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Pittsburgh
—  City  —
City of Pittsburgh
From top to bottom, left to right: Pittsburgh skyline; Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh; Carnegie Mellon University; PNC Park; Duquesne Incline

Flag

Coat of arms
Nickname(s): City of Bridges, Steel City,
City of Champions[1][2][3]
Motto: Benigno Numine ("With the Benevolent Deity" also translated as "By the favor of heaven")
Location in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh is located in Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh
Location in Pennsylvania.
Coordinates: 40°26′30″N 80°00′00″W / 40.44167°N 80°W / 40.44167; -80
Country  United States
Commonwealth  Pennsylvania
County AlleghenyCOA.png Allegheny
Settled 1717[4]
Incorporated April 22, 1794 (borough)
  March 18, 1816 (city)
Government
 - Mayor Luke Ravenstahl (D)
Area
 - City 58.3 sq mi (151.1 km2)
 - Land 55.5 sq mi (143.9 km2)
 - Water 2.8 sq mi (7.1 km2)
 - Metro 5,343 sq mi (13,839 km2)
Elevation 1,223 ft (372.77 m)
Population (U.S. Census Estimate, 2006)
 - City 316,718
 Density 5,636/sq mi (2,174/km2)
 Metro 2,462,571
 - Demonym Pittsburgher
  [5][6]
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s) 15106, 15120, 15201, 15203, 15204, 15205, 15206, 15207, 15208, 15210, 15211, 15212, 15213, 15214, 15216, 15217, 15218, 15219, 15220, 15221, 15222, 15224, 15226, 15227, 15230, 15232, 15233, 15234, 15237, 15289
Area code(s) 412, 724, 878
FIPS code 42-61000[7]
GNIS feature ID 1213644[8]
Website www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us

Pittsburgh (pronounced /ˈpɪtsbərɡ/), Pennsylvania, located in the United States, is the second largest city in the state and is the county seat of Allegheny County.[9] Its population was 334,563 at the 2000 census; by 2006, it was estimated to have fallen to 312,819.[10] The population of the seven-county metropolitan area is 2,462,571.[11] Downtown Pittsburgh retains substantial economic influence, ranking at 25th in the nation for jobs within the urban core (and is 6th in job density).[12]

The characteristic shape of the city's downtown is a triangular tract carved by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, where the Ohio River forms. The city features 151 high-rise buildings,[13] 446 bridges,[14] two inclined railways, and a pre-revolutionary fortification. Pittsburgh is known colloquially as "The City of Bridges" and "The Steel City" for its many bridges and former steel manufacturing base.

While the city is historically known for its steel industry, today its economy is largely based on healthcare, education, technology, robotics, and financial services. The region is also becoming a hub for oil and natural gas companies' Marcellus Shale production.[15] The city has made great strides in redeveloping abandoned industrial sites with new housing, shopping and offices, such as the SouthSide Works. While Pittsburgh faced economic troubles in the mid 1980s as the steel industry waned, modern Pittsburgh is economically strong. The housing market is relatively stable despite a national subprime mortgage crisis, and Pittsburgh added jobs in 2008 even as the national economy entered a significant jobs recession.[16] This positive economic news is in contrast to the 1980s, when Pittsburgh lost its manufacturing base in steel and electronics and corporate jobs in the oil (Gulf Oil), electronics (Westinghouse), chemical (Koppers) and defense (Rockwell International) industries because of cheaper imports. The city is also headquarters to major global financial institutions PNC Financial Services (the nation's fifth largest bank), Federated Investors and the regional headquarters of The Bank of New York Mellon, itself partially descended from Mellon Financial and once had strong ties to the Mellon family.

In 2007, Forbes magazine named Pittsburgh, in an eight-way tie, the 10th cleanest city,[17] and in 2008 Forbes listed Pittsburgh as the 13th best city for young professionals to live.[18] The city is consistently ranked high in livability surveys. In 2007, Pittsburgh was named "America's Most Livable City" by Places Rated Almanac.[19] Furthermore, in 2009, Pittsburgh was named most livable city in the United States and 29th-most-livable city worldwide by The Economist.[20]

Pittsburgh hosted a G-20 Summit meeting on September 24 and 25, 2009.[21]

Contents

Etymology

Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes in honor of the British statesman, Sir William Pitt. Given that Forbes was a Scotsman, it is possible that the intended pronunciation of the settlement was "Pittsburro", similar to the pronunciation of Edinburgh as a Scotsman would pronounce it.[22][23][24][25] It was incorporated as a borough in 1794 and chartered as a city in 1816.[26]

Pittsburgh was officially named with its present spelling on April 22, 1794, by an act of the Pennsylvania Department, stating, "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in General Assembly met, and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same, that the said town of Pittsburgh shall be, and the same is hereby, erected into a borough, which shall be called the borough of Pittsburgh for ever."[27]

Pittsburgh is one of the few American cities to be spelled with an h at the end of a burg suffix. This style is commonly used for many other cities and towns of Western Pennsylvania.[28] While briefly named "Pittsburg" from 1890 to 1911 following a declaration by the United States Board on Geographic Names, the Pittsburgh spelling was officially restored after a public campaign by the citizens of the city.[27]

History

The Fort Pitt Blockhouse, dating to 1764, is the oldest extant structure in the city of Pittsburgh.

The area surrounding the headwaters of the Ohio was inhabited by the tribes of Allegawis, Adena, Hopewell, Delaware, Jacobi, Seneca, Shawnee, and several settled groups of Iroquois.[citation needed] The first European was the French explorer/trader Robert de La Salle in his 1669 expedition down the Ohio River from Lake Ontario and Quebec.[29] This discovery was followed by European pioneers, primarily French, in the early 1700s and 1710s. Michael Bezallion was the first to describe the forks of the Ohio in a manuscript in 1717, and later that year European traders established posts and settlements in the area.[30] In 1749, French soldiers from Quebec launched a serious expedition to the forks in hopes of uniting French Canada with French Louisiana via the rivers.[30] Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia sent Major George Washington to warn the French to withdraw. During 1753–54, the British hastily built Fort Prince George, but a larger French expedition forced them to evacuate and constructed Fort Duquesne on the site. With the French citing the 1669 discovery by LaSalle, these events led to the French and Indian War. British General Edward Braddock's campaign (with Washington as his aide) to take Fort Duquesne failed, but General John Forbes's subsequent campaign succeeded. After the French abandoned and destroyed Fort Duquesne in 1758, Forbes ordered the construction of Fort Pitt, named after British Secretary of State William Pitt the Elder. He also named the settlement between the rivers "Pittsborough".[31]

During Pontiac's Rebellion, Ohio Valley and Great Lakes tribes besieged Fort Pitt for two months. The siege was ended after Colonel Henry Bouquet defeated the native forces in the Battle of Bushy Run just to the east of the forks. This victory was facilitated by an early example of biological warfare. In July of 1763, Lord Jeffrey Amherst ordered the distribution of blankets inoculated with smallpox to the Native Americans surrounding the fort.[32]

In the 1768 Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the descendants of William Penn purchased from the Six Nations western lands that included most of the present site of Pittsburgh. In 1769, a survey was made of the land situated between the two rivers, called the "Manor of Pittsburgh".[33] Both Virginia and Pennsylvania claimed the Pittsburgh area during colonial times and would continue to do so until 1780 when both states agreed to extend the Mason-Dixon Line westward, placing Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Following the American Revolution, the village of Pittsburgh continued to grow. One of its earliest industries was building boats for settlers to enter the Ohio Country. In 1784, the laying out of the "Town of Pittsburgh" was completed by Thomas Viceroy of Bedford County and approved by the attorney of the Penns in Philadelphia. In 1785 Pittsburgh became a possession of the state of Pennsylvania. The following year the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was started, and in 1787 the Pittsburgh Academy (which would later become the University of Pittsburgh) was chartered. The year 1794 saw the short-lived Whiskey Rebellion. By 1797, glass began to be manufactured in the city as the population grew to around 1400. The Act of March 5, 1804, which modified the provision of the old charter of the Borough of Pittsburgh in 1794 (the original of which is not known to exist), refers throughout to the "Borough of Pittsburgh".[33][citation needed]

Downtown facade memorializing Pittsburgh's industrial heritage

The War of 1812 cut off the supply of British goods, stimulating American manufacture. By 1815, Pittsburgh was producing significant quantities of iron, brass, tin and glass products. The Act of March 18, 1816 incorporated the City of Pittsburgh. The original charter was burned when the old Court House was destroyed by fire. In the 1830s, many Welsh people from the steelworks of Merthyr migrated to the city following the civil strife and aftermath of the Merthyr Riots of 1831. By the 1840s, Pittsburgh was one of the largest cities west of the Allegheny Mountains. A great fire burned over a thousand buildings in 1845, but the city rebuilt. By 1857, Pittsburgh's 1,000 factories were consuming 22,000,000 bushels of coal yearly.

The American Civil War boosted the city's economy with increased production of iron and armaments. Steel production began by 1875, when Andrew Carnegie founded the Edgar Thomson Steel Works in North Braddock, which eventually evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company. The success and growth of Carnegie Steel was attributed to Henry Bessemer, inventor of the Bessemer Process.

In 1901, the U.S. Steel Corporation was formed, and by 1911 Pittsburgh was the nation's eighth largest city, producing between a third and a half of the nation's steel. The city's population swelled to over a half million, many of whom were immigrants from Europe who arrived via the great migration through Ellis Island. During World War II, Pittsburgh produced 95 million tons of steel.[31] By this time, the pollution from burning coal and steel production created a black fog (or smog), which even a century earlier had induced author writer James Parton to dub the city "hell with the lid off".[35]

Following the war, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as the "Renaissance." This much-acclaimed effort was followed by the "Renaissance II" project, begun in 1977 and focusing more on cultural and neighborhood development than its predecessor. The industrial base continued to expand through the 1960s, but beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, the steel industry in the region imploded, with massive layoffs and mill closures.

Beginning in the 1980s, the city shifted its economic base to education, tourism, and services, largely based on healthcare, medicine, and high technology such as robotics. During this transition, however, the city's population shrank from 680,000 in 1950 to 330,000 in 2000.[36]

During the late 2000s recession, however, Pittsburgh remained economically strong, adding jobs when most cities were losing them, and becoming one of the few cities in the United States to see housing property values rise. This story of regeneration was the inspiration for President Barack Obama to personally select Pittsburgh as the host city for the 2009 G-20 Summit.[37]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, Pittsburgh has a total area of 58.3 sq mi (151 km2), of which, 55.6 sq mi (144 km2) of it is land and 2.8 sq mi (7 km2) of it is water. The total area is 4.75% water.

The city is on the Allegheny Plateau, where the confluence of the Allegheny River from the northeast and Monongahela River from the southeast form the Ohio River. The Downtown area between the rivers is known as the Golden Triangle, and the site at the actual convergence, which is occupied by Point State Park, is referred to simply as "the Point." In addition to the downtown Golden Triangle, the city extends northeast to include the Oakland and Shadyside sections, which are home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Museum and Library, and many other educational, medical, and cultural institutions.

Pittsburgh occupies the slopes of the river valley on the opposite side of the Monongahela and the ridges beyond. Many of the city's neighborhoods, particularly the city's North Side and those areas south of the Bungalow, are steeply sloped.

This topography is often utilized for physical activity. The city has some 712 sets of stairs, comprising 44,645 treads and 24,090 vertical feet (more than San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Portland, Oregon combined) for pedestrians to traverse its many hills. There are hundreds of 'paper streets' composed entirely of stairs and many other steep streets with stairs for sidewalks.[38] Many provide views of the Pittsburgh area.[39]

The city has established bike and walking trails along its riverfronts and hollows, but steep hills and variable weather can make biking challenging. However, the city is connected to downtown Washington, D.C. (some 245 mi (394 km) away) by a continuous bike/running trail through the Alleghenies and along the Potomac Valley, known as the Great Allegheny Passage and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath.

Climate

Pittsburgh falls in the transition between humid continental and humid subtropical climates. It features four distinct seasons, with precipitation somewhat evenly spread throughout the year. Summers are hot and humid (with occasional heatwaves), while winters are cold and snowy. Fall and spring are mild to warm.

The warmest month of the year in Pittsburgh, as in most of the northern hemisphere, is July. The average high temperature is 83 °F (28.3 °C), with overnight low temperatures averaging 62 °F (16.7 °C). July is often humid, resulting in a considerable heat index. The coldest month of the year is January, when the average high temperature is 35 °F (1.7 °C). Overnight low temperatures average 20 °F (−6.7 °C). The highest temperature ever recorded in Pittsburgh was 103 °F (39.4 °C), on July 16, 1988, and the coldest temperature ever recorded was −22 °F (−30.0 °C), on January 19, 1994.[40]

Due to its position on the windward side of the Allegheny Mountains, Pittsburgh receives heavier precipitation than cities located further to the west, and many days are subject to overcast skies. Precipitation is greatest in May, due to frequent thunderstorms and more organized low pressure systems which track up the eastern coast of the United States. On average, 4.04 in (103 mm) of precipitation falls during this month. The driest month of the year is October, when 2.35 inches of rain falls. Annual precipitation is around 38 in (965 mm), while annual snowfall is around 41 in (104 cm).

Climate data for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 74
(23)
76
(24)
84
(29)
90
(32)
92
(33)
96
(36)
101
(38)
97
(36)
92
(33)
88
(31)
79
(26)
74
(23)
103
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 37
(2.8)
39
(3.9)
50
(10)
62
(16.7)
71
(21.7)
80
(26.7)
85
(29.4)
83
(28.3)
76
(24.4)
64
(17.8)
53
(11.7)
42
(5.6)
61.8
(16.6)
Average low °F (°C) 20
(-6.7)
21
(-6.1)
29
(-1.7)
38
(3.3)
48
(8.9)
56
(13.3)
62
(16.7)
60
(15.6)
53
(11.7)
41
(5)
33
(0.6)
25
(-3.9)
40.5
(4.7)
Record low °F (°C) -19
(-28)
-2
(-19)
2
(-17)
20
(-7)
22
(-6)
38
(3)
37
(3)
40
(4)
35
(2)
22
(-6)
13
(-11)
2
(-17)
-22
(-30)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.59
(65.8)
2.47
(62.7)
3.24
(82.3)
3.07
(78)
4.04
(102.6)
3.93
(99.8)
3.90
(99.1)
3.15
(80)
3.13
(79.5)
2.35
(59.7)
3.05
(77.5)
2.86
(72.6)
37.85
(961.4)
Snowfall inches (mm) 12.3
(312.4)
8.5
(215.9)
7.9
(200.7)
1.5
(38.1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(10.2)
3.1
(78.7)
6.9
(175.3)
40.6
(1,031.2)
Sunshine hours 93.0 110.2 155.0 183.0 217.0 243.0 254.2 229.4 198.0 167.4 99.0 74.4 2,023.6
Source: National Weather Service[41] December 7, 2009

Cityscape

Pittsburgh is home to 90 distinct neighborhoods.

The city can be broken down into the Downtown area, called the Golden Triangle,[42] and four main areas surrounding it. These four surrounding areas are further subdivided into distinct neighborhoods (in total, Pittsburgh contains 90 neighborhoods.[43]) These areas, relative to downtown, are known as the North Side, South Side/South Hills, East End, and West End.

Downtown Pittsburgh is tight and compact, featuring many skyscrapers, 9 of which top 500 ft (152 m). U.S. Steel Tower is the tallest at 841 ft (256 m).[44] The Cultural District comprises a 14 block area of downtown along the Allegheny River. It is packed with theaters and arts venues, and is seeing a growing residential segment. Most significantly, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is embarking on Riverparc, a 4-block mixed-use "green" community, featuring 700 residential units and multiple towers between 20–30 stories. The Firstside portion of downtown borders the Monongahela River and the historic Mon Wharf. This area is home to the distinctive PPG Place Gothic glass skyscraper complex. This area too, is seeing a growing residential sector, as new condo towers are constructed and historic office towers are converted to residential use. Downtown is serviced by the Port Authority's light rail and multiple bridges leading north and south.[45] It is also home to Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Culinary Institute, a Robert Morris University branch campus and Duquesne University which is located on the border of Downtown and Uptown.

Street in Shadyside, a neighborhood in the East End
The Carnegie Library and Museums of Art and Natural History in the foreground and Carnegie Mellon University behind it
Pittsburgh's North Side Neighborhood

The North Side is home to various neighborhoods in transition. What is known today as Pittsburgh's North Side was once known as Allegheny City and operated as a city independently of Pittsburgh. Allegheny City merged with Pittsburgh under great protest from its citizens. The North Side is primarily composed of residential neighborhoods and is noteworthy for well-constructed and architecturally interesting homes. Many buildings date from the 19th century and are constructed of brick or stone and adorned with decorative woodwork, ceramic tile, slate roofs and stained glass. The North Side is also home to many popular attractions such as Heinz Field, PNC Park, Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, Andy Warhol Museum, Mattress Factory installation art museum, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, Penn Brewery and Allegheny Observatory.

The South Side was once an area composed primarily of dense inexpensive housing for mill workers, but has in recent years become a local Pittsburgher destination. In fact, South Side is one of the most popular neighborhoods in which to own a home in Pittsburgh. The value of homes in the South Side has increased in value by about 10 percent annually[citation needed] for the past 10 years. The South Side's East Carson Street is one of the most vibrant areas of the city, packed with diverse shopping, ethnic eateries, pulsing nightlife and live music venues. In 1993 the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh purchased the South Side Works steel mill property, and worked together with the community and various developers to create a master plan for a mixed-use development including a riverfront park, office space, housing, health-care facilities, and the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pitt Panthers indoor practice fields. Construction began in 1998, and the Southside Works is now open for business with many store, restaurants, offices, and the world headquarters for American Eagle Outfitters.[46]

The East End is home to the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, Carlow University, Chatham University, The Carnegie Institute's Museums of Art and Natural History, Frick Art & Historical Center (Clayton and the Frick art museum), Phipps Conservatory, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, and the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The neighborhoods of Shadyside and Squirrel Hill are large, wealthy neighborhoods featuring large shopping/business districts. Oakland, heavily populated by undergraduate and graduate students, is home to most of the universities, Schenley Park and the Petersen Events Center. Bloomfield is Pittsburgh's Little Italy and is known for its Italian restaurants and grocers. Lawrenceville is a revitalizing rowhouse neighborhood popular with artists and designers, which is expected to benefit from the recent new construction of a new Children's Hospital. The Strip District is an open-air marketplace by day and a clubbing destination by night.

The West End includes Mt. Washington, with its famous view of the Downtown skyline and numerous other residential neighborhoods like Sheraden and Elliott.

Pittsburgh's patchwork of neighborhoods still retain an ethnic character reflecting the city's immigrant history. These include:

Several neighborhoods on the edges of the city are less urban, featuring tree-lined streets, yards and garages giving a more characteristic suburban feel, while other aforementioned neighborhoods, such as Oakland, the South Side, the North Side, and the Golden Triangle are characterized by a more diverse, urban feel.

The city of Pittsburgh at dawn, as seen from Mt. Washington. The Monongahela River is in the foreground.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1800 1,565
1810 4,768 204.7%
1820 7,248 52.0%
1830 12,568 73.4%
1840 21,115 68.0%
1850 46,601 120.7%
1860 49,221 5.6%
1870 86,076 74.9%
1880 156,389 81.7%
1890 238,617 52.6%
1900 321,616 34.8%
1910 533,905 66.0%
1920 588,343 10.2%
1930 669,817 13.8%
1940 671,659 0.3%
1950 676,806 0.8%
1960 604,332 −10.7%
1970 520,117 −13.9%
1980 423,938 −18.5%
1990 369,879 −12.8%
2000 334,563 −9.5%

As of the American Community Survey 3-Year Estimate of 2005–2007, the city's population was 68.3% White (65.8% non-Hispanic White alone), 28.0% Black or African American, 1.0% American Indian and Alaska Native, 4.0% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 0.9% from some other race and 2.0% from two or more races. 1.9% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[47]

As of the census of 2000,[7] there were 334,563 people, 143,739 households, and 74,169 families residing in the city. The population density was 6,019.0 people per square mile (2,324.1/km²). There are 163,366 housing units at an average density of 2,939.1/mi² (1,134.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.63% White, 27.12% African American, 0.19% Native American, 2.75% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 1.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.32% of the population.

The five largest White ethnic groups in the city of Pittsburgh are German (19.7%), Irish (15.8%), Italian (11.8%), Polish (8.4%), and English (4.6%), while the metropolitan area is approximately 22% German, and 16% Italian, and 12% Irish. Pittsburgh has one of the largest Italian communities in the nation,[48] and also has the nation's fifth largest Ukrainian community.[49]

There were 143,739 households out of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.2% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.4% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.9% under the age of 18, 14.8% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,588, and the median income for a family was $38,795. Males had a median income of $32,128 versus $25,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,816. About 15.0% of families and 20.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.5% of those under the age of 18 and 13.5% ages 65 or older.

In 2002, it was estimated that Pittsburgh ranked 22nd of 69 urban places in the U.S. in terms of number of residents 25 years or older who had completed a Bachelor's degree, with 31% of such people having completed the degree.[50] The same study ranked Pittsburgh 15th of the 69 places in terms of number of residents 25 years or older who have completed a high school degree, with a figure of 84.7%.[51]

Crime

Despite the high poverty rate, Pittsburgh once had one of the lowest property crime rates and a lower-than-average violent crime rate among cities of similar size.[52] However, recent crime statistics show violent crime has risen.[53]

Statistics in 2003 indicated that the Pittsburgh murder rate was 2.61 times the national average, which was considered high for a city of its size. Overall, the "violent crime" rate for the city was about twice the national average, while the "property" or non-violent crime rate was about 1.11 times the national average.[54]

In 2009, Forbes ranked Pittsburgh the 7th safest city in terms of violent crime.[55][56] The Greater Pittsburgh Region was also subject to two high-profile shootings in 2009, a deadly attack on police in April and a murder-suicide in Collier Township in August, though the latter occurred in a suburb outside of the city's jurisdiction.

Birthplace of a Hasidut

Pittsburgh has the distinction of being one of the few American cities to have a Hasidic Jewish group named after it. (The others are Boston, Cleveland, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.) In 1924, Rabbi Yosef Leifer, a scion of the Nadvorna Hasidic dynasty of Europe, traveled from his home in Hungary to America to raise money to marry off his orphaned sisters. When he visited the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the local Hasidic community asked him to stay and serve as their leader. Rabbi Yosef agreed and brought over his entire family, naming himself the Pittsburger Rebbe. He served as Rebbe until his death in 1966.[57] His eldest son, Rabbi Avraham Abba Leifer, succeeded him. In 1970, Rabbi Avraham Abba relocated the Hasidut to Ashdod, Israel, where it flourishes today under his son, the third Pittsburger Rebbe, Rabbi Mordechai Yissachar Ber Leifer.[58]

Economy

Downtown Pittsburgh
BNY Mellon and U.S. Steel headquarters

The growth of Pittsburgh and its economy was caused by the extensive trade in steel. Pittsburgh has since adapted to the collapse of the region's steel industry. The primary industries have shifted more to high technology, such as robotics, health care, nuclear engineering, tourism, biomedical technology, finance, and services. The total annual payroll of the region’s technology industries, when taken in aggregate, exceeds $10.8 billion.[59] Education is also a major employer, from primary through magnet schools, specialized professional institutes and highly-ranked universities. In fact, Pittsburgh still maintains its status as a corporate headquarters city, with eight Fortune 500 companies calling the city home. This ranks Pittsburgh in a tie for the eighth-most Fortune 500 headquarters in the nation.[60] In 2006, Expansion Magazine ranked Pittsburgh among the top 10 metropolitan areas in the nation for climates favorable to business expansion.[61]

Pittsburgh has grown its industry base in recent years to include technology, retail, finance and medicine. The largest employer in the city is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (48,000 employees) and the University of Pittsburgh (10,700 employees).[62]

2009 Fortune 500 Corporations[63]         
2009 Fortune 1000 Corporations

Pittsburgh is also home to Bayer USA and the operations center of Alcoa. Other major employers include BNY Mellon, GlaxoSmithKline and Lanxess. Pittsburgh and the neighboring townships serve as the Northeast U.S. regional headquarters for Nova Chemicals, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, FedEx Ground, Ariba, and Rand. 84 Lumber, Giant Eagle, Highmark, Rue 21, and GENCO Supply Chain Solutions are major non-public companies with headquarters in the region. Other major companies headquartered in Pittsburgh include General Nutrition Center (GNC) and CNX Gas (CXG), a subsidiary of Consol Energy.

The nonprofit arts and cultural industry in Allegheny County generates $341 million in economic activity and supports over 10,000 full time equivalent jobs. Revenues of nearly $34 million are generated through local and state tax.[64]

Culture

Entertainment and performing arts

Pittsburgh Children's Museum
Friday Nite Improvs at the Cathedral of Learning

In the 19th and 20th centuries, wealthy businessmen and nonprofit organizations donated millions of dollars to create educational and cultural institutions. As a result, Pittsburgh is rich in art and culture.

Among the professional music venues, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra performs in Heinz Hall, and the Pittsburgh Opera performs in the Benedum Center. Both The Benedum Center and Heinz Hall provide venues for other groups, such as the River City Brass Band and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Pittsburgh has a long tradition of jazz, blues and bluegrass music. Additionally the National Negro Opera Company was founded in Pittsburgh, and was the first all African-American opera company in the United States. This led to the prominence of African-American singers like Leontyne Price in the world of opera. Pittsburgh has a number of small and mid-size arts organizations supported by individuals, local foundations, and the Allegheny Regional Asset District. Examples include the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, the Quantum Theatre, and the early music ensemble Chatham Baroque.

Pittsburgh Dance Council and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater host a variety of dance events. Polka, folk, square and round dancing have a long history in the city and are celebrated by the internationally famous Duquesne University Tamburitzans, a multicultural academy dedicated to the preservation and presentation of folk songs and dance.

Pittsburgh museums include the Andy Warhol Museum, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and the Mattress Factory. Installation art is featured outdoors at ArtGardens of Pittsburgh. The Carnegie Museum of Natural History has extensive dinosaur collections and an Ancient Egypt wing. The Carnegie Science Center is technology oriented. The Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum are located in the Strip District. The unusual and eclectic Bayernhof Music Museum is six miles (9 km) from downtown. There is a quarterly Gallery Crawl in the downtown area's cultural district that is free and open to the public to enjoy the local art scene as well as the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which takes place in the same downtown area annually during the summer.

The city is also served by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and the National Aviary.

In theater, the Pittsburgh Playhouse of Point Park University has four resident companies of professional actors. Other companies include Attack Theatre, Bricolage Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater, City Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and Quantum Theater. The city's longest-running theater show, Friday Nite Improvs, is an improv jam that has been performed in the Cathedral of Learning and other locations for 20 years.

Writing

Pittsburgh is the birthplace of both Gertrude Stein and Rachel Carson, a Chatham College (now Chatham University) graduate from the Pittsburgh suburb of Springdale, Pennsylvania.[65] Modern writers include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson and Michael Chabon with his Pittsburgh-focused commentary on student and college life. Two-time Pultizer Prize winner and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, David McCullough was born and raised in Pittsburgh.[66] Annie Dillard, a Pultizer Prize winning writer, was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Much of her memoir An American Childhood takes place in post-World War II Pittsburgh. New writers include Chris Kuzneski who attended the University of Pittsburgh and mentions Pittsburgh in his books. Pittsburgh's unique literary style extends to playwrights,[67] as well as local graffiti and hip hop artists.

There is a Pittsburgh fantasy, macabre and science fiction genre popularized by film director George Romero, television personality Bill Cardille's Chiller Theatre,[68] film director and writer Rusty Cundieff[69] and makeup effects guru Tom Savini.[70] Today, the genre continues through the PARSEC writers organization[71] and several local Writer's Workshops including Write or Die,[72] The Pittsburgh SouthWrites,[73] and the Pittsburgh Worldwrights[74] founded by Mary Soon Lee[75] and continued by protegees Barton Paul Levenson, Kenneth Chiacchia, Pete Butler, Chris Ferrier, Robert L. Nansel and the poet Elizabeth Penrose. Mark Menold[76] showcases the classic Pittsburgh zombie tradition through cinematic and televised works on The It's Alive Show and by holding the annual "Zombie Fest".

Local dialect

The Pittsburgh English dialect, popularly referred to as "Pittsburghese", derives from influences from the Scottish-Irish, Welsh, German, Central European and Eastern European immigrants. Locals who speak in this dialect are sometimes referred to as "Yinzers" (from the local word "yinz" [var. yunz], a blended form of "you ones" similar to "y'all" and "you all" in the South). The dialect has some tonal similarities to other nearby regional dialects (ie, Erie, Baltimore), but is noted for its somewhat staccato rhythms. The staccato qualities of the Pittsburgh dialect have been suggested to originate either from Welsh or from Eastern European immigrants. It also has so many local peculiarities that the New York Times described Pittsburgh as, "the Galapagos Islands of American dialect".[77] The lexicon itself contains notable cognates borrowing from Croatian and other Slavic and European languages. Examples include babushka, pierogi, and halušky.[78]

Livability

Gateway Center, a high-rise building complex in the central business district.

Pittsburgh often places high in lists of the nation's most livable cities. After placing fourth and first in the first two editions of Places Rated Almanac, Pittsburgh went on to finish third in 1989, fifth in 1993, 14th in 1997 and 12th in 2000, before reclaiming the number one spot in 2007.[79] The survey's primary author, David Savageau, has noted that Pittsburgh is the only city to finish in the top 20 of every edition.[citation needed]

Livability rankings typically consider factors such as cost of living, crime, and cultural opportunities. Pittsburgh has a low cost of living compared to other cities in the northeastern U.S. The average price for a 3- to 4-bedroom, 2-bath family home in Pittsburgh is $162,000,[citation needed] which is well below the national average of $264,540, as of October 2004, according to the Federal Housing Finance Board.[citation needed]

Another factor enhancing Pittsburgh's livability is that area residents face very little risk of encountering a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane, wildfire, or tornado. In 2009, Forbes ranked Pittsburgh as having the 2nd-lowest natural disaster risk in the nation compared to other cities.[55] Pittsburgh is not entirely free of natural disasters, however. Residents living in extremely low-lying areas near the three rivers experience occasional floods, such as those caused when the remnants of Hurricane Ivan dumped record rainfalls on the region in 2004.[80]

In 2005, The Economist ranked Pittsburgh and Cleveland the top most livable cities in the United States, and tied the cities for 26th worldwide. Pittsburgh ranked #28 in the book Cities Ranked and Rated (2004) by Bert Sperling and Peter Sander.[citation needed]

In 2008, the American Lung Association ranked the Pittsburgh area as the nation's third most polluted metropolitan area, behind Los Angeles and Bakersfield, CA.[81] This ranking is disputed by the Allegheny County Health Department, since data from only one of Pittsburgh's 20 air quality monitors were used by the ALA. Furthermore, the monitor used is located downwind of U.S. Steel's Clairton Coke Works, the nation's largest coke plant.[82]

In 2009, Pittsburgh was named most livable city in the United States and 29th-most-livable city worldwide by The Economist.[20]

Sports

Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Panthers (football).
Petersen Events Center, home of the Pittsburgh Panthers (basketball).

Pittsburgh's dedication to sports has a long history. All of its major professional sports teams—the Steelers of the National Football League, the Penguins of the National Hockey League, and the Pirates of Major League Baseball[83]—share the same team colors, the official city colors of black and gold. This tradition of solidarity is unique to the city of Pittsburgh. The black-and-gold color scheme has since become widely associated with the city and personified in its famous Terrible Towel.

The Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team, often referred to as the Bucs or sometimes the Buccos (derived from buccaneer), are the city's oldest professional sports franchise having been founded in 1882, and play in the Central Division of the National League. The Pirates are nine-time National League Pennant winners and five-time World Series Champions. The Pirates played in the first World's Series in 1903, losing to the Boston Americans, but won in 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, as well as in their most recent World Series appearance against the Baltimore Orioles in 1979. The Pirates play in PNC Park, which is annually ranked as one of the most beautiful Major League baseball parks because of its location on the banks of the Allegheny River and the view of the Pittsburgh skyline. An ESPN.com feature remarked that "[t]his is the perfect blend of location, history, design, comfort and baseball…The best stadium in baseball is in Pittsburgh."[84] Pittsburgh also has a rich history in Negro League baseball teams with the former Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays credited with as many as 14 league titles and 11 Hall of Famers between them. In addition, the Pittsburgh Pirates were the first Major League team to field an all-nonwhite lineup in 1971. One sportswriter claimed, "No city is more synonymous with black baseball than Pittsburgh."[85]

Football is the most popular sport in the region, with high school games routinely getting over 10,000 fans per game as well as extensive press coverage. College football is also popular, with the majority of residents supporting the local Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh who compete in the Big East Conference. Pitt's program has a storied tradition and claims nine national championships throughout its history, and most recently won the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl en route to a 10-3 record. Some Pittsburghers also cheer for the Division I FBS teams of Penn State University and West Virginia University, with both teams also receiving coverage in the local papers. Additionally, local universities Duquesne and Robert Morris field lower Division I Football Championship Division (FCS) teams. Arguably the most popular team in the city is the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, who have been owned by the Rooney family since the team's founding in 1933. The Steelers receive extensive media coverage and with a long waiting list for season tickets, have sold out every home game since 1972.[86] The team won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s, a fifth Super Bowl in 2006, and a league record sixth Super Bowl in 2009. Both the Steelers and Pitt Panthers play home games at Heinz Field.

Hockey in Pittsburgh has become increasingly popular on both the amateur and professional levels since the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL were founded in 1967. The Penguins have won four Eastern Conference championships (1991, 1992, 2008, and 2009) and three Stanley Cup championships in 1991, 1992, and 2009. They are owned by Mario Lemieux, who was a pivotal player for the team from 1984–2006, and play their home games at Mellon Arena, which is being replaced by the Consol Energy Center that is slated to open for the 2010–2011 NHL season. Robert Morris University also fields a Division I college hockey team which plays at the RMU Island Sports Center.

Professional basketball has also played a role in the city's sports landscape since the 1910s with a five time national championship team among the "Black Fives" league, the Pittsburgh Ironmen for the inagurual season of the NBA, the Pittsburgh Rens in the early 1960's and the Pittsburgh Pipers a team that won the first American Basketball Association championship in 1968, Pittsburgh Piranhas playing to the CBA Finals in 1995 and more recently the Pittsburgh Xplosion.

Collegiate basketball's fanbase was fueled since the 1900's by both the Dukes of Duquesne University and the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh. Duquesne was historically regarded as the city's most successful men's college basketball program (especially from the advent of tournament champions in the 1940's to the 1970's). In 1954 the Dukes were the city's first college basketball team to obtain a number one ranking in the AP Poll,[87] and remain the only city team to have won college basketball tournament national title, the 1955 NIT, it's second straight trip to the title game. The Pitt Panthers have won two pre-tournament era Helms Athletic Foundation National Championships in 1928 and 1930 and competed in another title game in 1934. Pitt has often found a place among the top 25 NCAA teams, including being ranked number one for several weeks in 2009, and has made the NCAA Men's basketball tournament for the past eight seasons, reaching the Elite Eight last season. Pitt plays at the Peterson Events Center, which has been sold out every season since its opening in 2002, and the school's student section refers to itself as the "Oakland Zoo", a reference to the Oakland section of the city where the university is located. Pitt and Duquesne play a heated inter-city rivalry, termed "The City Game", each season. Robert Morris University's Colonials have since the 1970s also competed in NCAA Division I basketball from its suburban campus adjacent to the airport. Starting in the 1980's the team has made the NCAA Tournament every decade and the NIT in 2008, while posting several conference titles.

Soccer in Pittsburgh is represented by the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, a professional soccer team playing in the second division of the United Soccer Leagues (USL). A first division team until 2004, the Riverhounds reached the 2001 US Open Cup quarterfinals after beating the Colorado Rapids of the Major League Soccer.

Pittsburgh also host several annual major sporting events, including the Pittsburgh Marathon, Three Rivers Regatta, Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix, and the Head of the Ohio Regatta. Pittsburgh has multiple mountain biking areas close to the city in area parks and in the surrounding suburbs. Frick Park has biking trails and Hartwood Acres Park has many miles of single track trails. A recent project, "Rails to Trails", has converted miles of former railroads to recreational trails.

The Pittsburgh region also has developed many notable athletes that have gone on to outstanding careers in professional sports. The region has produced a multitude of NFL quarterbacks, giving Western Pennsylvania the nickname "Cradle of Quarterbacks."[88][89] Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Jim Kelly, Marc Bulger, George Blanda, Jeff Hostetler, Johnny Unitas, Bruce Gradkowski, Gus Frerotte, and recent Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch are from the area. Several famous running backs, including Tony Dorsett, Curtis Martin, Kevan Barlow, Mercury Morris, Larry Brown, Ernie Davis, Cookie Gilchrist and Joe Marconi are also from Pittsburgh. Several former offensive line greats, including Jim Covert, Russ Grimm, Reggie Wells, and Bill Fralic also hail from the area. Several notable defensive players are from the Pittsburgh area, including Pro Hall of Famers Joe Schmidt and Randy White, defensive end Jason Taylor, cornerbacks Ty Law and Darelle Revis, and linebackers LaVar Arrington and Myron Pottios. Several current NFL Players grew up in the Greater Pittsburgh, including Shawntae Spencer and Steve Breaston in addition to the aforementioned Ty Law, Jason Taylor and Charlie Batch. There is also a long list of baseball stars such as Ken Griffey, Jr., Ken Griffey, Sr., Stan Musial, and Honus Wagner, as well as numerous Olympic gold medalists such as wrestler Kurt Angle, Roger Kingdom and John Woodruff and the region was where Jim Furyk, Rocco Mediate and Arnold Palmer learned to play golf. Notable NHL players from the Pittsburgh area include Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lightning, R.J. Umberger of the Columbus Blue Jackets, John Zeiler of the Los Angeles Kings, and Bill Thomas of the Phoenix Coyotes. Pittsburgh also claims many professional sports coaching legends as its own including George Karl, John Calipari, Marvin Lewis, Mike Ditka, Marty Schottenheimer, Mike McCarthy, Bill Cowher, Dave Wannstedt, Joe Walton, Barry Alvarez, Chuck Knox, Terry Francona, Chuck Daly, Ken Macha, Dick Nolan, Sean Miller, Herb Sendek, Chuck Tanner, Jim Haslett, Ted Marchibroda and Art Howe.

Club League Sport Venue Established Championships
Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Baseball PNC Park 1882 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, 1979
Pittsburgh Steelers NFL American Football Heinz Field 1933 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 2005, 2008
Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Ice Hockey Mellon Arena 1967 1991, 1992, 2009

Media

There are two major daily newspapers in Pittsburgh; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Alternative weekly papers in the region include the Pittsburgh City Paper, Pittsburgh Catholic, The Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh, The New People, and the Pittsburgh Courier. Independent student-written university based newspapers include The Pitt News of the University of Pittsburgh, The Tartan of Carnegie Mellon University, and The Globe of Point Park University.

The Pittsburgh metro area is served by many local television and radio stations. The Pittsburgh designated market area (DMA) is the 22nd largest in the U.S. with 1,163,150 homes (1.045% of the total U.S.).[90] The major network television affiliates are KDKA-TV 2 (CBS), WTAE 4 (ABC), WPXI 11 (NBC), WPGH-TV 53 (Fox), WPCW 19 (CW), WQEX 16 (ShopNBC), WPMY 22 (MyNetworkTV), and WPCB 40 (Cornerstone). WBGN 59 is an independent station owned and operated by the Bruno-Goodworth Network.

WQED 13 is the local PBS station in Pittsburgh. It was established on April 1, 1954, and was the first community-sponsored television station and the fifth public station in the United States. The station has produced much original content for PBS, including Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, several National Geographic specials, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?[91]

There are a wide variety of radio stations serving the Pittsburgh market. The first was KDKA 1020 AM, which is also the first commercially-licensed radio station in the United States, receiving its license on October 27, 1920.[92] Other popular stations include KQV 1410 AM (news), WEAE 1250 AM (sports), WKST-FM 96.1 FM (pop and hip-hop), WZPT 100.7 FM (adult contemporary), WDVE 102.5 FM (album rock), WPGB 104.7 FM (talk), and WXDX 105.9 FM (modern rock). There are also three public radio stations in the area; including WDUQ 90.5 FM (National Public Radio affiliate operated by Duquesne University), WQED 89.3 FM (classical), and WYEP 91.3 FM (adult alternative). Three non-commercial stations are run by Carnegie Mellon University (WRCT 88.3 FM), the University of Pittsburgh (WPTS 92.1 FM), and Point Park University (WPPJ 670 AM).

According to the Pittsburgh Film Office, over 123 major motion pictures have been filmed, in whole or in part, in Pittsburgh, including the The Mothman Prophecies, Wonder Boys, Dogma, Hoffa, The Silence of the Lambs, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno.[93][94] Horror director George A. Romero, a Pittsburgh native, has shot nearly all of his films in and around Pittsburgh, including the majority of his Living Dead series. Showtime's popular series Queer as Folk is also set in Pittsburgh, although actual filming is done in Toronto.[95]

Government and politics

Prior to the Civil War, Pittsburgh was noted for being largely in opposition to slavery. This sentiment ultimately culminated in Pittsburgh being selected as the birthplace of the national Republican Party, when the party held its first convention in February 1856. From the American Civil War to the 1930s, Pittsburgh was largely a Republican stronghold.

However, national economic turmoil in the mid-1930s brought to an end Republican rule. In 1933, William N. McNair became the first Democrat to be elected to the office of Mayor. With the exception of the 1973 and 1977 elections (where life-long Democrats ran off the party ticket because of gamesmanship) Democratic candidates have been elected consecutively to the mayor's office since. Today, the ratio of Democratic to Republican registrations within the city limits is 5 to 1.[96]

The mayor and the nine-member council both serve a four-year term. The governments official offices are located in the Pittsburgh City-County Building. After the death of Mayor Bob O'Connor in September 2006, City Council President Luke Ravenstahl was sworn as the new mayor of Pittsburgh. Sworn in at age 26, he is the youngest mayor in the history of any major American city.[97] He served in this position until a special mayoral election was held in November 2007, when he was reelected.[98]

City council members are chosen by plurality elections in each of nine districts. The current members of the city council are: Darlene Harris (1), Theresa Kail-Smith (2), Bruce Kraus (3), Natalia Rudiak (4), Douglas Shields (5), R. Daniel Lavelle (6), Patrick Dowd (7), Bill Peduto (8), and Rev. Ricky Burgess (9).[99] The current president of city council is Darlene Harris, who was elected to the position on January 4'th, 2010.[100]

Pittsburgh is represented in the Pennsylvania General Assembly by three Senate Districts and nine House Districts. Pittsburgh's State Senators include Jim Ferlo (38th District), Wayne D. Fontana (42), and Jay Costa (43). Representatives in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives include Jake Wheatley (19th District), Don Walko (20), Dominic Costa (21), Chelsa Wagner (22), Dan Frankel (23), Joseph Preston, Jr. (24), Dan Deasy (27), Paul Costa (34), and Harry Readshaw (36).

Federally, Pittsburgh is part of Pennsylvania's 14th congressional district, represented by Democrat Mike Doyle, elected in 1994.

The Pittsburgh Police Bureau is the law enforcement arm of the city and the Pittsburgh Fire Bureau is a major emergency response unit in Western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh EMS provides heavy rescue and river rescue services to the city.

As of April 4, 2008, the city and Allegheny County are discussing a plan to merge as early as 2009 in the interests of consolidating government and enhancing the status of the region.[101] If approved, the city of Pittsburgh would annex the entire land of Allegheny County in a Metropolitan Government, and the population would stand at 1.2 million, making Pittsburgh the 10th largest city in the United States.[102] However, opposition to this plan is concerned that inefficiencies and corruption that exist today will only be extended to the newly-annexed communities resulting in a loss of services and an increase in taxes.

Education

The City of Pittsburgh is home to many colleges, universities and research facilities, the most well known of which are Carnegie Mellon University, Duquesne University, and the University of Pittsburgh. Also located in the city are Carlow University, Chatham University, Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and a branch campus of suburban Robert Morris University as well as the Community College of Allegheny County, The Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. The greater Pittsburgh region boasts even more colleges and universities, including LaRoche College, Slippery Rock University, Westminster College and Grove City College north of the city, Robert Morris University and Geneva College west of the city, Washington & Jefferson College, California University of Pennsylvania and Waynesburg University to the south, and Seton Hill University, Saint Vincent College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania - the biggest state university - to the east.

The campuses of Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University of Pittsburgh are located adjacent to each other in the Oakland neighborhood that is the traditional cultural and education center of the city. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a private research university founded by Andrew Carnegie and is ranked #22 overall on US News & World Report list of America's Best National Universities.[103] Carnegie Mellon is known primarily for its computer science, engineering, business, economics, public policy, information systems, and fine arts programs. The University of Pittsburgh, established in 1787 and popularly referred to as "Pitt", is a state-related school with one of the country's largest research programs.[104][105] Pitt is ranked as the 19th national public university by US News & World Report and 57th overall, and is known for its programs in philosophy, international studies, information science, engineering, business, law, medicine, and other biomedical and health-related sciences.[103][106][107][108][109] Carlow University is a small private Roman Catholic university that while coeducational, has traditionally educated women. Chatham University, a liberal arts women's college with coeducational graduate programs, is located in the nearby Shadyside neighborhood, but also maintains a 400-acre Eden Hall Farm campus located in the North Hills. Duquesne University, a private Catholic university, is located in the Bluff neighborhood of Pittsburgh and is noted for its song and dance company, the Tamburitzans, as well as programs in law, business, and pharmacy. Point Park University, which recently announced a major expansion of its downtown campus, is the youngest university in the city and well known for its Conservatory of Performing Arts and its operation of the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Robert Morris University is based in the suburb of Moon Township, Pennsylvania and maintains a satellite center in downtown Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Public School teachers are paid well relative to their peers, ranking 17th in 2000 among the 100 largest cities by population for the highest minimum salary offered to teachers with a BA ($34,300).[citation needed] Pittsburgh ranked fifth in the highest maximum salary offered to teachers with an MA ($66,380).[citation needed] Local public schools include many charter and magnet schools, including City Charter High School (computer and technology focused), Pittsburgh Montessori School (formerly Homewood Montessori), Pittsburgh Gifted Center, Frick International Studies Academy, Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts 6-12, and a school for the blind, The Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, or otherwise challenged children.

Private schools in Pittsburgh include Bishop Canevin High School, Seton-La Salle Catholic High School, Central Catholic High School, Oakland Catholic High School, Winchester Thurston School, and The Ellis School. Shady Side Academy, whose main campuses are located in Fox Chapel, has a junior high school in the neighborhood of Point Breeze.

The city also has an extensive library system, both public and university. Most notable are the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh's University Library System, which rank 9th largest (public) and 18th largest (academic) in the nation, respectively.[110]

Transportation

View of Downtown from the Fort Pitt Bridge (I-376) immediately upon exiting the Fort Pitt Tunnel
Three Sister Bridges along the Allegheny River

Pittsburgh is a city of bridges—446 in total.[14] Pittsburgh has more bridges than Venice, Italy, which has historically held the title of "City of Bridges". Around 40 bridges cross the three rivers near the city. The southern "entrance" to Downtown is through the Fort Pitt Tunnel and over the Fort Pitt Bridge. The Panhandle Bridge carries the Port Authority's 42-S/47-L/52 subway lines across the Monongahela River. Over 2,000 bridges dot the landscape of Allegheny County.[111]

The main highway connecting Pittsburgh to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) on the east is I-376, locally known as the "Parkway East". I-376 also connects to Interstate 79 to the west and is known as the "Parkway West". I-279, the "Parkway North", connects the city with points north. I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike), I-79, and I-70, roughly form a triangular-shaped "beltway". Navigation around Pittsburgh can also be accomplished via the Pittsburgh/Allegheny County Belt System.

A planned highway system called the Mon-Fayette/Southern Beltway project would allow access from the south and southwest of the city via a limited-access tolled expressway system.[112] The projects are in the planning stages with some sections already open to traffic. The projects are being planned by The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.[113]

Airports

The city is served by Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT) about 10 miles (16 km) to the west in Findlay Township.[114] The airport also promotes the region as a former focus city for US Airways. It was the major hub for the airline from the company's start in the 1940s to 2007. In 2000, US Airways and its regional affiliates operated over 500 daily departures from Pittsburgh to more than 110 destinations; by 2007 fewer than 70 departures to 21 destinations remained.[115] However, in 2007, US Airways chose the city to house its new $25 million, 27,000 sq. ft. 600 employees strong Global Flight Operations Center, consolidating its two smaller (pre-merger) centers in Phoenix, Arizona and along I-376 in metro Pittsburgh. Currently, the largest promotions at the airport is the expansion of other airlines, particularly Delta Air Lines' new non-stop service to Paris as well as JetBlue and Southwest Airlines expansion.

Art deco style Allegheny County Airport (AGC) handles 139,000 general aviation flights a year, and is located south of the city in West Mifflin. There are also smaller airports located near the city used primarily for corporate jets and other private aircraft: Rock Airport is northeast of Pittsburgh near the borough of Tarentum and Pittsburgh-Monroeville Airport is east of the city in Monroeville.

Commercial service is also available at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in the metro area borough of Latrobe via Delta Airlines and formerly Northwest Airlines and US Airways commuter service.

Public transportation

Pittsburgh intermodal transportation center, completed in 2008

Port Authority of Allegheny County, commonly known as the Port Authority, but sometimes referred to by its former nickname "PAT" or "PAT Transit", is the region's mass transit system. While serving only a portion of the Pittsburgh area's 20th largest metro area it is the 11th largest transit agency in the nation. Port Authority runs a network of inter- and intracity bus routes, the Monongahela Incline funicular railway (more commonly known as "inclines") on Mount Washington, a light rail system that runs mostly above-ground in the suburbs and underground as a subway in the city, and one of the nation's largest busway systems.[116] The Duquesne Incline is operated by a non-profit preservation trust,[117] but it does accept Port Authority passes and charge standard Port Authority tolls.

The city has Amtrak intercity rail service via the Capitol Limited and the Pennsylvanian at Pennsylvania Station, also known as Union Station. Current freight railroads include CSX and Norfolk Southern. Enhancements to allow for highspeed rail transit connections to Philadelphia and the Northeast Corridor are underway as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Sister cities

Pittsburgh has nineteen sister cities:[118][119]

See also

References

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  64. ^ Arts and Economic Impact III
  65. ^ http://www.pabook.libraries.psu.edu/palitmap/bios/Carson__Rachel_Louise.html
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  68. ^ "Welcome to Chiller Theater Memories!". Chillertheatermemories.com. http://www.chillertheatermemories.com. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
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  71. ^ "PARSEC: Pittsburgh's Premiere Science Fiction Organization". Parsec-sff.org. 2006-11-05. http://www.parsec-sff.org/links.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  72. ^ http://word.pghfree.net/ Write or Die
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  74. ^ "Pittsburgh Worldwrights". Cs.cmu.edu. 2005-05-27. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mslee/pw.html/. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  75. ^ Rodger Turner, Webmaster. "The SF Site: A Conversation With Mary Soon Lee". Sfsite.com. http://www.sfsite.com/02b/msl122.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  76. ^ "Revenant: The Premiere Zombie Magazine - Features". Revenantmagazine.com. http://www.revenantmagazine.com/MarkMenoldinterview.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
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  78. ^ "Overview". Pittsburgh Speech and Society. http://english.cmu.edu/pittsburghspeech/overview.html. Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
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  81. ^ The Most Polluted Places in America - 3 Living Green - Your Life - MSN Lifestyle
  82. ^ Heinrichs, Allison. "Region passes L.A. on pollution list". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_565183.html. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  83. ^ The Pittsburgh Passion of the IWFL use these colors as well.
  84. ^ Jim Caple. "Pittsburgh's gem rates the best". ESPN.com. http://espn.go.com/page2/s/ballparks/pncpark.html. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  85. ^ John Perrotto (2006-08-14). "Baseball Plog". Beaver County Times. http://www.timesonline.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17047895&BRD=2305&PAG=461&dept_id=478568&rfi=6. 
  86. ^ "ESPN ranks Steelers fans No. 1". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 2008-08-30. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_585606.html?source=rss&feed=3. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  87. ^ See page 67 of the NCAA Men's College Basketball Records (PDF file)
  88. ^ McHugh, Roy (20 January 1991). "VIEWS OF SPORT; True Grit: Quarterbacks From Steel Belt Football". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1991/01/20/sports/views-of-sport-true-grit-quarterbacks-from-steel-belt-football.html. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  89. ^ Mike White (2005-08-25). "Tradition of Western Pennsylvania quarterbacks continues". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05238/558775.stm. 
  90. ^ Holmes, Gary. "Nielsen Reports 1.1% increase in U.S. Television Households for the 2006-2007 Season." Nielsen Media Research. September 23, 2006. Retrieved on January 26, 2008.
  91. ^ Hoover, Bob; Kalson, Sally; Vancheri, Barbara. "WQED at 50: Born in television's Golden Age, Pittsburgh's public broadcasting station pioneered educational programming." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 28, 2004. Retrieved on January 26, 2008.
  92. ^ "KDKA, First Commercial Radio Station." IEEE Global History Network. Retrieved on January 26, 2008.
  93. ^ "Filmography." Pittsburgh Film Office. Retrieved on January 26, 2008.
  94. ^ Powell, Kimberly; Powell, Albrecht. "Movies Made in Pittsburgh." About.com. Retrieved on January 26, 2008.
  95. ^ ""Queer as Folk."". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0262985/. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  96. ^ "Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Transatlantic Cities Network". The German Marshall Fund of the United States. http://www.gmfus.org/template/page.cfm?page_id=481. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  97. ^ "Ravenstahl Among Youngest Mayors Ever" (video). KDKA-TV. 2006-09-04. http://kdka.com/video/?id=19751@kdka.dayport.com. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  98. ^ Gary Rotstein (2006-10-13). "Ravenstahl must run next year". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.postgazette.com/pg/06286/729694-182.stm. Retrieved 2007-08-20. 
  99. ^ "City Council." City of Pittsburgh (official website). Retrieved on May 19, 2008.
  100. ^ "Darlene Harris wins City Council presidency" (article). Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2010-01-04. http://www.postgazette.com/pg/10004/1025697-455.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  101. ^ "kdka.com - Local Officials Look For Ways To Improve City-County Merger Recommendation". Kdka.com. 2008-04-04. http://kdka.com/politics/Pittsburgh.Allegheny.County.2.692217.html. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  102. ^ "thepittsburghchannel.com - Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Merger Recommended". ThePittsburghChannel.com. 2008-04-03. http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/15782593/detail.html. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  103. ^ a b "National Universities: Top Schools". US News & World Report. 2008. http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/t1natudoc_brief.php. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  104. ^ "R&D expenditures at universities and colleges, ranked by all R&D expenditures for the first 200 institutions, by source of funds: FY 2006" (PDF). National Science Foundation. pp. TABLE 31. http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf08300/pdf/tab31.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  105. ^ ""Pitt No. 6 in NIH funding"". University Times. University of Pittsburgh. 2008-01-24. http://mac10.umc.pitt.edu/u/FMPro?-db=ustory&-lay=a&-format=d.html&storyid=7904&-Find. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  106. ^ Hart, Peter (2007-08-30). "University Times". http://mac10.umc.pitt.edu/u/FMPro?-db=ustory.fp5&-format=d.html&-lay=a&-sortfield=issueid%3a%3aissuedate&-sortorder=descend&keywords=U.S.%20News&-max=50&-recid=39345&-find=. Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  107. ^ Leiter, Brian (2006-11-10). "Welcome to the 2006–2008 Philosophical Gourmet Report". http://www.philosophicalgourmet.com/. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  108. ^ Gill, Cindy (Fall 2007). ""The Company We Keep"". Pitt. University of Pittsburgh. http://www.pittmag.pitt.edu/fall2007/feature1.html. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  109. ^ Hart, Peter (2007-04-05). "U.S. News ranks Pitt grad schools". University Times. http://mac10.umc.pitt.edu/u/FMPro?-db=ustory.fp5&-format=d.html&-lay=a&-sortfield=issueid%3a%3aissuedate&-sortorder=descend&keywords=School%20of%20Public%20Health%20ranked&-max=50&-recid=39152&-find=. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  110. ^ "Nation's Largest Libraries". LibrarySpot. 1996\u20131998. http://www.libraryspot.com/lists/listlargestlibs.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  111. ^ "Bruce S. Cridlebaugh's website: Bridges and Tunnels of Allegheny County and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania". Pghbridges.com. 2004-08-11. http://www.pghbridges.com/articles/fieldnote_howmany.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  112. ^ "PA Turnpike Construction - Mon/Fayette & Southern Beltway Projects". Paturnpike.com. 2008-11-14. http://www.paturnpike.com/MonFaySB/. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  113. ^ "The Pennsylvania Turnpike". Paturnpike.com. http://www.paturnpike.com. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  114. ^ Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau
  115. ^ David Grossman, "Dismantling Pittsburgh: Death of an airline hub," USA Today Oct. 15, 2007
  116. ^ American Public Transportation Association - Largest Transit Agencies; 2007-07-06
  117. ^ "Duquesne Incline, historic cable car railway serving commuters and tourists since 1877, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania". Incline.pghfree.net. 2008-10-14. http://incline.pghfree.net/. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
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  120. ^ Omiya city home page archive
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External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Pittsburgh skyline with the Duquesne Incline in the foreground
Pittsburgh skyline with the Duquesne Incline in the foreground
For other places with the same name, see Pittsburgh (disambiguation).
Pittsburgh is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.

Pittsburgh [1] is a city of about 350,000 in Allegheny County, at the center of the Pittsburgh Region in southwestern Pennsylvania; the population of its metropolitan area is about 2.4 million. It is situated at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers, which meet to form the Ohio River. Pittsburgh's unique terrain has resulted in an unusual city design and a hodge-podge of unique neighborhood "pockets" with diverse ethnic and architectural heritage. Pittsburgh has a rich history and, for its size, an unusual array of cultural treasures, largely thanks to the wealth that was generated when Pittsburgh was a hub of industry.

The pleasure of Pittsburgh remains a well-kept secret. Though not built up by reputation, the city's unique combination of bridges, steep hills, and broad rivers make it one of the most naturally scenic cities in the country. Cheap food and beer abound in this true sports town and the locals are amazingly friendly.

Downtown ("Golden Triangle")
The historic, economic, administrative, and cultural center of the city, where the three rivers meet.
East End-South
Home to the city's "second downtown" - the college neighborhood of Oakland - as well as many institutions, parks, and quieter residential and shopping areas. The main neighborhoods of interest in this area are Oakland, Shadyside, and Squirrel Hill.
East End-North
A center of the city's ethnic diversity, this formerly industrial area is now bustling with shops and restaurants. The main neighborhoods of interest in this area are the Strip District, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, and East Liberty.
North Side
Two of Pittsburgh's major league sports teams and many of the city's finest museums can be found here. The main neighborhoods of interest in this area are the North Shore, Allegheny, and the Mexican War Streets. (Note: In common parlance, "Northside" most often refers to these and a few other specific neighborhoods in this area. See the district article for details.)
South Side
A particularly hilly region famous for its inclines and great views of the city - as well as its bar scene. The main neighborhoods of interest in this area are the Southside Flats and Mt Washington. (Note: In common parlance, "Southside" most often refers to two specific neighborhoods in this area: the Southside Flats and Southside Slopes. This region also includes some neighborhoods considered the "West End". See the district article for more).
Wayfinder Street Sign
Wayfinder Street Sign

This system of districts is based upon the Pittsburgh Wayfinder System, a series of 5-colored maps of the city you will see on directional signs throughout the city. Each color indicates a different region, while the blue lines represent the three rivers.

Each of these districts contains numerous distinct neighborhoods. The city has published a map [2] showing all neighborhoods, with printable maps of each.

Understand

History

The first European to "discover" the site of Pittsburgh was French discoverer/trader Sieur de La Salle in his 1669 expedition. The settlement of Pittsburgh began as a strategic point at the confluence of three rivers, with Britain, France, and the local Native American tribes all vying for control over this spot and thus, the region. On what is now referred to as The Point, where the rivers meet, several forts were constructed by competing French and British forces during the French and Indian War. In 1758, British general John Forbes ordered the construction of Fort Pitt, named after British Secretary of State William Pitt the Elder. He also named the settlement between the rivers "Pittsborough".

Manufacturing in Pittsburgh began in earnest in the early 19th century, and by the US Civil War the city was known as "the armory of the Union." This began a sharp escalation of industry, particularly steel and glass. By the late 19th century, Pittsburgh was known as the Steel City. Andrew Carnegie began the Carnegie Steel Company in 1892, which became United States Steel (USS) a decade later and grew to be the largest corporation of any kind in the world. Carnegie became the richest man on Earth and, along with other local magnates of industry, gave Pittsburgh cultural institutions such as the Carnegie Museums, Carnegie Library, and Carnegie-Mellon University. A number of other Fortune 100 companies have called Pittsburgh their headquarters, helping fund world-class museums, theaters, universities, and other attractions.

Pittsburghese

The Pittsburgh English dialect, popularly referred to as "Pittsburghese", has derived from influences from its immigrants. Locals who speak in this dialect are sometimes referred to as "Yinzers" (from the local word for "you guys/people", yinz [var. yunz]). The dialect has some tonal similarities to other nearby regional dialects, but is noted for its somewhat staccato rhythms. It also has so many local peculiarities that the New York Times described Pittsburgh as "the Galapagos Islands of American dialect".

Some examples of Pittsburghese words include:

  • Yinz - pr. You (plural). People from Pittsburgh are often referred to as "Yinzers"
  • Slippy - adj. Slippery
  • Buggy - n. Shopping Cart; Stroller
  • Gumband - n. Rubber band
  • the 'Burgh - n. The city of Pittsburgh
  • Redd up - v. To clean up
  • N'at - (and so forth, literally "and that") is sometimes used to end a sentence. For example: "Yinz need to redd up your room n'at."

Many words are also pronounced uniquely in Pittsburgh:

  • ee sounds are pronounced as i. For example, Steelers is pronounced Still-ers.
  • ow and ou sounds are pronounced ah. For example, downtown is pronounced dahntahn.
  • Washer is pronounced worsh-er, and wash is sometimes pronounced worsh.
  • Iron is pronounced arn.

The people of Pittsburgh are also notorious for speaking very fast.

See the Pittsburghese website [3] for more examples.

At the height of this industrialization Pittsburgh was notorious for its severe air pollution. One journalist, James Parton, descriptively dubbed it "hell with the lid off". White-collar workers came home in the evening as "brown-collar" workers. When asked what to do to fix Pittsburgh, the noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright famously replied with his characteristic frankness, "Raze it." Following World War II, the city launched a clean air and civic revitalization project known as the "Renaissance." This much-acclaimed effort was followed by the "Renaissance II" project, begun in 1977 and focusing more on cultural and neighborhood development than its predecessor. The industrial base continued to expand through the 1960s, but beginning in the 1970s and 1980s, the steel industry in the region imploded, with massive layoffs and mill closures.

Today Pittsburgh is a model of cleanliness due to the remediation of the polluting industrial plants in the late 1950s, as well as the gradual migration of the mills to other cities and countries. There is now only one operating steel mill in the region, Carnegie Steel's venerable Edgar Thompson Works, now a USS state-of-the-art integrated steel mill. With the implosion of the steel industry in the region, the city's population shrank dramatically, from 600,000 in 1950 to 330,000 in 2000. Remnants of the city's more prosperous past can be seen throughout the area. But while the region is still reeling from the economic collapse, Pittsburgh is now (for the most part) economically stable, as the city has shifted the economic base to services such as education, medicine, and finance.

People

The people of Pittsburgh are indeed what make it such a unique place. The city has been shaped by its immigrants, whose specific traditions have left a lasting mark. Pittsburghers are generally welcoming, down-to-earth, and unpretentious. Pittsburgh has also recently gained attention as a burgeoning center for counter-culture.

The British were the first to permanently settle Pittsburgh, and early settlers included the English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish, as well as German, drawn by mining, shipping, and manufacturing. These people formed the foundation of Pittsburgh, still physically visible in the oldest parts of the city.

By the late 1800s, the demand for labor was so strong the new immigrants - the so-called "millhunks" - began flocking to Pittsburgh, chiefly from Central and Eastern Europe. They not only provided labor, but brought their families, their languages, their churches, and other traditions. Today Pittsburgh's identity has been strongly molded by the ethnic traditions of these immigrants from countries like Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Italy, Lithuania, Serbia, and Croatia. Steeples and the bright copper onion-dome churches of the Eastern Orthodox tradition dot the old parts of town, and grandmas wearing babushkas are a common sight. Pittsburgh is also home to a large Jewish community, centered in Squirrel Hill.

Pittsburgh's modern economy has brought new immigrants from places such as India and China, along with their traditions; the Pittsburgh region today is home to a number of Hindu temples, for example. Pittsburgh has truly been a great melting pot, and continues to be as a home to thousands of students from across the world that attend the many universities in the city, especially Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°F) 37 39 50 62 71 80 85 83 76 64 53 42
Nightly lows (°F) 20 21 29 38 48 56 62 60 53 41 33 25
Precipitation (in) 2.6 2.5 3.2 3 4 3.9 3.9 3.1 3.1 2.3 3.0 2.9

Check Pittsburgh's 7 day forecast at NOAA

The surrounding landscape has had a huge impact on Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh's characteristic rivers and hills have shaped the city physically, economically, and socially.

Like most older cities, it was the rivers that made the city. The rivers allowed for the transport of raw materials and provided water used for making steel, and allowed for easy shipping of finished products. Today, the rivers attract mostly recreational boaters, but still support extensive barge traffic. Pittsburgh claims to have more bridges than any city in the world (only counting bridges over 20 feet, 440 or so within Pittsburgh, and over 1700 in the county) [4].

The hilly landscape has created unique neighborhoods; flat lands near the rivers were used for mills, while workers' houses cling precariously the the hillsides above. In many places "pockets" of neighborhoods, divided by rivers and valleys, have developed distinctly different characteristics from each other, despite being very close together. The landscape has kept many areas, unbuildable to due slopes, lush and green, and provides for great views.

Tourist Information

Pittsburgh's visitor information centers offer maps, brochures and other information for tourists. The VisitPittsburgh website [5] offers more guides and lists of things to do.

  • Downtown Pittsburgh Info Center, on Liberty Avenue adjacent to Gateway Center, near Point State Park Downtown. Hours: M-F 9AM-5PM (Apr-Oct), 9AM-4PM (Nov-Mar); Sa 9AM-5PM; Su 10AM-3PM.
  • Pittsburgh International Airport Info Center. Hours: M 9AM-4PM; Tu-F 10AM-5PM; Sa 10AM-6PM; Su 2PM-6PM.
  • Senator John Heinz History Center, 1212 Smallman Street, Strip District. Hours: all week, 10AM-5PM.
Map of Pittsburgh
Map of Pittsburgh

By plane

Pittsburgh International Airport (IATA: PIT) [6] is the normal way in, although the area is also served by the smaller Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin, primarily used by private and corporate airplanes. The airport is located near Robinson Township in Findlay, about 20 miles west of downtown, translating to about a $35 cab ride ($50 in rush hour traffic). Hotel shuttles and buses are also available, and can be cheaper. A city bus, route 28X [7], also connects the airport to Downtown and Oakland, taking a reasonably fast route mostly along freeways and dedicated busways, and costing much less than a taxi.

The airport terminal is relatively new, and when built was the first "airport mall" in the country, which contains many shops and restaurants. It has been much copied since it was completed.

From your plane, you will arrive in the Airside Terminal. If you are transiting to another destination you don't have to leave this building, and this is where most of the Airmall shops are which makes window shopping a pleasant way of passing the time. Free Wi-Fi is also available (Pittsburgh's was the first "international" airport to provide such service). If you are coming to the Pittsburgh area though, you will take a light-rail shuttle a short distance underground to the Landside Terminal where you will find the baggage claim and the various transportation modes to the city and other regional locations. A Hyatt Hotel is connected to the landside terminal complex and there are several hotels (Embassy Suites and Sheraton among them) within 5 miles of the airport.

The airport is served by United, Delta, Northwest, Midwest, Myrtle Beach Direct, Airtran, American, jetBlue, Air Canada and USA 3000, but US Airways and Southwest Airlines are predominant. There are non-stop flights to/from most of the major airports around the country, as well as some service to Canada and the Caribbean and limited service to Paris.

By bus

Greyhound [8] (+1 412 392-6513 or +1 800-231-2222 for routes and schedules) serves Pittsburgh from a station in the new (Sept 2008) transportation center at 11th and Liberty Downtown.

Fullington Trailways also serves Pittsburgh out of the Greyhound station. Twice daily direct Service to DuBois PA, along with one daily (5AM departure) connecting service to Buffalo, NY, and Wilkes-Barre, PA. As a Greyhound alternative, you can travel to New York City by taking the 5AM Fullington departure and connecting in Wilkes-Barre with the Martz Trailways bus to NYC, for a less-crowded bus (but longer trip).

The Steel City Flyer [9] has been introduced as an "upscale bus" service connecting Pittsburgh to Harrisburg (and to Philadelphia via Amtrak's high-speed Keystone line). The company is currently working on through ticketing with Amtrak.

By car

The city proper is served by three interstate spur routes off the rough beltway formed by I-76 (PA Turnpike) to the north and east, I-79 to the west and I-70 to the far south. The three interstate spurs form what locals refer to as the "parkways". The Parkway East is I-376 from downtown through the university district and Squirrel Hill to Monroeville, where it meets with the turnpike (I-76). The Parkway West and Parkway North both connect to I-79 to the west of downtown and are signed I-279. Instead of terminating at I-79 the "Parkway West" is the only parkway to continue its interstate-like travel without an interstate shield. It continues on to the Airport and beyond to Beaver and New Castle as 22/30 and then PA 60. Congress has passed legislation in 2006 to sign this area as I-376 (a continuation of the interstate from downtown Pittsburgh and thus having 279 strictly run from I-79 south into downtown). The re-signing of the parkway west is slowly moving forward pending some road improvements such as wider exit ramps and the extension of emergency lanes that are demanded by a interstate signing.

The interstate system links Pittsburgh from many cities. If coming from the east or west, your best bet into the city is the I-76, the Pennsylvania Turnpike. From the west, take exit 28-Cranberry to I-79 and then I-279. From the east, take exit 57 to I-376. From the north or south, take I-79. I-70 also comes within the metro area from central Ohio and Maryland. I-80 also skirts the far northern suburban counties of the region.

Within the metro area several limited-access turnpike spur routes have been completed recently including the Mon-Fayette Expressway linking the historic "Steel Valley" area to State Route 51 in Jefferson Hills (and eventually to Monroeville). PA Route 66 in nearby Greensburg offers a quick jump on the eastern side of the metro from I-70/I-76 (Turnpike mainline) junction area to the Kiski Valley in the northeast, and the newly completed Findlay connector offers quick access from the airport terminal to points west and south of the airport such as Steubenville, Ohio, and Wierton and Wheeling, West Virginia. PA 65 along the northern section of the city of Pittsburgh, PA 28 along the Allegheny Valley from downtown through the Oakmont and 76/Turnpike area to beyond Kittaning in Armstrong County and PA 60 from the I-279/79 junction through the airport area and up through Beaver to New Castle and I-80 are all toll-free state limited access highways in the region. US 22 from Robinson through to the Findlay airport connector and on to the West Virigina panhandle and east-central Ohio offers toll free interstate like travel as well.

By train

Amtrak, +1 800 872-7245, [10] services Pittsburgh with a station Downtown at Grant and Liberty, just across the street from the Greyhound depot. Two Amtrak routes serve Pittsburgh: the Capitol Limited [11], which runs daily between Chicago and Washington, DC, and the Pennsylvanian [12], which runs daily between Pittsburgh and New York City through Philadelphia.

Get around

Pittsburgh is difficult for strangers to get around in because the roads go every which way, constrained by the rivers and hills. Many are one-way and nearly all are narrow, as they were laid out in the days of horse-and-buggy transportation. Those with a GPS navigation device should be alright getting around. For those without, a taxi is an option until you get used to the roads, but the public transit, operated by the Port Authority (see below), works quite well for travel within the City. If you do find yourself lost or unsure, however, do not be afraid to ask for help. Most locals are so friendly - and giving directions can be so confusing - that they might just show you to your destination themselves.

Pittsburgh's tallest skyscraper, the U.S. Steel Tower
Pittsburgh's tallest skyscraper, the U.S. Steel Tower

Port Authority, (+1 412 442-2000, [13]) (or PAT as some residents refer to it) operates bus, light rail, and incline service.

Bus service covers much of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County and, for the most part, is reliable and clean. Light rail (commonly referred to as "The T") connect downtown to the south of the city, but does not connect to many points of interest. Routes can be confusing, but both the PortAuthority [14] and Google Maps [15] (which is perhaps better) offer trip planners. Google Maps also shows bus and trolley stops.

Bus stops are typically marked with a simple blue sign reading "Bus Stop" and listing route numbers and names.

Before boarding a bus or trolley, always check Port Authority's schedules (all of which are available on their website) and confirm its destination with the driver.

Fares
  • Zones: Fare varies depending on the zone you are traveling to/from. These zones are radial, with Downtown as the center. All bus schedules have charts detailing fare structure. The PortAuthority also has a webpage explaining fare structure [16].
    • Base fare is $2, and covers destinations within Zone 1, which encompasses the city limits and a few nearby suburbs. Travel within Zone 2, which covers the outlying suburbs, is $2.75.
    • The Free Fare Zone covers the Downtown core, offering free bus and trolley service. This zone is bound by the rivers and, on the east, Ross and 11th Streets.
  • Transfers: For an extra 75 cents, passengers can purchase a transfer ticket, valid for three hours to use on any other route (including the one you rode in on, a good money-saver for short trips).
  • Reduced Fare: Children 6-11 and seniors 65+ get half off all fares and transfer fees.
  • "T" Rush Hour Surcharge: The "T" system charges an extra 75 cents during weekday rush hours (6-9AM on inbound trips and 4-6PM on outbound trips).

Paying: The fare system PAT utilizes can be confusing, especially to visitors. Most bus and all light-rail routes utilize a "pay enter/pay leave" system; If you are travelling INTO or TOWARDS Downtown ("inbound"), you pay the fare as you board the bus. If you are travelling OUT OF or AWAY from Downtown ("outbound"), the fare is paid when you reach your destination. Further adding to the confusion, at night (7PM-4AM), ALL fares on all trips are paid upon boarding the bus, regardless of destination. PAT offers a "How to Pay" page on its website [17].

By taxi

Taxis are a good (if expensive) way of dealing with Pittsburgh's spaghetti roads until you get used to them, at least within downtown and the inner areas of the city itself. However don't even think of hailing one on the street, as you will not see a taxi at all roaming the streets on an average day, and plan to wait a while if you call one on a night or weekend.

  • Yellow Cab +1 412 321-8100, [18].
Apatosaurus has the right-of-way in the 'Burgh
Apatosaurus has the right-of-way in the 'Burgh

With a multitude of hills, valleys, Pittsburgh is an eclectic town to travel by car for even the natives. Very little is straightforward about Pittsburgh travel via car, but some constants help road warriors get by.

Major highways include the Parkways East (Interstate 376), North (Interstate 279 to the north of downtown), and West (Interstate 279 to the west and south of downtown), Mon-Fayette Expressway, and PA Turnpike (toll road).

A trick to not getting lost in Pittsburgh is the well-kept secret of the Belt System [19]. The Belt System consists of 5 color-coded routes along main roads, forming a unique system of ring routes around the City and county. It provides a navigational aid for motorists in unfamiliar portions of the county. These belts are long, winding circular paths which allow travelers to freely explore the city with little fear of getting truly lost. If you are hopelessly lost and encounter a Belt sign (blue, red, yellow...), following these signs is a good way to locate a main travel artery and get back on track, as they cross most major highways. If nothing else, the belts tend to eventually circle back on themselves and, at the very least, you will get back to where you started if you keep following them. Routes are marked with signs showing a colored circle.

Visitors may want to be careful of the Pittsburgh left. At traffic lights, a driver wishing to turn left will do so as soon as the light turns green, regardless of whether another vehicle has the right-of-way. This may sound strange and even dangerous, but it actually has a useful purpose; at many intersections, there is only one lane of travel in each direction, so someone waiting to make a left turn will block the traffic behind them if they cannot make the turn. While waiting to make a left turn at an intersection, you may find cars traveling the other direction will wait in order for you to make the left turn and keep the traffic behind you moving. While not done as much by the younger generation, the Pittsburgh Left still has its adherents.

Lane Irregularities
  • Beware the "left only" lane: you can be driving straight down the road and suddenly the lane you are in becomes a "Left Turn Only" lane, although you did not change lanes. This is common in other cities in the right lane but not the left. However, there is no rule for when this will happen in Pittsburgh, and it can happen in right lanes as well, so drivers tend to drift back and forth from left lane to right without signaling. If you are new to the city keep an eye on the signs leading up to each intersection.
  • As in Baltimore, many times there is no separate lane for parking, so driving in the right lane can mean you suddenly become stuck behind a parked car.

By boat

Gateway Clipper [20] and Pittsburgh Cruise Lines [21] offer shuttle services to sports events at Heinz Field and PNC Park. Gateway Clipper operates all cruises from Station Square in the South Side. Pittsburgh Cruise Lines operates all shuttles to Heinz Field from Downtown, and all shuttles to PNC Park from the Strip District.

By bicycle

Pittsburgh has some fine biking trails, most of which run along the rivers. However, Pittsburgh isn't so friendly to street cycling - the streets are narrow, are often very rough, and much of the city is very hilly, so unless you're an experienced urban cyclist, it's best to stick to the trails. BikePGH [22] offers information for bicyclists and hosts biking events.

  • Golden Triangle Bike Rental, (next to the First Ave. T Station, along the Eliza Furnace Trail), +1 412-600-0675, [23]. Tu-F 11AM-8PM, Sa-Su 10AM-8PM; Closed M.  edit

See

See the Districts articles for more listings.

Museums

Pittsburgh is home to many wonderful museums, among them of which are some truly world-class institutions. The Carnegie Museums in Oakland are absolutely spectacular; enclosed in one massive building is the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, with extensive exhibits on paleontology, geology, and biology, and the Carnegie Museum of Art, with classical and contemporary works by many fine artists. Nearby is the Frick Art and Historical Center, which is the home of steel magnate Henry Clay Frick's mansion, now open for tours. In the Strip District is the Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, with six floors of permanent and changing exhibitions on the history Western Pennsylvania.

North Side is home to quite a few museums - the Andy Warhol Museum is one of the most comprehensive single-artist museums in the world, with exhibits of the artist's life and work, recreations of portions of "The Factory", screening of films, and educational programs about the Pittsburgh-born artist as well as other contemporary and pop artists. The Carnegie Science Center, a major science museum which is another of the Carnegie Museums, and the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh are both very popular with kids. The Mattress Factory is contemporary art on the installation-scale, with several notable James Turrell works in their permanent collection. The National Aviary allows you to get up close with plenty of exotic birds.

Architecture

Pittsburgh has more than its fair share of incredible architecture in many different styles, largely thanks to the wealth of its earlier industrialists and diverse influences of its many immigrants. Following the collapse of the steel industry, the city has made an effort towards revitalization and sustainable building in an effort to modernize. Architecture buffs will find something interesting in every corner of the city, but there are some highlights:

Naturally, Downtown gets the lion's share of attention here. Pittsburgh has an impressive skyline for a city of its size, with the U.S. Steel Tower being by far the tallest building in the city. However, it's Phillip Johnson's shimmering PPG Place that captures much of the attention, with its glass pinacles that make the building resemble a castle right out of a fairy tale. Beneath these towering structures are numerous historic buildings from the early 20th century, built by the biggest names in industry at the time. H.H. Richardson's Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail are gorgeous stone structures that still serves as a government building, while just across the street the Frick Building and the Union Trust Building are prime examples of commercial architecture from the time. Recent years have brought buildings like the David L Lawrence Convention Center, an impressive modern structure along the Allegheny River.

Heinz Chapel at the University of Pittsburgh
Heinz Chapel at the University of Pittsburgh

Heading east through Oakland, stately Victorians and large parks replace the bustle and height of downtown. This was, after all, where some of the wealthiest men of the early 20th century lived and played. Among them was Henry Clay Frick, whose house in Point Breeze is open for tours near the massive park that also bears his name. Within Oakland proper are the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, and both campuses contain even more stunning architecture. Dominating the Oakland landscape is the Cathedral of Learning, the 42-story centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh campus and the second-tallest academic building in the world (the tallest is in Russia). The Cathedral is a magnificent example of Gothic Revival architecture and is also home to the Nationality Rooms, a series of rooms decorated in the themes of the various cultures that played a role in the city's development. Next door to the Cathedral is the much shorter (but still impressive) Heinz Chapel, which sports magnificent stained glass windows.

If you want to get closer to the industrial past of the city, both South Side and the area around the Strip District are home to numerous industrial buildings and old warehouses, most of them now converted into lofts, shops, restaurants, and other uses.

While many of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods may not have many stately and notable buildings (besides many churches), their urban design - how they were laid out and built, often with narrow, winding streets - can feel more like Europe than the US, and provide a great opportunity for exploring. It is sometimes easy to get lost, but with surprises around every corner, that can be half the fun. Most neighborhoods (especially those of greatest interest listed above) are very walkable and safe, and this activity is of course 100% free. Some of the most interesting neighborhoods for exploring are the South Side, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, and the North Side.

Frick Park
Frick Park

For a city defined by industry, Pittsburgh has a suprising quantity of good parks to enjoy. Pittsburgh's four large city parks [24] are excellent places to bike, jog, walk, or play.

East End-South has many of the city's finer park spaces. Next door to Oakland is Schenley Park, a 456-acre park which is a haven for exercisers, sunbathers, and anyone who appreciates beautiful green space. Schenley Plaza, next to the Cathedral of Learning and Carnegie Museums, features snack stands, a carousel, and sometimes festivals. Nearby is Phipps Conservatory, which boasts stunning indoor and outdoor gardens with beautiful floral displays. On the eastern limits of the city is Frick Park, the largest of Pittsburgh's parks and the perfect escape from the city, with its naturalistic setting and beautiful woodlands.

In East End-North is Highland Park, a large park with some beautiful gardens and a couple of lovely lakes situated among the hills of the area. Within Highland Park is the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, a large zoo/aquarium complex with animals from all over the world. Point State Park in Downtown has a large fountain which marks the spot where the three rivers of Pittsburgh meet. In addition to being a favorite spot for office workers to take breaks, many festivals and special events are held in this park. Finally, the North Side is home to Riverview Park and the Allegheny Observatory.

Do

See the Districts articles for more listings.

  • If you can only do one thing in Pittsburgh, take one of the inclines to the top of Mount Washington near South Side to take in the view of the beautiful skyline. The Monongahela and Duquesne Inclines rise nearly 400 feet over the city from stations near Station Square. The views from Mount Washington are magnificent, but they are only the most popular - there are numerous other spots to take in views of the city, many that are more off the beaten path.
PNC Park
PNC Park

With tons of die-hard fans, three major league sports teams, and a long history of sports dedication, Pittsburgh is truly a great sports town. And few things define Pittsburgh like the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team, who go down in history as one of the greatest NFL franchises of all time and have one of the largest fan bases in all of American football. The Steelers play all their home games at Heinz Field in the North Side. Also in the North Side is PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates MLB team. While the Pirates have fallen on hard times, they manage to keep a sizeable fan base and their ballpark is considered one of the most beautiful in the major leagues. Pittsburgh is also home to the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL team, the 2009 Stanley Cup winners. The Penguins play in Downtown at Mellon Arena, soon to be replaced by the Consol Energy Center, a new arena across the street.

College sports are also very big in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) are very popular in the region, with teams in a variety of sports. The men's and women's baseketball teams have been very competitive lately, with the men's frequently ranking in the top 15 in the NCAA basketball playoffs. Both basketball teams play at the Petersen Events Center on the Pitt campus in Oakland. The Panthers football team is also quite popular; they share Heinz Field with the Steelers. Also in Pittsburgh are the Duquesne Dukes of Duquesne University near Downtown, whose basketball and football teams remain popular, and the Carnegie Mellon Tartans of Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland.

  • Pittsburgh has a lively music scene, particularly indie and punk rock. Pick up a copy of the free Pittsburgh CityPaper [25] for concert listings.
  • The Cultural District [26] located Downtown is home to 5 theaters and institutions like the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, and the Pittsburgh Opera. Perhaps most acclaimed is the Pittsburgh Symphony [27], which, for more than 100 years, has been an essential part of Pittsburgh’s cultural landscape. The PSO prides itself in artistic excellence and a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians. This world class orchestra has a season starting mid September through late June. The orchestra performs downtown at Heinz Hall which is located at 600 Penn Ave.
  • Pittsburgh is also home to a number of smaller theaters and companies such as the Quantum Theater, the Attack Theater, and the Pittsburgh Playhouse, operated by Point Park University [28].
  • The IonSound Project [29] adds to Pittsburgh's cultural life by programming innovative concerts, commissioning works of new music, collaborating with artists in a variety of disciplines, and exploring the boundaries between concert and popular music.
  • Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre [30] is a professional company which has emerged as a significant contributor to the cultural fabric of Pittsburgh with almost 2000 loyal subscribers, and an annual attendance of over 23,000. PICT has garnered a yearly position on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's list of the city's Top 50 Cultural Forces. The organization's productions are consistently ranked among the year's best by the critics of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and Pittsburgh City Paper. PICT was named Theatre of the Year in both 2004 and 2006 by critics of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Pittsburgh Glass Center, 5472 Penn Ave, 412-365-2145, [31]. The Pittsburgh Glass Center is a nonprofit, public access glass studio and gallery dedicated to teaching, creating and promoting glass art. The 16,000+ square foot building is one of the top glass art facilities in the country and houses state-of-the-art studios.

Festivals

Pittsburgh holds a number of arts and cultural festivals, including the Three Rivers Arts Festival and the Pittsburgh Folk Festival.

Outdoor activities

The city and region offer a number of outdoor activities in its parks and rivers. For example, Kayak Pittsburgh [32] rents kayaks on the Allegheny River, next to PNC Park on the North Shore.

Tours

Several different tour companies are centered around Station Square in South Side, and most of them focus on giving river tours - indeed, one of the best ways to see Pittsburgh is from the three rivers themselves, taking in views of the downtown skyline, the hillsides, the bridges, and the stadiums.

  • Just Ducky Tours, 125 W, Station Square Dr, +1 412 402-3825, [33]. A 1 hour land and water tour showing you the sites and attractions of Pittsburgh. Departs at Station Square, next to the Hard Rock Cafe. Reservations are a must to make sure you get a spot to "quack". $19 adults, $15 children 3-12, $5 infants.  edit
  • Gateway Clipper, +1 412-355-7980, [34]. Variety of cruises on the three rivers-area, including sightseeing, dining, and special event cruises.  edit
  • Rush Hour Boat Charters, Picks up at Station Square, +1 412-885-7874, [35].  edit
  • Trolley Tours Pittsburgh, +1 412-741-2720, [36]. Tour on an "old-fashioned" trolley including the Historic Neighborhood and Heritage Neighborhood Tour.  edit
The University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning includes a unique collection of 27 working "Nationality" classrooms which are available to tour.
The University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning includes a unique collection of 27 working "Nationality" classrooms which are available to tour.

The City of Pittsburgh is home to many colleges, universities and research facilities, the most well known of which are Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Duquesne University, and the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). Also located in the city are Carlow University, Chatham University, Point Park University, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and a branch campus of the suburban Robert Morris University as well as the Community College of Allegheny County and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. Oakland is the hub of college activity, home to CMU, Pitt, Carlow, and Chatham Universities. The greater Pittsburgh region boasts even more colleges and universities.

The city also has an extensive library system, both public and university. Most notable are the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh's University Library System, which rank 9th largest (public) and 18th largest (academic) in the nation, respectively.

Work

Imaginemynewjob.com [37], a service of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, has compiled listings from various sources onto one website, and currently lists 20,000 openings in the Pittsburgh region.

Other sources for local job opportunities are, of course, the newspaper classifies (Post-Gazette, available online) [38] and the Pittsburgh Technology Council Career Center [39].

Buy

See the Districts articles for more listings.

Pittsburgh's most popular shopping districts include:

  • The South Side, which has many hip shops along a mile-long stretch of E Carson Street, along with two shopping centers - Station Square at Smithfield and Carson Streets and the South Side Works the opposite end, at E Carson and 28th Streets.
  • Shadyside, near Oakland in East End-South, is concentrated along Walnut and Bellefonte Streets, and is one of the main upmarket sections of town.
  • Squirrel Hill, in East End-South is concentrated along at Murray and Forbes Avenues, and has tons great little shops, notably some catering to the Jewish community. The Squirrel Hill shops tend to fall under the 'specialty' store category.
  • Downtown has shops of every description, but is best visited during standard business hours.
  • The Strip District is home to many ethnic markets and street vendors, as well as the 16:62 Design Zone, which stretches between 16th and 62nd Streets from the Strip to Lawrenceville and offers a distinctive blend of neighborhood shops, artisan studios and unique showrooms, all focused on the arts and home decor.

There are many outlet stores and suburban malls located in the Pittsburgh region, but not within Pittsburgh itself. For info on these, see the Allegheny County article.

Eat

See the Districts articles for individual listings.

The Pittsburgh restaurant scene is a little different than most cities. In many neighborhoods, they can be difficult to find and are often patronized mainly by locals. The hills and rivers make the roads tricky. So, if you're from out of town your best bet is to pick up a local copy of the Pittsburgh magazine and do a quick search of the "Best Restaurants" section.

Each district has its unique restaurants, but the main districts for eating are the Strip District, South Side and, of course Downtown. Mt Washington, Lawrenceville, Shadyside, Oakland, Bloomfield, and Squirrel Hill also contain a wide variety of restaurants. If you're willing to go a little off the beaten path, you'll also find gems tucked away just slightly further out which are still accessible by PAT bus.

  • Primanti Bros. [40] is as synonymous with Pittsburgh as the hot dog is to New York. The Primanti sandwich is served on a sheet of wax paper with two slices of Italian bread then it is piled high with coleslaw and french fries. The other ingredients after these depends on the sandwich you order. There are many locations in and around the Pittsburgh area but the original is in the Strip District. A stop should be made here to try some food that embodies Pittsburghers.
  • The Strip District has tons of ethnic groceries, eateries, and vendors, with plenty of free samples.
  • Squirrel Hill has a variety of more ethnic restaurants: Mediterranean, kosher, Italian, etc.
  • Bloomfield, known as Pittsburgh's Little Italy, is home to many small Italian restaurants. Don't expect the Olive Garden!

Unique Pittsburgh dishes to try include halushky, pierogies, kolbasi, stuffed cabbage, city chicken, and chipped ham.

Drink

See the Districts articles for more listings.

Pittsburgh is a city serious about its drinking. A popular anecdote tells of the priorities earlier Pittsburghers: It's said that for every church, there's a bar across the street (and there are a lot of churches!). A Slavic drink ethic has made the city largely "a shot and a beer town." Even today, trendy and pretentious bars are scarcer than elsewhere, but almost any taste in bars and clubs can be found. The highlights are listed below, but almost every neighborhood has a fair concentration of bars.

  • The South Side Flats neighborhood has the most popular and diverse bar scene, and is said to have more bars per block/capita than almost anywhere else in the U.S. Most bars are along a mile-long strip of E Carson St. between 7th and 29th Sts.
  • The Strip District is home to some more posh nightclubs, as well as some other bars.

Beer is very dear to Pittsburgh, highlighted by Penn Brewery, in the North Side, a popular German beer hall and restaurant in a beautiful historic old brewery building, which also hosts an annual Oktoberfest. The new Hofbräuhaus Pittsburgh on the South Side, modeled after the legendary 400+ year-old Hofbräuhaus in Munich, is perhaps the most authentic you can get without being in Germany.

Coffee is just as important to many Pittsburghers as beer. Some of the best can be found at: Enrico's Tazzo d'Oro in Highland Park (said to be the best); Kiva Han in Oakland; Coffee Tree in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside; Nicholas Coffee downtown; and Crazy Mocha, which has many locations around town. The Strip District also has three roasters, notably La Prima Espresso.

Sleep

See the Districts articles for more listings.

Downtown has the greatest concentration of hotels. It is very easy to get a room at some of the top downtown hotels (the Marriott, the Hilton, and the William Penn, for example) at bargain basement prices ($45-$70) from discount sites such as priceline and hotwire, so do a search before calling the hotel itself. For those visiting the universities or other attractions in the Oakland area, there are a number of convenient options. Airport accommodations, located near the airport outside of Pittsburgh itself, are mostly in Robinson Township, about 12 miles west of Pittsburgh.

Telephone

Pittsburgh is one of those cities where you must use an area code even when dialing locally. The City's main area code is 412, but the new 878 area code is also used. 724 is used in surrounding areas. Use of a "1" prefix when dialing these codes locally is optional.

The city has set up a 311 hotline which allows you to receive information and access to City government services.

Internet

Almost all of downtown and much of the surrounding areas have WiFi which can be accessed free for two hours daily [41].

  • As in the rest of the United States, the phone number to dial for emergencies is 911.
  • Pittsburgh is routinely ranked as one of the safest cities among others of comparable size in the US. Nonetheless, as with all cities, there are neighborhoods which visitors should avoid wandering into (especially at night), notably the Hill District (the area between Downtown and Oakland), Homewood, some parts of the North Side and the South Side (such as Carrick), and the adjacent town of Wilkinsburg. Common sense guidelines regarding safety apply at all times.
  • On Sundays in the fall and winter some fans of the local football team (the Steelers) tend to get out of hand. While the great majority won't bother you it is suggested that out of town fans do not wear the clothing of the team they are playing that day, or of their main rival (the Cleveland Browns) at any time. You will likely receive scowls or ridicule at the very least.
  • As with any city, Pittsburgh has a fair share of homeless people. Many will ask for money but simply ignoring them will keep you safe.
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, [42]. Daily. The largest and oldest paper in the Pittsburgh region.
  • Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, [43]. Daily. The other major daily paper in Pittsburgh. The Trib's editorial page is more conservative than the Post-Gazette's.
  • Pittsburgh City Paper, [44]. Weekly; published every Wednesday. Pittsburgh's most popular free-weekly, focusing on art and entertainment, with some local news.
  • The Pitt News, [45]. Monday-Friday during the school year, every Wednesday during the summer. Published by the students of the University of Pittsburgh.
  • The Tartan, [46]. Free weekly paper published by Carnegie Mellon students.

Hospitals

If you are in need of urgent medical or dental care, Pittsburgh is home to a number of world-class hospitals and urgent care facilities. Here is a partial list:

  • The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has many hospitals around the world, and is, of course, based in Oakland, where it operates Magee-Womens Hospital and UPMC Presbyterian. UPMC's Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh [47] (412-692-5325) is located nearby at 45th St. & Penn Ave. in Bloomfield.
  • Allegheny General Hospital [48], 320 East North Avenue, (North Side) Pittsburgh, 412-359-3400
  • Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh [49], 1400 Locust Street, Pittsburgh, 412-232-8111
  • MedExpress Urgent Care [50], three Pittsburgh area locations: Pleasant Hills, 412-653-5556; Scott Township, 412-343-3627; Upper St. Clair, 412-854-3627
  • Sears Dental Pittsburgh Dentist: Emergency Dental Services [51], four Pittsburgh area locations: West Mifflin, 412-655-3344; Pittsburgh, 412-788-0877; Monaca, 724-775-6633; Greensburg, 724-836-6240

Get out

Pittsburgh region

  • Kennywood Park in nearby West Mifflin is a compact but extremely popular amusement park just a few miles away, founded in 1898. It is home to several rollercoasters, including the Phantom's Revenge, the Racer, the Jack Rabbit, and the "Thunderbolt," routinely named as one of the best wooden coasters in the country by enthusiasts.
  • Pennsylvania Trolley Museum [52] About 45 minutes south of the city in the town of Washington. Great family location that includes a ride on a working trolley and the (alleged) title star of the film A Streetcar Named Desire.

Laurel Highlands

About 50 miles to the southeast of Pittsburgh are the Larurel Highlands, a hilly area with the highest elevations in Pennsylvania (with Mount Davis in Somerset County the highest point in the state at 3,213 feet (979 m)). The Laurel Highlands is a popular area for hiking, mountain biking, hunting, trout fishing, wildlife viewing, leaf peeping, and downhill skiing.

  • The lovely town of Ohiopyle is located 70 miles to the southeast. It is surrounded by the beautiful Ohiopyle State Park with acres of mountains and the Youghiogheny [yaw-ki-GAAY-nee] River. Whitewater rafting is popular here, but there are many opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and more.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpieces, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, are both located just a few miles from Ohiopyle.
  • Flight 93 Memorial, the passengers & crew of Flight 93 gave their lives to thwart an attack on our Nation's Capital on September 11 2001, is about 50 miles to the east of the city, right off the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76/I-70) near Somerset.
  • St. Vincent College about 25 miles east in Latrobe, summer camp of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the first Monastic brewery in the U.S. along with being one of the top catholic colleges in the area.
  • Seven Springs, an award-winning ski resort/golf course is about 40 miles east of Pittsburgh.
  • Hidden Valley Four Seasons Resort
  • Mystic Rock golf course is home of the PGA 84 Classic and is rated among the top courses in the world. It is about 1 1/2 hrs south of Pittsburgh in Farmington, near Uniontown.
  • Caddy Shak Family Fun Park is about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, off the Turnpike Donegal exit. There are many fun family activities, such as batting cages, go- carts, mini golf, driving ranges,and bumper boats with water cannons. This destination may be targeted for families with some younger children but it is easily enjoyable by all.
  • Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania home of Phil the groundhog! About 60 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame in nearby Canton, Ohio about two hours west via the PA/Ohio Turnpike then south on I-77.
  • Wheeling Downs, racetrack (horse) in nearby Wheeling, West Virginia (west on I-70).
  • Cleveland - with the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame and other attractions, a couple of hours to the northwest (though no Pittsburgher would ever advise you to visit willingly).
Routes through Pittsburgh
END  W noframe N  Ross TownshipEnds at
Ends at ← Junction Robinson Township  W noframe E  MonroevilleEND
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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Proper noun

Pittsburgh

  1. A city in Pennsylvania, USA







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