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Old 01-31-2008, 06:58 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,978 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
Actually, Pennsylvania does border the ocean. Part of it lines the Delaware Estuary.
Well, if you look at the map, you'll see that that is really stretching a point. New Jersey lies between Pennsylvania and the ocean.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:51 PM
 
2,191 posts, read 3,050,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ainulinale View Post
I'm sorry, I know this is an old topic, but I just can't keep quiet any longer. As a person who was born and raised in Pittsburgh with familial ties to Philadelphia, New York and Boston, I am rather sick of people saying Pittsburgh is the Midwest. How? From what I've seen of Pittsburgh and such cities as Philly, Baltimore, New York and DC, Pittsburgh is far more like these cities structurally than the Midwest. We have thousands of rowhouses on the Northside, Southside, Hill District, Uptown, South Oakland, Strip District, Polish Hill, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, etc.; nearly everything is made of brick, with a narrow and chaotic street layout and a significant structural density (60 years ago the Hill District had 40,000 people per square mile). Is this like the Midwest? Pittsburgh also has a large number of colleges and universities with a seriously liberal population. Oh, and all this stuff I hear about Pittsburgh being a friendly place to drive is true, but I guess you missed the study by All State (?) that ranked Pittsburgh as a more dangerous place to drive than New York City. Pittsburgh is also highly educated. With that being said, it is true that Pittsburgh is largely socially conservative with a very strong Democratic allegiance. This is most likely an influence of blue-collar Appalachia and not the Midwest. Overall, based on the architecture in the southern portions of the city, the strong traditional values, the popularity of hunting and fishing and the friendliness of the people, Pittsburgh is more of an Appalachian styled city than a Midwestern one. I could say a lot more on this, but I'll restrain myself and clarify that I don't mean to offend anyone--I would simply like to know why everyone considers Pittsburgh Midwest, but can't see how Pittsburgh is more Appalachian or even Eastern than Midwestern.
Excellent post. I'm also a Pittsburgh native, and growing up, I never heard locals refer to Pittsburgh as Midwestern, or themselves as Midwesterners. In the Midwest, you see various businesses named "Midwest This" and Midwest That". You won't see that here. I think that this idea comes from folks who live on the coast. They come here and notice the things that are different, and automatically assume that Pittsburgh must be just like the cities to it's west. This is especially true for people who haven't spent much time exploring any of these cities. Many of Pittsburgh's characteristics can be attributed to it's size, and it's relative isolation, not to any Midwesterness. The coastal city that is most close to Pittsburgh in size, Baltimore; is also the coastal city that is most like Pittsburgh in it's temperment.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:18 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,978 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
Another native Pittsburgher here. My father spent time in NYC during WWII, and he always said that in NYC, Pittsburgh is considered a midwestern city. This issue came up b/c when I first got married and moved to Illinois, I was surprised that people thought of me as an "easterner". I guess I never had a regional identity myself other than W. PA. We knew we were different. FWIW. Pittsburgh is also called the Gateway to West, as are St. Louis and Omaha. I guess it just depends on where you think the west begins, which city is the Gateway.

Re:
Quote:
We have thousands of rowhouses on the Northside, Southside, Hill District, Uptown, South Oakland, Strip District, Polish Hill, Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, etc.; nearly everything is made of brick, with a narrow and chaotic street layout and a significant structural density (60 years ago the Hill District had 40,000 people per square mile). Is this like the Midwest? Pittsburgh also has a large number of colleges and universities with a seriously liberal population. Oh, and all this stuff I hear about Pittsburgh being a friendly place to drive is true, but I guess you missed the study by All State (?) that ranked Pittsburgh as a more dangerous place to drive than New York City. Pittsburgh is also highly educated. With that being said, it is true that Pittsburgh is largely socially conservative with a very strong Democratic allegiance. This is most likely an influence of blue-collar Appalachia and not the Midwest. Overall, based on the architecture in the southern portions of the city, the strong traditional values, the popularity of hunting and fishing and the friendliness of the people, Pittsburgh is more of an Appalachian styled city than a Midwestern one. I could say a lot more on this, but I'll restrain myself and clarify that I don't mean to offend anyone--I would simply like to know why everyone considers Pittsburgh Midwest, but can't see how Pittsburgh is more Appalachian or even Eastern than Midwestern.
I'm not sure that "proves" Pittsburgh is anything. The chaotic layout is due to the hills, and the old cowpaths the streets were laid out on. So score one for the east, more like Boston, say, than Chicago/Minneapolis/Omaha with their grid systems. The brick rowhouses? Take a look at Chicago, or Denver for that matter. Large number of colleges? I'm not sure it's that large, considering the size of the metro and the size the city used to be. Let's see, first tier (per US News) colleges include the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon. Blue collar Democrat? See Chicago; Milwaukee; Gary, Indiana. Popularity of hunting and fishing? See Wisconsin and Minnesota, also Colorado and many other western states. Friendliness? I'm not going to touch that, but what about "Minnesota Nice" and "Southern Hospitality"? It seems like Pittsburgh has the characteristics of cities in many regions of the US. Maybe that's because there is more similarity in all cities than differences.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:20 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
2,237 posts, read 6,564,464 times
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Thank you Hero. I think you're absolutely right, Pittsburghers don't consider themselves Midwestern (and I think we should know!) It's the people on the Bos-Wash corridor that sometimes call us Midwestern while those in the Midwest call us an East Coast city. Interesting observation on the signs; you're far more likely to find businesses with an "East Coast" name in Pittsburgh than "Midwestern This."
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
2,237 posts, read 6,564,464 times
Reputation: 843
Maybe that's because there is more similarity in all cities than differences.[/quote]

Agreed.

Wasn't trying to prove anything though...just trying to make the case that there is no real reason for calling Pittsburgh a Midwestern city vs. an Appalachian-styled city or even an Eastern one.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Des Moines Metro
2,073 posts, read 4,949,634 times
Reputation: 1095
Personally, I think it's locals who coin geographical terms like this, I refer to the whole Atlantic Shorline as the East-coast; and just like this I would say Seattle down to San Diego can be called "West-Coast" cities. But, Pittsburg is not the midwest, I don't care who you are!
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:31 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,978 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
Pittsburgh is a no-man's land. The east won't claim it and neither will the midwest. It is just Pittsburgh. Sort of like Buffalo and Rochester, NY.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:23 PM
 
2,191 posts, read 3,050,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
Pittsburgh is a no-man's land. The east won't claim it and neither will the midwest. It is just Pittsburgh. Sort of like Buffalo and Rochester, NY.
Yeah, Buffalo and Rochester are certainly in the same boat.

As for the rowhouse thing, the row is a Mid-Atlantic thing. Pittsburgh's core has a ton of them, but of course we're strictly minor league compared to the real heavyweights (Philly, Baltimore, NYC, and DC). From Albany/Troy, south to Richmond, and west to Pittsburgh. This is where 90% of rowhouses are. Smaller cities like Reading, Allentown, and Wilmington are full of them. Boston has some gorgeous rows in it's core, but is mainly detatched houses and three deckers. The Lake cities tend to have few rowhouses, with only Chicago having any heavily rowhoused districts. There are also a few rowhouse districts in St. Louis, although that city is best known for it's endless rows of flats. Cincy doesn't have a lot of rows, but the flats and detatched stoop fronted houses in it's core are so dense, that it feels similar to a rowhouse area.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:23 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,978 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
^^^ what about san fran?
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:09 PM
 
2,191 posts, read 3,050,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
^^^ what about san fran?
I wasn't trying to cover the whole country. New Orleans has some as well, SF is such an anomaly. Nowhere is quite like it.
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