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Old 11-23-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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Definitely look at Pittsburgh - insanely cool city that I think is what you are looking for. My suggestion would be to look at the Southside Flats nieghborhood in Pitt.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV
989 posts, read 1,933,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinsdalePirahna View Post
Have you ever been in Pittsburgh within the last 10 years? Extreme blue collar? (I will give you conservative, but it isn't an extremist conservative)
Your description may hold some truth if you are describing western Pennsylvania, some low life yinzer neighborhoods or what Pittsburgh was like 30 years ago. But for the most part Pittsburgh is a high tech city with a great art and music scene.

You actually sound as if you are describing Saint Louis.
Actually, I'm a musician from Pittsburgh. Our music scene is fine if you like Toby Keith....otherwise, most acts have been skipping us over in favor of Columbus/Baltimore/Philly considering that we have a lack of mid-sized concert venues. Scratch that, we actually DON'T have a single mid-sized venue at the moment and that's completely ridiculous. We're fine if you're willing to play Mr. Smalls or a small bar/club type of gig...or if you can fill a stadium or ampitheatre...however there's literally not a single middle ground venue at all. I actually just saw the Silver Sun Pickups play a show in an old rundown skating rink that sits atop a GoodWill because there was nowhere else to put them. The music local scene itself is alright, but is shadowed by other cities around it. We've never really been much of a music city, we're a blue collar sports town. Pittsburgh is fairly well known as being one extreme to the other. you have your college students and 18-25 crowd due to all the universities in town, and then you have your older, more dominant, disgruntled "yinzers" who keep the city some 20 years behind the rest of the nation.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
5,847 posts, read 11,035,737 times
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I will admit that I have not really lived in Pittsburgh for a while, but was there for a few weeks last june and had a great time. Nothing seemed to have changed to much, except for the new stadiums and a few new buildings.

Still never picked up the blue collar vibe.

I saw a few local bands on the south south side (can't remember who they were or the name of the venue)

I have always preferred the smaller clubs. Its a real shame the electric banana closed down.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:06 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,418 posts, read 4,199,471 times
Reputation: 1195
Quote:
Originally Posted by DinsdalePirahna View Post
Have you ever been in Pittsburgh within the last 10 years? Extreme blue collar? (I will give you conservative, but it isn't an extremist conservative)
Your description may hold some truth if you are describing western Pennsylvania, some low life yinzer neighborhoods or what Pittsburgh was like 30 years ago. But for the most part Pittsburgh is a high tech city with a great art and music scene.

You actually sound as if you are describing Saint Louis.
I was going to reply to that ridiculously outdated perception of Pittsburgh, but you did it for me. Sure, it's more socially conservative than Seattle or Portland, but it's hardly Salt Lake City. Social conservatism makes my skin crawl and I have no problems in Pittsburgh. In fact, it seems pretty apolitical, which suits me fine. It's also starting to overflow with artists and bands and galleries and such, what with the dirt-cheap rents/mortgages. The same thing happened in Seattle and Portland, once upon a time. They were both VERY blue collar and relatively socially conservative 25 years ago. They were cheap, too. Also, Pittsburgh is entirely unpretentious, unlike some other places I just mentioned.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:12 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,418 posts, read 4,199,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TelecasterBlues View Post
Actually, I'm a musician from Pittsburgh. Our music scene is fine if you like Toby Keith....otherwise, most acts have been skipping us over in favor of Columbus/Baltimore/Philly considering that we have a lack of mid-sized concert venues. Scratch that, we actually DON'T have a single mid-sized venue at the moment and that's completely ridiculous. We're fine if you're willing to play Mr. Smalls or a small bar/club type of gig...or if you can fill a stadium or ampitheatre...however there's literally not a single middle ground venue at all. I actually just saw the Silver Sun Pickups play a show in an old rundown skating rink that sits atop a GoodWill because there was nowhere else to put them. The music local scene itself is alright, but is shadowed by other cities around it. We've never really been much of a music city, we're a blue collar sports town. Pittsburgh is fairly well known as being one extreme to the other. you have your college students and 18-25 crowd due to all the universities in town, and then you have your older, more dominant, disgruntled "yinzers" who keep the city some 20 years behind the rest of the nation.
Sooo, Pittsburgh sucks for you because you're sick of playing Mr. Smalls (one of the best venues I've ever seen, and I've seen 'em all practically) or have gotten too big for it but not quite big enough for a stadium? A show in a rundown skating rink sounds great to me. A few years ago, there were NO venues in Seattle outside of either small bars or large theaters. You played the Central or you played a basement. They also had the Teen Dance Ordinance. Whatever is there now grew out of people doing it themselves, not sitting around whining about the lack of things to do.

There are some jazz (or math rock or bar band) fans that would take issue with your statement about Pittsburgh never having been much of a music town. American popular music was even born here, in the form of Stephen Foster.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:00 PM
 
13 posts, read 17,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TelecasterBlues View Post
In the very least, visit Austin before you decide. Personally, I think you'll fall in love with it and it'd be 100% perfect for you in terms of culture and what the city offers..there's not a place more interesting or "cool" in my oppinion. The fact alone that such a nutjob of a city is in Texas, let alone the Texas capital, is reason alone to check it out...it's just so great of a setup. There's also a very strong "live and let live" type of vibe throughout the city and its people, and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. Run a couple of searches on flickr for "Austin skyline", "Lake Travis", "Austin Hill Country", etc and you'll see what I mean. Pictures and internet articles really don't do it justice though, you have to go and see it for yourself to really be able to piece together exactly what it is about the city that truly sets it out there. I'd go as far as to say that it's paradise to 20/30 somethings who klnow how to live life. Truly amazing city with an unreal amount of development and growth going on at the moment.

As far as Pittsburgh goes...kind of boring, very conservative, very set in its ways. Yes, it's affordable and a good city, but no...it's not very accepting, leaps and bounds different from Portland or Austin. You'll find pockets of all sorts of people, but Pittsburgh is basically blue collar to its most extreme form. Very religious, very old fashioned and caught up in the past, lots of insular social circles, and very family oriented with straight-laced values. It's worth a visit though, really nice setting and oen of the best "historical" cities.

Wow, I am not fast enough for this site! So far, my mind is really working on Austin. I've been to parts of Texas before - and not the 'cool' spots, and found people to be pretty friendly and helpful. In my first hour there, I did see a handwritten sign that said "Property protected by Smith and Wesson... And he don't miss." Heheh.

Pittsburgh, I wouldn't live there. I don't know why, just doesn't feel like my place. No offense anyone

SoCal- I really like it there, but I do find it pretty costly. I lived in Los Angeles (East Hollywood) and had a great apartment but it wasn't cheap. We're hoping to buy in the not too distant future, so we're taking into consideration places where we could potential stick around and buy a house (not a condo). Sadly, we don't have 800 grand for a 1 bedroom :-D

This is awesome, by the way... All sorts of cities on the east coast I never thought of! I only mention tattoos because in some areas, I know it is really hard to find decent jobs with visible tattoos, and other places, you can work ANYWHERE and no one will bat an eyelash

Last edited by jae87; 11-24-2009 at 07:07 PM.. Reason: added stuff!
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:41 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,805,042 times
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Jae, to be perfectly honest, Seattle sounds like your kinda town.

People with full body tats working in cool or even "normal" places is 100% normal here. The people are way progressive and the weather is very mild (no heat and humidity like in Austin, no crushing winters like in Pittsburgh or Boston, and none of the insanity that is in Chicago). I've seen people with full body tats, ear plugs and piercings, wearing indie rock band shirts that nobody's heard of, etc. working behind the counter at a government office building, at multiple coffee shops, at delicatessens, and in offices ... and nobody cares. It's run-of-the-mill. Wear a shirt saying something like "Hitler was a nice guy" and it may attract stares ... . In fact I saw an old guy wearing a business suit asking a kid cool questions like "what does that mean?" and "does that hurt, my teen wants some tatoos / piercings like that?" They weren't lecturing them, LOL. The only place where tats and piercings would attract some stares is Boeing, but even then, I've seen some people who take it out during the day and tats aren't anything unknown.

Yeah, the yuppies with their six figure salaries moved here, but hey, there's still some awesome artistic scenes here done by all sorts of people. If you like upscale stuff, we have an awesome dance repertoire, ballet, opera, classical venues, etc. We also got jazz, hip hop, techno (in fact the oldest dance radio station in the nation is here - and it's run by high school kids ), surfer rock and everything you can think of - including country.

We got coffee that will make you smile, people from all over the world live here, I've met British, Irish, German, Egyptian, Iranian, Indian, Pakistani, Moroccan, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesians here. Other Americans too =P. The city is awesome in my opinion.
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Old 11-25-2009, 05:43 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,418 posts, read 4,199,471 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
Jae, to be perfectly honest, Seattle sounds like your kinda town.

People with full body tats working in cool or even "normal" places is 100% normal here. The people are way progressive and the weather is very mild (no heat and humidity like in Austin, no crushing winters like in Pittsburgh or Boston, and none of the insanity that is in Chicago). I've seen people with full body tats, ear plugs and piercings, wearing indie rock band shirts that nobody's heard of, etc. working behind the counter at a government office building, at multiple coffee shops, at delicatessens, and in offices ... and nobody cares. It's run-of-the-mill. Wear a shirt saying something like "Hitler was a nice guy" and it may attract stares ... . In fact I saw an old guy wearing a business suit asking a kid cool questions like "what does that mean?" and "does that hurt, my teen wants some tatoos / piercings like that?" They weren't lecturing them, LOL. The only place where tats and piercings would attract some stares is Boeing, but even then, I've seen some people who take it out during the day and tats aren't anything unknown.

Yeah, the yuppies with their six figure salaries moved here, but hey, there's still some awesome artistic scenes here done by all sorts of people. If you like upscale stuff, we have an awesome dance repertoire, ballet, opera, classical venues, etc. We also got jazz, hip hop, techno (in fact the oldest dance radio station in the nation is here - and it's run by high school kids ), surfer rock and everything you can think of - including country.

We got coffee that will make you smile, people from all over the world live here, I've met British, Irish, German, Egyptian, Iranian, Indian, Pakistani, Moroccan, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesians here. Other Americans too =P. The city is awesome in my opinion.
Wear a t-shirt in Seattle that says "Hitler was a nice guy" and you'll probably be killed. Well, they're a little too passive-aggressive to actually kill anybody, but you'll get some icy stares, so I guess you're right.

I've seen pharmacists in Pittsburgh with full sleeves. Tattoos are relatively passe in this day and age, if anybody hadn't noticed.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV
989 posts, read 1,933,139 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creepsinc View Post
Sooo, Pittsburgh sucks for you because you're sick of playing Mr. Smalls (one of the best venues I've ever seen, and I've seen 'em all practically) or have gotten too big for it but not quite big enough for a stadium? A show in a rundown skating rink sounds great to me. A few years ago, there were NO venues in Seattle outside of either small bars or large theaters. You played the Central or you played a basement. They also had the Teen Dance Ordinance. Whatever is there now grew out of people doing it themselves, not sitting around whining about the lack of things to do.

There are some jazz (or math rock or bar band) fans that would take issue with your statement about Pittsburgh never having been much of a music town. American popular music was even born here, in the form of Stephen Foster.
Wow...that comment was completely off-base, so I'm just going to let this go. This has nothing at all to do with local acts or myself. I'm talking about the city not being able to land national touring acts because of our lack of venues. Compare concert calendars for Pittsburgh with surrounding cities and it's sickening how many quality acts pass us up due to this. We don't even begin to compare when it comes to drawing current acts.

Unfortunately, MANY of the city's clubs and theatres have been closed since the late 90s and the city just doesn't really have any plans to support a change in that. We'll blow millions on something stupid like a downtown casino, that has completely failed due to a lack of licensed table games and an in-house resort hotel...all while there's better options right down the road for casinos in Washington PA and Wheeling WV...however, it's perfectly fine that we stick national touring acts in abandoned skating rinks(no, not a cool thing at all like you may have thought...I know what you were getting at, but trust me, it was borderline insulting for a band like that) or shipping acts off to play in Greensburg some 30 minutes outside of Pittsburgh in another county.

I've lived in SWPA and Pittsburgh my whole life and know what I'm talking about here. All of this has been discussed in great length over in the Pittsburgh forum in specific threads dealing with each of these issues that I've mentioned. Pittsburgh is a GREAT city....however, its strengths lie in things like history, cost of living, lack of cookie cutter boredom, sports culture, etc. It's a family oriented, middle class, blue collar style of city and prides itself on that. Family is the key word here...you can make a great living and do the whole "American Dream" thing easily and then some. However, it's not a city for 20/30 somethings looking for a fun lifestyle, and it doesn't try to be. Not that it's terrible for 20/30 somethings or those who walk to there own beat..life is what you make of it..but it's not ideal and there's better places out there for today's younger age demographic/cultural bracket. Really, this has all been beaten to death on the Pittsburgh forum.
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Old 11-25-2009, 09:17 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,418 posts, read 4,199,471 times
Reputation: 1195
Quote:
Originally Posted by TelecasterBlues View Post
Wow...that comment was completely off-base, so I'm just going to let this go. This has nothing at all to do with local acts or myself. I'm talking about the city not being able to land national touring acts because of our lack of venues. Compare concert calendars for Pittsburgh with surrounding cities and it's sickening how many quality acts pass us up due to this. We don't even begin to compare when it comes to drawing current acts.

Unfortunately, MANY of the city's clubs and theatres have been closed since the late 90s and the city just doesn't really have any plans to support a change in that. We'll blow millions on something stupid like a downtown casino, that has completely failed due to a lack of licensed table games and an in-house resort hotel...all while there's better options right down the road for casinos in Washington PA and Wheeling WV...however, it's perfectly fine that we stick national touring acts in abandoned skating rinks(no, not a cool thing at all like you may have thought...I know what you were getting at, but trust me, it was borderline insulting for a band like that) or shipping acts off to play in Greensburg some 30 minutes outside of Pittsburgh in another county.

I've lived in SWPA and Pittsburgh my whole life and know what I'm talking about here. All of this has been discussed in great length over in the Pittsburgh forum in specific threads dealing with each of these issues that I've mentioned. Pittsburgh is a GREAT city....however, its strengths lie in things like history, cost of living, lack of cookie cutter boredom, sports culture, etc. It's a family oriented, middle class, blue collar style of city and prides itself on that. Family is the key word here...you can make a great living and do the whole "American Dream" thing easily and then some. However, it's not a city for 20/30 somethings looking for a fun lifestyle, and it doesn't try to be. Not that it's terrible for 20/30 somethings or those who walk to there own beat..life is what you make of it..but it's not ideal and there's better places out there for today's younger age demographic/cultural bracket. Really, this has all been beaten to death on the Pittsburgh forum.
I apologize for any off-baseness of my comment. It sounded like you were complaining from the standpoint of a working musician. I don't really understand what people are missing here. If people want their corporate top 40 crap, they have the P-G pavillion. Station Square has started having concerts again. So has Sandcastle. I saw X at the Rex. Mission of Burma, one of the best bands in American music history, played at the Club Cafe of all places. Hip band du jour (or was that two years ago?) The Decemberists played at Heinz Hall (or was it the Byham?) This city is crawling with venues. The "music industry" is dying (thankfully) and I'm not sure that can be pinned on Pittsburgh. The few (hipsterish) twenty-somethings I know love it here and I honestly can't keep up with all they have to do. Having lived (and played music for pay) in Seattle, they don't have any more (or better) venues than we do. They might have more well-known bands, but hype dies hard.
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