Monday, July 07, 2008

What Do They Have That We Don't Have?

There's an interesting piece in the NY Times's travel section on Pittsburgh. It's worth a quick read.

I realize that as Cincinnatians, it's our sworn duty to hate all things black-and-gold. But I've always thought that Pittsburgh is a good point of comparison for Cincinnati. We're nearly identical with respect to population. Our weather and geography are very similar (Pittsburgh's is a little more challenging, since the rivers actually cut through the city). Both cities' residents are extremely neighborhood oriented. And our baseball teams play to approximately equal levels of futility (though more turn out to see the Reds).

The Times piece describes a pretty vibrant city. My question: could a similar piece be written about Cincinnati? And if not, then why not: what does Pittsburgh have that we don't have?

For what it's worth, the most significant difference I see between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh is the latter's Oakland area. It's a concentration of the city's colleges (chiefly, Pitt and Carnegie Mellon, but also Duquesne and some smaller schools). There's no equivalent in Cincinnati (though I'm not arguing that makes Cincinnati a "worse" city, just different).

There is one other difference that I keep raising that none of you seem to care about. Inclines. It's all about inclines, darn it!!!

Full disclosure: I lived in Pittsburgh for four years (1988-1992) and graduated from a Pittsburgh public high school. I have never, however, rooted for the Steelers.

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