Why I live in Pittsburgh

Well, mostly I live in Pittsburgh because my friends and my work and my professional network and all my stuff are here. Pittsburgh has a tremendous regional inferiority complex, which is a shame, because there's a lot to enjoy here.

Reasons to live in Pittsburgh:
  • WYEP
  • Independent public radio at its finest. Independent rock, alt-folk, alt-country, This American Life, the World Cafe and the Roots and Rhythm Mix, all commercial-free and with a high degree of community involvement. This radio station has profoundly influenced the music I listen to and how I listen to it.

  • La Feria
  • A Peruvian restaurant on the obnoxiously trendy Walnut St. in Shadyside. Glorious salads, unusual food, and a great place to take vegetarians. Plus, funky arts and crafts!

  • Club Cafe
  • A small club on the South Side that books a mix of local music and the sort of independent acts heard on WYEP: Cheryl Wheeler, Christine Lavin, the Austin Lounge Lizards, Dave Carter and Tracey Grammer, and so on. It's like attending a show in your living room; the closest tables are practically onstage.

  • The National Aviary
  • When I worked Downtown, I'd occasionally drive across the river to the Northside on my lunch break and go sit in the Everglades room at the Aviary until the urge to throttle the life out of my coworkers dissipated. You can easily see the entire Aviary in less than an hour, or you can just read on a bench with a book and let the birds inspect you.
Reasons to flee Pittsburgh, screaming:
  • The "road system"
  • Dear god, people, haven't you ever heard of beltways?!

Dec 2002 / CMS