Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Call to Arms!

Dear Readers,

I'm sure you're all aware of our friend Cocktail's blog, SHEAm has mentioned it a few times. Cocktail (aka Marc) has decided to do a little series on why people enjoy their home state/city/region. Quite a noble idea, and sure to be entertaining. You can check out his first post on the Philly area here.

He also published his schedule for future posts. In doing so he included some sure-fire winners like Ohio, "The South", Texas, etc. He also included on the list "The Rest of Pa". Now as I'm sure all our dear readers know, Pittsburgh (like Philadelphia) is quite different from the rest of Pa. The middle part is affectionately known as "Pennsyltuckey"; full of hillbillies and gun-nuts. James Carville famously noted that Pennsylvania is comprised of "Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Alabama in between".

So I'm asking you, dear readers, to help me lobby and educate Marc. I encourage you to contact him and let him know that Pittsburgh, with it's fair hills, winning teams, beautiful spires, 3 rivers, etc is worthy of it's own entry. If you, like me, love the Steel City: comment on Marc's blog If you hate Pittsburgh, but love the outlying areas of PA and don't want the two associated with one another: comment on Marc's blog. Alternatively, you can write to me or comment here and I'll make sure he sees it.

My dear friend Dave already wrote to Marc imploring him to include the Pittsburgh area in a separate post. Here is Dave, in his own words:
I understand the instinct to call Pennsylvania a state defined by Philadelphia and "everywhere else." As a New Jerseyan, I'm rather jealous, because I live in a state that is entirely composed of "everywhere else." But to ignore the importance and relevance of Pittsburgh is do a grave disservice to the state of Pennyslvania and the residents of Pittsburgh.

Why consider Pittsburgh? Media treatment dictates that Pittsburgh be relegated to the same heap of small and largely irrelevant midwestern cities that are close together and lack distinction like Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee. Just because the media elite believes that relevant cities must be located on the coasts (in the case of Chicago, the beautiful coast of Lake Michigan) and be defined by financial centers and white collars does not mean you have to fall prey to such embarrassing assumptions. Consider the following:

Pittsburgh has three major professional sports teams: The Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates. Some of them have been fantastic. And, if you hate the Pirates as much as they probably hate themselves, well at least you can watch a better opposing team in what is a beautiful ballpark.

Pittsburgh is a great college town. Pitt, Duquesne, and Carnegie Mellon all call this fair city home. It has a vibrant nightlife and Allegheny cemetary provides ample opportunities for morning soul searching after wasted freshmen realize they drunkenly urinated on some of the nation's greatest leaders of industry.

Pittsburgh's downtown is a beautiful and quaint little area. They too have a coast, seated quite nicely along three rivers. Its up-hill carts along old steel and coal mills allow breathtaking views of beautiful architecture and topography in the area. Bringing your kids? Make them a student of economics and understand the spoils and risks of capitalism as you help them understand how changing markets and free trade can make or break what was once a bustling and cosmopolitan part of the country. Teach them history by describing the days of the gilded age.

Marc, while I recognize that Philadelphia, that liberal bastion of sports loser-dom (I still refuse to recognize the Phillies victory because all World Series won after the first snow of the year are null and void) is an easy target for a vacation spot, let us be mindful that there is much more than that scandal-ridden city where the bells are made so poorly they break. Remember that Ben Franklin got the hell out of Philadelphia for Europe. That's right, Philadelphia actually made him hate America so much he left! Had he lived in Pittsburgh, well, perhaps he'd have been with us for far longer. Besides, have you ever tried to ride the SEPTA system or watch Eagles fans get wasted and throw up on fans of the opposing team? You can't tell the zoo from the stadium!

Pittsburgh is a city of simultaneous grit and class. If Pittsburgh was indicative of "everywhere else" in Pennsylvania, believe you me, this world would be a much better place. Unfortunately it is limited to this small swath of land that Corrupt once called home.

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