Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Accolades for Pittsburgh

Update: "Can Pittsburgh save Detroit?"

Pittsburgh is still a relative bright spot in the gloomy economic landscape. CNN is turning to Pittsblog for the story behind all the good news. Actually, here is the scoop:

Cooper is scheduled to do his show, "Anderson Cooper 360," live tonight from here. It's his latest stop on a five-city, five-day trip to see how Americans are being affected by the economic crisis.

The show is broadcasting tonight from J.B. Bamboozles at 7280 E. 12 Mile in Warren, across from the GM Tech Center.

According to the show’s Web site, CNN’s Randi Kaye is doing a piece tonight on lessons Detroit could learn from Pittsburgh. It also said a producer has visited a Detroit neighborhood where some artists are trying to bring in other creative types and create green energy homes. The effort was recently described in an essay that ran in the New York Times.

The visits are part of a big push by CNN called "Road to Rescue: A CNN Survival Guide." The cable news network is devoting a week of programming to the global economic situation and involving all of its shows, anchors and correspondents in the effort.

"It is unprecedented," said Cooper. "And it is a sign of what a major story we think this is."

Once again, Pittsburgh will be a model of how to turn things around. I'll be interested to see how the Mike Madison interview fits into that narrative, if CNN decides to air it. Regardless, tonight's show will be a major publicity coup for Southwestern PA.

I expect the usual Burgh skeptics to roll their eyes at all this boosterism. No doubt, Pittsburgh has its shortcomings. But that's true for any city. Tonight will be Pittsburgh's global coming out party, deservedly so.

Edit: I forgot to add the link to the NPR blog post about Pittsburgh. Thanks to Janko for the heads up.

1 comment:

Janko said...

Reading the comments on the CNN story, it got me wondering about the path dependency on how people grow to either hate or love a city.

I liked this response: (i think i know who it is)

March 18th, 2009 8:12 pm ET

As a twenty-seven year old entrepreneur running a technology company in Pittsburgh, I can tell you first-hand that this is the place to be right now. The cost of living in Pittsburgh is extremely low, the quality of life is extremely high, and the local economy is doing relatively well, as Anderson described.

Housing is so affordable and stable in Pittsburgh, that it’s not terribly uncommon for students to buy a house while they’re still in college. I began the search for my first house when I was nineteen years old, and within a year I purchased a 3,400 square foot duplex in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood for $164,000. With cash flowing in from the upstairs unit, it only cost me about $200/month to own a house that was walking distance from Carnegie Mellon University.

My team of software developers works out of a 1,900 square foot NY-style artist’s loft in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh on 1st Avenue. It features exposed brick, high ceilings, and an elevator that opens right to the kitchen. This office would cost millions if I moved it to Manhattan, but in 2004 I purchased it for only $174,000.

For these low prices, we Pittsburghers get to enjoy three major sports teams, world class museums such as the Andy Warhol, plenty of outdoor activities in our parks and along our rivers, a relatively low crime rate, and a healthy variety of career opportunities. Pittsburgh is well deserving of the “most livable city” status it received in 2007.

Pittsburgh’s also a great place to start a business. The low cost of living translates into a low cost of doing business for entrepreneurs, and Pittsburgh has a good selection of knowledgeable talent streaming out of our many universities, including Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh, and Duquesne to name a few.

Of course, Pittsburgh’s not perfect. The fiscally conservative attitude that’s so deeply engrained in our culture can make it difficult to seek venture capital, and the local government is sometimes too stuck in tradition to improve the status quo.

That said, I really think that Pittsburgh is one of the best kept secrets in this country, and I’m proud to see that it’s getting the positive attention it deserves.

- A Proud Guy From Pittsburgh