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.

Group hug!



  1. Jim W
    October 24, 2011 3:40 pm

    I like the writing! A Pittsburgh blog, no less!

  2. Patti
    October 24, 2011 3:46 pm

    “Mexican in-laws” is pronounced
    Mexicin-laws in my head. You could save yourself a good .02 seconds of typing time if you used my spelling.

  3. AngryMongo
    October 24, 2011 3:51 pm

    1. Get your Mexican in-laws to pronounce words in Peetsboirgeese. VIRAL!

    2. If only we could get Sunday, Monday, and all primetime sports telecasts to stop showing the obligatory hot molten steel being poured in their segues, then total victory can be claimed.


  4. Cassie
    October 24, 2011 4:00 pm

    Your inlaws would make my year. DO IT.

    I’m pretty excited about that article. I saw it first thing this morning when the Marathon posted it on Facebook.

    We’re beautiful! HUGS!

  5. Butcher's Dog
    October 24, 2011 4:09 pm

    @JimW: welcome to the world outside of wherever you are. We like it here. Just don’t be no jagoff while you’re here, ‘n ‘at.

  6. VAgirl
    October 24, 2011 5:49 pm

    Why does this remind me of Sallie Field’s Oscar speech…”and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me”
    You betcha ‘Steeltown” and I love seeing the molten steel. You got to pay homage to your roots.

  7. bluzdude
    October 24, 2011 6:16 pm

    Or as my Italian relatives used to call it, Peetsa-borg. As in “Letsa go Peetsaborg! Letsa go Peetsborg!”

  8. biggeorge
    October 24, 2011 6:48 pm

    pittsburghskyline.com for images of Pittsburgh.

  9. Suzie-Q
    October 24, 2011 7:30 pm

    Peetsburg, Pixburg, Peetsaborg, we all know and love our precious Pittsburgh!!!! Awesome…and aren’t we the best!!!

  10. Jim W
    October 24, 2011 8:57 pm

    @butcher’s dog …um, I’m in Pittsburgh, jagoff. But…thanks, and I like your channeling of mike lang’s dog. ;)

  11. Meme Police
    October 25, 2011 1:57 pm

    That meme, you are doing it wrong.

  12. bucdaddy
    October 26, 2011 10:39 am


  13. suzy capenos
    October 28, 2011 8:20 pm

    Shhhh. Our secrect wonderful city.

  14. Doug
    October 29, 2011 3:15 pm

    I was with you right up to Steely McBeam.

  15. Mister Licious
    November 8, 2011 9:01 am

    It’s still a dump.

    Sincerely, Cleveland