National Geographic Traveler’s latest edition features Best Trips 2012 and in addition to Peru, and Panama, and Greece, Iceland, Thailand, Dresden, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Oman, Costa Brava, Croatia and other exotic places there sits Pittsburgh.
Yes. Pittsburgh! Suck it, World.
Or Peetsboirg, as my awesome Mexican in-laws pronounce it. My God, I oughta start a Tumblr where I get all my Mexican peeps to pronounce words. VIRAL.
On all counts, the Steel City’s transformation over the past quarter century qualifies as revolutionary. Its mourning for its industrial past long concluded, this western Pennsylvania city changed jobs and reclaimed its major assets: a natural setting that rivals Lisbon and San Francisco, a wealth of fine art and architecture, and a quirky sense of humor.
THEY GET IT! They get US. They get that we’re not the same as everyone else. That we find humor in life where other cities might not see it, and that our sense of humor, as a collective we, is not always mainstream. We might chuckle at why the chicken crossed the road, but we will belly-up laugh at why the jagoff did it [something something slippy]. We chuckle at the dinosaurs scattered all over the city; we can joke about our baseball team; we have a shirt for EVERYTHING; our Cultural District has giant chairs shaped like eyeballs, our mayor drinks from a juice box (hee), there’s a giant-boobed truck driving around town, and a central mural in our downtown area is Andrew Carnegie and Andy Warhol gettin’ their hairs did.
We’ve grown up into blue-collared, paint-splattered, pocket-protector-ed white shirts and that’s what makes us quirky. We’re technology and art and medicine and academia with a crunchy steel middle. We’re a rainbow of fruit flavors and one of those is Steely McBeam. People are finally seeing the good in that.