executive officer of the Port Authority.
    As just one instance of waste and mismanagement at the Port Authority, Wagner pointed to the departing compensation package of the Port Authority’s previous CEO:

    • $106,202 for unused vacation time

    • $380,214 for previous work completed after “retiring”

    • $270,000 in deferred compensation

    • $306,746 to reimburse the former CEO for payments he made to get credit for 20 years of prior public service, thereby qualifying him to retire at age 50 with full retirement benefits.

    Altogether, that’s $1,063,162. Converted into poured liquor taxes, figuring the new 10 percent tax on a $2 bottle of beer, we’d have to drink 5,315,810 beers just to pick up the parachute tab for just this one retiree.

    The Port Authority’s former CEO will additionally get $108,798 in retirement income from the Port Authority each year from 2005 until 2014. That’s another $1,087,980 — the tax on 5,439,900 more beers.

    After 2014, the former CEO receives $102,798 every year for life. If he’s lucky enough to make it to 90, that’s $3,083,940 — the tax on another 15,419,700 beers.

    I don’t think we can drink enough to keep this operation afloat!

    Last year, as well, three managers at the Port Authority were paid $125,000. That’s the tax on another 1,125,000 beers, not counting the managers’ retirement packages.

    As the Port Authority’s new CEO, Bland says things are different now, that the aforementioned expenses are mistakes from prior administrations. That sounds good except that Mr. Bland already has charged us $45,000 in relocation expenses for his move from Albany to Pittsburgh (that’s a lot of bubble wrap), plus $7,000 to buy back his vacation time after being on the job for only six months. To cover just those two miscellaneous items, that’s the tax on another 260,000 beers.

    Still, that’s just peanuts. The real money is in the mismanaged capital projects, such as the $21 million Wabash Tunnel to nowhere, the overbuilt $22 million parking garage at South Hills Village, and the upcoming $435 million under-river tunnel to the North Side.

    Traffic in the Wabash Tunnel originally was projected at 4,500 cars per day, with a connecting new bridge that would cross the Monongahela River. The bridge never materialized and traffic in the tunnel is now running at only 400 cars per day, with a cost to the taxpayers of around $20 per trip. It’d be cheaper to provide free cabs.

    With the Port Authority’s parking lot at South Hills Village, the top four floors of the seven-story white elephant were blocked off during most of last year because of no business. In a move that will force more of its customers to use the underutilized garage, the Port Authority announced last month that it will close its free park-and-ride lot at South Hills Village.

    The North Shore Connector is 1.1 miles long, an easy walk. Still, the same government that says we should get more fresh air and walk more, that we’re too fat, is spending $435 million to stick us underground and get us off our feet.

    Now we find that the Port Authority has moved on up from its former digs in Manchester to a deluxe apartment in the sky — right next door to the Duquesne Club! The price tag is $15.5 million — $7.8 million for a lease that expires in 2010 and $7.7 million for renovations and furnishings.

    Calling it “unconscionable that management would continue to lease prime office space at taxpayer expense that is unnecessary,” Wagner said that senior managers of the Port Authority should return to the previous headquarters building in Manchester that the transit agency already owns and which is currently 50 percent vacant.

    Wagner noted that Port Authority executives had moved out of the Manchester building in the North Side just three years after spending $4.7 million on renovations and furnishings. Added to the $15.5 million, that’s the tax on another 101,000,000 beers.

    And we should pay more for beer for all of the above? I’d say it’s time for another Whiskey Rebellion.

  18. bluzdude
    April 27, 2010 1:41 pm

    I think Scranton is on the list, soley on the basis of how fun it is to say.

    Scranton Scranton Scranton! Kind of a cross betweeen “Scratchy” and “Wanton”.

  19. PA Girl in VA
    April 27, 2010 1:49 pm

    OK I’m laughing my a$$ off down here because:

    a. I’ve lived in Virginia Beach for the past 25 years and I’m STILL waiting for someone to tell me what the big deal is about this place. (So then why did I leave my original hometown to move here, you ask??? Please see “b.” below.)


    b. I grew up in Allentown and can testify that there isn’t much excitement there. My mom and 2 of my brothers still live in Allentown and we visit 2-3 times a year. There is just NO WAY A-town could possibly have been ranked above, well, ANY other city in the fun department without there being an error in the study.

    My husband has actually been right all these years (about one thing) – we need to move to Pittsburgh! Yee haw!

  20. PA Girl in VA
    April 27, 2010 1:59 pm

    @Sooska: If you’re ever in Allentown again, try Salvatore Ruffino’s at 19th and Allen Streets. Delicious pizza.

    Also, Allentown is getting the old Philly Phantoms hockey team (currently the Adirondak Phantoms). I think they’re looking to start the 2011 season in their new home.

    Allentown isn’t ALL bad; it’s just that every other place else on that list is better.

  21. jen
    April 27, 2010 2:41 pm

    How could a city where it’s de rigueur to put fries on a salads and sandwiches NOT be fun?

  22. Lauren
    April 27, 2010 3:08 pm

    I know for a fact this study is wrong. El Paso is ranked as one of the top 100 fun cities (96.) There is no way that it makes even the top 100,000 in the U.S. : )

  23. Karen
    April 27, 2010 3:10 pm

    I spent 8 years in Bethlehem right next to Allentown and I gotta say I love the area. And to the guy who said you couldn’t find a decent piece of pizza in Allentown should have drove the extra mile to Westgate Pizza in Bethlehem. I still have dreams about it!

  24. Bojack
    April 27, 2010 3:13 pm

    #15 Bridgeport, CT ?????

    They’re sniffing glue!!

    It is painfully apparent that these authors have never driven past
    Bridgeport, CT on I-95 let alone stop there!!!

    It’s the South Bronx NE

  25. butcher's dog
    April 27, 2010 4:32 pm

    Wait!! Someone sells beers for $2 downtown?! Surely not anything anyone would want to drink!

    Also I’d like to point out, probably parenthetically, that golf is NOT a low-impact sport. Certainly not the way I play it. Those balls hit those trees and rocks hard, lemme tell ya. Not to mention the tremendous splashes the balls make upon hitting water. Or the thud of the club when hurled to the ground.

    I certainly hope this news doesn’t lower our standing. Now back to our regularly scheduled lives.

  26. Bram R
    April 27, 2010 5:29 pm

    I hear nothing but awful things about Orlando. The Pittsburgh -to- Orlando -and-back-to- Pittsburgh turnaround span is usually less than 18 months.

  27. Josh
    April 28, 2010 12:45 am

    I live near Orlando, on the east coast of Florida(Cape Canaveral). Close enough that I can go there when need be. But ONLY when need be. You think politics in Pittsburgh are bad? They’re nothing compared to other places. Orlando is a backwater. The theme parks get old fast, and their rides are, believe it or not, not as fun as what you get closer to Pittsburgh. And these are more expensive!

    Orlando has no culture and a minute night life. There are few intelligent people in the area, and the rest of the populace works in hotels or the various resorts.

    My fiancee is from Orlando. We took a trip back to my hometown (the ‘burgh, of course) last month, and we had a lot more fun there than we ever have in Orlando. (Tampa, on the other hand, is a MUCH better city than Orlando.) Orlando? Hardly “the happiest place on earth,” unless you really, really need someone to dress your daughter up like a princess. (They do that at Disney.) Are there things to do? Yes, a few. But everything is dumbed down to te lowest common denominator. If you go to SeaWorld, they don’t tell you the name of the animal in the show you’re watching. They do some ridiculous dramatic stuff, get eaten by the whale, and then you leave thinking, “Well, I guess that was a killer whale. Not that they told me, but when the whale got pissed off and started chewing on that trainer, that’s when I figured it out.” Even NASA has started dumbing things down at the KSC Visitor’s Complex. I guess my problem is that Orlando represents everything wrong with the country: “Don’t exercise your mind; that might be a little taxing. Instead, enjoy this drama that tells you not to try and do anything for yourself because it will be handed to you. Just keep waiting for it. Just a little longer. No, seriously, it’s coming. We swear.”

    Of course, for some reason everything closes early in Pittsburgh, which was a little annoying. But, my fiancee and I would move in a heartbeat, if only she could take the cold of winter.

    Also, Orlando is at the bottom end of the ideal sports city spectrum, while Pittsburgh is at the top, followed by Tampa. The criteria? Pittsburgh has the 3 good professional sports: Hockey, football, and baseball. Tampa has the same sports, but fewer championships. Orlando has a miserable professional sport: basketball.

    Also, Orlando only has a few accredited schools, while Pittsburgh has a bunch, and Pittsburgh has contributed much more greatly to society as a whole, while Orlando is the antithesis of progress.

    Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble.

  28. Bojack
    April 28, 2010 12:53 am

    @Josh- Consider Sanibel Island and a satellite dish! :-)