Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Third Generation Pittsburgh

The original Burgh Diaspora is captured in a three-part documentary about Murray Ave (Part I, Parts II and III). I found this gem at Alan Paul's expatriate blog. Paul writes for the Wall Street Journal about his life in China. The film touches on many diaspora points, namely the changing face of Parochial Pittsburgh. As one Pittsburgh Jew points out, the third generation of any ethnic group tends to move in a different direction when it comes to occupation. In a sense, the Jewish soul of Murray Ave left Pittsburgh with the third generation.

Paul's blog demonstrates the romantic attachment to Pittsburgh that expatriates harbor. In some sense, Parochial Pittsburgh lives on in the minds of its Diaspora. Even in Beijing, Paul can find a bit of Pittsburgh:

Slingbox allows you to watch a distant TV on your computer. I first learned about it from several readers when I wrote about the difficulties in watching Pittsburgh Steelers games here. My friend and fellow Steelers lunatic, Eric Rosenblum, signed up last fall and watching games at his house has whet my appetite.

Paul's point is that technology allows an expatriate to tune out his current place of residence, immersing himself in the trappings of home. He finds this opportunity dangerously seductive and something he must guard against in order to make his China experience richer.

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