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Friday, December 22, 2006

Appreciating Pittsburgh (and Arrol Gellner)

I was blown away when I read an opinion piece in last weeks P-G by an architect named Arrol Gellner. Mr. Gellner is from San Franciso, and he wrote an article for a real estate industry news paper that very clearly and concisely summed up what Proud Pittsburgh is all about.
Please take the time to read his article at the P-G website.

I have included some of the article below, but you will definitely want to read the whole article:

A while back I was sitting in a cafe near a couple of freshly minted techie types. I happened to overhear -- OK, after a while I strained to overhear -- as one explained to the other how he'd loathed his Pennsylvania hometown for its stodgy work ethic, its middle-American attitudes and so on. He summed up by breezily remarking, "Another generation of steelworkers would have to die before I'd go back to Pittsburgh."

This last comment left me wondering a) whether he had some sort of reasoning disability, or b) whether our schools have simply quit teaching any history about who or what built this nation. For a purportedly educated person to dismiss one of America's historically pivotal cities because there were too many steelworkers still hanging around seems the height of both ignorance and unkindness. Those awful Pittsburgh steelworkers! It was nice of them to help make us the world's industrial power, but now they should just hurry up and die so my friends and I can sip lattes by the river!

I don't think that it is a coincidence that Mr. Gellner and I share the same profession and attitude towards Pittburgh's place in history. As architects, we have great respect and admiration for the people who have built our modern world.

What I do find coincidental, is that both Mr. Gellner and I both were inspired to action, after overhearing someone's misguided opinion of Pittsburgh.

I was at a Penguins game and was walking out of the Civic Arena after the Pens blew away the New York Rangers. Penguins fans ( not me ) were taunting a lonely New York fan about the game. After a couple of minutes, the New Yorker couldn't take it anymore, and said to the crowd -

" You may have won the game, but I get to go back to Manhattan and you are all stuck here in Pittsburgh."

I snapped back-

" Your right buddy, we're NOT Manhattan....we just built it!"

Since then, I have been obsessed with telling everyone I meet that Pittsburgh's achievements have made life as they know it possible.

I have emailed Mr. Gellner to thank him for his article, and for recognizing that the generations of steel workers that were around long before Pittsburgh transformed itself into a jewel will never really die.
Thursday, December 21, 2006

Welcome Pop City Readers!

Proud Pittsburgh would like to welcome new visitors linked to us from Pop City!
Check out their website at www.popcitymedia.com

For those of you not familiar with Pop City I have included the following from their website:

"Pop City is a weekly e-magazine and Web site showcasing the positive and sustained transformation of the Pittsburgh region.
Pop City connects you with the latest growth and investment news about Pittsburgh and its neighborhoods. Featuring original stories and photography, Pop City will have you seeing Pittsburgh differently."

I look forward to finding Pop City in my inbox every week. Every issue reminds me that Pittsburgh is one of the most dynamic and interesting cities in the country.

Thanks to Tracy Certo, Pop City Managing Editor, for her interest in Proud Pittsburgh.

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