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Subject: Pittsburgh Pros/Cons of living there in the city? rss

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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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My g/f and I are thinking of moving and right now just looking at places that interest us. Pittsburgh, PA has come up more than once on our radar but neither she nor I have lived there before. She would like to move back to NYC but knows that with us planning on having 2 more kids living there probably would not be feasible with our incomes.

Only things were looking at hard and fast is that we would like to live in the city and sell our car and use public transportation.

So pros/cons/opinions?

Thanks!

Edit: Added dropped 'H'. Mea Culpa. blush
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Pro:
Michael Webb
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lives there now instead of in Michigan where we miss him terribly. Everything else == con.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
I probably shouldn't say anything, I was last there 20 years ago and maybe a lot has changed, BUT...

As of the early 90's, it was very hard to live in Pittsburgh without a car. Downtown was not family-friendly; it was mostly office buildings. There were some nice areas for families, but they were in the close-in suburbs more than downtown itself. There was a bus system that hit these suburbs, but things were spread out enough in them that getting by with just a bus would be difficult.
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R.T. Sloan
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Pro: Pittsburgh has one of the cheapest housing markets in the entire United States. You would be hard pressed to find nicer houses for less money.

Con: There is no public transportation in Pittsburgh. None. The train only runs to the South suburbs of the city, and the bus just doesn't run.

Opinions: I was born here, moved away, and then moved back to raise my kid. I wouldn’t pick any other city for raising kids. There are top notch schools here, awesome culture, and museums, and the best sports in the world. Go for it.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Seems like the pros would outweigh the con of having to keep our car. Definitely stuff to think about. The schools/culture/museums were chief among the reasons she and I have been coming back to it. There seems to just be a ton of stuff to do for young and old. Glad to hear what weve been reading from the horses mouth though.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
I loved Pittsburgh when I lived there. great town, but you are gonna need to keep that car. And since you are moving from South Carolina, buy a snow blower.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Con: the local quarterback can get a bit rapey.
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Blorb Plorbst
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
http://www.chathambaroque.org/
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
erak wrote:
Con: the local quarterback can get a bit rapey.


I remember this being a discussion at one of the Super Bowl cook outs I was at a few years back. (Only football game I watch) Still we should be safe considering we wont be at any high class clubs if I remember the details correctly.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
There seems to just be a ton of stuff to do for young and old. Glad to hear what weve been reading from the horses mouth though.
before I launch into one of my patented "Pittsburgh is awful, abandon all hope ye who enter here" rants, I am curious as to what you think there is to do here.
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Andy Andersen
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
I used to fly into Pittsburgh somewhat regularly when I was working. I found the people very polite and it is a beautiful city.

It felt midwest compared to Philadelphia.
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Jonathan "Spartan Spawn, Sworn, Raised for Warring!"
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
fightcitymayor wrote:
Luftwaffe Flak wrote:
There seems to just be a ton of stuff to do for young and old. Glad to hear what weve been reading from the horses mouth though.
before I launch into one of my patented "Pittsburgh is awful, abandon all hope ye who enter here" rants, I am curious as to what you think there is to do here.


Whats caught our eye:
The 4 Carnegie Museums
National Aviary
Zoo/Aquarium
Childrens Museum
Fort Pitt
Fort Duquesne
USS Requin
The prospect of being only a few hours away from Gettysburg is appealing as well.

Among other things, now mind you these things are pretty pedestrian for most folks, however here in lovely Beaufort, SC we have to drive an hour to just see a small Aquarium, Patriots Point, or Civil War Fort Sumter/Moultrie. Theres very little in the way of nice museums here, and we have to drive 3 hours to go to the Zoo.



We would of course like to hear why you hate it and remain there if you are willing to go into that personal detail.
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J Boyes
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
I live in Pittsburgh, it is a nice city.

Cost of living is low, yet you still get all the big city niceties if you want them.

The public transit is bad with no sign of improving soon.

Getting around in a car isn't terrible compared to rush hour situations I have seen in other cites.

Learning how to properly get around the city can be tough.

There are a couple of good game stores but no amazing ones.

The snow isn't very bad, usually three or four big snows in a season, but you still get to experience the change in the weather.

If you don't like sports it can be awkward to talk to anyone who lives here. They are all strangely rabid about sports as a default.

There are a few bad neighborhoods, but many excellent ones as well, with some good public schools.

The job market here is marginally better than some other places right now.

If you are scared of bridges and tunnels don't come here.

All in all a pretty good place to live.

edit: There is no real living in the city. The city parts of Pittsburgh are pretty small, with some condos by the point and some lofts scattered around, but living down town doesn't seem like it would be easy. There are some nice neighborhoods that you can get a similar kind of feel, but they are pretty suburban. Lots of smallish houses close together rather than apartment buildings.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
First, be careful about dropping the H off the name as you did in the Subject line. Yinzers are proud of that H.

You can get away without having a car in a few neighborhoods. Public transportation can get you downtown and to some of the entertainment/shopping hubs. But you'll want to have most of your daily living needs within walking distance, and that severely limits your options. Your best bets are Squirrel Hill or the South Side. The South Side has a heavy college student vibe. Squirrel Hill is more expensive, but also more family friendly.

Even then, the buses are not the most pleasant public transportation system, and you'll be dealing with heavily packed buses if you live anywhere near the universities.

If you're willing to have a car your options open up considerably, and you can still use public transportation to significantly cut down the actual usage of the car. Particularly if you work downtown or near the universities.

As for other Pros, in addition to the museums, sports, and education, there is also A LOT of indie art that goes on in the city. And there are SO many delicious places to eat.

-MMM
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
CrankyPants wrote:


OH MY. This is beautiful stuff.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Weird things about Pittsburgh:

People there call rubber bands, Gum Bands
For some reason, most everyone stops (i mean DEAD STOP) when on an entrance lane to the freeway
They have a really weird word for asphalt, but i forget what it is
They have a burger joint where a small order of fries takes up the whole tray (The O)
They have a sandwich shop where they put fries on your sandwich (Primani Bothers)
Once you get through the tunnels (towards downtown), traffic is not bad, even in rush hour
Everybody thinks its funny to call a condom in the river an Allegheny Whitefish
Learn to say you like Iron City or IC Light even though it tastes awful (AKA Vitimin I)
turn signals are forbidden by law
City Chicken refers to a dish of cubed pork, skewered, breaded, and fried
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Matt Riddle
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Primani brothers is wildly overrated. The downtown was nicer than I expected. Thats all i got.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
I live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, and I grew up here. I left for awhile in the 1980's but moved back with my new wife in 1990 to buy a house and raise a family. The housing costs are awesomely affordable, as is most everything else. People are friendly and rush hour is not bad at all compared to most other cities. There is a strong cultural center to the city, with many good shows, plays, and bands appearing at Heinz Hall, the Benedum Center, and the Byham Theater, among other venues.

http://culturaldistrict.org/

There are some very good restaurants in the city. Market Square, the Strip District, the South Side and Southside Works, the North Shore, and the Waterfront are areas that have some very nice dining and club options. As others have mentioned, if you are a sports fan, there are plenty of great teams to follow, with an NFL football team, an NHL hockey club, and a Major League baseball team that's finally showing signs of life!

Gamemasters, Phantom of the Attic, Games Unlimited, and Legions are just four of the FLGS that you will find in Pittsburgh. They are all good, and Phil at Gamemasters is a great guy!

You should move here now.

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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
City Chicken refers to a dish of cubed pork, skewered, breaded, and fried


We also have this dish in Cincinnati. I guess it's a German thing. When my mom made it she baked it in mushroom gravy and served it with homemade mac and cheese.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
Weird things about Pittsburgh:

People there call rubber bands, Gum Bands
For some reason, most everyone stops (i mean DEAD STOP) when on an entrance lane to the freeway
They have a really weird word for asphalt, but i forget what it is
They have a burger joint where a small order of fries takes up the whole tray (The O)
They have a sandwich shop where they put fries on your sandwich (Primani Bothers)
Once you get through the tunnels (towards downtown), traffic is not bad, even in rush hour
Everybody thinks its funny to call a condom in the river an Allegheny Whitefish
Learn to say you like Iron City or IC Light even though it tastes awful (AKA Vitimin I)
turn signals are forbidden by law
City Chicken refers to a dish of cubed pork, skewered, breaded, and fried


Yes to Gum Bands. The O is overrated. Primanti's also puts slaw on the sandwiches, which is KEY! Yuengling has replaced IC for that most part, at least in the circles I traveled (I don't drink, myself). I'd never experienced any of these others in my 10 years there.

But if you are driving in Pittsburgh, you DO need to be aware of the Pittsburgh Left. In short, if there is not a designated left turn lane/arrow at an intersection, there is an unwritten but universally understood rule of the road that if the front car in the lane wants to turn left, it will do so IMMEDIATELY upon the light turning green.

The oncoming cars will expect you to do it. The cars behind you will expect you to do it. You will get honked at if you don't do it. And you'd damned well better be prepared for it from a car turning left in front of you before you continue going ahead.

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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Don't forget the Pittsburgh red light, A red light means one more care is allowed through.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
Weird things about Pittsburgh:

Everybody thinks its funny to call a condom in the river an Allegheny Whitefish


And this happens often enough to make a weird list?
gulp
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Da Debil wrote:
BeyondMonopoly wrote:
Weird things about Pittsburgh:

Everybody thinks its funny to call a condom in the river an Allegheny Whitefish


And this happens often enough to make a weird list?
gulp


In NY, we call it the Coney Island whitefish.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
Lots of good advice here.

but, Google "Rick Sebak"

He produces programing for the local PBS affiliate, usually hour-long documentaries. Some of these are dated material, but you would be surprised how much Neighborhoods and sentiments do not change much around here. Watching some of these will get you used to the accent and the unique quirks.

While we are at it, the local PBS, WQED is a fantastic resource for both TV and Classical music FM radio

And Pittsburghers love Pittsburgh Like it is their job to be evangelists.
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Re: Pittsburg Pros/Cons of living there in the city?
I have been in Pittsburgh only once in my life about 8 years ago. The thing that struck me though was how beautiful the city was. I guess I was expecting the stereotypical rusted steeltown but what I found was a city of rolling green hills. I've been fortunate to travel to a lot of cities around the country but Pittsburgh likely surprised me the most from my preconceived notions. Hope to visit it again some day.
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